Freelance journalism is one of the trickiest career options anyone can follow. Largely, it’s because more than you can imagine, it’s not as glamorous as you read in top publications like Elle, Sex and the City, XXL. Succeeding as a freelance journalist demands a lot from you, as a huge portfolio is what many papers are looking for. This is because freelance journalism is a career line that requires you have a fat portfolio of published work and the important industry connections. However, someone has to start somewhere. Here are some tips on the best way to get started.
Know your publishing field
The biggest event for starting as a freelance journalism is getting published out there. You need to get started with the local magazines in your city for the required exposure and skills. This doesn’t mean you directly flash out the best sports news you can find. This is because these parts already have the competition. Instead, start focusing on the different parts of the publishing fields by targeting a different kind of readership. Being able to comfortably do this will enable you learn to value target all magazines in your area and possibly land you a writing spot.
The best strategy for being a freelance journalist is being able to pitch work with the right editors. Don’t pitch ideas to editors. Instead, consider giving them articles that have been completed and in the best shape. This means you avoid the lazy card by making your pitch articles the real article, using the right spellings and grammar and ensuring the work will turn eyes. This is one of the best ways to launch you to editors and papers.
When you pitch an idea to the potential employer, be sure to sell yourself in a sentence of two. The best practice is having the letter say you are a freelance writer and what your article is about. Make it snappy, direct and straight forward. Also give them deadlines on when to give you feedback before you move on to other interests.
Some calls don’t really come easily, and if you are really serious about getting the position you are looking for, it will help you to make a follow-up call. The intention of the call is to clarify the status of the article you send and whether or not they are willing to engage.
A phone call is a reminder to the editors that you are indeed interested and committed in a working relationship with them. The phone call can also remind a busy editor of your interest in writing for them and if possible, the ideas you have and subsequent interviews needed.
Freelance journalism is not easy, and many are times your topic and article ideas will be shot down by editors and media bosses. A rejection doesn’t necessarily mean the article is bad, but a difference in preferences. When this happens, get up, dust yourself and move on for the next writing opportunity.
About the author
Austin Rinehart is the senior writer on PapersConsulting.com, married and have two lovely adult daughters. Looking for opportunities to publishing on various topics such as internet trends, science researches, strategies of life improving and etc.