Starting tips for a freelance Journalist

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Knowing how to create and find opportunities as a freelancer is important.

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Photo credit: Markus

There comes a time in your career when you desire to do more and be your own boss. The job market for journalist is increasingly becoming crowded and you may find yourself considering to become a freelancer. Freelancing gives you the opportunity to be flexible in working hours and stories to write about. Like any other startup it does come with its own challenges. Knowing how to create and find opportunities as a freelancer is important. Here are some tips to help you get started and hopefully get paid doing it.    

1. Find your niche

Being passionate about what you do is visible in your work and makes all the difference. Examine which topics you are good at. It could range from business, agriculture, technology, relationships, fashion among others. Specialize in a topic that you’re an expert in. If you decide to pursue a number of different topics, go for it just as long as it is well written and balanced.

2. Online portfolio

This is an online professional portfolio that showcases your skills. It allows you to store a variety of your work in one place which potential clients can reference to. Creating a portfolio that makes you stand out. It should contain your contact information, work experience, updated samples of your work and pay range. A good example of a site that lets you build on this is Journo Portfolio.

3. Network

It’s not what you know but who you know. Building a strong network with people you have either worked for or with is essential. Reach out to editors and other freelance writers and interact with them. Maintain a good reputation with them too.    

4. Pitching

Now isn’t the time to be afraid to contact that client or editor. It’s your job as a freelance writer to start pitching by sharing your ideas. Send out pitches through job boards such as Contena or via email to the editor. Be clear and to the point in your pitches. You can say, “I’m proposing an article about…” rather than a list of your interest.

5. Mentorship

You may not have the luxury of a media organization team backing you up but it doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Get someone who has a longer experience in being a freelancer and is willing to guide you through it. If not check out social media platforms and join a community of other freelance writers.

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