Do you wish to pursue your career as a freelance journalist? Great, this is one of the career options that offer a flexible work schedule and the opportunity to work from home or anywhere you wish to.
As a freelance journalist, you will be regularly engaged with writing articles for newspapers, magazines, organizations, etc. You must collect information from trusted sources and deliver the information to the audience.
As you read ahead, we will look at the skills you need to become a freelance journalist and how you can become a journalist.
Some of the highly required skills to become a freelance journalist are the Ability to write well, editing skills, being open to constructive criticism, being Good at self-promotion, etc.
It is not always about going out into the field and sharing breaking news stories. Instead, it is a lot more about storytelling. It involves content writing, editing, reporting, etc.
At some point in time, to promote yourself you may need to do email marketing. In such a case if you are struggling to build email lists. Here is a pro tip for you.
1. Use an Email Finder
With a free email finder, you can easily find the business email addresses of your target audience or potential sources. GetEmail.io is only one such tool. Though the tool is paid, you can enjoy the free credits with the free plan.
Now let us look at some steps you could take to become a freelance journalist.
2. Seek a degree
Although to become a freelance journalist you do not always require a degree beyond high school, it is a plus. For a writer with not much to add to a professional profile, having a degree in a relevant field can help project their skill level and qualifications.
The most appropriate degree to become a journalist would be in English, journalism, marketing, or communication.
3. Get started with local publications
As you pursue your degree, you could collaborate with local publications and submit your work. Besides this, your college is likely to have a school magazine or newspaper. By working with your school’s writers and publishers, you learn all that a publisher looks for in freelance journalists. Do you get it?
4. Build a portfolio
A portfolio is where you display your journalistic work. Though you can have a physical portfolio, it is recommended to have an online portfolio; this will help you extend your network, get projects, and acquire new clients.
5. Improve and enhance your skills
You can enhance your writing skills by reading more and writing as much as you can. Besides this, you need to develop the habit of attending relevant lectures or seminars and getting your works assessed by other writers.
With years, your skills should also improve. As a freelancer, you need to work consistently on enhancing your personal and professional skills.
6. Participate in contests
Newspapers and magazines regularly launch writing contests. You should never miss such opportunities and make sure you submit your writings. You win or not is secondary, it doesn’t matter.
What is more important is that you participate in it. This will help you to strengthen your skills, confidence, build your portfolio and give you chances to earn money.
7. Be an organized person
When you work as a freelance journalist, you do not have a reporting manager to manage and assess your task. Hence, you should organize your schedule and can use spreadsheets to monitor your productivity.
As a freelancer, you will be pitching ideas to various publications. By maintaining all these details on a spreadsheet, you will have clarity on your publishers’ details, your communication information, and your transaction details.
8. Self-promote and network
You do not have to spend bucks to promote yourself and network.
With all the social media channels and many networking opportunities, it is easy to accomplish this.
Create accounts on all the social media platforms and a website for your brand.
Consistently work towards creating new works and share them on these platforms.
The same will help you with networking. Other ways to network are to join writing communities, take part in writers’ conferences, and communicate with people.
Freelance journalism is not full of rainbows and sunshine. With the steps involved in this article, you can make it less hard for you.
Want to read more of our latest posts? Check out our article about selling art on social media.