Are you one of the thousands of people in journalism who are holding their breath and watching the industry deteriorate?
According to the Pew Research Center, 28,000 workers in the United States lost their jobs in newsrooms, journalism between 2008 and 2018. (This equates to one-quarter of all news positions in the United States.)
If you work for a print publication, you are most likely feeling the effects of the downturn. However, digital media is not immune. Layoffs of digital media employees occur with alarming frequency these days.
Being laid off is stressful in any sector.
Most of us were aware that the downturn would necessitate taking positions with lesser compensation. However, with 25% of employment disappearing – that motivation is gone, and you may be wondering how to keep a roof over your head.
It’s time to convert your worry and anxiety into entrepreneurship: you’re going to go from journalism to freelance blogging.
What factors contribute to journalists’ success as freelance bloggers? They already have a good grasp of the following abilities:
Journalists know which sources to believe and where to look for them. This includes searching for information and data the old-fashioned way (in person, using actual books! ), accessing primary sources, and conducting internet research. The ability to dive into material and sort out the facts is essential for blogging, especially on unknown themes.
This skill alone will distinguish journalists as independent bloggers looking for work. Mining gold from subject matter specialists is straightforward for a journalist who knows just what questions to ask to gain the appropriate information.
Journalists create stories that entice readers and keep them reading. They frequently take commonplace subjects and turn them into enthralling stories. They can quickly figure out what writing journalism styles to apply and word choice and word count.
If there is one thing that television and film portrayals of journalists get right, it is their tenacity. Journalists do not give up until they have exhausted all options and explored every instrument available to them. They’ve mastered the art of promptly following up with folks. This same determination can be used when there are slack times when marketing efforts may need to be increased. This tenacity is required if a client or source is delaying a project.
These are just a few of the abilities learned as a journalist that can help you earn a “brick-and-mortar business”-sized wage as a blogger from home or anyplace.
Break Into Blogging: From Laid Off to Legendary
As a result, if you’re a journalist, you already have most of the skills required for freelance blogging. But what should you do if you’ve been laid off or need to supplement your income? Follow this road map to get started with your new blogging profession.
1: Seek assistance
The loss of a job can be as emotionally devastating as the loss of a loved one. You’ll miss your appointment, coworkers, and way of life. If you have savings, it might be a good idea to take a break and rely on them for a while before delving into something like freelance blogging. This is especially true if you are new to the industry.
Journalists live and breathe deadlines but strive to avoid harsh deadlines when launching a freelance blogging career. If you were laid off, you may believe you would be “over it” in a month or two, but remember that this time is part of your mourning process.
This is also a perfect moment to conduct an additional study about freelance blogging and assess your hard and soft talents.
You should consider transitioning from journalism employment to freelancing as a distinct professional change. Even if you opt to continue writing about issues allocated to you in your media career, venturing out on your own requires a significant mental adjustment.
2: Establish your legitimacy
Being self-employed necessitates the development of an entrepreneurial mindset. While starting as part-time employment can be an excellent way to ease into the world of freelance blogging, this is your new business. Treat it as though it were one.
Here are a few things to think about as you embark on this new adventure: Non-compete restrictions some job contracts restrict where former employees can work.
It is critical to ensure that writing for another newspaper, even as a contractor, does not conflict with any journalism departure duties.
Website of a writer
This will be your digital portfolio and information about what distinguishes you as a blogger. This is what you’ll use to get new customers. A writer’s site is more than just a duplicate of your CV on the internet.
An excellent website is appealing. Feel free to praise your accomplishments and knowledge. A superb portfolio page with clips is an intelligent place to start.
Then it’s time to research how to communicate how you can use your expertise and successes to create content for other companies.
Traditional job-hunting places a strong emphasis on you and your aspirations. The focus of a successful business will be on your audience and their demands. Making that distinction is the key to creating a decent website.
3: Make contacts
Ex-journalist organizations are sprouting up online, for better or worse. If you have a solid social media presence, you should inform your fans that you are looking for a job. (Keep in mind that you may be unwittingly revealing this information with former coworkers and managers.) If you want to keep it close to your chest, contact people via email or private messaging.)
To find others like you, conduct a Google search for “former journalist Facebook groups” or “ex-journalist Slack groups.” Complimenting your former coworkers is a vital step in the process.
Finding a new online “water cooler” and possibilities to make connections for this new period of your life is all part of expanding your network. Some groups may also meet in person, which is excellent for bringing you out of a mental rut and back into the world of normalcy.
4th: Be specific
In your prior career, you most likely found yourself delving into a wide range of topics. Concentrate on one or two areas where you feel most at ease. Long-serving beat reporters, rejoice! Also, keep in mind that some niches are more profitable than others.
For example, as a journalist, my primary responsibility was to write features. As a result, I wrote a lot of personality profiles and tales about upcoming events.
This is probably not a good niche for freelance blogging because the fastest-growing firms — and thus the most lucrative tasks for you — are in fields like SaaS (Software as a Service), technology, finance, and business-to-business.
As a freelance blogger, I began by producing blog posts about the writing process. It was an excellent starting point for me to gather clips under my belt that I could share with potential clients.
Then I began working with small-to-medium-sized IT firms, public speakers, and thought leaders who require an infusion of high-quality material for their website and social media channels.
5: Begin pitching
Former journalists may face a learning curve when it comes to crafting good pitches. As a staff journalist, you are assigned a beat and must research any issues or prospective article ideas to present to an editor in brief emails or quick meetings.
However, when it comes to pitching, you’ll need to understand the type of message you send to unique clients. Some companies desire a lengthy list of content ideas bundled together.
Others will merely look at quick emails with a list of your skills. Pitching can also take place on social networking networks such as LinkedIn.
All freelancing pitches necessitate a level of personalization that journalists may not be used to. This includes providing statistics or information about the company based on your study and discussing any personal connections you may have with the company.
Remember the distinctions between a good and a terrible public relations media release. A good one is specific, usually brief, contains every piece of crucial information, and is unusual or appealing.
Keep in mind; an effective pitch can resemble a well-written press release or interview request. You only get one chance to outline your idea and why you want to collaborate with them. You’ll need to be specific and detailed in your explanation.
You’ll have to persuade them not only of your ability but also to trust you and start working with you.
That is not always an easy task. It may necessitate specific long-term contacts that emerge over time. News journalists finish their work on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
Bloggers may have to work on a good lead for weeks at a time before meeting with a marketing manager for the first time.
Readers of this blog are well aware of how freelance blogging can revolutionize their lives and improve their (and their clients’) internet journalism profiles. It can be used as extra income or as a full-time entrepreneurial venture. Please forward this to any ex-journos you know who could benefit from it.
If you were a journalist in the past, this post would help you transform your journalism talents into freelance blogging success. You’ve already learned the fundamentals.
Getting into the mindset of a business owner may be the most difficult challenge. Use resources such as this site to show you how and to assist you in finding well-paying work.
It’s conceivable. There is yet hope. We have your back.
(Do you have any further advice for authors who want to go from journalism to freelance blogging? Please share your thoughts in the comments!)
Source: Be a Freelancer
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