Guest Post From Lydia Wilkins: How to Find Opportunities as a Freelance Journalist

Hi guys!

Lydia is a great contributor to my blog, as well as being a fantastic advocate for journalism as a career. Below is a guest post from her about how to find opportunities as a freelance journalist. Her blog can be found here: https://mademoisellewomen.com/. Kate

 

I have been a freelance journalist for a little while now. As well as working on the blog, I also contribute to a variety of other publications, including places like Debut Careers, occasionally Reader’s Digest, and more. One of the questions I get asked most is: “How do you get to do what you do?” In other words: where do you find freelance opportunities? That’s a question I thought I would answer today!

Use Twitter

Twitter is your best friend. Seriously. It’s essentially a directory of the best contacts you could want. Nearly everyone is on there. Editors occasionally tweet for pitches, complete with emails, categories, etc. Try searching #journojobs or #journorequest.

Follow the editors of your favourite magazine or newspaper. Want to know what’s happening in New York? Follow Holly Baxter. Want to know some of what is going on in the world of journalism? Try Freddy Mayhew. Sarah Biddlecombe (Stylist) is also another good ‘follow’.

Subscribe to newsletters

Where newspapers have lost out on advertising, the job sometimes falls to newsletters. And some of them are written specifically to offer freelance opportunities. Freelance Writing Jobs is like the Holy Grail of media, and you can subscribe here. The Professional Freelancer is also another good option (subscribe here). If you blog as a side hustle, go for The Bloglancer newsletter (scroll down for this one).

Make use of the Internet and its resources

A computer is a large source information. Not all of it is good, but there’s occasionally a “gem” to use. The Internet has lots of journalism resources. For everything freelance, jobs, careers, invoices and more, try Journo Resources. Jump For Journalism is now a defunct blog, but it still has a wealth of information (I also used to write for it under the pen name Annette Stephens!).

Go to events to network

It’s scary but worth it (I even wrote a piece about networking and its pitfalls!). Anyway, I read this piece with Tina Brown, and she says: “I would advise young journalists to be constantly going to discussions, panels, events. Get out, get to know the people, take the business cards, make the connections personally.” I think it’s a good piece of advice, frankly.

Eventbite is a good place to start. See if your favourite author is giving a talk, in line with their latest book. Brighton is also hosting a podcast festival in April. Byline Festival is also an incredible place to network.

And if this doesn’t work, try cold pitching

It sounds silly when written down, but sometimes we have to make our own opportunities, be it if you’re a blogger and want to work with a brand or if you have an idea that’s rocketing its way around your brain.

One of the simplest ways this can be done is by cold pitching to a magazine or a newspaper. It’s daunting at first, and there’s a lot of rejection involved (we’ve all been there). But you never know unless you ask outright for what you want. Journo Resources has pitching guidelines to get you started.

 

Photo: picjumbo.com/Pexels/Pexels License

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