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Five lessons I have learnt as a freelance journalist in my career of almost ten years now

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Freelance journalism offers a great opportunity to work independently and pursue a career that allows for flexibility and creativity. As a freelance journalist, you can work on a variety of topics and stories, and pitch your ideas to various media outlets, which can lead to a diverse range of work experiences. Freelance journalism also provides the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world and set your own schedule, allowing for a better work-life balance. Additionally, freelance journalists have the potential to earn a good income, with many outlets paying competitive rates for quality work.

However, to make it work and survive in this competitive space today, there are a few things one must keep in mind.

Here are my top 5 lessons for a freelance journalist:

Time management is crucial

As a freelance journalist, you need to be good at managing your time. You have to juggle multiple projects, and research topics, conduct interviews, write articles, and meet deadlines. It’s important to develop a system that works for you, whether it’s using a planner, a calendar, or productivity tools.

Pitching is key

Freelance journalists are responsible for finding their own clients and pitching stories. You need to be able to sell your ideas to editors and publications, so it’s important to develop strong pitching skills. Take the time to research the publication and its readership, and tailor your pitch accordingly.

Build your network

Freelance journalism is a competitive industry, and having a strong network can help you find new opportunities and build your reputation. Attend industry events, connect with other journalists and editors on social media, and consider joining a professional organization.

Be adaptable

Freelance journalists need to be able to work on a variety of topics and formats. You might be asked to write a news article one day and a feature story the next. It’s important to be adaptable and willing to learn new skills.

Value your work

Freelance journalists often struggle with setting their rates and negotiating with clients. It’s important to know your worth and to value your work. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for fair compensation and to set boundaries around your time and workload.

About Post Author

Surabhi Pandey

A journalist by training, Surabhi is a writer and content consultant currently based in Singapore. She has over seven years of experience in journalistic and business writing, qualitative research, proofreading, copyediting and SEO. Working in different capacities as a freelancer, she produces both print and digital content and leads campaigns for a wide range of brands and organisations – covering topics ranging from technology to education and travel to lifestyle with a keen focus on the APAC region.
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