Writing on Your Own Time - Freelance Journalism

Monday, September 5, 2011

For college students and recent graduates, the idea of working the long hours at a large publication might not hold a lot of appeal. The good news is that there is another option for those who wish to write articles for magazines or newspapers without it consuming their lives. They can become freelance journalists.

There are those who may paint the picture that a freelance journalist is able to be their own boss and work their own hours. This may be true to an extent, but if you want to have some success in this profession you will still need to have a strong work ethic and the desire to put in the extra time to be successful. According to WritingCareer.com, freelance journalism is one of the more hectic forms of freelance writing. You will still need to travel from place to place, hunting down facts, and meet deadlines. This will still be a lot of work, because it is still a job.

A benefit to freelance journalism is the ability to spread your work across multiple platforms. You can work on some newspaper stories that have short deadlines and some magazine stories that have less structured deadlines. You will have more readers because not everyone reads the same newspapers or magazines. You will be able to build a stronger online portfolio of your work by showcasing your ability to write for multiple forms of publication.

Another benefit is the ability to focus primarily on things of interest to you. When you write about something you are interested in or care about, the content is more likely to be good. You'll have motivation to write the story for reasons beyond securing a paycheck. The end result may be a lot of great articles to attract prospective employers. More benefits to being a freelance journalist can be found at the American College of Journalism.

Being a freelance journalist can help you land that job at the major publication. It also offers a bit of flexibility for those who have busy schedules. Any college journalism student should be able to craft a few articles and send them out to various publications. Freelance journalism can be a hobby for those who want to earn some added income but still want to keep their current career.

If any of this sounds like it could be for you, there is more information on how to get started as a freelance journalist. It may take a lot of work, dedication, and piles of rejection to break into the field. But before you throw in the towel and give up on freelance journalism because of a rejection, remember this quote:

"A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success."-Bo Bennett

Photo courtesy of sambeckwith's Flickr via Creative Commons.


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