FREELANCE JOURNALISM veterans Beth D'Addono and JoAnn Greco said they wouldn't trade their careers for full-time jobs any day.
They work from home, travel, eat well and control their lives (to some extent). But freelancing isn't easy. Here are a few things that stood out for me from their visit to class yesterday:
- It can take several years to build steady work as a freelancer.
- The time between your doing the work and getting paid can be long - sometimes you'll get paid months later.
- As a freelancer, you're always thinking about the next story.
- Pitch stories about what you know - like Philly.
- One of the keys to being a good freelancer: get your work in on time and prepared as the editor originally asked. Making editors' lives easier will make you look better.
- You may want to write for Rolling Stone but you should begin by pitching somewhere more accessible. Then build up the ladder - from larger publication to larger publication.
- There are a ton of outlets - including trade publications, alumni mags, organization publications, online sites, commercial mags, etc. Don't lock into one place as your goal.
- Tailor your pitches and stories to the various publications, but retain your voice and writing style.
- Pitching is done via email these days. You need to convince editors why they should run this story, and why run it now.
- You need to build relationships with editors, and you can start doing that now in internships.
- The harder you work, the more money you earn.
- Junkets and sponsored trips, while controversial, can be ways of subsidizing your expenses.
JoAnn recently launched The City Traveler, an online travel magazine. Check it out.
What stood out for you?
10 months ago