Getting your work published is a dream for every journalist, but it’s a nightmare for most people. The few who do get published usually have to go through countless rejections before they finally get the coveted acceptance letter. Even when they do get accepted, there’s no guarantee that their work will be picked up by a publisher. So what’s a fellow journalist to do? How can you ensure that your work will be read and, more importantly, how can you get paid for it? Let’s examine each step of the process.
Find Your Specialty
The first step to getting your work published is to find your specialty. This might be a difficult task, especially if you’re just starting out. But as a journalist, you have a duty to report on the issues that matter to your community. So by exploring your specialties, you’ll already be able to determine what type of content you should be producing. For example, if you are a crime reporter, you might want to look into investigating human trafficking or forced labor. If your specialty is national security, you could focus on issues like drone strikes or cyberterrorism. Look into what interests you and, more importantly, what you know about.
After you’ve found your specialty, it’s time to create content. A lot of journalists believe that writing is simply the process of taking notes during interviews, but it’s so much more than that. You need to take the time to really think of something clever, interesting, or unique that you can write about. When you have an idea for a story, it’s essential that you follow through and actually create some content. Even if you don’t have an entire article written yet, getting some content out there is a major step forward.
Find A Platform
Now that you have content, it’s time to find a platform. Most journalists find it difficult to get published in top tier media outlets because they don’t have the connection or the know-how. But that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for second rate content when you have the ability to produce flawless journalism and get your articles published in places like The New York Times or The Washington Post. Your first step should be to explore the different platforms that you can use to get your content out there to the world. At the very least, you should be able to get published in your local newspaper or magazine. Some platforms like Medium and LinkedIn give you the opportunity to get your content out to a global audience. Look into all of your options and find a way to get your work published.
Distribute Your Content
Once you have your content published, it’s time to distribute it. You need to make sure that your content gets read as much as possible. The best way to do this is to find the places where your audience is and give them what they want. For example, if you wrote a piece for the Huffington Post, you would want to make sure that your target audience is able to find it. So rather than just posting a link to your article on your Facebook page, you could set up a dedicated page for your piece. And even if you wrote an article for a smaller audience, you could set up a blog and distribute the content through that. Just remember, some content needs to be updated more frequently than others so that your readers continue to come back for more. This is where the hustle is: creating content that people want to share and keep coming back for more of.
Now that you have a steady stream of readers, it’s time to monetize them. This is where almost all journalists fall off the wagon. They think that just because they have a large audience that they can generate revenue simply by posting a link to an online store or a product that they promote within their articles. But this is far from true. To be able to monetize your content, you first need to find a way to attract visitors to your site. The best way to do this is to become a thought leader in your industry. Become the guy or the gal that your audience looks up to and, more importantly, trusts. People want to follow your advice and if you can provide it to them for free as part of their education, you can potentially monetize their trust.
Follow The Money
The more specific you can be with your articles, the easier it will be for people to find you when they are looking for information on your specialty. But being found is only the first step to monetizing your content. Once you have a sizable audience that you can monetize, it’s time to start getting paid. There are a number of ways that you can do this, but the easiest and most reliable is to sign up for a Google Adsense account. This account will give you the ability to place ads on your site. When someone clicks on an ad, you will earn a few pennies. But the best part is that you don’t need to do a lot of the work. The Google platform does the rest. Just be sure to follow the money and keep track of your earnings so that you can report this to the IRS at the end of the year.
Create A Sustainable Future
As a journalist, you have a duty to your community to inform them of the issues that affect their daily lives. But you also have a responsibility to yourself to make sure that you are financially secure. When you start reaping the benefits of your labor, it’s essential to take the time to reinvest in your future by creating a sustainable financial future. The sooner you can do this, the better. Even if you do everything else right and your work is recognized, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to monetize it. Be smart about your finances and ensure that you are putting yourself in a position to succeed.
Getting your work published isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, you could be on your way to a successful career as a journalist. And when you eventually do land that dream job, just make sure to take the time to appreciate it. By regularly tracking your income and spending, you’ll be able to create a financial plan that can help you manage your money and live your life to the fullest. Hopefully, this article will help you get started and continue down the path to financial independence. And if it does, consider yourself well-deserved to celebrate with a nice cold beverage.