You might have wondered how to become a freelance journalist. Or else you would love to know how to get more press for your work, but have no idea what magazines look for. I had a great chat with freelance journalist and author Alya Mooro all about this topic. She shared so many great tips. Grab the podcast below to have a listen.
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How to work as a freelance journalist
The old rules of having to study journalism at University or College are slowly disappearing. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t aspire to studying, but if you are someone who can’t afford to go, or life hasn’t allowed you the time to study, Alya Mooro shows that there is another way.
When I started out as a photojournalist we were still using film cameras (I’m grateful for that, as I still believe the craft of photography is worth learning). This meant that checking your social media for the latest post didn’t exist. Now while I’m sounding like an old woman, I wanted to share this story with you, so that you can see how much easier it is now for you to become what ever you want!
Yes social media can at times feel overwhelming, but as Alya Mooro says, if you use it in the right way you can access journalists and find out what they want so you can pitch to them.
How to get your dream job
If you have a dream then you are half way there. I have so many students come to me for mentoring, and often they have no idea what they want to do. If you have a dream, then you have something to aim for. If you want to become a freelance journalist then start writing. Alya Mooro started by interning and writing a blog on the side. I always say that if you want to work for a magazine like Vogue, then start writing as if you are writing for Vogue.
Look at the style of writing Vogue’s journalists use, find these journalist and the editors on Twitter and Instagram. Look at what they are interested in, comment on their feeds if they ask for something. Alya did this when an editor she was following asked for restaurant recommendations! The point of this is to get your name out there, so that the right people remember you.
Interning is also another great way of the right people getting to know you. One of the best places to see what is available globally is on LinkedIn. Does that surprise you? LinkedIn is actually used by the fashion industry the most. You can go here to see what current internships LinkedIn has in fashion, journalism etc here: Internships
How to network successfully
Getting your name on the radar of the right people really can open doors. I’ll tell you a little story about how this worked for my own career, pre social media. I used to love to party! Yes I don’t have the stamina now, but if you do, go for it! I also loved to dance and would always go to openings in London for art and photography. Basically anywhere where I thought the picture editors of the newspaper and magazines I wanted to work for would be hanging out.
Now you might be thinking how is attending an opening or liking to party going to help my career? Stay with me here…I was always one of the last to leave and ended up at the after parties. Some of these were on really cool locations like boats on the River Thames in London. One one such night I was dancing salsa with another journalist friend at a great boat party. That could be the end of the story, but that night of dancing changed everything.
I was asked to come in an see the editor of one of the top Sunday newspaper magazines a few weeks later. When I arrived at their offices with my portfolio I noticed a photo of me in a frame (can I say that again? In a frame!!!). There was a picture of me dancing salsa at that party on the editors desk! She said she had enjoyed the night and loved our dancing. So she put the photo in a frame!!!
It’s an unconventional way of getting in front of an editor, and I know that social media makes it much easier now. But the reason that I share this story, is to show that you need to go out there and enjoy the ride. Make the contacts, but make friends in the process. Be real. Don’t count the followers and likes, make meaningful connections with people online, just as you would if you were dancing the night away on a boat.
Part of the reason that Alya Mooro got her book deal is that she put herself out there. She didn’t ask permission to write her book, she knew that she had to add to the conversation about issues she was passionate about.
If you want to get a book deal, write the book. Build your audience and put yourself out there. Is that scary? Yes of course. But if we didn’t push ourselves or reach for things that we wanted, then we would stay in the same place.
Listen to Alya’s journey from blogger to author on the podcast. She shares three great tips that you can action right away to build your audience and your career. The best thing about her tips is that they don’t cost any money to do. They also work if you are looking to get press for your own work as she shares how you can find out what magazines are looking for, via Instagram and Twitter.
If you would like to know more about Alya Mooro and buy a copy of her book, head over to her website: https://www.alyamooro.com You can also find her on Instagram.
And if this has made you want to take your career further, or plan out what you want to do. I have a few mentoring slots left for this year.
You can find out all about it here: Tell me more!