Getting freelance journalism jobs

So, you can’t find or don’t want a traditional journalism job?  Maybe you’ve kicked around the idea of getting into freelancing as a sideline?  If so, writer and editor Dana Neuts has some suggestions.

Neuts has been freelancing full time in the Seattle area for the last seven years.  She’s also the head of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Freelance Committee.

Neuts says she’s often asked how she finds work, and here are some of her favorite sources.

1.  Freelance Daily.  This paid subscription service “delivers freelance job opportunities to your inbox Monday through Friday,” writes Neuts.  But she warns that much of the content comes from Craigslist, so beware that the pay can be low.

2. Media Bistro. Neuts says this free website is “ideal for freelancers, regardless of expertise or experience.”  She suggests clicking on “Job Listings” and then searching for “freelance” or “contract” to find relevant posts.

3. Journalism Jobs. Again Neuts suggests you use the keyword search. (I did it today and pulled up 85 potential freelance projects.)

4. SPJ. The Job Bank and Freelancer Directory are members-only portions of the site.  Neuts says you can search for work and post bios with contact information, so potential clients and publishers can find you.

But don’t wait for work to come to you; be proactive, says Neuts.  She suggests you do a few things to market yourself:

  • Develop a simple website or blog
  • Have a business card that includes your contact info and a list of your services or specialities
  • Be active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Have a one-page resume or professional profile readily available for prospective clients

Neuts says you shouldn’t discount the value of networking with other freelancers and attending relevant conferences, too.


3 comments for “Getting freelance journalism jobs

  1. March 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I’ve been freelancing since April 2010, and I find it’s pretty hard to make enough to support myself. More importantly, it changes the main factor that motivates me to be a journalist. As a journalist at a news organization, I was most motivated by making sure readers received the news and information they needed in their daily lives. I cared about that public service aspect of my job. As a freelance journalist, you can’t help but be motivated by the survival instinct. Where will the money come from? How will I pay my rent, buy food, pay the bills?

    It’s completely different.

  2. Chipo Bewu
    July 30, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Most organisation who offers wants freelance work do n ot consider the risk of getting that information, but pay only for the news without adding the risk factor, a good example is the situation in Libya, Zimbabwe etec
    How should the freelancer and the organisation strike a balance

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