Being a freelance journalist can be fun… but sometimes, it comes at a price. For example, you are basically doing something that doesn’t automatically earn you money. It’s more of a risk-taking career in the sense that you will never know when you will be paid for the work that you’ve done.
When it comes to freelance journalism, anyone can actually become freelance. There’s no rules or qualifications that you need in order to become one, so it’s pretty damn easy to get yourself into a freelance career – of course you need to have writing talent though.
A thing you need to remember though is that “free might also refer to your fee. There is only one letter only between ‘fee’ and ‘free’ – but the difference can make or break a freelance journalist.
One of the best things about being a freelance journalist (especially nowadays) is through social media platforms. Online platforms are filled with friendly and supportive freelancers and it is more common for freelancers to join these online communities in order to showcase your work as well as gaining useful tips and tricks from the other freelancers.
You do need to realise though that being freelance can be quite tough. There will be times when people will ignore your calls and emails as well as slamming doors in your face. It is a tricky gig but you have to face up to the fact that this will be a common occurrence and not everyone will be forthcoming towards you.
According to Mandy Appleyard, a fellow freelancer, “freelancing has become tougher as time has passed”. She also goes on to say that she is paid less nowadays for her features for the same publication, in comparison to 20 years ago.
But on the other hand, there are advantages of freelance, like the flexibility of working. Even though pay is uncertain, you still can be lucky with it depending on your flexibility. Some publications may want to take you on depending on what hours/days you can do and it sometimes may work in your favour and you may easily earn money from it, if you’re lucky.