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How Do I get Started in Freelance Journalism?

To get started you need to write articles that editors want and will pay for. But, that’s easier said than done. So, you need to learn the rules of freelance journalism and the etiquette of the trade.

Learning the trade

One of the best ways to learn the trade is to take a course. This can be done by distance learning or at a college depending on how you like to learn and what your lifestyle allows. Courses can help you assess your current skills and offer advice on how to improve weak areas. They can also help you learn about the profession and may highlight issues that you’d maybe not considered.

The Realities of Freelance Journalism

The realities of working as a freelance journalist include:

- what it’s like working with newspapers and magazines

  • how much they pay o approaching editors
  • working to tight deadlines


- what it’s like working freelance:

  • motivating yourself
  • finding stories to write about
  • working from home
  • planning your finances to cover lean periods
  • working unsociable hours


So, if this sounds exciting freelance journalism is for you!

Running Your Own Business

Freelance journalism is essentially running a small business. You’ll have to:

  • keep track of work sent out o send invoices
  • chase up payment
  • work out tax and National Insurance contributions


This may seem like a lot to think about. But, a good freelance journalism course will show you how to do all this as well as help get your work up to a publishable standard.

Personal Qualities

You’ll also need some personal qualities to make it as a freelance journalist. These include:

  • enthusiasm
  • a desire to share knowledge
  • a love of meeting people
  • an eye for detail
  • interest in current affairs
  • good listening skills


Add to that some essential character traits such as:

  • a sense of humour
  • a thick skin
  • an open mind
  • tenacity
  • a sense of adventure


Freelance journalism can be fun, exciting and, if you put in the time and effort, quite lucrative.

If you want to find out more about being a freelance journalist request a free Writers Bureau Freelance Journalism course prospectus.


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Cathal Coyle

"My short-term intention is to continue combining writing for newspapers and magazines with my current job. I'm enjoying my writing 'sideline' but I may find as time goes on that I want to make the transition to full-time writer."

Cathal Coyle


Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

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