What Does a Freelance Journalist Do?

The life of a freelance journalistA freelance journalist is a journalist who is their own boss. While working as a freelance journalist, you don’t need to commit to a specific employer for the long term. In fact, you choose your own hours and who you want to work with for as long as you want. There are plenty of freelance journalists who earn a great income while they enjoy their freedom.

Do you want to become a freelance journalist?

If yes, you need to know everything that freelance journalists do. You need to know how to get started, what qualifications you need to acquire and how to achieve success in this occupation.

Specific Areas of Journalism

There are many specific areas of journalism that you can choose from while working as a freelance journalist. Depending on your skills and interests, you may choose to focus on areas like business, finance, sports, healthcare, travel, environment etc. Or you could even decide to step into covering stories like day-to-day news.

Whatever specification you pick, you should make sure, it’s something you like so that it doesn’t feel like work.

The Freedom

Freelance journalists enjoy a lot of freedom. First of all, you are free to work with several publications at a time rather than just one. You are actually self-employed, which means you are your own boss.

Freelance journalism allows you to –

Choose who you want to work for
Write what you like to write about
Decide your own frequency of writing
Pick your own hours
Select where you want to work from


Though freelance journalism gives you plenty of freedom in many different ways, it also brings you several challenges. Since you are self-employed, you need to find markets on your own. You also need to get in touch with the editors of publications that you are interested in. At the same time, you should be able to negotiate your fees really well.

To keep growing in this occupation, you also need to abide by some important etiquette like producing top quality work, choosing topics that attract the audience’s attention quickly and submit your work within the given or agreed upon time frame. Most importantly, you need to take care of your tax considerations and finances on your own.

In short, you are responsible for your success. So, you need to work out your own plan of action and discipline yourself to carry it out.

Academic Qualifications

All journalism degree holders are not successful journalists. Having a degree in journalism doesn’t guarantee success. The field of freelance journalism invites people from multiple backgrounds. However, getting a college degree in journalism allows you to know how this industry works. Apart from being academically qualified, you also need to develop some important skills. Most of all, you should have an excellent command over the English language, a good eye for grammar, sentence structure, syntax, spelling, punctuation, and word selection among others.

In case you have a journalism degree but lack the aforementioned skills, you can always complete different types of writing courses. There are many online English writing courses or training programs as well.

If you plan to become a freelance journalist, you should also be ready to travel according to what your assignment requires. In any case, you should always focus on expanding your professional network. With the required skills, a strong commitment to growth, and hard work; you’ll definitely achieve success in the field of freelance journalism and create your own unique career path.

Do you think freelance journalism is something you should step into? Please share your thoughts and opinions.

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Alex Strike has started his writing career in 2010. Now he is a passionate blog writer and essay specialist who has been writing his first e-book.. Alex is a big fan of reading, and he works as a writing coach at the moment.

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