10 Reasons to be a Freelance Journalist

There are many ways for a writer to make money...

There are, of course, many more than 10 good reason to become a freelance journalist and writer, however, the ones selected for this article are of particular importance for anybody who is seriously considering this vocation.

  • You can choose the type of article you want to write. This is most important if you have subjects that you like, have considerable first-hand experience to offer, or simply enjoy researching and writing about, because your finished work is likely to be excellent.
  • You can select where and when to do your writing. You may prefer the solace of your private study late at night, a deckchair beside your swimming pool on a sunny afternoon, or with the kids in front of the television first thing in the morning. Wherever and whenever you produce your best work is your choice every day for the rest of your life.
  • You can determine the style of your articles. Writers are often at there best when writing in the idiom of their choice; whether this is a grumpy, negative attitude towards a subject, an informative and studious approach packed with facts and details, or a humorous approach that looks at the lighter side of every topic. Your preferred style of writing is one that you can refine until you can write that way on almost every subject.
  • You decide on the depth of your articles and the amount of information they will contain. Many writers enjoy research, and can spend hours wallowing amid search engines and mountains of articles, facts, images, and other data on the subject matter. Naturally, this then requires further hours in sifting through all the stuff saved on your hard drive, and preparing your notes and summary before you even start writing. The other end of the information spectrum is the article that contains niche information on a subject that the writer examines from every angle; it becomes more of an opinion piece, rather than a definitive work. You can select your ideal from either end of this range or anywhere in between, and once you have your perfect level, it is better to stick with it.
  • You can even select the media where you want your work published. Many writers, especially the new freelancer, are only too pleased to be published and paid for their efforts, while others have definite ideas of where they wish to see their work. If you have one or two subjects that you can write about from increasing strength and with authority, you are more able to select your media—right down to defining the actual newspapers or magazines where you will submit your work. From the start of your freelance career, you are able to select your genre and submit to the media of your choice in that sector; such as golf articles to golfing magazines and selected newspapers with a strong section on golf.
  • When your writing has power, depth, and authority, you can quickly become a writer that editors turn to for a specific article. You can actually become a ‘name’, somebody that people refer to for the authoritative opinion, decision, or article on a given subject. Naturally, this requires considerable knowledge, experience, and research but is a goal that is attainable within any journalistic niche.
  • You can become a freelance writer and journalist at any age, because your readers enjoy good articles and editors commission and pay for articles that their readers want. There are positive arguments for both young and old freelance journalists, because young people bring a fresh new look at subjects that may have become old and tired, while the older person supplies a wealth of knowledge and experience honed by years of burned fingers from trying the wrong way!
  • You can sell your articles over and over again. Most freelance journalists and writers tend to retain ownership of the copyright to their work, which enables them to syndicate it worldwide. There are over 100,000 newspapers and magazines published in the Western world and if you can sell your article for only $25 to only 1% of them, you net $25,000 in one mailing. You may write seasonal articles, like the opening day of the football season, and can submit a new version each successive year. Good articles don’t date! You can sell them year after year.
  • You can decide your own level of income. Yes, that’s right; how much you earn is decided by you and not the media, not an editor, and not your reader. You decide on how much effort you are going to put into your work—and there are many different aspects to be considered—and you decide if you want $25,000 a year part-time or 10 times that by working every day. You can also set the price of your individual articles, according to the quality and value of your work.
  • You can write a bestseller and retire young! Well, that’s a little tongue in cheek, but many journalists write books that are moderately successful and provide considerable extra income—year after year, because royalties go on for years. You can even publish a compilation of some of your articles into a book, and some of these hit the bestseller list; as did “The Root Report”, which was published in England many years ago and is still in the bookshops.

The bonus reason, and the icing on the cake of freelance journalism, is that when you are self-employed you can enjoy tax benefits and advantages that the wage-slaves can only dream about. Talk to your accountant or financial advisor about this subject.


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