Freelance journalism can be a great way to build a portfolio, get your foot in the door at a media outlet or supplement your income. If you're really lucky, you might be able to make a full-time living out of freelancing.
In addition to freelance writing and reporting, media outlets offer many other types of freelance opportunities, such as blogging, copy editing, fact checking, research, photography, video production, art and web design.
Try to concentrate on an area that appeals to you and that you can become an expert on. Successful freelancers often specialize in a particular area or two. There's a market for virtually any specialty.
It's also important that you're organized, can meet deadlines, have some understanding of contract and copyright law, know how to market yourself and make efforts to network.
Assignments can be found through many and varied avenues: pitching editors and producers, responding to advertisements or RFPs, joining a media outlet's freelancer pool, word of mouth, etc.
Compensation varies greatly. Some gigs pay peanuts or even nothing at all -- they try to sell you on gaining experience and work samples. Others pay quite well, as much as a few dollars per word or several thousand dollars per project. Such gigs typically go to well-established freelancers, not entry-level freelancers.
In freelancing, as with many professions, your reputation is your most important asset. Always be professional and produce quality work.
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