7 important steps to become an editor, writer or journalist. Even a freelancer
How to become an editor, writer or journalist? These names seems to be different but also so similar in case of writing articles, books, columns or interviews. What connects them is having an idea that you want to share with the world by writing it down. Simple as that. This article also is my form of having an idea of showing you that becoming a writer is not that difficult.
Writing can be really fun and very inspiring. Writing or journaling can also be a form of therapy and de-stress. Spilling words onto paper or typing individual letters on a MacBook keyboard has an amazing power. However, your knowledge can be transmitted into a source of income. You can have an important voice in the niche you write. Why not to get paid for something that is also your passion and you really like to do? How can you prevent your writing from going to a drawer? Look at my 7 points below and see how to make it happen.
No 1. Make a real deal with yourself that you actually want to become and editor, work hard for that and never give up
If you start from the scratch, you really need to put a lot of work and decide that you really want to do it. Writing might be easy but the whole idea of marketing and selling yourself is not easy but also not impossible. I never had any connections at any companies and I started from the real bottom. So everything is really possible!
When you think that having a career in writing is a closed and luxurious way of living that you cannot enter, it wll never happen. Think positive. You don’t need an experience if you want to become an intern in any niche. When I came back to Poland from the United States and FIT in New York City, I started my fashion school in Poland and I participated in the production for Fashion Week Poland, fashion shows of Polish designers in Warsaw and I also worked as an intern for one of a really famous Polish fashion designer back then.
Then in 2012 I started also to write about fashion and did some internships at online magazines. The same time I was also really into fitness and health and in 2014 I got invited for an interview for one of the biggest Polish publication houses. There were many people applying for the job. I did 3 rounds, been invited to record sample videos in the studio as a journalist and actually they’ve called me but I was the second one to get a job. However, after a month they’ve called me back and I got a job as a fitness editor. It was something really amazing for me.
No 2. Make your own brand online
Being seen online and doing something connected to your niche is a big plus. Be active on social media, make your own blog and write articles in your niche. Start your YouTube channel or podcast. You can send them later as possible examples of your publications. Give people value and be good at storytelling. Find what you like to write about and show how interesting it can be. Sell yourself and build your audience. Be well informed what platforms are popular in your niche and be really seen on them. If you are into fitness like me, follow important people from the industry, brands, magazines, editors and everything what seems to be connected to that niche.
Take also care of your pictures posted online. Take all partying, drinking and unprofessional ones down from your social media. Really. I sometimes drink wine but I just don’t post every time. Everybody is a human being and it is normal to have a glass or two but I also respect my audience. Posting crazy pictures from parties is just not professional. Watch also the language you use. Be polite and respect others. It all stays online. The playground is competitive and you want to play it nicely and smooth.
No 3. Socialize in your niche
Socialize with editors, writers and be updated with them both online and offline. Be outgoing and adventurous. Exchange ideas with others. Research Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter for potential connections. Go to events and places, see where people usually go. Don’t be scared at any point! Be fearless! You might meet somebody, talk to and end up just asking if they are looking for an intern. Do not feel embarrassed and just do it. It is all about people you know and people who know you.
Remember that an editor is a person that has a lot of pressure everyday and being embarrassed is the last thing that your potential boss is looking for. Send emails to the editorial offices with the examples of your work and explain why you want to work for them. You can start as a freelancer in the beginning. Make a video saying who you are and why you write about your niche. If you will not try, you will never know! Remember that most jobs like these, are never posted online.
No 4. Read a lot about your niche and make notes
Make notes and write down your ideas. Have a notebook at your bed side or write notes on your phone. You will forget about them later. The best editor is the most informed one. Read the magazines you wish you worked for and really know the brands in your niche. Make your points what magazines are your favorites ones, what you like in them and what you don’t. Learn what sections they have. Are they more food and diet oriented or fitness and excercising? Learn that.
No 5. Do not stop
Never give up. If you send 5 emails asking for the job opportunity and nobody will respond you, send another 5 emails and 5 follow ups. Nobody is going to reach out to you. You need to do it by yourself. You need to work for your dreams to come true.
No 6. Be the best version of yourself
Treat your appearance as an important part of your job. Take care of your body and your beauty routine. It might sounds radiculous but being an editor for a top magazine is prestigious and if you are fitness editor. You need to be in shape. Post pictures of your journey on your FB page or Instagram and make your potential boss see that. Show that you work hard for that and it is your real passion.
No 7. Educate, educate and one more time – educate yourself
First, you don’t need to have a journalism degree to become a journalist or a freelance writer. I don’t have one. I’ve studied American Studies and planning postgraduates studies in also different niche now. Every journalism student or a graduate will tell you that most of the knowledge you will gain actually at work. The same was with me. Take as many courses, classes and read books about writing, editing and your niche itself as you can. Nowadays, there are many online courses about writing, digital marketing, SEO or branding, even for free. Also gain your niche knowlege for example participating in fitness courses, making your personal trainer certificate like me or the one about the nutrition and dietetics. Even If I don’t work with clients face to face as a trainer, the knowledge I’ve gained is very useful at work.
Thank you very much for staying till the end of this article. The last thing I can tell you is to be informed and authentic. Be the best version of yourself you can. Wishing you all the best and good luck.
Written by Monika Mozgala
I’m Monika Mozgala, the founder, and editor of The Blonde Taste. My main purpose is to write practical articles that will be useful for people interested in fitness, lifestyle and beauty. I’ve spent couple years in the US where I also finished high school. The last 6 years I’ve spent working as an editor for many editorial offices in Poland, including SHAPE Poland Deputy-in-Chief position and head of it’s digital version. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up here or on my Instagram.