Pitch perfect

Pitch perfect

On December 5th the Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas: an old tradition that usually involves buying presents for family or friends and writing a poem to go along with it. After years of dreaded rhyming efforts, someone invented an online poem robot. You simply enter the name of the person you bought a present for, their hobbies, home town(…)

Freelancers share their tips on handling rejection

Freelancers share their tips on handling rejection

At a talk I gave in London last night, someone came up to me and asked how to manage life as a freelancer ‘being all by yourself’. My answer was that, thankfully, I’m not. Or at least not all the time. While it is true that the nature of my work calls for a lot of independent(…)

Ups and downs

Ups and downs

When I ask colleagues, friends in staff jobs or students on my workshops what they would fear most about being a freelancer, many mention the same thing: uncertainty. Fluctuating income, not knowing where the next pay cheque might come from, or the one after that, and never quite being sure what you’ll be doing next(…)

Don’t fear rejection: you only need one yes

Don’t fear rejection: you only need one yes

“A clear rejection is always better than a fake promise”, I recently read on a colourful card in a gift shop. My first thought was: who would have bought this card? And secondly: who would have received it? Clarity might be more helpful than vagueness, but when it’s not the answer you were hoping for,(…)

The golden freelance skill: self-discipline

The golden freelance skill: self-discipline

With all the focus on learning new tech skills like coding and data mining, it is easy to neglect the one skill that tends to make or break most freelance journalism careers. Without it, we wouldn’t stay in business nor create a healthy balance in work, life and bank account. Self-discipline. With the most awesome(…)

Freelance freedom, and how to make the most of it

Freelance freedom, and how to make the most of it

“You must love the freedom of being a freelancer”, friends often tell me when we’re talking about work. “No boss, no fixed hours and no one telling you what to do.” All of those things are true. And yet, these best parts of independent journalism life can sometimes also be the hardest. No boss means(…)

Four reasons why journalists need to become journopreneurs

Four reasons why journalists need to become journopreneurs

With commissioning budgets slashed, content freely available, delivery models changing and pay models constantly reinvented, journalistic skills alone are no longer enough. In order to be successful and sustainable, independent journalists need to be equally equipped as business entrepreneurs. They need to become journopreneurs. Here’s why: Technology is creating a level playing field for publishers of(…)

Find your audience, and give them what they want

Find your audience, and give them what they want

“We haven’t really got any young readers.” The publisher of the weekly and free local newspaper in my home town in The Netherlands seemed rather surprised that I’d asked him in the first place. “Well, that’s because there’s nothing in your paper that interests them”, I said, rather bluntly. I guess I felt like I(…)

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