As recently as 10 years ago, newspapers were dying out and magazine readership was decreasing. A common question among the aspiring journalism community was “What are we going to do?” and some decided to jump ship and pursue other avenues. However, the reason for those decreases was, simply put, that consumers could get their news on their phones, so it was sensible from the consumer standpoint to save time and resources and tap into the world of digital journalism.
Digital media is continuing to evolve by the day, and though there are some non-digital outlets that still exist for journalists, most job security can be found in the online writing community. Here is a look at three such paths journalists in 2021 can (and should) pursue
Thanks to services like UpWork and Fiverr that act as hubs for freelancers to find work quickly and easily (and for a fee, indeed), freelancing in any endeavor has never been easier, and freelance journalism is no exception. The downside is that freelancers need to constantly look for work, which can be demotivating for many. If you’re the type of person who would rather work a little harder and not have a boss, freelancing is a great option for the digital-aged journalist, but you must also have strong project management skills and be able to succeed with little supervision.
From sports drinks to chiropractors to politicians, every industry now requires a strong web presence to succeed, and that strong presence starts with digestible content for potential consumers. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very in-demand style of writing that requires the ability to marry creativity and scientific algorithms to create content that will show up on top of search engine results, with the most popular being Google. Staff content provider positions are lucrative and don’t require as much self-motivation as freelancing gigs.
Social media is just as important as SEO content, and if you’re well-versed in how to build a social media following, having a journalistic ability to keep things short and sweet makes you a prime candidate for these jobs.
Anything you read online that’s worth consuming had someone edit it, and with a journalism background, that editor could be you! Businesses need editors for their client-facing materials and internal communications, government entities need editors for public updates like the COVID pandemic, and every web-based business needs constant updates to their content with a steady voice across all of their marketing outlets… and that’s why many invest in full-time editorial services.
So, options are certainly different than 10 years ago, but still aplenty. Think outside the proverbial box and know that almost everyone needs a good writer from time to time!