Necessity can lead to choices that might have been rejected in the past. Circumstances and situations often change, so we decide differently.
That’s where I found myself after reassessing where my writing career stood. I’ve written before about a story pitching online course that provided a lot of good information, tips and guidance. As a journalist, I know what makes a story a story, so sharing those ideas and subjects with editors who then assign them to the person who pitched them makes sense.
But the reality — as I knew would be the case — turned out to be very difficult. After pitching many story ideas to several editors, I have yet to get an assignment. Most of the time, the reasons stemmed from the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impacts. For many publications and online sites, their freelance budgets were one of the first areas they cut.
There were other responses, too, but I still think I can get some freelance work by pitching. However, to diversify my writing skills and abilities, I’ve started to look at the area of content marketing. Specifically, content writing for businesses, groups and organizations to promote their missions and help them generate income.
About six years ago, I considered content writing but wasn’t ready to make a concerted effort to change direction. I had hired a career coach who’s main suggestion was to take that step. But I was still a working journalist at the time and did not want to give it up. I still don’t, but now I see how I should be able to do both.
Over the last month or so, I’ve taken several online courses on content writing and SEO, search engine optimization. They were very helpful, had some hands-on examples and gave me a good foundation to start to pursue work in this area.
I’ve also signed on with a website that matches content writers and other specialists with customers looking for help with updating their company’s blog, adding some articles related to their business, products and services and posting on social media. That seems one way to start to get established as a content writer.
I want to reconnect with a few contacts that work in this area, too. Everyone says it’s all about who you know, so I hope they can provide some tips, advice and recommendations, if not offer me work. I’m looking to make other connections to those who write content, so if you fall into that category, let me know.
Journeys seldom take the direction expected, so exploring content writing seems kind of natural. Obviously, the journalism industry is not anywhere close to what it once was. It still holds a place in my heart and is something I hope to at least keep a hand in as I move forward. Content writing seems like a good alternative and I have high hopes about making it a part of my career tool box.