I was recently interviewed by a journalism student about my work as a freelance journalist and we covered some important points so thought I’d share those here with you. If you are visiting here for the first time, then I’ll share a little about me to bring you up to speed. And if you’d like for me to speak at your university, college, school, career workshop or other event, then just send me an email to get that conversation started.
I’m a full-time freelance journalist, writer, editor, and communications professional based in Los Angeles, California. I work with print and online media outlets, locally and internationally and cover a few different beats. I am also the publisher of a 52-page monthly digital magazine called Traveler and Tourist focused on travel and lifestyle. Each issue has three destination features with their own video teasers and a playlist of tunes to listen to while reading that edition.
On the magazine side, I am the founder and editor, so I create the editorial calendar, complete the content, and liaise with my graphic designer and editorial assistant to get each issue published monthly. My workload there includes finalizing stories, sourcing images, editing and proofreading, uploading and promoting each issue, etc. I also speak on panels about travel journalism as well as where to travel, and other related topics.
On the freelance side, I work with several media outlets with a consumer and/or trade focus so as a features generalist I’ve written about construction, business, travel, lifestyle, dining, education, entertainment, diversity and inclusion, technology, etc. My workload there includes research, interviews, seeking sources and images, writing the article, and submitting the final stories to editors for publication.
I thrive writing about so many different topics because it keeps things interesting. I get to learn a lot, I get to speak to some great experts in their respective fields, and I am constantly growing and learning because of it. This also opens the doors to writing for other outlets covering industries and beats I may not already, but the versatility of my published work makes that an easy transition for me and the outlet/client.
I’ve been in the business 10 years full time and about 4-5 years part time prior as I gradually moved toward the fulltime scene. I’ve been able to sustain myself in this business that long by building relationships with editors and publishers and being strategic about which clients and projects I work with/on. I’ve used online and offline networking as ways for marketing and outreach to find the clients and projects I want to work with.
I did not, however, go to college for journalism. I studied sociology and have a Bachelor of Arts in that discipline. Most of my know-how with freelancing and journalism has been gleaned on the job and through certifications and trainings, both online and offline, and other self-directed education to bring myself up to speed on how the industry works and where I can find work that adds to my professional experience.
Here are some of the questions we covered in our quick chat...