In the course of my writing career, I have worked under an online journalist and few established bloggers, you can call them household names in the industry.
As you start out and have your own platform it may be a good idea to work under someone in the industry as an intern or employee however little the pay. Another option would be to become a frequent guest writer on their platform.
Working under someone may not always be glamorous or as rewarding in monetary terms, but you could end up benefiting and learning from them in so many ways that you could help you get ahead of the others in the game. Below are some of them,
Working under someone may mean that you may have to go to the field, hold interviews and report from events such as a launch of a product or service or even conferences. This means that in the course of your time with the blogger you will meet very many people who will go on to act as sources for news and new ideas.
You will also know how to market your platform and the people that you need to know for posterity as part of the reason we do this is to earn from our talent which is content creation.
Additionally, many people really work with referrals and this means that if you do a good job then your name will be mentioned boardrooms in various parts of the country and the world.
In an ideal world, it would always be about merit but in our world, knowing somebody who knows somebody can help in building your career as well. You may work with someone now and they could refer you elsewhere several years later. So always give it your best shot where you are now.
There is also the issue of service providers. For instance, a blogger may need to know a good camera person; video editor, make-up artist, and asking an established blogger can really help save money and time for you as you scout for an experienced serviced provider with pocket-friendly services.
- Writing formats
I came from the world of magazines and knew next to nothing about writing for the online platform. It did not take long for my managing editor to notice that I preferred longer intros or those that did not divulge the gist of the story in the first few lines.
While such intros are quite ok, there is always the attention span of online reader which can be quite short. This, therefore, meant that I had to learn to do short, impactful intros and even shorter stories; ideally no more than 300 words. Quite a learning curve there but I soon learnt how to do it meaning now can do both formats.
Over time, online readers have also come to appreciate long reads and now there are websites that are solely dedicated to long reads. Working under a seasoned blogger can help you know how to spice up long reads to keep the attention of the reader 2000 words later and if you think you don’t have much materials for long reads, the more you write them, the more they get less intimidating.
There are some tips as far as search engine optimization is concerned that can help your articles outperform others online and we all know what that means financially. Some SEO tips are at the backend as you post your content and working under someone may help you know all about these tips faster as you wait for your own site.
As aforementioned, some users online do not have much time and a very busy, colorless website may be enough to send them away despite the great content. You will also get very good tips on aesthetics along with how to best achieve them from someone who has been there and done that.
Once they have posted their first article, most content creators start dreaming of dragging home sackfuls of money. However, it soon dawns on them that it may take longer and you need much more than just great content to start smiling your way to the local bank. This is where a seasoned blogger comes in and you can learn much from them while also leveraging on their networks to monetize your work.
- What’s in a picture?
A whole lot; a picture is not only a thousand words but can also be worth thousands of shillings. You need great photos for your content and you can benefit from accessible equipment, tips to the best places for the ideal photo, good cameramen, editors as well as best photography sites to get free photos.
As your platform grows, you may need an extra hand and since you may still not be in a position to hire a human resources manager, you may need an experienced hand to guide you on it. This, is especially, as far as fair pay, and the kind of professional to hire is concerned.
- Public relations
You may be expected to be the point man or lady of the small organization and from here you will get just the right skills to work with people outside your organization ranging from sources, clients, the government etc.
The back end of any platform can be very daunting for any person, especially, if you are looking at it for the first time. So many budding bloggers have confessed to having their developers on speed dial because of very simple problems only to realize they could have easily solved the problems on their own and without having to spend money on their developer.
I have learnt so much from my previous engagements with seasoned bloggers and unless it is a big problem, I never resort to calling my developer.
So go on, sit to learn under someone today, and grasp as much as you can because, in the end, it is actually for you.