Based in Chicago, Illinois, The Freelance Beat is a blog exploring the triumphs and challenges that freelance journalists encounter in their early and mid-careers.

The Freelance Beat Turns 1-Year-Old!

The Freelance Beat Turns 1-Year-Old!

Last summer, I kept getting phone calls, emails, DMs and so on from aspiring and other up-and-coming journalists who wanted to know how I was getting my stories published in national news outlets. At that time, I had written stories for The New York Times, Harvard University’s Nieman Reports and Vice. But in truth, I’m still trying to figure that out.

So after having multiple these conversations, I figured, “Maybe I can start something that’ll help other up-and-coming journalists out.” And a year ago today, I started The Freelance Beat.

Going freelance was one the best decisions I’ve ever made. Without taking that risk, I don’t think I would have written for such awesome, esteemed publications. Freelancing has enabled me to go off the beaten path and pursue stories that otherwise wouldn’t have been accessible to me at this stage of my career.

 I want to thank you all for reading and sharing the blog. I hope it has been helpful to you over the past year. Here are some of the best posts from my first year:

Get published in national new outlets

Finding a home for your national pitches” is an oldie but goodie. In this post, I explain my national pitching process step-by-step. This is exactly how I’ve been able to get my stories published in top news outlets.

Take care of yourself

Freelancing can be very isolating at times. So keeping up with your mental and physical health is not only important for work but most importantly for yourself. Head to “Keeping Calm” and “Keeping calm, part two” for a refresher on self-care.

Know your worth

I’ve told readers time and time again that their skills are valuable. But I know that many of them will ultimately be asked to write for low rates or for no pay at all. Take a look at my “Questions to ask before working for free blog post” and “When it comes to rates, how low is too low?” posts for factors to consider when you’re offered unpaid or low-pay gigs.

Productivity tools

As a freelancer, I’ve learned that I’m essentially the quasi-lawyer, the quasi-accountant, the marketing director and the reporter—all in one. Over time, I’ve learned to automate my systems by using tools to take care of some of the tedious, time-consuming tasks. Take a look at both of my tool lists here and here.

Reporting tools

Of course, technology is constantly changing. So in addition to keeping up with tools that can get tedious tasks done faster, you also need to stay abreast of the latest privacy tools. Read up on these security tools I found and start protecting your confidential sources.

I’m so excited to keep this blog going! And stay tuned, because—for all you independent journalists—I have a little announcement to make on Independence Day. Go to The Freelance Beat Facebook Page tomorrow for a cool surprise.

What were some of your favorite Freelance Beat posts? Tell me in the comments or email at (Yes, I’ll actually see your email.)

What to look for in editors

What to look for in editors

Saying No to Potential Clients

Saying No to Potential Clients