Top Work At Home Moms
    How to make money from home.

Freelance journalists write for newspapers, magazines, radio, television and online publications. Being a staff journalist is a job full of deadlines, stress and competition. To land a reporting job at a paper, writers usually take a position as typist in hopes they can get in line for any staff writing jobs.

As a freelance journalist, you can find stories, pitch them to any paper you like, and write about the things you want to write about. There is also an option that falls between freelance and staff and that person is called a stringer. A stringer is a freelancer who has been assigned an area by the newspaper on a freelance basis. Within the area the stringer writes about politics, town meetings, issues, school happenings, entertainment, basically anything newsworthy or of interest to readers. A stringer is not an employee of the newspaper, since they are paid per story, but unlike a freelancer the stringer is given assignments. So, how do you become a stringer? Find the editors name on the publications web site or in the paper and give him/her a call, introducing yourself and pitching a few story ideas.

Freelance journalists and magazine writers have a lot of balls in the air at once. They are constantly thinking of story ideas, writing and sending out query letters to pitch their ideas to publications, and always writing something for publication. The key is to always having something in the works.

So where do you come up with ideas to pitch to papers and magazines?

* The news is a great source for nonfiction writers. Truth is stranger than fiction, right? Cut out articles or tid bits from newspaper and magazines you find interesting and create a file folder for each category. Keep a notepad next to the TV incase you hear something interesting and want to jot it down. Have an “eye” and an “ear” for the news. 

* Local and college libraries are a wealth of information (thanks to grants and student tuition.) You’ll find a great deal of information among the databases and periodical collections. Read back issues for story ideas. If the magazine ran the article in the past, they may be willing to run an updated version in the future.

* Dig up information on local history or people who came from your area. Visit the local museum or historical society, both of which usually have boxes and boxes of local information.

* Visit larger city libraries with special collections.

* Go online and browse forums. If you’re thinking of writing an article on a certain topic, visit a related-forum to find out what people want to learn. For example, if you want to write a series of articles for first-time home buyers, visit forums and learn what types of questions people have. You can then answer these questions in your article.

* Ask people! Call business owners and ask what the issues in their industry are.

* Research publications and journals are a great source for ideas. For example, research journals with recent medical studies and the latest medicines are great sources for “filler” articles as well as features.

* Talk to people.

* Be alert. If a new and interesting business opens up.  Interview them.