Rob Shoesmith

Connections Is All You Need

Blog post   •   Nov 07, 2011 17:51 GMT

Connections Is All You Need

Wow! Twitter is such a great thing. Darren Dunn from had been reading my new blog and needed a problem solving. 

He is a great fan of the TechnoBuffalo website and knows the owner Jon Rettinger pretty well and it's his dream to work for them full time one day.

He is extremely loathe to approaching them asking for a job as he doesn't want to appear rude and pushy but would like to be in a position whereby the owners of the site contact him.

My advice to him would be maybe to do some guest articles for them to try and impress them. I work in PR so don't know to much about how to get into journalism but I know a man who does. 

The man in question is a former UK national tabloid Sun journalist Patrick Griffin who now runs an Internet marketing blog. He recently posted an article about my iPhone 5 experiment and has got me thinking in a really creative way recently.

I contacted Patrick to ask his advice on how to get a job reporting for an established website and here are his recommendations.

'Many people have a favourite publication or website that they would love to write for but never get any further than dreaming about it.

To turn those dreams into reality then it is necessary to take action and to be determined to succeed in your chosen goal.

The very best way to secure that cherished full-time paid position is to impress the editor.

And the very best way to impress the editor is to show him or her that you know the publication or website you want to write for inside out and also that you can write.

The very best way to do that is by submitting well-written articles for publication that will make the editor stop and take notice.

Notice that I say articles here. Submitting one article and hoping to get a job on the back of it is most unlikely. You may have to submit several articles over many months which are so impressive that the editor simply cannot ignore you or would like to have you on board as a paid writer.

The articles must be:
Your own work and suitable for publication in the target website - i.e. of interest to the readers of the site.

By writing about the kind of topics that appeal to the site shows that you know your market and have done your homework.
Try and work out the style of the site. It is formal, chatty, serious, easy-going and write in the same sort of style - again this shows that you know what the site is all about and what it wants.

I notice that the site you are interested in has a section for users to submit articles so if you have not already done so then make use of that.

Have a look at the kinds of articles which are getting published for clues to what the editor is looking for if you don't already know and get to work.

If you have submitted articles and they have been rejected then don't be afraid to ask for feedback so that you can find out where you went wrong and submit a better article next time round.

If you already have a relationship with the editor then this will be easy to do but always choose your timings carefully. No journalist - either online or offline - likes to be disturbed at busy times or when a deadline is looming but there are always quieter times when emails can be read or phone calls taken.

Also if you have already had articles published elsewhere then ensure you keep them so you can showcase the work you have already had published when it comes time to ask for a job.

If you have not had any articles published on other sites/publications then get writing.

Editors are always impressed by people who can back up their claims with examples of their work which has already been published.

It is one thing to tell an editor "I love writing about topic x" but it is far more impressive to be able to say: "I love writing about topic x and here are some of the articles I have had published in the last six months."

Also don't be afraid of doing something different to get yourself noticed and which will show you are serious about working for the site in question.

Ask if there is any work you could do on the site as a volunteer as this is a great way to get yourself noticed.

Show passion, desire and enthusiasm and never give in.

That career in writing could be closer at hand than you think.'

I'd been trying a long time to create a relationship with Jon and through my new problem solving blog I may well just achieve this.