Journalism and independent writing… How to escape from extinction

Journalism has been evolving very fast since the last century so people involved in this field are used to constant changes and updates but they probably never thought things were going to be so hectic in the last 20 years. Social media has somehow turned everyone into a journalist, all we need is our smartphones to be able to report everything that happens around us in real-time, so many people would think we don’t need professional journalism anymore. Of course, that’s not the truth, we still need unbiased information we can rely on from trustworthy sources who know what they’re talking about, but now journalists have the not so easy task to convince us about this need.

Added to this situation, because of the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic many publications are on the verge of closing their doors which has forced them to let many of their employees go. Also, many of those who managed to keep their jobs feel they are underpaid for the work they produce. In the middle of all of this many writers and journalists are looking for alternatives being the most obvious trying to start working on their own. But, is freelancing a good option in the times we’re living? Is there any other alternative? The answer to the first question is, it could be but there’s a lot of competition, and to the second one, yes, there are alternatives and at MintMe we’d like to offer one of them but only after you answer this question: Have you ever thought about monetizing one of your projects so that you can get a regular income? If the answer is yes we have some ideas we’d like to share.

Be it a blog, a Youtube channel, a newsletter or any other type of content distribution you can use our platform to help you with this new step. While working for a media company your work would only be evaluated in terms of clicks and views, driven by advertising, being directly paid by your followers will give you complete creative control and ownership, this includes branding, marketing and pricing. All of the freedom you will get will finally translate into more responsibilities but if you manage it appropriately it will be more than worthwhile. Not only will you bear the sole responsibility for having the income you need, but you will also be able to create content for a more targeted audience.

You must be clear about the fact that this is not an easy transition, being the writer, editor, publisher, marketer and social media manager is not a job everyone can do, you will have to organize everything very well and be efficient when managing your time, at some point you will be able to hire someone to help you with some of these tasks and eventually you might need to have a team. On the good side, you’ll be able to choose your topics or you could consider your followers’ suggestions about it, and you’ll also be responsible to establish your rhythm both to produce and post your material and to decide about the growth of the project. 

Before starting to offer your token as a way to pay for the services you’re providing you might want to think about how you will set the value of these services, usually, big companies will focus mainly on offering exclusive content and they will set a fixed (Take it or leave it) price. We would recommend getting some feedback from your followers about this and then set several levels according to what people are comfortable paying, when setting these levels you must be very clear about the differences between them and how you justify the price difference, providing information both about additional benefits and why this content costs you more to produce. The other element you must consider is how you handle the communication, traditional media will mainly pay attention to vertical communication where they “own” the information and their followers are just readers with some eventual feedback which is not always valued and only in a few cases will get a satisfactory reply. We would recommend you to share the information and then consider your followers’ opinion and show them it’s important for you, furthermore, try encouraging horizontal communication creating channels or communities where they can interact both with you but also with each other, you will find this is an interesting addition where you’ll get a new insight about the themes you share.

There are no magic methods to succeed once you choose this path, but with hard work, some imagination, and treating your followers as an important part of your project will take you a long way, if they feel they’re your partners rather than just customers or supporters, they will be your best marketing team, will bring new followers and will add value to your token and your project.