Everyone knows that the cryptocurrency market has exploded in recent times, thanks to the popularization of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As the interest of these coins continues to expand, so does its body of knowledge found on news sites and blogs covering the crypto story.
Due to the huge amount of interest and speculation that surrounds the emergent crypto market, there’s now a huge demand for talented journalists to cover the story. But the market demands a certain number of skills that few skilled writers possess.
So, if you’re looking to hire cryptocurrency journalists for your own site or if you’re looking to become one, here are the steps to make your endeavor successful.
Starting Out As A Crypto Journalist
Whether you’re looking to hire or join a team or crypto journalists, there are a few things that apply to everyone. First, you should familiarize yourself with what’s happening in the market by studying blogs like this one, as well as the famous news sites like Coin Telegraph, Coindesk, and others. These sites will give you the knowledge you need to write about the market to write with confidence authority.
Second, learn about the operations of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and other altcoins. At the minimum, you should know how the blockchain works in each of these coins, with knowledge about the hash rate, block times, and transaction speeds of each.
Finally, there is no point in time when your crypto education will ever be complete. In a fast moving market, things are always changing, and there are still new technologies to keep afloat of. So, whether you’re hiring or looking to join a crypto team, you should be an active thinker and have a genuine interest in cryptocurrencies – otherwise, you may not have the confidence or motivation to keep writing or editing crypto content.
Cryptocurrency Journalists Requirements
If you’re looking to join a crypto news site, many of these platforms will require you to have a degree or at least some experience as a journalist, although this is not always the case. The major sites like CoinTelegraph and Coindesk, for example, will seek out only the best writers to join their teams, with a minimum experience of one year for your application to be considered.
So, if you don’t have at least one year working as a journalist to get started, what do you do?
Well, you can always start with some of the smaller sites work your way up. Many of the smaller places pay as well as, the larger ones, although there might n;not be enough work for you to make it a full-time career writing for them. But at least you’ll get started and build your portfolio.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for new writers to join your site, understand that you may not have the budget to pay for the top writers and influencers in blockchain tech. So, you may need to opt for newer writers to get your site started.
Cryptocurrency Journalists Pay And Compensation
As a journalist, the amount you can charge your clients varies enormously from site to site. Some places pay between 0.5 and 0.15 cents per word, with some over and under that average. It all depends on the nature of your work and what you are expected to do.
For example, do you need to comb through whitepapers and put together a case study carefully? Or is it a matter of a simple rewrite of an existing piece of content? These things matter and will determine how much you get paid.
If you’re just starting out, it’s worth it to take it slow and build your portfolio carefully. However, this can also put you in a catch-22 situation where you need a portfolio to get started first, so what do you do?
It’s actually quite simple; you start where you’re at and with what resources you have. Starting a blog on cryptocurrencies is a great way to showcase your writing skills that can attract future clients, even if you don’t have writing bylines. Even if you’re broke, you can still sign up to free platforms like Blogger, Medium, and even Steemit to showcase your writing.
The good news is that right writers are hard to find, especially in something as niche and complicated as cryptocurrencies. Sites need good content to thrive and profit, so once you’re established, you could start making a full-time income from writing online.
Approaching Sites And Hiring Journalists
If you’re a new writer or even an established figure in the space of cryptocurrencies, then it’s likely that no one will know who you are; no one is going to beat down your door to get you to write for them, it’s just not how it works. This means that you need to go to the sites directly and make an offer.
Doing a quick Google search for the most popular blogs and news sites will reveal hundreds of potential clients to write for. Many of those sites advertise that they’re hiring journalists, and all it takes is an email to get the ball rolling.
When you approach the site for the first time, it pays to get to the point and explain why you’re interested in writing for them. Do not send long-winded emails, 4-5 lines and links to your portfolio is enough for a site to know if they’re interested or not. Your portfolio is more important than the sites you write for, and clients are looking for a set of attributes that determine your expertise.
If you’re writing news, then you should write in the journalistic style. Study other successful writers on sites like Coin Telegraph to get a feel for what works for that audience, then emulate it. At the minimum, your article should cover the who, what, where, why and how in the body, with the most critical facts near the top of your article. This is how all great news pieces are written.
So what do you do to attract experienced journalists to your site, especially if your site is not well-established?
Frist of all, you should have your contact details clearly displayed on your site, and maybe a dedicated section advertising for writers. It’s up to you if you’d like to include your rate per word in this section, but it may deter people from applying if you’ve set it too low. Remember to schedule a Skype call to verify their fit for your platform.
Sticking To The Process As A Journalist
The transition to full-time writing is hard, and the newer you are, the steeper the learning curve is going to be. You’ll face a lot of rejections, criticism, and people turning you away – but this is all part of it, and it’s not a career suited for most people. In fact, very few writers make a full-time living through writing, especially freelancers. There’s too much fear, risk, and ambiguity that comes with freelancing for most people to stomach. But if you can persevere, it can be gratifying.
When you’re just starting out a journalist, no one knows who you are, and no one cares about your passion for cryptocurrencies. Understand that all sites care about is traffic and revenue. So, if your writing doesn’t help them get traffic, then your offer doesn’t stand a chance of being accepted.
Learn how to write, and write well. Study writing and journalism and see it as a long-term career, and not as something that will cure your money problems overnight.
The process of finding clients will take you a lot longer than you think. For example, even if you manage to find a handful of sites to write for, those sites can take weeks, if not months to start sending you work, and that work will be an inconsistent dribble of articles here and there. It takes a lot of time to build trust with your clients to deliver the work on time and to a high standard. Not to mention the fact that you’re competing with hundreds of other hopeful freelancers for the same dribble of work.
The truth is that only the very best writers and journalists get enough work to make a career out of writing. The rest, unfortunately, get nothing. This is just how it goes, so you must be prepared to put your whole heart into every piece, as you may not get another chance.
If you’re just starting out, you can’t settle for anything less than excellence, because if you don’t, then someone else will, and will capture the work for themselves.
How long it takes for you to reach this level of expertise comes down to how persistent and tenacious you are, and how much work you put in to sharpen your writing.
What To Look For In A Cryptocurrency Journalist
Many people want to write about cryptocurrencies, yet few are qualified to do so. If you’re sorting through a trove of writing applications, you may be wondering what makes a good journalist, to begin with, and it’s an interesting question.
When hiring journalists, you should first know what good writing looks like, as you’re likely to be in an editor’s role for the writer’s work.
Much like art, some people can see the difference between good and bad writing, while some people can’t. So, if you’re launching a site without prior experience, or even an interest in writing, then it would pay to consider why you’re delving into this form of media. You should know what an excellent article looks like, and what performs well and what doesn’t.
You’ll find that the best journalists are writing for the big sites already, leaving you with a stack of hopeful writers looking to break into the industry. This isn’t bad news, as some of these writers are quite good, although it can take some time for them to prove their worth.
To make your job of choosing a crypto journalist easier, here’s a list of things to think about when going through your applications:
- Ability to select exciting news stories and find both primary and secondary sources
- Ability to write 15 articles per week, 450 to 750 words
- Willingness to promote their own content their social media channels
- Knowledge of SEO techniques
- Knowledge of content management platforms like WordPress
- Excellent attention to detail and fact-finding skills
- Writing expertise in business markets
- Application of journalistic ethics
- Keen interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech
- Ability to craft catchy headlines and exciting subheads
The above is not an exhaustive list but should be enough to get you started when hiring new writers.
There’s also something else you should look for that will determine the success or failure of your site: consistency, and reliability.
Because there’s no point in hiring a writer if their content takes days, or even weeks to come back. The news is urgent, and it needs to go back quickly. Also, dealing with someone who can only write a handful of 300-word articles per day probably won’t be a good use of your time.
You’ll quickly discover who the good and bad writers are once you get to know them, and how dedicated they are to promoting your brand. Although freelancers are self-employed contractors, they should have at least some loyalty to your site, with interest in delivering high quality work on-time at the very minimum.
Besides the applications you’ll get in your inbox, another great place to look for talent is on social media like Twitter and Linkedin. Many writers post their articles in hopes of landing clients, usually of their best work. Many would be flattered if you retweeted their work to get their attention, and this also sets up the relationship to start in the right way.
Feel free to reach out to journalists you’d like to work with once you have the ball rolling some form of communication established. And if you’re serious about working together, start with sending over some articles to work on right away. Freelancers are busy and don’t have time to deal with clients who have one foot out the door. Once freelancers see that you’re running a serious business just like they are, this can set the stage for a profitable and long-term working relationship.