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Posts Tagged ‘how to’

How To Get Your Reality Show On The Air

PitchRealityTVShow

So you’ve got a great idea for a new reality show. Now you just have to get it picked up by a network. That’s easier said than done. Reality television is a competitive business these days, and it seems like every month someone’s discovered a new charismatic crop of weirdos (the folks of Duck Dynasty, Honey Boo Boo and her family, etc.) for TV audiences to fall in love with.

So what can you do to make your pitch stand out? In the latest Mediabistro feature, industry vets give tips on how you can impress network execs. Step one: Work on your idea:

Bill Hunt, executive producer of Austin Street Productions, whose expertise includes lifestyle programming and documentaries, said it’s also important to recognize the potential of current themes on TV. “Networks love shows that are the same as other successful shows [yet] different in a unique way,” he said. “Look at all the tattoo shows or the pawn-broking shows — when something is successful, you want to find a different hook into a hot topic. Right now humor seems to be in demand, à la Duck Dynasty.”

For more advice on pitching your TV show, read: How To Pitch Your Reality Show Idea.

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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How To Negotiate Pay Increases as a Freelancer

LifeAsAFreelancer

Becoming a freelancer full time can be an overwhelming undertaking. The reliability of your old job is long gone, replaced with a constant need to hustle for work.

And that’s not even going into the money issue. Freelancers often deal with a fluctuating financial situation. Some months you be may have more clients than you know what to do with, other times — not so much.

That’s why it’s so important to know what your work is worth:

I’ve found editors rarely pay much in increases; they have a budget for stories and that’s that. However, if you’re a steady contributor, you may be able to finagle an extra $50 or so. If the work isn’t too demanding, it might be worth your while to keep this client. Or perhaps you can negotiate other benefits. For example, instead of all rights to the work, your client takes only one-time rights, so you can easily sell the work (and make money) elsewhere.

To get more advice on freelancing, read: Pros and Cons of Life as a Freelancer.

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How To Get Your Personal Essay Published

CraftPersonalEssays

The personal essay is enjoying a surge of popularity. We share more personal information online than ever before, whether it’s on social media, blogs or even national publications.

Personal essays force you to observe your life from a different perspective, to get inspired from your own experiences and to be brave and share controversial opinions. But first, you need to get your work published:

Unless you already have a relationship with an editor or publication, you need to write your essay before sending it out — rather than selling it as an idea in a pitch letter. Carinn Jade, blogger at Welcome To The Motherhood, prefers to have a particular market in mind when she’s crafting her essays. “It’s really about knowing the periodical or site, knowing their voice and point of view and tailoring [your piece] to fit with their content.” She recommends reading profusely, finding publications that speak to you and trying to join that community instead of doing a broad search for markets.

For more tips on writing personal essays, read: Your Life in 1,000 Words: The Craft Of Personal Essays.

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

What to Do After Your Story Has Been Killed

KilledStory

Let’s say you landed a pitch (hooray!) and after all the effort you put into the research, reporting and writing — the piece gets rejected. What’s your next move?

It can be hard to pick yourself up after your story gets killed. It’s easy to take it personally — but there are countless reasons why your story didn’t make it to publication, and it may have nothing to do with your writing. It could be a time issue, internal changes at the magazine or it could be a new editor who just doesn’t care for your topic.

The latest Mediabistro feature looks at what you should do when your hard work doesn’t make it into the book. Here’s an excerpt:

Be prepared to take responsibility for any shortcomings or misunderstandings. Most importantly, be able to learn from the situation. Not every editor is willing to be your mentor, but some are willing to give you feedback as to why something won’t or didn’t work. And whatever you do, don’t be overly apologetic. You’ll only appear desperate and needy to the editor, which doesn’t bode well if you hope to work with him or her again. I learned the hard way that editors simply don’t have patience for it. Instead, thank them for the opportunity and assure that you’ll apply the lessons from the experience to future assignments.

For more advice on how to move forward, read: 6 Things to Do After Your Story Has Been Killed.

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How to Monetize Your Blog

Everyone has a blog nowadays, but not everyone manages to make money from it. If you’ve managed to strike upon a large readership for your blog, thanks to breaking news or a great idea, your road to monetizing is far from over. Just because the masses come to you for info or entertainment does not mean advertisers will do the same, or that a book deal is in the bag. In the latest Mediabistro feature, Blair Koenig shares her experience from building a successful blog STFU, Parents, which gets 1.5 to 2 million page views a month:

When you’re building your own personal blog, it’s up to you to figure out how to make money — whether it’s from ad networks, independent advertisers, book deals, stores or through other media outlets. Koenig jokes, “I know there’s a lot out there that makes it sound like if you’re a popular blogger someone’s going to just ring your doorbell and be like, ‘Hey, I want to make a movie [based on your blog]!’ But it’s really, really hard and usually a lot of that stuff is created from the blogger [rather] than the other way around.”

Koenig uses three different ad networks and a couple of independent advertisers to earn money on her blog. She landed a book deal after completing the grueling process of writing a 60-page book proposal. She has plans to build a store within her website featuring STFU, Parents-themed merchandise as well. But money doesn’t suddenly start flowing in when your blog becomes popular, according to Koenig. She’s appeared on Good Morning America and various news outlets to talk about her blog, and although these appearances spike traffic to her site, she’s not getting paid outright for any publicity.

For more tips and advice on blogging, read What You Need to Know About Writing for Blogs.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Lessons in Freelancing: What to Do When You’re Stiffed on Payment

Small Claims Court

Ever had to wrangle a paycheck from a publication, or worry that hounding them for your money will make you seem “difficult”?

What can you do when a publisher fails to pay for work that you’ve already done? Is it worth it to take the magazine to small claims court? In the latest Mediabistro feature, one writer shares her story of being stiffed on payment for over a year:

I was writing almost monthly, sometimes for multiple departments in one issue because [my editor] passed my name on to other editors. I covered news, spirituality and relationships, sometimes pitching, sometimes taking assignments. And, during the course of all these interactions, I built friendly working relationships.

There was no indication in those initial months, then years, that I would eventually be plotting to Spiderman crawl up the walls of their corporate office building just to get my money.

For the rest of her story, read: Lessons in Freelancing: What to Do When Stiffed on Payment.

Sherry Yuan

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.