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While many freelancers cover various beats and topics, some specialize in a particular industry, such as beauty or health. In order to get assignments, you have to stay on top of what’s going on in the industry. So we asked a few writers to share how they stay on top of the beats they cover:
“My newsfeed [on Twitter] is how I get the ‘first bite’ of a lot of news,” says Aly Walansky, managing editor at Gloss; senior editor at LovingYou.com; writer for SheKnows.com; and a freelance beauty, fashion and lifestyle writer.
Walansky says she always checks to see what’s trending when she first logs in. “That normally gives me a rapid look at what everyone is talking about,” she explains. “If it’s anything big, it’ll be in there.”
Walansky also participates in Twitter chats, and has organized a few Twitter “parties.”
"Long-lead publications set the trends, since they’re at least four months ahead,” she says. “Checking them out in January will give you an idea of what to look out for in April, May and June.”
Author Jean Westcott attends industry conferences to keep on top of what’s making news in the industry.
“They are also key for networking,” she adds.
Read the News!
The best way to find out what’s going on is to read the publications you’re hoping to get in. Of course, that can be a lot of reading, so take advantage of tools that can help make it easier.
Kevin Aschenbrenner, a PR pro and writer, utilizes several RSS feeds and Google reader. You can scan article headlines to see what’s making news.
What are some of the ways you keep up-to-date with the industries you cover? Leave your tips in the comment section below.
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