How to make money as an online journalist
By Emmanuel Udom
Internet has reduced our world to a global family. It is good for civilization and for the entire humanity. This simply means that with the click of the mouse, you could successfully deliver a business deal, no matter the country you are operating from.
The tag words that come to my mind as I write this article are: global, marketing, speed, reliability, profit, ease, marketing, skills, passions, knowledge, competent, income and freedom among others.
In Nigeria, where I am from, statistics show that there are about 40 million jobless persons in the country. This is quite alarming, I must say considering the fact that our country, acclaimed as the giant of Africa has an estimated population of 170 people.
This means that some of the jobless persons cut across health, education, business, science and technology, agriculture, journalism, security, government, etc. The list is simply endless.
The truth, I must say is that all over the world, no government, military or civilian can provide jobs for all the citizens looking up to be employed. So, the time has come for some jobless persons in Nigeria to think of looking inward to discover their special talent, passion, knowledge, or skill.
Polish these talents of skills and then give them commercial values. What do I mean, use what you have to create job for yourself and others, using the online marketing opportunities provided with the advent of the internet.
Let me zero in on journalism. I have worked in various media houses in the last ten years in Nigeria. So, what I am about to say is talking from a position of deep knowledge and understanding as far as media job in Nigeria is concerned.
Most journalists in Nigeria are either not paid at all or poorly paid. With the exception of some very few print and electronic media operating in the country, Nigerian journalists go through hell daily to source for and write stories for their organizations.
At the end of the month, they are either paid stipends or owned their salaries for months. Yes, our economy is galloping, but some of our publishers should do business the right way. If you pay a monkey peanut, expect peanuts as returns on service delivery.
Corruption in Nigeria has permeated all the sectors including the media. It is now cash-and-carry brand of journalism for some of our folks out there. Very, very few journalists could beat their chest and say I am not guilty here. Ethic of journalism is now thrown to the dogs in some media houses. Yes, our economy should be balmed
Do not get me wrong here. There are equally credible and professionally run media houses operating in our country that pay their staff regularly. Truth is that they are very few and far between.
So, what is the way out? Online journalism is beginning to catch my attention these days. Since 2009 or thereabout when I started to become interested in computers, internets, browsing and all those stuffs, I have not regretted it one bit. Yes, I am still learning the rope. But, the day sometimes in July,2009 when my account officer send a text to me to come over and give them instructions in writing to convert some dollars from www.allvoices.com and credit my account with the naira equivalent, I was dead broke.
Yes, it was what you could call residual income. But, at that point in time, it solved a whole lot of problems. Yes, I have decided to write as a freelance journalist with The Nigerian Compass, a national paper in Nigeria. I choose to be a freelance in order to have enough time to make money writing for some sites online.
This April, I registered with www.groundreport.com and have so far contributed some articles which have been published. Why am I telling you this story, my colleagues in the pen profession? Simple. Let us work together as online research journalists. If you are serious, we could meet on facebook, as friends and take it up from there.
Honestly, I am beginning to see the goldmine in online journalism. Reflect on this.