Columnists hold prestigious positions where they can influence opinions and make their voices to be heard. A columnist for the school site is regarded highly among peers. He or she has the chance to sharpen writing skills and prepare for mode demanding assignments in the real world. For instance, a lot of the professional writers at MyCustomEssay have started as the columnists, polishing their writing skills and dedicating sufficient time to the efforts towards becoming a better writer.
A columnist is an honorable position that allows you to test your skills and taste how it feels to get into the field of journalism. The role is not reserved for a special group of persons. Instead, anyone can become a columnist at any grade as long as you understand the procedures. Here are a few tips on how to become a successful columnist for your school’s website.
Polish Your Writing Skills
The number of students looking for the opportunity is high. They come with amazing ideas of how they will transform school journalism. This competition means that only the best writers will have the chance to join the writing team. The best writers must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of professional journalism.
Polishing your writing skills means that you learn about column writing language, understand your school audience, and get facts about your target niche, among other factors. Practice how to write several articles each week. Share these articles and ideas with peers and editors in your circles. You should also read the works of other writers. Once your skills are sufficiently polished, you will stand a chance to feature regularly as a columnist.
Know Your School
A school columnist must demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the school, its culture, history, current position, and future plans, among other aspects. The best school columnists have facts about the institution at their fingertips. This knowledge ensures that their articles are factual and represent the voice of the school fraternity.
Readers will be looking for ideas and issues that resonate with their school setting. You need to talk to custodians of the history of your school to be informed about the issues you will be tackling. Read the history of your school, strategic plans, and all materials that will turn you into an authority on matters related to your school. Any article you write will, therefore, be rich and captivating to read.
Start With Lesser Platforms
It is not easy to get a chance as an amateur to become a regular columnist on such a serious platform as a school website. It does not mean that you should stop trying. Begin the journey by writing for smaller platforms like your departmental magazine or a blog run by your year. It gives you a taste of what to expect once you get to the higher level of the entire school reading through your articles.
Lesser platforms provide a perfect opportunity to sharpen your skills as you prepare to compete with other students. You also create a portfolio that you can present to the editors who will be reviewing your work during interviews. You build resilience and get spotted by writing for such lesser platforms.
Develop A Unique Voice
Copying is easy but does not add any value to a publication. The best writers have found a way of creating unique content that captures the mind of readers and provides fresh ideas for readers. It is the unique voice you provide to the platform that will make your platform captivating to read.
The website does not have a new column where you will be delivering content. Unless it is a new website, you will be replacing a senior who is leaving or a student taking up other responsibilities. Endeavor to bring a unique touch to the column, and your chances of clinching the position will improve dramatically.
Work Under The Current Writers And Editors
Befriend the current writers with the aim of learning a point or two. They have traveled the journey, and they know what it takes to get to that position. Experienced writers and editors will tell you of the strategies to use in order to get to your desired position.
The experienced editors for your school’s website will also review your articles. They advise you on areas that need improvement if you are to be considered for the position. Once they feel that you meet the requirements, they enjoin you into the system. Working with experienced editors also shortens your learning curve.
Prepare For Harsh Feedback
School magazines, websites, and publications are tough for writers. Some students will not like the ideas you are sharing. The management of the institution might consider you a radical writer. These challenges turn you into a target throughout your writing life. Prepare for the backlash that comes with this position.
Learn from your seniors on how to handle the challenges of negative feedback and rejection. The same challenges will also meet you once you get a job as a journalist. A writer must develop a tough skin to take criticism while still using this feedback to improve on the quality of articles delivered.
It Begins By Writing Guest Posts
Most websites and publications offer a chance to amateurs to contribute to the platforms on a regular basis. This is a chance to sharpen your skills and test your capability to meet the requirements of such a website. Send the request to make a guest post consistently during the year. The guest post must be unique and thorough research so that it can win the opportunity you seek. Feedback from guest posts incites editors to request for regular articles. This is the secret to finding a regular place on the website. Don’t forget to ask to mention your name! It will help you with your portfolio in the future.
A position as a regular columnist with your school magazine or website is competitive but not out of reach. Make a consistent effort to join the team by delivering the best quality work. Learn from the existing writers and editors, using their lesson to find your way around. Be patient but constantly work towards improving the quality of work you deliver.