Side Hustling #7 – Story Selling

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This series surprises me week after week.  I think I know most of the ways there are to make money then I interview someone else and learn something new.  This week is no exception as yet again I have found a new way to make money from home.  I’ll hand over to this week’s interviewee to share more.

 

Tell us a little about yourself

Hello, I’m Fiona and I blog at www.savvyinsomerset.com.

I live in Somerset with my husband and baby daughter.

My biggest strength when it comes to money saving is slashing the cost of groceries – I do everything from using coupons to raiding the yellow sticker shelf last thing at night and this means we eat really well on a tight budget. Money saving aside I love quizzing, drinking cocktails and eating pizza.

 

What’s your side hustle?

In the last few years I’ve managed to get myself featured in a variety of magazines and newspapers. In some cases I was selling a story, others I was a case study and sometimes I’ve been replying to a dilemma in a ‘What would you do’ section.

 

What was your motivation for starting?

While it doesn’t provide regular income, it can be a great way to make a large amount of money in a short space of time, especially if you have an interesting story to tell and I’m always interested in making a bit of extra cash on the side!

 

The first time I applied to a magazine to be featured it was as simple as seeing an advert on Facebook with an email address looking for people with interesting health stories to get in touch. I sent a quick email with an outline of my story and they got in touch immediately to say they could use it. After that whenever I see something that could get featured for I send an email or comment on Facebook.

 

How much time do you put into it?

The best thing about this side hustle is it can make you a large amount of money in short amount of time.

I’ll use the magazine health story as an example.

I wrote one email which took about half an hour. This was followed by 45 minute phone call to get the details of my story and then a 20 minute phone call for a read back to make sure I was happy with everything, so in total about an hour and half. See my full post on the ins and outs below.

How I made £200 being in a Women’s Magazine

 

And what sort of money are you making?

For the story about my health which I sold to a women’s magazine I was paid £200. The story took up around a third of a double page spread – so not very long or detailed. Bigger stories that take up a whole double page spread can earn you as much as £500 – obviously this is the journalist writing the story and you getting paid for them using it (you don’t need to do any writing).

 

I have also been a case study for a story in the Daily Mail which paid £100 and involved an interview over the phone and photo shoot at my house – they sent a makeup artist and photographer to me but will also pay for you to travel to London for a shoot if needed – usually if you need to be photographed with other people.

 

Magazines often run photo competitions and dilemmas too. This pays much less – around £25 or £30 for each although it’s harder to get chosen as a lot more people apply for these as it’s so quick and easy and often featured on social media where a lot of people see it.

 

What’s the highlight been so far?

Getting my hair and make-up done by a professional makeup artist when I did a case study for the Daily Mail was pretty awesome. I was eight months pregnant at the time and it was really nice to have a little bit of pampering!

 

How about the biggest challenge?

Firstly this isn’t a consistent way to make money. Some magazines and newspapers will stipulate that your story can’t have been published anywhere else before. They may also state that you can’t sell it on to another magazine or newspaper for at least six months after they publish it and some newspapers will only work with you as a case study once a year.

 

It can also be a bit scary having your name, face and story out there, especially if you’re talking about something controversial. If you ever appear in any of the big newspapers I strongly advise avoiding the comments section!

 

What would you say to someone considering a similar route?

If you think you have a genuine story to sell then go for it! Women’s magazines love stories about cheating husbands, miracle babies and even spooky ghostly encounters. Daily newspapers have to continually provide a huge amount of content so are always looking for people to feature –  especially if you have a story that is relevant to current events – for example getting married at the same wedding venue as a celebrity.

If this is something you are interested in doing here are a few ways you can go about it:

  • Follow and like lots of magazines on Facebook and Twitter. They are always doing shout outs for various stories and things they would like to feature. Seasonality also plays a part – September would be a great time to pitch a story a Christmas Dinner Disaster.
  • If you think you have a particularly juicy story you can email magazines directly – there are usually contact details on their websites.
  • There are groups on Facebook where journalists do regular shout outs – Feature Me! UK is a great example of this.
  • Follow the Hashtag on twitter such as #journorequest

 

What does the future hold for this venture?

While some may argue that online media is fast overtaking traditional print publications both types still need to constantly churn out masses of content on a daily basis. Even if you don’t think you have a story to sell right now, anything could happen in the future that might mean one day you do have a story sell. This article about the lady who captured an amazing picture of the royal family on Christmas morning is a perfect example of this and how one small picture could completely change your life.

 

And where can we find you?

I blog at www.savvyinsomerset.com and you can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Are you feeling inspired yet?

A massive thank you to Fiona for sharing this with us.  Yet another way to make money from home that I hadn’t thought of.  I’m now racking my brains to see if I have any interesting stories to sell, but I will definitely be following the advice above.  A very thorough interview!  Thank you!

 

Got more questions?  Comment below!

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

Side Hustling - Story Selling. Learn how Fiona makes money selling stories to magazines and newspapers. #makingmoney #sidehustle

Posted by Charlotte Jessop

10 comments

Great article. I have been considering this myself and after reading this feel that I need to push myself in this direction and try it.

I am ATM looking into side hustles to boost my income. I found this article packed with info about story selling as a side hustle. This is not an option for me as I’m too shy to be in the public eye. Great article as always.

Pra.kriti (@pracreation)

Wow ! A great interview, learnt many things from this post and I must say it is thoughtful for almost every one who likes writing

Lucy | Succeed Now

Congratulations on your success. This is something I’m going to look into 💗

I’m looking forward to reading the submission and what others are doing for a side hussle

Love this! First of all, fellow Somerset gal here! Very interesting to hear how Fiona gets her side hustle on!

Congrats on your magazine article! What a coup!

simplyshannonagins

I seriously learn about so many different side hustles from you and this interview series! Freelancing has always intrigued me, especially with creative writing! So interesting!

What a great idea! I’ve never thought about selling stories to magazines or following their social media accounts.

toeatdrinkbemarried (@Sophinza)

This is so cool! Thanks for sharing this story 🙂

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