While I have been freelance writing for some years now, it wasn’t until the middle of 2010 that I decided to enter college for journalism. I was attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for interactive media and web design, but after being turned down for a few writing contracts because I had no formal journalism education, I decided it was time to fix that.
The Journalism Journey Begins
I enrolled in Ashford University’s online program to study for my bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. Because I transferred some credits from my previous college, when I started at Ashford I was already half way through the first year. I am currently still in my first class, which is an introductory course for new Ashford students; however, when the course finishes, I will jump into courses that are more geared toward my study area.
Because of my writing for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and private contracts, I have learned ethical and moral standards that I have already applied at college; proper citations, media and journalism law and other standards that have helped me get further in class. I currently hold a 3.8 GPA, which is Ashford combined with the other schools I attended.
My Yahoo! Contributor Network Background
My writing career started a bit before I joined the Yahoo! Contributor Network, formerly Associated Content, in September 2009, although it wasn’t until I started writing for AC that I began to take my writing seriously. Since starting here, I have become a Featured Contributor for the technology category; started writing for the Yahoo! News beat in technology; and published articles on Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! TV, and Associated Content. I was also lucky enough to win the Best of AC Award in June 2010 for my article titled, “Recap of Internet Week New York 2010: Recap of the Summits, Microsoft & HP Launches & More.” (Incidentally, Internet Week NY was sponsored in part by Yahoo!.)
Consistently writing for the Yahoo! Contributor Network has also helped me better my writing ability while earning a bit of money. The site has given me an outlet to gain writing experience and I know just by looking at the very first articles I published that I have learned a lot by being here. My page views have gone up dramatically, meaning my SEO techniques are getting better. Not only does writing consistently on this platform help with learning these techniques, but reading the various tutorials written by other contributors does as well.
While I do work on private writing contracts, my financial situation is that I must also live on day-to-day money for the “little things” such as food. I can say that without writing for Yahoo! and receiving the daily pay, there is no way I would ever survive until the private contracts paid out.
My Future in Journalism
When I apply to writing jobs, the first portfolio reference I use is my profile on the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Having the honor of being a Featured Contributor has opened up many doors for me in my writing career, while giving me an outlet to do what I love – write about technology. In fact, I have had numerous clients contact me as a direct result of my having a vast Yahoo! Contributor Network library, which profiles almost my entire professional career and how far I have come. The Yahoo! Contributor Network sparked my career, which in turn sparked my desire to study journalism – and now, without either my life simply would crumble.