This series of 10 moneymaking tips for journalists began on Adam Westbrook’s blog, but continues exclusively on Journalism.co.uk from today. Adam’s e-book, Next Generation Journalist: 10 New Ways to Make Money in Journalism will be available to download in full on 20 May.
06. become an ‘infopreneur’
The business model for journalism has always looked a little bit like this: 1) research and collect information about things the public want or need to know about 2) publish that information and sell it to them or 3) charge advertisers to promote their products along side that information.
In other words, journalism has always been about making money from information or expertise. In the new digital information age we should still be exploiting that model. But we’re not.
What is an infopreneur? Put simply, it’s someone who packages and sells information. You’d think that would come naturally to journalists. Instead journalists have struggled to profit from their information in the digital age.
The Next Generation Journalist sees opportunity in the affordability and ease of finding and publishing information online and exploits that.
The internet and the ‘information economy’ we find ourselves in means two things:
- 1. finding things out is easier and cheaper than it ever has been.
- 2. packaging and publishing that information is equally cheap and easy
The Next Generation Journalist uses both of these facts to develop exciting new entrepreneurial ventures.
Becoming an infopreneur…
- is easier than it ever has been in history
- allows you to build a brand and reputation as a leader in a field you are passionate about
- enables you to package your expertise in different ways for money
But I’m not an expert!
That’s the natural first instinctive reply. Here’s the amazing thing: it is actually quite easy to become an expert in certain areas. Firstly, the word ‘expert’ is a relative term, it requires you to know more than most people in your field and to develop strategic contacts, but no longer requires a qualification or letters after your name (except, of course, for things like medicine and law).
Secondly, the process requires you to research key resources and share that with the world on a blog or website, build a community (that’s really important), and then start to produce products for that community. Those products can be ebooks, audio downloads, week long e-courses, or physical products like books or DVDs.
Nick Williams, who launched Inspired Entreprenuer, a website built on the same principal, says journalists are perfectly placed to enter this field.
“Many journalists are fantastic at being able to grasp large areas of information…and being able to distill them down to their essence” he says. “Those skills will really be in demand in the world to come.”