5 Tips On Breaking Into Freelance Writing


I am often asked by many of my peers, "Chasity, how did you start freelancing? What do I need to do in order to write for Publication XYZ?" And while I wish I had a specific formula to help get you a byline on your favorite website, I must say that breaking into freelannce journalism is different for everyone. Since I started freelancing in 2014, I've learned that media outlets only really want one thing from journalists: for us to demonstrate that we are thoughtful and intentional about the subject(s) we wish to write about. It's critical to set yourself apart from the rest as knowledgeable, creative and personable, but you also want to ensure that your writing is substantive and aligns with the mission and vision of the publication.

So without further delay, here are five tips that I have found helped me establish my career as a freelance journalist.

  1. Start your own sh*t. (Get to blogging, baby.) - When I started this blog back in September 2011, I had no goal in mind on how I wanted it to grow. All I knew was that I wanted to write about public relations, millennials and some of my life's musings. Fast forward five years later, and I'm grateful to have created this space that keeps track of my growth and experiences both professionally and personally. Granted, I haven't always been as consistent as I want to be (I'll get to this in a bit) but having a place where my voice lives and breathes online has been incredibly essential to building my thought leadership as a writer. When approaching some of your favorite publications, it's important to have a few receipts to show off your writing style, so that they can have an idea of how you can best provide value to their community of readers. If you've been considering starting a blog, be sure to ask yourself a few questions before jumping right in.

2. Put yourself on. (Pitching ain't easy, but it sure is fun.) Putting yourself out there in any form or fashion can be nerve-wracking, but trust me when I say it is also very rewarding. When pitching to your favorite publications, you do want your personality to shine through your writing, but it's important to keep in mind that there is specific information they want to impart on their readership. When I sent a cold email to the editor of Vinepair, a wine and spirits website, earlier this summer, I was slightly nervous because I had only written about wine on my blog. But once I put my fear aside and offered the editor a few ideas that I thought their audience would enjoy, I gained confidence. And surprisingly, I was able to bring forth two of my favorite things (Henny and red wine) and create sometime special for the Vinepair community. Moral of the story: give yourself space to be creative + shoot your shot. Also, you don't have to have a "connect" to a publication in order to pitch them. Head to their website or check out their Twitter page and LOOK for the information you need. 

3. Be consistent, yet patient. (The money will come, just wait on it.) Breaking news my friends: freelance writing isn't going to bring forth a super huge coin in the beginning. You will have to put in the work (read: literally secure the bag) in order to build credibility. With your personal blog, there are a number of ways you can become consistent. Create a content calendar to track your posts. Schedule your posts with tools like CoPromote, Buffer and Hootsuite ahead of time. Keep tabs of the news with Google alerts that are related to the content that you are producing.  While you're waiting to hear from an editor, continue to work and look for opportunities that will help to improve your craft. And once you do get that byline of your dreams...

4. Promote, promote, promote! (Again, put yourself on!) My first post for was one of the most exciting moments of my career thus far. I was standing in PG Plaza Mall and with my phone on one percent, I moved as quickly as I could to screenshot my byline and share it with the Interwebs. I text the link to both of my parents and shared it with the various Slack communities that I'm apart of. You've worked hard for this moment, so don't be afraid to tell everybody what you've accomplished. Pro-tip: be sure to keep a Google doc of all of your clips and social media content to promote them on hand. Here are also three more ways you can promote your blog posts.   

5. Tap into resources. (Help is everywhere, bro.) Now that you've dipped your toe into the freelance journalism pool, the next step is to connect with your peers who are hustling just like you. Below are a few resources and communities that I've grown to love as my freelance journalism career matriculates: 

MiM Connect


Create Daily



Freelancers Union

Writers of Color

Black Freelance 

...and many more. 

So, do you feel ready to start riding the freelance writing wave? Great! If you're still a little hesitant, send me a note and I'll be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.


S.T.A.R.T. Before You're Ready.

November was quite the whirlwind for me both professionally and personally, but I wanted to drop a note of reflection as we into the last month of the year.  Have you ever wanted to start something new (let's in this case, say a blog) but continued to come up with excuses as to why you aren't able to launch it?

"I just don't have enough time to write a blog post every day."

"What am I going to write about? And who will want to read it?"

"I want my post to be perfect before I hit publish - I must keep editing!"  

The truth is, while we were busy asking ourselves 21 questions, making statements and assuming, we could've published at least one or two posts, created a content calendar for the next two months and put throwback content in rotation on social media.

Last month specifically, I spent most of my time getting back into the groove of working full-time and managing my various passion projects. And let me tell you, it hasn't been easy. In addition to getting ready for the new year, training for my third half marathon in January and traveling for the holidays, I haven't had much time to put my ideas into action - which has resulted in a ridiculously long line of questioning in my head.

But that long line of questioning I've taken myself through is only procrastination. And I'll be honest - my procrastinating ways and (sometimes) self-doubt have held me back from starting a lot of new things. Days and days have gone by because I thought and over-thought about the "what-ifs" instead of putting in the work, promoting what I've created and learning about myself along the way.

So how exactly do we break this cycle? Starting before we're ready. 

You're probably thinking, "Well Chasity, what does that look like exactly?"

I'm glad you asked friend. 

To me, starting before we're ready is less about being prepared and more about fearlessly taking the risk to step into your greatness. I know it's so cliche, but we truly have everything we need to launch our dreams, bring them to life and watch them flourish.

When I started Millennial On A Mission almost three years ago, I knew that I wanted to shed light on the amazing things that my peers were doing both professionally and personally because I was sick of the media calling us lazy, narcissistic, and entitled life-time members of Broke Phi Broke. It soon occurred to me that I was surrounded by a group of amazing individuals who are defying these stereotypes and needed to have their stories told.

What started off as two blog features a month has grown into an online community of millennials with different backgrounds and disciplines, but who are all passionate about discovering their life's purpose and bringing it to life.

Looking back on the conception of MOAM and any other projects that I've completed, I had to remember what it meant to actually meant to S.T.A.R.T. something from the bottom and build it up:

How to S.T.A.R.T. UPDATE

SEEK out a problem you wish to solveFor me, it was dispelling the myth that millennials were much about nothing and mooching off of their parents post-college. What problem do you wish to solve? Be willing to ask yourself an uncomfortable question or two.

TAILOR your voice to a specific audience. Again, I wanted to speak specifically to my millennial peers. In doing so, I had to not only share their story, but share my journey as well. Once you decide the problem you wish to solve, make sure that your content is resonating with an audience that will understand the message you are trying to convey.

ALLOW for vision to expand.  Initially, MOAM was just going to be a blog feature. But the more I spoke with my peers about their experiences, the more I realized that I needed to stretch it's purpose - one that I'm actually still trying to discover. With any goal we wish to achieve, we must be willing to give ourselves the space to grow and change. And who knows, something beautiful make come out of that detour.

REMIND yourself to be patient with the processListen, Linda. I can't stress this one enough! There is no such thing as overnight success. We are going to have to work hard, long hours in order to achieve what we hope to accomplish. If you need a break, take one. But even as you wait for something to happen, there's always work to be done.

TAKE time to evaluate what has worked, what hasn't and move forward accordingly. It will forever be important to conduct market research, test your product, check your work and monitor your progress. If something didn't work, that's alright! There's nothing wrong with pivoting or shifting in order to get to where we want to be. The time you take to review and evaluate your work, the more meaningful it will be to those who will benefit from it.

So there you have it! What are you planning to S.T.A.R.T as we move into a new year?

Let me know in the comments below or tweet me!


Four Years and Counting...


Why hello there, lovely one! Did you miss me?  I'll be honest - after 17 days of not blogging, it was a little difficult to log-on and start writing. I've been so busy in the last few weeks (Operation #HireChasity is still very real) that I never really had time to prepare myself for the return. But better late than never, right?

All week long, I've been asking myself a million questions, but certain ones have been on repeat like your favorite song:

  • What do I talk about?
  • Do I share what I did during the hiatus, or why I took it in the first place?
  • Is anyone still interested in what I have to say?
  • Where do I go from here? 

And trust me, those were some the hardest questions I've had to ask myself in all my four years of blogging.

But I had truthfully reached a point where I felt as though I was blogging just to blog. And when you start to do something just to do it, you're ultimately losing your passion and neglecting the reason why you're doing it in the first place.

So with the seasons in the midst of changing, I've decided that it's time to move forward with focus and purpose.

It's no secret that I love to write. In the last few months as most of you all have peeped, I've been cranking out content for an amazing new platform called Slant News. I've never considered myself a journalist, but being a product of Newhouse, I was taught to do a little bit of everything. ;-)

I've been challenged to produce content quickly and succinctly, all the while reporting the news at an angle that is sometimes much different than my own. This experience has truly sharpened my writing, and allowed me to share important information to a much larger audience which I'm truly grateful for. It's also reignited my fire for sharing stories here on my personal platform, and empowering my generation to do the same.

Now, back to the blog. Will there be a few changes in the next few months? Perhaps - because change is always good. However, it's still going to be Chasity doing it for the 99 and the 2000 as always, just this time with some glitter and sprinkles and maybe a strobe light or two.

So thank you for rocking with me for the last four years consistently. I hope you all keep rolling with me as begin a new chapter in my blogging journey.

With love,


Greater Is Coming. (HIATUS)


Happy Monday kiddos. They say there's a first time for everything.

For the first time in my almost four-year blogging career, I'm going on hiatus. At this particular time,  I need to take a step back and re-evaluate my current landscape, and how I want to move forward purposefully professionally and personally. As most of you know, this summer has been quite the wild ride, so I want to take time to adequately plan ahead for the final quarter of 2015 and beyond. The theme for this year has been to #Manifest, and I firmly believe that this break will allow me to re-focus and prepare for the greater that is coming.

I've always appreciated you all for allowing me to be completely transparent on this platform, so I thank you in advance for your patience and support.

Of course, you can still catch me cutting the occasional rug on Twitter, but for the next two weeks there will be no new posts from the blog.

I look forward to sharing with you all some exciting new things!

Until then, be well.


3 More Ways You Should Be Promoting Your Blog Posts


Happy Wednesday! As many of you know, I absolutely love to double-tap, tweet and get my Snapchat on -- but blogging is life. There's nothing like sitting behind the keyboard and typing your thoughts away, with heavy the anticipation of what people will think of your crafted words.

What happens after you click "publish" though? Sure, you share the post with your family and friends on Facebook, screen cap the post for Instagram and share it for your Twitter followers. But did you know that there are other ways you can promote your posts to get more eyeballs to your site? After I click publish in WordPress, I go through a promotion ritual that includes sharing my post on a total of six social networks to increase engagement.

Check out these three additional ways I use to promote my blog posts. Let me know what you think!


1. Google+ - Although Google tried and didn't quite succeed at making fetch happen,  I still enjoy using Google+. Contrary to popular belief, many major media outlets still use the medium to promote their content. Why? Because they've built "circles" or small communities that gives them the opportunity to engage with their audience in a different way. For those of us that use Gmail for EVERYTHING, Google+ offers you the opportunity to categorize your contacts and share content publicly or with certain groups. If you aren't already, I would highly suggest exploring Google+, because it's a great way to interact with brands, influences and thought leaders in a more intimate setting (for now.)




2. LinkedIn - Some bloggers may be hesitant to share their personal blog post on such a professional platform, but sharing your blog posts that are relevant to your sector builds thought leadership and personal brand. I don't know about you, but I'm connected with individuals on LinkedIn that may not follow me on Twitter or be friends with on Facebook. In addition to the opportunity to writing posts directly on LinkedIn, sharing blog posts from your personal website on LinkedIn yields the opportunity for your content to be shared with a different audience (or even a future employer.) As with other social networks, be sure to tag relevant individuals or media outlets that you mention in your posts for additional exposure.



3. Pinterest - This outlet can be used for more than finding recipes and planning your dream wedding! As part of  my promotion ritual, I am always certain to share my new blog posts on one of my Pinterest boards. But there's a way to take it a step further - join a group board and promote your blog post there too! I'm grateful to be apart of a number of group Pinterest boards, but when it comes to sharing content related to my favorite subject (millennials!) I always pin my posts to my favorite Millennial boards. Pinterest has grown to be an amazing digital marketing platform that bloggers (myself included) should take advantage when it comes to promoting their websites and blogs.

Are there other ways in which you promote your fresh blog posts? Let me know in the comments below or send me a tweet!