27 July 2015

Live Without An Editor: Crowdfund Your Journalism

Journalists traditionally have a simple choice when selling their writing - go on staff or work as a freelancer. Crowdfunding offers a third way, allowing you to carve out an audience who will pay you directly if you can produce content they enjoy.

Low-tech crowdfunding


Crowdfunding splits into two forms - single payment platforms like Kickstarter and subscriptions like Patreon. As an independent journalist, your flexibility will be your greatest strength. Finding a niche for your journalism will allow you to find an audience willing to pay for coverage that they cannot get elsewhere.

If your work is crowdfunded, this is what your boss looks like.

Crowdfunding already has a long list of success stories. Cara Ellison used Patreon to fund her Embed With... series of reports about independent developers from around the world. Not only was she able to travel for a kind of reportage that would not be funded by traditional press, the size of her Patreon audience convinced a publisher to contact her to put a collection into print production. Even smaller successes can be life changing, allowing writers to subsist while writing stories which would not find a place in the mainstream media.

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