Advice to New Poker Writers Part 4: Where To Find Work

On the topic of where to find poker writing work, I am going to deliberately take a broad viewpoint, rather than pinpointing specific places to find work. This is for two reasons. First of all, I do not want to piss any of my poker media friends off by sending hundreds of plucky writers in their direction expecting work. Secondly, the industry changes so fast that new avenues are cropping up all the time, just as quickly as others are closing. 

The most obvious place to start is simply wherever you go yourself to consume poker media. Do you check out a particular news site, forum, or blog? There is nothing stopping you from making contact with them and putting yourself on the radar, especially if you follow the advice I suggested in blog number two about having a body of work to hand when you contact them. 

Your natural instincts will be to gravitate to the most obvious places where a poker writer is expected to find work, which will be a poker news site and poker magazine. That's fine, definitely do that (Though expect rejection, at least at the start). But look much further than that, so many poker websites have written content, may of which may need help. Strategy sites, poker room blogs, live poker events, poker forums, staking sites, B2B websites, and even ghost writing blogs for players. 

I mentioned this in blog number one of this series, but if you can find it, try and get work doing live reporting at poker events. This really is one of the best ways to get exposure, learn your trade, and network with the right people. It is pretty competitive right now, but if nothing else you are likely to have some geographical advantage with at least one event in the poker year. If you have an event coming to your region, let the relevant live reporting team (and casino) know you are available, because travel expenses are hefty, and if you can cut those in half instantly you give yourself a fighting chance. 

Another consideration, one which I believe is currently underused by poker writers, is editorial placement. News sites and magazines no longer have inexhaustible budgets, which means they often accept free content from commercial enterprises in exchange for allowing them to plug a URL within the content. So poker room X might get one of their sponsored pros to write a strategy article, or get a writer to review their recent live event, in exchange for sticking some branding all over the piece. 

So, if you can't get direct work from a magazine, or from an online poker room, why not see if a poker room will pay you to write something for them, to feature in a magazine? The cost of editorial placement will always be much lower than the cost of advertising with the same magazine/website, so the company would be on to a winner getting you to write a piece on their behalf. 

Instead of finding someone to pay you to write, why not write something that people can purchase from you instead? These are wonderful times for the self published author, the kindle has removed almost every hurdle a writer has to face in order to make a living. If you have an idea for a book, the only thing it will really cost you is your time. Be warned, however, that the poker book market is very competitive: strategy books go out of date as quickly as a new phone or computer, and few other types of poker book have a massive audience. But if you think you have a killer idea for book, formatting it for kindle is remarkably easy (And self publishing it for softcover is relatively cheap too).

But it does not need to be a fully fledged book. There is nothing stopping you from turning a poker article into something that can be purchased on the kindle. Not many people want to spend money on poker articles, but the beauty is that you can price it as low as $0.99, which is easy to justify as a purchase. You can also monetise your poker blog by making it available to subscribe to on kindle for a small fee. 

And once again, back to the poker blog. As I mentioned in my previous column, it is possible to monetise a poker blog and many people are doing it. Once you have developed a following, are getting plenty of regular traffic, and have started to score well on search engines; you can start approaching potential advertisers selling banner/link space (And you will find, they start contacting you). A blog is also, as I have found, a great business card with which to actually get work offers. 

A final note; offering to do some stuff for free in the early days will pay off. It sucks not to get paid for your work, but it gets your foot in the door for future paid work, so look on it as an investment for the future. Don't get screwed by any means, but a couple of favours here and there are worth it in the long run, if all it costs you is a bit of time. 

Advice to New Poker Writers Part 1: The State of the Industry
Part 1 of my series on the advice I give to new poker writers. 

Advice to New Poker Writers Part 2: Don't Wait to be Asked
Part 2 in the series, where I share perhaps the single most important piece of advice. 

Why starting a blog is a perfect way to start a career as a poker writer.


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