Career Focus - The World of Writing

Writing for a Website - Clodagh Foelster

Clodagh is a writer for the website www.babyworld.co.uk. She is also Mum to five children!

picture of Clodagh

The Interview

Name - Clodagh Foelster

Location - Herts

Family - Husband (Abel) Thomas, 10, Sean, 8, Zac, 4, (Toby, Zac's twin, died aged 3 months) Rio, 3, and Shannagh, 5 months

 

How did you become a Journalist? What is your background?

I am actually a registered nurse and worked in the NHS when the older 2 boys were little but I've always been interested in writing. I was working a lot of nights and started studying a distance Journalism course, along with a general writing course. When Toby died, I decided life was too precious to be away from the kids working and the Babyworld job came along just at the right time.

Did you have formal training?

Yes, online correspondence course with the London School of Journalism (www.lsj.org), and writing course with The Writers Bureau (www.writersbureaucourse.com).

Will magazines/websites use new journalists who are just starting out, or do you have to have an established track record?

It is incredibly difficult to get anyone to take notice unless you are very proactive in selling yourself. You have to get out there and harass everyone. And it's not just 'new' journalists. If you aren't a constant feature you're easily forgotten.

Is it hard building up a list of contacts?

To start with yes but it's one of those things that the more you make, the more you get.

s it very different writing online articles as opposed to magazine articles?

The huge majority of my work is online but there isn't a huge difference. The main difference in any format is recognising the the correct readership and style.

Do you work from home?

Yes.

How does the job fit round your family?

I'm pretty strict and have all my kids in bed by 8pm (staggered depending on their age). I'm a bit of a night owl and find I'm more productive at night so I spend an hour or two in the evenings at the computer while the kids are asleep. The rest of the evening is then mine and my husband's.

What exactly does the role encompass?

My editor at babyworld tells me what she wants and I provide it, but I'm given a very free rein. I also look out for updates/news/people comments and provide features to cover.

What is the earning potential?

There's not millions to be made doing this but it pays the bills. I really can't be more specific but it's better paid than nursing (like most jobs)

Do you enjoy the job?

Absolutely love it!

Do you have any words of wisdom for Mums (or Dads!) who would like to get into Journalism?

First and foremost get onto a good course and stick to it. Then discover your niche - I have huge health knowledge and baby/parenting knowledge and can write well about tese subjects. Finally, never give up, get your writing out there and your name known. Even simple things like sending letters to magazines can bring in anything from £25-50.

 

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