June 3, 2010

Interviews: The End of the World?

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Okay, while Alrady's asleep there is something I want to talk to everyone about. It's possibly one of the most frightening things a freelance writer could ever do. I want to talk to you about interviewing other people for your articles.

I know, for many of you the idea of going up to complete strangers and asking them for interviews makes you want to quit writing and take up cliff diving, but interviews can add credibility to any article. Don't believe me? Go to your favorite news site and see how many articles have at least some type of quote if not an entire interview with a press secretary, representative, or any type of expert.

If you are one of the lucky ones, you probably have people e-mailing you and asking if you can write an article for them. I've had this happen in the past with Youth Vote Overseas, HostelsClub, Hostelworld, etc. When you write quality articles, it is much easier to get people to say yes to an interview.

Then, there are times which you must make a tough decision. Do you take the risk of looking like a fool and contact someone for an interview? Or, do you try to write the article without an interview? Sometimes, asking for an interview can pay off big (such as my interview with the Chairman of CouchSurfing). Other times, you will be lucky if you even receive a reply.

Yes, the idea of asking a stranger for an interview can be intimidating, but the successes are very rewarding. The worst thing that could happen is the person says "no" or they don't respond at all. Did the world come to a crashing halt? Nope, and you didn't lose anything to begin with, so life does continue after rejection.

Now, the best thing that could happen is you end up interviewing George Clooney or Jennifer Aniston, he/she falls madly in love with you, and you live happily ever after. Or, maybe you end up getting a great interview, build a strong connection with the individual, and he/she can lead you to many other opportunities. You never know until you ask.

Oops, it looks like Alrady is waking up again. Next time, I'll give you some tips for contacting people for interviews.

A.M. Trent is the National Youth Travel Examiner at Examiner.com and the blogger for Survive Being Single.

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