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How to Pitch Podcasts, Slideshows and Multimedia Packages

One way to generate more income as a freelance writer is to pitch a package to potential clients. Instead of only pitching an article, throw in a podcast, slideshow, and/or video. But don’t give it away, and charge more if it is edited.

If you’re writing a feature story on an event but you also have great photography skills, ask if you can take photos. But go one step further: propose putting together a slide show. If you also have the equipment and can shoot video, recommend that too. Keep the video clips short though — it’s a good rule to keep videos around two minutes. If you’re covering a local government meeting, tell your client you’ll record the audio of the entire meeting, and they can publish it as a public service on their website. Even better, if you have a laptop and a quality video camera, ask the client if you can “livestream” the meeting so their websites readers can watch it live from their website.

Afi Odelia-Scruggs, who has been freelancing full time since 2004, got her start as a reporter in the 1980s. She now mainly works as a freelance photographer for Cleveland Heights and Beachwood Patch sites in Ohio.

“I got into video reluctantly and through that, went into audio,” she said.

Odeli-Scruggs contributes a weekly slide show. Recently, she covered a fifth-grade graduation.

In 2008, she wrote a commentary for TheRoot.com titled “Remixing Grandma’s Voice: How to preserve her stories in the age of the iPod.” In the article, Odeli-Scruggs talks about a Mother’s Day present to her family — a digital version of an interview she taped with her grandmother in 1990. Check it out at http://www.prx.org/pieces/63534.

Odeli-Scruggs prefers using audio to tell a story because it’s “simply easier to capture, and easier [for me] to edit. I can turn a piece around fairly quickly. The equipment is lighter to carry, and the start-up costs are more manageable than video.”

She also created an audio slide show on her trip to the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scrqDitq_yo. In addition, last year at a teachers workshop, she created a video to explain news literacy.

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