Freelance Journalist Interview with Emma Cossey

…but aside from battling the Netflix affliction, Emma has been busy writing for brands including Dork Adore and ParentDish UK as well as blogging at The Freelance Lifestyle on subjects as wide-reaching as fashion accessories, gadgets, web stuff, weddings, living on a budget and social media.

Going freelance can be a daunting prospect for the as-yet uninitiated, so Emma is here to give a glimpse into how it works and where to start  and the next round of Emma's e-course 'The 30 Day Freelance Lifestyle' is kicking off on the 1 July, so here's a chance to get to know her a little before signing up… 

Hi there Emma! What led you to focus on such disparate subjects in your work?

Life, really! When I started out as a freelancer, my interests lay in fashion and gadgets (and still do!). As time has gone on, I've gone through periods of planning a wedding and living on a budget – and I've tended to use those times as opportunities to pitch to new blogs or publishers about those topics. Generally though, I'm quite happy to write about most things – especially if it gives me the opportunity to learn more about the topic.

Where are we likely to have seen your work? Who do you regularly write for?

Regularly, I write on my own blog The Freelance Lifestyle where I chat about all things freelancing and working from home. I also regularly write for The High Tea Cast and Blognix. In the past, I've written for Aigua Media (eventually editing The Bag Lady and writing for both Shoewawa and Dollymix). The Times' Wedding section, Dork Adore (which I occasionally still do) and ParentDish UK among others. 

Take us through some of the most memorable pieces of work you’ve done – any that were particularly fun (or challenging) to write?

ParentDish, as my first role in editorial and as the only non-parent on the team, was challenging but a really fun learning period. The whole period of writing for Aigua Media definitely rated high for fun – especially as I ended up writing for blogs that I used to read before starting a career. 

What interview or feature would you love to do, if you could be commissioned to write about anything, or anyone?

I'd love to write more about freelancing and working from home in the media, to dispel some of the myths. 

What’s been your most unusual source of inspiration for an article? 

Regretsy. I don't think I ever thought I'd write a post about decorative sanitary towels…

Do you have a lot of dealings with PR people? Do you have any favourites you’d like to shout out to (shout away, but no swears please)? 

Not as much now, but I think I was fairly fortunate with PRs – most were lovely and really helpful. Flourish PR and The PR Room were particularly nice. 

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or can you do most things remotely these days?

Absolutely. You still need to experience things first-hand, and networking is an essential part of freelancing. I'm helping out with an event called Blognix at the moment (14 June in Birmingham), which is designed to be a relaxed, friendly blogging event with workshops and speakers. I'm really excited about going, as we're covering everything from blog design and podcasts to dealing with your accounts.

Can Twitter be a time-suck when working as a freelancer, or is it easy to tap in and out of for you? 

It's a time-suck. But a really useful, interesting time-suck which has enough benefits to justify the time spent on it. 

Does it help with making connections, research, and getting commissions? 

Yes! Less so now, but at the start of my career it helped me find 70% of my clients in my first year. For research and crowdsourcing, it's essential. 

What media do you enjoy in your spare time (TV shows, box sets you’re stuck into, the films of Jason Statham, books, mags, etc.?)

Like most people working from home, I'm a Netflix addict (especially 'Orange Is The New Black'). My iPhone is filled with podcasts and audiobooks as I can't work in complete silence. In terms of magazines, The Simple Things and Stylist on the iPad are regular reads. 

Emma is tweeting @emma_cossey. More on 'The 30 Day Freelance Lifestyle' course can be found here

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