Steps on How to Become a Columnist

How to Become a Columnist

Columnists work for newspapers or magazines and write articles or pieces for them. They share information that is of public interest, provide their opinions, or entertain them in some way. Every columnist has a niche that he develops over time such as sports, politics, fashion, religion, personal advice, business, lifestyle, or any of the other numerous niches. Know how to become a columnist.

These columns are written in magazines or newspapers who work in that area, or in sections of them that are dedicated to that area. Columnists are different by writing style that lets them to grow a committed readership. A columnist should always deliver an exceptional and thought-provoking column in order to keep readers engaged.

Even though columnists do not go by the rules of impartial reporting, their job is not far uninvolved from that of a reporter’s. Before communicating news from their columns, columnists study and examine national, local, and global events.

They interview people, fact-check news, and understand it in a way that makes the news both educational and enjoyable to read. It is important for columnists to be aware of journalism ethics and laws, and to possess the traditional understanding to deal with a miscellaneous group of people.

Education and Training Requirements

There is no precise academic requirement necessary for this profession. Becoming a successful columnist typically takes a lot of experience and hard work. Having a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, and mass communications can be extremely useful. Several employers also hire candidates with an extensive knowledge of various arts or those with considerable experience in any subject.

Formal practical or a background in journalism is required for those who want to become columnists. It is a good idea to begin by working for high school or university publications. Many universities, newspapers, and professional organizations provide scholarships and assistantships to students of journalism. These courses give the opportunity for students to learn from and work with experienced professionals.

Working Conditions

Columnists work in different types of environments. Their job outline includes both inside and outside work and a significant amount of traveling. The newspaper workplaces are usually relaxed, spacious and well-lit. On the other hand, outdoors work can be demanding, mostly if it requires it to happen at the scene of a natural calamity, crime, or political revolution. Meeting new people is a certain part of being a columnist. Working hours are expected to be uneven, and columnists must meet strict deadlines.

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Columnist Salary and Benefits

In the United States, the average salary of columnists is almost $43,254 per year. The salaries of entry-level are in the range of $15,000 to $20,215, as compared to those who are highly experienced.They earn around $70,450 per year. Though, the salaries depend significantly on the place of employment and experience, it is not uncommon for columnists with huge newspapers to earn upwards of $80,000 yearly.

Columnists enjoy consistent benefits such as vacations, paid leaves and health insurance. Those in administration agencies are also allowed pension plans. Moreover, employers pay for columnists travel, and such writers will get some flexibility in familiarizing their work hours to their individual schedules.

Columnist Job Description

Reporters, journalists, and programme news analysts notify the public about events and news happening worldwide, nationally, and nearby. They write the news for magazines, newspapers, websites, radio and television. Most radio and television shows have hosts, known as anchors, who report the newscast and present stories from reporters.

Reporters, broadcast and correspondent’s news analysts normally do the following:

  • Investigate stories and topics that an publishing manager or news director has allocated to them
  • Interview individuals who have information, analysis, or thoughts about an article or story
  • Write articles for blogs, magazines, and newspapers and write scripts to be heard on radio or read in newspapers.
  • Review articles for accuracy and appropriate grammar and style.
  • Develop relations with professionals and contacts who give leads and tips on stories
  • Examine and understand info to upsurge their spectators having the knowledge of the news.
  • Appraise stories as new information becomes accessible.
  • A few  Columnists live in other countires and cover global news.

Skills You Require

  • Communication skills: Columnists should report the news both vocally and in writing. Good writing skills are significant for columnists in all types of media.
  • Computer skills: Columnists should use editing tools and additional broadcast-related devices.
  • Interpersonal skills: They must develop conduct interviews and contacts, reporters require to create good relationships with several people. They also have to work well with editors, journalists, and news directors.
  • Objectivity: Columnists have to report the evidence of the news without introducing their judgment or favoritism into the story.
  • Persistence: At times, getting the truths of a story is hard, mainly when those involved decline to be questioned or offer comment. Journalists have to be determined in their search of the story.
  • Stamina: The work of Columnist is normally exhausting and fast paced. They must be able to keep up with the extra hours of work.(1)


If you have loads of have patience and you work hard in collecting many clips, you are well on your way to become a columnist. So capitalize in your columns, with both effort and time.