How To Become An Advice Columnist?

Posted in Career Blog

If you thought only a woman was qualified to be an “Agony Aunt,” you are mistaken! With gender equality issues getting so much importance in modern times, European as well American states can now boast of the male equivalent of the olden day Agony Aunt (the British newspaper counterpart)!
So, even men keen on becoming Advice Columnists can get fame, fortune and decide their own working hours doing what others do for free – giving advice, just like Dan Savage does!
Here are some practical steps to go about getting your dream job:

Step 1: Determine Your Suitability For The Job
If you want to become an Advice columnist and do not fit the ‘older woman’ or ‘world wise man’ image just yet, there’s a lot of scope for getting the right skills to fit the job. Since your main job responsibility will comprise answering reader/listener queries for personal issues, you can safely assume that you need to have a sensitive approach to a wide range of human interest subjects, ability to communicate with empathy, tone down or fire up practical, humorous or factual responses to questions.

Step 2: Honestly Evaluate Your Interpersonal Skills
You may need to work with a team or part of a composite group of qualified authors dealing with a particular problem niche, like career, family or relationship issues and thus, an ability to get along with a group of professionals is a must for an Advice Columnist.

Step 3: Get the Right Education
To start off as an Advice columnist, you will need good writing skills and a basic understanding of human nature besides an interest in social work. So, apply for a Bachelor’s degree in relevant subjects, like Journalism, Communications, Psychology or Social work to get the right education for fitting the job role.

Step 4: Combine Education With Experience
Look around locally for newspaper, magazine or radio station situations vacant for applying your degree’s knowledge and to develop your people skills in order to land a full time job as an Advice Columnist after gaining entry level experience.

Step 5: Determine whether Credit or Pseudonym Advice Columnist profile suits you
Well-known Advice Columnist Marjorie Proops got credit for her work and also an accompanying photograph as public acknowledgement for her role, though many years after she’d retired. If you seek bylines for the advice column you write, this is something you will need to negotiate with the publication or channel director before signing the contract as many Advice Column writers deliver the goods for a brand name, e.g. the Dear Abby or Ann Landers type. Or, even Tell Me About It author, Carolyn Hax.

Step 6: Check out scope of diverse media formats to increase career success
There are many popular Internet sites, like Elder Wisdom Circle, AskAuntLouise and Dear Maggie that cater to niche audiences (website visitors seeking advice on specific subjects) and this ranges from serious formats to comedic. Find a genre that suits your style of thinking and apply for the job to get a foot in the fast expanding world of virtual workplaces. Start your own blog and allow website visitors to post questions that you will answer personally for a small fee or within a group on a particular day for greater outreach. Finally, you can also emulate famous e-mail advisers, like Annie and Aunt Vera to enhance the scope of your job as an advice columnist!

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