I have recently begun writing for a new, online magazine ‘Yuppee’. After finding it on Twitter when it had just started up, the magazine now has nearly 8,000 followers. The man behind this all is Ricky Carbis.
He is an online marketer and content writer for a travel website, the editor of Yuppee and has his own website based on travel. His enthusiasm is inspiring and it was great to learn more about how he reached the position he is in today.
Here’s what he had to say…
Can you firstly briefly say what your job is/what type of journalism you do?
I am currently the editor and founder of Yuppee Magazine, and I also work as a travel journalist. All of my work is involved in the online world of journalism. I love my job.
What first sparked your interest into the journalism industry?
I have always been interested in media and that industry. I studied media all through school etc, and I studied journalism, media and marketing at university – so it was kind of a natural progression to move into journalism as a career.
How important do you believe work experience is for journalists and how can they get around the ‘no-pay’ aspect?
I think there is no way to get around the “no-pay” aspect as such. It is not a bad thing if you approach it with the right attitude.
Take Yuppee for example; that offers great exposure and places 100% of the credit on to the writers – unpaid but the exposure gained is awesome for writers.
“Some people take advantage of unpaid workers… but it is up to you as a journalist to judge”
It just depends what kind of unpaid work you will be doing – I think there is an arguement that some people take advantage of unpaid workers that way, but it is up to you as a journalist to judge what you feel helps you, and what you feel is you being taken advantage of – in my opinion. I don’t agree with people being taken advantage of and working a 6 month intern for free etc., things like that I think are a little unfair, but more general unpaid exposure – always a good thing.
Can you tell me a bit about what Yuppee is?
Yuppee is an online magazine that offers an opportunity for young writers and aspiring journalists to get some exposure. We have more than 50 volunteers actively writing for the site at the moment. The great thing about Yuppee is that every article has the authors picture, bio, and links to their profiles such as twitter attached; ensuring maximum exposure is given to the writer. Yuppee is also a meeting place for young journalists to get to know each other, network with each other, read each other’s articles, and learn from each other. Everyone at Yuppee is in the same boat.
How did you go about setting up Yuppee and what was the process?
I always had the idea that one day I wanted to do my own website, I just never really knew what. After getting some experience in journalism and expanding my knowledge, I came up with the idea for Yuppee – and it has taken off since then. The site is only two months old but the growth has been amazing, a lot of great feedback and some really talented writers writing for us.
“The site is only two months old but the growth has been amazing.”
Setting up the site was easy, it is trying to organise everyone and keep things going – that is the hard part! Especially as I also have my normal journalism job to fit in between too
What is Londoner Abroad and how did you initially think of starting this up?
Londoner Abroad is just my blog that I have about my travel adventures. Just something a little more personal that people can get to know me more through that. Yuppee and my job as a travel journalist are more restricted to what I can write. Londoner Abroad just gives me an option to put my random thoughts and articles down. Which reminds me, I haven’t updated it in soo long – I need to get on that!
What advice do you have for those who have journalism training but are still finding it hard to get that first paid job in journalism?
Keep learning. There are always new things you can learn and new skills you can acquire. The worst thing a wannabe journalist can do is let rejection get you down and stop learning or trying. Keep networking, make friends within the journalism industry, and you will get lucky in the end.
“The worst thing a wannabe journalist can do is let rejection get you down.”
It is a hard industry to get your foot in the door, but once you got a foot; take an arm, a leg – make opportunities for yourself. Nothing is ever given to you – go get it yourself.
And be vocal, if you have an intern or work experience etc. be vocal – ask to do things, offer to write, be creative, get your ideas heard. Confidence is key.
Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years time?
It depends – I would love Yuppee to become a business in itself. At the moment it is costing me £400 a month just to keep it alive, but I love it so it’s okay. But as it grows and develops, I would love for it to become a fully functional and profitable website. It would be my dream to be in a position to offer people paid work as part of Yuppee etc.
Or I would love to be an editor at a national newspaper or website. I love the online world, so I think my career is going to be based in online journalism as I have a good knowledge of online marketing too – which anyone looking to have a career in online journalism should do some research on. Get to know your SEO, CMS, Keywords, etc. Get to know how Google works. You will need to know.
So that is where I would like to see myself in 10 years… that or on Skysports news as a news presenter – but that’s just silly talk.
Can you tell me a random fact about yourself?
I graduated university with absolutely zero, and I mean zero experience in journalism except for my assignments. And look how it worked out for me? Pretty well I would say. When I graduated I realised that I was a little behind everyone else, so I took it upon myself to learn and learn fast – I learned about online marketing and set up my own blog and soon found my learning curve develop very fast.
“If you ever find yourself cooking for me… just give me ice cream.”
And another random fact about me – I hate pretty much all foods, so if you ever find yourself cooking for me… just give me ice cream.
Follow Ricky on twitter: @Londoner_Abroad