Farah Khalique shares her experience of using LOYAL as a freelance journalist to uncover highly relevant, rich content often overlooked by search engines in the hunt for a unique story angle. By running the tool on an article brief, she explains how she’s been able to drill down into specific topics to find “juicy” statistics and thought leader quotes to elevate her work.
“LOYAL can cast a wide net across a whole load of publications and bring back some really juicy content. I’ve found things that I probably wouldn’t have found on a search engine.”
Can you walk us through your experience in the world of journalism?
I’ve had experience both as a newsroom and freelance journalist. Before I went freelance, I worked at Dow Jones, home of The Wall Street Journal, as a financial journalist and wrote for a weekly newspaper called Financial News. We would put out daily online news, a weekly print magazine and special reports. I also contributed to The Wall Street Journal and my work would get shared by other platforms like MarketWatch. Then I went freelance which has involved a mix of journalism, copywriting and editing and now I’m always on the hunt for the best angle for every piece I write.
At what point in the article-writing process do you find LOYAL especially helpful?
I like to use LOYAL when I have a brief. I’m quite disciplined with my work – either I’m given a brief which I then refine or I create my own. brief. I pop that into a Google doc and then hit the “blue L” to see a list of relevant articles appear. It’s good for initial research because it takes out the pain of search engines – having multiple tabs open and repetitive scrolling.
Where LOYAL helps is it can show you what’s already out there and has been covered by other journalists. You might read a sentence in another article and think there’s a whole spin-off piece to be had. I will go away and research that and come up with new angles.
“I pop my brief into a Google doc and then hit the “blue L” to see a list of relevant articles appear. It’s good for initial research because it takes out the pain of search engines – having multiple tabs open and repetitive scrolling.”
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How was your experience using LOYAL?
LOYAL is straightforward to use and seamlessly integrates into my workflow. It doesn’t take up a lot of space on my computer and it’s definitely a worthwhile addition to my existing research tools.
What research pain points do you face on a daily basis?
Finding the right talking heads can be difficult because often the people I want to talk to aren’t available on search engines – and they don’t interact with the press very much. I have to do a lot of research on LinkedIn to find the right people to interview. Also, too much information can be an issue because if I hunt on a search engine for a very well-known topic, there’s a lot that comes up. I have filtered information sent to my inbox – that’s great but it takes time to even filter through the filtered emails! It can get messy with lots of tabs.
Read Farah’s advice on how to beat writer’s block as a freelance journalist and how best to break down an article brief before you start writing.
What do you like about LOYAL?
I like that it’s a clean design. It pulls up the results on the right-hand corner of my page and it’s out of the way but easy to access. It doesn’t dominate my screens which makes the research process much less distracting and more streamlined. I really like that it pulls up articles that are relevant to my brief and saves me time scrolling through page after page on Google. It’s a great starting point for further research.