Charlie Carmichael | Deputy Head of Content for Snack Media

Our next guest is Deputy Head of Content for Snack Media, Charlie Carmichael.

Tell us about yourself, what you currently do and how did you end up where you are right now?

I currently work as the Deputy Head of Content for Snack Media, one of the U.K.’s largest independent sports media agencies. I mainly work across its flagship brand, GiveMeSport, helping to coordinate the written and social content we produce, as well as working closely with other businesses on commercial partnerships.

As Deputy Head of Content at Snack Media, what does a normal week look like for you?

It’s quite varied, really. I work across a few different projects, from content planning and general editorial strategy, to booking interviews and exploring syndication opportunities.

What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?

I’d say there are two: getting the team to produce the best content possible, and then getting that content seen by as many people as possible. You could have just penned a masterpiece of an article, but if no-one reads it, it’s not of much worth to the business. Likewise, if you’re driving lots of traffic but the articles are subpar, it’s not a good look for the brand.

What is the most enjoyable part of your role?

Seeing all the work we put into projects come to fruition. Take the relaunch of GiveMeSport Women, for example. A lot of hard work went in behind the scenes on that, across multiple departments, so when the relaunch day finally arrived, it was super satisfying to be able to shout about it across social media and see everyone’s reaction.

As a freelance writer, I’m sure you’ve sent many pitches to editors. In your opinion, what makes a good pitch?

What the article is going to cover is obviously crucial, but for me it’s about selling yourself. Why can you cover this topic in a way no-one else can? Have you got quotes from a big-name source? Do you possess an intimate knowledge of the subject matter? Is this something that’s barely been covered elsewhere?

What are your thoughts on the current freelance market for football writers?

It’s tough. Really tough. I wrote a lot of articles for free before I eventually started getting paid for work. Not everyone is able to do that, and if you are going to write for free, be sure to check it’s because the publisher doesn’t make much money and therefore can’t afford to pay you first. There are a lot of businesses who will ask for free work if you don’t push back.

What general advice would you give to those individuals looking to pursue a career in football writing? What are the key skills required?

There are quite a few. One thing I’d absolutely say is that you need to be accepting of constructive criticism and always be hungry for feedback on how to improve your work. I’ve had plenty of editors rip into my submissions in the past, and it can be disheartening, but you’ve got to reframe it in your head and tell yourself that you’re improving with every article you put together.

Where do you see your career in the future? Are there any specific objectives you hope to achieve?

I’ve taken a step back from writing in recent months to focus more on the management of content. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss writing, but in truth, there are plenty of people far more talented than me out there. If I can help to optimise and amplify their work, then that makes me just as happy.

And finally Charlie, where can people find you on social media?

I’m most active on Twitter, so it’s best to get me on there: @CharlieJC93

Connecting freelancers in football (soccer) to paid work.