The staff writer discuses GIFs, cheese, and trending topics.
How did you end up writing at BuzzFeed? I’ve always been a BuzzFeed junkie, so I was really excited when they started writing content in Spanish. One day I was reading one of their Buzzfeed Español posts, and I noticed that the language seemed forced, sort of unnatural. At the bottom of the post it said something like “if you have any suggestions, please email us”, so I did. I emailed them with my suggestions and then they asked me to submit a couple of sample posts on BuzzFeed Community and after a couple of months of interviews and back-and-forths, I was offered a position as part of their International team.
What sort of beats do you cover for the site? A little bit of everything, but I really enjoy writing about art, food, travel and women empowerment. I also usually go for things that I think would perform well on social media.
Describe what a typical day is like for you. Every day is different, but I usually start with coffee, I check my emails, then I go on Twitter and Facebook to see what’s trending, then I either come up with something new or keep working on something that I have already started. Then when that’s done, I publish and I start working on the next thing.
Out of your diverse background, what has surfaced as your most valuable lesson or asset? How has that played off? I think my best asset is that I’m always pushing myself to be creative. I’m always looking to do something new and different, because I know that’s the kind of content people are looking for. I think it has paid off because you NEED to be creative in order to work at BuzzFeed, and for your content to be successful.
Buzzfeed represents the new frontier of media; but behind the GIFs and quizzes, what are some happenings behind-the-scenes that make working at a .com so appealing? The amount of people you reach with your content and how quickly it happens. I mean, just look at our Obama video and the whole #dressgate debate, that was insane. Our dress post received over 35 millions views!
How do you supplement your work with your hobbies — such as photography? I think that in order to be a good photographer you need to be creative, so it’s always fun to plan a shoot. I’m not a professional photographer by any means, I just have an expensive camera and gorgeous friends that don’t mind playing model.
What is a favorite published piece that you’ve written/contributed to? I recently wrote a post about things you can’t avoid after you turn 25 and I really enjoyed working on it. I also got a lot of positive messages on Twitter of people saying that totally related to the post, so that was a pleasant surprise. I think it was very honest, but fun at the same time. I also wrote about this cool Korean type exhibit I went to last year. I thought the concept was very cool and the art too, it was just so easy to like.
Since you work at Buzzfeed, what GIF best describes your job? This was actually shot at the Buzzfeed office, but I found it randomly online.
What can you not work/live without? Work: My phone. It has everything I need. Live: Cheese and Netflix.
What is an industry pet peeve of yours? People that are condescending. I think not just in the industry, but in general. I think you should always remember where you came from and always be nice to people.
Twitter or Instagram? Tough choice, but probably Instagram.
Do you have any advice for people trying to break into media? Learn and practice as much as you can. Intern, start a blog, freelance, do anything and everything you can to gain experience. Also, always remember that people aren’t against you, they’re for themselves, so don’t take things personally. Lastly, be creative, do things that make you stand out.
What word/phrase/motto do you live by? If you don’t like something, change it.
Amanda Jean Black is a guest blogger at Ed2010, sharing stories from her site onthemasthead.com. When not hunting down publishing’s elite for an interview, you can find the native New Yorker obsessing about style and culture, shopping for designer streetwear, and jamming out to 90′s alt rock.