Lu-Hai Liang

thoughts from a freelance foreign correspondent

30th blog post anniversary: The Top Seven Posts

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Hello all! This post marks the 30th post on this blog (not including the ‘About’ post). So I thought now would be a good time to mark the seven most popular posts in this blog’s existence.

Before that, a brief history: this site was originally created as a simple holding page for my portfolio and bio – an online CV basically. But it soon morphed into an idea – I was going off to China soon, to once again grind at the freelance coal pit, an addictive and unhealthy pursuit with world-beating highs and irredeemable, squalid lows.

I thought I should also write a blog on my experience of trying to make it overseas, as a ‘freelance foreign correspondent’ as I termed it. I started blogging at the end of September, 2013. The first post on this site is ‘Welcome: mission statement’.  Since then I’ve made new contacts, people who are on a similar journey to me, deciding to up sticks, move to a new country and try their hand in journalism in a foreign land. There are new plans developing for this site, with writers from other countries who I hope will become regular contributors. There might even be a redesign and rebranding at some point. But anyway, I waffle. Without further ado, these are the top seven most popular posts.

The seven most popular posts on this site to date:

7. How I Got My First Ever Paid Freelance Gig

This post tells, in detail, the story of how I got my first ever byline in The Guardian when I was a first year student at university. It took me two years before I got in that newspaper again…

6. The Illusion of Journalistic Success

One of my personal favourites.

5. Life in Beijing as a Journalist – Retrospective 

An instructive lesson in how someone without journalism experience got to be The Guardian’s China correspondent.

4. How does a journalist make a name for him/herself? Part 1. 

I analyze what ingredients make up successful journalists who are not only professionally successful, but also lauded, renowned and can claim some degree of fame. There is also a Part 2. Other parts have yet to be published.

And here are the Top 3 posts in ascending order. 

3. Wishlist: 4 gadgets I’d love to do journalism with 

One of the earliest posts on this site, this has been a perennial favourite.

2. What happened last time I tried to be a freelance foreign correspondent 

Another early one, this post is highly recommended to those new to the site. It relates my adventures and mishaps of the time when I decided to move to a new city, where I knew virtually nobody, had no job and no accommodation planned, but wanted to do something vaguely journalism related. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life (although it often didn’t feel that way, but I learnt a lot in that short space of time).

And the number one most clicked on, most visited post on this site since it began, but may change in the future, the most popular post so far is………

1. So I got a job with a Chinese TV company 

Thanks to those reading! And if anyone is out there who wants to contribute, please hit me up – my email can be found here.

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