The ways to become a commentator have grown rapidly, thanks primarily to the Internet. In the traditional media, such as large newspapers, magazines, and broadcast companies, there are just a few means to land a job in commentary and it is a highly competitive field. To become a commentator in modern times, however, one need only have access to a computer with a modem. A person seeking to become a commentator can blog, post videos, make comments on websites of both major and minor media outlets, or do all of these. To be paid as a commentator, however, is much more difficult.
Getting paid to become a commentator either means taking the traditional route through established media or creating a large enough following on the Internet that the site can become monetized through advertising, subscription, book sales, or some other form of revenue. First, the traditional route entails gaining expertise in the topic, either by studying the field in college or by gaining a great deal of practical experience. To be a political pundit, for instance, means years of working on campaigns, earning degrees in political science, or both. Another common way to become a commentator in traditional media is to work as a reporter on a specific topic for many years.
Generally, the new way to become a commentator does not concern credentials and experience nearly as much as drawing an audience. Someone who loves sports, for instance, might start a free blog site on which he or she analyzes the important games of the week, comments on off-the-field news, and interacts with readers who post opinions on the site. Search for a blogging site, sign up, name the blog, and start writing. If the person prefers video, the blog posts can link to a video site where the commentator uploads material. If enough people read or watch, revenue might be able to be built into the site or sometimes the commentator can get hired to blog professionally.
The means to become a commentator are different in one sense, but they do share some similarities. A commentary usually needs to be interesting, shows that the person has a good bank of knowledge of the subject, and, most importantly, has a strong point of view. Commentators who have weak opinions usually don’t draw a crowd. That also means they court controversy, which is usually good for attracting more audience. People who are uncomfortable with confrontation should reconsider their goal to become a commentator.