November 23, 2022, Comment off
How to write articles for magazines
Magazines have long been a popular source of information and entertainment, and with the advent of digital media, they are more widely available than ever before. Whatever type of interest you have, there will surely be a magazine for you. And for aspiring freelance writers, magazines are a great place to test the water, explore topics you enjoy, or earn money from writing.
With that idea firmly planted in your mind, let’s explore how you can get published in a magazine. We’ll also provide a list of some of the magazines known for paying their writers well.
What to consider when writing magazine articles
There are a few things to remember when writing digital and print magazine articles. First and foremost, you need to know the magazine’s audience. What type of people will be reading the magazine? What are their interests? This will help you target your article and ensure it is interesting and relevant to the magazine’s readership.
Next, you need to consider the format of the magazine. We’re going to assume that most of our readers are interested in being published online as a side hustle to their main income. Most digital magazines are read directly on the magazine’s website rather than downloaded as a pdf or similar, and articles will generally be shorter than those in print magazines. Keep this in mind when planning your article; you don’t want to overwhelm readers with too much information.
The style of writing you submit should match the magazine’s theme and the piece’s intent. You likely won’t be doing copywriting, but there may be an element of content marketing. Or maybe you’re simply doing a how-to guide or a fun story to entertain. Whatever the purpose, ensure your writing style matches the magazine’s overall style.
Finally, make sure your magazine articles are well-written and edited. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember that magazines receive hundreds, if not thousands, of submissions each month. To increase your chances of being published, your article must be well-researched, targeted to the magazine’s audience, and free of errors. Once you’ve finished your copy, go through it with a fine-toothed comb and make sure it is flawless before submitting. If in doubt, find yourself a copyeditor and a proofreader.
Now that you know what to keep in mind when writing for magazines, let’s explore the process of getting published.
How you can begin writing for magazines
The first step to learning to write articles for magazines is finding the right magazine. As we mentioned before, there are magazines for every interest imaginable. Do a quick search online or browse your local bookstore to get an idea of which ones appeal to you. Look for topics that you have in-depth knowledge about or can easily research. Once you’ve found a few, take some time to read them. This will give you a feel for their preferred writing style, the type of articles they publish, and what their readers are interested in.
Now that you understand the magazine’s target audience and style well, it’s time to start planning your article. Begin by brainstorming a list of ideas that would be interesting to the magazine’s readers. Once you have a few potential topics, do some research to see if there are already similar articles out there. If so, you’ll need to develop a unique angle or approach to make your article stand out.
Once you have some solid article ideas, it’s time to start writing. Begin by drafting a rough outline of your article. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your article flows well. Then, flesh out each section with detailed information and examples. Keep the magazine’s target audience and style in mind as you write.
Once you have a complete draft, it’s time to edit. Start by reading your article aloud; this will help you catch errors you may have missed while reading silently. Next, have someone else read it over to get an objective opinion. Finally, run a spell check and grammar check to catch any remaining errors.
Now that your article is polished and ready to go, it’s time to submit it to the magazine. Most magazines will have submission guidelines on their website, so be sure to read these carefully before sending in your article. In general, you’ll need to include a query/cover letter that details your article.
What is a query letter?
If you’re hoping for a long career in writing for national magazines, whether it’s trade magazines, special interest consumer magazines (such as Digital Camera World or OM Yoga Magazine), or an online magazine, then writing a query letter is something that you’ll need to become very familiar with. A query letter is the first step in getting your article published. It introduces yourself and your article idea to editors and gives them an overview of why it’s worth their time to read and consider for publication.
Here are the key points to understand about the query letter – which is essentially a cover letter:
- Make sure you send your magazine article to the correct contact. If you mail it to a general address, you’re unlikely to see any of your articles published, as the right person may not receive them, and if they do, they can see you didn’t put in the legwork to find out the right person. If you cannot find the contact information online, call and speak to reception and ask for the details of the appropriate person.
- Personalise your letter. Don’t open with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whom it may concern.” While the rest of your letter might be copied and pasted into many different submissions, you’ve already gone to the effort of finding out who it is that you want to read your query letter, so address it directly to them.
- Craft a compelling pitch. Tell them why your article is a good fit for their magazine and why readers would be interested in it. Show them that you understand the needs of the magazine and its readers. Provide information about yourself. Editors need to know who you are, what qualifications or expertise you have on the topic, and if you’ve had any other articles published.
- Sell yourself. You’re an asset – explain this to them, and make them want you. Ensure you include a short synopsis of the article, details about the angle or approach you are taking, targeted word counts, and any other relevant information. Submitting your articles to digital magazines is much quicker than printed ones, as you can usually submit them online. Be sure to follow the magazine’s submission guidelines closely for the best chance
Writing articles for digital and print magazines is a challenging task. However, developing your research, writing, and editing skills will increase your chances of getting published. Take the time to read through the magazine’s submission guidelines and craft a compelling query letter that captures the editor’s attention.
The great thing about writing magazine articles is that they fit around your other freelance writing jobs but use the same writing skills and tools that you’ve already invested in. Once you’ve finished your article, don’t forget to read and edit it once more before finalizing your submission. Good luck!
How much can freelance writers earn per magazine article?
That depends on a few factors, such as the length and complexity of the article and publication. Generally, you can earn between $/£/50-$200 per article for digital magazines or up to $1,000+ for print publications, although this is rare. You are more likely to be able to earn a living writing informative articles than for any form of fictional short stories, sadly, but there are always exceptions to the rule if your story ideas are good enough and you persist with the relatively small market that pays for fiction.
What are some digital magazine submission guidelines?
Digital magazines typically have their own set of guidelines for submitting articles. These may include the word count, formatting, language (AP or Chicago style), digital file type and size, etc. Make sure you read through these guidelines carefully before submitting your article.
Can I submit my article to multiple trade magazines?
Yes, you can submit your article to multiple magazines. However, make sure you read the magazine’s submission guidelines carefully, as some publications may require exclusive rights for each article. If this is the case, you can still submit to several magazines but would need to contact anyone else who says yes to withdraw the article to comply with the first magazine’s guidelines. You may also need to revise the article slightly for each publication.