5 Things You Need to Know About Writing for Magazines
These tips on how to write for magazines are from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles. These tidbits jumped out at me as some of the most important things freelance writers need to know about writing for magazines.
Sheree Bykofsky and Jennifer Basye Sander’s Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Magazine Articlesis a valuable book on getting articles published and writing for magazines. When was the last time you read a book on writing for magazines? The internet is a good place for soundbites of information (tips), but a book about getting published contains all the information freelance writers need to know in one place. Plus, a print book won’t distract you from your main task: learning what you need to know about writing for magazines.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, employment of writers and editors is expected to rise 8 percent from now until 2018. Thanks to the Internet and its millions of writing outlets, demand for freelance writers is higher than ever! That’s good news, fellow scribes.
The following tips for writing for magazines and online e-zines will help you move forward in your writing career. I’ve been freelancing for six years, and these are the tips that really resonated with me…
The Complete Idiot’s Tips on Writing for Magazines
Write now, not later. Play later. Write now. When you get an assignment, don’t procrastinate. Make sure you understand the assignment sheet, ask any questions you need to ask, and start writing. The reason I think this is one of the best tips for becoming a freelance writer and getting repeat work is because I tend to sit on my assignments for a week or two. Then I start researching, and then I write. This is not a good technique for writing, fellow scribes. It’s bad business practice because it potentially puts unnecessary and unprofessional pressure on sources or experts to hurry up and do an interview, and it doesn’t allow room for error or unforeseen circumstances.
Read the “letter from the editor” in past issues. The more you know about the magazine editor – her personality, lifestyle, family, location, quirks, likes, dislikes – the easier it might be to find the perfect article idea for the magazine. If you’re interested in writing for magazines, you need to fit the magazine. Don’t expect the magazine to fit you.
Learn how to research efficiently and effectively. Whether you want to write articles for traditional print magazines or online news websites, you need to have the best information sources. In online writing especially, there is little room for anything but the most important, factually correct information. When you’re learning how to get articles published, make sure you learn how to research your topic. Writing for print magazines is a bit different – you don’t need to work as fast as for online e-zines, but it’s a good skill to learn.
If you already know how to get articles published, read 11 Types of Magazine Articles to Write for Magazines.
Never stop learning how to get articles published. If this tip was in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles, I missed it. This tip for writing for magazines is one of the best pieces of advice I could ever give you: never stop reading books about freelance writing. For instance, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles has a whole page on the importance of using transitions to guide your reader from idea to idea. I’m an experienced writer, but even so I need to continually improve my skills. How? By reading books about writing, which I do all the time.
Fellow scribes, I welcome your thoughts on these tips on how to get articles published. To learn more about writing fro magazines, read How to Pitch a Query Letter to Magazine Editors.