How to Get Your Magazine Article Published in a Niche Market


These five things you need to know about getting your magazine article published will help you break into the niche market of your dreams. I’m featuring an awesome new book on how to get published – it’s called Selling Your Writing to the Boating Magazines and Other Niche Mags by Michael Robertson.

niche market how to get published

How to Get Your Magazine Article Published in a Niche Market

First, know this: “People are starving for expertise in media world, so it doesn’t talk long to establish yourself as an expert,” says Vancouver journalist Frances Bula in Niche Writers – 5 Reasons to Specialize as a Freelancer. She is a journalist who specializes in urban issues and city politics. “In less than two years, I was called as an expert by radio and TV shows.”

Bula adds that the media is a place where you can create yourself. “It’s a great industry to work in,” she says, “because your brand or niche is up to you.” She should know; she’s worked in newspaper and online journalism in Vancouver, BC, for more than 25 years. Bula encourages aspiring journalists and people who want to collaborate to get in touch with her via her website.

What type of niche market are you drawn towards? The possibilities are endless – but the more specific your speciality, the higher your chances of success. My tips on how to get your magazine article published in a niche market are focused on two niche markets: boating and…wait for it, you’ll never guess…nursing.

Nursing? Yes, you read it right. Nursing is a fantastic niche market with far-reaching possibilities for getting published. Plus the examples are perfect for my purpose.

I’m not a niche writer (unless you count blogging as a niche! Which I suppose it is). I’m no longer a freelance writer. All I want to do is one thing: write a blog post a day for my Blossom series. I love writing about writing – and help aspiring writers learn how to get published.

selling your writing niche marketThe other day I received a book called Selling Your Writing to the Boating Magazines and Other Niche Mags by Michael Robertson. A treasure chest of helpful tips and strategies on how to write for a niche market, and a perfect blogging opportunity.

“Because I am a boater, my experiences are based on selling my writing to the boating magazines,” writes Robertson in Selling Your Writing. “In this book, through example and anecdote, I focus on that market. However, all the lessons I share here apply to selling words and pictures to any niche market magazine.”

Robertson’s book is an excellent addition to any freelance writing bookshelf. It’s full of practical tips and strategies for getting published in niche markets, and it’s written by a man who lives in his niche. Literally.

How to Get Your Magazine Article Published in a Niche Market



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Your first step is to become familiar with the different types of articles to write for magazines.

If you always keep those types of magazine articles in mind, you’ll learn how to quickly determine if your idea is a front-of-the-book research short or a full-length feature article. Most niche markets publish a wide array of magazine articles – and you’ll make the editor’s job easier if you pitch a specific type of article. You’ll be the editor’s star freelance writer if you are flexible and open to changing tracks if need be.

5 Things You Need to Know About Getting Published:

  1. Know the barriers to writing for niche markets
  2. Adopt a “writer’s mindset”
  3. Learn the difference between “subject” and “story idea”
  4. Know the news cycle of your niche market
  5. Study, study, study the authors’ guidelines

These tips on how to get your magazine article published in a niche market are for ALL types of writers – not just boaters or nurses.

1. Know the barriers to writing for niche markets

The biggest obstacle to getting your magazine article published in a niche market is you. It’s not the competition from other freelance writers, the financial constraints of the magazine’s budget, or the lack of story ideas.

The good news is that you are your own worst enemy. Your lack of confidence, your fear of rejection, your lack of discipline, and your laziness are the only things holding you back from learning how to get your magazine article published in a niche market.

Why is this good news? Because you are the only thing you can change! You are the biggest obstacle to getting your article published in a niche market…which means that you are your own biggest chance of success. You hold the key to publication in your sweaty little hand.

What is this key to success of which I speak? Knowledge. The more you learn about niche markets and getting published, the closer you are to reading your own articles in print or online magazines.

Questions to ask about your niche market:

  • What is your specific focus?
  • What is your unique selling proposition? What makes you different?
  • Who are you writing for?
  • What are the audience’s interests, fears, hopes, obstacles?
  • Why do they want to read your article? What’s in it for them?
  • Where do they live and work – and does this matter?
  • What sort of publications, apps, podcasts, shows, etc do they consume?

Answering those questions – or at least letting your brain trouble them – will help break down the barriers to writing for niche markets.

2. Adopt a “writer’s mindset”

In Selling Your Writing, Robertson describes a conversation he had over dinner with friends who were avid boaters. Their boat had gone ashore during a strong Pacific Northwest storm; it was a big exciting scary adventure that they wrote about on their family blog.

“Six months after that, their story was published in a national sailing magazine – written by a savvier, more prolific writing friend who had seen the blog post and contacted the family for an interview,” writes Robertson. “How had I completely missed the boat? The story was mine for the writing.”

He says he wasn’t in the writer’s mindset. “I was not yet thinking about the things I was hearing and experiencing in the context of a story I could potentially write and sell,” writes Robertson. “That’s key. Pick up a magazine in your market niche and look at all of the stories inside. How many of them are already familiar to you? How many of those stories are you as qualified to have written as the writer whose name is there on the page in black and white?”

In his book, Robertson shares several excellent ways to come up with specific story ideas that will help you write articles and get published.

3. Learn the difference between “subject” and “story idea”

In 10 Tips for Writing Good Magazine Articles, I describe the difference between a subject or topic and a story idea.

Look at Robertson’s example above. Boating is a subject. Surviving a storm in the Pacific Northwest with a couple of kids and a dog is a story idea. In nursing, cancer is a subject. Being an oncology nurse who receives a diagnosis of cancer is a story (and potentially a happy one, depending on the outcome!).

The main difference between subject and story idea is how specific and focused a story is. Subjects are general and vast; story ideas answer the who, what, when, why, where, and how questions that niche market writers need to explore.

4. Know the news cycle of your niche market

One of the biggest tips on how to get your magazine article published in a niche market is to plan at least six months in advance. Another key to success is knowing what the news cycle is. The old tired (tried and true) news cycle is losing weight in the new year, getting a bikini body in the spring, and going back to school in September.

What is the news cycle of your niche market? If you’re a boater, for example, what are the most common types of articles in yachting and sailing magazines in the winter months? If it’s currently spring, start thinking about winter and Christmas articles. If you’re a nurse, perhaps there are more heart attacks in the winter because of the snowfall. Can you twist this general idea up into a helpful, interesting story idea?

5. Study, study, study the authors’ guidelines

I have this awesome massive 20 pound book called The American Directory of Writer’s Guidelines, in which “more than 1,700 magazine editors and book publishers explain what they are looking for from freelancers.”

It’s a compendium of a million different niche markets, from Absolute Write to The Writer Gazette. Each listing contains their specific authors’ guidelines; this is a gold mine to getting your magazine article published.

For example, here is Sea Kayaker’s “Top 10 Tips for Writers of Feature Articles”:

how to get published niche market

  1. Appeal to the senses
  2. Avoid unnecessary language
  3. Write economically and selectively
  4. Develop a theme
  5. Cover the important stuff
  6. Keep to the point
  7. Maintain flow
  8. Use the appropriate tense
  9. Create an interesting chronology
  10. Be clear

The editor describes each tip in detail, to help freelance writers succeed. Guess what? Editors and publishers WANT you to write well and get your magazine article published! They WANT to discover new freelance writers who are familiar with the niche market.

Why do you need to study the authors’ guidelines of the magazine you’re aiming for. Because you’re in the business of freelance writing.

“As in any business, you need to know the market to which you are selling,” writes Robertson in Selling Your Writing. “Reading, even studying, the magazines to which you hope to sell is how you get to know the niche market. And knowing the market will serve to inspire story ideas.”

Regardless of which niche market you’re aiming to get published in, read Selling Your Writing. It’s a good investment – it will give you the practical tips and encouragement you need to keep learning how to get your magazine article published in the niche market of your choice.

Here’s a brief recap of what we covered in this post:

  1. Know the barriers to writing for niche markets
  2. Adopt a “writer’s mindset”
  3. Learn the difference between “subject” and “story idea”
  4. Know the news cycle of your niche market
  5. Study, study, study the authors’ guidelines

And here’s one last takeaway to leave you with:

“I am convinced everyone has a publishable story to write,” says Robertson. “There is work and dedication involved, but the path to publication is straightforward. Your success will not hinge on how many editors are your Facebook friends, or even how talented a writer you are. Your success will depend only on how much you want it.”

xo






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One thought on “How to Get Your Magazine Article Published in a Niche Market

  • Erling Vamstad

    Thank you. I’ve been looking into doing some freelance writing when I’ve finished school. Currently studying web design and made a few sites for people so I feel I have a good grasp of the making of a site, would love to be better at the content though and get people more involved.