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Turning Your Expertise and Creativity into Cash
Week – 2
In session 1, you started to discover how to overcome the challenges that you are facing as a new magazine writer – such as when editors want to see more clips than you can provide, or they want to see the names of quality experts in your queries and you just can’t secure the ones you want without a contract. As an action item, you came up with a list of areas of personal expertise, as well as a second list, this one containing the types of expertise that your friends and family members have.
Session 2 will help you to come up with one more list – that of magazines that can use the expertise you have, or have ready access to.
Find the magazines that want and need the expertise-rich articles that you can provide
In other words, it’s time to look for magazines that publish the types of material that can make the best use of the expert resources that you have at your fingertips. To find these magazines, you can:
- Browse bookstores; which magazines appeal to you? Check online to see if these magazines accept freelance submissions and what their requirements are.
- Look in libraries; which magazines grab your attention? Again, check online to get more info about their freelance writing policies.
If you can’t find information about freelance writer’s guidelines on a magazine’s website, it’s possible that this publication is entirely staff written. But, it can’t hurt to email the magazine to ask for guidelines if a publication has really captured your attention.
Another strategy is to buy (or borrow from a library) the most recent volumes of directories that contain large numbers of writer’s guidelines. More specifically, you can:
- Either buy or borrow from the library the most recent version of Writer’s Market in print; or subscribe to their online database; or obtain Writer’s Market, Deluxe Edition, which will provide you with the printed directory and give you online access.
- Another option is to obtain The Best of the Magazine Markets for Writers, which offers information that is similar to what you can get in the printed directory of Writer’s Market.
- For Christian markets, consider The Christian Writer’s Market Guide.
There are also lists found online that are useful, including:
- The Wooden Horse Magazine News
- Jenna Glatzer’s regional parenting magazine list
- WebWire’s trade publication list (contains names of publications only; you will need to select the ones that look intriguing and search for writer’s guidelines online)
- FreelanceWriting.com’s children’s magazine list
And, this is just the tip of the iceberg of online resources that are available to help you find markets for your writing. Once you begin exploring, one link often leads to another link, broadening your knowledge about what publications (print or online) are looking for the type of material that you can write.
As you review these resources, keep in mind this goal: you need to find the magazines that could be a good fit with the expertise that you have or your friends/family members have.
Let’s say, as just one example, that your aunt is an astronomer. Which children’s magazines would be a good fit for an article about the stars? Which parenting / homeschooling magazines would want tips on fun ways to incorporate astronomy into science lessons? What women’s magazines would want to feature a woman with your aunt’s life experiences?
And, maybe your cousin runs marathons. What tips could you glean from his training routines to publish in fitness publications? How far has he traveled to compete? Would any travel magazines be interested in information about one or more of those locales? Does he have any recipes for smoothies that a food magazine or women’s magazine might want to have? What makes that smoothie especially healthy and delicious?
Brainstorm freely during this exercise. It’s better to have too long of a list than one that is too short. You can prioritize the ideas later on. For now, generate them!
Action item: Write down the names of the magazines that interest you and match them up with the expert resources that you have available. You might find yourself pairing up the same expert with multiple magazines. For now, don’t worry about that. Just create as many great pairings as you can. Right now, there are no wrong answers. When you are finished, move on to week 3 of Turning Your Creativity into Cash.