Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t posted much over the past several weeks. In part, this is because I have been busy with my “day job,” which includes a mixture of freelance writing, editing, and Arabic to English translation. I am also working on a bunch of side-projects that I am having fun with, including doing the research needed to compile my Markets for Writers series.
Most recently, I released 50 Markets that Pay Freelance Writers 35 to 50 Cents per Word and am now working on another guide that will list 50 markets that pay freelance writers more than 50 cents per word, including 20 that pay up to $1 per word and more.
I have to say that I am incredibly excited about these last two guides in particular as I have been so busy with my existing clients for the last couple of years that it has been a while since I felt inspired to query a new market. Sorting through the high-paying markets that fill these last two guides, I have identified several within my comfort-zone that I could potentially pitch. One magazine in particular pays 75 cents per word and covers a niche that I am very familiar with. I had no idea such a magazine existed and am really psyched about the possibility of writing for this publication.
As usual, I see good opportunities for profile pieces in many of the magazines and have also found it motivating to read some of the publications themselves. An article on a luxurious top-floor San Francisco hotel suite that recently appeared in an in-flight magazine that typically pays $1 per word, for example, really made an impression on me. I used to live in San Francisco and could have perhaps written an article like this – if only I had thought about it!
This makes me wonder how many ideas we miss on a daily basis.
Writers who succeed do not just have ideas. They take practical steps to make these ideas attractive to editors and then do the work needed in order to write stellar articles.
The article I am referring to included quotes from the hotel manager and also required the writer to do some research on the history of the suite. Numerous details on various aspects of the room were provided, and a series of professional photographs complemented the text nicely. All this combined with good writing are what made this an article worthy of $1 per word.
As you can see, analyzing the articles published in a particular magazine can help you understand what is expected of that publication’s writers. It can also really help you decide the direction you want your own ideas to take. The article on the hotel suite may have looked effortless to a casual reader (as it should), but it is clear to me as both a freelance writer and the former managing editor of a magazine that quite a bit of work was involved.
As I work to pitch the magazine I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I will be spending some time reading the archives to make sure I understand the tone. I will also be noting how many experts are typically quoted in an article, whether the articles are tied to current events, what sources are used for statistics, and other nuggets that will hopefully give me an edge. In addition, I’ll follow the guidelines to a T, briefly mention my personal interest in the topic, and provide clips in a slightly different, but related, niche. In other words, I won’t go into the whole thing blindly like I did the first time I pitched a magazine.
Have you pitched any magazines lately?
Tell us about your approach by leaving a comment.