Write for Magazines and Get Paid Too!

nat geo travel_istock

La Jolla, California, USA – September 16, 2011: National Geographic magazines taken in a studio. Source: pixabay.com/istock

be a bigger needle

It’s a subject I’ve come back around to several times over the past few years. These days, competition for publishing articles in the digital world is both astounding and depressing; a writer trying to get his/her articles published online is like the proverbial needle in the haystack. Only the haystack is now steroid-sized and the needle ever more microscopic. You need to be the bigger needle.

not all the same

Magazine readers (like me) are an entirely different audience than people surfing the web. Sure, there’s an occasional overlap, but not much. To me, printed publication readers are more patient, more likely to read as a relaxing pastime, and probably more educated or white collar. If we writers don’t find a way to get our articles into printed publications, that’s a whole different audience whose readership we’re losing.

There continue to be many faithful magazine readers, just as there are faithful readers of the physical book (I’m one of those on both counts). While the online life is definitely for the younger generations, many older folks have smartly adapted, even succeeded, online. 

Think about it: your articles in those printed publications will increase traffic to your blog, increase your number of followers, even help you build a fan base or at the very least better connect with other writers. It’s a win-win situation. Do you keep an updated bio on hand? I do, and I tweak it from time to time as my experiences increase. This is an amazing opportunity for magazine readers to find out more about YOU.  

you gotta start somewhere…

Gigs can pay as low as $.10 a word up to $2.50 a word, depending on the magazine and/or your storytelling skills. These gigs can also help you get other writing gigs, as editors routinely communicate, maybe even socialize, with each other. Wouldn’t you love to be the topic of discussion at one of their business meetings or social gatherings? I certainly would.

Use previous blog posts as a basis for a magazine article; use that magazine article as a basis for a future blog post. In a previous post, I wrote about turning your blogs into a book (and vice versa). Once you pick up steam, there’s no stopping. It’s also a path to book deals, partnerships, maybe even speaking engagements.

other options

Trade magazines don’t pay much (if at all) but it’s good exposure if you have knowledge to share in one of these publications. Then there are custom publications like Costco or Sam’s Club, maybe a local bank or insurance agency. Get creative (after all, you’re writers, for heaven’s sake) and make a list of magazines/publications that interest you. Check out their query criteria, then go for it. Nothing lost, only gained – regular gigs, quitting the day J-O-B, earning a living while freeing up your schedule, increased traffic to your blog, etcetera, etcetera.

What are you waiting for?

#thewritinglife #author #nationalgeographictraveler #blogging #selfpublishing #writeformagazines #costco

Freelancing Part 3: Would This Work For You?

20 ways to freelance-elna cain

Source: elnacain.com

Here are the final 3 lessons on finding freelance work, especially if you’re a beginner. I was skeptical to begin with (I tend toward cynicism naturally) and wasn’t all that impressed with what she offered. Not that she doesn’t offer quality information or lessons. It’s just that I can find what she’s offering all over the Internet so her services/products aren’t unique. Honestly, once I finished perusing her 6-day lesson, I got the impression that she moved quickly from freelance writing to selling her ‘secret to success.’

Lesson 4It’s all about you.

Again, Elna touches on something that many bloggers and writers before her have discussed – the lack of confidence in your ability to earn money by writing for other people. The DOUBT and FEAR that people have about getting themselves out there, that they don’t really have something to offer. Heard it before but I agree it’s an important aspect to face and move beyond in order to succeed.

Lesson 5Time to source freelance jobs and apply for them.

Assuming you’ve worked out the doubts and fears, she emphasizes the best way (actually, I think it’s the only way, in the beginning) is to start applying for freelance gigs on various sites. A no-brainer; how else might you find work? Once again, she inserts her call to action in the middle of the narrative (the hook). Good advice re free job boards and she lists some sites to visit. Then she offers another 53 sites by clicking on a link to a page on her website that is chock full of information. Overall, some useful information for beginners here.

Lesson 6Step up to pitch.

In this final free lesson, she details successful pitching habits, including her “proven five-step pitching formula”:

  1. Pitch often – make a goal to send 10 pitches a week, or if you’re super competitive, try sending 10 pitches every day before 10 a.m.
  2. Cast a wide net – pitch to any job ad that you’re somewhat qualified for. In the beginning, you’ll have more success if you’re not too picky.
  3. Pitch in the morning or on the day the ad is published. Heard the saying, the early bird catches the worm? Well, the early freelance writer catches all the gigs.
  4. Do some research about the company or startup. Many job ads tell you the name of the company so run a Google search to check them out. This can prove to be helpful when pitching.
  5. Include a name in your pitch – make it more personable by finding out the name associated with the job ad. This can be tricky but looking at their company website is a start.

She closes with some good advice on how to write that pitch letter.

All in all, the information in the last three segments is useful, including the 53 sites for finding freelance work. I like the details on building a pitch letter. And, of course, she closes with another call to action to sign up for her class and ends with an offer for a “special exclusive lesson + gift for you!

Take away the sales pitches and you’ll find a few good pointers.

Will I sign up for her class?

No.

Will I continue to subscribe to her website?

No.

Does she offer anything NEW that isn’t already out there on the web?

No.

That’s my pitch to you. Take from it what you will.