Popular publications come in all shapes and sizes, and writing for them can open up a whole new audience for your work. Whether you’re trying to land a piece in a large magazine or a tiny mimeographed newsletter, you need certain skills to get noticed and get the job done right. Here’s what you need to know when writing for publications.
Understanding the Publication
Before you decide to seek out an editorial opportunity, you should research the publication’s content and audience. This can have a direct impact on the type of article you propose, as well as the structure, tone, and language you use in your submission. Consider the following questions to help you better understand the publication before you submit your proposal.
What topics does the publication usually feature?
Who are the publication’s typical readers?
Does the publication target a specific audience demographic?
What kind of editorial approach does the publication typically take?
Researching your Topic
Your ability to research a given topic can be a key factor in whether or not you land a writing assignment. If you don’t have enough knowledge of a given subject to write an informed article, you should investigate information sources and experts who can provide you with accurate and reliable facts, opinions, and anecdotes you can weave into your story.
Identifying potential sources
Generating Unique Ideas
Having a novel idea that captures readers’ attention and provides enough information to fill a magazine or a newsletter article is mandatory for successful publication writing. To come up with fresh ideas, try mixing existing concepts and ideas in new and interesting ways, or think of ways to tie your story to current events and popular trends.
Generating creative content
Conducting personal interviews and surveys
Using an intuitive approach
Writing a Proposal
A thorough proposal can help you land an assignment, and it should include an overview of the article you plan to write, as well as an explanation of the research methods you’ll use and the story’s general timeline. You should also provide a sample of your writing so the publication can make an informed decision about whether you’re a good fit for their particular project.
Outlining your idea
Including research methods
Including a timeline
Providing sample writing
Drafting the Article
Once you’ve received a green light to begin a writing assignment, you should carefully structure your article so readers can easily digest the content. Gather all the facts and relevant information, ensure accuracy and objectivity, and incorporate strong and clear language with a quality writing style.
Creating a logical structure
Employing good grammar
Supporting claims with facts
Using industry-leading style
Editing and Revising
Revision and editing of your piece is an essential final step in the writing process before you submit your article. Whether you edit and revise yourself or use outside sources and proofreaders, it’s important to make sure your story reads correctly and makes a lasting impression on readers.
Checking facts and accuracy
Refining sentences and usage
Weighting and evaluating points
Submitting the Article
When you’ve edited and revised your story and you’re ready to submit it, you should make sure it meets the publication’s submission requirements in terms of form, length, and formatting. You should also follow all the publication’s instructions for submitting articles and include relevant background information about yourself as the writer.
Including personal info
Writing for a publication requires more than just a great idea and good writing. You also have to research your topic, understand the publication you’re writing for, and submit a professional and effective proposal. Then, you need to create a well-structured, high-quality article to submit for review. Finally, you must follow the submission instructions carefully and make sure you have something that stands out from the stack of other articles the publication receives. With this comprehensive guide to follow, you’re sure to write a great piece that will get noticed and land you the job.