How to Write for Print Magazines: 10 Tips

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By James Adams

Recent figures show that readers of all ages are looking to written print more than they are the internet.

Even with all the advances in technology and information available via the web, ninety percent of Americans claim to still read magazines.


While we freelance writers may earn a living from writing online articles, authors who have their materials printed may receive up to 100 % more pay.

Are you interested in seeing your writing in print while also earning a bigger paycheck? Below I’ve listed what I consider the top ten tips to help you start writing for print.

  1. Use Your Experience. While you may feel like your experience in internet writing puts you at a disadvantage, it may be just what a magazine is looking for. Many publications are currently trying to merge with the internet and need writers who are experienced in doing both. While another online writing job may not sound great, it will give you a chance to display your talents and possibly land you a chance to write for print.
  2. Don’t be Afraid to Start Small. If you hope to submit your first written article to the Washington Post, your expectations may be a little high. Don’t be afraid to start small and work your way up in the publishing industry. For instance, a small job at your town’s weekly newspaper might lead to full-time employment as a writer for “Family Circle.” Whoever you write for, always write at your best. You never know who might be reading your articles.
  3. Be Open-minded. Watch the world around you for writing inspiration. If you’re writing for a local newspaper, keep up with events that are going on in the community; if you need an article about healthy living, listen to your friend when she tells you about the new diet that she is on. By observing the world and people around you, you will never run out of things to write about.
  4. Write About What You Know. This one is fairly simple. If you’re a businessman, don’t write about raising chickens. Before you write anything, research, research, and research more. If the subject isn’t interesting enough to read up about, it’s obviously something you shouldn’t try writing about.
  5. Know Your Target Audience. Let’s face it. If you’re writing for “Countryside,” they don’t care about the latest style of bikini. If you’re writing for “Seventeen,” they probably don’t want to hear about Betty White. Look over publications before you try to submit an article to them. Get a good idea of what they publish and see if you can crank out a top-notch masterpiece that will fit right in.
  6. Be on the Look-out for Contests. Okay, we know they rarely pay much, but contests are a great way to show-off your writing ability. Many magazines have yearly story contests that reward the winners with a small sum and, best yet, publication. Even if a contest doesn’t get you the job of your dreams, they still provide a wonderful opportunity to try your hand at writing.
  7. Be Wordy, but Not Too Wordy! We often find ourselves working to meet the minimum word count when writing an article. Although this may be necessary at times, don’t add words excessively. Adjectives that do not tell the reader something new shouldn’t be used. Make your articles interesting and educational, but don’t throw in sentences just to bump up your word count.
  8. Don’t Let Lack of Experience Hold You Back. If you’ve never written for print before, don’t worry about it. Every writer has been in the same place at one point of their lives. The only way you can gain experience is by doing. A killer article is still a killer article, even if it was written by a sixteen-year old high school drop-out.
  9. Be Prepared for Criticism. We face criticism constantly, in every area of our lives, and the literary world is no exception. Don’t let critiquing editors get you down. Instead, let the requests for rewrites and rejections help you become a better writer.
  10. If at Once You Don’t Succeed… Try Again. Don’t be discouraged by failure. If writing is really your passion, you will succeed eventually. Do whatever it takes to achieve your goal of being a published writer. If your articles are weak, take a class in creative writing. If you have trouble grasping grammar or punctuation, take an online course. If you do whatever it takes to become good writer, you will become a success.

Have you written for print? What tips would you add?

Today’s guest post was written by James Adams, a UK-based writer and analyst who comprehensively reviews the best ink cartridges. If you are interested in reading more of his writing, visit their website.

Comments

  1. says

    This is really encouraging! Thanks for this article, James and Laura (for hosting)! I wholeheartedly agree about starting small and not letting lack of experience hold you back. I was able to get published in a free but widely-read local parenting magazine even though I had no writing experience and the opportunities only grew from there! =)

    If you are able to snag an opportunity, I would also add that it’s helpful to continue the relationship with the magazine editor(s). It could lead to contacts, more exposure and other writing jobs!

  2. says

    Hi Samantha!

    Congratulations on getting published in a parenting magazine. That’s certainly a start.

    Carol–Good addition, and it really applies to anywhere you want to write. It’s important to do your homework.

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