Writing an article is a simple process. However, before you write the complete, polished article, it’s important to sell it.
No, you don’t get to sell the article on promises alone. That is, you can’t approach a publication like a newspaper, magazine or Web site without having done some work on the article idea first. When you become known at a publication, and become one of their stable of writers, you can get away with a very short query, often only a sentence or two, but until then, you need to do some work first.
Here’s the process.
1. You get an idea for an article you’d like to write;
2. You find a market for the idea. If you don’t have a specific market in mind, explore Writer’s Market;
3. Outline your article, and do a couple of free writing sessions. These sessions are always productive – you may find that instead of one article, you’ve got ideas for two or more;
4. Write the query letter and send it. Many publications take email queries, others prefer snail mail;
5. When you get a positive response, negotiate the contract. At this stage, the publication wants the article, so don’t be afraid to ask for more money than they offer initially. The initial offer, no matter what they say, is only an opening bid. Nail down the rights the publication is buying;
6. Write the article;
7. Cash the check.
[tags]freelance writing, writing articles, how to write an article, query letters[/tags]