This week, our theme is writing for magazines. In our first article, we discussed the changing world of magazines.
The entire publishing industry – books, magazines and newspapers – has been undergoing huge changes for many years. Magazines are making the challenging transition from paper to digital publication. New magazines are being created solely for digital publication – sometimes just for tablet computers.
This means that magazine writing is changing too, and this change has been happening for a decade. These days, when we say that a writer is “writing for magazines”, that magazine may well be an online publication… AND that “magazine” may have been created solely as an online publication.
Today, let’s look at where you get hot-selling article ideas. (This is your complete magazine writing resource.)
“Hot-selling ideas” means “clickable” ideas
Even those magazines which are print-only, are influenced by the “click-worthy” presentation of these sites.
When you’re hunting for ideas which YOU can write, keep these kinds of sites in mind. Look at the topics they cover, and how they angle their stories. Online and offline, the competition for attention is fierce. When you go looking for ideas, look for ideas which are startling, or which you can angle so that they’re clickable.
Where do you find click-worthy ideas?
The short answer is anywhere. Spin your idea radar, so that it’s functioning wherever you are. You’re just as likely to find a clickable idea in the coffee shop, at a party, or in a gossip session, as you are online, or in the library.
A little digression. We’re looking for ideas, rather than magazines which pay you today, because the idea always comes first. You can spin an idea to suit many different publications, as long as you have an idea which enthuses you enough so that you know that you can write it.
With that in mind, here are some sites which are happy hunting grounds for ideas.
Reddit calls itself the front page of the Internet, and it may well be right about that. Many journalists browse reddit for ideas, and you can too. It contains the weird and the wonderful, and some of it is useful.
Quora is a Q and A site. Like reddit, it contains the weird and the wonderful. You’ll find ideas here for any kind of publication.
PostSecret can tell you a lot about human nature. It helps you to recalibrate the empathy setting on your idea radar. It’s not only a source of ideas for nonfiction, it will also help you to write short stories, if you’re creating Kindle fiction.
- Google News
I’m mentioning Google News, because Google lets you set up Alerts for news in your areas of interest. Currently, I have alerts set up for Apple, the Kindle, ebooks, and many more. You can set up alerts for people, companies, and topics.
What turns you on?
Your ideas should turn you on. Over the years, in my role as a copywriter and ghostwriter, I’ve written a lot of material which I didn’t particularly want to write. Money talks. 🙂
You may find yourself doing this too, of course. However, when you’re writing for publications, you get to choose what you write. An editor may call you, and eventually you may become a regular contributor to a couple of publications. When that happens, you’ll be asked to write about something specific.
For now however, consider that you can write about anything as long as it’s click-worthy, and get paid.
Speaking about turn ons… they’re no longer just for the adult industry
Fifty Shades of Grey did more than trigger Amazon’s new Kindle Worlds fan fiction imprint. It’s made adult topics and erotica more acceptable to general-interest publications. Check out the lifestyle mags in Magazines.com.
There’s the huge adult industry too. If you’re happy writing about vanilla sex topics, or about kink and raunch, do some searches, and you’ll find publications there which pay well.
Watch for further articles on our writing for magazines theme this week. Writing for magazines is a HUGE area, because you’ll find magazines where you least expect them.
A tip: when you’re shopping on the Web, check out the companies from which you’re buying goodies to see whether they have a custom publication. Many do, and they hire writers. Content sells – everywhere – and you can make money writing it.
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