This week’s theme was magazine writing. There are vast goldmines of publications which most writers will never find: custom publications. We’ll look at how you can discovered them.
Previously, we’ve discussed:
If you haven’t read that article, please read it now. It’s vital that you realize that you don’t sell articles, you sell PITCHES. (There’s a link to the two articles on pitching from last week.) You also received a simple process for writing for publications.
You learned how to find “click-worthy” ideas. As we said in that article, the ideas come first. You can spin ideas for many different publications from a single idea.
Today, let’s look at how you find markets for your ideas.
Tip: be aware that there are many different kinds of magazines, far beyond the magazine you recognize at the bookstore. Not only are there endless trade magazines, but there are also hundreds of thousands of custom publications, created by companies.
How to find markets for your article pitches.
The simplest way is to locate databases of writers’ markets. Various companies offer these databases.
Here are two:
While writing markets’ databases are fine, you need to keep something in mind. Firstly, hundreds of thousands of writers use them. This means that popular publications get thousands of queries each week.
Secondly, databases need constant updating. A listing you find in a database may well be out of date.
And thirdly we’ve discussed that:
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.
Additionally, many companies are creating custom publications (they’re selling using content, which is cheaper and more effective than straight advertising.)
In summary writers’ databases, while easy to use, have these strikes against them:
- Too many writers going for listings, which means that your amazing ideas will get lost in the shuffle;
- The listings may be out of date which means you waste time;
- They’re incomplete. New online and offline magazines are constantly being created, whether just as a online publication, or as a custom publication. When you rely solely on databases, you’ll miss these, because you won’t be looking for them.
Google is your friend when hunting for magazine writing markets of any kind…
These days, Google indexes everything; or tries to, anyway. However, Google can only be your friend if you search, and think about your searches. The best search is the search you actually do. 😉
Tip: be aware of Google+ too. More companies are discovering Google+. After searching Google, search Google+.
Let’s say that you were browsing Google News, and you spotted this article: “Agricultural Dogs Sniff Out Illegal Produce”.
Sniffer dogs for plants and produce? Who knew? You make a couple of phone calls, and you decide you want to write about these dogs. You jot down a couple of ideas.
Your next step is to find some markets. So, you go to Google.com and enter: “pet writing pay” into the search query field – without quotes.
Vary the words you use for your queries. You could also try:
- “dog magazines guidelines pay”
- “contributor guidelines dogs”
Can you see what we’re doing? We’re varying the words we use, so that we get some different results. Take your time when you’re doing this, and make notes. Add the publications in which you’re interested to a spreadsheet, or a word processor file, so that you can find them again.
Tip: searching is all in the words you use. Play around with words when you’re searching, and if you’re using a broad term like “dogs”, consider other terms like French poodle, labrador, etc as well as veterinarians, dog shows, and so on.
Don’t stop at Google and Google+, however. Remember that we talked about custom publications?
Finding custom publications: manufacturers, associations and government departments…
We’ll stay with our example of finding “dog” publications which pay. You’re now looking for companies which produce custom publications. In addition to companies, manufacturers and associations produce custom publications too.
Go to Google.com, and enter “dogs” into the search query field, as in the image below.
See the tabs along the top of the results? Click the “Shopping” tab. Look at this page carefully. See the sidebar on the left? You’ll see many different categories of dog products.
Try a search for “veterinary supplies”, and you’ll find even more companies.
Your key here is patience. You’re looking for companies which offer custom publications. Look for links which say something like “sign up for”. This means that the company sends out information to customers and prospects.
These kinds of searches can be very, very profitable. Here’s why: custom publications aren’t besieged by hopeful writers. They’re not on any database of writing markets. And because of this, they’re not only receptive to writers, they also pay writers well. Publications which receive thousands of pitches from writers a week aren’t inclined to pay much, or pay quickly.
Therefore, while finding custom publication publishers takes a little digging and detective work, it’s a wonderful use of your time. You’re doing what 999 writers of 1000 won’t do – you’re using your creativity and your brain and you’ll be rewarded.
Onward… find a couple of hot article ideas today, and pitch them to a couple of markets. You’ll LOVE writing for magazines, and now you know how it’s done. Have fun. 🙂
Get started with magazine writing
Magazine writing is both easy and highly profitable. Once you’ve learned the techniques in these writing guides, you’ll soon be writing for magazines which pay from $1 to $4 PER WORD.
With thousands of magazines to write for, and new magazines being started every year, you’ll never run out of writing opportunities. Get started writing for magazines today. And don’t forget custom publications — you’ll have little competition, once you find these little goldmines.
Article Updated: July 17, 2014
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