Chapter by Chapter:
MAGAZINE WRITING THAT SELLS
Copyright 1994 – Writer’s Digest Books
Chapter One – The First Secret Ingredient: Ideas
“The genius of business is ideas,” Bill Emerson, articles editor for Saturday Evening Post.
- Where do ideas come from?
- Read For Ideas, where most freelance writers get their ideas
Newspapers, magazines, want ads.
Train yourself to read the newspaper in a different way. Read each story thinking about how it might be developed into a magazine article.
B. Reuse old stories
Consider different publications options, local, technical, commercial. Professional publications.
- Go Places
- Anniversaries – for famous and highly publicized events, also not so obvious events.
- Clip File – When you find an interesting article, clip it out and save it.
- Personal Experience – If something has caused a problem for you, it probably has caused problems for others.
- Friends – Good guides to new trends and ideas.
- Seasonal ideas – consider seasonal issues: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day etc.
- What’s been done – try and find out what has already been done and if you can find a new approach to it.
- Analyzing a Magazine
- Make sure you’re sending query to the right magazine
- Pitch it in the right way.
- Remember every magazine is different, with a specific focus and ideal audience.
- Study the magazine careful to see what kind of articles they publish. What is the tone of the magazine, straightforward? Anecdotes?