How to Become a Magazine Writer: My Four Best Tips

Do you want to write for magazines? It’s quite easy to get published in local publications, but selling your articles to major newsstand magazines can be a challenge.

I started writing for magazines in the 1980s. Over the years, I’ve sold many articles. Here are my four best tips.

1. Writing for Magazines Is Easier Than You Think, but You Need Persistence

Editors are busy. However, they’re well aware of whatever crosses their desk, so if you send your queries by snail mail or as some magazines prefer, via fax or email, editors are aware of you, whether they respond or not.

The more queries you send, with your best ideas, creativity, and writing, the more they’ll watch you. Sooner or later, you’ll get a response, usually via the phone. Therefore, always include all your contact details, especially your phone numbers.

2. If You Like an Idea, Never Give up on a Proposal — Keep Sending It out

Got a great idea you think would be perfect? If a particular editor wants an idea, you’ll get a response, within a day or two.

If two weeks pass, and you haven’t received a response, send the proposal elsewhere.

Make sure you edit your proposal first however. I can still remember how my face burned when I faxed a query to an editor (number three on my list). I was in a hurry, and forgot to remove the name of the second editor I’d sent it to.

Editor Three called me at once. She laughed, and wanted the article, but slyly suggested that I reread the query. Embarrassing.

3. Enthusiasm Is Everything: Discover What You LOVE

Passion and enthusiasm glow in your words. If you love a particular magazine, chances are good that you can write for them. If you read enough issues, you’ll get a feeling for what they want.

From then on, find ideas that excite you, and send them along. Editors will forgive you a great deal if you’re passionate.

4. What Are You Selling? Pay Attention to Your Rights

Try to keep as many rights to your words as possible. Nowadays, editors try to buy all rights (all worldwide rights, serial and electronic, for preference.) Negotiate. Never give up all rights without negotiating to keep as many as you can.

Writing for magazines is a lot of fun. You’ll make money, and you’ll make great contacts too. Try it, you may enjoy it.