Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Taking the Next Step in your Article Writing

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Every now and then it is a good idea to take stock of where you are sending your articles. Are they hitting the mark? What part of your article writing business do you want to do better? 

I recently had a season like that. I was writing four columns a month, many articles, and always looking for new ideas, all while working with my coaching clients and several books. But it seemed that many times I pushed that send button with a sigh. Could I write for a publication with a larger circulation so I can reach more people? Am I content with the amount I am being paid? Does the depth of my research provide a good foundation for my articles?

Two of my columns are on parenting/grandparenting so I decided that would be a good place to start. First thing I had to decide was what were my criteria. What were the things that I was really looking for? What kind of changes was I looking to make? 

I googled parenting magazines, paying close attention to whether or not they published articles on grandparenting. Since those are subjects I frequently wrote about, I had a storehouse of information on those subjects. I looked in the market guides, checking word count, lead time, and payment. I read the tips section that spotlighted those things they were particularly looking for. If possible, I went to the website and read some of the back issues checking to see if my style of writing might work for that publication. And, of course, checked the current editor’s name so I could direct my work to the best possible place.

I located a few good prospects and got busy with my queries to those publications.

Likewise, I decided to check out new writing magazine markets. I repeated the same process and this time I paid attention as to whether the publication accepted reprints or not. I searched for publications that were new to me as I wanted to branch out and find new opportunities for my writing.

Perhaps choosing a new types article to write will spur your creativity in a different direction. If you mainly write profile articles, why not try a round up article. Or if you mainly write seasonal articles, try a how-to article. Different magazines prefer different types of articles which will expand your reach as well.

Another great opportunity for new places to submit articles to is to find a brand new, startup magazine. Often new magazines don’t have large groups of writers they depend on so they build their group as the magazine gets going. If you find a startup publication, be sure to turn your articles in on time and always follow the guidelines. If you have an assignment, make sure you do exactly what the editor asks for and deliver what your query promises. You’d be surprised how often people forget to check those things. Then as soon as you send your article in to the editor, email him or her with a few other topics you would like to write for them. In other words, keep that ball rolling! Eventually, you will find the editor may contact you when an article he or she would like to see comes to mind and fits your style.

For me, it is a good idea to assess where you are in your article writing at least once a year. Write down your goals and determine what your best steps to meeting your goals are. Give us one of your goals in the comments. That will give you accountability. Then, next year, give us a report if you have reached that goal or if you are still working on it. As long as you are doing something that moves you closer to your goal, you are still making progress.

Looking forward to watching you take the next step in your writing journey!


Linda Gilden is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, certified writing and speaking coach, and personality consultant. Her passion is helping others discover the joy of communicating with excellence. In the midst of all the busyness, Linda’s favorite activity is floating in a pool with a good book surrounded by splashing grandchildren—a great source of writing material!

1 comment:

  1. Linda, I enjoyed your article. Thank you for sharing these tips. I wrote articles for over 10 years, thousands actually. I found the amount of research (and this time reduced drastically as my writing improved), along with the time of pitching the story, and writing and editing (or rewrites per editors suggestions) time I was only making about between $1 and $3 an hour. Honestly, McDonalds pays better than this. I love writing but never found article writing worth the money. So I ask have you made at least $20 an hour for the time you've put into an article? Do you do article to build a platform, awareness on the topic, to sell other services?