Accessing Magazine Archives Online
If you love to get rid of clutter, you probably don’t save old magazines. But what about if you have to get your hands on an article for a research project or personal interest? If you can’t head to the library, there are other ways to get help online.
One of the best places to read magazines online is from your local public library’s digital site. Libraries across the country offer electronic magazines that you check out and read on your device or desktop in the comfort of your own home, as reported by CNET. To access your library’s selection of digital goodies, you’ll need your library card number. Go get one if you don’t have one; it’s worth the effort.
Log onto the library website, check for digital resources, then search for databases with magazine and newspaper resources. Specifically, look for a resource under digital resources called RBDigital, a large collection of ebooks, audiobooks and popular magazine archives all in one place, according to CNET.
A Publication’s Own Archives
Many publications that are still in print have online archives. You may not be able to see the current issue, but you can access either 100 percent or a portion of older issues.
Head to Issuu.com, a bookmark-worthy site to find a number of archived print magazines. Type in what you’re looking for in the search box, including the year, and you may be able to read the entire issue intact. The site adds newly uploaded publications, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, DIY guides and more on a daily basis.
The Way Back Machine
There are a couple of invaluable resources to bookmark that have free access to newer and older magazines and other publications:
- Internet Archive: Also called the Way Back Machine at Archive.org, you’ll find billions of archived web pages, including many once in-print publications. This non-profit organization began in 1996 to archive the Internet itself and captures web pages from millions of pieces of text. Type in titles, article titles or anything you have that the archive can search and see what turns up. You’ll be happily surprised.
- OpenCulture.com: For vintage publications, head to OpenCulture.com and type in what you’re looking for, or simply type in magazines, publications or newspapers. It’s a treasure trove of old, many alternative and now digitized publications.
What If the Publication Folded?
It’s a hit or miss chance that magazines which have folded keep archives. However, there are a couple of ways to access old issues or specific publications that are no longer available:
- Buy it on eBay
A number of magazines remain online but are moving away from print editions, including teen magazines Glamour, Seventeen and women’s magazine Redbook, according to Adweek.
International Publication Archives
Thanks to digitization, there’s easier access to international publications. For example, find out what’s happening in parts of Canada by logging onto The Vancouver Sun’s archives where you’ll see all the magazine’s coverage for free. Head to Magatopia.com for free reading of international publications. Many magazines and newspapers have free access to archived articles and issues.
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Public Communication: Magazine Article
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“ Why [does] your article matter, who will want to read it, and why [do] you feel compelled to write it. ” Laura DeCesare, How to Write a Magazine Article
An article is a piece of writing which can give either a balanced view or a specific standpoint on a particular topic.
You have probably read many magazine articles before now. You may be a music fan who likes to read about your favourite musicians, or you might have an interest in business and economics, so you read weekly articles about the financial world. Magazine articles are written for specific publications, therefore written for specific readers. How you write will depend on your article's topic and purpose.
The Purpose of a Magazine Article
Why are you writing your article, is it to inform, persuade, or effect change?
Depending on its purpose and target audience , the language used in an article may either be very direct and informative, or poetic to create a sense of its topic.
For example, an article about a recent film release would include details about actors, the script, and performances. It may also include the writer’s opinions if it’s more like a review/critique. However, these will be informed opinions using references from the current release, but also further reading and research.
A magazine article can be conversational , how formal or informal your work is will depend on your audience. A conversational tone will make the article livelier and the reader more engaged.
Structuring an article
Before you start writing you want to familiarise yourself with the structure of magazine articles. Look at those on similar topics of your own, or in the same field i.e. business, film, health, environment etc.
Have in mind how you want your article to look by planning it out beforehand, be that visually or as a list in a word document/your notebook. It's design may change as you begin your writing process, but having a visual representation of the article will help you structure your work.
Here is the basic anatomy of a magazine article:
Headline - A snappy heading to grab people’s attention and entice them into reading further.
By-line - Your name(s).
Body - The basic text of the article, but break this up with subheadings and pull quotes (short sections of your article pulled out and repeated in bigger text to grab attention).
It should also include related images, diagrams, charts etc, which will illustrate and strengthen your points, especially if the images are shocking/surprising.
Video: a visual representation of what to include in and how to structure a magazine article.
You have a lot of flexibility in design.
- Text is usually in columns which shortens the line length making is more readable and accessible.
- There will always be images. Make sure they are not too big or too small, they are just right. Images should be captioned and have alt-text.
- Pull quotes should stand out and be cited.
- You may wish to start sections with 'kicker paragraphs' which are often emboldened or in a different text colour. This makes them stand and anyone scanning the article will be drawn to them. Make sure they contain the important information you want to emphasise.
Do have a snappy headline that grabs the reader’s attention.
Do be timely. Write about recent events that are relevant.
Do be sensitive with your language. You can still shock/surprise people whilst using sensitive language.
Do be critical depending on your topic.
Do use visual elements.
Do format and structure your article correctly.
Don't have a confusing headline.
Don't write about irrelevant and outdated topics.
Don't use profanities and insulting/discriminatory language.
Don't be disrespectful if critiquing something/one.
Don't use too many visuals as it may leave you with less space for text.
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The Benefits of Writing for Magazines as a Freelance Writer
Are you a freelance writer looking for new opportunities to showcase your work and reach a wider audience? Writing for magazines can be a great way to do just that. Not only does it give you the chance to hone your writing skills, but it also provides the opportunity to build your portfolio, expand your network, and earn some extra income. In this article, we'll dive into the many benefits of writing for magazines as a freelance writer, and what you need to know to get started. From the joy of seeing your work in print to the potential for long-term income, there's no shortage of reasons why you should consider writing for magazines. So, grab your pen and let's get started!
Building your writing portfolio
"Building your writing portfolio " is one of the most important benefits of writing for magazines as a freelance writer. Your portfolio is essentially a collection of your best work that showcases your writing skills, style, and expertise to potential clients and publishers. Having a strong portfolio is crucial in securing new writing gigs and advancing your career as a freelance writer.
By writing for magazines, you have the opportunity to add diverse, high-quality pieces to your portfolio. Whether it's a feature article, a profile piece, or a thought-provoking opinion piece, writing for magazines can help you build a robust portfolio that demonstrates your range as a writer. Plus, having a magazine byline on your resume can be a great way to stand out from other freelancers and show that you have experience and credibility as a writer.
In short, building your writing portfolio through writing for magazines is a fantastic way to build your reputation as a freelancer and set yourself apart in the competitive world of writing.
Reaching a wider audience
"Reaching a wider audience" is another key benefit of writing for magazines as a freelance writer. Magazines typically have a large circulation and reach , meaning that your work has the potential to be seen by a much larger audience than it would if it were published on your personal blog or website.
For instance, if you write for a popular lifestyle magazine, your article may be read by hundreds of thousands of people, giving you the chance to share your insights, opinions, and stories with a massive audience. This can help you build your personal brand, gain recognition, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.
Moreover, magazines often have a dedicated readership that trusts and values the content they publish. By writing for a magazine, you have the opportunity to reach a targeted audience who is already interested in the topic you're writing about, increasing the chances that your work will be well-received and shared.
In short, writing for magazines is a fantastic way to reach a wider audience, build your personal brand, and share your work with a larger group of readers.
Honing your writing skills
"Honing your writing skills" is yet another important benefit of writing for magazines as a freelance writer. Writing is a craft, and like any craft, it takes practice to improve. Writing for magazines provides you with a regular platform to write, refine your skills, and develop your style.
Whether you're a seasoned writer or just starting out, writing for magazines can help you grow as a writer. For instance, writing on a tight deadline can help you develop your writing speed and efficiency, while writing for a specific target audience can help you refine your voice and tone. Additionally, writing for magazines often requires you to adhere to strict editorial guidelines, which can help you develop your discipline and attention to detail.
Moreover, writing for magazines can also help you expand your knowledge and improve your research skills. Writing for a magazine may require you to dig deep and write about topics that you may not be familiar with. This can be a great way to learn more about your field, expand your knowledge, and develop your research skills.
In short, writing for magazines is a fantastic way to hone your writing skills, build your writing discipline, and develop your voice and style.
Expanding your network
"Expanding your network" is another great benefit of writing for magazines as a freelance writer. Writing for magazines can help you connect with other writers, editors, and industry professionals who can help you grow your career.
For instance, when you write for a magazine, you have the opportunity to interact with the magazine's editorial team, who can provide you with feedback and guidance on your work. They can also introduce you to other writers and editors who may be able to help you secure new writing gigs in the future.
Moreover, writing for magazines can also help you expand your network beyond just the writing community. For example, if you write for a lifestyle magazine, you may have the chance to interview and connect with experts in a variety of fields, such as food, fashion, or travel . These connections can help you build your personal brand and open up new opportunities for your writing career.
In short, writing for magazines is a fantastic way to expand your network and connect with other writers, editors, and industry professionals who can help you grow your career.
Earning extra income
"Earning extra income" is one of the most tangible benefits of writing for magazines as a freelance writer. Writing for magazines can be a great way to supplement your income and earn money from your writing.
For instance, many magazines pay writers for their contributions, allowing you to earn money for your writing while you build your portfolio and hone your skills. Additionally, writing for magazines can also open up new opportunities for paid work, as many magazines also offer paid writing gigs for bloggers, columnists, and regular contributors.
Moreover, writing for magazines can also help you build a strong reputation as a writer, making it easier to secure paid writing work in the future . For example, if you write a popular article for a magazine, you may be approached by other publishers or clients who are interested in paying you for your writing skills.
In short, writing for magazines is a great way to earn extra income from your writing and supplement your income as a freelance writer.
Gaining recognition as a writer
"Gaining recognition as a writer" is another important benefit of writing for magazines as a freelance writer. Writing for magazines can help you build your reputation as a writer and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
For example, if you write for a well-known magazine, your work will be seen by thousands of readers, giving you the chance to make a name for yourself and establish your personal brand. Additionally, writing for magazines often requires you to write about specific topics, which can help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your field and demonstrate your expertise.
Moreover, writing for magazines can also help you build your portfolio and showcase your writing skills to potential clients and publishers. For instance, if you write a series of articles for a popular magazine, you can use these articles as samples of your writing and include them in your portfolio when you apply for writing gigs in the future.
In short, writing for magazines is a fantastic way to gain recognition as a writer, build your reputation, and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Improving your writing style
"Improving your writing style" is another great benefit of writing for magazines as a freelance writer. Writing for magazines can help you develop your writing style and make your writing more effective, engaging, and memorable.
For example, writing for magazines often requires you to write for a specific audience, and writing with that audience in mind can help you improve your writing style by making it more relatable and relevant. Additionally, writing for magazines often requires you to write on a variety of topics, which can help you expand your writing style and experiment with different writing techniques.
Moreover, writing for magazines also often requires you to adhere to strict editorial guidelines, such as word count and tone, which can help you develop your writing discipline and make your writing more concise and focused.
In short, writing for magazines is a great way to improve your writing style, make your writing more effective, and develop your writing discipline.
Gaining exposure for your work
"Gaining exposure for your work" is another key benefit of writing for magazines as a freelance writer. Writing for magazines can help you get your work in front of a large audience, giving you the opportunity to showcase your writing skills and reach new readers.
For instance, when you write for a magazine, your work will be published in print or online, giving you the chance to reach thousands of readers and build your audience. Additionally, writing for magazines can also help you build your online presence and drive traffic to your personal website or blog.
Moreover, writing for magazines can also help you establish yourself as a published writer, making it easier to secure future writing gigs and gain recognition for your work. For example, if you write a popular article for a magazine, you may be approached by other publishers or clients who are interested in paying you for your writing skills.
In short, writing for magazines is a fantastic way to gain exposure for your work and reach new readers, build your online presence, and establish yourself as a published writer.
Staying current with industry trends
"Staying current with industry trends" is another important benefit of writing for magazines as a freelance writer. Writing for magazines can help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends, developments, and news in your field.
For instance, many magazines publish articles on the latest developments and trends in a variety of industries, from technology to fashion to politics. By writing for these magazines, you'll have the opportunity to research and write about these topics, keeping you informed and up-to-date on the latest news and trends in your field.
Moreover, writing for magazines can also help you establish connections with other writers and industry experts, giving you access to the latest insights and information in your field. For example, you may have the opportunity to interview experts or attend events and conferences related to your field, giving you the chance to stay current with the latest trends and developments.
In short, writing for magazines is a great way to stay current with industry trends, stay informed on the latest developments in your field, and gain access to the latest insights and information.
Building your brand as a writer
"Building your brand as a writer" is another valuable benefit of writing for magazines as a freelance writer. Writing for magazines can help you build your personal brand and establish yourself as a writer in your field.
For example, when you write for a magazine, you'll have the opportunity to showcase your writing skills and reach a large audience. By writing on a variety of topics and for a variety of audiences, you'll have the chance to demonstrate your versatility and expertise as a writer. Additionally, writing for magazines can help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, giving you the opportunity to share your opinions and insights with readers.
Moreover, writing for magazines can also help you build your online presence and drive traffic to your personal website or blog. For example, if you write a popular article for a magazine, you can include a link to your website or blog in the author bio, giving readers the opportunity to learn more about you and your work.
In short, writing for magazines is a fantastic way to build your brand as a writer, establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, and reach a large audience.
Over to you
Writing for magazines as a freelance writer can be an incredibly rewarding experience, offering a number of benefits that can help you grow as a writer and build your career. Some of the key benefits of writing for magazines include building your writing portfolio, reaching a wider audience, honing your writing skills, expanding your network, earning extra income, gaining recognition as a writer, improving your writing style, gaining exposure for your work, staying current with industry trends, and building your brand as a writer.
Whether you're just starting out as a freelance writer or you're looking to take your career to the next level, writing for magazines can be a great way to develop your skills, reach new readers, and build your personal brand. So, if you're looking for a challenging and rewarding writing opportunity, consider writing for magazines today!
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9 Reasons Why Writing For Magazines May Be Perfect For You
by Suzanna Henshon
If your definition of breaking into publishing includes writing and selling a 300-page novel, or convincing a publisher to invest thousands of dollars in your picture book, you’re overlooking a substantial part of the market – magazine writing.
Magazines need new material on a weekly or monthly basis. Some writers start off by writing for magazines in the hopes of moving up to the “higher” art form of the book. But magazine writing can also be fulfilling and challenging. Writing for magazines is a fine art in itself, not a mere stepping stone to publishing a book.
You have to write a fun and compelling article in a limited amount of space. You have to “hook” the reader with reasons for why she should stay with you—rather than flipping the page. You have to convince an editor that you have the expertise, research abilities, and time management skills to fulfill your assignment. Whether you choose to stick with magazines exclusively or eventually move on to books, magazine assignments will sharpen skills you’ll use in any type of writing.
Here are a few of the perks of magazine writing:
1. You learn how to write concisely. When you are writing with a deadline and a limited amount of space, you are forced to hone your craft. You write to be understood immediately by the reader who might be flipping through the magazine for the first time.
2. You learn time management skills. While writing is a creative act, the real issue at the end of the day is time management. Writing a novel means sitting in your chair and pumping out a page a day: it’s not about glamorous book signings, but about getting the job done. You’ll learn time management as you race to complete assignments on deadlines for magazines.
3. You learn how to study a niche in the market. Whether you are writing for Highlights or Cricket , you will become familiar with the tastes of the editors and the needs of the publication. Understanding your editor’s needs and providing an article that is compatible with the style and the audience of the magazine will make you a better writer, should you choose to direct your talent elsewhere at some point.
4. You’ll get your name in print. It is far less time consuming to complete a 600 word article than to write a novel. Your confidence will be boosted with each publication, and you will attain credentials that will enhance your reputation as a writer.
5. You will understand editors better. Magazine writing will force you to check out competing publications, making certain that your article offers a new spin on a popular topic. As you develop relationships with magazine editors, you’ll understand the challenges that editors face on a daily basis. No matter where your writing career takes you, you’ll gain insight into the publishing industry and human nature.
6. You’ll have fun. While you might not feel up to a novel, writing for magazines will help you find your niche as an author. You will receive immediate feedback, and most likely not have to wait a few years to see the fruits of your labor in print (as you would have to do with a book). Here’s to immediate gratification!
7. You’ll create new ideas every time you write an article. This is incredibly exciting— and not something to take lightly. Remember, you are being paid to brainstorm and be creative and to express yourself within the confines of a publication’s needs. What could be better than that?
8. You will make connections. Many writers start off without any connections. Thus, the idea of networking sounds intimidating. What are you supposed to do—hand out a “writer” business card and immediately find yourself fending off questions about what you’ve published? By writing for magazines, you will network in a natural way that might lead to more publications and other exciting opportunities.
9. You’ll discover your true passions and interests. When you begin researching topics in detail, you will learn and discover new interests. Perhaps you will even become an expert in a field you never knew existed. What could be better than that? Writing for magazines can be a great way to “break into” writing, but many writers find it is a rewarding endpoint.
How many careers allow you to learn new things, communicate ideas, and write about what truly interests you? You might discover that writing for magazines is the best of all possible worlds.
Ready to start an exciting career writing for magazines? We have the perfect tool! Click here to check out Magazine Writing Blueprint…
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Knowledge Base > Magazines > How to Write a Magazine Article? 12 Golden Rules
How to Write a Magazine Article? 12 Golden Rules
Although the number of magazines is shrinking in the digital age, many magazines have moved online. Many magazines created by online magazine maker are still popular, and authors enjoy fame and respect. That’s why, for many freelance writers, writing articles in magazines is often a career goal – because the pay can be ten times more per word than writing articles or texts for the local newspaper.
Writing magazine articles requires a different skill set than writing blog posts, screenplays, or advertisements. What’s more, as a magazine writer, more than in any other industry, you need to specialize to succeed. You write articles about history differently, sports differently, and sports history in a different way still.
A talent for writing, a love of meticulous research, and flexibility in creating texts are vital skills you need to master. Therefore, many people are interested in creating and publishing their own magazine need to master this specific style and learn how to write a magazine article.
What is a magazine article?
What is a magazine.
A magazine is a publication that is a collection of articles that appears regularly. The magazine articles can be about any topic, as well as topics that interest a specific group, such as sports fans, music fans, or board game enthusiasts.
A magazine can be published weekly, monthly, bimonthly, or only a few times a year. Most magazines are published once a week or once a month. Most magazine articles do not have a list of sources and are written by regular magazine editors and writers, rarely freelance writers.
Most magazine articles are easy to read and don’t take too long to read. They are often illustrated with photos or other images, and are written with simple but remarkable fonts . Today, magazines are increasingly being replaced by websites, but there are still many magazines on various topics.
A magazine article is a specific text that can be found in a magazine or newspaper. It can be a report, a profile of an important person, an opinion piece, a discussion of a topic or a personal essay. Depending on the topic, a magazine article is usually 1,000 to 5,000 words long.
The magazine usually employs a group of editors who come up with a theme for each issue and relevant article ideas. This way, all the articles and features in the issue will have something in common. A sports magazine might talk about the start of a new season, a political magazine about an upcoming election, and a Valentine’s Day issue might be about romance.
How the format of a magazine article differs from that of a newspaper or other articles? In a newspaper that comes out every day, put the most important parts of the story first. Newspaper articles are usually read once and aren’t supposed to influence anyone. It has to be news, something you want to read.
On the other hand, a good magazine article should often start with a mystery, a question, or a situation that makes the reader want to read on. Daily newspaper articles should be unbiased descriptions of what happened, while magazine articles, often subjective, can cover a particular topic from a certain angle. To learn how to write a magazine article, you need to know what the magazine is about and how to appeal to its readers.
Create a digital magazine with Publuu
Today, more and more people are creating magazines in purely digital form. Publuu converts PDF files into interactive digital magazines that you can easily view and share online. With support for HTML5 and vector fonts, your articles will look beautiful on any device, without the need to download additional apps.
Publuu makes your magazine article look and sound like the printed versions. Converting a regular PDF file into a flipping e-magazine using this service is extremely easy and fast.
Publuu’s online magazine example
View more online magazine examples
MAKE YOUR OWN
With Publuu, your readers can flip through the pages just as they would with a real paper magazine, but that’s not all. Rich multimedia capabilities, analytics, and easy access make many people publish content for free on Publuu.
Your audience, and you, can embed your magazines in websites or emails, or share them on social media platforms. It only takes one click to go to your magazine and start reading interesting articles.
Types and examples of magazine articles
Magazine editors categorize articles by type and often mention them in publication’s submission guidelines, so knowing these types by name will help you communicate with the editor. These are: First Person Article, Opinion Piece, Information or Service Piece, Personality Profile, and Think Piece. Many news articles, how-to articles, and reviews can also be found in magazines, but they are slightly different, and many of these have moved online, to digital magazines . Articles can also feature essays or humor pieces.
First Person Article
First-person magazine articles are written in the first person because they are based on personal experience. Depending on their length and newsworthiness, they can be sold as feature articles or essays. They are frequently personal accounts, especially interesting if they are written by a well-known magazine writer or celebrity. Typically, the purpose of such an article is stated in the first line or paragraph to hook the magazine’s target audience, such as “I voted for this politician, and now I regret my life choices.” When you write a magazine article like this one, you should present an unpopular or overlooked point of view from a fresh perspective.
This kind of magazine writing piece or opinion essay is less personal than the First-Person Article, but it still requires a narrow focus on a specific topic. The reader’s main question is, “Why are you qualified to render an opinion?” Everyone has an opinion, but why should anyone read yours?
If you’re an expert on this subject, let the reader know right away. Don’t criticize music trends if you’re not a musician! Demonstrate your knowledge, and support your opinion with up-to-date information and credentials.
An informational or service piece expands the reader’s understanding of a particular subject. This can be a guide, a list of important issues. You can either be the expert or interview one. These are extremely pertinent to a specific industry. In a sports magazine article, you can explain a complete history of a sports team and its roster for the upcoming season.
You can expect some in-depth knowledge if the article title contains the phrases like Myths about or Secrets of. Explain everything you know: magazine journalism is different than being a freelance writer in that you should have some industry knowledge already.
This type of magazine article can present a silhouette of an important or relevant person – a politician, a political activist, a sports legend… If you’re writing for a video game magazine you can showcase a famous game designer or even an entire article can be about a game character like Lara Croft or Guybrush Threepwood, if the fictional character is detailed enough! Explain why readers will find this person interesting or noteworthy.
Written in an investigative tone, the think piece frequently shows the downside or less popular ideas of a popular industry aspect. This magazine article could also explain why something is popular or why a political party lost elections. A think piece is more in-depth than most feature articles and necessitates credibility. Confirm your thesis by interviewing analysts and experts. This type of article can be also found in zines , self-published magazines in small circulation, which often focus on niche hobbies, counterculture groups, or subcultures. If you would like to expend your knowledge about interviewing, make sure to check our guide on how to write an interview article .
How to start a magazine article?
Most creative writing professionals would agree that the best way to start writing a magazine article is with a strong opening sentence. A feature article must draw the attention of your target audience, and grab them from the go.
You can start by asking the reader a question which you will answer in the text of the article – for instance “Did you know that most users of Windows never use 80% of their functions – and that’s a good thing?”. In the content of your magazine articles you will be able to answer this question.
Another example of a good magazine article beginning is storytelling – human brains are fascinated by stories. Starting your example with “20 years ago no one in the industry knew what a genitine was, but now their inventor is one of the most influential people” can draw attention and spike up curiosity.
A great example is also a shocking quote – a compelling idea that goes against the grain is sure to capture the reader’s attention.
Most creative magazine article ideas
Even the most experienced journalists can often be looking for ideas for great articles. How to write a magazine article if you don’t have the slightest idea? Here are some of our suggestions:
Take a look at your specialty. If you’re a freelance writer, it’s a good idea to write about what you know. Delve into a topic thoroughly, and you’ll eventually find your niche and you might move from freelance writing jobs to magazine writing! Why? Having a writing specialty will make magazine editors think of you when story ideas in that genre come up.
Check out what’s trending. When browsing popular stories on social networks, many freelancers choose to write about current events. Lists of popular articles can help you understand what to focus your efforts on. Keep in mind that an article for national magazines needs to be well researched, and what’s trending now may change before the magazine finally comes out.
Reach out to the classics. Nostalgia always sells well. You can go back to books or movies that people remember from their youth or, for example, summarize the last year. Lists and numbers always look good!
12 rules on how to write great magazine articles
1. Write what you know about
If your articles are really fascinating and you know what you are writing about, you have a better chance of getting published, whether in a local newspaper or in a major magazine. Writing requires researching your chosen issue thoroughly. Identify perspectives that have not been explored before – describe something from the perspective of a woman, a minority, or a worker.
2. Research how you should write
Check the writing style requirements or guidelines of the magazines to which you want to submit your work. Each magazine has its own set of guidelines on what topics, manner and tone to use. Check out Strunk and White Elements of Style for tips on writing styles, as this is what many magazines draw from.
3. Remember to be flexible
One of the most valuable writing talents a journalist can possess is flexibility. You may find that you discover completely new facts while writing a magazine article and completely change your approach. Maybe you’ll change your mind 180 degrees and instead of attacking someone, you’ll defend them – anything to attract attention.
4. Make connections and meet people
Networking is important in any business, especially for freelance writers who want to make a jump to magazine writing. Editors regularly quit one magazine to work for another. Therefore, remember to know the people first and foremost than the magazine they work for.
5. Prepare a query letter
A query letter tells the editors why your magazine article is important, whether you think someone will want to read it and why you feel obligated to write it. Add to it a text sample and some information about yourself as a writer. Even a local magazine might not be aware of who you are, after all.
6. Prepare an outline
Always before writing a text have an outline that you can use when composing your articles. It must contain the important ideas, the content of the article body and the summary, the points you will include in it. You will find that it is easier to fill such a framework with your own content.
7. Meet the experts
You need to know pundits in your industry. There are several methods of locating experts, from networking to calling organizations or agencies in your field of interest. If you want to meet a police officer, call the police station and ask if someone could talk to a journalist – many people are tempted if you promise them a feature article.
8. Talk to experts
Once you get a contact for an expert, do your best to make the expert look as good as possible. The more prominent the expert, the better your text. Make a list of questions in advance and compare it with the outline to make sure you don’t forget anything. Remember to accurately describe your expert’s achievements and personal data.
9. Create a memorable title
This step can occur at any point in the process of writing an article for a magazine. Sometimes the whole article starts with a good title! However, there is nothing wrong with waiting until the article is finished before coming up with a title. The most important thing is that the title is catchy – editors-in-chief love that!
10. To write, you have to read
You never know where you will come across an inspiring text. It’s your duty as a good writer to read everything that falls into your hands, whether it’s articles on the front pages of major publications or small blog posts. Learn about the various issues that may be useful to your magazine writing skills .
11. Add a strong ending
End with a strong concluding remark that informs or elaborates on the theme of your piece. The last paragraph should make the reader satisfied, but also curious about the future progress of the issue. He must wonder “what’s next?” and answer the important questions himself.
12. Don’t give up
Writers are rejected hundreds of times, especially when they are initially learning how to create articles for magazines. However, even a seasoned freelance writer and professional journalist can get rejected. The most successful authors simply keep writing – being rejected is part of magazine writing. Freelance writing is a good school of writing career – including coping with rejection.
Now you know how to write a magazine article that will be engaging and interesting. Despite the digitalization of the market, writing magazine articles still offers many possibilities to a freelance writer or a seasoned professional. The market of press and magazines is evolving fast, but the basic principles of journalistic integrity stay the same!
You may be also interested in:
How To Publish Digital Magazine? How to Make a Magazine Cover With a Template? 5 Reasons to Start Using a Magazine Maker
Jakub Osiejewski is an experienced freelance writer and editor. He has written for various publications, including magazines, newspapers and websites. He is also a skilled layout graphic designer and knows exactly how to create visually appealing and informative PDFs and flipbooks!
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Why Write Articles?
When I began writing I had small children at home. I wrote in my head all day long and looked forward to the few computer moments I would have at nap time, between loads of laundry, and after bedtime. Because of that mental prewriting, I was able to quickly get my work into files ready for submission. The best market for these short pieces seemed to be articles, so that is where I focused.
After several years of writing articles (because I thought it was the only thing I had time to do), I realized that I really enjoyed writing articles, for several reasons.
- They were short and they fit very well into my daily schedule of parenting. As the children got older I realized that even though we had added new activities to the day, I could still write in carpool line or while I was waiting for dance lessons or soccer practice to be over. Even when the children got old enough to be dropped off for long periods of time or to drive themselves, my favorite thing to write was articles.
- Because of their brevity, I could complete articles quickly. Some days I could finish multiple articles and submit them. That was always a good feeling to know much had been accomplished in a day. Especially since some days left almost no time for writing.
- Articles often require research which means not only am I writing something that will educate others, I am learning new things myself. Research can also be used to write other articles without additional time in the library.
- Often when you figure it per word, articles are a great way to supplement your income. Many people think books are the best way to make additional money. But strategically placed articles can be lucrative.
- Articles are a good exercise in writing tightly and making the most of the words you use. When you only have a few hundred words to get your message to the world, you need to make sure they all count.
- Articles can be written anywhere. Recently I was on the road and someone else was driving. Before I arrived home I had written an article, edited it, submitted it, and it was accepted. What a great road trip!
- As writing moved into the digital world, I found many new markets for my articles. True, writing for the web is a little different than writing print articles. But with very little additional learning I found a new world of writing for the internet.
What about you? Have you discovered the fun and excitement of writing articles?
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 writing. Linda recently released Articles, Articles, Articles! and is the author of over a thousand magazine articles and 16 books including the new LINKED Quick Guides for Personalities. As Director of the Carolina Christian Writers Conference, Linda helps many writers take the next step in reaching their writing goals. Linda’s favorite activity (other than eating folded potato chips) is floating in a pool with a good book surrounded by splashing grandchildren—a great source of writing material! www.lindagilden.com
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What’s So Great About: Writing for Magazines
April 20, 2011 // by Mary Keeley // 21 Comments
Blogger: Mary Keeley
Location: Books & Such Midwest Office, IL
Magazines are wonderful marketing tools for authors. It’s true that magazine publishers have taken a big hit in the past four to five years as a result of the economic downturn. Many magazines have ceased publication, and those that remain have been forced to think creatively to stay in business.
Online newsletters and blogs designed to attract subscribers and advertisers and to promote additional resource materials have been launched. Rising printing costs and shrinking numbers of advertisers have prompted magazines to go digital, although many publishers also hold onto a reduced-page-count print version while they wait to see how this all sifts out.
What does all this mean for writers?
- More format possibilities for submitting articles for publication. You won’t earn much money writing articles unless you can continue to re-purpose them for future publication in other magazines.
- The primary benefit is that, when your article is published, every subscriber, advertiser, and purchaser sees your byline. You build name recognition and increase your list of published articles, all of which will be attractive additions to your next book proposal.
- And writing articles for magazines can open doors for you. Who knows, the name recognition may even prompt a few speaking invitations.
So, how do you best go about submitting an article that will get serious consideration? Here are some tips:
- Target a few publications that best fit your expertise, interests, and audience. Read enough issues of the magazine to become aware of its “personality.” Also, familiarize yourself with the publication’s online blogs, newsletters, and digital versions (digizines).
- Check their websites for a list of upcoming themes and topics. If you don’t find such a list, contact the editorial coordinator to request it. Write articles within those themes.
- Also look on the website for submission guidelines and follow them.
- Because of articles’ short length and the number of submissions most magazines receive, give your article a pithy title that relates clearly to the topic but leaves the reader wanting to know more. The deck (magazine language for sub-title) needs to be a concentrated outline of your story written with ardor or in an animated way.
What’s been your experience in submitting articles to magazines? How hard was/is it to get your articles published? How did you decide what to submit? What benefits did you gain?
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April 20, 2011 at 6:59 am
Excellent post, Mary, and a topic not often discussed.
Considering which magazines to approach, I’d say don’t forget to explore publications that cater to your target niche. I write for one organization that publishes a quarterly magazine, weekly e-zine/newsletter, and features a well-read blog with an archives section. They pay well for articles–even better if I agree to sell the rights. In return, those articles get reprinted and referenced many times to my target community, and every time they do I see results–even an invitation to speak at our state convention.
Target niche publications are a great way to build a platform and a tribe!
April 20, 2011 at 7:10 am
Great tips! I especially agree about the benefits of learning to write in different formats, and the need to understand a particular publication’s voice before you pitch a story.
I might add that it helps to look at the magazine’s other bylines, too, and see if a particular writer already specializes in something you want to write about. You don’t want to step on anyone’s toes (especially if it is the editor’s byline. Can you tell this is the voice of experience?)
I’m published mostly in trade magazines, and I’m often recruited for the articles. When I pitch an idea of my own, it is usually on the phone, and then I follow up with email. However, those pitches are all within existing editorial relationships. I have written magazine queries to editors whom I don’t know, but my batting average isn’t so great.
I really, really want to branch out to more general publications – and this list of tips will be very helpful!
April 20, 2011 at 7:59 am
I agree with Lynn, this is an excellent post and is a topic that is not often discussed.
I hope you will write something about the benefits of technical writing which is another topic that is rarely discussed and can be quite lucrative or where at least the writer can actually make a living.
April 20, 2011 at 8:10 am
I’m applauding your thoughts on writing for magazines! Many writing colleagues (novelists, that is) seem to look down on writing for magazines. Although I don’t do it as often as I should, I don’t write an article without including a bio line that mentions my novels. Why not get paid to advertise my work? Also, a series of short stories that I once wrote for FOTF magazines landed me an invitation to be a guest speaker at a father/son mountain adventure in the Rockies, which was a blast.
April 20, 2011 at 8:52 am
Lynn, Would you mind sharing the name of the magazine you mentioned? I’ve just recently started submitting articles. I haven’t heard back from one after 8 weeks, so I’m assuming it’s a pass. Still waiting for three others to get back to me. But one of them accepted my article! I’ve learned from articles on the importance of title, like Mary mentioned. Also, it forces me to write tightly, which helps w/ scenes in my novels.
Does anyone know of a good website that lists magazines and their submission guidelines?
April 20, 2011 at 9:30 am
A great post! I’m having my first article published this June that I’ve co-written with my husband.
We wrote a 4600 word history article, submitted it to a history magazine, and got an acceptance letter within a week from the editor. Of course, that was in March of 2010. They told us that the article would come out in 2011. It’s been a long wait but worth it. We just signed a contract and got paid for it. We’re celebrating this success and are very proud of it.
While we chase after publication of our books, this smaller success makes us feel it’s all worth it. We’re continuing to write more articles along the way.
@Melissa – the 2011 Writer’s Market has a nice section of magazines to send to.
April 20, 2011 at 9:49 am
Magazines are a great way to expand your platform. For example, consider magazines devoted to your particular city or state. For those outlets all you need to do is write about what you already do; places you like to travel to, eat at, and so forth (in other words, have your favorite local bakers’ cake and get paid to eat it too! )
But what if your brand has nothing to do with travel writing or gastronomy? For the sciences, what are the exciting experiments or quirky researchers at the local colleges? If you are a mystery writer, what historical locations have had famous or forgotten happenings which delve into the unknown?
The best thing is, even if you don’t find what you are wanting to write in the magazine, you can always send a query; editors are always looking for new ideas, so why not offer yours?
April 20, 2011 at 11:19 am
Melissa, I use my Writer’s Market to find magazines and their guidelines.
Another fabulous post, Mary. This is why I subscribe here; because even though none of you represent children’s books, I always learn so much, and I enjoy the engaging discussions.
The course I took at Long Ridge was geared toward writing magazine articles, so that’s where I started. I aimed too high when I began submitting, though, so I didn’t have any success. Then a fellow writer from LR asked me to write a series of time management and organization articles geared toward writers for her eZine. Once that folded, I was able to sell them to Writer2Writer, another eZine, which I still contribute to on an occasional basis.
April 20, 2011 at 11:53 am
A great benefit in writing for magazines (and newspapers) is that it can serve as a training ground. You learn how to write a first sentence that grabs a reader’s attention, how to sustain that interest throughout the article, and how to write tight.
Melissa, if you’d like to try writing for Canadian publications, I have a list of links for both Christian and consumer magazines up under the resources section of my blog.
April 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm
This topic is intriguing, and considering the previous comments sounds like an often overlooked medium for writers.
Several friends from our writer’s group write for regional magazines and the local newspapers. An online news magazine in our area also features local contributors.
If it were a priority or a time management issue, would you say researching and writing an article and finding a market for that article is more valuable than spending time on a blog?
I have difficulty creating crisp titles for my blog posts….any tips for learning the art of “pithy?”
Thank you once again for a very insightful column full of helpful hints!
April 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm
Excellent! Thank you, Mary, for exploring this topic, and a huge thank you to all the commenters!
I’m obsessed with magazines–I subscribe to many, too many!–and have often considered writing articles, but fear holds me back. I appreciate hearing success stories like this. Maybe I’ll even give it a go? 🙂
April 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm
Thank you all for sharing your suggestions, information, and your personal experiences writing for magazines! Kate, I understand well the time management factor you mention. You’ll just have to try it out. Look for magazines whose target audience matches yours and find out their future themes. Select a few you think you could most easily write on and submit those.
As for pithy titles, I can recommend a great resource, THE ELEMENTS OF STORY, by Francis Flaherty, There are chapters on titles, sub-titles, leads, and more.
April 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm
Thanks for sharing this resource, Mary. I struggle with titles too. Just ask my editor. 🙂
April 20, 2011 at 7:33 pm
Thank you so much for your suggestions for trying out articles for magazines. And I am so happy to have a resource for titles!
I am grateful that you and others on this blog seem to really care about helping those of us in the beginning stages of “the craft.”
Happy Easter! He is risen! And we rejoice!
April 20, 2011 at 7:41 pm
Thanks for these useful pointers, Mary – and all the great suggestions from everyone else!
I do find it’s tough to break into a publication without previous contact. But, when it does happen, it’s such an encouraging success!
I also submit guest posts to larger (than me) blogs. While many guest posting opportunities aren’t paid, several still choose posts selectively. It’s good experience and exposure, too, as well as another way to witness and foster fellowship.
April 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm
thank you for the elements of story recommendation (how did I miss that book??)
April 22, 2011 at 7:03 am
My writing for magazines has been a mixed bag. In two of the print mags/newsletters I’ve had articles in, when I pitched a second article, the editors never responded. In one case I e-mailed the publisher; he said he’d take care of it, and I still never heard. For literary mags where I sent my poetry, I’ve mostly heard back, though painfully slowly, and mostly rejections (two acceptances though!)
My best magazine gig has been with an on-line magazine, Buildipedia.com. They pay about $0.33 per word for features, higher for news. They respond promptly to articles I pitch and pay when they say they will. One print mag I had to hound with e-mails for a couple of months before I received my check for $0.15 per word.
Overall, magazine publishing has been a positive experience. I’ve been in 8 print mags, 4 on-line mags, and have a good number of clips. Whether that will ever translate into an agent or editor accepting my book-length works remains to be seen.
April 22, 2011 at 7:13 am
Duotrope, http://www.duotrope.com/index.aspx , has an excellent database of magazines that publish short fiction and poetry. They may have more as well; haven’t been there for a while.
April 26, 2011 at 8:39 am
It’s sometimes difficult to discern a magazine’s personality. You read a few issues and think you got it, but it’s a complete mystery after resubmitting and getting rejected again what exactly they are looking for when it seems like you were spot on. It’s a learning curve, I guess.
April 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm
For every article directory that publishes your article you’ll get a link to your website (the link you included in your article), and also other websites might ‘pick-up’ your article to publish on their own website – meaning you get even more links. So the more directories you submit to, the more links you’ll get. Of course, you need to write a good quality article so that your article is published by the directories. ^
My favorite web blog <' http://www.prettygoddess.com/
April 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm
Writing articles and submitting them to article directory web sites should be project numero uno for you in an attempt to build valuable back links to your web site. Ithink that most of us would agree that traffic to your site is critical, as it determines the success or failure of your site. After all, what is the use in spending all your timeand resources building a web site to settle for second best when it comes to traffic? Writing 500 to 1000 wordarticles is where the real work in promoting your web site come in to play. .
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