freelance writer


How To Get Freelance Article Writing Jobs In Newspapers And Magazines

There are thousands of magazines, both hard copy and online, that are always looking for talent. If you think that you have the talent to write for newspapers and magazines – how do you make that happen?

There are three steps that will increase your chances of seeing your name in print.

  1. Research. Do it – a lot of it. Which publications accept freelance work? What is the style/length/content that the specific publications accept? What topics have been covered lately so that you avoid them and/or what topics are popular and current? After answering these questions, you will be on track to write an article that fits with your selected publication and their market.

  2. Putting together a pitch. Now that you have done the research, you have to convince someone to give you a chance. But don’t overdo it.

    • Prepare a clear and concise pitch as to the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of your article’s importance. Keep it short, sweet, and on point.
    • Don’t be annoying. Don’t call or email every day – give the editor a chance (at least a week) to review your pitch and make a decision.
    • Be on or ahead of schedule and be reliable. Publications are on tight deadlines. Being late with your first article could make it your last.
    • If you get rejected, don’t give up. Change you pitch and target a different publication. But don’t give up on your first choice. Learn from your mistakes and keep trying.

  3. Timing – and a little (lot of) luck. Find out news desk story deadlines. Submitting a story when it is after the deadline is not what you want. The sooner you get your story to the editor/copy editor, the longer they have to do their jobs – and the more they will like you. This also goes for knowing the busy and slow times of the news year.

    • During the summer – editors dislike this time of the year. Summer vacation – for everyone including schools and the federal government – make for a slow period for some publications, but this may be a perfect time for you to make a pitch.
    • Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year holiday season – also a pretty good time of year to make a pitch. People are generally harder to find/contact and this quiet time could be just want you need to increase your chances of being published.

If you are interested in writing freelance articles for newspapers and magazines, do your research, put together your pitch, and pay attention to timing. You will see your name in black and white in no time.


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