Don’t do what I do, do what I say. What I do is get all excited about something and then sit down at my computer and write an article or story about it. Since I’ve written it, of course I have to polish it. When I’m finished, I sit there with a good article and I say, “Now where can I publish this?”
No. Do the reverse. Find the market first then write the article. That’s a business approach. Study the magazine. Look up their website and especially their submission guidelines. Then write a good query letter to the magazine.
A Query Letter should reveal:
- The slant you intend to use.
- The tone of the article
- Your qualifications to write about the subject
- Your ability to write. Your past successes as a writer
Of course, your letter itself will tell the publisher whether you can write. I see nothing wrong with saying, “I’ve written a one thousand word article about…” even when you haven’t written a word of it yet. Get the sale or a commitment before you even write it. Is it wrong to say that? I don’t think so. You have the article in your head already.
I had a good friend in the States who never left her local community. But she continued to make three and four hundred-dollar sales to magazines. For example, she studied the origins of tea for an article, and she wrote an article about George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak.
Think for a moment. Think of a magazine article you could write. Don’t write it. Sit down and write a query letter to just the right magazine.
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