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How to Initiate Your Sports Blog

How to Initiate Your Sports Blog

Are you one of the sports enthusiasts who want to run your own sports blog? Well, if that is the case, you are reading the right blog. Along with some blog tips, we will be talking about what you need to ensure before starting a blog dedicated to sports. However, when it comes to sports, several forms and types exist. So, the first thing you might have to do is choose the sports stream you will be covering. If you typically want to cover all forms of sports, that would be challenging since you need a comprehensive team.

Speaking of which, itching for sports journalism through blogging is not an easy job. You have to make connections, develop your sources, and make the most of time. Moreover, tons of topics can be incorporated to draft articles on the blog when you initiate the project. From keeping track of players, stats, and performance of teams and clubs to discussing equipment, sharing sports strategies, and talking about different sports games can be some of the topics to administer into the blog.

SPorts Blog

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Remember, being passionate about the job is not everything. You need to provide your readers with every source and type of information. Even behind the curtain, work is appreciated in popular sports. This does attract new readers and encourage the old ones to come back again and again. So, let’s get started with the blog.

Pick Your Niche

The very first step in the blogging journey is choosing a genre for the blog. It is essential to know that the more focused your blog is, the more straightforward it will be to attract followers and readers to engage with your content. Select a knowledgeable and passionate topic and know how to add more topics to the current list.

Decide On the Name

Well, we might have forgotten about this but isn’t the name your priority? When it comes to every line of work, you need to define the name first. As a thumb rule, you need to select a domain name first that is a bit simple to spell and easy to remember. You can even opt for a proper name that is closely related to the primary topic you will cover. However, bear in mind that one can’t get the exact domain. You must know that if you decide to expand your topics in the future, your name can be too restrictive.

Choose a Platform

Several blogging platforms are out there, but one of the ideal platforms for your blogging line is WordPress. Even though you will come across various sites, WordPress comprises the following features:

  • Free to use and download
  • Power more than 30% of websites
  • Thousands of premium and free themes
  • Extend the basic functionality with premium and free plugins.

Purchase Domain and Hosting

How to Create a Blog

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The following step is to buy a domain name for the blog and a suitable hosting to park the website. This is required to allow potential visitors and readers to find the blog online. Moreover, in some cases, you can buy both at the same time. And, if you have a budget for this, consider purchasing in the Black Friday sale.

Install WordPress

Once you have bought the hosting and domain package, the following step is to install WordPress. Luckily several hosting companies offer a quick one-click installation.

Install a Theme

With the blogging site installed, it is time to select a theme for the blog. Remember, a theme should replicate the emotions and niche of your work. So, do a comprehensive search before deciding on the theme. If you do not get the right theme for your blog, search it online, download it, and upload it on WordPress for integration. Once everything is done, activate the theme, and you are good to go.

Create and Publish

This has to be another essential step. It is time to create pages and publish. To begin with, it is ideal to have an About page to convey what you bring to the table to the readers and visitors. To add a new page to the menu section of the blog, go to the Add New button on the menu situated on the left side of the screen.

Publish Your First Blog

Blogging

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When you have completed making pages for the blog, take this time to publish your first blog. To do this, find the button ‘posts’ and add new. You will come across the same editor you utilized for the pages. So, all one has to do is get the post ready and then publish it after tweaking the categories and feature image section.

Keep Going

Since your blog is live on the internet, keep going and publishing relevant and valuable content that your readers will enjoy. So, what are you waiting for?


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

Everything You Need To Learn About Blogging

Everything You Need To Learn About Blogging

So, we got to know that you write and want to say something to your readers? Well, if you can make a difference and make some money simultaneously, what would be better? If this is the case, good for you. However, the only problem being, how do you initiate the activity? How do you start writing for someone and operate as a blogger? There are endless elements and points that you may have missed out on while starting to blog. If you do not know what to expect from this, here is a checklist that can assist you in every way.

1. Blogging takes a lot of effort.

You might have been fascinated by the lifestyle of some bloggers by now. But, it does not portray the actual picture of a blogger. While you may have seen a travel blogger uploading their travel stories, fashion bloggers adorning some of the trendy fashion sequences on Instagram, the reality can hit you right in the spot when you think about becoming a blogger. One has to invest a lot of time and effort into rewriting, editing, writing, sourcing images, researching, etc.

Blogging Tips

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And once your article is published, you may have to spend a lot of time promoting the blog on several networks. Blogging requires an individual to be patient and consistent. Speaking of which…

2. Blogging isn’t the straightforward way to earn money.

We’ve read about most bloggers who live by blogging and earn tons of money. Yes, this isn’t false. You can earn, and one day, you’re definitely going to reach that level. However, note that getting there will take sustained years of patience and work. Before beginning with blogging, be clear in your head that blogging is a long-term investment rather than being short-term. In addition, start blogging for all the right reasons, and earnings will follow.

3. Choose a niche

Well, this may be one of the biggest challenges in your journey. Have you been writing about games lately and want to start a blog on gaming? Speaking of which, ensure factors that can drive traffic to your blog. With a pre-decided niche, things can fall into place. But, what’s in a niche, you’d ask? When it comes to blogging, a specific niche might help attract readers interested in the topic. Shortlist trendy titles and decide how to prune the potential.

4. Start small

Learn About Blogging

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Are you starting a blog for the very first time? It is possible that you may not get around it initially. Besides, many people may not like the layout of the blog or the content approach you have taken. Well, this is entirely okay. While others have invested heavily into their respective blogs, you do not have to follow in their footsteps. Build a free site with no fancy whistles and bells.

Both Blogger and WordPress are ideal platforms where one can begin their blogging journey as a free agent. Build your style and take time to incorporate most of the figures and speeches. Once you have a fair share of visitors, you can always move to paid plans and self-hosting.

5. Nothing beats excellent content.

Remember, if you write exceptionally well, no visitor can avoid you. Moreover, brands might also contact you for paid promotions when the blog theme is killer, and your content is not such a filler. You just have to generate traffic through superb writing, and there you have it! Once you’re halfway across, gradually expand your reach.

6. Blogging means going social.

A blogger is pre-destined to connect and interact with fellow bloggers, both outside and within the niche. Not only is this an ideal way to expand your network, but it is also a suitable way to reach a larger group of audience. Bloggers also tend to form a well-knit community with recurring link-outs, social shares, guest posts, etc.

If you’ve done some pre-planning, you can create your media platforms with a social media strategy on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

7. Be ready to learn new things

Be Ready to Learn New Things

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There’s no age to learn. That’s because we learn every day. But, unless you originate from a technical background, chances are you will pick up new skills as you get to focus more on blogging. Nearly every blogger needs to understand basic analytics and SEO and keep updated with ongoing trends and changes like Google updates.

8. Always be yourself

Many people get this wrong. To become a successful writer or blogger, you have to be honest and true to yourself. Let your readers and traffic see who you really are. You need to express and develop your voice and style. Don’t hesitate in conveying your thoughts. That’s what a blogger is; write about what you’d want to become, do, and plan on doing. This might be a challenging job, but what isn’t?


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

How To Make Money Online Tips: Check Them Out

How To Make Money Online Tips: Check Them Out

From selling Beanie Babies to online poker, several ways are there to get-rich-quick. However, do they always work? While some may, others might not be so effective. Can an individual make money by just doing this? Well, a BIG MAYBE! Many people prefer to get trapped in their 9 to 5 jobs since it pays more and the monthly cheque is guaranteed. The truth is, there are many ways to make quick cash online. From savvy marketers and rising entrepreneurs to digital nomads, you can incorporate any business idea, put forth a laptop coupled with a robust internet, and you’re good to go.

So let’s break it down and present some of the easy yet effective ways to make money online, but the real way.

Start Dropshipping

Starting off the list with the most favorite ways to make quick cash – drop shipping. As per Google Trends, the popularity of dropshipping is rapidly increasing, demonstrating its capability to encash online. If you happen to go through the web, you will find endless success stories on how people used such a way to earn quick money online.

Try Print on Demand

Money Online

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Print-on-demand services are on a significant rise at the moment. Budding and experienced graphic designers are shifting to this business model to trade their designs on specific niches to monetize their work. With the help of distinctive designs, you can create an established and consistent brand. This is similar to dropshipping, but you do not have to ship out products or carry inventory with you.

Earn with Affiliate Marketing

If you haven’t heard about affiliate marketing, it is one of the most prevalent ways to earn money online. To get into such a process, you can affiliate with various brands around you and advertise their products and services through your platforms. From Amazon to Shopify, you can pick any company and help their products grow in popularity.

Start a YouTube Channel

Start a YouTube Channel

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If you have come across other people making money online through YouTube, you can too. Guess what? The highest-paid individual through this platform is a 7-year old Ryan, who tends to review several toys on his channel. This made him earn more than $22 million in 2018. Yet another earner is Jeffree, who made around $18 million and comprised a cosmetics brand, which sells more than $100 million products annually. All one has to do is create a YouTube profile, pick a niche to make videos on, and adequately advertise the channel.

Become an Influencer

Did you know the importance of building a personal brand? Well, if you knew about this, what about knowing the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo made close to $975,000 for each Instagram post. This is not surprising. Social media and particular brand names sell out crazily. Even though you are thinking that influencers, celebrities, and sportspeople are earning bullocks of money online, you can do that as well. These days, good influencers can easily make seamless money through their online presence, traffic, and brand.

Create an Online Course

An online course can do wonders when it comes to being on the other side. If you happen to be an expert on one or more subjects and would like to share it with other people, what would be best than introducing a course on it. You can choose to sell your courses on Udemy. If you have your website, it would be ideal for teaching through that.

Publish an Ebook

As someone willing to go public and does not know how to, this point can help. If you are a writer who does not have ample time, hire a writer to write an ebook for you. Or, if you are an illustrator, hire a designer to design covers, posts, and many more things. Options are plenty. You just need to find a platform to submit an issue and get it reviewed before publishing it.

Start a Blog

Start a Blog

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Blogging is reckoned as one of the traditional and effective methods to make money online. People who love to write and read tend to start blogs in various niches. To build a loyal base of followers, one can begin with a blog on cars, procrastination, toys, dropshipping, etc.

Consider Freelancing

One of the straightforward ways to earn money online is to take your daily 9-hour job online. If you are a writer, try finding clients who can pay you for freelance articles. Follow the same course if you are a designer or developer. Marketing such skills on a freelancing basis can significantly help your profile achieve unmatched heights. If you want to start soon, build a solid portfolio and list down reputable links or works you have adhered to before. The more you build on these things, the more you increase your chances of landing a successful gig. So, what are you waiting for?


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

Business Online

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Become a Digital Nomad  Courtesy of Life Upswing

Small Business Marketing Tips

Small Business Marketing Tips

As a small business owner, the one thing you probably lack is a large marketing budget, which is more than reasonable when considering that there are a hundred different things that require your full attention and resources.

This is why you should do your best to exhaust every other alternative before opting for a mainstream marketing strategy that will continuously take a large part of your earnings for very little in return. What we will be discussing today are some extremely cost-effective alternatives that can hopefully show how to get and then maintain a loyal following without spending thousands of dollars.

Most of these are Small Business Marketing Tips but they will work for all others as well.

Search Engine Optimization

I’m sure you have probably heard about SEO optimization in every other article as well, but there is a good reason for that. Search Engine Optimization, as the name suggests, will make sure that your websites, pages, blogs, and posts are discovered faster in search engines like google and Bing’s search results and hopefully shown at or near the top of the page.

The higher their ranking, the more chances of them being discovered by more and more people and in return, further increasing their own position and page authority. So you can imagine why it is stressed so much by industry specialists. Not to mention it doesn’t have to cost anything and can be done relatively quickly if you don’t mind learning a few new things.

The basis of SEO is pretty simple. The first thing you have to do is make sure your website is using all the necessary tools. If it’s built on something like WordPress or Wix then you have the option to use SEO plugins without any additional cost. These plugins will take care of all the basic stuff like creating sitemaps and optimizing formats and guide you with the rest of the process as much as possible.

Then come all your other social media pages. Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any of the others, SEO can be done in every single one of them.

For Instagram, you can start by using Hashtags. They connect all of your posts together, making it easier to share and be discovered by others even if by accident. Another option is by optimizing the descriptions of images to be as accurate and inclusive as possible of every subject matter. This way the chances of them being discovered through google image search increase by leaps and bounds.

All public Facebook groups, pages, and posts can be shown as a result of Google searches so it’s a good idea to use the same SEO techniques you would for your official website. The content length doesn’t matter as long as it is SEO-friendly.

Use Social Media to its Fullest Extent

If you haven’t done so already, get on every social media platform you can. But before you do so, it’s best if you understand which platform is most likely to have your target audience.

Let’s take Facebook for example. A car mechanic will surely see more visits and clicks on a platform like Facebook where there are people from every walk of life. But doing the same on Instagram or Snapchat won’t net you the same result as the majority of the users are young teens that either just don’t own a car or simply aren’t interested in seeing anything related to your business.

That’s why although it’s a good idea to be present on every platform, focusing the majority of your efforts on one platform that is going to be most beneficial and responsive to your efforts is the better option.

Customer Engagement

For all businesses, whether they are large corporations or up-and-coming businesses, customer engagement is the solution to most of your problems. It’s anywhere from 5 to 20 times more expensive to acquire new clients than it is to keep old ones. That’s why focusing efforts to retain clients by increasing customer engagement through any number of techniques is advised at every stage.

Post interesting content on your social media pages that are connected to your field. If you have the time to spare or the resources to hire someone, start a blog and post regularly. It doesn’t have to be too often at the start and you can go slow, but pick up the pace as you get used to it and set yourself apart from the competition by showcasing your own set of unique skills through different methods.

Talk about topics that interest you or you know about. Give advice or ask for it from the experts and continue developing your brand through it.

Contests

Online contests are a great way to boost your following without opting for paid advertisements. You will have to fork out a bit for the final prize but that’s still cheaper than buying clicks and views.

There is no need to use something expensive as the final prize and instead opt for a trendy item or even something you make yourself, i.e., your product or service is a great idea. Going by the previous example of a car mechanic, the final prize can be something along the lines of a full tune-up or service for the winner’s vehicle.

This not only directly promotes your own product/service but also saves you from spending on another item. It’s basically free publicity. If you’re not sure how to get started, RaffleCopter is a great little service that takes care of the entire process and even has the option to share it on all your social media platforms.

Create Partnerships

No one can do everything by themselves. Sooner or later you will need help and teaming up with another business that is in the same field can help create a symbiotic relationship where both parties benefit greatly.

Creating strategic partnerships has many advantages while doesn’t require as much work on your part. Your business is able to receive twice as much notice and partnering with an industry-relevant business will also introduce you to an entirely new audience that is looking for something in your area of specialties.

Continuing from the previous example once again, a car mechanic can partner with a car dealership and have access to an exclusive audience that would usually be out of reach. And you can even go a step further and give discounts or offer special pricing to the customers that are referred to you by the partner.

Referral Programs

Speaking of referral programs, they should not only be limited to your partnerships. Under normal circumstances even if customers like what you have to offer, they still wouldn’t just refer your services without a reason. So why not give them one?

You have a lot of freedom when it comes to designing referral programs but the one thing that should be kept in mind is the reward. It has to be enticing enough for your customers to consider referring new clients but not too enticing that they should start a campaign of their own and refer every random person. What you’re looking for is someone that will stick even after the initial purchase.

And studies have shown that referred customers have much higher brand loyalty from the get-go and larger profit margins without much work from your side. And not only this, but it would also increase the loyalty of your existing customers once they have a more vested interest in your brand.

Plus with the dozens of different software out there that are designed for the sole purpose of setting up and maintaining such referral programs, there really is no reason for you to not at least try it out.

Paid Search Discovery/advertising

After exhausting all other methods you can finally focus on some cost-effective advertising alternatives to the more mainstream strategies. Although they won’t be free, it still shouldn’t break your bank any time soon.

All major platforms offer a few deals for smaller businesses. They give you the option to target a specific demographic and you won’t be charged unless someone clicks on the advertisement. Google and Facebook are way ahead of the competition in this area as they have developed specialized algorithms that use the entirety of their massive databases and search for individuals that are looking for your exact products.

This way you won’t simply get random clicks but only actual leads that have a very high chance of making a purchase will be redirected to your business. It’s one of the best ways to get a good return on investment, other than text-based marketing of course.

SMS Marketing

If you’re like me and knew nothing about text marketing until recently, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. In the last few years, there have been a lot of new and old marketing strategies that have seen a sudden boost in popularity, and SMS marketing is one of the older ones. It has been around for a couple of decades now but only now has it really caught on, especially with the smaller to medium-sized business market for the following few reasons:

The Cheaper Alternative

Unlike what you might think, text-based marketing programs are some of the cheapest alternatives around. They barely cost anything to get started and are perfect for those business owners that want to get their money’s worth without spending thousands of dollars.

The distance between the sender and the receiver doesn’t matter at all. You have the option to send mass text messages to an entire demographic at an extremely affordable rate.

Bigger Reach

Even with today’s technological advancements, there are still a lot of places that either don’t have internet service or it is so bad that barely anyone uses it. Whereas everyone has a cell phone or two in their pockets at all times no matter the social or financial status. From kids as young as ten to retirees, text marketing has the most varied demographic and the widest reach out of all marketing methods.

Flexible

If you have ever opted for a mainstream marketing strategy then you should know the legal implications that come with it. With binding contracts, you basically have no freedom to speak off and are stuck in a relationship whether you like it or not.

But most SMS marketing methods, especially the ones being offered by industry leaders like Express Text are so versatile in their offerings that you won’t even have to sign anything to get started. The process is extremely simple and easy, which only requires you to choose from one of the provided packages. After that, you can simply enter the names and numbers of your contracts and be on your merry way.

Control

You as the client have complete control with regards to the contents of the text messages. If you want to share links to your social media profiles within the messages then there are tools in place that will not only you to do so, but do it right. They will give detailed data about the people that clicked on the links that can be then used to further refine your marketing efforts.

If you want to share details about one of the other marketing methods you are free to do so. The content of each and every text message can be changed at a moment’s notice, add to it or replace the content entirely and go with something completely different. You have complete freedom.

Conclusion

We can give you as small business marketing tips as you want, but in the end, the only thing that matters is what is best for your business. Do you want to try some free tricks to boost your following or go for a definite win?

With some of the highest ROI’s in the entire marketing industry, SMS marketing is the best option for all new businesses that are still figuring things out for themselves and their respective customers. Its plethora of features eclipses anything that the other marketing can throw out.

More Marketing Ideas


The original article by Ashish Patel was published at Expresstext.net


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

 

Get Paid to Write for Magazines: The Ultimate Guide

Get Paid to Write for Magazines: The Ultimate Guide

But you’re just a little old blogger, right? Why would popular magazines like ForbesWebMD, and Redbook be interested in you?

You might be surprised.

Thousands of magazines appear on the newsstands and in readers’ mailboxes every month, and they’re constantly on the lookout for new writing talent. Yes, your audience as a blogger may still be small, but all those hours you spent slaving away on your content has probably honed your writing skills to where you could, in fact, compete with the big boys and girls to write for magazines.

And it’s SO worth it.

If you’ve been blogging for a while, let’s talk about why you should be interested in magazines:

1. Magazines can send you a lot of traffic.

Most magazines that pay well for freelance writing also command a huge readership.

For example, when I wrote for Woman’s Day, they had 6 million readers all across the United States. That’s a lot of eyeballs reading your work.

Of course, the size of the audience isn’t everything. Sometimes you’re looking for a smaller but more targeted audience. Magazines can help you there, too!

For example, if you want readers in a particular geographic area, you can write for local magazines that boast followings in that area. If you want readers from a particular industry, you can write for trade publications devoted to that field. If you want readers who buy a particular product or service, you could write for custom publications reaching those customers.

The important point:

Magazine readers are an entirely different audience than the people surfing the blogosphere. These readers are all people who might never find out about you outside of their favorite magazines.

Magazine Readers

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Even better, many publications, especially online ones, run a bio box at the end of your article where you can trumpet your credentials and lead people to your blog. Writer’s Digest gave me a bio box at the bottom of my column in every issue when I wrote their Conference Scene column, and it drew interested readers online to find out more about my books and classes for writers.

2. They can be lucrative gigs.

Some magazines don’t pay anything at all… but some pay big. (Hint: Those are the ones you want to write for.)

I’ve earned anywhere from $.10 per word writing for trade magazines at the beginning of my career up to $2.50 per word penning articles for national consumer magazines like Health. What’s important, though, isn’t the per-word rate — it’s your hourly rate, and I usually earn $250 per hour at this kind of work even at magazines that pay just $.50/word.

So, you’re not just connecting with new readers. You’re getting paid to connect with new readers.

Magazine Readers

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How cool is that?

3. They can help you land other well-paying gigs.

You can use published articles as clips, or samples, to show to potential clients in all writing areas. Copywriting clients, for example, like to know you understand the ins and outs of journalism and have the skills to weave a narrative and tell a good story. Just what they want you to do with their products!

Your article writing can also turn into speaking gigs. If a conference organizer likes one of your articles in their industry trade pub, they might ask you to turn your article into a speech, giving you not only more exposure but a nice speaking fee too! One of my very first articles, in a national business magazine, led to a speaking opportunity at a Chamber of Commerce in Pennsylvania.

Plus, let’s not forget about credibility. If you’re on the hunt for a book deal, a business partner, or an affiliate, who do you think they’re going to want to work with: the person with no creds, or the one with a column in a major magazine? Yeah, it’s a no-brainer.

Magazine Readers

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Traffic, money, credibility – you’re sold, right? Now you’re itching to learn how to get started.

Luckily, as a blogger, you’re one step ahead of the game, because just as you can use magazine articles as clips to get blogging gigs, you can use blog posts as clips to land article assignments.

Who wants to buy my articles?

You already know about the big magazines that populate the newsstand, so let me share two super-secret markets out there for writers:

TRADE MAGAZINES: LITTLE BUT LUCRATIVE

Trade magazines are business-to-business publications created for members of a certain industry.

For example, I’ve written for Pizza Today, The Federal Credit Union, In-Plant Graphics, Sign Builders Illustrated, Restaurant Management, and Mini-Storage Messenger. These magazines tell readers how to best manage, market, and generally boost the success of their businesses.

There are gazillions of these magazines, covering every imaginable market niche. For example, my husband once wrote for Indian Gaming Business — and this magazine actually has a competitor. So whatever educational or professional background you have, you can probably parlay that into trade assignments.

The downside?

Don’t expect to get rich. At least, not right away.

Trade magazines typically pay less than consumer magazines — think 10 – 50 cents per word, though many pay higher — but on the “pro” side, they’re easier to write for than the big guys, they tend to pay quickly, and they become loyal clients that will come back to you again and again. Also, once you get the hang of writing for a particular industry, you’ll be able to complete assignments more quickly, meaning your hourly rate will increase.

Find trades in Writer’s Market and at WebWire. Webwire doesn’t include links to the magazines, but you can search for the sites of pubs you’re interested in on Google.

CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS: ALL THE BRANDS YOU TRUST

A custom publication is a magazine that serves as a marketing piece for a business to give to its customers or clients.

Many of these are published by companies called custom publishers (though many of them now call themselves content companies). That means the business distributing the magazine to its clients is not the actual publisher. The business pays the publisher to create the magazine for them.

So, that magazine you get at Sam’s Club? Custom published.

The one you get from your bank, supermarket, or insurance agency? Most likely also custom published.

And the even cooler part?

Custom published magazines tend to pay more than trades — in my experience, at least 50 cents to $1 per word. Yes, you do need some writing skill to freelance for them, but not really any more or less than you need for consumer and trade magazines.

If you’re good, you can also get steady work. As with trades, if custom pub editors like you they’ll add you to their “stable” of writers to hand out assignments to. Sweet!

Find custom publications at The Content Council. Click on “Members” and you can search by industry to see who publishes magazines (and other content) in sectors like health, retail, and financial services.

To break into most magazines, you need a query letter, also known as a pitch. It’s basically a sales letter telling the editor what your idea is, why it’s important to readers, and why you’re the best person to write it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1. A Fantastic Idea

Read over your target magazine to help you brainstorm ideas. If you can’t find physical copies of the magazine, check out their online archives. Sometimes the content differs, but you’ll get a good idea of what the magazine runs.

A word of warning:

Most of the ideas that first pop out of your head will suck. Even if you think they’re great, they’ll probably suck. (Sorry.)

How to write for magazines

Image Credits: Smartblogger

That’s because we tend to think in terms of topics, not story ideas. A topic is a broad idea that could really be a book, and has probably been done already, in some form, in both books and magazines. A story, on the other hand, has your own unique angle or slant that a jaded editor hopefully hasn’t seen before. For example:

Topic: How to stay healthy this summer. (See how that could be a book?)

Story: Summer bummers: The top 5 health snafus that can ruin your summer, and how to solve them.

Story: How to stay healthy this summer with items you already have in your pantry.

Story: Special precautions people with condition X need to take to stay healthy during the summer.

Get the idea?

Great. Let’s jump into the next most important part of a great query:

2. An Awesome Lede

A lede (yes, that’s spelled right) is the first paragraph or two of your query, and it’s typically written in the same style as the ledes you see in articles in your target magazine. So you might start with an anecdote, a compelling quote, a startling stat — or you may do something more literary in style.

Here are a couple of potential ledes for the “Summer Bummers” idea above.

1. The anecdotal lede
When McKenzie Smith, 32, went to the beach last summer, she envisioned lying around on the sand reading a romance novel while her kids played in the warm waves. What she didn’t envision was developing an itchy condition called sea bather’s eruption, which is caused by stings from tiny, larval jellyfish.

2. A stat lede

Beset by bug bites? Feeling sick from a summer picnic? You’re not alone. According to a new study by the National Institutes of Health, nearly one-third of Americans over the age of 18 have to miss work each summer due to seasonal snafus like these — and other recent research has found that 45% of us avoid going outside in the summer because we’re afraid of bee stings, poison ivy, and sunburn. [Note: I totally made those stats up.]

3. A Nut Graf

I know — what’s with all the funny spellings, right?

The nut graf is the paragraph right after the lede where you quickly summarize what you’ll be offering. For example, let’s take my stat lede above and add on a nut graf:

Beset by bug bites? Feeling sick from a summer picnic? You’re not alone. According to a new study by the National Institutes of Health, nearly one-third of Americans over the age of 18 have to miss work each summer due to seasonal snafus like these — and other recent research has found that 45% of us avoid going outside in the summer because we’re afraid of bee stings, poison ivy, and sunburn.

Summer doesn’t have to be that way. In my article “Summer Bummers,” I’ll interview top docs to give your readers solid, little-known advice on how to combat the top seven seasonal health woes: poison ivy, dehydration, food poisoning, sunburn, sea bather’s eruption, bug bites, and heat rash.

See?

It’s the point in your query letter where you pivot from the idea into your actual pitch. The transition should be smooth, the lede flowing right into the nut graf, just like the one above.

Next, we need…

4. A Bodacious Body

The body is where you get into the nuts and bolts of your pitch. You don’t want to make the editor guess at what you’re offering: Give her some examples, written in the style you’d write the article in.

And yes, that means you’ll have to do your homework. Probably more than you’re used to.

Most blogs are opinion-based: You write what you think, and nobody is looking over your shoulder, expecting you to back it up. Magazines, on the other hand, are evidence-based. Unless you’re an expert writing an opinion piece, editors will expect you to show supporting evidence.

Sometimes, that means conducting a couple of quickie pre-interviews. You can find potential sources to interview at universities, organizations, and think tanks, and on LinkedIn, online forums, Twitter, Facebook, and source-finding sites like ProfNet. And don’t discount the value of your email list!

So here’s the body of the query I started above.

For example, I’ll offer doctor-approved advice such as:

* Food Poisoning

If you downed questionable shrimp salad at the office picnic, you may find yourself faced with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. “One thing you shouldn’t do is take an anti-diarrheal medicine because diarrhea carries the toxins that are making you sick out of your system,” says Daniel Jones, MD, an associate professor at Harvard School of Medicine. Instead, sip a sports drink, which helps replace the electrolytes you’re losing. Until you feel better, avoid solid food and drink your usual liquids plus a quart of sports drink per day.

* Dehydration

The bad thing about dehydration isn’t that your mouth is parched and you crave Frappuccinos– it’s that dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion, which can, in turn, lead to heatstroke. The worst-case heat stroke scenario is that your blood pressure drops dangerously, resulting in organ damage.

Here’s advice from Liz Johnson, MD, a physician at The Wellness Institute in Boston: If you notice decreased sweating, lightheadedness, or dizziness, get to a cool place and rehydrate with a sports drink. Anticipate and head off the problem by deep-sixing the caffeine, which can make you sweat more and therefore lose more water, and drinking more than usual if you plan to be out in the heat or if you take a diuretic such as blood pressure medication.

Don’t skimp on your research! This is where you prove to a skittish editor that you do indeed have the goods.

Then and only then can you…

5. Brag on Yourself

My writer friend Kelly James-Enger calls this the “why I’m so great” paragraph. This is where you tell the editor why you are the best person to write the proposed article. So if I were 100% a blogger and had never written for magazines, I might write:

I’m a freelance writer in Sacramento who writes on health topics on my own blog, TheBestBlogEver.com; I’ve also written for blogs like X, Y, and Z. As a former nurse, I understand medical concepts and terminology — and as I write, I know how to translate them into readable, fun prose.

Even if you don’t have a lot of writing credits to toot your horn about, there are other brag-worthy things you can use — like a deep personal knowledge of the topic (your spouse is a doc? mention that here!), an educational background in the topic, or exclusive access to a key source.

You’re a writer, so spin what you do have into the best possible light!

6. A Closing

In the closing of the pitch, I usually do two things:

#1: Show I understand the magazine’s readership.

Explain why your article will be important to the magazine’s readers. For example:

Your readers are young women who want to relax and enjoy the sun all summer long — without being waylaid by pesky summer health troubles. My article “Summer Bummers” won’t disappoint them.

#2: Ask for the sale.

One mistake many writers make is they forget to wrap up in a clear way by asking for an assignment. They let the pitch simply peter out, and leave the editor wondering why the writer bothered.

You can ask for the sale in a lot of ways: “I look forward to hearing what you think about my idea for Magazine X!” “I look forward to your reaction.” “Does this idea sound interesting to you?” “May I write this article for you?”

And that’s it! You’re finished!

What’s Next?

Send your query letter via email directly to whichever editor you think would handle your topic.

At big magazines, that is often a senior, deputy, or associate editor. At smaller magazines, like many trades, you can pitch directly to the editor.

Can’t decide? Give them a call and ask.

To find the editor’s email address, first, search the website, and try Google searches on the editor’s name and “contact.” You can also search for the editor on LinkedIn; sometimes you’ll find an e-mail address right on the editor’s profile.

If those tactics come up short, try calling the magazine. Don’t be afraid! I promise no one will yell at you.

As a last resort, try to decipher the magazine’s email format (it’s often on the Ad Sales page) and use that to figure out your editor’s address. You can take advantage of one of the many free online email verification systems like Verify-Email.org to determine if the address you guessed at is correct. This isn’t foolproof, but it helps.

Once you zap off your query, don’t just wait with bated breath for a reply, because it can take a loooong time. Send your pitch to other magazines as well (you may need to tweak your pitch a bit for each one), and get to work on your next query. Pitching a numbers game, and it’s all about volume.

Keep pitching…

Once you learn to write a query, you’ll get better and better at it, and the process will take less and less time. You’ll start to develop relationships with editors — yes, even a nice rejection asking you to pitch again can be the start of a beautiful (and lucrative) friendship. And some of those relationships will lead to regular gigs.

But you have to keep pitching.

Too many talented writers fire off a query or two and then quit. Maybe the rejection is too painful, or maybe you’re just too busy.

Regardless, the writers who make it are the ones who send a lot of pitches. Preferably at least one or two a week — with each of those going out to multiple publications — at least for the first few years.

Magazine Readers

Image Credits: Smartblogger

Here’s why:

You have to do the work to write for magazines

Writing for magazines is the same as anything else. You have to do the work.

At first, you suck. Then it gets a little easier. Then one day you look at your work and realize you actually know what you’re doing! Heck, when I started out as a full-time freelancer in 1997, I would print out each pitch, go over it with a red pen, have my writer husband go over it with a red pen, enter in the edits, and repeat the process until the pitch was as clean and perfect as possible. These days, I can write a full pitch in under an hour.

You just have to keep going. You have to keep writing. You have to trust it’ll all payoff

It’s certainly paid off for me, and I believe it can pay off for you too. Not only through money, although that’s certainly nice, but through connecting with people who need your wisdom.

The world is full of people with questions who aren’t searching blogs for answers. To help them, you have to reach outside of your medium and connect with them where they already are.

You have the skills. You have the passion. You now have the step-by-step plan to make it happen.

So get out there and start writing!

There’s a whole other world waiting for you, and if you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll do just fine.


The original article by Linda Formichelli was originally published on Smartblogger.com

About the Author:

Linda Formichelli has been a full-time freelance writer since 1997. Today, she’s the founder and creative director at Hero’s Journey Content, LLC.


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay