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How to Excel at Freelance Writing for Magazines: A Quick Guide

Writing for magazines can be profitable, because they are some of the best markets with ongoing needs monthly. There are some well-paying ones in print and online that you can write for by following these guidelines:


Putting information about qualifications, and what you are looking for will generate leads that you may not have known existed. Advertise on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Let everyone know that you want magazine writing gigs, and request their help in finding leads.

Create a website and blog to market yourself. Showcase short samples of your work on your website, and highlight your niche, whether it is writing editorials, feature articles, business or marketing articles, or customized articles to suit the magazine’s perspective and target audience.


Although you may get a couple of gigs from small publications, they will probably not pay enough to warrant the time you put in writing the articles. Targeting those that are large enough to provide steady work will be worth your time pursuing. Also, targeting magazines that are part of the demographic in which you live may offer more possibilities, particularly if they want you to come to the office occasionally and meet with the editors and other writing staff.

Read a copy of the magazines, make notes about the departments they have, submission guidelines, and writing style of the articles they have published. Becoming familiar with the magazine will enable you to pitch ideas that fit what they like.

Some of the major magazines that pay big bucks are:

  • American Craft
  • Better Homes and Gardens
  • Bon Appétit
  • Family Circle
  • Fitness Rx for Women
  • James Ward Kirk Fiction
  • Men’s Health
  • Running Times
  • Minnesota Monthly
  • Smoky Mountain Living


Sending queries, either by e-mail or regular mail, is the way to get yourself in front of the editors. Begin the query with a compelling statement that will grab the reader’s attention. If you are pitching a particular article idea, assert emphatically why it is spectacular and will be the best one for their readers. Provide the details of what your article will contain, such as photos or sidebars.

Magazine editors want clips; examples of your work will help them decide whether you are the one for the job. Send clips that match the type of content the magazine contains.


Promote yourself everyday--marketing is the key to magazine writing success.

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