Sunday 29 March 2015

Finding a Market for your Articles

According to University of Mississippi journalism professor Samir Husni, 700 to 1000 new magazines are launched every year (visit  If you are a beginner writer, it is best to check out the smaller magazines first, with a smaller circulation.  Likely, they do not have a large network of writers to work with and they are limited to a small editorial budget.  They have to take their writers where they can find them.

Michelle Ruberg suggests that you check out the local newsstand for new periodicals.  One writer received an issue of Yankee magazine in the mail.  Tucked inside was an ad for a spin off magazine for Collectibles Illustrated.  He mailed the publisher clippings of his previously published articles and  offered his services; within weeks, he had an assignment.

Ms. Ruberg also suggests seeking out old magazines with new owners.  New editors often have a new approach which might mean a new opportunity for you.  How do you know if ownership has changed?  Look for a new logo or new design for the magazine.  Perhaps the magazine is going through an expansion from six to twelve issues per year.  That also means work for more writers. Maybe the magazine is changing its focus.  A new direction could spell new opportunities. Investigate the smaller magazines which tend to be more open to new writers.  With a smaller budget, they take talent where they can find it.  It's a way to gain experience and build your resume.

"As the baby boom moves into what has traditionally been thought of as senior citizenry, it will represent a once in a millennium opportunity for writers.  Not only are the seventy six million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 the biggest and richest generation in U.S. history, they are also a generation of readers."

Baby boomers grew up reading magazines like Famous Monsters and Tiger Beat; now they read Forbes and Travel Holiday.  They have magazines specifically geared to their age group like AARP The Magazine and More.

How do you as a writer capitalize on this opportunity?  Michelle Ruberg suggests two ideas.  First, make sure you are an expert in one or more areas of interest to baby boomers.  Second, master the tone with which this generation wants to be addressed.  Avoid "seniors", "mature" and "golden". Don't patronize them.  "This generation is in no rush to trade the Rolling Stones for kidney stones," explains Michelle Ruberg.  Remember that your 50's and 60's are some of the best decades of your life.  Third, be aware of cultural references ex. Herman of the Hermits versus Herman Munster; Gidget versus widget.

Here are the hot topics for baby boomers:

1.  health:  nutrition, exercise, prevention

2.  money:  investment, tax tips, estate planning

3.  entertainment/travel:  books, movies, videos, websites
 (over 50-somethings travel more than any other age group)

4.  family:  reunion, sick parent, travel with a grandchild

5.  essays/humour:  reflective stage of life; generation grew up on Soupy Sales, Saturday Night Live

Note:  Visit for ideas.

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