Thanks to the internet, it’s a whole lot easier to get a byline these days relative to just a few short years ago. Literally thousands of websites, blogs, online magazines, and other outlets are looking for great content.
But here’s the thing: There are also thousands of awesome print publications out there in every imaginable niche. Some pay more than others and are harder to break into. But the extra effort it takes to refine your approach and skills is well worth the effort… and will pay dividends.
Many people breaking into writing think that digital online outlets are where they should start, but I come from a different school of thought on this.
While attending a travel writer’s workshop in 2014, I introduced myself to one of the event speakers to pick their brain a little. They had great advice for me that I took to heart.
The speaker was adamant about only pitching to print magazines that paid their writers. At the time, online outlets did not pay, and if you found one that did, it wasn’t much.
Granted, in just the last several years, online publications have begun to pay more. But even so, if you pitch print magazines first, you’re giving yourself a chance for greater success… and better perks.
So that’s what I did. As a result, I now have dozens of bylines in great print magazines like Northwest Travel & Life, Lost Treasure, History Magazine, DreamScapes Travel and Lifestyle, Lighthouse Digest, and others. It’s a great feeling when that check shows up with the name of the publication printed on it. But I’ve also found that press trips are also much easier to secure with a print assignment.
To land a print article, you need to research the publication and why your story is relevant to them, and then write a query that knocks their socks off.
Here are a couple of tips about pitching to print publications:
- See how many print magazines you can find that you think might be a good fit for your article idea. If it’s a low number, find another idea.
- Focus on finding print magazines that are relevant to your story and that pay. Pitch all of these outlets first, then, after a couple weeks, if no one has responded, either put your pitch in a folder and try again later or go ahead and submit it to some online outlets.
Try this approach and see how the print compares with online. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you start to get some replies from editors of print magazines.
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