Why would you want your work to get published?
There are a number of reasons and answers to that question. First of all, a well-written and informative article attracts a variety of readers. This act alone can generate a huge amount of publicity to you and your business. However, to make this happen, one needs to publish the right article with the right story, in the right publication at the right time.
Another main advantage of getting your writing published in a newspaper or a magazine is that it makes you and your business look authenticate and legitimate. Unlike advertisements, not many writers and business owners can get their writing published; hence those successful in doing so immediately stand out from the crowd, and grow a sense of recognition from society and in the mind of their readers.
The advantages of publishing are immense! And if done correctly, this can help the writer maximise the benefits. In this article, we will explore all the steps involved in publishing your article in a magazine or a newspaper.
1. Start with a topic
This is a writer's basic first step when coming up with something to be published. It is extremely important to come up with the right topic, which is a current or hot favorite amongst the audience you plan to reach out to, forming the base of your article. For example, if you want to reach out to the young working-class population in your region, then have topics like “top 10 investment options”, “8 inspirational role models to look up to”, or “6 tips for better work-life balance”. These topics are popularly read among the younger generation.
You need to be an expert and have complete knowledge in whatever field you are writing on. Be mindful, that if you write anything incorrect, you could scar your image permanently. It is key that you know what you are talking about!
If you are writing an article on sports for example, you need to be a sports fanatic or a person who is passionate or knowledgeable about sports. You would need to follow information relevant to the sports industry, to make sure you are knowledgeable on that topic.
The point is - whatever you are writing about, make yourself the authority in that field. If your article succeeds, chances are that your readers may reach out to you for questions and feedback in that particular topic, which is great!
2. Market research
Doing thorough research of your topic is vital. Here, it is important to do research on a few subjects - for instance, what newspaper or magazine you are aiming for; their style of writing; if articles of the same topic have already been published; what kind of work the magazine accepts i.e., fiction, non-fiction, history, literature, etc. After this, research the topic itself and gather as much relevant and up-to-date information as possible.
It is vital to keep in mind what newspaper or magazine you are targeting while writing the article. This would help you write in the style which is required by the editors of that particular publication.
Finding out if a similar article has been published in that magazine or not is important to know as - if it has been already published previously, there is little chance for the editor to publish a similar topic again in the same magazine.
Once you have all the relevant information, you should be able to execute and put together all the pieces of information in fine work, perfectly able to fit your chosen target audience’s market, style, language and content requirements.
3. Pitching your idea
While writing an article, always remember to tell a story. The stronger the story, the better the article! Make sure to use effective images and eye-catching phrases to attract your audience. This article by Times of India demonstrates how to write an article for newspapers. After you have gathered all the information and written your article, reach out to the editors and sell them your idea. Learn more on how to draw readers into your article.
What's the first step in doing this, you ask? Figuring out the right person to contact. If you are writing an article about health, pitch to the health editor. If your expertise is in pop-culture, restaurants, or TV shows, contact the entertainment editor. You can easily find the editor’s information on the page the content is published or in some publications, you can find that in the very first or the last page of the magazine.
It is very important to contact the right person to get your job done. For in-depth knowledge about the importance of contacting the right person, check WikiHow. If you are pitching to the wrong person, chances are you might not get any response at all and they won’t tell you whom you should be contacting.
After tracking down the right person, you need to pitch your idea correctly. Without knowing the editor, it is difficult to know whether he/she is an email person or a phone person. In the initial stages, I would suggest using both methods to contact the editor.
When emailing the editor, clearly state the subject of the email. Ideally, your email should consist of three paragraphs with information that is short, sweet and to the point.
🤜 The first paragraph should talk about who you are, why you are writing the article and why you are qualified to write on the topic
🤜 The second paragraph should introduce your article, with a rough idea of what that is
🤜 In the third paragraph, you should outline all contact details in case the editor needs to reach you, and include a date and time you will place a follow-up call to discuss your idea in depth
🤜 Finish with a thank you note
🤜 Try not to put lengthy paragraphs as your email may not be read by the editor due to lack of time
Read this article for more insights into what to include in your pitch.
When you call the editor, remind them of your email and the day you sent it to them.
It might be possible that the editor doesn’t respond to your call and your call reaches to voicemail. Describe your idea briefly and repeat your contact number twice, in case they need to contact you back.
Editors are constantly in search of good ideas and stories. They have to go through numerous articles every day, so it is extremely important to use short and to the point language in your email and phone call. Being precise saves the editor’s time and increases the likelihood of them reaching out to you. Read this post for further guidance in publishing your idea.
After pitching your idea, give the journalist adequate time to respond. As mentioned above, editors have a busy schedule throughout their day and have to read and answer numerous articles on a day-to-day basis. Being too hasty about a response and shooting emails to them, will eventually lead you to end up in their spam folders.
I would advise you to wait for a week or so for them to reply to you. Look out if the publication has a guideline or policy like, “If you don’t hear from us in [x number of days], then we will not be able to publish your content”.
If you do not hear from them within one to two weeks, drop them an email asking for a review about your piece. It is also worth mentioning that if you are unable to hear from them within two to three weeks, you will consider that your idea is not liked and will move on with another idea.
Be sure to thank them for their time, and finish with a thank you note. Read this post on tips to getting published to get more guidance.
If the publisher replies to your content, they are likely to respond with one of these three thoughts:
👉 They don’t like the idea
👉 They want some changes to the idea
👉 They want to publish it
There are very few instances when an editor directly adopts the story. More often, they will suggest some changes and there will be a few email exchanges before you land upon a good final story. The more you do this sort of thing, the more trust it builds on both sides. It becomes easier afterwards for you to write for the same publication as both sides start knowing each other. Read this blog for more tips.
Always remember; if anyone rejects your content, there is nothing such as a bad idea. Don't give up! You just need to restructure it, wait for the correct time and reach out a right editor and publication. Every magazines and newspaper is constantly looking for new and innovative ideas to divert the readers to them, so don’t be afraid of pitching your great story.
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About the Author
Siddharth is a Business Management student at London South Bank University. He is an avid reader and a content writer on various business aspects. Studying in London and raised in Gujarat, India, he speaks 3 different languages. He holds interests in sports, fitness, army and defense services, philosophy, business operations, marketing, and is passionate about becoming an entrepreneur. He is a writer and contributor for High Profile Club.