Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Build Your Platform with Magazine Writing

Platform is a term frequently tossed around in the publishing world. As authors we are encouraged to reach out to potential readers in order to increase our visibility (platform).

Most of us jump right to social media. We think we have to be tweeting, Facebooking, sharing photos on Instagram and on and on. And while social media, when done correctly can be very effective, I am here to tell you, there is another way to build your audience---magazine articles.

By writing articles for some of the 7,000+ magazines currently in print, you have the potential to reach thousands of readers in a meaningful way. And the good news is you don’t have to be a journalist to write for magazines, you just have to be a competent writer.

Here are the basic steps, broken way down, on how to begin this process. (If you want more depth information writing for magazines, I have an article in the 2016 Writer’s Market starting on page 30).

1. Create a list of potential topics related to a novel or book you are working on or one that has been published. Nonfiction is pretty easy to come up with ideas based on your subject matter. For Fiction, think about the different elements in the book. Does your main character have hobbies or activities he/she likes to do (knitting, stamp collecting, rock climbing, tap dancing…)? What is his/her occupation? Where does the story take place? All of these aspects of your story and your character can become the basis for an interesting article.

2. Figure out who your ideal reader is and study magazines that he/she would read. Read the articles, pay attention to the length of the articles and the style of the writing.

3. Look up the writer’s guidelines for the magazines. Write a compelling query (no more than one page) and send it to the editor. If she likes the idea she will get back to you with a contract and you will then write the article (where you can include a sentence about you at the end and your website URL).

Magazine writing is a great way to reach new readers.

At this year’s Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in August in NYC, I am so excited to be presenting a workshop, Building Your Platform through Magazine Articles. In this session I am going to talk about the different steps and strategies on how to submit to the many available publications. The goal is to give everyone the tools needed to begin building or strengthening their platform through magazine articles.

If want to learn more about this idea and you need another great conference fix, after the fantastic NCW event, consider a trip to NYC for the Writer’s Digest Conference. It is going to be an amazing 3 days filled with great speakers, an intense pitch slam and it’s a chance to make good connections.

Happy Writing!

p.s. It’s good to be back on the Writing Bug.


David Sharp said...

Great advice. I remember reading an article about a writer who had written some columns and various things that helped him sell his book to a publisher. It seems they like when a writer already has an audience waiting to purchase the book. Thanks for sharing.

NagaRaj Raj said...

The ideas primarily based for your challenge depend. For Fiction, reflect inconsideration on the exceptional factors within the ebook. Does your predominant man or woman have pursuits or activities he/she likes to do (knitting, stamp amassing, mountain climbing, faucet dancing.My name is Naga raj I'm working in Out of Home advertising in chennai I think we ought to be tweeting, Face booking, sharing snap shots on Instagram and on and on. And even as social media, whilst carried out efficiently may be very powerful, i'm here to inform you, there's another way to construct your target market.

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