Writing an article for magazine heightens the path of freelance writers. And for writing in a magazine you don’t really need degrees or certificates in special courses. Strong writing voice and determination will be counted at the end of the day.
Even though, the digital platforms might seem like a destructive god to magazine platforms, no need to worry, because it continues to shine and thrive away among people. Some national platforms actually pay a huge amount of wages for the writers. So, it’s worth trying, right?
As you start writing, that one question seems to bother you no matter how prepared you are- how to write an article for a magazine? As I said, you must have the determination to generate a strong idea of writing an article for a magazine.
Furthermore, there are some essential facts you must know before you write in a magazine. Let’s make a short trip to the below facts:
Produce Article ideas
You can start with the publications you quite enjoy reading. Checking the publications you have never read before may also be a good idea, who knows you might discover something new as well as interesting. Also, if you have an interest in contributing to a particular publication, you may focus on that particular publication.
- Check the bylines with masthead: First check if the names on bylines match the masthead or not. If it doesn’t match, then it’s an indication that the publication can hire freelancers to contribute.
- Find out topics and look for names and contact info of specific editors: There are different sectors of editors and you should proceed to one that matches your interests. If you think you want to write on current affairs then look for the feature editors or managing editors. If you are into pop culture then go for arts editor. But do not be a thirst bucket to reach the executive- editor or the chief editor up the chain. It’s kind of inappropriate for freelancers to approach them.
- Look at the headlines and follow their style: Try to gather the style they follow in headlines, is it shocking? Or starts with a quote, or leaves suspense, a statistic or anecdote. This will give you an idea of how to write the headline.
- Note the sources: Follow the references or sources added to it. Is it academic or more like amateur findings? Do they collect from different types of sources or a particular type of source?
- Pick notes on how they conclude their article: pay attention to their endings. Is it with a quote? Or a relevant and attractive image? Or it ends with a bold thought?
- Think about the topics you recently talked about with friends or others: If it feels like you have talked about some interesting topics with friends or peers, you can definitely give it a thought to generate an article idea.
The topic can be conventional, near your home, popular at locals. Not necessarily it has to be a global topic. You can think of building a story centering on racial discrimination or the shallow conventions of society. Focusing on a smaller area might be a good idea because people are interested to get acquainted with the corners of the world.
Count coming events of your area
When you are just starting your career as a writer, you should write small local topics. This helps to strengthen your foundation as a writer. The topic can be any local restaurant opening, local protest, local festival, local tradition, etc.
List the local events that are worth writing and then choose one.
- Look into the local newspapers or magazines. There you might find topics relevant to the national interest. Also, there can be some unanswered topics. Pick it and gather information on it. Make it your own topic.
Take other writers in consideration
Do not just jump in this field on your own, rather trace the writers currently doing well or writing on interesting topics.
- Social media plays a big role in gathering a writer’s thoughts or updates. Set notification on your account so that you can track the topic right away it gets updated. Read and read. Who knows, you might turn the table on the exiting topic.
Do not forget to use the hashtag option if you have Twitter or Instagram. The hashtag option is helpful to find out trending ideas.
Think of a topic in a different way
Probably, there are some popular topics you have seen in almost all publications yet you can’t just stop thinking about it. Maybe something relevant to that topic is popping in your head. Maybe you have noticed or realized something new about the topic. Just note that idea instantly and work with it.
For instance: There are many publications regarding the existential crisis of modern people. You might want to think of the existential crisis of a particular group of people based on age or cast. Thus, you are dealing with it in an unfamiliar way. It’s more like a fresh approach to a common topic.
Craft the article
- Research your topic: You should never haste when it comes to research. To develop a constructive idea you need to research properly, and for better information and validity you need to give it time and patience.
As a source, you may look for books, newspapers, articles online, social media, etc.
But, having said that, you should check the validity of the content you are following. Be aware of the websites that provide lots of advertisements. Also, check if the site is or not affiliated with any sort of recognized professional organization.
Sometimes there are disputes regarding the content of the author, check it properly, and look for the reason why it was challenged by other authors.
Look for the contents that are relevant, otherwise, it will just be a waste of time.
- Reach out individuals who could be good sources: People, who are well-versed in the field your content relates to, might have a lot to say. Reach them out, make calls and interviews. Do not get scared to ask people, its just some questions, no big deal.
Moreover, you can make a questionnaire on social media by creating polls and discussion posts. It’s less time consuming and fun.
Yet, face to face interview might be more fruitful, because it ensures credibility.
Get connected with experts, follow their writings also. This will help you in developing a quality article.
- Things to do for interviews:
- Take interviews to develop trust and use the quotation from their valuable lines.
- Use a tape recorder, note pad, pen, and ensure sound free surroundings.
- Always avoid asking Yes, No questions, because by doing so you won’t get lines. Ask open-ended questions like- What can you inform me about the theory behind capitalism?
- Be a good listener and talk less. Because the interview is not about you, rather the other person is more important here.
- Do not forget to ask, have I missed anything?, or should I know anything more regarding this topic?. You can’t possibly know every suitable question, so when you ask this question the expert may inform you very important thing you have missed.
- Do not sweat over asking questions. Just make your questions relevant. In case you have any offensive question to ask, make it at the last part.
- Create an outline for the article:
It is equally important to create an outline for the article as writing the article. An outline helps to gather the ideas from the brain on a page. That how you proceed, you make a scheduled work.
Your outline will depend on the type of article you are writing. If renowned person interviews for your article, then the article would be bold and more straightforward. If it’s an investigating article, then you may start with relevant news and papers.
Design your introduction in a way that the audience finds engaging, not long enough to make one bored.
Do not jump into the main paper, write a draft first. And for drafts, you do not need to follow strict word count. After your first detailed draft, you can make it brief.
- Make a strong introduction: You should always put the best effort into making an attractive introduction. Try to generate the introduction in a way so that your reader gets inspired to read more of it. There are things you can consider to make your article interesting, for instance:
- Provocative quotation
- Using surprising example
- Using anecdote
- Starting with a thought-provoking question ( Like starting with “What if”)
- Make your article interesting: Do not forget that your article should be entertaining as well as informative. If you just write with and jest or colors, it will be boring to read and the reader might just drop it.
Try to sound warm and upbeat. Ask a tricky question. Then solve it with a story or a quotation. It is better to use the language of the audience you are targeting, bring some local jargons to make it more homely.
- Make a strong conclusion: Your conclusion will outshine all you have said above. That’s why it is important to be careful in putting concluding words.
- Make such endings so that the readers ask themselves “what next?”
- You can use a quote ensuring credibility.
- Add your own relevant thoughts.
- Write an overview of the article in short.
- Revise rigorously: Much of your success lies in how you revise the article. Revise yourself after the first finish, and then show it to peers or friends. Then go to editors. Before editing, make sure you have checked the style of publishing they follow. Co-operate with your editors in a friendly way; be accepting of the drawbacks they point out for you. Too wordy sentences are not appreciated, so be sure to make it precise and to the point.
Secrets for the article writers
- It is better to put a well-rounded approach than sounding biased or one-sided.
- You can watch YouTube videos as sources.
- Connect to other freelance writers to know how they use legal contacts as sources.
- Read local newspapers for finding the topic or keep track of anything relevant to your decided topic.
- Scholarly journals are great sources for article writing
- Divide your introduction into two parts- lead and Nut Graph. The lead shall decide where the focus of the article is and the Nut Graph shall put the ‘who’ ‘why’ ‘when’ in a straightforward manner.
To write an article for a magazine you need to be patient and have the ability to research vigorously. By ‘vigorously’ I mean giving it time, but direct your research to relevant fields rather than wasting time on numerous topics.
Check the magazine you wish to submit, the front cover, the style of writing, the address of the editors, etc. You will get the necessary documents from there.
Lastly, write something you feel passionate about, you want to talk about, a topic that excites you. You can give your best shot only when you put your heart and soul in it.
Hope this article was helpful enough for solving the most asked question in the field of writing-How to write an article for a magazine?