“When you provide good information from which readers can learn and profit, people are more likely to buy your products and services.”
- Heidi Richards -
So just how do you get started? The first step, of course is to write article. The second step is to find right medium. I have a small business in floral industry. So floral community would be my first likely target. Industry experts are generally most sought after writers for targeted publications. Since I write mostly about sales and marketing for small business, my second likely medium would be business-related publications, such as those published by Chambers of Commerce, small business journals and other retail industry publications.
I have also found that each type of media that has printed my articles has different criteria for submission. Some want you to send a letter outlining your ideas while others will allow you to submit actual article. However, most editors prefer that you send a query letter first and include a paragraph about yourself. I also include a link to both my websites in case they want additional information. However, many ezines and online publications allow you to send actual article. Visit your library, online or local bookstore or do an Internet search with words query letters for “how to’s” of writing them.
It should go without saying that article must be grammatically correct and free of spelling errors. A publisher is looking for quality content that will make her or him look better to reader. The more unique your article, better your chances of getting it published. Real-life, personal examples and stories have a much greater chance of getting published than do “book reports.” Make sure article is yours! No plagiarism allowed. If you do copy someone else’s work, not only will you open yourself up to all sorts of legal problems, you will destroy any credibility you hoped to establish.
Whether you write articles for print media or for online publications, follow these guidelines to increase your likelihood of getting them published.
P Read publication. Become familiar with writing styles and content. It took several months, before one of my articles was accepted by Balance Magazine. It was an article on leadership, which they liked and found space to include. Because I was patient, tenacious and had developed a relationship with editor, I was asked to be South Florida Profile Editor and now write an ongoing series of articles called PMS Principles™. I interview successful women in South Florida and write their stories. What a great way to gain exposure! By way, PMS stands for Partnering, Mentoring and Service, which is also title of a new book I am writing.
P Send your article to assistant editor when there is one. You will find her or him listed in publication.
P Ask publication for their editorial calendar (often found on their website). An editorial calendar lists “focus” or theme of each issue. This is a great tool to use when deciding what to write and submit.
P Find out submission requirements (writer’s guidelines). These will include length of article, format, number of words, do’s and don’ts, as well as deadlines for submission. In some cases it will also include writer’s compensation, if and when they pay for articles.