Small business owners, coaches and consultants know that being published will make them more widely known and boost their credibility, but are hesitant to approach magazine editors.
Janet, a business consultant, and I were talking at a conference for women business owners where she shared that she’d really like to be published but she was nervous about approaching a magazine editor. She worried that the editor was too important – too much “above” her – and wouldn’t want to hear from her.
I want to share a secret with you.
While editors of the newsstand glossies like Vogue, Fortune, Esquire and Inc. receive hundreds of story ideas each day, there is an entire category of magazines where the editor is waiting and hoping that you’ll submit an article.
Trade magazines (also called professional magazines) are written for a specific industry, business or profession. They have titles like CFO Magazine, Golf Course News International, Business Law Today, Supply Strategy and Event Solutions.
While getting an article published in Pig Farmer Monthly might not have the glam factor of a mention in Vanity Fair, if you’re in the swine industry, it positions you as an expert to a highly targeted audience, ripe for your services.
A few of these publications have editorial staff including writers who pen the articles that appear, but most trade magazines operate with a skeleton crew. Sometimes it’s just one lonely, harried editor/writer/publisher who works her tail off to get the issue out each month.
She needs you.
You are actually doing her a service when you write an article that would help her publication’s audience.
Trade Magazines are Target-Rich Environments for Your Expertise and
Editors Actually Want You to Write Articles for Them.
Convinced? Here’s how to get started:
1. Visit the publications website or send an email to request the publication’s editorial calendar. This is a listing of the magazine’s issues and the theme of each, along with topics that the editor wants to cover in that issue.
2. The magazine might also have writer’s guidelines. Read them to learn what kinds of articles are accepted, whether you should query the editor first (send a short message outlining your proposed topic and your credentials), desired article length and format and how far in advance of the issue publication you should propose your article idea.
3. Pick your topic, follow the guidelines and contact the editor with your short (one page) email or snail mail query. When your idea is accepted, celebrate and start writing!
Here are few lists and directors of trade magazines:
And one paid (but totally worth it) service:
Your Fame Boosting Assignment:
Pick one magazine, look up it editorial calendar, select an issue with a topic that you could educate the readers on and send your email inquiry to the editor. Happy publishing, you famous expert, you.