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8 Tips For Writing and Selling More Articles

February 15th, 2008

writing-selling-articles.jpgFreelance writing can be a reasonably profitable business if one is proficient in writing and selling articles to various publications. In fact, with the advent of the Internet, it is relatively easy to get started with making money from your first writing jobs by submitting to online venues such as Constant Content. But it is also easy to get bogged down if you’re not making enough sales or are getting too many depressing rejections. Fortunately, this article by April Aragam provides eight tips that can help writers avoid prolonged periods of recession in their careers.


As writers we never get tired of selling our work. It never gets boring. It never becomes old news. We’re always excited that someone likes our work and hundreds, maybe thousands of people will read our work. And getting a check in the mail isn’t too bad either. If you’re looking to make more sales (or maybe even your first sale), follow these tips:

1. Write your best

This seems like an obvious piece of advice, but it’s something you always want to keep in mind. If you write sloppily or bypass spelling and grammar checks, you are far less likely to have your piece accepted for publication. It isn’t the editors job to fix all of your mistakes. Write well and editors are more likely to finish reading your submission.

2. Read back copies

If you’re looking to get acceptances from any magazines, it is in your best interest to read at least one, if not more, copies of the magazine to become familiar with the type of pieces that they publish. Being unaware of their style means that you are wasting your own time in submitting something to them that isn’t suited to their magazine. You wait for the rejection and then have to go about submitting it to yet another publication. If you take the time to find out what the publication is about first off, you’re more likely to submit something that they will accept.

3. Follow guidelines

Guidelines tell you the important things, like whether they accept submissions via e-mail, what lengths they prefer pieces to be, whether or not to send your article as an attachment, e-mail and contact info etc. Follow the guidelines and an editor will look at what you have to say. Don’t follow them and your submission will likely end up in the trash can.

4. Don’t be negative about rejections

Rejections are usually not a reflection of your writing, but most writers take them that way. They assume that if an editor likes their work they will accept it. And if they don’t like it that must mean we suck as a writer. Not true. An editor can love the way you write and agree with your article completely and still not accept it. Why? Maybe they’ve run a similar piece to it lately. Maybe you’ve missed the mark slightly on what they’re looking for. Instead of being negative about your article and assuming it’s un-publishable submit it elsewhere. If you honestly think your piece needs editing, do it.

5. Submit again right away

Never wait a week or two to send out a rejected article. Send it out right away so that another editor can look at it. To leave it sitting around is extended the amount of time that it might find a home.

6. Ask an editor what they want

Don’t be afraid to e-mail an editor and ask if they are looking for anything specific at the moment. Especially if you have submitted to their publication before and they know your style, they will likely let you know what they want or even just give you an upcoming theme to work with. The worst they can do is tell you they aren’t in need of anything specific. In that case, just continue submitting your work to them.

7. Create numerous articles out of one idea

You’ve written an article and submitted to a publication. Have you thought about writing about that same topic for a different audience? You can write on a specific topic for children, men, women, etc. You can even take a written article and change it into “5 ways to do…” or “6 do’s and don’ts of…” It’s entirely possible for you to take one article idea and create 3 or 4 articles from it.

8. Don’t be impatient

We’re all a bit impatient when it comes to submitting our work and waiting to hear back from editors. We want to know if they got it, if they like it, if they’re going to buy it. And we want to know now! Just make sure you don’t act on those feelings. Don’t e-mail the editor to make sure he got your submission. Don’t e-mail a week later to ask if he’s read it yet or if he liked it. Until a reasonable amount of time has passed without you hearing anything, don’t contact the editor about it. Get yourself busy by working on new pieces and submitting them to other publications. Always have something on your plate so that you’re not constantly thinking about submitted pieces. Badgering an editor is not going to make a good impression and likely won’t result in a sale now or later.



2 Responses to “8 Tips For Writing and Selling More Articles”

  1. comment number 1 by: Offgrid

    Great article.

  2. comment number 2 by: Michele - Writing the Cyber Highway

    Great article, April! I followed the link from your blog. So glad I did! ;-)

    *smiles*
    Michele

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