Limiting myself to one topic, pitching one idea at a time, and ignoring what happened outside my niche was bad for my writing career.
Here are 6 ways I was able to increase my writing income:
1. Pitching Several Ideas
I started pitching more than one idea to each publication I contacted, listing the top ones first. What surprised me was that some editors go with the last option. You never know what an editor will like so give them some options. I once pitched four ideas to an editor. She liked two of them, and wanted both.
2. Reading and Collecting Obscure (and even free!) Magazines
It’s crucial to know the magazine you’re querying and you can do so by reading it. I’ve traveled with the same airline for months, and gotten familiar with their magazine. I’ve also found work from magazines I collected on newsstands, at a friend’s place, and in fashion and music shops.
3. Checking News Outside My Niche
What’s happening right now and how can you apply it to your niche? Ask yourself this, and put two and two together. I was writing for a film website, and found it hard to find current ideas that no other contributor had written about. Checking a fashion magazine, I learned of a major fashion brand’s anniversary. I went on to check if any actors had worn the brand’s clothes on screen. They had, and it led to an accepted pitch.
4. Expanding My Niche
Are you writing about topics you love or what you know? Either way, try out a new expertise if you need more work. Are you a fan of hockey, but write about tech? Write a few hockey-related sample articles, and reach out to a sport’s editor. Are you a fitness enthusiast, but you only write about fashion? Try health publications. I went from beauty and health to fashion and travel – things I know and love.
5. Sourcing Ideas From International Magazines
Is there a new technology in America that has to reach Britain? Apply that to a British magazine. I found a new skincare technology that had reached the UK, and was later on released in Scandinavia. Not a single publication had written about this so I sold the article to a Swedish magazine. NOTE: I’m bilingual, but this can be applied to other English-speaking countries.
6. Always Following Up
When querying large publication, I state up front that I’m aware of their hectic schedule, and let them know I’ll be following up if I don’t hear from them. Ninety percent of the time. a follow up email or phone call has led me to getting an immediate answer. And, even the job.
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Isabel Järnström is a freelance writer who covers an eclectic mix of topics. When she’s not reporting on trending cosmetics ingredients, or conducting a guide on self-development, she can be found reading romantic suspense, or enjoying the buzz of city life. Feel free to visit her website: https://www.isabeljarnstrom.com