Earning a quid writing for men’s magazines isn’t easy. But, if one is persistent and creative in their approach, it can be done. Just ask me.
Earlier in the year, I wrote an article for Writers Weekly titled “How I Went From Burned-Out Actress, To Huff-Post Freelancer, To Full-Time Maxim Sex Columnist.” The article reveals how I used each writing opportunity to elevate to the next plateau.
Writers email me every week asking how they can make cash writing for men’s magazines. Below, I shed some light on the subject.
KNOW YOUR NICHE INSIDE OUT
So, you’ve decided you want to make a living writing for men’s magazines?
The best piece of advice I can give you is to know your niche. Know it better than any other freelance writer.
- Read every men’s magazine you can get your hands on
- What kind of writers do they publish? What is their style? What is their tone? What is their sweet-spot word count?
- What kind of articles do you want to write for men’s magazines? Automotive? Fitness? Business? Sex? Pick one topic, and become an expert at it.
- Can you offer anything different to editors of men’s magazines? What is your edge over other writers? Why should they publish your work?
BUILDING A PORTFOLIO
Building a portfolio is the first step towards writing for famous men’s magazines. Editors at men’s magazines won’t even consider your work unless you have samples of previous articles to show them.
How does one build a portfolio at the start of their freelancing career? By writing for smaller publications. We all have to start somewhere. Once you have built up a portfolio of 50 or so articles, you can move on to the next step.
BUILDING A WEBSITE
In this day and age. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to build a website, nor do you need a lot of cash. Sites like WIX and WEEBLY allow you to build a free website simply.
Create a website for yourself, and showcase your writing portfolio. This makes you look ‘professional’ to editors , and shows you’re serious about your writing career.
LEARN HOW TO SELL YOURSELF
Successful freelance writers know how to sell themselves. On your website and social media accounts, you need a short bio – one that stands out. Hypothetically, let’s say your name is Joe Bloggs. You live in L.A. You’ve won two writing awards and you’ve been published in Thought Catalog and the Huff Post. Well, here is an example of how Joe Bloggs would sell himself in a short bio:
Joe Bloggs is an award-winning freelance writer based in LA. His work regularly appears in The Huff Post and Thought Catalog.
PERFECTING THE PITCH
There are thousands of articles online outlining “How To Write The Perfect Magazine Pitch” and, seriously, I wouldn’t listen to any of them.
I learned this lesson the hard way. I’m an unconventional-type person. I’m always the round-peg in the square hole. Using rigid business-like templates for my pitches NEVER worked. And, the reason they never worked is because they aren’t me. Editors can smell inauthenticity. When I ditched the ‘conventional’ way of pitching articles, and instead pitched my work from my heart, I started to sell columns. Perfecting how to write a pitch takes time and effort. But, once you find a formula that works, just wash and repeat.
KNOW ONE’S ONIONS
I primarily write about sex and gender politics for men’s magazines and newspapers. The reason I have sold nearly 1000 articles in 7 years is because I know MY onions. I keep up-to-date with science, research, surveys, and news stories that have to do with my niche. If you want to win at selling articles for men’s magazines, you have to know your stuff! Read and research your niche every single day.
HARD WORK AND A COMPETITIVE SPIRIT GOES A LONG WAY
From what I can gather, most people would love to write for men’s magazines. But, they seek the rewards without being willing to put in the effort. Here are some facts:
- It’s not going to happen immediately or even in a few months. Earning a living from writing for men’s magazines is a marathon not a sprint.
- I average around 50 pitches to magazine editors a month. Out of those 50 pitches, between 3-10 are commissioned. If you can’t deal with rejection, this game isn’t for you!
- Writing for men’s magazines (and magazines in general) is an incredibly competitive field. Voices all over the world are fighting to be heard. The odds of getting published are against you. That’s the reality of the situation.
THE GOOD NEWS
Making a living from writing for men’s magazines is possible providing you are prepared to work hard, and are in it for the long haul. But, if you are looking for a quick fix or an easy way to make money, freelancing for men’s mags in not the answer.
However, once you get published in one magazine, it makes it easier to get published in others. Remember: Bylines beget bylines.
In conclusion, I love my niche, and love the career I have carved out for myself as a sex-columnist, journalist, and freelance writer. But, it didn’t just land in my lap. I worked hard for it. And, if you really want to do it, you’ll work hard for it too.
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- Building Your Construction Magazine Sales By John K. Borchardt
- Profiting from Pets: Writing for Animal Magazines By John K. Borchardt
Vanessa de Largie is the sex-columnist at Maxim Magazine Australia. She is also a prolific journalist and blogger. You can learn more about her work on her website, http://www.vanessadelargie.net/
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