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Getting Paid For Your Articles
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If you've been writing web articles to help promote your business, you may also wonder if you can write articles and get paid for it. What type of articles will land you some extra cash, and what control do you have over the resubmission of your content once you hand it over to the editors?
Type 1. Magazine and Journal Articles.
These articles are at least twice the length of a typical web article, in-depth, highly focused on a topic, slightly academic and ethereal in nature, and often have extended quotes from authorized experts. These are the articles that you read in your magazines and journals. REALLY GREAT WRITERS write these - that is why they get paid the big bucks.
You can get paid anywhere from maybe $35 to $2,000 depending on the size of the publication and your reputation as new or a seasoned freelance writer.
Other Important Info:
- Requires a Cover Letter. You must "pitch" your work to a... well, let's call them Elitist group of editors. The less known your name is, the harder you will have to sell yourself. There is an exact procedure for writing a cover letter - I recommend that you do research on it because if you get it wrong you're tossed right into the trash bin no matter how fabulous your article topic is.
- Requires a manuscript (editable first draft). You must submit your article BY MAIL, printed out in a standard font in a specific format that includes headers, footers, line spacing, page numbers etc. in an EXACT FORMAT. If you screw up the format, you screw yourself. Some "kinder" publications will send you a little card telling you what you did incorrectly, some won't even acknowledge you if you're brand spanking new and not aware of the protocol.
- You must include CLIPS - the industry term for samples of your work that were already published. Does a "web article" qualify as a legitimate clip? I really do not know. My guess is that the higher the quality of your piece, the better off you'll be... but I really can't say.
- Your article will be edited. IF it gets approved, and that's a BIG IF, it will be mailed back to you with corrections. The editors may wish you to take a new direction with it or modify in some other way. You must work with them.
- Your magazine article is NOT going to be published "over and over" the way that internet articles are. Why? Periodicals don't want to run the same articles as their competitors. You get a small shot at publishing something a couple of times in a few different places, but it's a slim chance. FRESH content is the name of the game. THAT is why magazine people are willing to PAY for it.
Are these types of articles a good way to sell your business? Perhaps if you're hitting the world with some breaking insights... but that will likely be in ONE in-depth article, and by some stroke of luck that your area of expertise matched the publication's need for hot content.
Magazine articles are certainly NOT the advertising tool that internet articles are. I mean really, when was the last time YOU read a magazine article, took note of the author and said to yourself, "Hey maybe she's selling something I need! Let me scan for a website and visit it right now"?
Web businesses aside; some writers really just want to write for the thrill of writing itself: thoroughly researching an industry, creating some beauteous prose about it, and getting paid. This along with a byline and the thrill of being a published author can make freelance magazine article writing quite appealing. If this sounds like your cup of tea, start honing your article researching and writing skills, and practice those cover letters!
If you think you have the gumption AND talent to write in-depth articles for magazines or trade publications, do a Google search on Freelance Writer Jenna Glatzer and see what advice she has. Sign up for her publication, Absolute Markets and start finding out what types of industries need articles and who is willing to pay cash for them.
Flip through your magazine rack and pick out the magazines you might want to write for. Then select a section of the magazine where you might be able to contribute to a general topic category.
You'll find "all the big names" of editor-in-chief and staff, along with the mailing address, within the first few pages of the magazine. You will need this information because this is who you'll be speaking to in your cover letter.
GOOD LUCK. You must have patience and perseverance and you must be EXACTING to get anywhere in this industry. Oh yeah, and it helps to KNOW PEOPLE. :)
Type 2: Articles That are Resold by Content Websites.
There are a handful of websites out there who will pay for your content. I don't know a whole lot about them, but I would think that submitting your work to these is mostly a WIN-LOSE situation, with you as the loser. I think it's because they pay you a few dollars to OWN THE RIGHTS to your work. You get a byline, and that's it. In most cases the byline doesn't even include a URL or author bio, so you're really just selling yourself out for some measly chump change in this situation.
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