To be successful, work on your article every single day, preferably for regular hours. Research, rephrase and rewrite until you are satisfied. Do not ask the opinions of others, especially during the writing stage. You don't need to know how 15 other people would put it. You simply want YOUR ideas from YOUR perspective.
Other opinions can be needless distractions and disheartening. They can prevent you from following through on your idea and becoming entwined with someone else's. If you want advice, get it before starting your project or after it’s finished.
There are two kinds of articles, those covering things in general, which can be published at almost any time, and those that cover current events and are more time sensitive. The best place to start is with the kind of articles that are more general and can be delivered in a less urgent manner as you get your writing legs or pen under you.
In order for acceptance by the editor there must be a twist of personal interest to the readers. The unusual and odd things about people and places that give the reader a departure from the daily drudgery are the best and most salable articles to write about. This includes adventure, mystery, money, accidents, discoveries, obsessions, rip-offs, struggles, etc.
First, let the readers know what is in store for them in the first paragraphs of an article. You must attract attention from the first words when writing articles, where as a novel or short story can build to a climax and generally clears up all the loose ends at completion.
For a article to sell to the publisher "action" in the first and last part is a must, while the body is devoted to narrative or explanations with a number of vital incidents to keep the action alive. Keep the writing "flowing" in such a manner that the reader will anxiously read ahead to see what happens next.
Submit 8x 10 glossy print photos if possible, as often the picture will be the difference between acceptance and rejection. It pays to get a good camera so you can snap pictures along with the articles (see future posts on freelance photography).
Submitting Your Work
Submit your article in the correct format as stated in the guidelines. If they don’t provide guidelines, the typical format includes:
- Author’s name, Social Security Number, word count and title are all at the top.
- The body should be double-spaced and have a number on every page.
- Type only on the front side of each page.
- Sidebars should be included if any.
NOTE: Always follow the submission guidelines, but if not given include with your submission, a hard copy of your manuscript, a computer disk in text format, photos with negatives and appropriate releases from photo subjects and finally, a short note proposing another article. Don’t under estimate this last step, if you do good work and you’ve made the editor’s job easier, you can usually expect future jobs!
Again, if you don’t feel like your writing skills are up to par or you need a refresher, there are some an excellent online courses. Here’s one I can recommend: CLICK HERE
Also, to stay on your game, sign-up for all the free email newsletters for writers. With the Internet and all the competition among new websites, there’s a wealth of information and tips available for the taking. Websites are trying to get people to their sites and are offering info for free in order to get them there. Yes, they will try to sell you something, but who cares, if there giving you what you want, you may just buy what they have to offer, otherwise you still get all that free info.
Ultimately, in the end, you just need to write! So, get busy. Pick a subject, write a query, gather the information and type it up! You'll be a hero before you know it. Neighbors will begin to label you as the notorious writer. You'll be able to hold your head high and you'll be able to start putting "Writer" at the end of your name!
To your success,