Niche publications remain super resources for writers who want to build freelance businesses or expert status. If you have no bylines to your name, a publication targeted to a specific audience, such as crafters, writers, Christian business owners, people living in Silicon Valley, or motorcycle enthusiasts, can provide you with your first. They tend to be open to new writers with expertise in their subject area.
You may have heard about the decline in the newspaper market in recent years. It’s true that the magazine market has suffered a smilar fate, but opportunities still exist for writers. According to Statista, in 2012, only three percent of Americans stated that they regularly read magazines; another nine read them “sometimes.”
Publishers now aim for relatively niche groups and realize they have to fight to retain and gain readership. If you have an expertise to provide to a niche audience, a magazine editor might find your queries welcome. And you can hang out your shingle as an expert quite easily by writing for a variety of publications in one niche.
While paid-subscription revenue fell 17 percent between 2005 and 2010, Statista claims advertising revenue was expected to shrink only slightly from 2012 to 2015. Even though Americans spend least time with magazines compared to all the other media, magazine publishers are surviving, improving their products, and even coming out with new publications. Statista reports that between 2009 and 2012, the United States saw more magazine launches than it did closures. Additionally, the industry lowered expenses and increased prices to cushion declining subscription and sales revenues.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed writing for a variety of niche publications that cater to my interests and areas of experience. In particular, local or regional publications are quite welcoming, especially to local writers, and they often pay quite nicely as well.
Nonfiction Writing Prompt #36: Write an Article for a Niche Magazine
To complete this prompt, write an article for a niche magazine that caters to your target audience (if you are an aspiring or published author) or that helps you establish your expert status in a specific area.
Here are the 4 steps you will need to take to accomplish this prompt:
- Choose an article subject that is unique to the publication or that at least has a unique angle on an evergreen topic. Make sure the idea is targeted at the magazine’s audience. You will want to study the publication to help you find and angle your topic.
- Choose the type of article you will write. Again, study the magazine to determine what types of articles the editors typically publish. It’s possibly they have a “shorts” section at the front of the magazine; this can be a good place to break in. Or you can propose a longer article. Here are some formats from which you can choose:
- Personality profile
- Personal essay
- How-to article
- Human-interest story
- Trend story
(Members of the Nonfiction Writers’ University can find in-depth explanations on these structures and how to write them in the September 2014 homework assignment.)
- Query the publication. Do this before you write the piece, or at least before you submit the finished article. Most publications do not like unsolicited manuscripts, and some don’t accept them.
- Submit once you get an affirmative response to your query.
I have written or published several posts and prompts on this topic that might help you:
- Develop an Article Idea and Pitch It: Nonfiction Writing Prompt #5
- Write an Article Query Letter: Nonfiction Writing Prompt #8
- Write an Evergreen Article: Nonfiction Writing Prompt #7
- Find a Market for Your Article: Nonfiction Writing Prompt #6
- How to Get Your First Article Byline
- How to Write a Query Letter for Magazines and Other Publications
Please use this site’s search engine using the word “article” to find additional posts.
Have you had success writing for niche publications? Tell me about it in a comment below.
For more information on how to create nonfiction book ideas that are marketable and that support your writing goals, join the NFWU. When you do, you’ll receive this month’s Nonfiction Writers’ University (NFWU) homework assignment, which contains more exercises and information on this topic. Plus, you’ll have access to the growing archive of past homework assignments and NFWU event recordings as well as some introductory gifts worth more than the membership! Members also get additional bonuses during the year.
Next NFWU event: FREE teleseminar on 10/6 at 12 pm PT: The Ins and Outs of Becoming a Freelance Writer with author, journalist and writing coach Naveed Saleh. Register here. (No membership required.)
To find out more about or to join the NFWU at the low introductory rate or with a buy-on-get-one-free yearly membership offer, click here. (Hurry…the introductory rate ends 9/30/14).
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