Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Publish or Perish

There is a terminology heard often around most institutions of higher learning, “Publish or Perish”. This hold true also in the field of business. Particularly for those of us who sell primarily on line. No one would deny that having a well written article published in a popular magazine will certainly help your business. Most people however don’t really know how much.

But I cant write worth a darn you say. Writing good articles is just like learning to create what you create. It takes practice and you have to be willing to lean techniques and skills to create those great items. The same holds true with writing.

You can always pay to have your articles printed but why bother when there are so many magazines that are actively seeking good articles. I know for a fact that loads of craft magazines would LOVE to hear from the likes of you crafty people (many of which are far more talented in their field than I am). When people like you and me approach magazines with well written articles we are actually making their lives easier.

Submitting articles to magazines isn’t like hunting with a shotgun. You don’t just throw out an article to hundreds of magazines and hope one hits. You need to be well versed with the magazine that you want to submit to. It’s a good idea to read through some back issues so you understand the flavor of the magazine. What you want to find out is what sort of articles do they already feature? Consider the age of the readers that the articles appear to be written for. Can you submit an article that is in keeping with the other articles or can you provide something fitting and yet be different?

You will want to find out what the guidelines for submitting articles are for each magazine and you can usually find them either within the magazine itself or often on their web site. Also don’t forget that most magazines are planning issues months in advance and it may take months before your article is printed. Assuming it is accepted.

When you write or email to the magazines submission editor, keep it business like. Polite, to the point and confident. When you describe the article, don’t give away all the details. It’s somewhat like fishing. You want to provide enough information as to be a tempting bait. If you have the right bait, they will strike, want to print your article. Just make sure you provide enough information so whoever is reading your email knows not only what you are talking about but also that you know what you are talking about.

How to write – This is going to depend a great deal on your own writing style and personality as well as the subject you are writing about. Knowing your reading audience will help you here also. You will need to decide if your article is to be a Tutorial, a Product Review, a Tips & Tricks type of article or just what. This you should decide before writing the article.

Using Graphics – If the magazine allows you to submit graphics (pictures, charts or whatever) make sure they are of the very best quality. Poor pictures will at best just be deleted and at worse can cause them to discard your entire article. Unless it’s absolutely necessary for the article, I usually try to refrain from graphics simply because many magazines are so particular.

Will you get published? The only way to find out is to try. After all, the worst they can say is NO which means you need to do more preparation and work.

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