Essential Guide to Becoming a Contributing Writer (I)
When I was a little girl, my journal was my creative outlet. Since then, I've worked closely with high-engagement platforms, such as Darling Magazine, The Letter Publication, Tapestry Magazine and The Everygirl to produce inspiring written content.
Each process to contribute has been different depending on the platform and the connection I've created with a contact.
If you find yourself in a place where you absolutely love to story-tell through writing, but you don’t know where to start, be encouraged! There are tons of empowering platforms and magazines just waiting for someone like you to reach out.
In my personal journey, I've learned that looking for contributor opportunities can be overwhelming, confusing and, at times, filled with much rejection. After several conversations with friends who are editors from all different kinds of publications, I'm hoping this insight can eliminate some of the difficulty for you!
I've come up with my best five tips for advice, but today, we'll just discuss the first two lessons I’ve learned on how to go about landing a role as a contributor:
#1: Be as personable as possible.
When editorial teams are screening emails and submission ideas, they can automatically tell when a creative inquirer is being sincere or insincere. So show them some of your personality! Avoid sounding robotic by sharing how your vision aligns with the publication's audience.
Editors protect the voice of their brand and are looking for contributing writers who will do the same. Mention what you love about the digital platform's brand and how their articles have impacted you in one way or another.
If you haven't read any articles from them before, do some research first! Read a quick article or two to capture the essence of what this brand stands for.
Ask yourself the question: "Do I want my name associated with this type of brand?"
Editors seek out passionate and persistent people. Grammatical skills are a huge plus, but are not always a big requirement compared to consistency.
#2: Pitch ideas, unless asked otherwise.
Often times, people submit articles that are already written. Depending on the publication, editors prefer to accept pitches over story submissions because it ensures an opportunity for collaboration.
Editors want to see that you are open to their ideas and remarks about your proposal before you write the article. Also, because of staff bandwidth, editors sometimes do not have the time to review every single 1,000-word essay that is sent their way.
Unless the website states they prefer already written pieces, stick with pitching ideas to save everyone time.
Also, just because a pitch gets rejected doesn't mean you should throw the idea away. I've pitched several ideas that might have not been a good fit for Darling Magazine, but they were published on The Everygirl or Belong Magazine's blog.
Keep record of every idea you have!
List out the ideas YOU wish to write about. Whether it's eventually published on your own blog or on someone else's, you'll get the opportunity to write about it...trust me. No idea is too ludicrous to be relevant!
Friends, there truly are tons of magazines and platforms looking for driven bloggers/writers.
Here's a list of a few of my favorites:
Do you currently contribute for a magazine? Share with me your experience in the comments below!