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Writing for Online Markets
by Kathryn Lay

With the internet, a new age of freelancing arrived. Magazine issues can be read online, queries and submissions sent via email, and new opportunities to be published rise and fall daily. Between research, involvement in lists, and reading e-zines, a writer's time can be spent productively on the internet. Do you write for online magazines? Have you considered doing so?

Angela Hoy, co-owner of WritersWeekly.com feels that selling to online markets is easier in that most online markets prefer email queries and/or submissions. "This cuts down greatly on how much time writers spend on queries, and also cuts down on postage and paper. The best part is that most editors will respond to queries quickly, as opposed to months from many print publications."

Writer Marilyn Atherley receives some of her writing income from online markets, mostly parenting and educational magazines. One of her reasons for writing for online publications is that she is not from the US and finds it easier than submitting to print magazines through snail mail.

As with print publications, technical writing and niche markets tend to pay the best. Yet smaller e-zines and online sites can provide good opportunities to new writers.

An advantage of selling to online markets that I've discovered is the networking and opportunities for additional sells. Many times when I've had articles published online, I've had requests from other editors to reprint my piece or to write other pieces for their publication. An article on marketing published in the now gone, but once-popular e-zine Inklings, led to an editor at iUniverse contacting me to write marketing articles for their website. I ended up writing several pieces for them at a decent pay rate and good exposure.

Linda Aksomitis, B V/T Ed., an instructor for Education to Go (http://www.ed2go.com), teaches a course on Introduction to Internet Writing Markets. She says, "The Internet has created a whole new world of opportunity for writers. There are a variety of different types of online markets, some continuing to grow in income and strength, with others becoming less popular."

She adds, "Selling to online markets requires different types of skills and writing techniques. You have to be computer literate, plus understand the different needs of users in cyberspace. With online markets you need to be up-to-date."

Writing for online markets doesn't mean that writers can't get published elsewhere or they've accepted second best. Many print publications have websites that offer different articles than in their printed magazine. If you admire Family Fun and its quality of writing in print, wouldn't you be just as inclined to be proud of an article sold to their online edition? Guideposts for Kids stopped being published as a print magazine, but their website is highly successful and pays well.

She also says, "The markets vary according to your skills and abilities, the same as they do in the traditional publishing world. If you can sell your work to the big name markets, you're making more money. If you have an established name in a niche industry, your paycheck will be higher. There are many low to no-paying opportunities for publication with ezines, just the same as with your local newspapers."

Writing online can be a nice supplement to other writing. It can help nervous and beginning writers to build credits and get over fears of sending queries to print publications. And, if you work hard, you may find the pay and ease of submitting online fits your career plans just fine.

Finding online markets for your work isn't much different than it is for print publications. By browsing the Net as well as reading online writing e-zines, you'll soon have a growing list of markets.

Join writer’s lists and watch for new online publication information being passed around.

Subscribe to online e-zines such as Writing for DOLLARS!, Writer's Weekly, and Inscriptions.

Use your search engine by searching for "Writer's Guidelines" or putting in the topic of your favorite niche, your field of expertise such as "Camping Magazines", "Spelunking Magazines", or "Parenting Magazines."

With the constant need for writers of web site content, the market continues to expand in this area, as well as in editing and technical writing.

If you've never considered writing for online markets, check them out. You may be pleasantly surprised at the opportunity, the exposure, and the extra income.

© Copyright 2002, Kathryn Lay

Kathryn Lay is the author of 26 books for children, over 2000 articles, essays and stories for children and adults and the book from AWOC.COM Publishing, The Organized Writer is a Selling Writer. Check out her website at www.kathrynlay.com and email through rlay15@aol.com

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