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Getting Paid to Write About your Hobbies
by Cheryl Sloan Wray
When youre not working or writing, how do you spend your spare
time? Are there activities or hobbies that you just simply love?
Perhaps you knit or build model airplanes; you jog or garden; take photographs
or read romance novels; fly kites or grow vegetables.
Those things that you might consider casual hobbies can actually provide
you with a wealth of writing ideas. There is an almost limitless market
for articles related to a myriad of hobbies and special interests. The
key is to find out what your marketable hobbies are, and to then determine
where to sell your writing.
Over the years, I have written about a number of my hobbies and special
interests. Ive written about scrapbooking, mystery novels, photography,
journaling, and quilting. And Ive written these for some unlikely
sources. (I wrote about scrapbookingmy current favorite obsessionfor
a Christian magazine, profiling a group of women who get together each
month at a church to engage in their hobby. I wrote about photography
for a parenting magazine, on how to take great holiday pictures.) And
thats the real key hereto discover how you can sell your
hobby articles in a creative way.
Do you want to get started doing something similar? Here are several
keys to getting paid to write about your hobbies
1 - Determine your hobbies. Start by sitting down with a blank sheet
of paper and simply listing all of the hobbies and extracurricular
activities that youre involved in. Think about the way you spend
your time when youre not doing your day job; what
takes up most of your time, extra money, and energy? You probably will
end up with a list that includes crafts (things such as painting or sewing),
athletic activities (weightlifting, adult softball), performing arts (singing,
playing a musical instrument), and collecting (coins, dolls).
2 - Determine if those hobbies are marketable. Ask yourself: Is this
hobby something that a significant number of other people do? Are there
any magazines published on the topic? You need to make sure that the articles
you could write about your hobby would be ones that would be interesting
or beneficial to readers. You cant, for example, simply write about
your stamp collection; you must find a specific slant to the topic that
3 - Determine the kinds of writing you can do on the hobby. Some of the
possibilities here include: how-to get started on the hobby or activity,
how to improve aspects of the hobby, personality pieces on individuals
involved in the hobby, a unique personal perspective on the hobby, historical
articles on the hobby, even travel pieces connected with the hobby.
4 - Find specific markets for your articles. Some of the best places
to sell your hobby articles include specific hobby magazines. Look in
the Writers Market and you will find magazines devoted to everything
from teddy bears to hot air ballooning. Another excellent market is childrens
magazines; children love to learn about interesting hobbies and activities.
Other possibilities include retirement magazines (older adults often have
more time to devote to hobbies), womens magazines, and religious
magazines. And dont forget your local newspaper or regional publication
if you can find a local slant to your topic.
5 - Do research for your article. Your own expertise and experience with
your hobby will be the first place to start when it comes to doing research
for your article. Consider talking to other experts in the area, howeverspecifically,
others who share your love for the hobby. There are many places to find
such sources. Find out if there are any national or regional organizations
dedicated to your hobby (there are groups such as the Craft and Hobby
Association of America devoted to things such as scrapbooking and paper
arts, for example). Look to see if there are any hobby groups in your
area (my local library, for example, hosts crochet, quilting, and calligraphy
groups each month). Then consider talking to salespeople and managers
at hobby stores, or other stores dedicated to the hobby or activity youre
6 - Become a specialist in the area. Once youve
published a few pieces on your hobby topic, begin promoting yourself as
a specialist. You can start saying, Im a writer who specializes
in cycling or Im a freelancer who writes often on
stamp collecting. By promoting yourself in this way, you are showing
that you have expertise in the field and you will find more receptive
Writing about hobbies provides you with numerous opportunities to get
published and be paid. And what could be better than getting the chance
to write about something you love?
© Copyright 2006, Cheryl Sloan Wray
Cheryl Sloan Wray is a freelancer writer with more than 1000 articles to her credit. She is also the author of Writing for Magazines (McGraw-Hill), a popular guide for freelancers.
Other articles by Cheryl Sloan Wray :
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