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Evergreen – The Color of Money
by Kathleen Ewing

If there is a formula for success in freelance writing, it is the evergreen article. Evergreen refers to the type of article that a magazine runs in issue after issue regardless of season. By visiting your local magazine stand and studying the cover and table of contents of a particular publication from month to month, you will see the evergreen pattern emerge.

For example, you can rely upon most women's magazines to have articles on diet, money and health, decorating, relationships and parenting. You decide to start with your favorite topic-decorating. If you can slant your decorating article for a holiday season, you stand an even better chance of getting it published. To increase your odds still further, you can stop by the library and check into the back issues of your target publication to see what types of articles the magazine published last year for that particular holiday.

Say you want to write about decorating for Christmas 2008 and the December 2007 issue of your magazine features an article on the most efficient use of electricity for lighting Christmas decorations for your home and yard. Since many people are concerned about implementing green living these days, you might take the existing article one step further by demonstrating how your readers can use candles safely for their holiday home displays. Or you can carry the efficiency theme further by exploring a number of other methods for creating dramatic decorating effects without the use of gas or electric energy.

If your target publication regularly carries budget tips, money savings is another element you can consider adding to your article on decorating. Every time you add a currently popular ingredient into the evergreen mix, you increase your chances of having an editor snap up your offering.

Don't limit yourself to the December issue when you are researching evergreen articles for next Christmas. You might find something in a summer issue that would translate well to winter holiday planning. You should also keep an eye out for older articles which can be updated with new research, techniques and technologies. New studies and reports can change what experts are currently recommending for dozens of topics running the gamut from proper exercise practices and smoking cessation to healthy nutritional requirements.

Look at other evergreen articles in the magazine from a green living point of view. Take cooking, for example. You can develop articles on healthy meals in the microwave, savory slow cooker meals, or ways to prepare a complete meal in a cooking bag, all of which are proven energy saving methods.

Always try to think of ways you might combine two or more evergreen topics into a single article. Recipes for nutritious, minimal prep meals for two (diet), exercise for couples (health) and relaxation techniques (health) make an excellent combo for a piece on creating a mini spa retreat for you reader's quiet holiday weekend at home with a partner (relationship).

By using your imagination and creativity and adding your own elements to the popular and successful evergreen formula, you can improve your chances of snagging that next big sale.

© Copyright 2008, Kathleen Ewing

Kathleen Ewing is an award-winning freelance writer headquartered in Central Arizonas high country. Among her credits are feature articles for Art Calendar, American Falconry, Bend of the River, TrailBlazer and Hobby Farms magazines. Visit her blog at www.rodeowriter.blogspot.com

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