If you want to write articles for magazines you're on the right track. Nonfiction articles are among the easiest of all written materials to sell. If you can write a complete sentence in English, you can be a writer, if you really want to. By following the instructions in this book you will put yourself on the right track toward seeing your words in print as well as helping yourself toward cashing those checks. All you must do is write every day, then market what you write. Concentration on your subject, commitment to your work, and maintenance of your confidence in allowing yourself to submit your work, will make you into a practicing writer in a short time.
There are, of course, some secrets to selling. We will take you by the hand and bit by bit we will lead you through the processes required for becoming a selling writer.
"But what shall I write about?" you ask. Let's start there.
A BILLION SUBJECTS
There are innumerable subjects that you can write and sell. But just to give ourselves a bit of an edge, let's talk about the top six subjects which appear in the magazines you read every day. These are the subjects that American readers are most interested in seeing in their magazines,
If you think sex is the subject that is of most interest to American readers, you're close but only partly right. Sex, love and human relations are actually fifth down the line. The truth is most readers are more interested in family, children and parenting than in all other subjects. Probably every editor knows that.
Second on the list of subjects we long to read about are health, disease, and medicine. If you can write about a new disease or about a new cure for an old disease, you'll have a sure sale.
American readers' third interest is in money, business and the state of the economy... which doesn't mean we're greedy. It's just that we use money as the marker of our success.
Our fourth subject is...yeah, sports, hobbies and the great outdoors. Basketball or motorcycles will beat out war every time with our audience.
Then comes sex, love and human relations.
Our readers want to improve themselves, so one of the top selling subjects can be any form of psychological, spiritual, or physical self-improvement. "Every day in every way, I'm getting better and better!" is our motto.
There you have it
- Health, Disease
- Money, Business
- Sports, Hobbies
- Sex, Human Relations
- Self improvement
Become an expert in any of these top subjects and you will be able to write and sell with no problem. Be able to combine some of these subjects as an expert and you've given yourself a tiny edge in the race to market your articles, well into the foreseeable future.
BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE
Aside from the subjects above, what can you find to write about in the nonfiction area? You'd probably be surprised at the bodies of knowledge which you already carry with you. Lay hands on a few index cards or pieces of paper and answer the following questions, one per card. You end up with a handful of subjects which will require little or no research when you splinter them into tiny pieces to build articles. Your bodies of knowledge make easy stuff to write about.
1. What jobs (other than writing) have you held in your lifetime? Each job you list offers all sorts of material for presentation as articles. Sold insurance? Article: "What Type of Insurance Should Every Family Member Carry?" Worked in real estate? Article: "Ten Easy Things To Do To Make Your Property More Salable."
2. What jobs did your husband or wife hold? Use those spouses for all they've worth.
3. What is your hobby? Favorite sport?
4. What is your spouse's hobby or sport?
5. Have you had children (stepchildren)? What a gold mine those kids can be! Remember the top six subjects magazines want?
6. Have you or any of your family had a disease of any kind? This is a particularly good body of knowledge if the disease is rare and the symptoms are really horrid.
7 Have you fallen in (or out of) love? Are you married? Divorced? Widowed? Use a separate card for each "yes" answer.
8. Where have you lived?
After you've answered all eight questions you can start another set of cards about two or three subjects you have always wanted to learn about. Anthropology? Diamonds? Politics? With these new cards, you've just given yourself enough ammunition to last you through years of sales of articles.
All of these cards which you've answered lay out invaluable bodies of knowledge which you own and can now mine for information. Those cards stand for the things you want to learn. They can give you tons more articles to write. See how easy your bodies of knowledge can make you writing job?
There is one caution. There is no use writing all these articles until you've had a show of interest from an editor. That's the great news about nonfiction writing. You sell it before you write it. There is a key to selling the articles that your bodies of knowledge can generate. We'll look at that key in a later chapter.
Order your copy of The Complete Guide to Writing & Selling Magazine Articles today!