Many new writers think that they should write a book. Then they leap instantly into publishing and try to become a published author.
If you are a first-time author, getting a book deal with a traditional publisher is very difficult. You can take the self-publishing route, and then you don’t need an agent and publisher. But selling ebooks on Amazon to readers outside of your friends and family is tough work.
Sometimes it’s better to start where the pickings are much easier. If you want your work published, writing an article and having it accepted for publication can get you underway much faster.
Are you interested in freelance writing? Well, let’s take a look at how to get an article published.
Articles are a great way to learn the craft of writing
If you are just starting out, writing articles is one of the best ways to learn the basics of good writing.
You might be writing the occasional blog post on your personal site.
But that is not the same as a 2,000-word long-form article or news story. For this, you need research, clarity, focus and above all, excellent writing skills.
There are so many aspects to consider. You need to know which point of view you are going to use and what reading level you are aiming for.
Another aspect is your choice of vocabulary. Especially your use of strong verbs. You should also learn how to write in the active voice and avoid the passive voice as much as possible.
It goes without saying that your grammar and spelling needs to be as perfect as possible.
This is not difficult now with very affordable high-quality writing checkers.
I know I have learned and acquired more writing skills from article writing than from writing book manuscripts.
It takes time to learn how to write the perfect article or post.
Find your niche to get published online
There is no doubt that online reading of newspapers, magazines and journals is now how most people consume information.
Yes, there is still print, but it is no secret that it is in severe decline.
But the amount of content that is needed by online publishers every day is enormous.
It is far too expensive to have teams of salaried writers. This is why freelance journalism and writers are usually the most practical answer.
All it takes is to write well, and know where and who to approach. When you start to get accepted, article writing can then be your route to getting published.
Look at online newspapers and magazines.
You will see that a lot of articles are written by guest writers, contributors and opinion writers. All of these news articles are written by freelance writers.
It is this area that you can exploit to your advantage. On top of that, you get paid for your work.
But you have to find the right match for your writing. If you are writing about pet care, there is no point in approaching a magazine that is focused on beauty tips.
I get so many requests every day from article writers.
Most of them are offering articles that have nothing at all to do with publishing and writing. Why would I even consider publishing an article about trendy leather handbags?
Don’t fall for the trap of contacting hundreds of sites with your articles. Find sites that are the best match for the articles you want to write, and then you can pitch like crazy.
Make sure you are on-topic and your writing is top-notch. Then you will find that your chances of getting your article published are going to be close to 70%.
For major newspapers, you will have to be not only on-topic but very patient. Look past politics and news, and hunt for a feature section that could be a good match for your writing topic.
Check the footer of newspaper, magazine and high ranking websites for contact information.
You will often find a link for submissions or Write for Us. Check to see if there is any important information about submissions.
But don’t overlook print and writing articles for newspapers.
Many local newspapers pay regular weekly columnists. In my local paper, there are two or three articles every day written by freelancers.
There is no reason why you can’t succeed if you have your heart set on getting published as an article writer.
It is a proud moment when you see your name in a byline on a top-ranking site. Or even perhaps a newspaper article in your local publication.
If you are thinking about academic, medical or scientific writing, you might look at an open access journal. These sites usually offer peer review before publishing.
Publishing articles to earn passive income
You need a lot of patience to wait to be accepted and published by online publishers. Then you hope that you get paid.
But there is another straightforward way to profit from writing articles, and it is free of charge.
You can use free and open publishing platforms to make money by including affiliate links within your articles. It is a much easier avenue because you don’t need to wait for any approval or acceptance.
There are many free online publishing platforms.
But the quickest, easiest and most effective platform is probably Medium. It works a little like a social media network. It has a huge readership, so you can hope to find a lot of readers quite quickly.
Once you get people to vote up your articles on Medium, you will start to get a lot of readers.
You could start by using affiliate links from Amazon Associates, Share-a-Sale, Clickbank or one of many other affiliate networks. All you need to do is apply, and once you are approved, you can start earning money from your articles.
Another option is to offer your articles for free to high ranking blogs. But make sure they are okay with your affiliate links.
You can find blogs that accept guest writers by looking for a Write for Us link.
Become your own publisher
It takes much longer but starting your own blog or online magazine can be financially rewarding.
The biggest advantage of having your own site is that you are in total control. You can edit and improve your existing articles, or add more content to them over time.
You can invite guest writers to help you add more content to your site.
You can use so many different ways to monetize your own site. You can choose to add online advertising. You could accept paid sponsored articles.
With your own site, it is much easier to build your affiliate marketing income.
Yes, it does take time to start a new blog from scratch. But the financial return, in the long run, can often result in a full-time business for you.
Becoming a published writer is much easier than becoming a published author.
The publication process is much faster. There is no need for extensive copy-editing, laborious proofreading and waiting for beta readers. You don’t need to write query letters to hopefully find a literary agent.
There is much more to the publishing industry than just writing a great book.
Think of article writing as a form similar to a short story.
Investing your writing time in a 120,000-word novel or non-fiction book is daunting.
In the same amount of time, you could write 120 or more 1,000-word articles. Each one will have the potential to get published and earn money for you.
It might not be for every writer, but article publishing has huge advantages.