Do's and Don'ts

Issue 63

Do's and Don'ts of Writing

and Selling Articles


April Aragam

Copyright © 2011, April Argam, All Rights Reserved


The task of writing and selling articles might seem like an easy one, but really there are many different things to think about. How you write the article is important, but also how well you follow rules and interact with editors is just as important. After all, an article can be edited if needed. Here are some do's and don'ts to help you write and sell your articles:


Do: Study the market


When you decide to write an article for a specific magazine or ezine one of the most important things you need to do is learn about the publication. Every publication is different. You will want to read back copies of the magazine and get a feel for the kind of articles they publish. Writing an article for a magazine you know the topic of, but haven't read is a waste of time for both you and the editor. Taking the time to study the market you are targeting is a good use of your time as a writer.


Don't: Rely solely on spell or grammar check


These tools are handy for catching obvious mistakes, but don't use them as your only editing tool. It's important that you go through your article sentence by sentence to check for spelling and grammar errors. Words that have multiple spellings may not be caught if used incorrectly because the checker cannot differentiate between usages.


Do: Research


If you are writing an article that you're not yet an expert on, take the time to research. You want to have the correct facts because not only is your name behind the piece, but the publication's is as well. When you pull information from another source be sure to take note of where the information came from so that if you're asked for it you can pass it on.


Don't: Send attachments


Most editors will not open attachments, so it's not even worth your time to try sending your article as an attachment. Include your article submission in the body of your email. Unless the guidelines specifically state that attachments are acceptable, don't do it.


Do: Read the guidelines


Depending on the market you'll get varying degrees of guidelines. Some won't have any, while some have very detailed guidelines. If there are no or few guidelines, use common sense when submitting. Use a regular font at a regular size. Try your best to find the name of the editor and the correct email address.


Don't: Be impatient


One of the hardest parts of being a writer is being patient. We submit our work and then have to wait in agony for a response. Sometimes, the answer doesn't take too long. Other times it can be months. It's important to remember that even if some editors can give an answer soon after submission, not all can. Most editors receive hundreds of emails a week and must wade through them. It can literally take months for a reply. Although you may want to, it's important not to email the editor every week to ask about the progress your article is making. After a couple of months if you are worried the editor might not have gotten your submission, it is okay to ask. What you don't want to do is email two days later and ask. Though this might get the editors attention, it isn't going to do so in a positive way. To help your patience, after you submit an article get right to work on your next piece.


You can write and sell articles. All you need to know are those few simple rules.