How to Target a Market

by Ariel Pakizer

Pick your audience before you start writing.   or even plan, an article. Waving in western culture is a friendly gesture, but an open palm is the equivalent to “flipping the bird” in some Hispanic cultures. Writing without knowing your market is like waving in Spain, you’re saying hello, they’re seeing a curse word, and everyone is confused.

Selecting a market is tricky. “High Fantasy fans” is too large, but “twenty-year-old white men” is too small, so target a market in between the two. Choose an age range and a topic. Focusing on one interest is wise, since art students and sports scholarships typically aren’t interested in same type of article.

You have the idea, now where does it fit best? Decide what focus (if it’s a story, or angle if it’s an article) your piece should take and target your particular market from there. If you don’t know what your audience wants, you need to do more than targeting a market.

If you’re a thirty-year-old woman targeting men going through a midlife crisis, you’ve got some research to do. If you’re willing to plan, research, and edit your article, you can spare a few hours for researching your market.

Once you understand your market, tailor your story to it. Write what your chosen audience wants to read. Every market has a tone and length they enjoy, so try keeping your article to the appropriate word count. If you’re writing a short story, write the characters with strengths they’ll admire and not quirks they will find annoying.

Writing for an audience isn’t easy and only practice will make you better. Learn to blend your writing with what others want to read. Write a few pieces for a specific audience, and then try selling them.

You can aim for a local magazine, newspaper, or reach out to an online journal. Why not find an internet magazine, learn about its target audience, and write a short story specifically for it?

Work on a piece for a few weeks, but set a deadline. It will turn a project into a goal, and the finished work into an accomplishment. So, go for it, write and sell a piece to a target audience by March 31st. Don’t sit and think, “I couldn’t do that!” because you can’t know that’s true until you try.

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How to Earn a Living by Writing

Secrets of Full-time Writers

by Deborah Owen

Creative writers can make a lot of money writing for newspapers. The writing is easy, you don’t have to worry about “Show, Don’t Tell,” and you can resell the articles all over the country with simultaneous submissions.

Most newspapers need a reporter for PTA meetings and sometimes for sports events. You will make about $15 for each article, and $5 for each picture they use. A normal 35mm camera is usually good enough.

Most average-sized cities have a local newspaper that accepts admissions from amateur writers. This is your market. If you have political views you want to share, the Opinion Editor or Op-Ed section is a good place to start. Write with conviction and zest and the editor will most likely accept your piece. He will, however, edit it for grammar and cut parts he deems unnecessary. If they have a guideline, follow it to the letter.

By most people’s standards, $15 to $20 isn’t much, but if you write an article about an upcoming holiday and resell it all over the nation, you can easily make $200 from it.

Make a file on the newspapers that accept your work. This is your gold mine. These are the people you send Christmas cards to – the people you become personally acquainted with – the people you network with – and the people you become friends with. These people are your livelihood – and this is how writers make a living. Maybe not a plush living, but a modest one. It isn’t easy, but it works.

When you write articles, you have to be fast. You don’t worry a lot about how you phrase things as long as you use (near) proper English. Most of the rules you learned for writing short stories won’t apply. You can use passive sentences. You can “tell” instead of “showing”. You don’t have to use graceful sentences, but used jazzed-up verbs.

Send your submissions directly to the editor. Call the newspaper to learn his or her name, and write it down. Be sure you get the spelling right. Google “U.S. Newspapers” and you can select the papers by state.

So where do you get your articles? What do you write about? Have you ever wondered how something works, or where certain things come from? How about people who have an unusual talent or a special hobby?

The secret to reselling a newspaper article is that it needs to have a broad appeal – such as an article on how Father’s Day began. If you were submitting to a magazine, you would have to submit at least three to four months ahead, but not so with newspapers. Send your article in two weeks in advance.

Still having a hard time thinking of what to write about? Check the latest version of Writer’s Market if you have nothing specific in mind. Browsing the nonfiction section will give you an idea of what kinds of articles are being published.

This is enough to get you off to a good start. Have any questions though? I’d be more than happy to answer them for you in the comments below!

And don’t forget to head over to www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com to sign up for The Writer’s Choice Newsletter or a writing course with a personal tutor.

Get Published Now!

Get Published Right Away
Where do I submit my stuff?

By guest blogger, Annie Evett

Where do new writers get published? You’ve just finished writing material that you think is pretty good, but you’re not sure where to send it. Most writers begin their career by submitting to free publications such as e-anthologies (ebooks or pdfs available online), e-zines (online magazines or newsletters)or local newspapers. The thrill of seeing your name in the byline is reward enough, but accepted and published work also reinforces the belief that your work has some quality. It exposes your talents to a new audience, boosts your ego, and may pave the way to paid work.

When seeking publication, be sure to:

1. Check your work for:
• Grammatical and spelling errors
• Beta read by at least two other people. (Beta readers are people outside your immediate family or friend circle and who are more likely to give you constructive feedback. Their role is to give an impression of how your piece will be received by the audience you’re targeting. Beta readers don’t edit or correct your piece. Try to find someone with some writing experience.)
• Act upon their feedback
• Rewrite to perfection
• Submit to an editor (know the editor’s name)

2. Craft a cover letter and a short biography (up to 50 words)

3. Submit a publicity photo (clear head shot) of yourself in electronic format. Most publications will include this in your byline at the end of your piece.

4. Write a publishing goal for yourself and make a specific date. (Answer such questions as what is most important to you? To be paid? How much? To be published? Be recognized? Why? By whom?) Post your goal in a prominent place near your writing area. These answers will arm you with a basic level of professionalism.

Data bases of markets open to emerging writers:

Duotropes http://www.duotrope.com/
Worldwide Freelance http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/
Fiction Writing Markets http://www.writerswrite.com/fiction/markets.htm
The Short Story http://www.theshortstory.org.uk/prizes/
Writers Weekly http://www.writersweekly.com/markets_and_jobs.php
Womagwriter http://womagwriter.blogspot.com This blog highlights magazines that accept short story submissions across several countries. They also provide writers guidelines and the blog will keep you up to date with what’s happening in the market.

Also Open for Submissions:

Untitled http://www.untitledonline.com.au Fiction of any genre – 350 words to 5000 words.

Ether bookshttp://www.etherbooks.co.uk/ – open to any genre in fiction. Specifically looking at short stories or serial stories. This platform publishes to mobile devices and are available through itunes.

Global Short Stories http://www.globalshortstories.net – all genres all themes – short stories under 2000 words.

Noble Romancehttps://www.nobleromance.com Sweethearts (no sex or sexual overtones) and Erotica (more saucy)- Short Stories– 3-10K words. Novellas 10,001-29,999K, 30+K words and up for novels

Wet Inkhttp://www.wetink.com.au A magazine of new writing – open to fiction (including genre fiction), creative non-fiction, poetry, memoir, essays and opinion pieces

eFiction http://authors.efictionmag.com/ online monthly magazine – all genres

Red Asylumhttp://theredasylum.webs.com/ Quarterly online magazine, devoted to the discovery and publication of dark and twisted stories.

Lyrical Press http://www.lyricalpress.com Seeking erotica, romance, and urban fantasy short stories (15K) through to novels

Got your stories posted on your site and want some readers? These sites are community-run listings of online fiction where you can post a link to your stories and go and check out other writers work. This is particularly handy in order to get feedback from other writers and build your own support group.

Webfiction http://webfictionguide.com/
Write Anythings Fiction Friday http://wa.emergent-publishing.com/writing-prompts/
Mad Utopia http://MadUtopia.com/blog/fridayflash/what-is-fridayflash/

Make sure you follow the submission guidelines carefully – and good luck!

For more great tips, get The Writer’s Choice Newsletter at http://www.creativewritinginstitute.com. Please take a moment to rate this article and make a comment. Bookmark us! Happy day!