10 Tips On How To Build A Career As A Magazine Writer

One of the most common questions I get is “How can I break into magazine writing?” It’s a good question and it’s one that you’re probably asking yourself right now. The truth is that magazine writing has never been more popular than it is right now, and there are plenty of opportunities for writers who want to work in this field. 

But it’s also true that breaking into the business can seem pretty intimidating at first glance. To get started on your journey toward becoming a magazine writer, check out these tips from people who’ve done it before:

How to Become a Writer (In 10 Incredibly Simple Steps)
1. Develop strong writing and storytelling skills.
2. Research potential magazine markets and their target audiences.
3. Craft compelling story ideas and pitches for submissions.
4. Network with industry professionals and editors.
5. Be open to feedback and continuously improve your writing.
6. Seek freelance opportunities to gain experience.
7. Consider specializing in a niche to establish expertise.
8. Stay updated on the latest trends in magazine writing.
9. Meet deadlines consistently and deliver polished work.
10. Build relationships with editors for better publication prospects.

1. Read Magazines In Your Genre Daily

The first step to building a career as a magazine writer is to read magazines in your genre daily, and that means all kinds of magazines. You need to understand what works and what doesn’t, so it’s important to pick up a wide range of different magazines.

If you’re writing about travel, read National Geographic Traveler or Conde Nast Traveler. If your focus is science fiction, read Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine or Analog Science Fiction & Fact Magazine. 

If people are passionate about their hobbies or interests like painting with watercolors there might be an entire publication dedicated just to them (Watercolor Artist). Whatever subject matter you’re writing about, there’s probably at least one magazine that caters specifically to those readers!

It’s equally important not only for writers but also for editors and publishers: reading outside of our comfort zone helps us stay current on trends in the publishing industry and gives us insight into where our publications could help improve themselves (or even fail).

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to be a magazine writer? Our detailed article on Magazine Writing: A Day in the Life takes you behind the scenes of this fascinating career, providing valuable insights into the daily experiences and challenges faced by magazine writers.

2. Find A Mentor Or Two

Having a mentor can be the difference between getting your foot in the door and being stuck on the sidelines. A mentor is someone who has been in your shoes before, knows what you’re going through, and can help guide you as you navigate your career.

They might also give suggestions on how to improve your skills or teach you things that they know will help you advance in your field. Mentors won’t tell you what to do though; they are there as advisors, not bosses. 

If a mentor has given advice or guidance and it hasn’t worked out well for either party, then it may not be worth continuing with them as a mentor but don’t worry if this happens; there are plenty of talented people out there who could become great mentors!

3. Work Hard To Build Up Your Professional Network

When you’re trying to get a job or land an interview, networking is the best way to get your foot in the door. But what does that exactly mean? Networking means building a relationship with people who can help you in your career. 

It’s about finding someone who knows someone who can give you some advice on where to start looking for jobs, or who talked about their own experiences and how they landed their dream gig, etc.

It doesn’t have to be formal either! You don’t need expensive business cards or high-end suits (though those certainly won’t hurt). 

What you need is just one person willing enough and maybe desperate enough to connect with someone else who might need something from them at some point down the road so they’ll pass along your name when they hear of an opening that fits your experience and interests.

You may already know a few people like this through family/friends/schools’ alumni networks; if not, there are plenty of ways online where writers can network too: LinkedIn groups focused on specific topics like journalism education programs or freelance writing opportunities.

Twitter chats organized by magazines themselves; Facebook groups where magazine editors post updates about new jobs available at publications around town; even Reddit threads dedicated solely towards helping journalists find work!

Aspiring magazine writers can gain valuable knowledge from those who excel in online publishing. Discover the key lessons in our post, What Magazine Writers Can Learn from People Who Publish It Online, and explore the crossover strategies that can enhance your magazine writing prowess in the digital age.

4. Build Up Your Skills As A Magazine Writer

If you want to write for magazines, it’s important to build up your skill set. You can do this by taking classes and reading books that teach writing techniques and strategies. You can also take on editorial internships at magazines, or even become an assistant editor at one of them which will help you learn how the publishing process works from top to bottom.

Once you have learned these skills, you can use them in your work and better understand why certain types of stories work better than others (like what makes good feature stories versus news stories).

5. Learn How To Write A Query Letter

Query letters are business letters. They’re a way to introduce yourself to potential clients and pitch your ideas.

They should be written in the same format as any other professional business letter and include a brief description of what you’re looking for, who you are, and why the editor should consider hiring you for this job (the reason being that you’re awesome). You should also include links or samples from past published work.

6. Design And Create Your Website Or Blog

You need a website or blog.

Most people think that having a website or blog is optional, but it’s one of the most important aspects of building a career as a magazine writer. Not only does it help you stand out from other writers, but it’s also crucial for branding yourself as an expert in your field, which will make editors want to work with you more often. 

That said, creating and maintaining your site can be intimidating especially if this is your first time doing so! To make things easier for you, here are some tips on how to create your site:

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of creating a website or blog because there are plenty of platforms available where anyone can create one without any coding knowledge at all (like free WordPress). You’ll just need some basic design skills and patience!

Give yourself plenty of time when planning out the layout of your site since this step should probably take precedence over any other part during the creation process (this way nothing gets overlooked). 

Make sure everything looks good before moving forward so that everything flows well together later on down the road once content has been added into place (elements like fonts/colors/images etc)

Starting a career in magazine writing? Don’t miss our essential list of 15 Things Every Beginner Magazine Writer Should Know. From honing your writing skills to navigating the submission process, these tips will set you on the path to success in the competitive world of magazine writing.

7. Publish Articles On Other Websites And Blogs

Next, look for opportunities to publish your work on other websites and blogs.

You can accomplish this by writing guest posts, participating in interviews and roundtables, or posting content on your website.

This is an important step because it will help you build a portfolio of published work that will help you land magazine jobs in the future.

8. Start A Newsletter

To start a newsletter, you’ll need to find an audience that’s interested in what you have to say. This can be as simple as sending out an email to your friends and family with a link where they can sign up for future newsletters.

You’ll also want to decide how often you want to send out your newsletter: weekly or monthly? If it’s more than once a month and less than twice, I recommend going weekly. You’ll also need an email service provider (ESP) like Aweber or MailChimp so that people who sign up for the newsletter get notified when new content is published. 

Don’t worry about setting up all the technical stuff right away; once people start signing up, go ahead and set up your mailing list!

The best way to promote a newsletter is by linking to another website or blog post with related content (like this one!). Make sure there’s some kind of call to action at the end that encourages readers who enjoyed what they read about here on Medium and why not include links back here too? 

Also consider sending out occasional emails with updates about new posts coming soon, along with other important details like where/how often those articles will be posted online 

Before the publishing date arrives at last it could make things easier later down the road when people try looking back through archives because now they know exactly where everything else fits in contextually 🙂 Hope this helps!

9. Join Writers’ Groups And Take Part In Workshops

To build your network and get feedback on your work, join writers’ groups. These groups can help you with everything from developing ideas to finding an agent and negotiating contracts. Many groups also offer workshops, which are great for learning new skills or honing existing ones.

For example, if you want to write for magazines but aren’t sure what stories they’re looking for, a workshop may teach you how to find stories that fit their needs. Another workshop could teach you how to pitch those stories effectively so that editors will be more likely to accept them when it comes time for submissions.

Workshops can help writers develop their writing skills by providing constructive feedback in a supportive environment and the experience can be invaluable!

Are you a blogger looking to transition into the world of magazine writing? Our comprehensive guide, Magazine Writing 101: From Blogger to Freelance Contributor, offers valuable advice on making the switch, optimizing your content, and landing lucrative freelance opportunities in the magazine industry.

10. Look For Clients At Every Opportunity

As a magazine writer, you need to look for clients at every opportunity. This means that you should always be using your networking skills to meet people in the industry and get their contact information so that you can follow up with them later. 

If you are attending an event or seminar, make sure that there is time scheduled during it where everyone can talk face-to-face with each other. Don’t just go through the motions of meeting someone at an event; try to take advantage of these opportunities by asking questions about what they do and what kind of projects they have been working on lately.

You may also want to keep a notebook handy so that when someone gives you their card or tells you who else they know in the industry, it doesn’t slip out of memory before returning home from the conference.

Enhance the impact of your magazine articles with our expert advice on 15 Tips for Better Magazine Writing. From crafting captivating headlines to mastering the art of storytelling, these tips will elevate your writing skills and help you stand out in the competitive world of magazine journalism.


In the end, writing is a career like any other. You have to work hard at it and you have to be passionate about what you do. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there are many opportunities out there for those who want them and we think that magazine writers are some of the most fun!

Further Reading

Indeed – How to Become a Magazine Writer: Learn step-by-step guidance on becoming a successful magazine writer, from developing your writing skills to finding job opportunities in the industry.

Writer’s College Blog – 10 Tips to Succeed as a Magazine Journalist: Discover valuable tips from an experienced journalist to excel in the world of magazine writing, covering various aspects of the profession.

Masterclass – How to Get Into Magazine Writing: Explore insightful advice on breaking into magazine writing, including crafting compelling pitches and navigating the editorial process.


How to start a career in magazine writing?

Starting a career in magazine writing requires honing your writing skills, researching potential markets, and crafting captivating story ideas. Networking with industry professionals and seeking freelance opportunities can also pave the way for a successful career.

What are the essential skills for a magazine writer?

A successful magazine writer should possess strong writing and storytelling abilities, a keen eye for detail, and the ability to meet tight deadlines. Research skills, adaptability to various topics, and a good understanding of target audiences are also crucial.

How can I improve my chances of getting published?

To improve your chances of getting published, focus on writing high-quality, original content that aligns with the magazine’s target audience and style. Building relationships with editors, submitting polished pitches, and being open to feedback can also enhance your chances of acceptance.

Is it necessary to specialize in a specific niche?

While specializing in a niche can be advantageous for establishing expertise, it’s not always mandatory. Some magazine writers thrive as generalists, capable of tackling a wide range of topics. However, having expertise in a particular field can open doors to more specialized publications.

How can I stay updated on the latest trends in magazine writing?

Staying updated on the latest trends in magazine writing involves reading various publications regularly, following industry blogs and social media accounts, attending writing conferences, and networking with other writers and journalists. Continuous learning and adaptability are key in this dynamic field.