11 Do’s And Don’ts Of Magazine Writing

A professional magazine writer needs to know how the magazine industry works, and also how to write for it. The following list of dos and don’ts has been written by a writer who has had many years of experience in writing for magazines, and they will help you to understand both sides of this business.

English G8 U6L3 Writing a magazine article – YouTube
1. Pay attention to the dos and don’ts for successful magazine writing.
2. Learn essential tips and guidelines for crafting compelling articles.
3. Understand the key elements of a successful magazine article.
4. Avoid common mistakes in magazine writing.
5. Improve your article writing skills for magazines.
6. Conduct thorough research and provide valuable insights.
7. Use engaging storytelling techniques.
8. Familiarize yourself with the magazine’s style guidelines.
9. Create an effective pitch for your article ideas.
10. Make your magazine articles stand out with unique perspectives.
11. Capture the editor’s attention with a compelling proposal.

Do Research Your Subject

Don’t send a manuscript that is too long or too short.

Do make sure you have the right credentials for writing about a particular topic or field, but don’t try and oversell them (i.e., “I am an expert in this subject because I have been involved in it for 10 years! And here are some random awards from other publications that will prove it to the editor).

If you want to write about something new and different, make sure you can back up why with examples of similar content that has already been published and did well (if applicable).

Building a strong foundation in magazine writing is crucial for success. Learn about some valuable insights in our guide on Magazine Writing 101: Things I Wish I Knew Two Years Ago to boost your writing career.

Do Write About Subjects You Are Interested In

It’s important to write about subjects that you are interested in, know about, have experience of, and are passionate about. This will help you write better articles and make the process more enjoyable.

If you’re writing a magazine article on tennis then it’s best if you can talk about tennis because this will mean that your audience will find what you’re saying interesting. If they don’t find what they read interesting then they won’t keep reading or buy the magazine again.

Don’t Try To Write For The Magazine Unless You Have Read It First

Be sure to read the magazine before submitting anything. You might think that this is obvious, but it’s amazing how many people submit work regardless of whether or not they have read the magazine. If you don’t know what kind of content the publication publishes, how will you be able to feel comfortable writing for it?

So what should you do? Read as much as possible and try to get a clear idea of its style and tone. Look at past issues’ contents pages so that you understand who its readership is (you can also check out their website). 

Find out what kind of writers they tend to publish and how many are freelance vs staff. Then check out their editorial policy page; this will tell you exactly how they want submissions sent in: 

Via email or post; with whom at the publication should we send correspondence if our work has been accepted; how long after submission should we wait before contacting them again; and so on.

Don’t come up with any brilliant writing ideas that don’t fit in with the magazine’s style and content.

It’s not uncommon for a magazine editor to get a great idea sent in, only to find out it doesn’t fit with their publication. Don’t waste your time or theirs by sending in writing that doesn’t work for the publication. Do your research before you write, and make sure you know what kind of content they’re looking for.

To be clear: if you don’t like the magazine’s style and content, don’t write for it this goes both ways! If you’re submitting something to an editor who knows nothing about your work and/or has no interest in reading through all of your pieces before deciding whether or not 

It fits with their publication (which will probably happen), chances are pretty good that most of those submissions won’t cut it anyway but why take a chance?

Improve your magazine writing skills with these essential tips. Discover the 15 tips that can lead to better magazine writing and make your articles stand out.

Do Write As Well As You Can, Every Time You Do Something For The Magazine

Remember that you are always representing the magazine and its goals. As a result, your work must be as good as it possibly can be. This means that when you write something, you should always do so with care and attention to detail. 

If there’s a grammar mistake in what you write, correct it immediately; there is no excuse for not doing so! If there’s some spelling error that needs correcting, fix it before sending off whatever article or piece of content is being sent for review by an editor or proofreader.

When writing an article or any other type of content for publication on a site like ours (or any other), never send us an article without having gone through it yourself first! 

A lot of people think they can just send along their work as it currently stands with no edits made to improve upon its quality and accuracy before submission but this is not only bad practice. 

But also very annoying for editors like myself who have to spend their precious time cleaning up after careless writers who don’t bother double-checking their work before sending us something potentially embarrassing for them (and sometimes even worse than embarrassing).

Don’t Forget That Quality Not Quantity Wins When It Comes To Articles

It’s important to keep in mind that quality, not quantity wins when it comes to articles. Don’t send in any old thing just for the sake of sending something in.

You should also avoid sending in something that is not up to scratch, or not up to the standard of the magazine, or even other articles in the magazine. 

Always check your work before submitting it by reading it through several times and making sure all your grammar and spelling are correct, as well as looking out for any mistakes that may have crept into your writing while you were editing.

Dreaming of becoming a magazine writer? Find out how to kickstart your career and secure freelance jobs with our comprehensive guide.

Don’t Forget To Put Something Of Yourself Into Your Writing

There are a lot of rules that writers must adhere to to be successful. They can be difficult, but they’re necessary if you want to make it as a writer. You must remember these things because they will help you in your writing career and help you build up a good reputation for yourself as a professional author.

If there is one thing that we can learn from this article, it’s this: write less and read more!

Do Read All Guidelines And Take Them Seriously

This is the most important thing you need to know about writing for a magazine.

Before you write your pitch, make sure you read through all of the guidelines and take them seriously. If there’s anything unclear, don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek advice from people who have worked with the publication before.

Do Send Your Efforts Out To Other Publications If They Are Rejected By Your Chosen Publication

You may be rejected, but if you did your homework, then you can use that experience to improve your work. If a magazine says no to one of your articles, don’t take it personally and don’t despair. 

Instead, think about what could be done differently next time. Consider how you might make the article better or more compelling for the publication in question; maybe even ask an editor what changes they’d like to see before sending it off again!

If you are rejected by one magazine that publishes similar content as another publication that accepts your work (such as Sports Illustrated rejecting an article on swimming while ESPN accepts it), consider sending that same piece out to other publications with a similar audience base you might get lucky!

Don’t Feel Disheartened If You Are Rejected And Just Keep On Trying

Don’t feel disheartened if you are rejected and just keep on trying. The more you write, the better your writing will get.

Don’t Be Put Off If You Are Rejected; It Is Part Of Being A Writer

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back from the magazine; they may not have received your email or letter. Keep sending them out!

If the editor does respond positively to your idea or article, don’t feel too proud about it – because there is always someone who can do it better than you!

Don’t be too keen on getting a response from a magazine editor by email, phone, or letter – better wait patiently for them to get in touch if they like what you sent in – and meanwhile, get on with more work!

Don’t be too keen on getting a response from a magazine editor by email, phone, or letter – better wait patiently for them to get in touch if they like what you sent in, and meanwhile, get on with more work! 

Editors are busy people and may not have time to contact you if they don’t want to publish your article. They may also dislike your work but not want to tell you this because they’re afraid of hurting your feelings.

Some editors are away on holiday during the summer or over Christmas/New Year so it’s best to wait patiently for them before sending any follow-up emails.

Do take notice of any comments given when a piece is rejected; they can be valuable constructive criticism that will help you improve.

If a magazine doesn’t like your piece, they will usually give you comments on it. These are comments to help you improve. So listen to them and take them seriously. Try to understand what they mean and ask if you are not sure. 

Make sure that you understand before making any changes as this may make the editor reject the piece again because of changes that have been made by accident or by misunderstanding. 

If an editor does not explain how he feels about your article, then write him a letter asking for clarification on his comments – but only if there is something unclear about them (for example: “Please explain why my article did not meet your requirements”).

Want to achieve success as a magazine writer? Gain insights from the masters themselves. Check out what the top magazine writers have to say about their journey and learn from their experiences.

Do Try To Look At The Mechanics Of Your Writing As This Will Help You Get Rid Of Any Obvious Mistakes Which Don’t Portray You Professionally

Do try to look at the mechanics of your writing as this will help you get rid of any obvious mistakes which don’t portray you professionally.

Spell check, grammar check, use of punctuation, and use of capital letters and italics are all important things to consider. Punctuation in quotations is another area where there is often confusion between commas and full stops; lots of people tend to forget about using commas when quoting someone else! 

Punctuation for lists (bullets/numbered) is also something that many people struggle with so it’s worth learning how these work as well as hyphenation rules if your publication uses them.

Do Find Out About Submission Times So That Your Work Doesn’t Arrive Late Or Early (Unless There Is Room For Flexibility)

To find out about submission times so that your work doesn’t arrive late or early (unless there is room for flexibility).

When you write a story, it’s important to make sure that the editors get it at the right time. If you send it too soon, they may reject it because they think that it’s not ready yet and they won’t have time to publish it before their deadline; if you send it too late, then there’s a chance that someone else could write something similar and beat them to the punch. 

There are exceptions: some magazines advise writers to send stories as early as possible so that an editor can work on them before their competitors get their hands on them. But generally speaking, follow their guidelines!

Looking for outlets to submit your magazine articles? Explore our curated list of 15 great magazines for article submissions to get your work published and reach a wider audience.


If you’re an aspiring magazine writer, the tips outlined in this post should help you on your way to becoming a top-notch journalist. Do keep in mind that there are many more rules and regulations for writing for magazines than what we have covered here (so make sure to do your research). Now, get out there and start writing!

Further Reading

Dos and Don’ts of Magazine Article Writing: Learn essential tips and guidelines for crafting compelling magazine articles.

How to Write Articles for Magazines: A comprehensive guide on writing articles specifically tailored for magazines.

10 Ways to Write Better Articles for Magazines: Discover effective strategies to enhance your magazine article writing skills.


What are some dos and don’ts for writing magazine articles?

Writing magazine articles requires attention to certain dos and don’ts. Understanding the key elements of a successful magazine article and avoiding common mistakes can greatly enhance your writing.

How can I improve my article writing for magazines?

Improving your article writing skills for magazines involves various techniques, such as conducting thorough research, using engaging storytelling, and following the magazine’s style guidelines.

Are there specific guidelines for writing articles for magazines?

Yes, each magazine has its own style guidelines and preferences. Familiarize yourself with the target magazine’s tone, format, and themes to align your writing with their requirements.

How can I pitch my article ideas to magazines?

Pitching article ideas to magazines requires a well-crafted and compelling proposal. Learn how to create an effective pitch that captures the editor’s attention and increases your chances of acceptance.

What are some ways to make my magazine articles stand out?

Making your magazine articles stand out involves unique perspectives, captivating storytelling, and providing valuable insights or information that resonates with the target readership.