A Guide To Getting A Job In The Magazine Writing Business

If you’re interested in magazine writing, you’ve probably already come across a few different job titles. For instance, some writers are called freelancers while others are referred to as staff writers or regular contributors. What’s the difference? 

Do you need to know what title your dream magazine gig will be under before you apply? Here’s a guide to help you navigate this confusing world of magazine writing jobs:

10 Tips for Finding a Job in Publishing – YouTube
Pursue a career in magazine writing by honing your writing skills and creating a diverse portfolio showcasing your best work.
Research potential magazines and their target audiences, and start pitching your ideas and articles to relevant publications.
While a formal degree in journalism can be beneficial, what matters most is a strong writing ability, creativity, and a passion for storytelling.
Improve your magazine writing style by reading extensively in the genre you wish to write for and practicing emulating successful writers’ techniques.
Getting your articles published requires perseverance and networking. Continuously pitch your ideas to editors, attend writing events, and build relationships within the industry.
Handle rejection in magazine writing by learning from feedback, staying persistent, and using rejections as an opportunity to improve your writing and refine your pitches. Success often comes after facing numerous rejections.

Learn To Write

Learning to write is important for anyone in the magazine writing business. This includes learning about grammar, using a dictionary, and using a thesaurus. You will also need to know how to use a spell checker and style guide.

How can you learn these skills? Why not take some classes at your local community college? Many community colleges offer night classes that are taught by experienced professionals who have been in the industry for many years. They will be able to help you get started on your path toward becoming an award-winning writer!

Discover the life of a magazine writer firsthand with our article on Magazine Writing: A Day in the Life. Gain insights into the challenges, rewards, and excitement that come with being a part of this dynamic profession.

Be Ready To Network

To land a magazine writing job, you will need to be prepared to network. Networking is key! Networking is not just about meeting people; it’s about building trust and relationships. 

If you put in the time and effort, networking can help you build your reputation as an expert writer while also leading you on the path toward landing that coveted magazine writing gig.

Here are some tips for getting started with networking:

Make sure to follow up with everyone who has given advice or referrals for jobs, even if they don’t have any openings right now. You never know when they might need someone like you in their organization and remember how helpful they were when they were looking for new writers themselves!

Find out who is hiring at magazines that interest you by attending events where professionals from those publications will be present (such as industry conferences). 

This way, when jobs become available within these publications’ offices or when someone leaves due to retirement or resignation you’ll already know all about them because of your conversations with these people during previous events hosted by other organizations! 

The more connections made between individuals within an industry over time through frequent interactions allows us all access into each other’s lives which ultimately benefits all parties involved.”

Learn To Interview

Interviewing is a vital part of the magazine writing business. While you may not be paid to interview in your first job, it’ll help you learn how to interview people and get them talking. You’ll learn how to ask questions that elicit interesting answers from the person you’re interviewing, and keep them talking.

There are a few things that will help make this process easier for both parties:

Know what you’re writing about! This may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating explicitly because some writers don’t do this until after they’ve interviewed someone. 

Make sure that you have read up on whatever topic or industry your article is about before meeting with anyone involved in it; if possible, get an idea of what sort of general questions might come up during an interview (for example: “What does your company do?”). 

Even if there isn’t much information available online yet (and sometimes even when there is), go into interviews with at least some knowledge of what they do so that even if someone asks something unexpected or confusing, later on, at least know what their company does means there won’t be any dead air.

While everyone waits for one anothers’ response – which would kill momentum! This also allows them time

Magazine writing is not exclusive to a select few. Learn more about the diverse opportunities in the field in our piece, Magazine Writing: It’s Not Just for the Elite. Uncover how your unique voice and perspective can find a place in the world of magazine publications.

Learn The Business

To get a job, you’ll need to learn how the magazine writing business works. This means learning who is in charge of hiring and what their interests are. It also means learning what kind of stories they like and doesn’t like.

You should also know what the competition is like so that you can target your pitches or ideas at appropriate publications. 

For example, if someone tells me they have an idea for an article about pterodactyls living among us right now and hiding in plain sight as cats or dogs, I will not be interested in considering it for publication in my magazine (unless I am looking for another job).

It’s also important to know who your target audience is before you start pitching articles and stories and which publications they read! You may find yourself trying to sell your story on dinosaurs being alive today as part of “National Geographic” magazine instead of something more targeted at children with short attention spans (such as “Animal Planet”).

Be Able To Write Different Kinds Of Stories

Write about anything that interests you. You don’t have to be a journalist or a professional writer just write what you know and learn from your experiences. If you’re looking for a job in this business, it’s possible to get one without having formal training as a journalist or novelist.

The more stories you can tell, the wider variety of work opportunities will open up for you. The industry needs writers who can cover everything from current affairs to entertainment and lifestyle topics, so try not to limit yourself by avoiding certain subjects out of fear that they’re too hard or boring.

Looking to make your mark in the magazine industry? We’ve got you covered with essential tips on How to Get Your First Publication in a Magazine. From crafting compelling pitches to navigating the submission process, our guide will set you on the right path.

Do Your Research

There are plenty of resources out there to help you do your research, but if you’re looking for a starting point, we recommend looking at some of the magazines in your industry. You can find them online and print them off if necessary (and then recycle them later).

If you want to get into food writing, read more about food! If you want to get into sports writing, read more about sports! Here are some other ideas:

Read the headlines on the magazine covers of different publications within your industry this will give you an idea of what kinds of stories people want to hear about and how those stories get framed (i.e., whether they have a positive or negative slant).

Check out Twitter accounts and blogs written by writers who work at these same publications you might even find someone who tweets or blogs about their own experience getting hired at that publication! This can be helpful because it shows another perspective on what it’s like working there.

Pick A Specialty Or Two, Then Become A Master At It

When you’re a writer, it’s easy to get spread out and do too much. Writing is something that takes time and practice, so the more subjects you choose to focus on, the less likely you are to succeed at any of them.

It’s better if you pick one or two topics as your specialty and focus all of your efforts there. When starting as an independent writer myself, I chose two areas technology and music and I’ve since become an expert in both fields. All of my publications now fall into those categories!

While there are plenty of other niches out there for writers to explore (finance/business; politics/current events; travel), these are some examples of specialized topics that may work well for newcomers:

Embrace a rewarding career in magazine writing with our comprehensive list of 15 Reasons to Start a Career in Magazine Writing. Explore the versatility, creativity, and potential for personal growth in this exciting field.

Keep Deadlines

You’ll be expected to meet deadlines, whether you realize it or not. This is your chance to prove that you can deliver the goods on time and with quality work. This means:

Know what you are getting into before signing up for anything!

Make sure that you have enough time in your schedule for all of the planning and writing involved in writing a magazine article.

Make sure that you have enough time for yourself as well (e.g., sleep). If not, talk about it with your loved ones so they understand why sometimes dinner is delivered instead of home-cooked by yours truly (that would be me).

It’s also important to remember that it takes effort on both sides the writer’s side and the reader’s side to make things work smoothly when reading an article online. You may want to take some time before starting an assignment by researching relevant topics so that when someone asks “what did I just read?”, they’ll know exactly where those ideas came from!

Read Magazines

Read magazines. You should be reading as many publications as possible, but there are a few that you should focus on most. Magazines like The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Wired are great places to start. 

They have a wide variety of topics and styles, so you’ll get exposed to lots of different types of writing even if it doesn’t necessarily relate directly to what you want to do professionally. 

Magazines also offer opportunities for writers who aren’t interested in covering breaking news stories; they often publish more in-depth pieces on topics that don’t get covered elsewhere.

Take Initiative For Your Career

All the advice in the world won’t get you a job. You have to take initiative in your career. What do we mean by this?

Be proactive, not reactive. Do what needs to be done before it becomes an issue rather than waiting until something bad happens and then trying to fix it.

Be proactive in your job search and career development. Don’t wait for others to hand you opportunities, create them yourself! And don’t rely on just one person or company for all of your work you should always have multiple irons in the fire so that if one thing falls through, there’s another option ready for you!

Be proactive about improving yourself both personally and professionally: read books about related fields; ask questions; attend networking events; volunteer at charitable organizations; take classes at local colleges or community centers (or even online!). 

This way when an opportunity arises from someone else’s involvement in those activities (or elsewhere), they’ll remember how involved with them

Read Outside Of Your Field

Read outside of your field. Reading is one of the best ways to get better at writing, and it’s not just a skill that applies specifically to your job or industry. Read books, magazines, blogs, and other media. Read in your free time as well as for pleasure or education. 

Reading can be an important part of developing any skill: you can use reading to improve your writing skills; learn about the world around you; learn about trends within your industry; become familiar with how people are using technology; and more.

Start Small And Start Local

When you’re just starting, it’s important to take baby steps. It’s easy to get excited and want to jump into a national publication right away, but as a newbie writer, this could be disastrous for your career. Start small and start local.

Start with a small publication first: one that allows writers to submit their work on spec (and doesn’t charge) or even one that pays very little per story. The more you write for free or almost nothing, the better your chances of landing paid gigs later on.

If you want more money than what some free magazines offer but don’t want to jump into the deep end quite yet, consider submitting short feature stories or profiles these types of pieces are often easier for editors who aren’t familiar with your writing style or background as an author who has never been published before (which will give them confidence).

If there’s any way possible at all that doing so is feasible based upon where you live/work at this time in life etc., try making your subject matter as specific as possible

Curious about the journeys of successful magazine writers? Uncover valuable insights from experienced writers in our article, How I Got My Start as a Writer in Magazines. Their stories and advice can inspire your own path to success in the magazine writing business.

Write Regularly, Even If You Are Not Getting Paid For It

Writing is a skill, not a talent. Writing is a habit, not a hobby. Writing is a craft, not a calling. Writing is a job, not a career.

Writing is also an art form that takes years of practice to master and even then it’s always evolving as we learn new techniques from other writers and develop our unique style over time through experimentation and growth and that’s okay! 

Because every writer has his or her way of doing things (and sometimes those ways are very different), there isn’t any one way to do things “right.” In other words: if you feel like you have something worth saying on paper or in pixels then say it!

Find A Mentor Who Has Done What You Want To Do

A good mentor can help you get a job, promote your career, improve your skills and find new opportunities. Mentors are also great at promoting their protégés’ careers by giving them recommendations when they leave the company and move on to bigger and better things. 

A mentor may be someone who is currently in the field that interests you or someone who used to work in it but now lives off their royalties or investments from it.

Strengthen Your Non-Writing Skills While You Are Still In School

Your success as a writer depends on your ability to get the story, and that’s something you can learn only from experience. But while you’re still in school, there are several ways of getting some practice in:

Take notes. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget that even if you aren’t writing down everything said during an interview or presentation, it helps to listen closely and concentrate on what others are saying. 

If you find yourself nodding off or daydreaming during class presentations because they don’t interest you (or because they bore you), try taking notes anyway it’ll train your brain in the habit of paying attention and listening carefully enough so that when real stories do come along later on in life or at work, they won’t pass by unnoticed.*

Practice interviewing people. You can start by interviewing friends and family members about themselves; then move on to classmates who aren’t afraid of being interviewed; then graduate into asking strangers questions about their lives when given an opportunity (like being stuck next to someone on public transportation). 

The more interviews under your belt before graduation day arrives the more practice with this skill set the better prepared for real-world scenarios when it comes time for job applications.*

Develop Your Own Unique Style And Stick With It, If It Works For You

You should also develop your unique style and stick with it if it works for you.

If you’re trying to become a journalist, then you’ll have to eventually start writing in the news format and report on current events. However, when applying to magazines as a writer, they won’t be looking for someone who writes exactly like everyone else. They are looking for writers who can write in a voice and style that is unique from others.

You shouldn’t try to write like anyone else or imitate someone’s style because this will make your work look unoriginal and will hurt your chances of getting hired by any magazine company or publication that hires writers on a contract basis (or freelancers).


Your first job in the magazine writing business is a great way to get your foot in the door. It’s also important to have some experience under your belt, so you can show off what you can do and why someone should hire you over someone else. 

Once you have that job, be sure to take advantage of every learning opportunity and grow as much as possible.

Further Reading

How to Become a Magazine Writer: Explore the steps and skills required to pursue a career in magazine writing, from honing your writing style to finding the right opportunities.

How to Become a Content Writer: Learn about the path to becoming a content writer, including essential writing techniques, content marketing strategies, and tips for building a portfolio.

Mastering Magazine Writing: Delve into the world of magazine writing with expert advice and insights, covering topics from crafting captivating articles to breaking into the competitive industry.


How do I start a career in magazine writing?

Begin by honing your writing skills and creating a diverse portfolio showcasing your best work. Research potential magazines and their target audiences, and start pitching your ideas and articles to relevant publications.

What qualifications do I need to become a magazine writer?

While a formal degree in journalism or a related field can be beneficial, it’s not always a prerequisite. What matters most is a strong writing ability, creativity, and a passion for storytelling.

How can I improve my magazine writing style?

To improve your magazine writing style, read extensively in the genre you wish to write for. Analyze the structure, tone, and language used by successful writers and practice emulating their techniques.

How can I get my magazine articles published?

Getting your articles published involves a combination of perseverance and networking. Continuously pitch your ideas to editors, attend writing conferences or events, and build relationships within the industry.

How do I handle rejection in magazine writing?

Rejections are a normal part of the writing journey. Learn from feedback, stay persistent, and use rejections as an opportunity to improve your writing and refine your pitches. Success often comes after facing numerous rejections.