How To Become A Magazine Writer And Get Freelance Jobs

When I was in high school, I had a teacher who encouraged us to write for the school newspaper. She said that a good writer should be able to write about anything, including something as mundane as a sports game or school dance. 

While her advice helped me become more comfortable with writing about everyday topics, it didn’t prepare me for what would happen once I started submitting my work to magazines and newspapers: namely, rejection letters! 

But after sending out dozens of pitches and getting my fair share of rejections (not to mention an equal number of “thanks but no thanks” responses). 

It finally occurred to me that this was just part of the job description for any writer even those who get paid by freelancing for reputable outlets like The New Yorker or The Atlantic Monthly (though those publications do have much stricter standards).

1. Focus on Building a Strong Portfolio
2. Develop Your Writing Skills and Style
3. Network and Connect with Industry Professionals
4. Explore Freelance Opportunities in Magazine Writing
5. Embrace Resilience and Learn from Rejections
6. Stay Informed about Industry Trends and Topics
7. Cultivate Effective Storytelling Techniques
8. Research Thoroughly for Well-Informed Articles
9. Meet Deadlines Religiously and Deliver Quality Work
10. Continuously Improve and Adapt to Evolving Writing Demands

Write About Topics That Interest You

You’ll have a lot more fun writing about topics that interest you, and you’re likely to be better at them. So, find the things that get your creative juices flowing.

If you love animals, consider writing about pet care or wildlife conservation. If cooking is your passion, write about new recipes or healthy eating habits. If science is more up your alley, consider writing about new tech innovations or research findings.

The point is: don’t just write about what someone else tells you to write write what comes naturally to you!

When it comes to magazine writing, learning from those who publish their work online can be incredibly valuable. Explore what magazine writers can learn from people who publish it online to enhance your writing strategies.

Find A Magazine To Pitch Your Article To

Once you’ve got an idea of the topic and angle of your article, it’s time to find a magazine that will buy it. This is the most important step in becoming a freelance writer. It doesn’t matter how good your writing is if no one wants to buy it.

Once you have an idea for an article, there are several places you can look for magazines that might publish that kind of content:

Find out which magazines already publish similar stories. Go through their websites or social media accounts and see what kinds of topics they’ve published before; these are good indicators as to whether or not they’d be interested in publishing another similar story from you.

Look into who edits each magazine’s content this information should be available on their website or through research online (for example, by searching Google). If possible, try contacting these editors directly via email or phone calls (if they’re listed) and pitch them your ideas; this may help increase both their interest level as well as yours when it comes down

to writing something specifically tailored towards them!

Study The Magazine’s Audience

To be a successful magazine writer, you need to know your audience. This is especially true if you’re writing for a magazine that has a specific target audience. 

For example, if you’re writing for a sports magazine and it’s directed at young men ages 18-24, then your writing should be tailored toward this age group. If it’s directed towards women over 50, then your writing should be aimed at them instead of younger people.

You also need to know the magazine’s style the way they write their articles and how they present themselves visually on paper or online. By knowing these things about other publications in general (not just yours), then it will be easier for you when submitting freelance work because editors won’t have any reason not to hire you based on what they’ve read before!

Want to break into the world of freelance magazine writing? Our comprehensive guide on how to break into freelance magazine writing covers essential tips and steps to launch your career in this exciting field.

Research The Subjects You’re Writing About

No matter what the subject of your story is, it’s important to do some research before beginning the writing process. The more you know about the topic, the better your work will be. 

If you are writing a piece on technology and have never used an iPhone or Macbook Pro before, then yes you should probably try one out so that it feels familiar and natural in your hands as you write about it.

You don’t just want to focus on researching what you already know though; keep in mind that others may not know as much about technology as you do. 

For example: if I were writing an article on virtual reality headsets (which I am not), I would ask someone who has never used one before to try them out so they could give me feedback on their experience with them and tell me what they liked or disliked about them. 

This would help me understand how complicated VR headsets are for non-techies who have never used such devices before; and more importantly, how people feel when using them for the first time!

Craft A Strong, Attention-Grabbing Headline

Make sure the headline is relevant to the story.

Use a question to grab the reader’s attention. You want them to read what follows, so make it as enticing as possible!

Emotion sells. People don’t want facts; they want stories that move them emotionally and make them feel something real and relatable. 

So put yourself in your readers’ shoes, and write with their emotions in mind. You can do this by focusing on how they’ll feel after reading your article or whether they’ll be relieved or disappointed or excited once they finish reading whatever emotion you’re trying to evoke will help determine what kind of headline you should use!

Use bold or all caps for emphasis if needed (this could mean using words like “HOW,” which are capitalized). If there’s only one way for someone to get something done, then let him know about it! Remember: people may be searching Google because they need information fast–so give it quickly!

Read The Submission Guidelines Carefully

It’s important to read submission guidelines carefully and follow them exactly. Look for details like word count, payment, and submission deadlines. If you’re unsure of anything, ask an editor in person or via email before submitting your work.

Improve your magazine writing skills with these 15 practical tips. From crafting engaging articles to understanding the editorial process, our guide on 15 tips for better magazine writing will help you stand out as a proficient writer.

Tell An Interesting Story

When you write magazine articles, your goal is to tell an interesting story. To do this successfully, develop a story with a beginning, middle and end; use a variety of storytelling techniques; include a hook to grab the reader’s attention, and vary sentence structure throughout the article.

Hook Your Reader With Something They Can Relate To

To sell your content, you need to hook the reader. You have only seconds to capture their attention and make them care.

One of the ways I do this is by using personal anecdotes in my writing. The advantage here is that it demonstrates how this article applies directly to you the reader!

For example, if I were writing about a new fitness app, I would tell a story about how I use it on my commute to work each morning or after dinner with my family at night. 

Or, if I were writing about a great restaurant near me (and there are many), I’d relate how wonderful it was when my husband took me there as part of our anniversary celebration last month!

You can also use examples from your own life or from people around who have used whatever product or service you’re recommending and had success with it because they liked what they got out of doing so.

Use Facts And Statistics In Your Story Where Possible

Do you want to make an argument, but need a little help? Consider using statistics. Statistics are numerical facts, and they can be used to back up your claim or even make it. They’re a great way of bolstering your argument, as well as supporting your thesis and conclusion—and sometimes even the premise or assumption!

Here’s how it works: let’s say that you’re writing an article about the challenges facing middle-class families today. You want to support this idea with some facts, so instead of saying things like “it’s hard,” or “they have less money,” you’ll use numbers instead. 

For example, if you say that the average middle-class family earns $50k per year (or has two cars), readers will understand why they might be struggling with their finances more than other people do they can put themselves in those shoes by thinking about what life would be like for them if they were making less money or didn’t have transportation options available at all times.”

Ever wondered how successful magazine writers got their start? Discover inspiring stories and valuable insights in our article on how I got my start as a writer in magazines. Learn from their experiences to pave your path to success.

Cite All Sources Using Ap Stylebook Guidelines Or Those Provided By The Publication

The AP Stylebook is the standard for American English. It’s used by most magazines and newspapers, so if you want to write for one of those publications, you need to know how to cite sources properly. The AP Stylebook can be found online for free at or purchased as a book or app from Amazon or Etsy.

Include All Resources In A Bibliography Page At The End Of The Story

Once you’ve finished writing your story and have submitted it to an editor, there are a few things that remain. First, be sure to include all resources on a bibliography page at the end of the story. 

This ensures that any reader will know where they can find more information on any topic that interests them. It also helps editors verify whether you read the books, articles, and websites you cite in your story.

Second, don’t forget to format your bibliography correctly with punctuation marks before submitting it to an editor and if you’re using APA style (which many magazines prefer), remember to use “Author’s Last Name” as opposed to “Last Name.”

Also, don’t forget to include a cover letter with both who wrote it and why they wrote it for this particular publication; if possible include samples of previous work as well! 

Last but not least (or fortunately), make sure you write an introductory paragraph explaining how long ago something happened or how recently someone died so readers can better understand context when reading about historical events or current issues affecting society today.”

Edit Your Work And Check For Typos Multiple Times Before Submitting It For Consideration

As you’re writing, make sure you have a good editor. You can use Microsoft Word to check for grammar and spelling errors, but there are other options as well. You could hire an editor on Upwork or who will edit your work for a fee. There are also many free editing services available online, such as Grammarly and Hemingway App.

Once your article is done, proofread it multiple times before submitting it for consideration at the magazine that has hired you. Make sure there aren’t any typos or grammatical errors in your work! 

Check the flow of paragraphs is each paragraph clear and easy to read? Are there any awkward sentences? Is everything accurate? Write out a list of all possible corrections and then fix them one by one until your content is perfect!

Make Sure You’re Paid For Your Work, Not Just For Exposure! Try To Negotiate A Higher Rate If Possible

You may be lucky and get paid for your work right away, but if not, don’t worry! Negotiation is always a possibility. 

Try to negotiate a higher rate if possible. Make sure you go into the negotiation with confidence, but also be polite and understanding of the publication’s budget issues. Also remember that you should never take on a job unless it fits your goals and interests and even then, try to get paid for it!

Starting a career in magazine writing can be a fulfilling journey. Uncover the essential steps and useful tips in our guide on how to start a career writing for magazines. Set yourself up for success in the world of professional writing.

Be Polite But Persistent If You’re Not Getting Responses From A Potential Employer Or Editor

If you’re not getting any responses from a potential employer or editor, don’t give up and think that the magazine is not interested in your story idea. You might want to keep trying for a few months. Don’t be afraid to follow up with your query letter after two weeks or even two months if no one has responded yet (and make sure it still applies!).

If this happens repeatedly and you feel like someone just doesn’t want to work with you because of something as trivial as an unanswered email, then try asking them directly why they won’t respond or tell them how much experience you have under your belt so far and see if anything changes their mind about contacting back. 

Also, don’t be afraid of asking for what you want – whether it’s information on the submission process at their publication or help to get started freelancing career-wise via mentoring programs such as [this link]. There are plenty of people willing and happy to help out new writers like yourself!


The best way to succeed as a magazine writer is by being persistent. It may take some time before you get your first job, but once you do it can lead to other opportunities. 

The next step is finding a magazine that’s right for your interests and pitching them ideas that they find interesting enough to publish. Remember these tips when crafting your pitch so they know exactly what kind of story they are getting with each submission!

Further Reading

Indeed: How to Become a Magazine Writer Short Description: Indeed offers valuable insights and tips on how to kickstart a career as a magazine writer.

SmartBlogger: Magazine Writing Jobs Short Description: SmartBlogger provides a comprehensive guide to finding and landing magazine writing jobs in the competitive market.

The Write Life: How to Become a Magazine Writer in 4 Easy Steps Short Description: The Write Life presents a straightforward, step-by-step approach to becoming a successful magazine writer.


How do I start my career as a magazine writer?

Starting a career as a magazine writer involves several key steps, including building a strong portfolio, networking with industry professionals, and actively seeking freelance opportunities.

What skills are essential for a magazine writer?

Effective storytelling, strong research abilities, attention to detail, and the capacity to meet deadlines are crucial skills for a magazine writer to succeed in this field.

How can I improve my magazine writing style?

Improving your magazine writing style can be achieved through consistent practice, studying the work of successful writers, and seeking feedback from editors or peers.

How do I find magazine writing jobs?

To find magazine writing jobs, consider exploring online job boards, pitching ideas to publications, and building connections within the publishing industry.

What are the challenges of being a magazine writer?

Some challenges of being a magazine writer include dealing with rejection, tight deadlines, and the need to constantly adapt to new topics and writing styles.