Magazine Writing 101: From Blogger To Freelance Contributor

Writing for magazines is a great way to get into the freelancing game, build up your portfolio and make some extra cash. But it can be intimidating at first! Here are 29 steps that will help you learn how to write magazine articles in no time:

It’s time to become a Freelance Writer in 2023 – YouTube
1. Learn the transition from blogging to freelance magazine writing.
2. Discover the essentials of crafting compelling magazine articles.
3. Understand the demands and opportunities of a freelance writing career.
4. Explore the diverse paths to becoming a successful magazine writer.
5. Uncover valuable tips and advice for thriving in the magazine industry.

Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar is a planner that helps you organize your content and publishing schedule. You can use it to plan blog posts, social media updates, and any other content you’re creating. 

The most important thing to know about editorial calendars is that they aren’t only for big brands with large teams of writers they are for anyone who wants to publish regularly on their own website or social media account!

To start with an editorial calendar, pick a date that makes sense for your audience (for example: if you want to write about women’s health every week on Mondays, then choose Mondays as the day of the week). Then look at what types of articles fit into those categories (for example: if it’s Monday morning sickness!) 

Write down all the topics in which you have expertise or interest in writing you can even do research online before making these decisions so that once the writing begins there’s no guesswork involved anymore; instead everything will be planned out ahead of time!

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You’re ready to get started pitching! The good news is that pitching can be done from the comfort of your own home, and it’s not nearly as intimidating as you might think. Just remember that when it comes to pitching your writing skills, in general: don’t be afraid to embrace who you are and what makes you unique.

I’ve been a freelance writer for over 5 years now, so let me share some basic tips on how I do things:

Pitch Ideas And Stories That Interest You. If It Doesn’t Interest You, Then Why Would Anyone Else Care?

When pitching an idea or story idea make sure it has either evergreen appeal (meaning its content will always be relevant) or timely relevance (meaning its content will be relevant for up to 1 year). 

For example, I write about travel both domestically and internationally, but my travel articles rarely ever go out of date since most people love reading about different places around the world regardless of where they live. 

However, if I wrote an article about something like “how to pickle vegetables for beginners” or even worse “how to build a chicken coop from scratch” then that would probably only appeal right now because those topics aren’t exactly timeless! So think carefully before sending anything off into cyberspace!

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Fact-finding is the key to being a successful magazine writer. Whether you’re writing about your favorite latte or an up-and-coming new restaurant, research is the foundation of any article. 

So how do you go about gathering facts? You could research in person by visiting a café and having a chat with its barista, or visiting a restaurant and eating there yourself or you could conduct your research online.

The Internet is full of facts that can help inspire your next article: news websites tell you what’s going on in the world every day; blogs show what trends are hot right now; social media lets people share their opinions easily with everyone else; 

Review sites give impartial information on products and services they’ve used themselves so that readers know what they’re getting into before spending their hard-earned money on them. There are endless resources at our fingertips!

How To Do Research: The Best Ways To Get Started Writing Your Article

Interacting with editors.

The best way to get your work published is by interacting with editors. Here’s how you can do it:

Find Out What They’re Looking For In A Writer

Make yourself stand out from the pack. Find an angle or approach that appeals to them, and don’t be afraid of going against the norm! Stand out by doing something completely different, but still within the scope of their publication. 

If you’re writing about design, for example, maybe write about how color affects people’s emotions (or something else like that). You’ll be amazed at how much more likely an editor will be to read your submission if he or she thinks “This person has a unique style.”

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As a writer, you’ll often be asked to conduct interviews. You will also be expected to write up the results of the interview clearly and concisely so that can easily be understood by your readers. 

Interviewing is not always easy it can be uncomfortable for both parties involved, especially when there are language barriers or questions about sensitive topics but properly conducting an interview can help ensure that both parties have a productive experience. No matter what type of writing project you’re working on, these tips will help you interview more effectively:

Know Your Subject’s Motivation Beforehand

Before you start interviewing someone (or if it’s someone who isn’t being interviewed for the first time), talk with them about why they want an interview conducted with them and what kind of information they expect from it. 

This will help prepare them for any questions they might not know how to answer without sounding fake or vague and give them confidence in answering difficult questions directly and honestly.”


Features are longer articles that focus on a specific topic. These can be anything from a profile of someone in your field to an investigation into an issue facing the industry you cover. If you’re writing high-quality features, they will likely be between 1,500 and 3,500 words (sometimes even longer).

Use this template: Who? Why? How? When? Where? And What Next?

Make sure you have enough information to answer all six questions before writing your feature!

Columns And Departments

Columns are shorter pieces of writing that are published regularly. They’re useful for providing timely information and commentary on subjects that affect your community, such as upcoming events, local news, or national politics. 

Columnists often have a personal connection to the subject matter they cover; this might be because they are experts in their field or simply because they care about it deeply enough to want to share their knowledge with others.

Departments are longer pieces of writing (typically 2-4 pages in length) that cover a variety of topics related to your area’s culture and interests. 

These pieces may be written by one person or by multiple people collaborating on an editorial board. Both columns and departments typically publish weekly or biweekly depending on how much content you need to be provided for readers to feel satisfied with their reading experience during each period between issues!

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Writing Style Specific To Magazines

As a magazine writer, you’ll need to use a style that is appropriate for the medium.

The first thing you should do is get rid of any long-winded sentences and paragraphs. Long sentences aren’t necessary for magazines because they break up the flow of your writing and ruin the reader’s experience. You don’t want people falling asleep halfway through your piece!

Make sure everything has an interesting hook and flows smoothly throughout the article so that readers won’t get bored or distracted by what you’re saying (or how it’s being said).

Story Length And Shape

The length and shape of your story are dependent on who you’re writing for. If you’re trying to sell a magazine article, the editor there will tell you what kind of stories they want to see and how many words they expect each piece to be. You can also ask other writers who’ve written for the same publication before (and even if they haven’t, that’s okay too).

If All Else Fails, Though, Here Are Some General Guidelines

Short feature articles are usually 1-2 pages long. Long features run anywhere from 5-8 pages or more depending on their topic matter and complexity.

Magazine articles tend not to be much longer than 1000 words because magazines want their content consumed quickly and easily by readers who no doubt have limited attention spans!


Concise writing is important.

Conciseness is achieved through simplicity the fewer words you use, the clearer your message becomes.

Clarity is also achieved by using active voice (“I will make a list of things to do today”) instead of passive voice (“A list will be made by me of things to do today).

It’s also important to make sure that your sentences are in parallel structure and syntax; this means they should have similar word order and sentence structure so that it’s easier for readers to understand what you’re saying

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Voice And Tone Of The Piece

Now that you’ve finished your review, it’s time to write the actual piece. The voice and tone of your review should reflect what you said in your thesis statement.

Vocabulary: It is important to use language that is accessible to everyone who reads your article. You can use passive voice when necessary but try not to overdo it because it can be tiring for readers. Sometimes using “that” instead of “which” can help make sentences clearer and easier to read. 

Use short sentences and paragraphs whenever possible because this will allow readers’ brains time for processing what they have just read before moving on to the next idea or factoid in a sentence (or paragraph).

Active Vs Passive Voice

When you’re writing for your blog, it’s important to use an active voice. Active voice is more direct and concise. It doesn’t waste words, which makes your writing sound like an actual conversation with someone.

Passive voice can be a bit more complex and wordy, which is why it’s not used as often in informal writing like blogs or social media posts.

The main difference between active and passive voice is that active sentences lay out the subject first (who did something), while passive sentences lay out the object first (who was affected by what).

Word Use, Synonyms, And Jargon

When it comes to writing, word use, synonyms, and jargon are the three most important things.

Word economy is the most crucial aspect of your content. If you’re not using the right words in the right places then you can lose out on potential readers. It’s all about word choice: finding an alternative word that conveys the same or similar meaning but uses fewer syllables can make your writing more concise and impactful.

Word repetition makes it easier for readers to process what they’re reading because they don’t have to keep thinking about what each sentence means.

If something is repetitive enough then readers will begin to internalize what each line means without having too much effort put into breaking down every single sentence into smaller chunks of meaning (unless there’s some sort of literary device being used). 

A good example would be using “the” repeatedly throughout your article; this makes sure that readers know who/what is being talked about at any given time without having to spend time looking back through previous paragraphs since we’re already familiar with how many times “the” has been used before this point.

“The” isn’t always perfect though – sometimes it’s better suited for other purposes like creating rhythm or adding emphasis where needed.”

Word Economy, Sentence Length, Paragraph Length, Repetition, And The Word “That”

Word economy, sentence length, paragraph length, repetition, and the word “that”

Word economy: Word economy is the use of the fewest number of words necessary to communicate a message. It’s about choosing words carefully so that your sentences are concise and meaningful but not too much so that they sound stilted or unnatural. 

You should aim for a balance between short sentences and longer ones; both have their place in writing depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Sentences that convey complex ideas will be longer than those which simply describe something (for example: “He was tall” vs “She was an important person”).

Sentence length: The length that you write your sentences depends on the tone of the piece, publication, and audience. 

Writing in a journalistic style means using shorter sentences (20 words or less) with minimal use of adjectives/adverbs/contractions etc., whereas fiction writing tends towards more elaborate descriptions as well as longer sentence structures because it allows more time for description without making readers lose interest in what’s being said!

Consistency, parallelism, flow and transitions between sections, sections for columns and departments, headlines and subheads, sections for online articles vs print magazines vs newspapers.

When You’re Writing A Magazine Article, You Need To Keep A Few Things In Mind

Consistency is key, and the best way to ensure consistency is by making sure that your writing style remains the same throughout. This means that if you use one font on one section of an article, then you should use it on all other sections as well.

Parallelism refers to having similar structures and ideas within different parts of your article. For example, if one paragraph talks about something good happening and another talks about something bad happening because of said thing (e.g., “The new restaurant opened its doors last night but had some problems with its décor”)

Then both paragraphs should start with “The new restaurant” so that they have a parallel structure.

Flow refers to how well information flows from one part of an article into another (e.g., from intro paragraph into body paragraphs). 

If there are too many jumps between paragraphs or sentences when people read your piece online or print out hard copies, they might get confused, and believe me: no one likes feeling lost while reading!

Transitions refer back to flow and how well information flows within each sentence rather than just between them; 

However, unlike flow, this concept applies only when moving from one sentence to another without starting over again as we did with paragraph transitions earlier today at lunchtime during our weekly staff meeting where we discussed what needs changing before next week’s issue comes out.

Headline Writing For Print Magazine Articles Vs Online Articles 

If you’re writing for a print magazine, it’s time to make sure your headings are short and descriptive. Print headlines contain more characters than web headlines and must grab the reader’s attention quickly. 

A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 15 words in your headline, but make sure each word carries its weight. If there’s any doubt about whether or not your headline is long enough, go shorter instead of longer a shorter headline will always be read first by readers who skim through articles before deciding if they want to read further.

In addition to being succinct, print magazine headlines should capture the essence of what is being written about without giving away too much information (which may be seen as a “spoiling” part of the story). Here are some examples:

It Is Possible To Learn The Different Skills You Need To Be A Freelance Writer For Magazines

It is possible to learn the different skills you need to be a freelance writer for magazines.

It will take time and effort, but it can be done! You will make mistakes, but it’s important to learn from them so that you can avoid making them again in the future. You might even want to ask someone more experienced than yourself how they would handle a similar situation, or what they think would be the best way around this obstacle next time.

Practice makes perfect: if you write something every single day even if it’s just two paragraphs and then read those words over again with fresh eyes before sending them off into the world of editors and agents, your writing will improve significantly over time. 

But since we’re not always working on assignments (and sometimes don’t feel like doing any work at all), we often find ourselves looking at our first drafts with horror when we return after some time away from whatever project we were working on before taking another break from writing altogether! 

So remember: keep practicing by reading through old articles/blog posts/newspaper articles etc until this becomes second nature too.”


You’ve just completed an incredible journey. You’ve learned how to write a successful proposal, how to pitch, how to research your topic, and how to write the best article possible. You’re ready for the next stage: submitting it!

Further Reading

How to Get into Magazine Writing: A comprehensive guide on breaking into the world of magazine writing, featuring tips from experienced writers and industry experts.

Freelance Writing 101: Content Writing: Dive into the world of freelance writing and explore the nuances of content writing, including how to find clients and deliver high-quality work.

Freelance Writing 101: Unleash the secrets of freelance writing and learn essential techniques for building a successful career as a freelance writer.


What skills are essential for magazine writing?

Magazine writing requires strong storytelling abilities, research skills, and the capacity to adapt to different writing styles and topics.

How can I break into the competitive world of magazine writing?

To break into magazine writing, start by building a strong portfolio of writing samples, networking with industry professionals, and pitching your ideas to editors.

What are the benefits of freelance writing?

Freelance writing offers flexibility, the opportunity to work on diverse projects, and the potential for a higher income based on your output and expertise.

How can I find freelance writing gigs as a content writer?

To find freelance writing gigs as a content writer, explore online platforms, reach out to content agencies, and showcase your writing skills through a professional website or blog.

How can I improve my writing skills as a freelance writer?

Improving writing skills involves continuous practice, seeking feedback from peers or editors, reading extensively, and investing in writing courses or workshops.