Magazine Writing: A Quick Study Guide

The best way to learn how to write for magazines and journals is by reading them. The next best thing is by taking a class. But since neither of those options is available, you’re on your own. No problem! I’ve got your back. 

In this post, I’ll give you the basics of what it takes to write for magazines and journals so all you need to do is follow my tips and tricks (and avoid my mistakes).

Anatomy of a Magazine Layout Part 1 – 15 Terms and Definitions
1. Magazine writing offers diverse career paths.
2. Learn from experienced writers’ success stories.
3. Master the art of pitching to magazine editors.
4. Embrace the challenges and rewards of writing.
5. Continuous learning is essential for growth.

Do Your Research

Research is essential for any article you write, whether you’re writing about a new technology or an old-fashioned subject like gardening. Here are some tips for doing research and avoiding plagiarism:

Use the Internet to find sources and facts. Search engines such as Google and Bing can be used to find information on almost any topic. You can also check out online encyclopedias, such as Wikipedia, which provide basic background information on key terms in your field of study.

Check out books at the library or bookstore. Not only will this save time by allowing you to do research right away instead of waiting until later in the day when everything has closed down tight again, but it also gives you access to more up-to-date resources than those available on the internet (especially if there’s something new coming out soon). 

In addition, many libraries have limited hours during which they allow users entry into their facilities so if yours happens not too far away from where I live then make sure before deciding whether or not going there would be worth it anyway!

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Pitching Is Easier Than You Think

If you’re new to pitching, it’s easy to be intimidated by the process. But pitching is a skill that can be learned, and it’s worth practicing until you feel comfortable with it.

Here are some ways to start:

Get your pitch down. This means writing out what it is exactly that you’re going to say so that when the time comes, all you have to do is follow your script and not worry about forgetting any details or getting tongue-tied in front of an editor who might decide whether or not they want their magazine on newsstands next month.

Practice on friends or family members people who won’t judge harshly if things go wrong (and they probably will). Ask them questions about themselves and see how long it takes before they get bored with talking about themselves! That should give you a sense of how long an interview should last.

Don’t worry too much about being perfect at first—it takes practice!

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Write Like A Pro

The best way to write like a pro is to write as you would talk to a friend. Your goal is to make it easy for readers to understand what you’re saying so that they can enjoy your article. Here are some basic tips:

Write in active voice (using “I” or “we”) rather than passive voice (using “it,” “there,” or other words). You tend to use passive voice when you don’t know who should be doing the action; for example: “

The dog ate the homework” does not tell us who did this action (the dog or someone else), whereas “We gave our dog our homework” shows clearly that we were responsible for this action.

Write in simple language with clear concepts rather than using jargon or slang terms only understood by experts this will make your writing more accessible and engaging for readers from different backgrounds

Remember The Reader

While many of these tips may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how often writers forget them. That’s why it’s important to create a checklist for yourself and keep track of the following:

Know your audience. Who are they? How old are they? What do they like to read about? What aren’t they interested in?

Know your publication. What kind of content do they publish most often (news stories, reviews, or entertainment news)? Who prints them (magazines or newspapers)? How many pages long is each issue and what size font should I use when writing articles for them (10 pt., 12 pt., 14 pt.)?

Know your subject matter/topic/style/tone/format/structure rules and guidelines so that once you’ve put pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard you won’t forget about them halfway through

Choose An Angle

An angle is a unique perspective on your story, the idea you’re writing about. It gives you something to say that hasn’t already been said, or at least not in quite the same way.

For example, let’s say you’re writing an article about decorating your home for Christmas. A common angle would be to talk about how to make your house look like a winter wonderland by putting up lights and tree decorations. 

Another would be to talk about how Christmas decorations are pagan symbols that have been stolen by Christianity; yet another could be using seasonal decor as a way to get children excited about religion (and thus indoctrinate them).

A good angle isn’t necessarily new or groundbreaking it just needs to be interesting or relevant enough for people who aren’t currently invested in this topic yet. 

You’d want your friends who don’t care much about decorating their houses during the holidays to read it because it will make them think differently about why they celebrate Christmas; whereas someone who has been obsessed with this topic for years probably won’t need any convincing from anyone else!

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Be Specific

When you write, you want to be specific. You want to give the reader a picture of what’s happening in your story so that they can see it in their minds.

The best way to do this is by using details. When I write my novels, I try to use as many details as possible because they help readers see what is happening in the story. For example: “His eyes were bright blue and sparkled like diamonds.” 

This sentence tells us something about a character’s appearance and personality; it also gives us an idea of who he is as a person (if he has good-quality eyes) compared with someone else who might have different eye color or perhaps bad-quality eyes (like if they’re just plain brown).

Some other ways to use detail when writing fiction include describing people (or animals), places, and things; describing actions such as walking or eating ice cream; describing emotions like being happy or sad. 

Explaining why someone did something specific instead of just saying “he did it”; explaining why someone else did something specific instead of just saying “she did it”; asking for things from others instead of demanding them because sometimes people will say no unless their tone is respectful enough for them not feel threatened by our demands

Start Strong

When you’re writing a magazine article, the first few sentences are crucial. They’re what readers see and may (or may not) read before clicking away to another article and they’re also how you engage editors looking over your work. Here are some ways to start strong:

Lead with a strong topic sentence. The opening paragraph should set up the whole idea of your story and make it clear why readers should continue reading. 

Use your best judgment here you can go big or go small depending on how much space you have available, but keep in mind that if you want people to actually read your article instead of just skimming through it and then leaving because they don’t care about whatever it is that’s being written about at all times forever more evermore amen amen amen amen amen Amen.

Start with a compelling quote from an expert in their field on whatever subject it is today’s topic pertains to might be talking about today! 

This will help draw people into the rest of their experience with this piece without having any real knowledge about what could happen next so get ready for anything because maybe this time around everything will be different.’

Always Summarize

Summarizing is a form of paraphrasing. You take the main points of an article and rephrase them in your own words, but you don’t use any direct quotes or use a single word from the original text. A summary can be short or long; it depends on how much information you want to include about the article.

It’s important to summarize articles because readers like getting all the key details at once so they can quickly decide whether or not they want to read more. Summaries also make it easier for people who are skimming your paper (or blog post) and have limited time or interest in reading everything thoroughly.

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Get Real Quotes

To make your magazine writing more interesting, get real quotes. Real quotes are more interesting than made-up ones because they have a place in the world and provide a point of reference for your readers. 

They should also be from people who are experts in their field or have something insightful to offer on the topic at hand. 

For example, if you’re writing about how to make chocolate mousse, don’t just say: “Making chocolate mousse is easy.” Instead say: “If you follow these steps for making chocolate mousse and use high-quality ingredients, it will turn out great every time.”

Interviews Are Key

Interviews are a great way to get the story. If you can, try and talk to the people involved in your article. They will be able to give you much more detail than what is written down in any book or article. If you don’t have access to these people, then interview someone who knows them well (a family member, friend, or work colleague). 

This can be as simple as asking them three questions: What was their job? Where did they work? How long did they work there? Ask them how they feel about their role with that company/organization and whether it has changed over time. 

Even if this person doesn’t know too much about what went on during those years at that company/organization, they still might give you some good pointers on where else their friends worked during those years – which might lead to other interviews!

Keep Your Voice On The Page

A writer’s voice is her style, and it should be consistent throughout the article. If you’re writing for a magazine with a casual and conversational tone, don’t suddenly start using formal language or over-the-top expressions. 

If you’ve been given editorial guidelines by the editor-in-chief, follow those guidelines to maintain consistency with the magazine’s voice.

For example: “As far as I’m concerned, that’s all I need to know about how to write articles!” (unprofessional) versus “With this information under my belt, I feel confident that I can write articles on my own!” (professional).

Follow The Tips Of Successful Writers

Write every day. Whether you’re a blogger or a magazine writer, you need to be writing every day. It doesn’t matter if your writing is only one sentence long as long as it’s getting done. You’ll find that once you make this part of your daily routine, it will become easier and easier to keep up with (and your readers will love being able to see new content regularly).

Read the work of successful writers in the field that interests you most heavily. It can be tempting when starting in any profession or hobby to get caught up in learning everything there is know about something before actually doing anything; however, reading can be just as important (if not more) than doing things yourself! 

This means picking up books by people whose work has been published recently and learning from them directly instead of trying out things on your own first but don’t worry: no matter how far away they seem right now, they’re still much closer than where all those other beginners started when they first started too!

Give Your Work Some Time Off (Then Edit It)

Once you’ve written your article, give it some time off. It’s important to let your piece rest between writing and editing. If you edit right after writing, then it’s too soon for the article to be in a state where you can see what needs fixing. You won’t get a sense of what is effective and what isn’t until after a few days or weeks have passed.

That said, don’t let your work sit around for too long before editing you want to give yourself enough time to make sure that everything is correct before publishing! Once you’re satisfied with the draft copy of your writing project, start making changes by using these tips:

Make sure every sentence counts and be concise.* Check for accuracy (is this true?)* Make sure each sentence follows logically from the one(s) before it (are there any danglers?)* Look at word choice; are there any overused phrases? 

Does this part often involve asking yourself questions like What does this sentence mean? Can I say it better? Is this easy on the reader’s brain? If not, why not?

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Use Active Voice For Men And Passives For Women. Not!

The active voice is more direct and concise. It’s also more common in the news and sports writing that you see in newspapers and magazines, which are traditionally written by men. The passive voice is indirect and wordy, so a lot of academic writing uses it (and many women writers use it too).

Don’t Use Shortcuts Or Slang In Writing For Magazines Or Journals

You may have noticed that we use contractions in our writing. In the case of magazines and journals, however, these aren’t acceptable. The same goes for slang or abbreviated words: don’t use them. Also avoid incomplete sentences (that is, sentences with no verb).

If you want to write like a professional magazine writer, do not use shortcuts such as these!


The only way to know whether or not you’re ready for this kind of writing is by trying your hand at it and seeing what happens. Don’t be afraid of failure; if anything, that experience will make you better at succeeding next time! And don’t forget all the tips we covered above, because they do help make magazine-style writing easier and more fun.

Further Reading

How to Write a Magazine Article: A comprehensive lesson on the fundamentals of crafting engaging and impactful magazine articles.

MasterClass: How to Write Articles for Magazines: Learn from industry experts and discover the art of writing articles tailored to magazine audiences. How to Write a Magazine Article: A practical guide that offers insights and tips to create compelling magazine articles that stand out.


How can I improve my magazine writing skills?

Enhance your magazine writing skills by reading diverse publications, studying the work of successful writers, and attending workshops or online courses.

What are some key elements of a captivating magazine article?

A captivating magazine article should have a compelling headline, a well-structured narrative, engaging storytelling, and relevant visuals to support the content.

How do I identify suitable topics for magazine articles?

Find inspiration from current events, personal experiences, or trending topics. Conduct thorough research to ensure your chosen topic is relevant and interesting to your target readers.

How do I approach magazine editors with my article ideas?

Craft a concise and persuasive pitch that outlines your article’s value and relevance to their publication. Personalize your approach and showcase your writing expertise.

What’s the best way to handle feedback from editors?

Be open to constructive criticism and use it to improve your writing. Take feedback as an opportunity for growth and refining your work to meet the magazine’s standards.