How to Be a Thought Leader (Part 4): How to Get Published in Magazines

In Part 3 of How to Be a Thought Leader, I discuss how to get published in newspapers and how to apply to a print syndicate. Getting your content published in a magazine is somewhat similar, but more complex and with a higher probability of failure. This is because the amount of content submitted for publication is much higher at individual magazines than individual newspapers. For this reason, it may be in your best interest to first focus on getting your work published in newspapers and by syndicates before progressing to having your work published in magazines

However, the reward for getting your work in the right magazine often outweighs the benefits of getting your content in a newspaper. Most newspapers are general in scope. They present current events that are of interest to the general public. However, to be a thought leader in a specific field, magazines would be your ideal avenue of publication due to their narrower scope and focus on a certain area of interest, such as, sports, entertainment, or even narrower subjects like baseball and basketball. Furthermore, magazines pay substantially more per word than newspapers.

The process of getting published in a magazine, begins before an article's first draft. First, investigate the magazine to become familiar with different sections, writing style, use of quotes and facts, use of anecdotes, use of jargon and language, word count of articles, etcetera. Additionally, become familiar with their target audience by going to the publication's website and clicking on the "Advertise With Us" section. Here you will find the demographic information on the consumer base of the magazine, which will allow you to better tailor your writing to the magazine's audience and consequently the magazine.

After you have thoroughly investigated the magazine, you should first address the editor of the magazine by name via email in the salutation and in the subject line. Let them know what portion of the magazine you are submitting your article for publication, thereby communicating that you are familiar with the publication. Then submit multiple short pitches or synopsis of your articles' intended content and organization in the body of the e-mail. Once again, do not attach the pitch as a separate document; instead, place it in the body of the e-mail to avoid the recipient overlooking the attachment. Give the story a short descriptive title.

Due to the relatively narrow scope of articles in magazines as compared to newspaper and the fact that many magazines follow different themes for different volumes of the magazine, I highly advise that you offer up more than one pitch. This communicates that you have more than one idea to contribute to the magazine, increasing the perceived benefit to the magazine of taking you on as a contributor.
At the bottom of the pitch, place your credentials about the topic with a 100 word or less short biography beneath it, and remember to attach a profile photo of yourself. I would also recommend that you provide subheadings to the e-mail clearly demarcating pitches from one another, and the biography, of your credentials. In the case of magazines, never submit the same fleshed out story to two separate publications. If a pitch is accepted by multiple magazines, write multiple distinctly different articles within the constraints originally discussed with the editors.

In Part 5 of the series How to Be a Thought Leader, I will discuss how to attach your name to content that has been created by someone else.