Finding articles for your magazine

I edit a local NCT magazine, so often have to find interesting articles on a zero budget. I don’t find it too hard, though, so I thought I’d share some tips.

If you invite contributions from members (for a group magazine) or residents or businesses if you run a local magazine, be clear about what you want. Style Guidelines are a way of outlining how you want people to use grammar. You can dictate whether you want numbers written as figures or words. You might suggest whether you like people to use % or per cent. The guidelines can clarify spelling issues: do you prefer the British organisation or American organization? You should also tell your potential writers how long you would like the deature to be, to save them writing way over lenght and to cut your editing duties. I find that several single page articles will interest more people than one very long article.

But what if you don’t have people queuing up to write? Well, there are hundreds of article websites online. People write articles because they want a link back to their business. You can use the articles but must include the person’s name and business link. You often are not allowed to edit the article.

A more flexible way to get an article to meet your requirements is to ask someone with an interest in the area to wrote something for you. Think about what would interest your readers. If they might want to read about natural health, ask a local complementary therapist for an advice feature. If you write for a business magazine ask someone who advises businesses: I recently supplied a batch of articles to the Worthing editor of Mums in Control.

If these ideas don’t help, email me, antonia@acpr.co.uk. I can usually find an article on most subjects or know someone who can offer you something relevant.

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