10 tips to succeed as a magazine journalist – by Tancrid Muller

 

Being a magazine journalist can be one of the most fulfilling and interesting jobs out there, but it’s not a job that will suit everyone. If you’re not afraid of mountains of work and tight deadlines, follow these ten tips and you’ll be an ace magazine writer in no time.

Research is Essential
  • This doesn’t mean only verifying facts and figures; you need to learn about the magazine industry. Learn what to expect, before jumping in.
  • Read about… everything. Stay up-to-date on the latest news, magazine articles and books. To help keep your knowledge database full of new and interesting content, subscribe to as many blogs, websites and digital magazines as possible.
  • If you want to write an article for a specific magazine, do some recon on it. Study the structure of the articles, the style the magazine prefers and the types of articles covered. Matching your writing style to that of the magazine is one of the most important aspects of getting your piece sold.
Never stop learning
  • If you aren’t already doing so, try to write something every day. Write about anything; whether it’s about your day, a new TV show or something that piques your interest. Try starting a blog. Sites like http://wordpress.com are great for beginners; it’s easy to set up a blog and start blogging.
  • Get your grammar up to scratch and make friends with your spell-checker. This tip might seem a bit obvious; however, when it’s your job to write intelligent articles, you’d better remember everything you learned in English class.
  • Take criticism in your stride. Don’t be discouraged by what critics say; rather use their feedback to improve your writing. Praise feels great when appropriate, but you’ll always learn just that extra bit more from your failures than your successes.
General writing tips
  • Just to reiterate the importance… you need to work hard especially if you want to be a step above being just another name on a piece of paper.
  • Always try to be as professional as possible. When addressing an editor it is always best to use their full name. And leave language like “hey dude” and “whatsup!” at the local watering hole.
  • As someone new to the industry it’s easy to succumb to “mouse language” like “aspiring”, “please read” and “my cat would love it if you would publish this”. Saying anything like that will put your article in the rejection pile faster than you can say “Could you please give me a cha…”

The final, most important tip all journalists need to remember:

NEVER give up. If you truly want to be a top notch magazine journalist, nothing can stand in your way.

About the author:

Tancrid Muller is a freelance journalist who discovered his passion for writing through the “SA Writers’ College”. He is working hard to reach his dream of becoming a full-time writer. When not writing, he enjoys gaming, reading and making memories with friends and family.

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