Webzine editor hisses when she sees you? Perhaps you are committing one of the seven deadly sins.  Tracy Brooks points them out and unveils the virtues that seduce online editors.

You’ve embraced the digital era and are writing for webzines.  You churn out article after article, yet one after another, they’re rejected. The work is just not coming in, and you can’t remember what an acceptance letter looks like.

If this sounds familiar, and you’re receiving more rejections than payslips, chances are you’re not making your online editor purr.

Seven deadly sins that make editors hiss

Avoid the list of sins below, and you’ll leap to the top of her favourites list.

  1. Pride – digital is different.   You’re not above learning new tricks, so find out how to chunk, insert keywords and phrases and revise your writing method to suit the different reading style.
  2. Gluttony – send in short, sharp pieces, with keywords and a simple, relevant headline.  Don’t expect the editor to hack away reams of words, because you think more is better.
  3. Lust – yes, we know.  The orgasmic feeling of filling a page with your thoughts and writing. Contain yourself and give the editor exactly what she wants. 
  4. Anger – no matter how irritated you are by the ed’s slash and burn policy, suck it up and learn, baby, learn.
  5. Greed – know your value, but don’t insist on top dollar or nothing.  Give the editor what she expects, on time.  She’ll learn to rely on you, commission work and as you become a favourite spot on her speed dial, the money will flow in…
  6. Sloth – don’t let slopping around the house, getting lost in Google, encourage slothfulness.  The editor works a long, hard day and expects you to do the same, freelance or not.  Delivering perfect work, on deadline, means dedication and commitment from you.
  7. Envy – yes, she has the power, but writing awards belong to the journalist, not the editor. And the byline is yours!

 Seven virtues that make editors purr

‘Send me something perfect, please.’

Editors have neither the energy nor time to spend hours toiling over poorly written pieces. Rather, they have a simple need:  articles must arrive ready for inclusion.

Instead of feeding her catnip, offer her these seven virtues, and watch her rub her cheek all over your articles.

  1. Creativity – be original, expressive and quick.  Digital is so instant – don’t stew on a good idea, get it down and submitted quickly.
  2. Truth – accuracy and integrity are your bywords.  Check everything, and report it precisely.
  3. Courage – be confident and face change with resolve.  Rewrite cheerfully.
  4. Wisdom – exercise good judgement – write for the online reader.  Make the title clear and concise and the opening sentence gripping.
  5. Tolerance – she IS the editor, she IS going to get what she wants.  Bear with her.
  6. Freedom – she sets the guidelines, but you are free to push and bend those as far as you can.
  7. Love – love what you do.  That energy and joy will reflect in your writing and the editor will love receiving work from you.

Making and keeping your editor happy is your winning ticket to writing and selling oodles of online articles.   Now you have the tools you need to keep her blissfully content – happy writing!