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Accessing Magazine Archives Online

If you love to get rid of clutter, you probably don’t save old magazines. But what about if you have to get your hands on an article for a research project or personal interest? If you can’t head to the library, there are other ways to get help online.

Online Library Archives

One of the best places to read magazines online is from your local public library’s digital site. Libraries across the country offer electronic magazines that you check out and read on your device or desktop in the comfort of your own home, as reported by CNET. To access your library’s selection of digital goodies, you’ll need your library card number. Go get one if you don’t have one; it’s worth the effort.

Log onto the library website, check for digital resources, then search for databases with magazine and newspaper resources. Specifically, look for a resource under digital resources called RBDigital, a large collection of ebooks, audiobooks and popular magazine archives all in one place, according to CNET.

A Publication’s Own Archives

Many publications that are still in print have online archives. You may not be able to see the current issue, but you can access either 100 percent or a portion of older issues.

Head to, a bookmark-worthy site to find a number of archived print magazines. Type in what you’re looking for in the search box, including the year, and you may be able to read the entire issue intact. The site adds newly uploaded publications, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, DIY guides and more on a daily basis.

The Way Back Machine

There are a couple of invaluable resources to bookmark that have free access to newer and older magazines and other publications:

  • Internet Archive: Also called the Way Back Machine at, you’ll find billions of archived web pages, including many once in-print publications. This non-profit organization began in 1996 to archive the Internet itself and captures web pages from millions of pieces of text. Type in titles, article titles or anything you have that the archive can search and see what turns up. You’ll be happily surprised.
  • For vintage publications, head to and type in what you’re looking for, or simply type in magazines, publications or newspapers. It’s a treasure trove of old, many alternative and now digitized publications.

What If the Publication Folded?

It’s a hit or miss chance that magazines which have folded keep archives. However, there are a couple of ways to access old issues or specific publications that are no longer available:

  • Buy it on eBay

A number of magazines remain online but are moving away from print editions, including teen magazines Glamour, Seventeen and women’s magazine Redbook, according to Adweek.

International Publication Archives

Thanks to digitization, there’s easier access to international publications. For example, find out what’s happening in parts of Canada by logging onto The Vancouver Sun’s archives where you’ll see all the magazine’s coverage for free. Head to for free reading of international publications. Many magazines and newspapers have free access to archived articles and issues.


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Writing articles for magazines is definitely a dream for a lot of writers. This is because the pay is usually huge. Not only that, it can also offer exposure that can lead to more article writing projects. Below are the things that you need to learn in order to write amazing articles for magazines:

1. Make sure to choose a topic that you’re an expert on or you feel interested in.

You’ll most likely to produce high quality magazine articles if you choose topics that are included in your areas of expertise and areas of interest. Publishers always look for articles that contain in-depth information or those that are very authoritative. I would recommend that you list down all the things that you feel you’re very good at. Then, choose those ones that you can easily sell to different magazines.

2. Choose interesting angles.

You have better chances of getting your articles published if they’re very interesting. Study your chosen topic carefully and figure out the angles that were not yet discussed before and those that will grab your target audience by the throat. Also, make sure that you do not write about general topics. Publishers in general do not like articles that contain too many information that are not really useful or beneficial to their clients.

3. Research.

Even if you think that you know your chosen topic inside out, I am sure it wouldn’t hurt if you conduct research. This will surely allow you to get more useful and fresh information that can make your articles more informative and more valuable to the eyes of your target audience. Read relevant resources and if needed, interview other experts.

4. Create an outline.

Next step is to create a structure that you can follow when writing your articles. This must contain the ideas that you’re going to discuss on your introduction, article body, and conclusion. Decide if you’re going to add images, testimonials, and graphics.

5. Write your articles.

Unlike when writing news articles, you’re not required to follow specific structure or format when writing your magazine articles. You can be as creative as you want to be. To hook your readers, I suggest that you write using their language. It will also help if you strive to sound upbeat and warm all the time. Remember, your readers are reading magazine articles not just to get informed but to be entertained as well.

6. Check out the style sheet or guidelines of the magazines where you would like to submit your articles to.

Every magazine has its own list of instructions about the subjects, approach, and tone that you need to use. If these are not published, I would recommend that you read all the articles that were used by the magazines where you would like to submit your copies to. Doing this will surely give you a clear idea as to what exactly they’re looking for.

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Knowledge Base > Magazines > How to Write a Magazine Article? 12 Golden Rules

How to Write a Magazine Article? 12 Golden Rules

write magazine article

Although the number of magazines is shrinking in the digital age, many magazines have moved online. Many magazines created by online magazine maker are still popular, and authors enjoy fame and respect. That’s why, for many freelance writers, writing articles in magazines is often a career goal – because the pay can be ten times more per word than writing articles or texts for the local newspaper.

Writing magazine articles requires a different skill set than writing blog posts, screenplays, or advertisements. What’s more, as a magazine writer, more than in any other industry, you need to specialize to succeed. You write articles about history differently, sports differently, and sports history in a different way still.

A talent for writing, a love of meticulous research, and flexibility in creating texts are vital skills you need to master. Therefore, many people are interested in creating and publishing their own magazine need to master this specific style and learn how to write a magazine article.

What is a magazine article?

What is a magazine.

A magazine is a publication that is a collection of articles that appears regularly. The magazine articles can be about any topic, as well as topics that interest a specific group, such as sports fans, music fans, or board game enthusiasts.

A magazine can be published weekly, monthly, bimonthly, or only a few times a year. Most magazines are published once a week or once a month. Most magazine articles do not have a list of sources and are written by regular magazine editors and writers, rarely freelance writers.

what is a magazine

Most magazine articles are easy to read and don’t take too long to read. They are often illustrated with photos or other images, and are written with simple but remarkable fonts . Today, magazines are increasingly being replaced by websites, but there are still many magazines on various topics.

A magazine article is a specific text that can be found in a magazine or newspaper. It can be a report, a profile of an important person, an opinion piece, a discussion of a topic or a personal essay. Depending on the topic, a magazine article is usually 1,000 to 5,000 words long.

The magazine usually employs a group of editors who come up with a theme for each issue and relevant article ideas. This way, all the articles and features in the issue will have something in common. A sports magazine might talk about the start of a new season, a political magazine about an upcoming election, and a Valentine’s Day issue might be about romance.

magazine article mock up

How the format of a magazine article differs from that of a newspaper or other articles? In a newspaper that comes out every day, put the most important parts of the story first. Newspaper articles are usually read once and aren’t supposed to influence anyone. It has to be news, something you want to read.

On the other hand, a good magazine article should often start with a mystery, a question, or a situation that makes the reader want to read on. Daily newspaper articles should be unbiased descriptions of what happened, while magazine articles, often subjective, can cover a particular topic from a certain angle. To learn how to write a magazine article, you need to know what the magazine is about and how to appeal to its readers.

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Types and examples of magazine articles

Magazine editors categorize articles by type and often mention them in publication’s submission guidelines, so knowing these types by name will help you communicate with the editor. These are: First Person Article, Opinion Piece, Information or Service Piece, Personality Profile, and Think Piece. Many news articles, how-to articles, and reviews can also be found in magazines, but they are slightly different, and many of these have moved online, to digital magazines . Articles can also feature essays or humor pieces.

magazine reading

First Person Article

First-person magazine articles are written in the first person because they are based on personal experience. Depending on their length and newsworthiness, they can be sold as feature articles or essays. They are frequently personal accounts, especially interesting if they are written by a well-known magazine writer or celebrity. Typically, the purpose of such an article is stated in the first line or paragraph to hook the magazine’s target audience, such as “I voted for this politician, and now I regret my life choices.” When you write a magazine article like this one, you should present an unpopular or overlooked point of view from a fresh perspective.

Opinion Piece

This kind of magazine writing piece or opinion essay is less personal than the First-Person Article, but it still requires a narrow focus on a specific topic. The reader’s main question is, “Why are you qualified to render an opinion?” Everyone has an opinion, but why should anyone read yours?

If you’re an expert on this subject, let the reader know right away. Don’t criticize music trends if you’re not a musician! Demonstrate your knowledge, and support your opinion with up-to-date information and credentials.

Information/Service Piece

An informational or service piece expands the reader’s understanding of a particular subject. This can be a guide, a list of important issues. You can either be the expert or interview one. These are extremely pertinent to a specific industry. In a sports magazine article, you can explain a complete history of a sports team and its roster for the upcoming season.

You can expect some in-depth knowledge if the article title contains the phrases like Myths about or Secrets of. Explain everything you know: magazine journalism is different than being a freelance writer in that you should have some industry knowledge already.

Personality profile

This type of magazine article can present a silhouette of an important or relevant person – a politician, a political activist, a sports legend… If you’re writing for a video game magazine you can showcase a famous game designer or even an entire article can be about a game character like Lara Croft or Guybrush Threepwood, if the fictional character is detailed enough! Explain why readers will find this person interesting or noteworthy.

Think Piece

Written in an investigative tone, the think piece frequently shows the downside or less popular ideas of a popular industry aspect. This magazine article could also explain why something is popular or why a political party lost elections. A think piece is more in-depth than most feature articles and necessitates credibility. Confirm your thesis by interviewing analysts and experts. This type of article can be also found in zines , self-published magazines in small circulation, which often focus on niche hobbies, counterculture groups, or subcultures. If you would like to expend your knowledge about interviewing, make sure to check our guide on how to write an interview article .

How to start a magazine article?

Most creative writing professionals would agree that the best way to start writing a magazine article is with a strong opening sentence. A feature article must draw the attention of your target audience, and grab them from the go.

You can start by asking the reader a question which you will answer in the text of the article – for instance “Did you know that most users of Windows never use 80% of their functions – and that’s a good thing?”. In the content of your magazine articles you will be able to answer this question.

Another example of a good magazine article beginning is storytelling – human brains are fascinated by stories. Starting your example with “20 years ago no one in the industry knew what a genitine was, but now their inventor is one of the most influential people” can draw attention and spike up curiosity.


A great example is also a shocking quote – a compelling idea that goes against the grain is sure to capture the reader’s attention.

Most creative magazine article ideas

Even the most experienced journalists can often be looking for ideas for great articles. How to write a magazine article if you don’t have the slightest idea? Here are some of our suggestions:

Take a look at your specialty. If you’re a freelance writer, it’s a good idea to write about what you know. Delve into a topic thoroughly, and you’ll eventually find your niche and you might move from freelance writing jobs to magazine writing! Why? Having a writing specialty will make magazine editors think of you when story ideas in that genre come up.

Check out what’s trending. When browsing popular stories on social networks, many freelancers choose to write about current events. Lists of popular articles can help you understand what to focus your efforts on. Keep in mind that an article for national magazines needs to be well researched, and what’s trending now may change before the magazine finally comes out.

Reach out to the classics. Nostalgia always sells well. You can go back to books or movies that people remember from their youth or, for example, summarize the last year. Lists and numbers always look good!

12 rules on how to write great magazine articles

magazine making

1. Write what you know about

If your articles are really fascinating and you know what you are writing about, you have a better chance of getting published, whether in a local newspaper or in a major magazine. Writing requires researching your chosen issue thoroughly. Identify perspectives that have not been explored before – describe something from the perspective of a woman, a minority, or a worker.

2. Research how you should write

Check the writing style requirements or guidelines of the magazines to which you want to submit your work. Each magazine has its own set of guidelines on what topics, manner and tone to use. Check out Strunk and White Elements of Style for tips on writing styles, as this is what many magazines draw from.

3. Remember to be flexible

One of the most valuable writing talents a journalist can possess is flexibility. You may find that you discover completely new facts while writing a magazine article and completely change your approach. Maybe you’ll change your mind 180 degrees and instead of attacking someone, you’ll defend them – anything to attract attention.

4. Make connections and meet people

Networking is important in any business, especially for freelance writers who want to make a jump to magazine writing. Editors regularly quit one magazine to work for another. Therefore, remember to know the people first and foremost than the magazine they work for.

5. Prepare a query letter

A query letter tells the editors why your magazine article is important, whether you think someone will want to read it and why you feel obligated to write it. Add to it a text sample and some information about yourself as a writer. Even a local magazine might not be aware of who you are, after all.

6. Prepare an outline

Always before writing a text have an outline that you can use when composing your articles. It must contain the important ideas, the content of the article body and the summary, the points you will include in it. You will find that it is easier to fill such a framework with your own content.

7. Meet the experts

You need to know pundits in your industry. There are several methods of locating experts, from networking to calling organizations or agencies in your field of interest. If you want to meet a police officer, call the police station and ask if someone could talk to a journalist – many people are tempted if you promise them a feature article.

8. Talk to experts

Once you get a contact for an expert, do your best to make the expert look as good as possible. The more prominent the expert, the better your text. Make a list of questions in advance and compare it with the outline to make sure you don’t forget anything. Remember to accurately describe your expert’s achievements and personal data.

9. Create a memorable title

This step can occur at any point in the process of writing an article for a magazine. Sometimes the whole article starts with a good title! However, there is nothing wrong with waiting until the article is finished before coming up with a title. The most important thing is that the title is catchy – editors-in-chief love that!

10. To write, you have to read

You never know where you will come across an inspiring text. It’s your duty as a good writer to read everything that falls into your hands, whether it’s articles on the front pages of major publications or small blog posts. Learn about the various issues that may be useful to your magazine writing skills .

11. Add a strong ending

End with a strong concluding remark that informs or elaborates on the theme of your piece. The last paragraph should make the reader satisfied, but also curious about the future progress of the issue. He must wonder “what’s next?” and answer the important questions himself.

12. Don’t give up

Writers are rejected hundreds of times, especially when they are initially learning how to create articles for magazines. However, even a seasoned freelance writer and professional journalist can get rejected. The most successful authors simply keep writing – being rejected is part of magazine writing. Freelance writing is a good school of writing career – including coping with rejection.

Now you know how to write a magazine article that will be engaging and interesting. Despite the digitalization of the market, writing magazine articles still offers many possibilities to a freelance writer or a seasoned professional. The market of press and magazines is evolving fast, but the basic principles of journalistic integrity stay the same!

You may be also interested in:

How To Publish Digital Magazine? How to Make a Magazine Cover With a Template? 5 Reasons to Start Using a Magazine Maker

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Jakub Osiejewski is an experienced freelance writer and editor. He has written for various publications, including magazines, newspapers and websites. He is also a skilled layout graphic designer and knows exactly how to create visually appealing and informative PDFs and flipbooks!

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How to Write a Magazine Article

Last Updated: October 11, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Gerald Posner . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 925,157 times.

Magazine articles can be a big boost for seasoned freelance writers or writers who are trying to jump-start their writing careers. In fact, there are no clear qualifications required for writing magazine articles except for a strong writing voice, a passion for research, and the ability to target your article pitches to the right publications. Though it may seem like magazines may be fading in the digital age, national magazines continue to thrive and can pay their writers $1 a word. [1] X Research source To write a good magazine article, you should focus on generating strong article ideas and crafting and revising the article with high attention to detail.

Generating Article Ideas

Step 1 Analyze publications you enjoy reading.

  • Check if the bylines match the names on the masthead. If the names on the bylines do not match the masthead names, this may be an indication that the publication hires freelance writers to contribute to its issues.
  • Look for the names and contact information of editors for specific areas. If you’re interested in writing about pop culture, identify the name and contact information of the arts editor. If you’re more interested in writing about current events, look for the name and contact information of the managing editor or the features editor. You should avoid contacting the executive editor or the editor-in-chief as they are too high up the chain and you will likely not interact with them as a freelance writer.
  • Note recent topics or issues covered in the publication and the angle or spin on the topics. Does the publication seem to go for more controversial takes on a topic or a more objective approach? Does the publication seem open to experimentation in form and content or are they more traditional?
  • Look at the headlines used by the publication and how the articles begin. Note if the headlines are shocking or vague. Check if the articles start with a quote, a statistic, or an anecdote. This will give you a good sense of the writing style that gets published in that particular publication.
  • Note the types of sources quoted in the articles. Are they academic or more laymen? Are there many sources quoted, or many different types of sources quoted?
  • Pay attention to how writers wrap up their articles in the publication. Do they end on a poignant quote? An interesting image? Or do they have a bold, concluding thought?

Step 2 Consider recent trends or topics you talked about with a friend or peer.

  • These inspiring conversations do not need to be about global problems or a large issue. Having conversations with your neighbors, your friends, and your peers can allow you to discuss local topics that could then turn into an article idea for a local magazine.

Step 3 Look up upcoming events in your area.

  • You should also look through your local newspaper for human interest stories that may have national relevance. You could then take the local story and pitch it to a magazine. You may come across a local story that feels incomplete or full of unanswered questions. This could then act as a story idea for a magazine article.

Step 4 Consider what other writers are publishing.

  • You can also set your Google alerts to notify you if keywords on topics of interest appear online. If you have Twitter or Instagram, you can use the hashtag option to search trending topics or issues that you can turn into article ideas.

Step 5 Think of a new angle on a familiar topic.

  • For example, rather than write about the psychological problems of social media on teenagers, which has been done many times in many different magazines, perhaps you can focus on a demographic that is not often discussed about social media: seniors and the elderly. This will give you a fresh approach to the topic and ensure your article is not just regurgitating a familiar angle.

Crafting the Article

Step 1 Research your article idea using sources like books and published texts.

  • Look for content written by experts in the field that relates to your article idea. If you are doing a magazine article on dying bee populations in California, for example, you should try to read texts written by at least two bee experts and/or a beekeeper who studies bee populations in California.
  • You should ensure any texts you use as part of your research are credible and accurate. Be wary of websites online that contain lots of advertisements or those that are not affiliated with a professionally recognized association or field of study. Make sure you check if any of the claims made by an author have been disputed by other experts in the field or have been challenged by other experts. Try to present a well-rounded approach to your research so you do not appear biased or slanted in your research.

Step 2 Locate individuals who could be good sources.

  • You can also do an online search for individuals who may serve as good expert sources based in your area. If you need a legal source, you may ask other freelance writers who they use or ask for a contact at a police station or in the legal system.

Step 3 Interview your sources.

  • Prepare a list of questions before the interview. Research the source’s background and level of expertise. Be specific in your questions, as interviewees usually like to see that you have done previous research and are aware of the source’s background.
  • Ask open-ended questions, avoid yes or no questions. For example, rather than asking, "Did you witness the test trials of this drug?" You can present an open-ended question, "What can you tell me about the test trials of this drug?" Be an active listener and try to minimize the amount of talking you do during the interview. The interview should be about the subject, not about you.
  • Make sure you end the interview with the question: “Is there anything I haven’t asked you about this topic that I should know about?” You can also ask for referrals to other sources by asking, “Who disagrees with you on your stance on this issue?” and “Who else should I talk to about this issue?”
  • Don’t be afraid to contact the source with follow-up questions as your research continues. As well, if you have any controversial or possibly offensive questions to ask the subject, save them for last.

Step 4 Transcribe your interviews.

  • The best way to transcribe your interviews is to sit down with headphones plugged into your tape recorder and set aside a few hours to type out the interviews. There is no short and quick way to transcribe unless you decide to use a transcription service, which will charge you a fee for transcribing your interviews.

Step 5 Create an article outline.

  • Your outline should include the main point or angle of the article in the introduction, followed by supporting points in the article body, and a restatement or further development of your main point or angle in your conclusion section.
  • The structure of your article will depend on the type of article you are writing. If you are writing an article on an interview with a noteworthy individual, your outline may be more straightforward and begin with the start of the interview and move to the end of the interview. But if you are writing an investigative report, you may start with the most relevant statements or statements that relate to recent news and work backward to the least relevant or more big picture statements. [10] X Research source
  • Keep in mind the word count of the article, as specified by your editor. You should keep the first draft within the word count or just above the word count so you do not lose track of your main point. Most editors will be clear about the required word count of the article and will expect you not to go over the word count, for example, 500 words for smaller articles and 2,000-3,000 words for a feature article. Most magazines prefer short and sweet over long and overly detailed, with a maximum of 12 pages, including graphics and images. [11] X Research source
  • You should also decide if you are going to include images or graphics in the article and where these graphics are going to come from. You may contribute your own photography or the publication may provide a photographer. If you are using graphics, you may need to have a graphic designer re create existing graphics or get permission to use the existing graphics.

Step 6 Use a hook first line.

  • Use an interesting or surprising example: This could be a personal experience that relates to the article topic or a key moment in an interview with a source that relates to the article topic. For example, you may start an article on beekeeping in California by using a discussion you had with a source: "Darryl Bernhardt never thought he would end up becoming the foremost expert on beekeeping in California."
  • Try a provocative quotation: This could be from a source from your research that raises interesting questions or introduces your angle on the topic. For example, you may quote a source who has a surprising stance on bee populations: "'Bees are more confused than ever,' Darryl Bernhart, the foremost expert in bees in California, tells me."
  • Use a vivid anecdote: An anecdote is a short story that carries moral or symbolic weight. Think of an anecdote that might be a poetic or powerful way to open your article. For example, you may relate a short story about coming across abandoned bee hives in California with one of your sources, an expert in bee populations in California.
  • Come up with a thought provoking question: Think of a question that will get your reader thinking and engaged in your topic, or that may surprise them. For example, for an article on beekeeping you may start with the question: "What if all the bees in California disappeared one day?"

Step 7 Weave in quotes from experts or reliable sources.

  • You want to avoid leaning too much on quotations to write the article for you. A good rule of thumb is to expand on a quotation once you use it and only use quotations when they feel necessary and impactful. The quotations should support the main angle of your article and back up any claims being made in the article.

Step 8 End on a strong concluding statement that illuminates or expands on your article topic.

  • You may want to lean on a strong quote from a source that feels like it points to future developments relating to the topic or the ongoing nature of the topic. Ending the article on a quote may also give the article more credibility, as you are allowing your sources to provide context for the reader.

Revising the Article

Step 1 Discuss the article with your editor.

  • Having a conversation about the article with your editor can offer you a set of professional eyes who can make sure the article fits within the writing style of the publication and reaches its best possible draft. You should be open to editor feedback and work with your editor to improve the draft of the article.

Step 2 Apply editor and peer feedback to the article.

  • You should also get a copy of the publication’s style sheet or contributors guidelines and make sure the article follows these rules and guidelines. Your article should adhere to these guidelines to ensure it is ready for publication by your deadline.

Step 3 Revise the article for flow and structure.

  • Most publications accept electronic submissions of articles. Talk with your editor to determine the best way to submit the revised article.

Sample Articles

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About This Article

Gerald Posner

To write a magazine article, start by researching your topic and interviewing experts in the field. Next, create an outline of the main points you want to cover so you don’t go off topic. Then, start the article with a hook that will grab the reader’s attention and keep them reading. As you write, incorporate quotes from your research, but be careful to stick to your editor’s word count, such as 500 words for a small article or 2,000 words for a feature. Finally, conclude with a statement that expands on your topic, but leaves the reader wanting to learn more. For tips on how to smoothly navigate the revision process with an editor, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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In This Post:

How to write an article for a magazine in 2023.

Pitching a magazine is a whole other beast. When you land a print placement, however, you'll score major credibility points as a writer or industry expert.

How to Write an Article for a Magazine in 2023

Writing an article for your local newspaper, trade magazines, or national magazines is simpler than you think. But simple doesn’t mean easy.

Freelance writers and industry leaders alike want to land a feature article in a print publication, because magazine writing projects authority and expertise. Media publications often reserve their print edition for the best magazine articles, and a features editor or managing editor will be highly selective with which freelance writers they tap for various article opportunities.

Key Takeaways

  • Magazine and newspaper bylines are considered very reputable, since these publications have limited space.
  • The timing of your pitch is important, as magazines are produced weeks or even months in advance.
  • It's good to be on editors' radar, as they often are shuffling an issue up until the 11th hour, and may want to assign you a piece with quick turnaround to fill a hole.

It’s not just the high quality of the article that makes print pitching different. In magazine journalism , brands often put their issues together months in advance to ensure they’re printed, shipped, and sold on schedule.

In addition to pitching a good magazine article, you also need to send your query letter at the right time in the magazine production process before you start writing. Newspaper articles don’t require as long of a lead time. It all depends on the publication’s submission guidelines.

Related: How to Pitch an Article: 72 Outlet How-Tos

If you’d love to one day write an opinion article, pen a personal essay, or just get more freelance writing jobs with popular magazines, here is what to keep in mind in magazine writing.

Writing for Magazines: A Coveted Byline

Before the internet, media was mainly delivered through print journalism. A freelance writer or aspiring magazine writer would send a query letter to the editor, and magazine editors would decide which magazine articles to pursue, based not only on the article ideas themselves, but also how well they balance one another, based on personal experience.

In print, there is a finite amount of space on the page. In contrast, websites can publish all the articles — they just create a new URL for every article — so the constraint is editor and writer labor, not lack of space or word count. Article placement in a magazine has greater merit and is considered more valuable, even if it’s a local magazine.

Important : It can be tough to pitch a big feature story right out of the gate. Consider pitching a smaller story in the 700-1,200 word range first to build rapport with an editor.

Many of today’s magazines have been around for decades, if not longer, and they’ve built up a track record for editorial quality and influence. We assume that, if someone has written for a reputable magazine or national publications for a particular topic, they are a skilled freelance writer.

In our digital age, many of the most established brands continue to publish a physical magazine, even if the magazine’s readership has declined, because it cements their status as an influential publication. Often, if you write a magazine article, it will also be used online.

This was the case for me when writing an article for OUT magazine. My entire article was accepted, and received a two-page spread in the mag, but it was also published as a post online.

how do you write an article for a magazine

Pro tip: acquire physical copies of your placements so you can document them and use them online, ethically.

How to Pitch a Magazine in 3 Steps

Pitching a physical magazine is similar to other pitching efforts. The single most important factor to a winning pitch is that it’s relevant to the magazine’s target audience. The following three steps will help you ensure your pitch is on point every time; even if your pitch isn’t accepted, editors keep an eye on staff writers and other writers who consistently send relevant pitches, and eventually you will see progress.

Step 1: Research Current and Upcoming Magazine Topics

Read the magazine! What you think a magazine covers based on what you read ten years ago may not be what the outlet covers at all anymore. Browse both the publication’s website and the physical magazine itself to get a sense of their writing and what the brand is currently covering. Look at the news articles and writing styles.

Additionally, for physical magazines, it’s worth your time to poke around online for either a media kit or an editorial calendar . These kits are sales PDFs a magazine makes publicly available to attract prospective advertisers. The kit comes out in the fall or winter each year for the upcoming year, and lists the planned theme of every issue. This can be helpful intel when pitching big publications.

To see what the online version of a brand has previously covered, you can do a web search on Google for that specific site. Start your search with “”, then search a topic. In this example, I searched past coverage of Gen Z on Entrepreneur’s website.

how do you write an article for a magazine

The "site:" command in a Google search query will let you filter search results to a particular website.

Knowing an outlet will help you tailor your article pitch to fit the voice, style, and format of the target publication.

Step 2: To Locate Gatekeepers, Find a Masthead

Now comes the tricky part: pitching the editor or decision-maker who oversees print coverage. Luckily, most magazines’ editors and other personnel responsible for bringing a magazine to life will be credited in both the physical issue and online. This list is called a masthead.

A major magazine will engage many writers and other contractors to bring an issue to life, but the staff who are listed on the masthead are almost always directly involved in the production process. This is helpful research material.

For example, searching “Allure masthead” led me directly to their digital masthead page.

how do you write an article for a magazine

The Allure masthead. Screenshot captured November 1, 2022.

From the masthead, do some digging on where these different editors are hanging out outline. Are they on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram? Are they writing articles for magazines as well? What stories are they currently publishing? Also track down their email address.

Step 3: Craft a Strong, Print-Specific Pitch

In print article pitching, every word needs to earn its way onto the page. Your article pitch should have a compelling idea and a fresh perspective; specify whether you want to be considered for print publication, online publication, or both.

Most PR pitches are templates, press releases, or cookie-cutter stock pitches. The key to getting momentum in an article pitch is to hook the editor or journalist in the first couple of sentences. Indicate that your article pitch is not a stock pitch, and make a case for why this article is a perfect fit for them.

Pitch Your Next Magazine Article Today

Article pitching can feel overwhelming at first, but at the end of the day, story ideas just like yours are what make it to newsstands and get read by millions. Remain pleasantly persistent, and eventually your pitching efforts will pay off.

Thanks For Reading 🙏🏼

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📊   Hire me for consulting. I provide 1-on-1 consultations through my company, Hefty Media Group. We're a certified diversity supplier with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Learn more here.


Nick Wolny is an editor, journalist, and consultant. He writes about money, business, marketing, LGBTQ life, and how they intertwine. He's the founder of Hefty Media Group, a content marketing consultancy, and is based in Los Angeles.

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9 Tips for Writing Magazine Articles that Hook Readers from Start to Finish

Tips for magazine article writing

Do you wish to see your byline adorning the pages of your favorite publication? Do you want to build a reader base that awaits your next article with bated breath? Well, with a little bit of work, you can take your magazine article writing skills to the next level.

The key to writing great magazine articles is to create content that engages from start to finish, and provides value to the reader. Regardless of which magazine you are aiming for, a few tips can help you master your craft and produce articles that any publication in the world would be proud to put out for you.

However, before we delve into our tips on writing magazine articles, let’s take a moment to understand how this particular form of writing differs from other online content writing .

Magazine Article Writing Vs. Other Forms of Writing

Writing an article for a magazine is not the same as writing one for a newspaper or an online directory. Moreover, the pieces you may see in a magazine are inherently different from the content you may find in journals and books as well.

The tone and style of these articles vary with each publication, genre, and topic. However, two things set these pieces apart from other forms of writing – they allow more room for creativity and tend to be more visually appealing.

While article writing and book writing also require creative input and critical thinking, drafting magazine articles allows you to play with different visual aspects. The use of colorful graphics and photographs to capture attention becomes a must.

Furthermore, the length of magazine articles depends on the publication you’re writing for, what you’re writing and who you’re writing for. In most cases, writing content for the internet does not come with word count limitations. And insofar as books are concerned, you’re usually your own boss.

But to give you an idea, an average magazine article can be anywhere between half a page to a dozen pages. Nonetheless, the word count for 12-page pieces is usually not as high as you’d think since they are interspersed with pictures and advertisements.

Tips for Writing Magazine Articles that Connect

article writing

Here are some tips on how to create magazine articles that will grab your readers’ attention.

1. Write About Things You Are Interested In

You are more likely to create engaging content if you write about something you find intriguing or exciting.

Your passion for a specific cause or topic will not only show in your work, but it will improve the quality of the output automatically. Articles written with passion are more likely to connect as they give readers a peek into your heart and soul. If you let your words reflect your love and devotion to the subject of your article, it will convince your readers to trust your judgment and authority.

Magazine articles are an excellent medium for talented writers to showcase their skills while playing to their strengths. Moreover, publishers always prefer pieces that have an element of individuality. So, if you are particularly fond of something – be it music, traveling, cooking, or martial arts – make sure to use it as your calling card.

However, just because you think you know a topic inside out doesn’t mean you should cut corners while conducting research. It is essential to scour the internet and see what others are saying. Also, look for the latest stats and back up your claims with valuable insight.

2. Use Compelling Headings and Sub-Headings

Although this tip is not unique to magazine article writing, it requires a special mention.

Your headline is the first thing a reader would see while browsing through the index of their favorite magazine or on the front page of their search engine. It is the focal point of your article, as it draws your readers’ attention and encourages them to click on it.

Many experts compare a well-crafted headline to a beautiful wrapping paper. However, in reality, it is a gift itself. An excellent headline, paired with equally compelling subheadings, will build the interest of your readers. Therefore, you should put in extra effort to create headlines that perfectly capture the essence of your article without giving everything away. Just make sure they are not misleading.

It is also a good practice to include your main keyword in the main heading to make your post easy to discover. We’ll discuss more on this later.

3. Reel In the Audience with a Unique Angle

One of the best ways to make your magazine article appealing is by ensuring it has a unique perspective.

Start by creating a profile for your target audience and figure out where their interests lie. You can also look at the articles published by your competitors and industry giants. Doing so will help you determine which angles have been discussed before and which require more exploration.

Instead of just scratching the surface, dig a little deeper and discover fresh viewpoints that establish you as an expert in the field. Even if you are writing on a mainstream topic, such as a new superhero movie that has recently hit the theatres, focus on the aspects that others have not bothered to explore.

Remember, creating value-added content will keep your readers engaged and the publisher happy.

4. Keep It Short, Sweet, and To the Point

Brevity is the soul of any well-written content. If you want your magazine article to remain engaging from the first sentence to the last, you must make it easy to read and understand.

It is generally good to use short and simple sentences. You should break your information into small chunks without leaving any room for ambiguity. Of course, depending on the nature of your article, you may have to use a few complex sentences. However, using too many complicated terms and long sentences can distract the readers.

Moreover, make sure your readers can follow your train of thought without making much effort. Set the pace to match the article’s tone, and don’t let your message get lost between long sentences. If your audience finds your magazine article writing skills tedious or frustrating, there is a good chance they won’t come back for more.

Apart from using short and concise sentences, ensure your paragraphs don’t exceed six lines. Adding bulleted lists to your content can also make it easy to skim and comprehend, attracting the readers.

5. Include Visual Elements

Break up huge chunks of text with striking pictures, powerful graphics, and well-explained charts.

Including valuable visual elements in your magazine article is a foolproof way to increase audience engagement. They will give your audience a chance to rest their eyes without taking their attention away from the piece.

With the right images, you can explain your idea or perspective without saying a lot.

Additionally, photos and videos can make your content more memorable. They can help your readers interact with the piece, which may also increase their willingness to return to it.

These are among the leading reasons why most publishers and brand owners invest extensively on graphic work to support their written content.

How to write articles for magazines

6. Get Your Audience Involved and Invested

Starting your magazine article with a thought-provoking question or a shocking fact can help you grab the interest of your audience from the get-go. If your question is something that your readers can relate to personally, it will undoubtedly compel them to read further.

However, to draw the attention of your readers, you must understand their desires and pain points. You should also know about your audience’s gender, age, and location to choose your article’s right style and tone. After all, the ideas that may intrigue women aged 30 to 45 are not likely to resonate with men aged 50 to 65.

Furthermore, always address your readers directly. Writing in the second person will allow you to use words such as “you,” “your,” and “yours.” Your readers should feel as if you have written the article just for them. Once they build that connection, they’ll stay hooked until the very last page.

Also, make your piece sound like a discussion one would have with their friend. It shouldn’t come across as a lesson or an essay.

This magazine article writing tip will surely help your audience feel like a part of the narrative.

7. Don’t State Facts, Tell a Story

Storytelling is an art. While anyone can share factual information, it takes expertise and a unique thought process to tell a story.

As a writer, your biggest priority should be keeping your readers on their toes as they take in your words and build a world of their own. Whether you are writing about politics or deep-sea diving, your anecdotes and experiences can set your article apart from the rest.

Sharing small stories also allows your audience to connect with you on an emotional level. It makes you and your words more relatable. People may not remember the statistics you’ve shared in your article. But they are most likely to remember the tidbits from your personal life that made their way onto the page.

To create compelling content, take inspiration from your past experiences or create fictitious scenarios to leave your audience spellbound. You can also use analogies, quotes, and pop culture references to breathe a new life into your content.

8. Choose Your Keywords Wisely

Magazines are no longer limited to the print medium. You can now access almost every magazine online, with some charging a small subscription fee and others allowing you to read their content for free.

Now, you may have heard that we should write for people and not the search engines. Our question is, why not write for both? Creating compelling and engaging content is just not enough. You also need to make your articles discoverable.

Search engine optimization or SEO is the most effective way to make sure your audience finds your posts. You need tofind out what people are looking for and incorporate those keywords into your article .

According to the SEO best practices, your main keyword should appear at the article’s beginning, middle, and end. You can also include two to three additional keywords throughout the content. It will increase the chances of your article ranking higher on Google.

9. Wrap It Up Nicely

Don’t let your closing statement go to waste.

As you wrap up your article, utilize the last few lines to include a CTA call to action. It is essentially a way for you to tell your readers what to do next. Whether you are looking for feedback or want your audience to check out your latest video series, make sure to include a relevant link that directs them to your preferred webpage or service.

The next step is to edit your content. You can use services such as Grammarly or Copyscape to ensure your article is free of mistakes and plagiarism. This is also your last opportunity to format the piece and ensure no negative spaces or weird indentations.

Moreover, please use different font sizes for headings, subheadings, and body to increase readability and engagement. You can also use bold words and italicized sentences to make your critical ideas more prominent.

Magazine Article Writing Made Easy

To conclude, there are no set rules to writing a compelling magazine article. However, the tips mentioned above will enable you to break the mold by producing great content. A wisely chosen topic with a unique perspective and great headline can do wonders for your career. Similarly, short and clear sentences sprinkled with personal anecdotes can make your article more fun to read.

If you feel a little lost in how to do go it alone, our article writing service could be the order of the day. Our team of experienced article writers ably supported by our team of expert designers can help you create magazine articles that hit the right note every time.

how do you write an article for a magazine

Dave is Sr. Editor at Content Development Pros. He leads a small army of content writers that help small and large business get results through amazing content.

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