Getting yourself featured in a magazine and in popular media outlets is easier than you think. In my experience as a writer for twenty five years, it comes down to five 10 key elements. Some are obvious, some not so much. Both are equally powerful in pushing you forward. Check them out here!
10 Tips to Getting Featured in a Magazine and Media
1. What is Your Why? It’s one thing to want to the glamour of being in print. It’s another to know why you want to be there. Assuming it’s for your business, what will being in print do for it and your income stream?
In addition to hanging up the article in your office or on your website, what kind of clients will it bring to your business? If you don’t have any clients yet, what would you say your ideal client is? And before you say “I’m open to a lot of different people” I want you to look at #2.
2. What is Your Niche? After writing for TV, I spent many years writing for a variety of outlets. I wrote 3 blogs a week for 3 years straight for GoodHouskeeping.com as well as a 5 blogs a week for 3 years for BabyCenter.com. I contributed to local magazines such as LA Parent and Valley Scene Magazinewhere I wrote everything from restaurant and theater reviews to features on golf and bullying. I meticulously wrote in my personal blogs about my kids in sites called Pass the Zoloft as well as Happily Ticked Off. That last blog – which was a detailed account of my son’s Tourette Syndrome – landed me a book deal on the subject. I worked for various agencies from Spark Networks to Vons Market, writing over 125 articles in 15 months.
While this all sounds very chic, there’s a catch: It wasn’t consistent. If I had chosen ONE direction earlier, I’d have made more money over time and been branded as the expert in ONE field.
3. Trust Your Focus: Part of the reason I had a hard time picking a niche was that, well, I was a young woman, raising kids, fighting for my marriage – hell, I was fighting for my own identity in this nut job world – and I didn’t even realize I didn’t have a niche. But once I decided to become a book coach, I had to trust this niche. I had to decide that while I “could” do many things (TV writing, magazine writing, script writing) the one thing I was going to focus on was book coaching. And not just any kind of book coaching. My book coaching focus would be: helping Moms Write Transformational Books Rooted in Wisdom, Humor and Spirituality.
Would this specific niche eliminate some potential male clients? Yes. Would it eliminate teenagers? Yes. But would it make those ladies who fit my category that much more comfortable with my expertise? YES. Having a niche led me to focus on what I would say “yes” to and what I would say “no” to. The same goes if your goal is to be featured in a magazine. So… assuming that you know “Why” you want to be featured, have a “Niche” and are willing to “Focus” on it, let’s go over a few “How’s”… shall we?
4. Network: Write a list of everyone you know who is connected to someone in media and magazines. Do you know a writer at your local paper? Do you have a friend who takes amazing photos for his Instagram page? Do you know people who have a decent social media following? Reach out to them, tell them what your niche/brand is, and ask if they would be interested in giving you a shout out. Promise them something in return, too. If you’re a hair stylist, thank them with a free blow-out. If you’re a writer, thank them by writing a blog post about them. Don’t underestimate the power of trading back scratches to get your and other’s names out there.
5. Write an Article Yourself: This was how I started. I found out that many local papers don’t pay their writers, but I knew they had great exposure. I wrote articles for free in exchange for reviews and product. You, too, could consider taking a trip to the grocery store, picking up a free local newspaper or magazine, and contacting the editor about what a story, with you featured in it, looks like. These articles will start to fill out your portfolio and land you bigger gigs down the road where you or your business are featured. If you’re not a writer, no problem. See tip #6.
6. Trade with a Writer: Find a writer in your area through a Facebook Group or your own personal media channels. Be clear about what you’re looking for: “I’m looking to be featured in a magazine in exchange for “fill in the blank.” This kind of trade involves keeping an open mind, but it only takes a few “yes’s” before you can start building buzz for your brand. It’s worth thinking a bit outside the box. This leads me to #7:
7. Have an Open Mindset: You never know where you’re going to meet someone or who they will be connected to. When I started thinking of myself as a writer who was taking a coffee break at my kids school social hour vs. a tired mom who had “one more thing to do” on a Friday morning, everything changed. My whole energy switched, and it attracted people to me. It was through a morning coffee I met a few parents who just happened to be TV producers. These producers became friends of mine. I eventually wrote a pilot script for them. And while it hasn’t sold yet, it reminded me once again of what I want to do with my life: I want to write and book coach. (Yes, even more than TV.) The experience of yet one more trip down the rabbit hole of “maybe this TV script will land somewhere” was the very adventure I needed to sober up, stop swirling and find my niche: book writing and book coaching. The same can be said for your dreams!
8. Start a Blog: Blogging is such an awesome way to be featured in magazines because you’re not asking another entity to do for you what you aren’t doing for yourself. If setting up a personal blog sounds scary, refer back to #7 and keep an open mindset. I have used WordPress.com and Wix.com, – and truthfully I want to build both these sites out much more – but I’m also a HUGE fan of Medium.com.
What I love about Medium.com is that it’s a super super easy to build since the whole site is a platform built for writers. You can link to thousands over other blogs, guest post and have a super clean, sleek look. It’s only $5.00/month and looks so professional. I took my blog down from that site about 3 months ago because I signed up on it with the sole intention of “making money” and, well, this isn’t a great motivation. (I made maybe $7.00/month and I was all over the place with my focus.) Now that my niche is settled on book coaching and writing, I’ll create a blog there again. This would be a great place for you to get to know people who are connected to all sorts of magazines both in print and online.
9. Make Social Media Your Friend: Whether you Facebook, Instagram, Tweet or more, I’d recommend choosing ONE that you like and run with it. I’m a Facebook gal, and am slowly building up my writing page. I like it because I can have relationships with people there who are interested not only what I write but sharing my posts with people looking for book coaches. I don’t have a million followers yet, but I’m okay with that. For my niche, I only need one client/month to make the money I need to be comfortable. I’d rather do one thing well than a million things scattered and overwhelmed.
10. Trust Your Gut: I am a big person of faith. For me, the God of my understanding lives in me – I feel Him in my gut. If I feel wrong about something, it often times is wrong. When I feel good about something, I feel that God is steering me in the right direction. I bring this up because as much as I want to be successful with my coaching, the #1 thing I want is to be free. I can’t be free when I’m irritated, resentful or in ego. I’m only free when I’m opening myself up to new opportunities and trusting that God will show me where I need to be every second of the day. When I trust God, I believe that there is enough in the world for all of us women, not just me. I can write a post that is a bit outside my wheelhouse (this one) because that was what I felt led to do. I don’t have to worry about if I’ve “made it” enough or not. I can take my career one step at a time, not live in past regret, remember that “late is great” and that I was born with a purpose to serve God and others. For me, it’s writing and working with women on their books.
Any More Tips on Being Featured in Magazines or Media? Leave it Below!
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