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Breaking into the paid market

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by bigdogdaver, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. bigdogdaver

    bigdogdaver New Member

    Hello to Everyone!
    This is my first post, and I am excited to be on the site. I look forward to building relationships within the community.

    I need some help and advice. I am a monthly contributor to a regional online golf publication and I enjoy the writing and the parks that come along with that. However, my "real" job is a teacher and I very much want to leave teaching to pursue a writing profession especially in golf. I am not paid for my articles in the magazine but they publish all of my submissions. This month, my article was the cover story, and I have had many featured articles in the magazine. With the cover story, I believe that I need to take my writing to the next level and be paid for them. I am loyal to the magazine and would like to keep publishing with them, but they have said that they can't pay. What do I do?
  2. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Politely stop writing for them.
  3. copperpot

    copperpot Well-Known Member

    Yeah, this seems pretty simple. Tell them, "You can't pay, I can't write." Then take your clips to other local news outlets and see if you can land any gigs there.
  4. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Keep writing--even for free--while you pursue other options. In the meantime, you're developing your skills and contacts and you have a way to showcase your work.

    But forget about being 'loyal,' you're not an employee and they're showing you no loyalty by declining to pay you. If you left, someone else would fill your place for free in an instant.
  5. bigdogdaver

    bigdogdaver New Member

    Thanks for the advice, but what do i do to break into the paid market? How do I establish myself in the paid market, and what can I use to find those publications that pay, especially in the golf/travel arena? I would appreciate the help, and if anyone could steer me in the right direction.
  6. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Go to your local library and get a copy of Writer's Market and see who is looking for submissions about golf.
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    There must be a local or regional golf magazine in your neck of the woods. What kind of perks do you get when writing? Free golf? Some of the perks probably will go away if you write for a print publication since you usually can't accept gifts.
  8. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    One suggestion I have is to broaden your horizons beyond just golf writing. That's a pretty narrow niche. I'll give an example: when I started freelancing, I wanted to write about auto racing and only auto racing. Like golf, a pretty narrow niche. I sent clips and cover letters to bigger papers in my region. One sports editor took me on and eventually worked with me to get a local racing page going. But he also wanted me to help with covering other sports, which worked out well. He then recommended me to the Communities editor, who in turn started a weekly subsection in my town and asked me to help out with that. By this time I was writing racing stories for three publications but was also doing quite a bit of non-racing writing.
    I'm not saying at all to give up the idea of writing about golf; I'm just saying if you want to make a living at writing be willing to write about other subjects as well.
  9. bigdogdaver

    bigdogdaver New Member

    Thanks for that advice, I do plan to expand my horizons as far as subject matter. There are several other works on other subjects that I am working on as well.
  10. AKap

    AKap New Member

    I recommend keeping the writing "job" you have now as not only a showcase of your work, but also as a way to continue gaining experience. If eventually you come across a paying job in the same topical and geographical area, it would obviously be best to make a switch, but for now it would probably be best just to keep what you have. The subject broadening advice is definitely some good advice, as well.
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Exposure doesn't pay the bills.
  12. AKap

    AKap New Member

    I beg to differ... especially in this situation. If he doesn't have any credibility, how will he land a job capable of paying the bills. I didn't mention this, but it would be a pretty obvious step to stop taking the unpaid job so seriously, and instead to work on finding better stories instead of just going more in-depth, but to completely stop the gig if there is time to contribute? Why? Just put in a little more time if you want to be paid, that's all. No need to cut corners. If there's no time, and the unpaid job is getting in the way, than by all means, cut! But a monthly article doesn't seem like tooooo much work, in my opinion.
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