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Often considered as "plain Jane's" of the print world, trade magazines prove that there is more to a market than just a pretty face.
Trade magazines are written for a specialized audience and typically focus on one specific area or industry. Even the ads reflect this focus.
They assume the reader is familiar with the material that's covered and though it can be quite technical, they aren't usually written in a scholarly manner - this is good news for writers seeking to ad power clips to their portfolios.
Trade magazines provide a large, open and lucrative market for freelance writers because with so many competing magazines there is always a huge need for content and being an expert isn't a prerequisite for industry publication.
Try putting "trade magazines" into a search engine such as Google.com and you get well over 250,000 hits. Now try "consumer magazines." At 86,000 hits it's easy to see where the markets lie.
Now is the time! There are literally thousands of FREE trade magazines available by subscription on the Internet and more become available every day. They cover every subject and every angle imaginable. They are also some of the best paying markets in the business.
Get Your Money Where Your Trade Is Or Isn't!
You don't need to be an expert to get published in trade magazines as long as you are very familiar with what your target magazine is buying.
The ABA Journal for lawyers, pays between $400-$2000 per article and requests that all material be centered around the law, or practicing the law, but they also buy pieces focused on legal news, current trends, the business of running a practice and technology for lawyers. This leaves room for writers who don't happen to be law experts to find a niche' in this publication. Can you write about the newest technology or software that would be appropriate for law office staff? Can you offer a fresh approach for making a waiting room delay more enjoyable for their clients?
Across The Board is a non profit magazine for leaders in business, government and more. It's 60% freelance written and pays between $50 -$2500 for articles, essays, book excerpts, humor, personal experiences and opinion pieces. They also buy reprints. No expertise needed here! An article focused on the positive philanthropic policies of a fortune 500 company or the uplifting personal story of some one helped by such an organization would be right at home in this venue.
Of course, if do have an area of expertise consider exploiting it in the trades too.
The American Journalism Review -at 80% freelance written, covers expose', ethical issues and personal experiences. Paying between $1500 and $2000 per piece for 2,000-4,000 words. Online, in the news and real time media focuses all apply.
Looking for Markets -in all the right places
As I said earlier the Internet is an incomparable resource of markets specifically for trade magazines and below are my two favorite places to shop for FREE magazines to find markets:
Free Magazine Trade Source is one of the most comprehensive sites for you to subscribe to trade magazines that you would like to target for article publication. They literally have hundreds of free publications.
TradePub.com is another excellent source for FREE trade magazine subscriptions. They also have hundreds of high quality magazines to chose from - it's amazing really.
Don't abandon what you know to work either Writer's Market currently has a list of 550 paying trade markets listed with contact information, rate of pay and a description of the types of submissions accepted and there are many others only a mouse click away. And many other writer's website have market listing that include trade market information. You can look for more places to find writer's markets on the Resources for Writers page.
With their plain industrial covers and unilateral focus trade magazines have been the unattractive sibling of consumer oriented magazines for a very long time. It's a reputation undeserved in the freelance writing market. With no true need for specific expertise in most publications maybe it's time for us all to take a second look at the lucrative opportunities available for freelancers that write for trade publications.
About The Author
Angela Butera Dickson is a full service, freelance copywriter offering some of the best prices on the web. From articles to brochure copy, ghostwriting to marketing letters, she can help you cultivate a polished, professional business image: www.angeladickson.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org