How to Get Published in a Magazine in 5 Simple Steps

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you want to get published in a magazine but don’t know where to start? How do you increase the chances of getting your idea accepted for publication?

Getting coverage in a media outlet—for example, by publishing an opinion piece in a magazine or a newspaper—exposes you to an audience of thousands or sometimes millions of people. But it’s not an easy feat to get published in a reputable magazine if you don’t have previous media exposure.

Here is how to get published in a magazine in five simple steps.

How to Get Published in a Magazine: The 5-Step Process

So, you want to get published in a magazine or a newspaper outlet? The simplest method is to follow these five steps:

Step 1: Decide what type of content you want to pitch. For instance, do you want to write an opinion piece on a current social issue? Do you want to be interviewed about your career so far? Do you want to write a short column on your area of expertise? 

To increase the chances that your idea gets accepted for publication, make it original. For example, approach an old issue from a new angle, or discuss the unique insights you’ve gained from working in your industry.

Step 2: Decide which publication you’d like to feature in. Start small—for instance, with a local newspaper or a trade journal. National media outlets are unlikely to accept a pitch from someone with no previous media exposure. Likewise, choose a publication that’s relevant to your industry or your interests. There’s no point approaching a magazine about construction to pitch an opinion piece about the most important developments in the tech industry. 

Step 3: Write and send your pitch. Once you’ve decided upon a publication, find out who specifically you need to send your pitch to—for instance, the editor who covers the topic you want to write about. Describe your piece’s main point, why you think it’s interesting, and why you’re the right person to write about it. Make your pitch brief—no more than a few sentences.

Step 4: Follow up with the publication. A few days to a week after you send your pitch, email the editor to find out whether they plan to run your piece. If the editor does want to run your piece, check whether they want to make any amendments to it—for instance, give the piece a slightly different focus. If they do, and you’re happy with the suggested changes, start to draft the final article. If you’re unhappy with the amendments, take your piece elsewhere.

Step 5: Send the completed article to the publication. Thank the editor for accepting your piece and ask them when you can expect it to be published. Once it’s published, share it widely: for instance, post a link to it on social media and email it to your closest contacts. Getting media coverage is an impressive achievement that you shouldn’t be afraid to flaunt.

How to Get Published in a Magazine in 5 Simple Steps

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Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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