Tips for Selling Articles to Parenting Magazines
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I spoke to the editor I work with at one regional parenting magazine and asked her what types of articles editors are seeking. There are “evergreen” topics that magazines run year after year but are still important. You know what I’m talking about: “Avoid Summer Brain Drain” “Get Ready for Back to School!” etc. This is your chance to find a unique angle on these topics and pitch to parenting magazines. Dig a little deeper—find something that will make an editor immediately respond to your pitch. Don’t just offer up an essay on your experience with having a baby; most magazines are looking for service articles with tips and quotes from experts and other parents.
Here are a few topics you can brainstorm with:
Seasonal Fun and Crafts. Search for a list of fun holidays and birthdays, such as May the 4th (Star Wars Day) or March 14 (Pi Day). Pitch an article with examples of activities you could do to celebrate those days. Editors are always looking for content for things like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, etc. These are the exception to the “must interview sources” rule. Articles with activities, recipes and craft ideas would work fine here.
Potty Training. This is a topic that never goes out of style, but think outside of the box (of Pampers). How about something like “The Great Pull-Up Debate?” Interview parents and experts who discuss the pros and cons of using pull-up diapers versus going cold turkey with only underwear.
You get the idea. There is plenty of material out there, so start researching and get pitching. Query an editor three to four months ahead of time for regional parenting magazine editors and eight to twelve months for national publications. Once you’ve sold your first few articles, you can offer reprints to non-competing markets and continue to collect income.
Have you ever sold an article to a parenting magazine? What was the topic? If you are a parent, what subjects would you like to see covered?