How to Write for a Paper or Magazine

l. Introduce yourself to the editor of your local newspaper. (Or, if you do business within a certain neighborhood, talk to the editor of the neighborhood paper or shopper.)

Tell him/her about your profession. Express your availability to serve as that paper's free-lance "expert" for that profession.

2. Invite the editor to call you anytime the paper is doing a story on your field.

3. If you offer to work for free initially, it should be easier to get published. And this will show the editor your ability to generate interesting, informative copy.

4. Suggest a question/answer column about what you do. Develop a "sample" column where you ask questions consumers might have...then provide the answers.

5. You don't need to stop at just one newspaper! If your customers are located throughout a metro area, approach all the neighborhood and business-related newspapers that serve the community. (However, if a newspaper's eager to run your material for free, you may want to grant that newspaper exclusive use of your materials within the area.)

6. Give your sample column a memorable, perhaps, that details the service you provide. (Examples: "Insurance Info" or "Tennis Talk," etc.)

7. If newspapers don't want to run you columns for free, how about paying for them? You can still use a question/answer format for your ad, or you might want to develop an "ad-vertorial" style column. That's an ad that looks like a news story.

8. IMPORTANT! When you've had a few of these columns published, ask each paper for written permission to reprint these articles (giving a credit line to the paper). You may decide to use these articles later in your own print advertising or direct mail.

Rix Quinn's new book "Words That Stick" offers lots of writing ideas. You can order it from

For more details on Rix's phone seminars, e-mail him at

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