In my previous post, I provided the first two ways in the list of guidelines for pitching your article ideas to editors of magazines and periodicals. Here are three more ways:
(3.) Hook your editor in the first few sentences of your query by asking a thought-provoking question, mentioning a well-known fact, or raising an issue that might seem taboo or controversial.
Let's say you're targeting a magazine catering to health and health-related issues. You're aware that there have been many valid arguments made about losing excess weight to be in better health. So an excellent introduction might be to state a fact.
Take a look at the following example:
"Certified nutritionists and dietitians have always abided by the rule of individuals staying within their ideal Body Mass Index (BMI) in order to benefit from maximum health."
You're sure to catch the editor's attention because most health professionals believe in this. But imagine how his curiosity will be raised if you mention this as a follow-up statement:
"However, during the past few decades, web sites like Body Positive, in an effort to empower women with large bodies, promoted the philosophy of HAES, or Health at Every Size."
If that's the first time the editor has heard of HAES, then he would want to continue reading to find out what you've got up your sleeve.
(4.) Mention your planned article proposal.
Remember to keep it brief yet concise:
"I would like to propose a 1,000-word article where I'll bring up the two sides of healthy living regarding weight."
(5.) Cite any relevant credentials you may have for writing the piece.
A query is not the place to be modest about your accomplishments as a freelance writer. Mention your experience, and since you're writing a piece about health, you may include credentials like:
"I've been a full-time freelance writer for three years, and my articles about health, nutrition, and weight loss have been published in (state titles of magazines). I have also been commissioned by So-and-So web site for their marketing campaign on the benefits of juicing."
Stay tuned for my next post about pitching ideas to magazine editors.