This was written a few years ago in response to a writer asking how to get their article published when I was working as a magazine managing editor. I’m sharing it again as I think the advice still stands!

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How to write an article that will get noticed by editors?

I read a lot of articles and blog posts in the course of a given week. Some good, some mediocre, some not worth reading past the first few sentences, and some that show a lot of promise but need work. And every once in a while, something so outstanding that I text my publisher, “You’ve got to read this!”

I don’t pretend to know everything about it, but I’ll share a few tips with you about how to give your article its best shot at getting noticed and published. There are loads of method articles and workshops out there, so I won’t go into that. You may like to outline or not, map ideas, or simply start writing. That’s up to you, and everyone has their own style. But here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re finishing up an article or writing a pitch.

I wrote a post on How to Get Your Article Published and I hope you’ll take a look at it. If you’re new to the writing world, definitely invest in some classes, write for free, work on your blog, familiarize yourself with your favorite publications and the types of articles they tend to publish.

So, you’ve done all that…now what?

Write a great intro or pitch.

Make an editor feel they must read further. That they cannot leave this unread. Write so that the reader is pulled in, even if it’s not a topic that would normally interest them. Use humor, if you’re able to do that well.

If it’s boring to you, it will bore readers.

As you read through it, ask yourself if you’re going on too long in certain areas or if parts could be completely cut out altogether. A common mistake is writers’ unwillingness to cut anything or who seem to want to include every possible piece of data or research. After all, you’ve put in all that work and want to show it!

Remember that old advice for writers, “you must be willing to kill your darlings.” It’s oh so painful, but often necessary to cut out your favorite parts of a piece for the sake of conciseness. (Side note – my latest book had 30,000 words cut by my editor. Ouch.)

Walk away from it.

Even if you think you’re finished with an article or post, walk away, take a break, and have a cup of coffee or sleep on it. Then look at the piece one more time with fresh eyes before you hit submit. Do one last proofread and tweak anything that could use a bit of help. Run spellcheck or put it through Grammarly or ProWritingAid before you send it.

Think like a blogger.

What do I mean by this? Unless you’ve been specifically asked to write that way, paragraph after paragraph of unbroken text is boring. Use headings to break up your article and make it more readable and interesting, just easier on the eyes altogether. Utilize bullet points and numbered lists where appropriate. Mix it up!

Throw in a single line for effect.

Keep trying! Don’t give up in the face of rejection.

Keep at it! Hone your craft and do what is necessary to improve your writing. Maybe it’s having a set time each day to write. Maybe it’s attending a writers’ workshop or joining a critique group. But don’t complicate it. Just sit down and get at it.

Write, write, write.

The more you write, the better you’ll get. I promise!

Photo by Windows on Unsplash