Are you ignoring a great potential market that is right on your doorstep? I’m talking about your local newspaper.
It may not be glamorous or glossy and it may not pay big bucks, but it needs to fill its pages day after day, or at least week after week, with material that you are in a wonderful position to provide.
It’s also an ideal place to start,if you haven’t yet been published and are nervous about querying the big glossy magazines.
Although it will probably provide a small amount of national or even international news, its importance lies in its local angle. The editor wants to know about people,places and events in the area the newspaper covers.
But it still needs some research before you rush off a query about your nephew’s kindergarten teacher who moonlights as an opera singer.
- Read the publication thoroughly from front to back making notes about the types of topics that are covered.
- Note how how much space is given to community events/ education issues / profiles of local people etc.
- Read several editions to check if some topics/columns are regulars and are always written by the same person. If so your chances of writing on this topic are less than on a topic which is always written by different people.
- Look through the list and see which section you could contribute to.
- Brainstorm some ideas making sure they have a local angle Perhaps an interesting off-the-beaten-track local site/ someone with an unusual hobby/ a special activity at your children’s school
- .Develop one or two into full-blown queries indicating why you think it would be a good story for your newspaper.
- Check the paper’s masthead to see which editor covers your topic and send off your query.
- If you haven’t heard anything within a week, drop another email checking on your idea.
- If they aren’t interested in these ideas, don’t give up. Think of some others and query those.