Saturday, June 17, 2017

Where Do You Start to Publish Online

There are plenty of markets online. Many of them focus on small niches, which makes your chances of getting published even greater if you have a specialty. You won’t find a richer resource of publications anywhere that’s easier to access than online. However, you do need to approach submitting to online publications a little differently than you would submitting to print publications.

The Internet is growing. More people are spending more time reading online, which increases the chances of your work being read. But those who do read articles online, read about specific things. While the number of specialized print magazines has grown dramatically in the last two decades, Web sites have always been tightly focused, thus attracting specific readers—readers who are interested in the information they have to offer about their particular subject.

Good Web sites and e-zines are constantly growing their readership. Perhaps you’ll get lucky and a small ezine that only 100 people read a month accepts your work. A few months later that publication might be read by 1,000 people a month. It’s not unusual for readership to increase by over 1,000 readers in one month. Remember that the Internet is also known as the World Wide Web for a reason. If your work appears online, people from other countries who might never have read your work may do so online.

Writing for Web sites is a little different than writing for print. Generally, you’ll want to write your articles in the second person. While thousands may eventually read your work, you’re dealing with one reader at a time, so addressing them using the pronoun “you” in the second person instantly makes a connection.

However, selling to Web sites and e-zines is essentially the same as selling to print markets. Start by studying the markets. While there are a few databases that list online markets, you’ll actually be better off searching for them yourself. First you need to find them. Begin by searching for the subject you’re interested in writing about as if you were a reader interested in reading about that same subject. Google is the best search engine out there. While others may target specific subject areas, Google literally covers the world in its searches.

Another source you can try is the Directory of E-zines.

Create a special folder entitled, “Online Writing Markets,” then as you discover potential sites and e-zines, bookmark them and save them into this folder. Don’t be too particular at first. If you search for a specific subject, you’ll find what you need. Once you have found a number of sites which may be possibilities, go back and study them one by one.

How good your results will be depends on your search. To search for a specific word or phrase, enclose it in parentheses. Go back to the ones that look like they may be good markets and notice how often they’re updated. If a site sits idle for a couple of months, it’s a good bet the owner isn’t paying much attention to it. On the other hand, if a site is updated frequently or on a specific schedule much like a print magazine, then it’s a sure bet they’ll need plenty of content to keep going. Also, notice if articles on the site have been written by different people. If they’re all written by the same person, move on, because that site won’t be accepting other writers—at least for now. In print this is known as “in house” while online if could be referred to as “on site.” You may want to check back later because the owner may begin using other writers.

Once you know which markets may be good for your work, find out if they pay anything and how much. Also, determine if they have any writer’s guidelines, and if so, download a copy.

Remember, all your transactions should be electronic. If a site or e-zine owner says your should send your work by regular mail, cross them off your list immediately. You’re working in the 21st century when smartphones and computers connect many Americans.

Submitting queries for your article is the same as for print. The form is the same and so is the content. The only difference is that you’ll be sending your queries by Email included within the message itself. The same goes for the text of your articles. Make sure you send them in as a Microsoft Word document. You can use any wordprocessing program you wish to prepare them, but you must use a universal program like MS Word to send them. To be on the safe side, send your text as an attachment in MS Word 2003 or higher.

And just as with print, keep tract of your submissions. While your Email program’s “Sent” folder will do that, it’s a good idea to keep a record of your submissions in your computer, then you can easily go back to check on the status of each article submission.

NEXT WEEK: Promoting Your Online Work

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