Not too many years ago that question, to me, would have been heresy since I put two daughters through grad school by writing and selling articles, and selling them again (actually 1,700+ times), while telling others how to do the same!
Yet I am asked that question more and more now. Understandably. Article pay is low, the query and prep time higher, newspaper markets are fleeing, more folks are banging on the editor’s door, there are fewer second rights selling outlets, and at a penny-per-minute ratio it alone is hard to justify.
Still, if seen from a different perspective, articles are still big moneymakers. And they are still the belt notches that show that you can write, have selling power, and know the system. Here’s why I would include them in one’s writing packet:
* Nothing gets out faster to the right eyes and points at your expertise better than a niche piece that everybody in that field needs to know or know about. It leads directly to you building on that copy through workshops, breakout sessions, or seminars that the niche readers will attend and for which associations will gladly pay well.
* In the same vein, if you have a new book in print (or soon to be), articles are a great way to share your material. Tell in the bio slug how the reader can contact your website or buy your book.
* An article in print has long legs, and a reprint or copy can quickly expand the depth of your credentials, resume, or digital bio (with link). The more prestigious the publication, the longer the legs, although any printed article trumps none, presuming it’s well written, honest, and is a testament to your articulation.
* One good article can lead to many related pieces, which in turn become a book. Or prove your expertise, which is the stuff from which committee membership, consultation, association leadership, and requested collaboration often come.
A last thought: don’t just think of 2,000-word masterpieces. Think of four 500-word masterpieces. If positioning is the best tender for your articles, these have a far better chance of being used—and of putting your name, words, thoughts, and help in front of four times as many eyes.
(This item is from today’s free newsletter, plus more: “Goodbye Google Ad Words,” info about book cover artwork, a good source for book publishing and marketing, and some additional thoughts (see my last blog) about my offering marketing assistance related to ancillary publishing and my just-released book, How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days!)