3 Tips to Make the Move From Blogger…to Print Publication Writer

If you discovered that you really love writing, and are quite good at it, why not expand your journalistic aspirations beyond the blog? By expanding your reach to a different audience and platform, namely, a print format, can prove to be good for your site and personal writing career. Since I made the move in the opposite direction, from print to online, I have a few tips to impart that can help you to get started in making the leap to this new territory.

Work on Expanding The Length of Your Features

When you write exclusively for online, the mentality is that briefer, shorter bursts of posts is better- not to exceed 500 words. In print however, you will most likely experience writing longer features, which also means rearranging the  way you create an introduction, conclusion, and fill in the rest with content, quotes, and research. Start practicing on your blog, or just in Word document, writing lengthier pieces; work on hitting the 1000 word marker, however, without feeling like you just filled the piece with fluff. If you publish a longer piece to your blog, interject images, and if using WordPress the “More” option, so that it isn't a long, scrolling piece on the homepage, and readers can click through to continue reading.

Do Your Homework When Pitching Articles

As you are no longer your own editor and copyeditor making all of the editorial decisions, you've got to pitch potential feature ideas to an editor. This  can be time-consuming and tedious procerss, but totally worth it when you land that first article! The best way to make use of the editor's, and your, time, is by doing your homework beforehand. This means: 1) being familiar with the publication you are pitching 2) pitching to a particular section 3) making sure your pitch is appropriate for that section, and nothing exactly like it has run recently 4) making sure your pitch is similar, yet slightly different/original to what has run before in that section, and  5) contacting the proper editor/assistant for that section with your pitch.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? It is, but there are some tools out there to help you; use ed2010's list of publishers and magazines to find a bunch of publications in one place, and use Mediabistro's How to Pitch section (you must sign up with the site first) as a springboard into pitching, and you may even find the publication you have in mind readily available with tips and contact info!

Brush Up on Your Writing

You can take a course through Mediabistro (in person, or online), or refresh your writing skills on your own using texts and exercises, such as the AP Stylebook and  Copyediting and Proofreading for Dummies,
and Writing for the Fashion Business, so that you remember certain writing rules, accepted spellings of words for print, and get better at catching your mistakes before you submit your final draft to an editor. Part of the beauty of writing for online is that you can be more lax and informal with your writing style and even typos, correcting in a split second when published and discovered that something is wrong, but for print, you've got to become more disciplined in the final, well-checked, submitted piece, as the less an editor has to correct, the more they will want to work with you!
What tips would you recommend for moving from online to print writing?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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About The Author

Blogging at her site Fashion Pulse Daily since 2008 and working on fashion's editorial side since 2003 has lent Julia the acumen to think creatively and endure in the colliding worlds of blogging, fashion and beauty. New York City is her backdrop for inspiration (and many a outfit photo), where she is often found on her couch, feverishly typing away at her latest post, with her trusty feline at her side. Follow her on Instagram , Twitter, and Pinterest.

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12 Responses

  1. Monique

    I totally agree with this post Julia! I actually work as a writing tutor and copyeditor, before I got serious about blogging. The two go hand and hand. Fashion bloggers probably don’t recognize that writing is a great way to diversify their income. Your blog can really help build your portfolio.

  2. Bike Pretty

    I also worked as a copywriter before blogging. But it wasn’t until I’d been blogging for a year that I was asked to write for print media. In fact, my first article was just published!
    P.S. There’s an ironic typo in the last paragraph. I think “so that remember certain writing rules” is missing a word.

  3. Krystal

    Great ideas in this article. I am currently doing some freelance writing for other online media outlets and am expanding into print writing. This can be a difficult transition because there are so many different rules for the two types of media. But there is definitely a lot of things a blogger can do to practice and prepare for the transition.

  4. Oh K

    I think a good step to making this move would be writing for different websites other than your own blog. You already know how to fit the mold of your own blog, but someone else’s is an entirely different atmosphere. Or maybe it’s better if you don’t fit in! New styles! ExperienceExperienceExperience, though.


  5. Muneeb Ahsan

    Awesome and worth reading tips to move toward print publication from a blogger. i haven’t heard the name of MediaBistro before. will check out asap. Thanks for writing that informative post for all of us. keep blogging julia

  6. Onianwah

    This year I started writing for a print magazine and i must confess that it has been somewhat tedious but very challenging. I was forced to learn the art of writing longer features (and I still fight with it often) but it has taught me a lot.

    I would love to go into paid writing for print and look forward to it a lot.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  7. Leah

    Oh this is handy. I took a break from blogging for over a year and it feels like I’m in a completely different world now. Mind-boggling, I tells ya! One of the main reasons I’ve started afresh, is to build up a writing portfolio to get freelance writing work eventually… so thanks for this post!