“Most business magazines cater to a wide variety of fields, and cover a little bit of everything. They have to – their readers know one business can affect the others, and want as full of a picture as possible.
Not so with these business trade magazines. If you want to write for them, you do so knowing that it’s going to take a lot of effort to make a splash. Rest assured that once you do you’re likely to gain a reliable source of income. Editors for business trade magazines are more willing to work with newer writers, provided they know what they’re talking about.
Take your time
Successful freelance writers research the magazine before they begin a pitch. They take into account the magazine’s tone, its advertisers, target audience and past stories. That gives them a good idea of what the editors are looking for, and greatly increases the chances of success. Editors can tell when the writer hasn’t read their magazine, and nothing kills a pitch faster.
The waiting is hard. Many writers want to submit material immediately rather than bide their time. But breaking into business trade magazines is much harder than their mainstream counterparts. For one thing, you’re going to have a harder time finding a subject that the average business trade magazine reader hasn’t heard about.
Read more back issues of the business trade magazines than you normally would for a commercial magazine, and do more research than ever. This means you must wait longer for your first business trade magazine paycheck, and that can be frustrating.
The wait is worth it however. Few writers approach business trade magazines, so the editors are unlikely to forget you. Furthermore, trade editors are very interested in forming lasting relationships with reliable writers. If you hit your first story out of the park, chances are pretty good that they’ll call you back for seconds.
In the meantime…
In the meantime, you don’t have to go long without a paycheck. Many commercial magazine writers get their tips from trade magazines, knowing that the average reader is never going to read those hard-to-find publications. You should follow their example.
As you research your trade magazines, take notes on interesting topics and turn those into story pitches. You could sell some work to commercial publications while you wait for the right moment to break in to business trade magazines, and boost your viability.
While many trade magazines will work with new writers, they’d prefer established ones. If you mention that you’ve been published in mainstream business magazines, that makes you a much more viable candidate.
It may sound odd that you get a job with a trade magazine based on stories you borrowed from their publication, but that’s all part of the business. Editors will admire your savvy, and reward you with work.”