Parenting is one of the toughest, most rewarding jobs people will ever tackle. From newborn to toddler to young adult, raising a child presents many challenges along the way. If you happen to have a talent for writing, those challenges make great material for parenting magazine articles. Writing for one or more parenting magazines is an excellent way to earn money while you stay at home with your children. This article will focus on what it takes to turn your child-rearing adventures into salable articles.
Research and target your markets. Look for magazines that accept the type of material you want to write. Market listings provide valuable information. You'll learn how much you'll be paid for your work, along with submission guidelines like format and length. "Writer's Market" is an excellent source for market information. The book is updated every year and is available in most book stores. You can also sign up for online market listings and have access to new market listing daily. Buy as many issues of the magazines you want to write for as you can afford. It's not necessary, but it will help you gain an understanding of the magazine's style.
Keep notes. Ideas for articles can come at any time. Record your ideas in a notebook, or perhaps on a tiny digital recorder. It doesn't matter what you use, just be sure to jot down any ideas that come to you. Categorize ideas into general article types. This will make it easier when you search for an appropriate topic for a specific market.
Find time to write. It may not be a lot of time, since you are parenting as well as writing, but finding the time to write is important. An hour or two after the kids are in bed might be a good time. You'll be surprised how much you can accomplish if you make it a habit to write every day on a regular schedule.
Polish your work. The first draft of any article probably won't be perfect. Look over your articles for consistency of voice, spelling and mechanical errors, and flow. Make sure you've verified all of your research. Be accurate and strive to teach your readers something you've learned about being a parent that will help them.
Be patient. Don't get discouraged. It often takes time before you make your first sale. There will be rejections, but don't take them personal. There's a lot of competition. Write well, turn out articles that are informative, and be persistent. If you fail to make a sale to one market with an article, try that article with another market. What one editor passes on might be something another editor is looking for.
Keep accurate records. This includes tracking the articles you send out and who you send them to. Keep track of your earnings. Keep receipts. Anything you purchase that applies to your writing is a tax deduction. Write Again is excellent submission-tracking software that can help track every aspect of your writing career. Writing is fun and rewarding, but remember, it's also a business.