I know this is difficult for some of you out there who are determined to read outdated listings provided by Web sites or worse, buy them from the bookstore -- but I think you should only pitch to publications that you yourself read. Here's my next Top 5 Tips:
1.) Buy and read magazines. As we all know, the numbers of people reading printed material is down, so if we're not helping out by reading and buying it . . . it makes their demise all too real and quick. You can claim them as research materials on your taxes. If you're not reading them, then why ever do you want to be a freelance writer? Good writing is to be appreciated and talked about.
2.) Write for a publication that you enjoy. Why? Because you know their voice and style better than any other! You are familiar with the departments, freelancers even the features that may be open to you. Plus, chances are there are more people like you reading it. And aren't you giving back to a great publication? That matters, too.
3.) Pitch. Sell. Repeat. Don't get caught up in envy of $2/word assignments. Sell what you can and then re-slant, re-package and re-sell. Reselling even at a measly $25 a pop can add up!
4.) Attend books signings/readings. Meet other writers and learn more about what's happening where you are. Learn to network and help others, including supporting their success by buying a book or three a year. Their success is yours, too! Give love to receive love, people!
5.) Check out university/college events for speakers or job fairs. Many have local editors and writers giving advice to college students, which can only help you, too. My local college held a magazine fair where 20 local mags editors stopped by to schmooze with journalism students. Wouldn't you have gone, too?