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Ideas That Magazine Editors Are Looking For

Updated on November 11, 2013

First the Bad News

Pitching ideas to magazine editors is hard work. I’m just being honest here. No, it’s not hard work like digging ditches, or being a miner or a lumberjack, but it is tedious and never-ending. You write your query letter, wait weeks to hear back, deal with rejections, have few successes, write your articles, wait impatiently for your payment and then….and then….you do it all over again.

And again, and again, and again! The acceptance-to-failure ratio is so small that it requires a constant stream of query letters in order to make a living. The good news is that there are writers who make a good living doing this; the bad news is that the number of writers who are successful is small.

Now, if I haven’t scared you off of this path, let’s talk about ideas that every editor is interested in. At least that way you have firm ground to stand on as you make your pitches. The whole process is time consuming enough without wasting your time pitching ideas that nobody in their right mind would be interested in buying, so here is a list of ideas that will at least give you a fighting chance when you write that query letter.

How do compost toilets work? Unusual but useful ideas are big in magazines.
How do compost toilets work? Unusual but useful ideas are big in magazines. | Source

SOLVING A COMMON PROBLEM

There are two keys to this idea. One, it must be a common problem you are solving and two, it must be a unique way that you solved it.

Practically everyone knows how to clean a toilet; do you have a new way to do it? Is there a new way to pack lunches efficiently for school kids? How about a new way to budget time?

INEXPENSIVE SOLUTIONS

In today’s economy money is always an issue for about 80% of the populace. Show readers how to save money and you will be a very popular writer. Frugal is the new catch-phrase of the 21st Century, so as a freelance writer you need to make frugal work for you.

How can families save money during the holidays? How can they save money landscaping? How can they save money selling their home? How can you travel on a modest budget? The possibilities are endless.

HOW TO PREVENT PROBLEMS

Think of a common problem and then come up with a creative way to prevent it. What is your neighborhood doing to prevent crime? How does your place of work help employees by scheduling time to exercise during work? How does your city prepare for winter? How can car owners prepare for winter with simple maintenance steps?

The more common a problem the more readers that will be interested, and editors are interested in readers. Solve a common problem in a creative way and editors will be more than happy to pay you for your article.

Look to your community for interesting ideas
Look to your community for interesting ideas | Source

Advice from a pro

EDITORS LOVE LISTS

Yes, editors love lists and yes, readers love lists. You see them online every single day. The ten best places to visit in Italy. Ten inexpensive solutions to insulating your home. Five great exercises that take less than thirty minutes. The five best scissors on the market. The ten best movies of the 1970’s.

What makes you an expert in these topics? You do! Perception is king when making lists. Of course there will be debate but that’s half the fun of list articles.

SHHH, IT’S A SECRET

We all love secrets. We all want to be privy to a secret. The word “secret” is money in the article writing business.

The secret to better article writing…..Five exercise secrets of champions…..Five gardening secrets my grandmother taught me…..The secret to long life…..can you say gold mine? Scan some magazines the next time you are at a supermarket and see how many of these articles you can find. Someone got paid good dollars to write them; it might as well be you who gets the paycheck next time.

FIRST-PERSON LESSONS LEARNED

Overcoming challenges is a popular theme with editors. Editors and readers alike enjoy reading about how people beat the odds and tackled a problem.

How I learned to conquer shyness…..What my father taught me about facing fear….Lessons my grandmother taught me about frugal living…..I’m just pulling these off the top of my head, folks; I’m willing to bet you can do the same. If you have answers to common questions based on your life experience, then chances are excellent that someone else will be interested. Let your experience earn you an income.

Unusual or whimsical sells
Unusual or whimsical sells | Source

I find this guy to be very practical and truthful

HOW DID TECHNOLOGY HELP YOU

I’ll tell you a secret about technology: most people love it and most people do not understand it. Notice how I just told you a secret? Anyway, speaking as a Baby Boomer who is confused by high tech gadgets, I can tell you that articles that tell me how to do something simply are articles I will read, and there are a lot of Baby Boomers out there who feel the same.

How Windows 8 made my life easier…..How I easily learned how to cut and paste…..How Apple helped me in my writing career….How YouTube increased my readership. Also, don’t be afraid to discuss failures. We all fail, and there are readers out there who want to know if an idea failed…..How a certain app failed in its promise….How Facebook hurt my marketing efforts….all interesting stuff that other readers will be interested in.

ODD OR UNUSUAL STORIES

We all love odd. Odd makes us all feel better and you know that is the truth. Odd is different from bizarre, though, so be careful that you don’t step over the invisible line. Editors are not fond of bizarre, unless you are trying to get published in Whacked Magazine. On the other hand, interesting stories that stem from an odd twist of fate, or whimsical stories, something of that nature, sell well.

For example: a story of you traveling to the Fiji Islands to recover from a nasty divorce only to find the man of your dreams….that’s a feel good story we can all embrace. How you cleaned out grandma’s attic and found gold coins worth millions….that is a feel good story for sure.

TACKLE A DEBATE

In today’s world where politics are always in the headlines, it is not hard to find something to debate, but perhaps if you think outside the box you have a better chance at being published. Which is better, cloth diapers or disposable? Which is better for your health, wearing a bra or not wearing a bra? Which is better, Windows 7 or Windows 8?

Look for the oddity when choosing a debate; too many people have covered the obvious ones like politics or Coke vs Pepsi. If you are going to do politics, then take an angle that has not been written before…..which is better, Democrat or Republican: You Call This A Choice? See what I mean?

Does magazine writing interest you?

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That’s Enough to Get You Thinking

Quite honestly, I would never suggest to a writer just starting out that they make a living freelancing to magazines. The odds are too great and it is way too much work. However, if you decide to give it a try, I think these suggestions will help you.

There is no substitute for good writing, but in the highly competitive world of magazine writing, good writing is not enough to guarantee that your article will be purchased. As I have said in numerous articles in the past, look for a unique approach. Use your imagination and find a different angle that will hold the interest of many readers. Once you have found that article you will have taken a giant leap towards publication.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cynthtggt, thank you so much for that compliment. No, lazy is not a word that spells success for a writer...every single day provides challenge and only the strong survive in this business.

    • cynthtggt profile image

      cynthtggt 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Wonderful post, billybuc. One thing a writer cannot be is "lazy." Hard work but rewarding, and "believing" what you write helps so much. So much good advice here and, as always, well written. You have a way of keeping me reading, which is where your talent is. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Deb. You have definitely found a niche that people relate to. Well done my friend and thank you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Ideas that are new, yet fundamental and easy to understand that appeal to the average person seem to make a lot of sense to me. Yes, how to save a buck is great. We all need something to help us through these trying times.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzanne, you are correct of course and you speak from experience, the greatest of teachers. Thank you!

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 4 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Some good points here. I found when I was sending out poems to lots of magazines to have a portfolio of them and every time one would come back unpublished, I'd send it to the next place. It involved a simple spreadsheet of what/where and whether it was published. Depending on the rights/payment you might be able to republish at a later date too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, lists are the hot item right now. A writer interested in submitting to magazines would do well to remember that. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Lists make it easy to skim an article for the highlights and so I love them for that reason. It seems popular today to write secret ideas, great way to pull readers in to your article. This is definitely a learning session with value for me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lisa, I hope you do. I have read some very mediocre articles in magazines. All it takes is determination, and it's really cool to see your name in print. :)

    • Lisawilliamsj profile image

      Lisa Williams 4 years ago

      Hi, Bill! This is very useful information. I have never really thought about writing for a magazine, but now I am intrigued! Maybe once I improve my writing skills to meet my standards, I will give it a go, using your fantastic tips, of course. Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, a lot of people are going the ebook route and it makes sense for a lot of writers. Give the mags another try; you are a good writer and hey, they have to publish someone, right? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Good helpful advice Bill. I only ever tried to get one item published in a magazine, a short story actually, and that was 20 years ago.....of course was rejected politely, but haven't tried since. The only place I've had stuffed published was in a local newspaper. Actually I've only recently started writing again so see what happens. Maybe an e-book could be the go for me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again WiccanSage....love your profile name by the way.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Very sound, sensible advice to help a writer focus on an angle. Nicely done, voted everything.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you SweetiePie; I don't know why I got away from those videos. I have a new camera now and no excuses. Thanks for the reminder.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

      This is a very helpful list for those who are pitching articles to magazines. I remember those YouTube videos you were doing awhile back, and summarizing some of your key points in one might be a lovely addition to this article. I am sharing this on Twitter.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, you write excellent craft articles. Yours are the type that editors are looking for. Please give it a try.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Glad to see how to's are on the list. Now if I could get up the nerve to send one in, who knows.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail, the funny thing is I didn't notice the toilet until I got home and downloaded the pictures. I was just taking that picture because it was a compost toilet; I had no idea it looked like a face. LOL

      Thanks my loyal friend. Sending hugs and blessings your way

      bill

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      OMG, Bill, with a lead photo like that toilet seat, I just had to click on this hub! LOL

      Seriously, though, you've shared lots of good tips here, and I have to admit that I tend to read almost every article I see with the word 'secret' in the headline.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

      Hugs,

      Gail

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Best wishes to you, Vinaya! Keep working at it and it will happen.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      In the past 10 years, I have published many articles on local newspaper,however, I want to get published in the western media. Thanks for the great advice.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks vkwok...give it a try; you are good at character descriptions.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Nice interesting hub, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great example, Carol! Thanks for sharing that and of course for being here.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I got paid once that I remember "Small Business Opportunities" I wrote an article on how to Start your gift basket business in a new city" It was a different idea and it worked.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brandi, it's amazing there is anyone out there sick...with all the remedies in magazines I would think we would be a very healthy society. LOL

      Thank you as always!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      This is so true Billy! Especially the part about the lists and secrets. Every time I am at the grocery store, the latest magazine has a secret to cure thyroid or weight loss secret.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj.....LOL....catchy title my friend. It really flows off of the tongue. :) I look forward to reading that gem; in the meantime, while I'm waiting, I send you thanks as always for your support and friendship.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks to your brilliant suggestions, Bill, I have decided to write my next hub titled: 'Five Secrets of How I Inexpensively Solved the Common Technology Problem of .... ' Now I just have to think of the most common technology problem to write about.

      I'll use the debate subject for another time.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      manicpanicplease, I am very happy to hear that. If this helps you then fantastic! Thank you!

    • manicpanicplease profile image

      L Brander 4 years ago from Canada

      Loved all the advice that you packed into this hub, it got me inspired to try writing shorter pieces again. I'll definitely be rereading this hub in the future. Voted up, interesting, useful

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I loved that pic of the toilet; I didn't realize it when I snapped that shot, but I got home and looked at it and laughed.

      Snow flurries? Stay warm and safe dear friend.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I most definitely take it as a compliment and I thank you very much. It means I haven't lost my teaching skills and for that I am grateful. Thank you dear friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, it is doable but you can't get discouraged. Remember that as a writer you are running a marathon and not a 100 yard dash. Thank you and best wishes.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much DDE for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, rejection bothered me at first but no longer. The more I am accepted then the more I am accepted. The trick is to get that first acceptance to happen. After that you have established a rapport with an editor and that is huge. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia; that is music to my ears.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, you are right about our hubs. That is what I used HP for during the past year. As for a dollar a word...I was just paid that for a 800 words article. Pure heaven!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, you hit the nail on the head with your last sentence. Thank you and Happy Tuesday to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I am so happy that you find this useful. That's why I write these hubs, so thank you!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      I am smiling as I thought that toilet was " John being way too friendly..." Now I am scouring your pictures for hidden meaning...you have gotten to me in the best of ways.

      I keep an old fashioned notebook of excellent ideas I find and these points are heading there this AM. Excellent and helpful, my friend.

      I am looking at snow flurries...have a warm and cozy day. Love, Maria

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Another wonderful hub my dear friend. I need to get on with my course as the first part is on writing articles for magazines and we also research the many which accept submissions. I will get on with it but my heart is only half in it at the moment. Actually Billy as I have said many a time before I learn far more from your hubs than I ever do from the course; maybe I should concentrate on yours. Please take this as true compliment Billy because that is just what it is. Anyway time to go back to work shortly so better get a move on. Lots of love from Wales to you my dear friend.

      Eddy.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, when I was braver I attempted a few magazine queries. The information in your article makes it seem challenging but doable. Thank you for sharing these insights.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Ideas That Magazine Editors Are Looking For great points mentioned and as always you catch your reader's eye to perfection. A helpful and most useful hub to many writers. You put great thoughts into your informative hubs. Well done!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I have attempted to give some articles published in magazines but not very successfully. As a freelance writer income is a sure thing, although it is not my favorite thing to do but at least I can choose from a variety of topics. I consider the freelance writing a stopgap as I slowly move toward my long-term goals.

      Your hub pointed out a lot of good things, and they think if you go in expecting many rejection letters you won't be so disappointed. You certainly won't succeed if you don't try. Excellent hub.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love your article ideas, Bill! They are useful and thought provoking, too. I'll be reading your hub several times. As Victoria says, it's a great resource.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Bill, great tips on magazine writing. You did give me some ideas. I've actually written a hub on your suggestion of disposable vs. cloth diapers. LOL. I've sent in one submission, one I hoped, if accepted, would be a regular feature because of the topic idea. I haven't heard but will follow up after their 3 month window.

      I think our hubs give us a portfolio of writing to turn into magazine articles. I won't depend on magazine articles for a living, but I want to submit more to see what happens. They pay so much more per word. Wouldn't it be nice to get a dollar per word?

      This is a great resource. I'm pinning it to remind myself to review these ideas again. Thanks!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      All good tips as usual! I think the more specific you can get with the topic, the better. Again, mags want experts, not just "writers." Happy Monday!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Sound, sage and pragmatic words of advice, Billy, that make a lot of sense. You outlined and summarized everything with a clear and concise message. This hub should be the go-to “bible” for those of us who are interested in writing for magazines. Well done. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks redfive; I will check out that site soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Doc! I am always appreciative of your support.

    • redfive profile image

      Levy Tate 4 years ago from California, USA

      AAHHH thanks heaps for tips! Love making lists, so I might just start with that ;-) If you happen to love it as much as I do, check out listgeeks.com!

      Thanks again! Voted up :)

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      These are wonderful ideas and good topics. I'll be thinking about this to see what I can come up with. voted up useful

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, you raised an interesting question. I think it takes six months to a year to eliminate early mistakes and establish a rapport with some editors. Once you have experienced success then the success seems to multiply quickly. So, is it efficient? I'm not sure I can answer that; some writers make excellent incomes just doing magazines....some never do. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! I always greatly appreciate you stopping by. You are always so positive in your comments.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Great advice, especially on the secrets and lists. I enjoyed your thought provoking, idea generating perspective. One day maybe I will get up the nerve to throw my hat in the magazine writing ring. Do you find that given all the time you put into proposing ideas -- some of which get refused -- that writing magazine articles is an efficient way for a good writer to earn income?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Another good how to article. I am in the age group that is confused by technology, esp. computers and cameras. I will read and attempt to learn from this kind of article. Thank you Bill..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill and I hope you have a great week as well my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that is great information and I thank you for sharing it. Hopefully that site will help others who read this...may I suggest you write a hub about it?

      Thank you so much for your kind words and willingness to help others through sharing information.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. This is definitely on my to-do-list and your tips will certainly come in handy when the time comes. You continue to show us the way, at some point it's up to us to execute. Have a great week.

    • Mary McShane profile image

      Mary McShane 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

      Wonderful hub - chock full of good information for anyone thinking of submitting to magazines or website article writing. It can be a fearsome market in that you not only have to be a good writer, but be timely with topic. I had no idea what topics were being pitched and/or accepted these days since I have been out of that market for a few years. Boy did I have to get re-educated! To get an idea of what topics and projects are being solicited, I signed up for a free account (they also have subscription pkgs) with HARO awhile back - they send you 3 emails a day with project offerings. HARO is www.helpareporter.com where you literally help a reporter - for free. The email and HARO website posters are not all reporters, many are on staff at magazines, are bloggers, or professionals looking for quality content for presentations, articles, books, ghostwriting....all kinds of topics. It is a nice way to get your feet wet, learn the fine art of accepting rejection (they choose from the submissions) and learn about the needs of certain industries and publications. You are not paid. It is a learning experience. Even Dr Oz show uses them to fill their studio with audience members skewed to the daily topic.

      Your hub is well written, thought provoking and motivating to those who want to get into this niche. Voted useful and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, what a great story you haven't told yet. I can hardly wait to read it in its entirety. You have officially piqued my interest.

      Thank you as always; one day we simply have to meet. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Millionaire, thank you and best wishes to you when you do attempt it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      you are very welcome, Sha, and thanks as always for your words of encouragement.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi Bill, I couldn't resist a smile when I read the one about going to Fiji to mend a broken heart and finding the love of your life. Except; for me it was into the desert of Saudi Arabia. He saw me three months previously, we were apparently interviewed on the same day. Long story short.... he watched and waited for my arrival, the strange man greeted me three months later with "you took your time getting here." For what happened next, you'll have to read the book..... one day perhaps. :)

      Another learning curve, some great ideas to keep for future reference. I can see that you're in great form but my best to you all the same. :)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      This is great advice here Bill. Like Jeanne, it is on my to-do list to pursue this, but I haven't gotten around to it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Ann, if that was telling me off then it was the sweetest butt-chewing I have ever had. Thank you...and yes indeed, Thanksgiving is approaching. The same to you and yours my friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Another one for the "Bill's Writing Tips" file! Lists seem to be all the rage these day. It's one of the top recommended formats for blogs and even writers sites. Thanx for the ideas you included in each section. Very helpful!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      Don't ever fear of letting any of us down! You impart what you know and that is extensive. Your style is friendly and direct. That is never going to let down anyone in any way. Teachers never stop passing on their knowledge and their experience; you are one of those who are able to do so through a flair with words and there is no doubt that you help others.

      Sorry, consider yourself told off! Enjoy your evening and happy thanksgiving to you and yours! Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, thank you very much my friend. I did see reference to your upcoming trip. Stay safe and I hope your trip is a rewarding one. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Marlene, and thank you for your friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      One step at a time, Brian. There are a million things we all could do but hey, we are only human. Best wishes to you and thanks as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, thank you so much. I hope I never let you and others down. I'm just tossing out stuff I have learned over the years as a teacher, and lessons taught to me by other teachers. Hopefully it will help other writers. :)

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      When I was a new mom, I had a lot of questions. Sometimes, when I discovered a solution to a situation, like cleaning, or how to get a baby to sleep, or whatever, I'd type it up and send it in with a query letter. Most of the times, the story was rejected, but sometimes the story was accepted and I got paid. It wasn't enough to live on, but it was enough to treat myself and the kids with something special every now and then. You always have the best tips, Bill. My notebook is filling up with ideas because of you. Hey, by the way, as you know, I'm taking a little trip. I'll be away for about six weeks or so. I'll catch up with you when I return. In the meantime, have a wonderful week, and just in case I can't get to a computer while I'm away, Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 4 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Very informative hub, Bill. After reading your articles I always feel like there are a million things I could be doing. Thanks for lighting a little fire under me!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      More brilliant ideas from your pen, bill. Oddities and how to overcome problems are ones I always go for in magazines. Your ideas for writing are always inspirational - as you say, it's the way you write them. Writers new and old are so lucky to have you around to guide them through the pitfalls. I hope you're publishing a series of these in book form?

      Researching your locale is a good one - people love the history of their own town and there are often oddities about that too; a restricted market in a way but a good way to start with, say, a regional magazine.

      I always look forward to your next hub, bill! Cheers! Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Graham! It was a bit staid, wasn't it? If I had the time I'd be making videos as well, but time is in short supply my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peg! I just hope someone gets something useful from these.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, that's exactly why I chose that picture...it does look like a face...but why a man? LOL

      Rejection is a very real part of this game; maybe some day you'll feel comfortable with it and send some articles in.

      Thanks for taking the time from your holiday to read and comment.

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      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Another tip top hub. I watched the short video on 'clips' informative but staid. Your own style and presentation is far superior.

      Graham.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Without a doubt Joelle! :)

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      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      What you say is true for any activity, Bill. I think to succeed in life your have to persevere and believe :-)

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      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Interesting ideas on how to stand out among the crowd of writers these days, Billybuc. Your titles do create an interest and I believe that is the key to a story drawing interest. Thanks for sharing the wealth of knowledge.

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      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      If you put eyes on that compost toilet, it would look like a man's face. I would take one look at it and find another bathroom.

      My Mom subscribed to a magazine with just these sort of articles when I was a kid. Back then I wrote one and sent it in. I don't know if I was naive or that big headed. Anyways, the editor sent me back a long letter suggesting what I needed to improve it. I lost by a long shot. I'd hope to do better now.

      These are good ideas. I don't think I'm ready for that much rejection just yet though.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lifegate....more practical stuff! LOL Yep, that's what I would file this under; it isn't exciting but it might help someone down the road. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joelle, if someone is easily discouraged then they should not be a writer. Plain and simple my friend. This is no business for the weak of heart. :)

      I hope you are having a wonderful day and I appreciate you sharing your experiences with all of us.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, i have a 29 year old and I've done a pretty good job of nagging him myself. LOL

      Enjoy Veteran's Day my friend. A very special day indeed.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Lizzy! Done to death? It would appear that way from the articles I read daily....but....for those who actually look for a new approach, there are rewards waiting.

      Tear ducts are ready my friend. LOL

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, this magazine gig is a tough business and not for everyone. I don't believe this is where my direction is, but I've played this game long enough to understand it.

      Thank you so much and blessings always

      bill

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      William Kovacic 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      More practical stuff Bill,

      You have put it in a way that makes sense and is doable. I've never tried going the magazine route, but I'm sure your thoughts work if someone is willing to apply them. Thanks for sharing with us.

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      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great article full of tips, Bill! The publishing market is tough! Getting published is a difficult business. Almost 30 years ago, I met an agent who told me to not even try because the odds were so against me. At that time he told me that for every 5000 submissions one was accepted. Just earing the numbers put a damper on my hopes. I knew that I might be one of the 4999 people rejected. I tried a first time with only a few pages and indeed I was rejected. After that, I prepared two little books with magnificent (considering that I inked them one by one) drawings and a nice cover. And it worked :-)

      With technology now it's easier to have a nice product to present to a publisher. It's also easier for people to publish in e-book format by themselves. For me, one of the advantage of technology is that I don't have to ink my drawings :-))) It goes faster on the computer!

      As individuals, we should not be discouraged too fast.... famous writers have been rejected many times. One of them is JK Rowlings! I think that many publishers must have some regrets about that one!

      Thank you for sharing another interesting hub, Bill! I am sure it will help many people who want to go that route!

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      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      Another great informational article.

      My ears will perk up if your can write an article telling me how to accept

      a 33 year old son who refuses to behave responsibly. The

      "nagging approach" simply has not been successful; but, I have perfected the art. Just ask my husband.

      Maybe, I could write an article about the "Best Proved Ways To Nag".

      But, to be honest, I think it is a female trait which we are born with.

      Got to take my veteran and go to the parade. "Happy Veteran's Day to all!"

      DJ.

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Great ideas, Billy. Sometimes it seems that every subject has been done to death, but adding a unique perspective adds freshness to it.

      Happy Monday--hope you get some good crying done for the week ;-)

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Ah, seems you have discovered the "secret" to magazine publishing! Very insightful article dear Bill, to get us thinking outside the box as to those things that no other person may have thought of yet.

      It is a tough business, and one must come up with something new, different and maybe even a bit bizarre to grab the attention of readers ... well publishers first!

      Up and more and sharing

      Have a wonderful day,

      Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, thank you and I look forward to reading your tale in the near future.

      Enjoy your Veteran's Day my friend

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure vellur and thank you for stopping by. I hope you are well my friend.

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      ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      Love your ideas. As always, you present the information in a fun and factual way. Presently, I am working on one of those bizarre tales-very strange, but true that I came across in a book published by our local historical society.

      Wishing you a great day.

      Kim

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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Am thinking a lot after reading your hub, specially the part about the numbers. Thank you for sharing these secrets with us.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! For whatever reason, readers love lists, so if they love them we should write them. Seems pretty simple. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, that was remarkably fast. Thank you! You are a good enough writer to be published; I hope you give it a try soon.