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Publishing Your Writing Online vs. Publishing in Magazines: Never Ignore the Print Medium

Updated on September 11, 2016

Magazine writing still has much value in an online driven world

At one time, you really could make a living as a freelance writer for newsstand magazines. Yes, there are tons of magazines still being published today but their numbers are far, far lower than what was the case during the pre-internet days. Unless you were a newsstand customer 30 years ago, you could never be able to comprehend the sheer magnitude of all the many periodicals. Publishing houses - both big and small - printed scores of different magazines.

So voracious was the general public's interest in magazines covering all manner of different genres, even a small publisher could succeed quite well in the market even with only a handful of regularly published magazines. The reader and the publisher are not the only two entities that benefited from what the public wanted. Freelance writers found a home among these magazines and made quite a decent living based on how much work they were able to produce.

While the internet has certainly expanded the ability for people to view a massive array of online magazines, the internet has done A LOT of damage to the print magazine world. Even the major publishers are going bankrupt and smaller magazine publishers have either gone under or are barely surviving.

The Internet Is The Home Of The New Writer

For writers, the internet has become the format in which they shine since there are so many venues in which to publish work. Best of all, you can actually maximize the author credit for the work you write. The sad secret of magazine publishing is the magazine itself is most associated with any article's published in it. Even with a very good “written by” bio accompanying a published article, very few readers will even take note of the writer much less remember him or her. Online, it is a lot different. People have a tendency to remember the name of the writer a bit more since you can really weave in a lot of self-publicity into the margins of the website. This can ensure people remember your name.

Writers Should Not Forsake the Print Realm

Should writers completely ignore the world of print magazines and strictly publish online? No way.

You really still should try to have something published in a traditional magazine if you want a writing related career. The magazine industry might not be lucrative anymore and it will doubtfully launch any major careers, but it definitely can prove very helpful to those wishing to succeed as novelists, screenwriters, editors, or any other career that involves the printed word.

Here's why.....


Writing for a magazine has a sense of legitimacy and credibility to it. The reason is the article you write has to be approved by an editor. This infers the article maintains a level of professional quality because amateur level work would not make its way into a magazine. Sad to say, there is no consensus about the credibility of writing for even a well established online magazine. Is this unfair? Yes, it is unfair on all levels but this is the way things go sometimes. As the years go forward, this mindset will diminish and online magazines created by newbie publishers will become more respected. For now, you can hedge a little respect through writing for some print magazines.


Similarly, your writing has to maintain a level of marketability in order to be published. The editorial powers that be at the magazine want their readers to be informed and entertained to the point they come back for more by buying the next issue. If your writing is not something the magazine considers commercially viable, it is not going to publish it.


Seeking a job based on your talents as a writer is not easy. Most people will want to see you have established some track record for success. Publishing just one or two magazine articles per year could very well help establish the much needed credibility required for you to impress others.


By psychology, it is not meant someone is going to gain a psychological profile on you based on what you right about. (Then again, they just might) Rather, it means you can create an impression in another person's head based on your continual publication in print magazines. Just as a stage actor is considered more "legit" than a TV or film actor, someone who is consistently published in print circles is going to be viewed as a "more real" writer.

In truth, you do not have to publish scores upon scores of articles in print magazines in order to be taken serious. A few here and there throughout the year definitely is not going to hurt the impression you make on others.

Get Started with the Magazine Writing

Take the hint. Start writing articles for you favorite magazines. Learn the basics of proper submission formating. Write your best work. Then send it in. Yes, that is really all you have to do. You are not going to see your work accepted for print all the time. Those who are persistent and continue to hone their craft definitely will find their work makes the cut.

Here's another bit of helpful advice: get started right away. Write now.


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    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      I totally agree! I am published both online and in print and it does do much for establishing credibility. Many magazines also pay very well. Voted up!