How to Find Markets to Pitch
With the economy being what it is, you may have had the idea to start pitching more in hopes of bringing in more cash. Or maybe you were inspired by my idea of doing a pitch blitz in How to Gain Control Over Your Freelancing Life. Whatever the reason, you want to expand your client base — and that means finding new markets to pitch.
But where are these markets? Writer’s Market, a print and online directory of magazine markets, is a great source to start with, but there are tons of magazines out there that aren’t listed in its pages. And then there’s the newsstand, which has an even smaller selection of magazines. You won’t find most custom pubs or trade magazines at Borders.
Here’s how to find markets that aren’t found in Writer’s Market or on your local newsstand.
• The Custom Publishing Council. As I wrote in a post last year, custom publications are magazines that are published for corporate clients and organizations. For example, the magazine you get if you’re a Wells Fargo business customer is a custom publication. The free magazine you pick up at Shaw’s is a custom publication. That magazine at the checkout in Pier 1? A custom pub. You can often break into a custom publication by sending a letter of introduction. The Custom Publishing Council lists many of these magazines and even gives e-mail addresses for the pubs’ editors or publishers.
• TradePub.com offers links to the websites of trade magazines in dozens of categories, from agriculture to utilities. As with custom pubs, you can sometimes break into trade magazines with a letter of introduction.
• Mastheads.org has a list of the 600+ magazines in its database. Once you find a title that interests you, Google it to find its website. If you shell out $24 per year, Mastheads.org says it will give you “complete magazine staff lists for every department (editorial, art/photo, advertising, marketing, & business) with phone, fax, mailing address, and e-mail formats.”
• Freelance Success, for $99 per year, offers a weekly market guide that gives a how-to-pitch for typically well-paying magazines.
• Mr. Magazine is Samir Husni, the Chair of the Journalism Department at the University of Mississippi. His website gives you the scoop on new titles every month.
• The Internet Public Library has a directory with links to magazines, journals, e-zines, and more.
• Writer’s Market, but not for the reason you think. When you find an interesting-sounding trade magazine in Writer’s Market (or in any of the directories on this list), take note of the name of the company that publishes the magazine and search for its website on Google. Chances are, the publishing company puts out other magazines that are not listed in Writer’s Market.
• Your mailbox. One of my phone mentoring clients last week shared with me a great idea he had for a financial article, and mentioned that it would be a perfect fit for members of the military. I told him, “You should check out USAA, a financial custom pub I write for that targets the military,” and he said, “Hey, I get that magazine! I never thought of pitching it.” So don’t overlook those magazines that show up in your mailbox from your bank, your insurance provider, your hospital, and so on.
Do you have any other suggestions for finding markets to pitch? Please share them in the Comments below. [lf]