A lot of my e-course students and mentoring clients have a passion that they want to write about, but that doesn’t lend itself to many paying markets. For example, they may be interested in writing about raising ferrets, designing tree houses, or refurbishing old mandolins for wandering minstrels. Not much of a market for those topics, is there?
Here’s how my husband Eric handled the problem. Eric is a board game freak — he owns more than 1,000 board games, he used to write regularly for Games and Knucklebones magazines, and he’s the news editor at Boardgame Geek. But with so few game magazines on the stands, it’s hard for Eric to earn a decent amount of money by writing about his passion.
So he got creative and started thinking about non-gaming magazines that would be interested in games. He sold a review of a fight-themed card game to Grappling magazine, a review of a game about evolution to Discover, a review of a sheep-related game to Sheep! magazine, and a review of a fish-themed game to a magazine for aquarium owners.
Anyone can follow Eric’s example to make money writing about their passion. Take your dream topic and look at it from every angle, and brainstorm ways you can slant the idea for a wide variety of magazines.
For example, if your passion is raising ferrets, don’t think you’re stuck writing for the one or two ferret-themed magazines out there. How about a profile of a successful ferret breeder for a local business magazine? Or an article for a women’s magazine (they often run pet articles) on how to choose a non-traditional pet for your child? Or an article for a cat- or dog-themed magazine on how to introduce your cat or dog to a small pet? There are lots of articles on how to introduce a new cat or dog to your feline or canine crew, but I’ll bet there aren’t many on how to help your cat or dog get used to (and not kill) a ferret, rabbit, or guinea pig.
What specialty do you have, and how can you reslant it for a variety of markets? [lf]