Most topics in regional parenting publications are straightforward: finance, parenting tips, health, sports, and education. The trick is to twist them in an unusual way.
1.If you’re a parent, what do you wish you knew about a topic? Write down questions that you have as you go through the day. When I was driving the other day, I complained to myself about bad teenage drivers. Then I wondered, “What can parents do to encourage good driving?” If you already know the answer to the question, it won’t make a good article unless you’re an expert on the subject.
2.Take a generic topic and make it seasonal. Choose a season about four months away, because the lead-time for parenting publications is 2 to 6 months. Four months from now is April. What happens in April (or would be published in April) that I can combine with a topic like health? In April, parenting publications start printing their summer guides to camps. What can parents do to make sure their children stay healthy at camp? What are the traits of a safe camp? Change to camping plus another topic like education or finance to create unique articles.
3.Who do you know who has an unusual or remarkable story – something that affected children? What did the parents learn? Write an article using the anecdote as an introduction to the information you want to give. A great anecdote can sell a story.
4.Visit online parenting forums and read the questions people ask. Use some of these as a basis for your article ideas.
5.When you research a piece and talk to experts, look for what you don’t know. “Joe says insurance is important for families,” won’t make an article interesting. Too many people know that insurance is important. But a quote like, “Joe says disability insurance is the most neglected area of insurance, but it protects young families from the biggest threat to their security,” will make parents keep reading.
If you give editors timely articles that readers will want to read, you’ll sell your work over and over again.
About The Author
Terri Pilcher edits a FREE weekly e-zine for writers, “Writer’s Guidelines Magazine”, that provides 10 writer’s guidelines. She recently published “MONEY Markets 2005: 101 Publishers That Pay in 6 Weeks or Less”. Her website contains the writer’s guidelines for almost 200 parenting publications. http://www.powerpenmarketsearch.com.