Where can I find good editorial content?

Dean Cook

by Dean Cook, May 9, 2016
Category: How To,   Tags: content, contributor, copy, Copyright, edit, editiorial, editor, editorial contributor, editorial copy, free content, freelancer writer, proof read, proof reader, quality content, use content from other websites, write, writer,

This is one common question Dean Cook hears but, surprisingly, many emerging independent publishers either don’t want to pay any money for good editorial or can’t see its value. So what editorial alternatives are available?

We find the smaller the budget, the more limited you are in gaining well-written content, but here are seven options which are worth considering.

1. Use content and images from other websites

NO — DON’T! As tempting as this maybe this should be avoided. You would be stealing someone’s hard work. Never copy content from other websites as this breaches copyright and could result in legal action being taken against you. If you would like to republish content then always get in touch with the publisher for permission.

Now since that got your attention, here are six options which you should consider.

2. Write the magazine yourself — but get it proof-read before you publish.

If you are passionate about a subject then write it yourself. There is no harm being the editor of your own magazine. You’re reading this aren’t you? My writing skills aren’t brilliant but hope that my knowledge could steer you in the right direction. I chose to offset my writing ability with the resources and budget I have available, but I would always proof-read my copy before I publish it on the website or before I pass on to production.

Although my skill set is in the production of magazines for independent publishers, I have found myself writing for trade publications, however, the editor would rewrite, correct and enhance what I am trying to say and apply their style over it. I don’t have the benefit of an editor here in my office but when writing in a more relaxed fashion in a blog, or here among the pages of our website, at least this can be appreciated by you, the reader.

3. Use an unpaid contributor

Is there someone fresh from college who is keen to get their foot in the door to exercise their writing abilities? Do you know someone who may have some spare time and passionate about your magazine? Great, but be prepared to wait for them as they write articles in their spare time. You may need to find other articles at short notice if they fail to deliver on time.

4. Could an advertiser supply content?

This is a particularly good option for community style magazines. Could a local restaurant owner, or their chef, pull together a recipe; a local vet write some words on a cat’s dietary requirements; your local mechanic furnish you with some words about how to check oil levels; or even a local financial adviser construct a feature about mortgages? The list is endless.

Not only have you secured advertising (if they could write for every issue) but the advertiser gains a valuable editorial page without directly selling their products/services — which often generates more of a response from readers than a blatant advert. In return this adds value for your magazine. If your advertiser takes out a full page ad, why not give them an editorial page? This gives you current content and a relevant feature for your publication.

5. Use a sponsored editorial supplier

There are companies out there who write non-time sensitive editorial which is offered for free; however, you would need to use a sponsored ad who paid the company to write the article. This is a really good solution as the content is well-written, usually comes with a good quality image and the sponsored ad is well designed from a fairly well-known company which could attract additional advertisers.

For community or lifestyle magazines take a look at: www.freefeatures.co.uk; for business publications visit: www.freefeaturesforbusiness.co.uk. Both are free to register.

6. Pay for a pre-written article

Some professional writers invest in their time to write quality articles which is complemented with quality subject photography covering varying topics. Okay, they are not bespoke articles but they do tend to be non-time sensitive and are professionally written which could be applied to a wide variety of magazines.

With many articles on offer, you could arrange with the writer to buy in bulk which would also give an impression that you have a specialist writer in-house. They can even ‘top and tail’ the article so it suits your publication’s style.

Can you imagine having an article on the South of France with the appearance it was specifically written for your magazine but yet you didn’t even have to pay for one night’s hotel accommodation to write it? This is where publishing has become more dynamic. Effective spend that would give your magazine a lovely well-written feel with high quality image impact.

Many articles are complemented with a collection of high quality photography – quick, easy and that’s several pages sorted then? Just need to be produced and laid out in your magazine style and format.

Andrew Marshall is one bank writer who has a library of quality features including Food & Drink, Travel, Golf, and Lifestyle features. Feel free to email Andy Marshall here or by calling him on +44 (0)7765 888141.

7. Hire industry specialists, freelance writers or editors

Now this is where independent titles should be: hiring professionals to write specific, interesting, informative, relevant and live content for your audience. Specialist writers are key to any successful magazine and could attract some key advertisers who want to be represented alongside impactful content which aids reaching your valued readership. Yes, although far from being a free service, invest in any seasoned professional is sure to gain a return.

We work closely with several freelance editors/writers covering a variety of industries and subjects who are well suited to be able to complete a magazine which you should be proud of. Just drop us a line: 01273 46759 or click here to email us.

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