Make it Work
Make It Pay
This was the response I received after applying for a (volunteer) produce picking position. The image of the sallow-skinned, strung-out writer is a tough one to break.
Unless you’re writing for Rolling Stone, there’s no shame in being fit. You can sell yourself and your toned, trained body – to the fitness world. Online or off, there’s plenty of money to go around. Health and fitness is a billion-dollar industry.
Two of the top fitness magazines in the country (Self and Men’s Health) have a readership over 5 million. There’s someone out there that wants to read your story. There’s just one caveat: tapping into this industry means proving your fitness prowess.
Lucy Danziger (editor-in-chief of Self Magazine) is a two-time Ironman athlete. She has published a fitness book and has an inbox crammed with pitches by lunchtime. She’ll know if you confuse a burpee with a jumping jack. She’ll also know if you enjoy running as much as writing. But, first, you’ll have to catch her attention.
On her blog, Danziger said, “I often hit the delete button before I get past the first line …” What catches Danziger’s eye? Photos of fat cats help. The other thing that helps is writing with a intimate slant.
Editors like Danziger receive too many impersonal emails. Knock her socks off with a crazy 5am fitness habit or amazing weight-loss story, and you may just get a “we’re reading your pitch” response. Add a unique nutritional spin to the mix and you may just get a personalized response.
Have you adopted a vegan lifestyle? Send out a pitch to VegNews Magazine (email@example.com), they’re looking for concise and “tantalizing ideas.” Not so far left but still a veg-head? Vegetarian Times “This Just In” editor, Amy Spitalnick, states (in an email) that the magazine’s “tone is conversational rather than reportorial or academic.” Eating Well looks for writers who have a “journalistic and authoritative voice.”
Fitness Magazine, Women’s Health, Muscle and Fitness – the list (and niches) go on and on. Currently, there are more than four hundred health and fitness magazine publication options in the U.S. alone – and four hundred eager editors waiting to get that pitch that doesn’t deserve a “delete.”
If living like Hunter S. Thompson, Dylan Thomas, or Edgar Allan Poe isn’t a freelancer’s goal, skip that stereotype – there’s a place and a publisher for you.