Getting published in home and garden publications takes the same work and steps as are necessary to get published in any other magazine. It’s all about research, generating great ideas, properly submitting your best work, and creating content that the editors want. Publications are extremely particular about the type of work they accept. The editors are trying to create a magazine that sells.
If you are interested in being published in a specific home and garden publication, start doing your work before beginning the writing process. Research the publications on the market first, study the style and types of articles they print, determine what they purchase from writers, and then begin writing.
At the same time that you are researching and writing, begin gathering pitch information. Nothing sends your pitch email to the trash folder faster than not following an editor’s guidelines or submitting it to the correct person. These tips will improve your chances of being published.
Where to Find Ideas
Constantly generating article ideas that you can pitch pieces to home and garden publications is a struggle for every writer. Is there an idea fairy? The most prolific and successful writers will tell you that they generate ideas from daily life. Still, they also put a lot of effort into the task.
Keep a notepad handy to jot down notes about general home and garden work, issues, problems, and projects. These don’t always have to be projects that you are already working on or have worked on, but rather ideas that the average gardener might need help with.
Research the notes and ideas you do jot down, and you will find that there is at least one, if not more, good article behind each problem. Pitch these home and garden ideas to publishers, focusing on the different types of articles to the best publication based on their readers and content.
How to Find Submission Guidelines
Every publication has guidelines that writers need to follow (seriously) for submission. They’re usually found on the magazine’s website somewhere. Editors create these guidelines so you can help make it easier to sift through the hundreds of manuscripts that they get. To ensure that your submission is considered in the first place, ensure that you find and follow these guidelines to the letter.
In most cases, home and garden publications make these guidelines easily accessible for writers. Begin your search in the about or FAQ section of a publications online website. Many times you will find the information near the contact sheet; it will include email information and everything you’ll need to know to avoid immediate rejection on the grounds of improper formatting. Also included will be any follow up information that the publication is able to be provided.
If, for some reason, a publication does not have their submission guidelines posted on their website, they can be found through other means. Check the latest edition of Writer’s Market. If worse comes to worst, figure out which editor handles the part of the magazine you want to submit to and send them an email.
Great writers can generate article ideas regularly and consistently, but smart writers find a way to repurpose the material and work they’ve already done into new articles. It is possible to create two to three different pieces from the same general idea or based on an article that you have already written and published.
To do this, take the general topic of a piece and reframe it by answering a question related to it, offer project ideas, or suggest hacks that readers can use. For example, an article you write based on your experience building an outdoor kitchen can be repurposed into “Five Design Plans for an Outdoor Kitchen,” “Plants to Grow in Your Outdoor Kitchen,” and “DIY Hacks to Maintain an Outdoor Kitchen.”
Doing this saves you time and energy, and brings you the most opportunities for publishing with every idea. Every piece might not sell immediately or as soon as the first one does. Still, it gives you ideas to work on when you are unable to come up with new ideas to pitch, or even the ability to publish in a way that allows you to establish authority about a specific topic within the home and garden niche.