I told her that several years ago, I wrote “Special Report #34: Secrets to Becoming a Columnist in Newspapers and Magazines.” It advises writers to offer columns for free and not ask for payment.
The newspaper industry, and the magazine industry to some extent, has been battered since I wrote that report about seven years ago. Audiences are more fragmented than ever. Many publications are losing classified and ad revenue because of Craigslist and pay-per-click ads. Costs for paper and ink are rising and the news hole is shrinking. That makes competition for a column more difficult than ever. Readers, particularly of newspapers, are getting older and dying off.
Trying to get a column in a magazine, I told her, can be mostly wasted effort, unless you’re targeting a B2B magazine that goes directly to your target market. Her client would be far better off blogging several times a week and offering blog content through an RSS feed.
If you blog, you can really gain traction because if your content is good, other bloggers can link to it. Blogging can offer exposure far greater than a magazines column. Besides, journalists who work in traditional media may find the content and cover you as a result.
But these days, savvy Publicity Hounds think far beyond traditional media.