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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Avoid One-Shots

Blogathon, day 25. 

Early on in my freelance career, I wrote a lot of what I call one-shots. I'd write a story about a particular topic one time, for one particular market, and never revisit the topic again--and often fail to even write for the same market more than once! That may be a great way to amass a wide variety of clips (it certainly was for me) but it's not an efficient way to work. You spend almost all of your time researching markets (at one time I had pitches out to more than 20 different magazines) and writing queries because you're writing each one from scratch.  

I do a lot of things differently today. First of all, I don't write one-shots anymore. If I'm going to write about a topic once, I'm going to find a way to write about it again, with a different angle, for a different market. For example, when I found some interesting research about caffeine's effect on physical and mental performance, I pitched and wrote a piece about how to use caffeine for a fitness magazine. I also pitched and wrote a piece on how many caffeine is too much for a regional newspaper, and a piece for a custom magazine on the trend of putting caffeine into beauty products. Each article was a new article, but I could reuse the research over and over, which saves me time. 

In short, avoid one-shots. Strive to write about every topic more than once. 

Your assignment: Come up with more than one angle, and more than one market, for every story you write.