How to Get Started as a Freelance Magazine Writer

A freelance magazine writer, as the name suggests, works for magazine on contract basis. Freelance magazine writers are hired by online as well as print publications. Usually, they write a weekly, fortnightly or monthly column or an article for a magazine. Some of the major advantages of being a freelance magazine writer are the flexibility of working hours and the opportunity to work for more than one magazine. If you like to write on different subjects, then you would have an opportunity to explore them as you can write for magazines belonging to different genres. If you have impeccable research skills, proficiency in language and a unique voice to convey your message, then this career is apt for you. Also, if you already have professional experience in a particular field, and wish to contribute towards a magazine as a freelance writer, then this would be an ideal opportunity for you. Follow the guidelines below to get started as a freelance magazine writer from grass root level:

Acquire the Necessary Skills

There is no specific course to be taken for this field; however, media houses recruit the best among the lot. Hence, you have to prepare yourself for the competition by starting early:

  • Graduate high school with good scores in English.
  • Pursue a Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, or Media Studies.
  • If you have a specific subject in mind, then join a course to specialize in that subject. If you want to become a fashion magazine writer, enroll in a fashion school. If you want to become a finance magazine writer then pursue a related course.
  • Actively participate in college publications to develop your writing skills.
  • After graduating through college, look for an internship in a magazine or a newspaper.
  • Regularly read the magazines of your choice to look for opportunities for freelance magazine writers.
  • Joining short term writing courses is beneficial if you are a professional with considerable experience and wish to pursue freelance writing with magazines.
  • Develop contacts in the field to get the right kind of assignments.

Nature of Work

As freelance magazine writer, you will be:

  • Looking for prospective assignments and getting in touch with the Editor of the magazine.
  • Discussing the details of the assignment with the editor.
  • Suggesting ideas for the specific column or article and getting it approved.
  • Working on the column or article by researching through various sources.
  • Coordinating with the design team of the magazine to make your article visually appealing when published.
  • Making submissions within the specified target.
  • Keeping track of all assignments submitted and payment details.
  • Constantly working towards increasing chances of obtaining good assignments.


As a freelance magazine writer, a plethora of options are open to you. You can work your way to become a regular columnist for a magazine. After gaining considerable experience, you could pursue a full time job that could lead you into the path of acquiring supervisory positions. As far as this field is concerned, your job prospects increase with your experience and variety of assignments you have handled. On an average, freelance magazine writers make $40,000 per year. However, this is not the exact figure. Your compensation greatly depends on your skills, experience, nature of assignment and your employer.