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    Home Columns

    Creating Outlets Or Markets for Your Columns

    You've exhausted your source of outlets for your column for the present. No one seems interested, usually because they don't have money in their budget for another column. So what do you do next?

    Sometimes you can create outlets other than the traditional approach of writing a column for a newspaper/magazine/web site and getting paid from their budget in the usual manner.

    • You can make suggestions to editors on ways to find more advertising to support your column and your payment.

    • You may even approach an advertiser and see if they'll sponsor your column.

    • You can develop newsletters with your column for businesses.

    Check With Ad Manager

    Consider checking whether the advertising manager at the publication can get businesses that relate to your column topic to advertise on the same page. My column, "Curios of Yesteryear," about antiques and collectibles, ran on a page with the ads from antique shops. This made a nice package for the advertising manager to promote when selling ads and justified, financially, the editor buying my column.

    The same applied for my cooking column when the ad manager and editor used it on the page with the supermarket's ad.

    Look At Your Column

    Take a look at your column. What type of advertisers could be featured with it in a newspaper or magazine? Suggest that the ad manager coordinate this package.

    Better yet, find out who the ad manager is and meet with him or her. There's a chance no one ever thought of something like this.

    Contact Advertisers

    Go directly to an advertiser. Perhaps they'd like to pay you to write a column to accompany their ad. This might not be a column about their business, but something to give readers more information in that field. Readers of your column will see their ad.

    Perhaps you'll find a number of businesses that will go together and use your column in a flyer or joint advertising This could be:

    • Travel articles for a travel agency or RV dealership.

    • Collectibles or antiques information for an antiques shop.

    • Gardening articles for a business that sells items related to plants and gardening.

    • A consumer column for a supermarket.

    • Home repair for a building supply company.

    • Interior decorating for a furniture or home supply store.

    Column for a Newsletter

    Some businesses also might be interested in your providing a column for a flyer or newsletter they can hand out to customers. For awhile, my "Country Kitchen" column appeared in a newsletter distributed by our local supermarket. When it changed owners, the new management didn't produce a newsletter. However, this was an enjoyable experience while it lasted.

    Take a look at your local businesses and organizations. Do they send out newsletters? Would they be interested in a column? Sometimes this might lead to your producing a newsletter for an organization.

    Become Creative

    Become creative in your thinking and promotion. Whenever you see magazines, newspapers, or newsletters, check to see if they use columns. It doesn't hurt to present them with the idea of your writing one that would help inform their customers/clients and promote their business.

    Copyright © 2004 Mary Emma Allen

    Mary Emma Allen writes columns for print and online publications. With more than 40 years of experience, she has learned of many ways to introduce her columns to editors and the reading public. She also will be teaching an online class on "Column Writing" at, beginning June 1. Visit her Web site at Her e-mail:

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

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    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

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