How To Conduct Writers Market Research

writing help for beginners

The Secret To Conducting Writers Market Research

Did you know that the biggest challenges writers are faced with are in relation to marketing? As long as writers continue to struggle, mastering the art of writers market research is the only relief. 

Having said that, the brighter side is nowadays almost everything seems to be revolving around the internet.

The internet has broken barriers that once stood in the way of progress. It comes with a host of new opportunities and it has become easy to find new writers markets online.

Writers who know how to do a writers market research stand a better chance to tap into those opportunities.

As a writer invest time in searching for paying markets and learning how to exploit them and how to approach editors and publishers. 

Having a grasp of how to conduct writers market research is key for getting your work exposure to be accepted and paid for.


How To Conduct A Writers Market Research

Writing Help For Beginners






Market Analysis Stages

Step 1: Choosing Stage

Depending on your interests, if your eyes are set on the magazine market, choose the magazine (publication) you’re familiar with.

A publication that publishes the type of material you feel confident writing in. Only pay attention to publications that pay article contributors.

Step 2: Analysis Stage

After going through the selection process, carry out an in-depth analysis of the magazine you have chosen.

Step 3: Writing Stage

After analysing the magazine in great detail, write down your analysis.

Why it is relevant to do an analysis
For you to succeed as a freelance writer, you must know where to send your manuscripts.

Firstly, establish who to send your material, when it’s convenient to submit,  the accepted length for the manuscript and the writing style for materials. Finally, you must know how much you expect to be paid.

Fresh Analysis For Each Submission
Editors come and go. Publications do change the type of articles they accept from time to time. So, it is very important that you do a fresh analysis each time you want to submit an article for publishing.

It doesn’t matter its a magazine, newspaper or a journal. What I am basically saying is you must know markets out there.

Below are Sample A and Sample B to showcase how I did a market analysis for two different magazines. My Sample A research was for submitting an article to a Short Story Magazine.

Short Story Analysis – Best Magazine 2007 

Name of Publication: Best Magazine.
Address: Best, 33 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 0DQ,  Telephone number, Fax number.

Editor Name and Initials: Write the name in full.
Frequency & Type: Weekly, women’s magazine.
Length:60 colourful, saddle-stitched pages.

Do They Accept Freelance Work?
No other non commissioned work accepted, but always willing to look at ideas/outlines. For short story writers, Best is a good market.

Apparent Readership
Targeted at women of all ages especially in their late 20s and above, probably working.

Type of advertising
On food, pharmaceutical products and special offers.

Type of Articles
Multiple features, news, true-life short stories on all topics of interest to women, regular sections on fashion, beauty care, health fitness, homemaking, recipes, agony column and astrology.

Articles Length
For short stories, each issue has a one-page, (900-1,200 word), variable other works. 

Article Style
Don’t need to specifically romance, nor twisters-just good, ‘not-instantly’ transparent stories. 

Vocabulary Level
Articles targeted to the average reader and use general language for informing and entertaining purposes. Direct speech is made use of very often.

An in-depth analysing of a realistic market reveals what it expects from a writer. Figure out what the ‘typical reader,’ the individual you will be writing for. 

For example, you can deduce this from the ads. What do the adverts tell you about the reader’s lifestyle?

Short Story Analysis – Guidepost 2007

Name of Publication: Guideposts
Address: The Editor, Guideposts: Finding Hope from Tragedy 16 East 34th Street, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10016.

Editor Name and Initials: The Editor
Frequency and Type: monthly.
Length: Not indicated.

Accept Freelance Work?
Writing a short feature is often the easiest way of making a sale to Guideposts.

Guideposts don’t use fiction, essays or sermons, and rarely presents stories about deceased or professional religious people. It does not evaluate book-length material.

Apparent Readership 
Aimed at people from all walks of life to achieve their maximum personal and spiritual potential. 

The magazine’s articles present tested methods for developing courage, strength, and positive attitudes through faith in God.

Writers express viewpoints from a variety of Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faith experiences.

Type of Advertising
On family recipes from readers, pharmaceutical products, and medical books e.g. on arthritis, bibles, knitting yarns, cookbooks, birthday cards-anniversaries, get well etc.

Type of Articles
inspirational, interfaith, nonprofit publication.

Articles Length and Payments

  1. Full-length manuscripts (750-1500 words): $250-$500,  occasionally higher.
  2. Shorter manuscripts (250- 750 words): $100 – $250.
  3. Short features and fillers under 250 words): $25-$100.
  4. These include “What Prayer Can Do,” and heavenly encounters such as “His Mysterious Ways, “Angels Among Us” and “Divine Touch.”
  5. Article Style A typical Guideposts story is a first-person narrative written in a simple, dramatic, anecdotal style with a spiritual point that the reader can “take away” and apply to their own life.

    The story may be the writer’s own or one written in the first person for someone else. Even Short Features, use this format.


Power In Our day-to-day living, His Mysterious Ways.

Type of Vocabulary: Simple and straightforward English. Direct speech is made use of very often to make stories lively and be natural.

Editorial Guidelines

  1. Don’t try to tell an entire life story in a few pages. Focus on one specific happening in a person’s life. The emphasis should be on one individual. Bring in a few people as possible so that the reader’s interest stays with the dominant character.

  2. Decide what your spiritual point or “take away,” will be. Everything in the story should be tied in with this specific theme.

  3. Don’t leave unanswered questions. Give enough facts so that the reader will know what happened. Use description and dialogue to let the reader feel as if he was there, seeing the characters, hearing them talk.

  4. Dramatize the situation, conflicts and struggle. Then tell how the person was changed for the better or was the problem was solved?

  5. Most Important: Study the magazine.

  6. Manuscripts: May be submitted online and by mail.

  7. They must be typed, double-spaced and accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Why Writers Use Outlines?

An outline is sent to the editor to promote your work.  Some markets have their own outline styles that they publish in the publication itself or on their website.

Writers Market Research
Each week buy at least one different magazine from your usual ones. Examine the magazines closely to establish the kind of articles, features and stories they contain.

The more you read the more likely you will have the following effects.

Stimulate ideas. 

  1. Association Ideas – Almost every anniversary can produce a unique angle to an article, not covered in the mainstay of the anniversary. 

  2. Also, write for the web-based publications where you can earn good money. You can also use the internet as a research tool. 

  3. Ideas come from your reading. No idea is new so your job is to find a new slant on the subject. 

  4. Using your own articles by rewriting them to suit another market. 

  5. Looking for articles with a local interest in local history focus.


Please feel free to share any method you use outlining. I’d love to hear about it! 

20 Comments to “How To Conduct Writers Market Research”

  1. Kiefer says:

    Thanks for this interesting article, Femia! I myself am very interested in learning how to become a writer for a living. I appreciate your example of a publication focused on religious and spiritual issues. Given my interest in those things, it was helpful for me to see an example of what being a religious writer for a publication might look like.

    Do you have an advice for someone just getting started in monetizing their writing? Thanks again!

    1. Femia says:

      Thank you too, Kiefer, for your encouraging comment. To monetize your writing, there are quite a number of things you can do. One of them is writing your content with the intent to conversion and then lead people to take action to buy something. For example to join an email list; read a product review or to click on an affiliate link. In fact, anything related to selling. For example, creating excellent reviews that make people want to buy. Getting people to buy something through your affiliate marketing which recommends a product or service through an affiliate program. Also, to be successful in freelance writing, you must know your market i.e. know where to send your manuscript.

  2. Izuddin says:

    Thank you for this post. I learned a lot here about writing and ways to attract the correct readers. Many ideas were generated here while reading your post.

    Writing isn’t an absolute passion of mine but, I realized through proper writing, we are able to express our thoughts in a polite way that readers are able to grasp our ideas and solutions to various problems we face today.

    1. Zegu says:

      Thank you so much for sparing your time to leave some comments. I am pleased that you found this post helpful. The is another source of useful information for writers. Particularly for getting published and paid for their writing. Once again, many thanks.

  3. Labman says:

    I have never contemplated that small publications might be a way to build an income.
    I always assumed that these publications had a staff of writers that produced their content. It was enlightening to me to realize that these sorts of opportunities exist.

    I am also surprised at the rates that these magazines provide. Working online through some of the article mills, these prices are far and above anything that most article mills will pay.

    Thanks for sharing this article.

    1. Zegu says:

      Hello, Labman, thank you so much for taking your time to leave some comments.
      Once you write your articles targeting a certain market, its possible to earn money selling your articles.
      To be able to do so, you need a guide to getting published.The Writer’s Market 2018 does a perfect job to guide you. It carries thousands of publishing opportunities

  4. Oana says:

    Hello there,

    This is an interesting article. I have two passions, photography and writing. 

    Reading your article made me realize that I have lost a lot of time with other stuff when I could easily focus my time on writing. 

    I did not know that you can make some money doing writing for other publications. I have already bookmarked your article to come back to it later on to take some notes. 

    My question is, where do I find those publications?

    Thank you

    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Oana, many thanks for the time to read my post, ‘How To Conduct Writers Market Research.’

      Also, for leaving some awesome feedback.

      I’m glad to hear that you found my post informative.

      In response to your question, I would say the internet is the starting point especially

      All the best for your writing plans. 

  5. Daniel says:

    Hello Femia, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative.

    I am not a professional writer but I think that I am at the beginning of becoming one. 

    Your tips helped me to learn some new things about writing I did not know, thank you a lot for sharing.

    I want to ask is there a profitable company where I can monetize my writing?

    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Daniel, thanks so much for the time to read my post, ‘How To Conduct Writers Market Research.’

      Also, for leaving invaluable comments.

      I’m glad to hear that you’ve found my post informative and useful.

      Coming to your question about a profitable company where you can monetize your writing.

      Try iWriter and Upwork. These are online platforms for freelancers.

      I’m on Upwork and I’ve managed to do quite a number of jobs. It’s not just writing but you get to do customer service related jobs, web design, data input and content writing, to name a few.

      All the best for your writing plans.

  6. Henderson says:

    Writing is a process that involves a lot of different stages.

    The learning stage is quite broad and I am a passionate learner of writing. 

    Reading your post has helped me widen my scope. 

    An integral part of writing is the readers and I have learnt how to get the preferred reader. 

    Writing marker research looks like something I should be able to do. 

    Thanks for dropping some examples too. 

    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Henderson, firstly, many thanks for sparing the time to read my post, ‘How To Conduct Writers Market Research.’

      Also, for the wonderful comments.

      I agree with you there is a lot to writing besides putting a pen on paper. There is a lot that goes behind the scenes.

      Doing market research is very important to know what to write and most importantly what is sellable.

      All the best for your writing plans.

  7. Charles says:

    Do you have a definition of writer’s market research? 

    I feel like it has to do with a writer researching the market to know what to write about or something along those lines but I just wanted to check. 

    So you are saying that if I was a writer and I wanted to get published in a magazine, I would want to study that magazine to see what type of writing they’re looking for? And what type of style to publish?
    One thing I did for outlining was making an outline of every article I could possibly put on my website. 

    Then I tried to predict what images I would need for each article and a general idea of what each section of the article will be about. 

    Thank you for writing this and take care!

    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Charles, many thanks for the time to read my post, ‘How-to-conduct-writers-market-research/” >How To Conduct Writers Market Research.’

      Also, for the invaluable feedback.

      You are right a writers market research is to find out magazines or publications that pay writers for contributions.

      However, these magazines have in-house writing styles to guide them

      So, to stand a chance to get your work published, you’ve to tailor-make your writing to suit the appropriate writing style.

  8. Boniface-AndroidBix says:

    Hi Femia,

    Thanks for that educative post on conducting of market research for writers.

    I once aspired to be a writer and I see from this article why I never made any progress- not even getting published by a newspaper or magazine. 

    I seem to have always done poor market research. I also did not invest enough time in all this. I don’t even remember choosing my target market or doing an in-depth analysis of such a market.

    From this article, I’ve drawn inspiration from the knowledge that if I do it right, freelance writing sent to the right publication houses for the right target audiences have a high acceptability chance and also good cash rewards.

    I’m feeling like trying to give it another try!

    Boniface- AndroidBix.

    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Boniface, many thanks for the time to read my post, ‘How To Conduct Writers Market Research.’

      Also, for leaving invaluable comments, I do appreciate.

      I’m so pleased to hear that you find this post informative and also useful.

      Don’t give up on chasing your dreams.

      All the best for the future

  9. RoDarrick says:

    Writing has been somewhat of a hobby for me right from my high school days but monetisation has been the problem for me since I don’t know how to but having read through this post, I picked a lot of ideas to which I’m sure would help me a lot. 

    I never really knew the value of research and analysis before writing as you have highlighted here that they are very integral to the success of any writer.

    I will look out for some publications here and submit to them as a freelancer. 

    Hopefully, I might make my first earning through writing soon.

    1. Femia says:

      Hello, thanks so much for the time you have set aside to read my post, ‘How To Conduct Writers Market Research.’

      Also, for the invaluable comments. A good starting point is It gives you an idea of the different types of magazines ou there.

      All the best for your plans. 

  10. shirian says:

    Hi Femia, This conducting writers market research article is really helpful. 

    As we all are doing online business, learning how to write content is the most important aspect in order to be seen and being successful. 

    You have explained a lot of useful things on your article in a way that I’ve personally learnt great rules and I am sure that it will have a huge impact on my writing style in the long run.

    I can’t thank you enough for proving us these sort of resources. Glad to see that there are some places where we are able to publish our contents and get paid as well as feedback for our works.

    All the best

    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Shrian, firstly many thanks for taking the time to read my post, ‘How To Conduct Writers Market Research’ and for leaving great comments.

      I’m glad to know that you found my post informative.
      All the best with your writing!

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