Are you at the point where you want to have an article published? Whether you are trying to break into a print or online venue, established publications usually like to work with published authors. So then how do you get established if no one will take a chance and publish your work? It can be a frustrating catch 22. There are websites that will publish most any content, but I’m not sure how much influence that would have for websites and magazines that emphasize content that has been proofed and fact-checked. A well written blog could certainly show people that you have the technical skills and perhaps creativity, but won’t necessarily go into the depth that a publisher might need for a specific article. Another option is to look for a magazine, newsletter or newspaper (yes there are a few still in existence) that would print your article for free or for a small fee. My first publication was a brief story about a personal experience I had. It went into a monthly newsletter, paid $10 and I was thrilled! A piece published with your byline will start to give you “clips” or examples of work that you can share with a publisher.
It is also important to know where you are sending your article. Research the magazine or website before submitting an idea. Check to see if they have done a piece recently on your topic and make sure it is appropriate for its target market. Many publications have writer’s guidelines on their websites. If they do, read them and follow them to the letter. You could also subscribe to Writer’s Market or purchase their annual guide. Do they want a query letter submitted via regular mail? Will they accept ideas via email? Do they want the entire manuscript or just the idea? If you follow the specific guidelines exactly and send it to the correct person, you will have a much better chance of being considered. If you send an email to an entity that wants to be contacted via mail, you will likely never hear from them. And most people do not want to be called so don’t even go there. Becoming an established author usually takes time and patience. Keep trying and eventually you will make it.