In terms of freelance writing, what would interest men the most? The way society has “programmed” men, they’re attracted to and gravitate towards certain topics, and these are summed up as “Men’s Interests.”
Men get themselves all worked-up over several hot topics, and these include career, money, sports, and sex. However, men also stay clear of other “taboo” topics, and these topics involve gossip, conflict and drama.
Nevertheless, men would love to know a bit of everything in the world and a lot of something which matters the most to them.
Titles to look out for
First of all, what do magazines like Maxim, Stuff, FHM, Playboy, and Penthouse share in common? Well, it’s more than racy covers and sexy centerfolds. What do GQ, Esquire, and Details have to brag about? It’s also more than male fashion and grooming. What do ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and Men’s Health magazine pack into their reading package? Surely, it’s more than muscles and brawn.
Can you figure out what these publications share in common? Simply, it’s that they’re both physically and mentally stimulating! They provide opportunities not only to rest and relax, but also to learn.
What Editors Want
Based on the examples set by the above-mentioned trendsetters, here’s a list of 10 “Hot Topics” which could prove to stimulate your readers and challenge you, the freelance writer.
10 HOT TOPICS:
1) What could be hotter to men than women? Definitely, men are interested in tips and techniques on how to improve their sex life.
2) Lingering further on the topic of women, men are fascinated by erotica. Derived from fiction or non-fiction, these topics include anything from exciting anecdotes to explicit letters.
3) Still on the subject of women, men love a little shock and awe other than WWE. Think in terms of shocking revelations based on the most titillating fantasies.
4) Shifting our focus to inanimate objects, why not write about tools, sports, cars, bikes, books, or movies? These would greatly interest any hobbyist or collector!
5) Men’s apparel is just as appealing. Nowadays, the most stylish men devour page after page of fashion advice and grooming tips.
6) In line with health and fitness, write on the latest in diet and exercise. There’s always room for another guru with better plans and programs for body-building and fat-burning.
7) One way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Thus, it’s desirable to know more about how to entertain guests with food and wine. It also adds sizzle and fizz to any relationship!
8) Also, write about the latest in home entertainment systems and electronics. Their mechanics satisfy the innate male curiosity about how gadgets and devices work.
9) Since men never can get work off their mind, write a stat-based opinion piece on business and politics. But to get work off their mind, do write about the hottest travel destinations and vacation spots!
10) Another way to a man’s heart is through his funny-bones. Men love jokes, games, and stories. So, why not write humorous excerpts on every day, true-to-life experiences? Talk about what’s real!
How to pitch your article to an editor
Step 1: Decide on the type of article you’ll write.
If you’re going to be a sports writer for men’s magazines, come across as an expert commentator. For example, if you’re eyeing Sports Illustrated, prepare yourself to write on Who’s Hot, Who’s Not or for Inside Sports news.
Step 2: Have samples ready.
To know what sells, study similar articles on the subject and review them as samples. Also, if you’ve written for other sports magazines before, keep these clips for future reference.
Step 3: Read the Writer’s Guidelines.
Go online. Search if your target magazine posts submission guidelines and accepts freelance articles. Examine their specs on page length, number of words, and pay rates. Note: if you cannot find a magazine’s submission guidelines, e-mail the editor. Many magazines do not post writer’s guidelines online because the editors are specific on what articles that they are seeking.
Step 4: Formulate a query letter.
Query letters come by the hundreds, so put in the extra effort to make your query letter stand out! Starting with a proposal, present your article idea and seek permission to write it. Since editors are always busy, be brief in pitching your message.
Step 5: Address your letter properly.
To make your sales pitch work, see to it that your letter reaches the person concerned. If Sports Illustrated happens to be your goal, send your email to [email protected]. Better yet, specify your recipient’s name as either Chris Hunt, articles editor or Mark Marvic, senior editor.
On the other hand, if you’re mailing your letter the old-fashioned way, be sure to enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. For Sports Illustrated, the address goes as follows:
Time, Inc., Magazine Co.
Sports Illustrated Bldg.
135 West 50th Street
New York, NY 10020
What You Can Earn
Most well-established magazines are hard to break into, but you can do it with enough experience and qualifications (not to mention, having the right connections). Just as editors assign articles to in-house writers and regular contributors, they also have open columns and departments open to freelance writers. As a beginning freelance writer, your typical pay rate is around $1-2 per word for men’s interests magazines.
Remember: If you hope to penetrate the male-dominated world of Men’s Interests, you need to satisfy the hunger and thirst of this readership. You must write articles which are both physically and mentally stimulating!