I get contacted quite often by magazines editors and large news and lifestyle websites about the projects that I create for my blog. Over the years, I have worked for several large websites and magazines, plus I just signed a new contract with a national magazine that I’m pretty excited about!
Now, that I have some experience under my belt, I thought I would share some information and advice with you, my fellow creative bloggers, who might be getting contacted by large publications or magazines about your creative projects.
For those of you who don’t have blogs, sorry to bore you with shop talk today. I promise I’ll make it up to you:-)
I sure wish someone would have written a post like this when I first began blogging.
This is how it usually goes when large publications (print or web) contact me.
I receive an email asking if they can have a high-resolution photo of a specific project, craft or recipe of mine, along with directions, so they can feature it in their magazine and or website. Sometimes they include that they will credit my website. Sometimes they just leave that part out.
I will then ask if there is a budget for the article they are writing and if they intend to use my photo and directions in other publications and/or websites that they own.
They will contact someone else, who will then contact me back with a price that they can work with. This reminds me a lot of buying a car. Which makes my stomach turn in knots. I hate negotiating for a car!
Eventually someone will reply with a “Sorry, we are not allowed to compensate for features.” Or, that they can offer me their standard page rate fee. This varies per publication, but standard usually means $50-$200 depending on the size and placement of your image or article.
I often say no to these propositions. I’ll explain why later in this post. If a publication is interested in working with me on new creative projects or hiring me as a freelance designer, that is a different story. We will usually discuss future work and the scope of the job on the phone.
If you get contacted by a magazine or well-known lifestyle website about them featuring one of your favorite creative projects or recipes, use these guidelines before deciding on what to do.
When to say YES …
The photo they want to feature is of a product you sell.
Of course you will gladly hand over a photo of your product for free advertising. Why would you not want that?
They only use a photo, with links back to your site for directions, digital files, more details, etc.
This is more apt to occur on a website. (Printed magazines are going to want full directions in their publication.)
In this situation, they usually say this: “We’ll give full attribution and credit to you, including a link out to your website.” I’m happy to work with large publications that do this. It’s just like getting a nice feature on any website. I’m all for that!
The magazine is going to specifically feature you or your company.
In this case, providing projects and photos makes sense since the whole article is about you. It’s a win for all parties involved.
You have a new book coming out soon.
Letting a magazine use one of the projects from your book as a “preview” is a great way to get the word out about your book.
This is not your most popular project, recipe or craft idea.
You might say yes, if you are NOT dependent on this particular project/post for traffic or income. You might not have had any traffic to this particular post for months, so why not breathe a little life into it by getting it seen by a new audience.
You have dreamed about being in this particular magazine and hope to do more with them in the future.
If this is your dream job and you are a super fan of the magazine, then it’s worth saying yes to get to know one of the editors or freelancers who work for the magazine. Just because you are a super fan, doesn’t mean you should automatically say yes right after they contact you. Always get details and ask if there is a budget for compensation. I doesn’t hurt to ask if you can get paid for your project, especially if it’s a good and unique idea!
If you do decide to say yes, ask about compensation. If there is a budget for payment, get a contract and read it thoroughly.
Most large publications will provide a contract for any type of paid work. Some contracts say you cannot do a similar type of project for up to 6-12 months as it would be in competition with the publication. Also, you don’t want to be surprised to see your idea or photo in one of their other publications or newsletters a year from now.
Why I might say NO…
Example: Let’s say I get offered $100 for one of my most popular ideas to be used in a magazine. Meaning, they print my project in a national magazine with directions, maybe even use my own photo. In most cases, they want to buy the idea and will take their own photos of the project. Credit would be provided with my name in tiny text on the side or bottom of the page.
I am very flattered to be contacted by these great publications, but here are a few reasons why I might decline…
1) As a professional blogger, many of my ideas and projects generate income for me because of the amount of traffic to my website. Keeping a unique and popular project exclusively on my website is best for me. Plus, I might want to use it later in a book or something. Who knows?
A magazine who pays me, is most likely going to want to use my idea on their website as well as the printed version. Most magazines and news websites have fantastic SEO and if someone typed in a search on Google for my kind of project or recipe, the magazine site would pop up way before my blog. Losing traffic, which I previously used to get, to them could cost me income. They have big sponsors and big traffic and will end up making money off of my idea… probably well over the $100 they paid me.
2) Will anyone really notice my name in the magazine? Will the reader actually leave their magazine, get on a computer and go to my website to see more of my projects? Hmmm… good question.
I prefer to do freelance work and create something new and exclusive just for them while keeping my original projects on my own site.
Now for Oprah or Martha… I might say YES! A girl’s got her weakness.
Do you have questions about getting your creative projects published?
Feel free to ask in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer them.