How would you feel about being the health or fitness expert in your town’s local lifestyle magazine? Pretty good, right? Imagine it: a page (or a double page spread) every month with your words, your logo, your business name.
How can that local health and fitness column be yours?
I’m going to show you. You might think “why me?” Well, why not you. You’re good at what you do, aren’t you? And you genuinely want to help people in your local area with health, fitness, nutrition?
Plenty of fitpros want to be in their local magazine. But hardly any of them will actually take action.
Here’s how to get your content published in local lifestyle magazines.
1) Get The Magazines
Firstly, you need to actually get hold of physical copies of local magazines. Go for a wander round your town, look in dentists’ reception areas, hairdressers, health food shops, railway station waiting rooms. Maybe your town has a local magazine or two put through the door – great, you already get those. Keep hold of them. Ask local friends and family which lifestyle magazines they receive or read, then find a copy.
2) Read The Magazines
Crucial step! What content is already in them? What type of person reads them? Will it be a worthwhile use of your time? If they already have a health/fitness contributor, they probably won’t want another (but if you’re very niche and think it’s still a fit, go for it, just be very clear on why you should be featured). Familiarise yourself with the topics, style, angles and type of content they feature. Get to know the magazine, audience and advertisers.
3) Check Out Their Online and Social Content
Now you’ve narrowed it down to 2 or 3 local magazines. Go and find their Facebook page, Twitter feed and any other socials. Look at their website. Aim to familiarise yourself as much as possible with the magazine’s content and ethos. Now, when you make contact, you look like you’ve done your homework and you can speak their language.
4) Find The Correct Contact
This is the easy bit. The editorial staff will be listed in the magazine and/or on the website. If there’s a health/fitness editor, contact them. It’s unlikely, though. The team is probably pretty small, so contact the editor.
5) Get Your Ideas Together
What can you offer this magazine? You need to show that you will be a never-ending source of good content. You’ve read the magazine, you’ve looked at their online content. It shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with 3 or 4 ideas for a column. Think about your local demographic. What will they want to know? Think time of year, local events, awareness days, hot topics, things which these people will be wondering or talking about. Present your ideas as solutions to things readers want to know.
6) Write An Intro Email
There are a number of ways to actually get in touch. But I think the best way is to send an introductory email to your editorial contact. Just as with your own email marketing, think about email subject line. Then simply introduce yourself and say what you want to do. Be clear, concise and polite. If you need some pointers on this, I can help so please get in touch Here’s a rough outline:
- you notice they don’t currently have a health/fitness contributor
- you’re a local expert with XYZ credentials
- local people are currently talking about XYZ
- you would love to contribute monthly content to the magazine
- here are a couple of examples
- you can quickly provide compelling, engaging and accurate content on an ongoing basis
- and you can provide high res images
7) Send It, Then Follow Up
Follow up with a very short email after a couple of days. Then a phone call if necessary. Keep a note of responses. Start a spreadsheet of magazine, editor, contact details, when you got in touch and what the outcome was.
8) Be On The Ball
Editors need contributors who are reliable. Make sure you give them exactly what they ask for in the brief (no more and no less). Meet their deadline. Provide logos, images and whatever else they ask for. It goes without saying that you’ll need to make sure your copy is accurate, so check for typos and errors.
9) Didn’t Work? Try Another Magazine
If your follow ups lead to a “no”, move on to the second magazine on your list. Simples.
10) Still Didn’t Work. Have A Plan B
If you’ve exhausted all the relevant online and print magazines in your local area, there’s one more thing you need to do. Do not let that content go to waste. You came up with several ideas for articles. So use them: on your own blog, Facebook page, in emails, as video…. just use them.
11) It Did Work: What Now?
Now you’re the magazine’s go-to fitness expert, how can you make the most of this valuable relationship? Who’d like a blog post about what to do once you’re an established contributor? Let me know.
Here’s another blog post from TFW which might help: How Fitpros Can Connect With Editors/Bloggers/Media
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.