Wedding magazines and blogs are hungry for well-written content, so now is a great time to break into the world of tiaras, veils, and Ecuadorian roses. I’ve been a wedding writer for 25 years, starting off writing basic how-to articles for Bridal Guide before turning my brand into a wedding books and bridal articles machine. When I first started, bridal media wanted ultra-basic articles like “How to Create a Guest List.” Now, bridal media wants juicier topics like, “What If Your Groom Wants to Invite His Ex to the Wedding?” and “Can You Make Guests Who Don’t Show Up for the Wedding Pay for Their Dinners?” The more controversial, “can you believe this?!” the topic, the more ReTweetable it is—which is exactly what bridal magazines and bridal blogs want.
That’s just one tier of the proverbial wedding cake of bridal articles in-demand right now. Another hot topic that provides you with the best chance of breaking into bridal media for pay, is Real Wedding features. And Real Honeymoons. Brides love seeing those gorgeous, artsy photos of brides and grooms at their outdoor weddings, with stunning florals suspended from the trees for a magical garden effect. They want to read about how the bride and groom’s wedding was postponed by a hurricane, then re-planned to be even better than before.
So let’s focus on Real Weddings as your break-in strategy:
- Mine every wedding you attend as a possible Real Wedding article. Look around, take mental notes, take hi-res photos with your smartphone. I’ve turned every wedding I attend into a paying gig. And I’ve gotten $750 to $1,000 for some of them, because I offered photos with the story. Many pro photographers will happily provide photos for your article, but some want to be paid for use. It’s better to tell editors that you have hi-res photos.
- Look at your local regional bridal magazines as your first level of pitching. When you’re nearby and can provide the local Real Wedding and Real Honeymoon stories they’re looking for, you become an asset. Editors will add you to their stable of regular writers, emailing with assignments. I’ve become friends with my local bridal editors. We lunch, and they hand me $750 Real Wedding assignments in addition to the ones I bring to the table, so to speak.
- Approach local wedding coordinators. You’ll find them at www.bridalassn.com, as a source of reputable, credited professionals who work the unique and elaborate weddings bridal media wants to show. Introduce yourself as a pro writer covering weddings, and you’ll build a database of contacts delivering fresh trends, images, and story ideas to you…so that they get featured in bridal articles and blog posts.
Bridal editors want fresh content on budget wedding planning. With so many basic budgeting articles online, brides know it costs less to feed fewer guests. But if you offer an article on “Top Caterers Say Which Menu Items Cost Less,” with insider scoop on tilapia vs. grouper, you’re in. Budget articles work best as roundups, with at least four or five bridal experts quoted in your story.
What about blogs? A recent social media survey reports that 81% of consumers find their information more through blogs than through Twitter, which means that bloggers need written content to keep their traffic and their advertisers. So visit well-designed wedding blogs and contact the proprietor to ask about paid guest posting. You’ll most often hear that they don’t pay for blog posts, instead offering the dreaded “Exposure.” But you will find some that offer a nominal fee for guest blog posts. These become your credits to land the bigger fish, such as national bridal magazines paying $2 per word. And yes, some blogs will hire you as a regular contributor for $25 to $100 per post. I call that “grocery money.”
Before you pitch article ideas, create a platform for yourself with Pinterest wedding boards, and join the wedding association groups on LinkedIn. They’re valuable credits that bridal editors like to see. What bridal editors don’t want to see in your email is, “I planned my own wedding, and now I’m a wedding writer!” Turns them off every time.