I have two questions for you today.
1. What publications do you want to write for?
2. Are you stalking them?
I’ve come to look at social media as a sort of production cycle for writers. Follow along with me if you will. First, the magazines stalk their readers. They use facebook, twitter, etc. to gather information about what readers want, what they need, what they cannot live without. In turn, they take that knowledge and stalk the content to satisfy those needs and wants. Guess what? Here’s where you come into the cycle. You stalk the magazine to find out the content they need, want, and can’t live without — and then you provide it. Readers provide feedback on the content via social media, and the whole cycle starts again.
Social media can keep you abreast of topics to avoid, too. A tweet might alert you to a topic they’ve already covered, and keep you from wasting your time querying a duplicate idea.
Stalk. Your. Markets. Put it on your to-do list along with eating your veggies and taking that after-dinner walk. Oh, and while you’re at it, add prowling the magazine’s website and signing up for newsletters they offer to your list. It’s the best way to keep your finger on the pulse of the market and boost your chances of making a sale.