Sell Your Narrow Focus

focusI read the writer’s magazines and newsletters too, so I’ve seen the headlines.  “List articles sell.” 

I know they must because I see them in my own magazines.  I see them when I’m in the check out line. 

Unfortunately, many writers seem to have the idea that they’re easy to write.  Every list article submitted for 21st Century Family earned a rejection.  Why?    There were two reasons.

1.  They were too lean.  

2.  They tried to cover too much ground. 

What these authors needed to do was narrow their focus.   Cover a tight topic and ten tips seems like a lot of information.  Give ten tips on a broad topic and you’re skimming the top, hinting at information without being truly helpful.

Don’t try to sell an editor “10 tips for a fun summer.”  Instead, go with “10 Great Back Yard Games.”  Or “10 Car Friendly Snacks.”  Narrow your focus until 10 tips or a dozen hints seems like a lot. 

That’s when you’ll start collecting acceptance letters.  At least from me.