Following the old adage that you should write about what you know, there are many of us who can write about a hobby or craft.
Now there are three types of articles you can write. These consist of focusing on the hobby/craft itself, focusing on someone who makes their living from their chosen craft or hobby and how-to articles. So let’s take a look at these three areas.
When writing about a hobby/craft there are several aspects you can decide to investigate. Perhaps you research the history finding out such information as: where did it originate, were there any renowned past-masters, what tools, techniques and materials were used? This type of article will slot nicely not only into a specialist magazine but could also be sold to a general interest magazine that likes to include ‘coffee table’ features.
Here you focus on one person who either earns their living from their hobby/craft or their life simply revolves around it. There are many such people and it is amazing how helpful they are with answering questions, allowing you to take photographs of them. They are also an ideal source for topping up those facts and figures which can then be added to the general interest, history piece you are working on. And remember this type of article could be given all manner of angles ranging from the purely personal (how did they get started etc) to the business side (if this is how they earn their living) allowing you to sell several articles on the same theme.
This type of article requires you to be a little more hands on and supply the step-by-step instructions and sometimes photographs. This is perhaps the type of article that limits you most, as a project cannot be seen in one magazine then two months later in a competitor’s magazine. However this does not stop you selling the project a few months later to a magazine overseas (if you sold first rights only of course).
This type of feature is not only required by craft magazines but can also be sold to general interest magazines, many of which like to include a wide range of topics. A simple how to feature on glass painting for example could be of interest to a magazine read by someone recently retired and are looking for a new hobby to someone who works with children who is looking for something slightly different for the class room.
If you’ve done lots of research on one topic you don’t want to earn just once from it. So let’s consider what could be written once you’ve researched into rocking horses as an example. A feature looking in depth at the tools, materials and techniques would be of interest to a woodworking magazine. An article looking at the rocking horse of the early to mid 1900’s could be of interest to a magazine aimed at the older generation. The general history of the rocking horse may be taken up by a magazine aimed at those who own and ride horses. Or the subject matter may be of interest to an antique or collector’s magazine. Perhaps you can write the history in such a way that it would be of interest to children, opening up another market for your work. Therefore your research can be used time and time again allowing you to earn more from your writing efforts.
Last but not least, mixing all these elements could allow you to write an interesting book on your chosen hobby/craft. These non-fiction books feed the same markets the magazines serve and if you are able to tailor your writing style you could write two non-competing books. The first aimed at the adult market and the other at the children’s. So although at first glance writing about hobby/crafts can be a limited market it is far from that.
So armed with this knowledge get writing and get your hobby paying for itself.
For further information on getting published read my other article ‘10 top tips for getting published.’