Entering New Markets
Another way to grow your writing business is by entering new markets. This is usually a lot more work than repurposing the content you already own, but it's definitely the way to go if you realize you're spending an awful lot of time writing about things that really don't interest you.
Remember to keep your business-expansion goals in mind when entering new markets. If you want to sell an article or two outside of your regular area of expertise, that's fine, but you'll need to keep your regular clients happy along the way. If you want to totally shift markets — say, from oceanography to high fashion — you can drop your old clients as you get new ones.
Specializing by Accident
Some writers find themselves ready to expand their business after they specialize by accident. It just sort of happens organically. You write what you think will be a one-time article for one magazine, say about drug use, and then another magazine hires you to write a similar story on the same topic because they liked the first one so much. Before you know it, you're accepting assignments from multiple magazines for articles about drug use, and you've accidentally become a recognized specialist in the field.
Now, maybe you find drug use to be the most boring topic on the planet, and you've just been accepting those assignments all along because, hey, you're trying to earn a living here, and this is the work that's coming the easiest to you. That's perfectly legitimate, but it's also a key reason that you might wake up one morning and decide that you need to grow your writing business into new and different markets.
Maintaining Multiple Markets
No matter why you decide to enter a new magazine-writing market, you need to realize that you in many ways will be starting over completely. You will have no reputation with these new editors, whereas editors of magazines whose topics you cover regularly might recognize your byline. You will be back at square one in terms of sending query letters and getting those first precious assignments, and you need to be prepared for the inevitable rejection letters that are bound to come your way.
Once you do start landing assignments in a new corner of the magazine-writing universe, you'll face the additional challenge of having to maintain a reputation in more than one area at once. This can be a major hurdle all on its own, especially if you are entering markets that are keen on up-to-the-minute breaking news.
When you decide to branch out into new markets, remember to use your contacts from writers' groups and other networking associations. Your friends may know editors who can help you switch into a new genre with the advantage of a personal recommendation to get your foot in the door.
On the other hand, if your markets are complementary — say, parenting magazines and children's magazines — then you may have an easier time maintaining a strong reputation in both at once. Again, your goals for expanding your business will help you determine which path is best for you, but why do things the hard way if there's an easier route you can take to the same amount of income?