Authority and Voice
Writing coaches talk a lot about authority and voice: your ability to write powerfully about whatever subject matter you choose. Authority and voice are important components in any well-written magazine article. How do you develop them? By doing your research and saying what you mean.
Know Your Stuff
Researching your subject thoroughly — be it carburetor maintenance or the beetle-farming industry — is key to writing about that subject with authority. If you don't know what you're talking about, the reader is going to sense it, and she'll probably stop reading somewhere along the way.
The best way to project an authoritative tone in your writing is to know far more than you're actually writing about. Again, this involves filling your notebook with vast amounts of information beyond what you actually need to put into your story. If you know 25 things about your subject, for instance, then you'll have a much easier time convincing your readers that the five things you've chosen to share with them are, indeed, the most important things they need to know.
When trying to let your voice come through, it's important that you don't self-edit during the initial drafts that you write. Put your deepest, darkest opinions into your copy. Get them onto the page. Later, you can go back and edit out references that are too over-the-top, but only after you make a point of letting your voice speak freely at first.
Say What You Mean
Saying what you mean — at least in your first drafts — is the way that you develop a voice in magazine writing. A lot of writers have been trained to state just the facts, ma'am, leaving out all hints about their personalities and opinions. With magazine articles, you often are encouraged to include your personality and even your biases in your copy, which means that you are encouraged to say exactly what you mean as opposed to a watered-down version of your thoughts and ideas.
Don't be afraid to let your voice come through loud and clear in your rough drafts, and to leave as much of your voice in as feels appropriate before you file your articles with your editors. It's the only way to ensure your voice will still be there at all after the editing process is complete.