Monday, January 16, 2012

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Having worked in local government, even if it was only for five and a half years, I can confirm that the phrase "what goes around, comes around," was said many times. It seemed that within a matter days of implementing a new policy, a decision would be taken to go back to the old way of doing things. And then there were the times when someone suggested a new system, to which someone else would say, "Oh yes, that's how we used to do it in the Seventies." It's as though policies, ideas and systems go full circle.

The same goes for magazines too. What goes around, eventually comes back around. I've just been commissioned by a magazine to do a walk I originally walked for them back in 2004. There are a couple of reasons for this: a) the route on the ground may have changed - footpaths get diverted occasionally - new houses get built where there were none before etc, but also b) the readership has changed.

There are some magazines whose readership 'churns'. They are designed to appeal to a reader at a specific stage of their interest in that subject. A magazine targeting photographers who are beginners will eventually lose their initial readership, because (hopefully) their readership has learned something from their pages and then moved onto more advance photography techniques - provided by a different magazine (but hopefully one produced by the same magazine company). What the magazine hopes to do is attract new beginner photographers to replace the ones who've moved on.

Now these new readers won't have read the articles in the previous issues, and they'll want to learn the same basic techniques. So the magazine will go back and revisit subjects it has tackled in the past. The new articles will reflect current trends and any new developments, but essentially, the same subject matter is being covered again within the magazine's pages.

If you've had articles published in the past, why not take another look at them? Can you update and refresh them? If so, look for a potential market first, but don't ignore the magazine that your original article was published in. If the subject matter was good enough for the readership then, chances are it might be ideal for today's new readership too. (Do undertake a proper market analysis though - some magazines occasionally 're-position' themselves in the marketplace - trying to attract different readers.)

And let's face it - if there's one thing writers would like to see coming around again ... it's an acceptance cheque!

Good luck.

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