Are You Ready For Valentine’s Day?

It’s mid-August, so it’s clearly time to start thinking about hearts and candy, right?

Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. I really am planning five months ahead, at least when it comes to pitching projects. I’m not doing this because I’m super-organized, either.

Right now, magazine editors are planning their February and March issues. They might leave a little room for last minute news, but most of the features and big stories are already getting assigned. If you want to land those big (and well-paying features), you have to plan at least as far ahead as the editors.

Copy writing projects have equally long timelines: a company planning a major marketing campaign for Valentine’s Day isn’t going to be hiring someone to write their copy in January.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, and all of them are web-based. Fewer ezines and websites plan months ahead, but they don’t really have to. A print magazine needs a month to handle printing, distribution and other details. That means that all writing and design for February has to be done in January. A website just needs to ready to go the night before.

What do you have in the pipeline for the next six months?

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