I began my career as a journalist and feature writer for newspapers and magazines, and while I spent many years as a marketer and management consultant, I often have returned to journalism. There once was a sharp line between writing for business people and writing to inform and entertain a popular audience. But that wall is crumbling as consumer-focused content — public relations materials, native advertising and brand-sponsored feature content — becomes an increasingly important element of consumer content marketing programs.
Consumer marketers are expected to buy or launch their own media — including print magazines — to reinforce and protect their brands. My hope is that this trend brings more opportunities to write for popular audiences.
I’ve been able to sustain reader interest in lengthy, in-depth feature stories. But editors also have valued my ability to get to the point quickly. A lot of magazine content consists of concise, single-page articles, including profiles of celebrities and other personalities. The ability to convey a complex idea in a small space — 300 to 500 words — often has equally compelling value.
- I wrote Photo Finish: Annual End-of-the-Year Photo Books Capture Precious Family Highlights for Costco Connection, the retailer’s magazine, with a global readership of 6 million.
- I am a regular contributor to Bloom, the popular lifestyle magazine serving my adopted hometown of Bloomington, Indiana.
- The Paintings of Brian Johnson (Bloom)
- Cell Phones in the College Classroom: 7 Strategies from Educators (CourseHero blog)
I can provide photography to accompany a feature article, if that’s the appropriate way to illustrate it. I’m not a professional photographer, but sometimes the writer is the only one on the scene, and I’m reasonably handy with a camera.