6 tips for writing and placing op-eds

What you write is only a part of the process. Before you do anything, you’ve got to perfect your pitch.

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It had been a while since I’d done this, but I just finished writing something for a client when some old tricks came back to me.

Here are six things to remember about writing and placing op-ed pieces:

1. Before you write a word, have a sound idea of what your target outlets are. Think this through, because the tone of the piece and the information you reference might change, depending on the target. For example, what and how I write for the Globe and Mail will be different from what and how I write for the Edmonton Sun.

2. Most op-ed pieces make three or four actual points. The rest is filler or setup. If you want to make 20 points, write a white paper. To keep these clear and in the front of my mind, I usually scribble down the key points down before I start writing the text.

3. Keep your piece under 600 words. You can probably get away with more, but aiming for 600 words will ensure you are succinct. If you come in above 800 words and your article is not amazing, you’re liable to fail.

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