Lou Schuler

Author, Journalist, Presenter

Posted 09/19/2012

Want My Job? Here’s How to Get It

All you need to know to do my job better than me

 

In September 2004 I got an email from Nate Green, a 19-year-old kid in Montana. He told me he wanted my job. I don’t think he meant to put me out of work. (If he did, it totally didn’t happen.) He just wanted to do what I did: write about fitness and nutrition for a living.

A few years earlier I would’ve thought he was crazy. I’d stumbled into fitness magazines when I was a grad student in creative writing. I thrived mainly because it was the perfect mix of something I was pretty good at — writing and editing — and something I was passionate about: exercise and healthy living. But I won’t lie: The lack of competition helped. Nobody I worked with wrote about fitness on purpose. Most of them couldn’t wait to move on to something else.

It was the first of many emails I exchanged with Nate; we eventually worked together on a book and at T-nation, and all in all he’s done pretty well for himself. By then I understood that Nate was just one of many fitness pros who wanted to do more than train clients.

Those who didn’t have blogs wanted to launch one. Those whose blog posts found an enthusiastic audience wanted to write for websites like T-nation. Those who wrote for T-nation wanted to get into magazines like Men’s Fitness and Men’s Health. And those who contributed to those magazines wanted to know how to get a book deal.

Lots of them came to me for advice about how to move up to whatever level they hadn’t yet reached. I did the best I could, and eventually compiled my best advice into a document that I gave away to anyone who asked. “It’s free advice,” I warned, “and worth every penny.”

About a year ago Nate convinced me that it’s time to start working on a guide that wouldn’t be free. He put me together with Sean Hyson, group training director at Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness magazines, and a few months later we added John Romaniello to our team.

Our product is called How to Get Published: Writing Domination in the Fitness Industry.

I cover the basics of writing: how to get started, how to get better, how to know when your work is ready for the marketplace.

Roman explains how to create a website that reflects your personality and shows the unique knowledge and skill you bring to your industry, whatever your industry might be. (We focus on fitness writing, but really, the information applies to anyone who has a message to communicate and wants to learn how to deliver it.)

Sean, who assigns and edits hundreds of articles a year, tells you what magazines like his are looking for, how to pitch ideas that will get noticed, and how to write a good article once you get the assignment.

Then I return with a step-by-step guide to publishing a book, from shaping your idea to crafting a proposal, finding an agent, making a deal, and, oh yeah, actually writing something that will appeal to your readers.

Finally, I give aspiring writers some insight into how publishing works, who works in publishing, and why success is never exactly what you think it will be. There’s always some space between what you want to provide the market and what the market wants from you.

How to Get Published: Writing Domination in the Fitness Industry is now on sale. If you’re interested in writing about fitness — or really, any topic you know well and are passionate about — I hope you’ll give it a look. It’s not free, but I’m confident it’s worth every penny.

  • Wayne

    Hi Lou, Looks like a great product. Since it’s coming from you, I know it’s not some pie in the sky get rich quick product. I have published in other markets (tech related) and have thought about trying to do some health related articles. Seems like a harder market, but I like the challenge. Count me in as a customer.

    • http://www.louschuler.com Lou Schuler

      Thanks Wayne! It’s definitely a “get rich slow, if ever” kind of product. Writing is one of the worst ways to get rich, unless you specialize in ransom notes. The goal is to help people who don’t have English or journalism degrees understand the mechanics of good writing, and how to use their improved communication skills to advance their career and professional reputation — whatever that profession may be.

      • Wayne

        Looking through the product now…Can’t find the section on ransom notes :) Yes, at first blush, it definitely can appeal to a much broader audience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Michael.R.Thompson.122 Michael Thompson

    Lou,

    Is this kind of a step by step process? My wife is an English teacher and often times I don’t want to project this type of burden on her and something like this is perfect for me. I’m not going to lie I am very interested in your product and almost bought it without asking my wife first! Then I realized my balls would have been removed and my whole writing career would have ended with my ability to procreate.

    • http://www.louschuler.com Lou Schuler

      Ha! I’m married, so I can certainly relate. It’s multiple step-by-step processes.

      In Part 1, Sit Your Ass Down and Write, I give specific tips on improving the mechanics of your writing.

      Part 2, written by John Romaniello, is a true step-by-step guide to starting a blog, developing your work as an extension of your personality, building a list, and then eventually making money with it.

      Part 3, by Sean Hyson, does a terrific job of breaking down all the components of magazine work, from the job of the editor to what he’s looking for from a contributor, and how the contributor can deliver it. He explains the components of a good article, the terminology, and what everyone can expect from everyone else.

      In Part 4, I explain the entire process of writing a book, from the brutal questions you must ask yourself before you even begin to the components of a good proposal, on through the publication process. In one of the audio interviews, Roman provides an interesting twist to my take on the whole thing. He says that the proposal should be 50% marketing and 50% content. I’d never thought of it that way.

      And then in Part 5 I give my closing thoughts on how to build a career as a writer.

      Hope this helps!

      • http://www.facebook.com/Michael.R.Thompson.122 Michael Thompson

        Lou,

        That helps a FREAKin ton! FYI my balls are still intact for future conquest.

        Thank you for taking the time to write back.

        MRT

  • Leslie Spencer

    Lou, I just want to share for the record that your advice was the key to me finding a publisher for my book. Your advice was exactly on-point and made it possible for me to find a publisher, negotiate a reasonable agreement and end up with a beautiful book that was more than I hoped it would be. Note to other readers who want to publish: Buy Lou’s book. His advice works!