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Excerpt


 

 

Sidebars

Not all magazines require sidebars, but the majority do. Most editors love them.

If you don’t know what these are, grab any magazine and look at one of the feature articles.

See the boxes filled with information? They’re sidebars.

They give the reader additional information about the story they’ve just finished reading, and details on where they can find the businesses quoted in the body of the story, other businesses of interest, helpful websites etc.

Sometimes a sidebar might be a list of things related to the article. For instance, for an article about fitness and ways to get active, the sidebar could include (say) ten ways to get active on the weekend, and another six ways to get active during the week.

It may include things like:

  • Riding your bike

  • Turn on the music and start dancing

  • Go for a picnic then bushwalk afterwards

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

    •  

    I once wrote an article about the Barossa Valley in South Australia for an American magazine. The sidebar was information about Australian wines that would be released soon in the US. Since I’d sourced information from several high profile wineries for the article, I asked them to supply information about the wines that fell into this category, and requested graphics of them. In addition, I provided the magazine with facts about the Barossa Valley:

     

    Barossa Valley Facts:

  • There are approximately 80 different wine producers in the Barossa Valley

  • Almost 11,000 hectares are devoted entirely to wine production

  • Harvest time is late February to late April

  • Over 65,000 tonnes of grapes are grown in the region each year

  • Tastings are available at the majority of the wineries

  • The main varieties produced are: Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet, Mouvedre, Merlot, Riesling, Semillon, and Chardonnay

  •  

     

    Sidebars can also be essays, but they must be brief. Sidebars are not usually very long, and more often than not are just there to give the reader a little extra information.

    They can also be in the format of quizzes. Flick through any magazine and you’re sure to find at least one example of this.

    Remember those teenage magazines you used to read? Get X number of points for specific answers, then see how you scored at the end? They’re a perfect example of quizzes for sidebars. For more information about writing quizzes specifically for sidebars, check out this article: http://www.writing-world.com/freelance/quizzes.shtml written by Kelly James-Enger.

    I generally use sidebars as leverage to get help with my research. I tell the business involved that I will include them in the sidebar (and always do), and also quote the circulation of the magazine, if known. They’re usually more willing to help out if they’re going to get ‘free publicity’.

    The editor will always let you know if you need to supply sidebars.

    You can find another sample of a sidebar in the appendix.


    What Sidebars are Not

    Have you ever seen a quote or text pulled out of an article, then highlighted or made bigger? Like this:

     

    The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog who then chased the fox.  He was hot on his tail, until a pack of wolves appeared on the scene.

    “You can be certain I’ll be checking the area before I chase another fox!”

     When interviewed later, the dog said “I have no idea where they came from. They literally appeared out of nowhere.”  He then added, “You can be certain I’ll be checking the area before I chase another fox!”

     

     

    The above is a crude example I know, but the point is, that’s not a sidebar. It’s simply text that’s being used to help pull the reader to the story, and get them reading it.

    It is really important to understand sidebars completely, and the variations of them, which will ultimately help boost your freelancing income.

     

    When I think about sidebars, I think two words: summary and meat. If I’m reading this article on the go and have to stuff it away in a hurry, the sidebar should give me a flavor of what the article wants me to know.

    Beth Morrow, Freelance Write

     

     

    EARNINGS DISCLAIMER

    EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO ACCURATELY REPRESENT THIS PRODUCT AND ITS POTENTIAL. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL EARN ANY MONEY USING THE TECHNIQUES AND IDEAS IN THE EBOOK PROVIDED BY THIS WEBSITE. EXAMPLES IN THE EBOOK OR IN THIS PAGE ARE NOT TO BE INTERPRETED AS A PROMISE OR GUARANTEE OF EARNINGS. EARNING POTENTIAL IS ENTIRELY DEPENDENT ON THE PERSON USING THE INFORMATION INCLUDED TO THE EBOOK, THE IDEAS AND THE TECHNIQUES. WE DO NOT PURPORT THIS AS A GET RICH SCHEME. YOUR LEVEL OF SUCCESS IN ATTAINING THE RESULTS CLAIMED IN OUR SITES DEPENDS ON THE TIME YOU DEVOTE TO THE IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES MENTIONED, YOUR FINANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND VARIOUS SKILLS. SINCE THESE FACTORS DIFFER ACCORDING TO INDIVIDUALS, WE CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SUCCESS OR INCOME LEVEL. NOR ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OF YOUR ACTIONS. MATERIALS IN THIS EBOOK AND OUR WEBSITE MAY CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT INCLUDES FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS THAT GIVE OUR EXPECTATIONS OR FORECASTS OF FUTURE EVENTS. YOU CAN IDENTIFY THESE STATEMENTS BY THE FACT THAT THEY DO NOT RELATE STRICTLY TO HISTORICAL OR CURRENT FACTS. THEY USE WORDS SUCH AS ANTICIPATE, ESTIMATE, EXPECT, PROJECT, INTEND, PLAN, BELIEVE, AND OTHER WORDS AND TERMS OF SIMILAR MEANING IN CONNECTION WITH A DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL EARNINGS OR FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE. ANY AND ALL FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS HERE OR ON ANY OF OUR SALES MATERIAL ARE INTENDED TO EXPRESS OUR OPINION OF EARNINGS POTENTIAL. MANY FACTORS WILL BE IMPORTANT IN DETERMINING YOUR ACTUAL RESULTS AND NO GUARANTEES ARE MADE THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE RESULTS SIMILAR TO OURS OR ANYBODY ELSE'S, IN FACT NO GUARANTEES ARE MADE THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE ANY RESULTS FROM OUR IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES IN OUR MATERIAL.

     
     
     
     

             Last updated: March 21, 2007