Denture Cream Ads and the Prolific Freelance Writer

A freelance writer studies a magazine market before submitting. There are several ways to do that, but in today’s Tuesday Tip I want to share one surprising way to help target a magazine’s audience. It’s found in the ads section.

Let’s say that you opened a magazine and found the following ads: Denture cream; retirement fund opportunities; luxury cars; RV’s; travel.

What does this tell you about the audience?

Well, it’s obvious that the audience for this particular magazine is senior, but dig deeper. What else does it tell you? These are seniors who are financially established.

Knowing your audience and their season of life, as well as their interests, will help you decide whether your article idea is a good fit. It may also spur new ideas for this particular magazine audience.

Let’s try this again. You open a magazine (or go online) and the ads are for the following: Organic food for children; food co-op opportunities; non-chemical bath soap; “green” play yard materials.

It’s obvious this is for parents of younger children, but what else does it tell you? This magazine is for parents who are not only interested in articles about how to parent, but they are concerned about environmental issues and how that affects their family.

I can be assured that a humorous article titled “My Big Diaper Dump”, which details my experience with twins and the overflow of disposable diapers would probably not be welcome. Not even tongue in cheek.

There are several ways to study a magazine market, and this is just one more as you find a home for your article idea.

Your Turn

Take a moment to flip through any magazines you currently have on hand. Leave a comment and share how you were able to determine the audience of the magazine based on the ads.


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  1. Many years ago, before the Internet was a thing, and a home computer even unheard of, I used to read the Writers’ Digest and owned a copy of Writer’s Market. In every issue and volume it was stressed and re-stressed don’t submit an article to any place until you have studied their market, know their niche and have followed their guidelines. This is universal advice and spot on.