Do you think it’s essential to have a website with clips and other info about me before you begin sending packages about the column I’d like to sell? I’m thinking of starting with smaller, local/regional weekly or monthly publications.
I also have an opportunity to publish it just on a local weekly’s website, but without pay.
What areas of interest seem most popular right now? Self-help, how-to, anecdotes, Dave Barry-esque commentaries, local interest subjects (informative or subjective?), specific subjects (theater, art, sports, human interest, volunteering, parenting, advice, etc.), etc.?
potterprose in comments.
If the package for the column is ready to go I’d send it out. If you take advantage of the chance to publish the column on a local weekly’s website, I’d say go for it provided you have the rights to sell it elsewhere. You need to ask and get the response in writing. Chances are they will say yes; they may give you a geographic restriction of some sort. The other papers you make your offer to may want to be sure they aren’t stepping on toes.
Get your website up as quickly as you reasonably can.
I love the faith you have in me to predict trends, or to know “what’s popular.” The truth is any and all of those are probably salable ideas provided they are done well, but I haven’t a clue which is most popular.