A Quick Way to Get Published

What's the easiest way to get something published and begin building your resume as a published author? Writing for e-zines.
On the internet there are numerous news and daily e-zines in both the Christian and general interest markets that have an insatiable need for content. They publish daily, and so their need for good solid content that will attract their readers, is constant. You can help them fill this need.
Editors are looking for well-written, short pieces regarding current events and trending topics. Humor almost always works and the good old standbys of parenting and relationships will almost always find a home if you have a good hook.
Some of the magazines offer payment. But let me stress at this point, that isn't your goal. Your goal is to get published in their magazine. Boom. You are now a published author. E-zines are also a much quicker turn around. While traditional magazines require articles submitted three to six months in advance of publication, e-zines may print an accepted article within 24 hours or almost always within the week after receipt.
Here are the steps as you begin:
1.       Google their website
Seek out the submission guidelines. Many have them posted on their site that will let you know the length of the article, what topics they look for and how to submit. Follow their guidelines. If no guidelines are available then review other articles on their website for guidance. Keep your article to about the same length. 750 words is a good general length if no guidelines are available.
2.       Familiarize Yourself
Get to know who they are, their audience, and their preferences. For example, the way you position a story for an e-zine with a primarily evangelical based audience of women between the ages of 35-50 could be different than one with a charismatic theological base of women from the same age category. Know what they believe, how they think and work accordingly.
3.       Query or Article
Some e-zines prefer the actual article to be submitted for review. Others prefer an email query in which you pitch the article and give a brief outline of what you would include in the article. If no preference is given, it is up to you which approach to use. I usually go ahead and write the article and submit it. If one e-zine doesn't pick it up, almost always another one will. You will need to determine what your investment will be at this level.
4.       Write and Rest
The best rule of thumb is to write your article and then let it rest. If at all possible, do not submit it the same day you wrote it. What looks fabulous one day, will show glaring errors the next. When you are able to walk away and come back, you gain perspective. Then revise and finalize your piece.
5.       Don't forget the edit
If you are going to submit an article for consideration, please don't forget the edit. A copy edit isn't very expensive, but it will make you come across as the polished, professional writer that you want to show. E-zines often do not send guest contributor articles through the edit process. What you give them is what they print. If it's not "clean" and error free, they probably won't consider it...and that is to your advantage. You don't want a piece published that is riddled with errors. Trust me, it will pop up again to haunt you somewhere in your writing career.
6.       Attach a bio
Be sure to attach a short bio on yourself at the end of the article 3-4 sentences at the most. For some e-zines this is the only "payment" you will receive, so make it count. Show why you are qualified to write the article (education or experience), state where else you have been published (if relevant) and the address of your blog or website. 
7.       Contact Info
In the left hand corner at the top of the first page of the article include your contact information along with the word count of the article. As with any submission, your article should be double-spaced, times new roman, 12 pt font.
8.       Teaser
Don't forget a good teaser, stat, quote, etc in your email to the e-zine editor to pull them into your email query. You have to make them read your email before they can consider your article.
You may or may not hear back from the e-zine editor. They are not obligated to respond to you, but hopefully, if you are submitting good, relevant content, they will want to reply to you. E-zines are hungry beasts that need to be fed. A good writer that can help them quickly put out content that garners comments and responses from their audience, are writers they will come back to again and again. Be one of those writers.