Trade Writing - for Cash!

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Trade Writing - for Cash!

By: Angela Butera Dickson

Often considered as "plain Jane's" of the print world, trade magazines prove that there is more to a market than just a pretty face.

Trade magazines are written for a specialized audience and typically focus on one specific area or industry. Even the ads reflect this focus.

They assume the reader is familiar with the material that's covered and though it can be quite technical, they aren't usually written in a scholarly manner - this is good news for writers seeking to ad power clips to their portfolios.

Trade magazines provide a large, open and lucrative market for freelance writers because with so many competing magazines there is always a huge need for content and being an expert isn't a prerequisite for industry publication.

Try putting "trade magazines" into a search engine such as and you get well over 250,000 hits. Now try "consumer magazines." At 86,000 hits it's easy to see where the markets lie.

Now is the time! There are literally thousands of FREE trade magazines available by subscription on the Internet and more become available every day. They cover every subject and every angle imaginable. They are also some of the best paying markets in the business.

Get Your Money Where Your Trade Is Or Isn't!

You don't need to be an expert to get published in trade magazines as long as you are very familiar with what your target magazine is buying.

The ABA Journal for lawyers, pays between $400-$2000 per article and requests that all material be centered around the law, or practicing the law, but they also buy pieces focused on legal news, current trends, the business of running a practice and technology for lawyers. This leaves room for writers who don't happen to be law experts to find a niche' in this publication. Can you write about the newest technology or software that would be appropriate for law office staff? Can you offer a fresh approach for making a waiting room delay more enjoyable for their clients?

Across The Board is a non profit magazine for leaders in business, government and more. It's 60% freelance written and pays between $50 -$2500 for articles, essays, book excerpts, humor, personal experiences and opinion pieces. They also buy reprints. No expertise needed here! An article focused on the positive philanthropic policies of a fortune 500 company or the uplifting personal story of some one helped by such an organization would be right at home in this venue.

Of course, if do have an area of expertise consider exploiting it in the trades too.

The American Journalism Review -at 80% freelance written, covers expose', ethical issues and personal experiences. Paying between $1500 and $2000 per piece for 2,000-4,000 words. Online, in the news and real time media focuses all apply.

Looking for Markets -in all the right places

As I said earlier the Internet is an incomparable resource of markets specifically for trade magazines and below are my two favorite places to shop for FREE magazines to find markets:

Free Magazine Trade Source is one of the most comprehensive sites for you to subscribe to trade magazines that you would like to target for article publication. They literally have hundreds of free publications. is another excellent source for FREE trade magazine subscriptions. They also have hundreds of high quality magazines to chose from - it's amazing really.

Don't abandon what you know to work either Writer's Market currently has a list of 550 paying trade markets listed with contact information, rate of pay and a description of the types of submissions accepted and there are many others only a mouse click away. And many other writer's website have market listing that include trade market information. You can look for more places to find writer's markets on the Resources for Writers page.

With their plain industrial covers and unilateral focus trade magazines have been the unattractive sibling of consumer oriented magazines for a very long time. It's a reputation undeserved in the freelance writing market. With no true need for specific expertise in most publications maybe it's time for us all to take a second look at the lucrative opportunities available for freelancers that write for trade publications.

About The Author

Angela Butera Dickson is a full service, freelance copywriter offering some of the best prices on the web. From articles to brochure copy, ghostwriting to marketing letters, she can help you cultivate a polished, professional business image.


Denis 25.05.2010. 19:49

What is the difference between creating a spread and simply writing options? My broker has 2 different option trading levels:

1 - writing covered calls, writing cash secured puts
2 - creating spreads (requires a margin account)

What is the key difference between those two if I can basically create a spread using level 1?


Admin 25.05.2010. 19:49


I strongly suspect your broker has more than two option trading levels. There is almost certainly a trading level that allows someone to buy naked options, as well as a trading level than allows someone to sell naked options.

<<<1 - writing covered calls, writing cash secured puts>>>

A covered call is the synthetic equivalent of a cash secured put. They are slightly less risky than simply owning the underlying risk, but they also severely limit the maximum amount you can make.

<<<2 - creating spreads (requires a margin account)>>>

A spread consists of offsetting positions on the same (or very similar) underlying stock. Most, but not all, spreads have limited risks and limited rewards. In other words, there is a usually strict limit on the most you can lose and the most you can make. with a spread.

You will have to check with your broker to be sure, but there is a good chance that the types of spreads you can trade will be limited to exclude spreads that can have unlimited losses. (An example of a spread that can have an unlimited loss would be a call ratio spread, such as buying 2 calls with a lower strike price and selling 4 calls with a higher strike price.)


First, you can only "basically create a spread using level 1" if you can also buy options.and you can only create a spread with a short call if you sell a stock short.

Second, you will require a lot of cash for creating a spread using level 1. For example, assume you want to open a long butterfly spread using strikes of $90, $100 and $110. Let's assume the premium for a $90 put is $2, the premium for a $100 put is $5, and the premium for a $110 put is $12. To open this as a spread it would cost $1,200 + $200 - $1,000 = $400. To open the same spread using level 1 you would also have $20,000 in cash tied up to secure to the short puts, for a total of $20,400.The maximum profit possible from the spread is $600. That means the maximum profit you can make is 150% of the cost of opening the spread using level 2, but less than 3% of the cost of opening the spread using level 1.


brucelee45x 10.07.2013. 18:52

What is the most popular options strategy? Do most people use options for selling covered calls, writing cash secured puts, selling naked calls, credit spreads, buy protective puts, buying calls, or the more advanced options with the calendar spreads and put/call spreads and butterfly's and condors?

I'm recommended to use covered calls as a beginning. Besides the risky naked puts, when i start using options after i use the paper trading platform for a while, what should i be using to collect premiums without the desire of having to be forced to buy the stock?


Admin 10.07.2013. 18:52

The most popular options strategy is covered calls. That's because it's easy to understand and is the most conservative. Charles Schwab (online broker) has said (in the WSJ) that 4 out of 5 of their option-enabled accounts trade covered calls. TradeKing (online broker) has said that writing weekly covered calls is the #1 most popular trade among their retail account holders.

If you are starting out then, yes, start with covered calls. Most brokerage firms have different level of permissions required for options trading and level 1 (the first level everyone gets) has covered calls along with buying options long. After you have some experience they may give you permission to do level 2 or 3 options trading (which includes the other strategies you mention).


Hello 27.06.2013. 20:05

Options trading question for those with Ameritrade accounts? I currently have a Tier 1 Covered allowance in options trading. Tier 1 consists of writing covered calls and writing cash-secured puts. Tier 2-cash standard = Purchase options, Write covered calls and Write cash?secured puts. I want to start trading in options with writing covered calls and buying protective puts. Does Tier 1 not allow me to buy protective puts? Should i apply for Tier 2?


Admin 27.06.2013. 20:05

Tier 1 should give you access to Protective Puts + Covered Calls. Please check with the support team.


sean 23.08.2009. 04:02

What is an options trade in terms of the stock market? I recently opened an account with TradeKing, and I was wondering what an options trade is. Also, why would people want to sell options rather than sell the stock at its market value?



Admin 23.08.2009. 04:02

I do a little bit of options writing.

Take company XYZ trading at 20$. I buy 100 shares, one options contract represents 100 shares. I think the stock could move up a little bit, but I think maybe the company will move sideways. I can write a covered call, covered means I own the stock and am writing against the stock I own. I think it might get up to $21.50. I write a call contract with a strike price of $22 for maybe $0.75 ( thats 0.75 * 100 = $75). I buy $2000 worth of stock and I can collect $75 a month while it is doing nothing. The stock stay under my strike price, the contract expires and I keep the stock and $75.

Or, the stock could go up to say $23, they beat expectations on an earnings call or something like that. By selling that contract I have sold the right for them to buy that stock at $22. I paid $2000, collect $75 on the option contract and was forced to sell my 100 shares for $2200. I keep the $75 and collect the $2200 and make a total profit before tax and fees of $275.

Or, the stock could go down to say $18. Since I sold that $75 call contract I've off-set my loss my $75 and cut my loss to $125 instead of $200. You are limiting your upside and cushioning the downside.

Some of the bigger funds do it to free up cash. They can lock in a purchase price for $1 a share and use their cash elsewhere. It is a leveraged position.

Additional note: If your looking to just straight out trade options. Keep an eye on the Delta and Theta.

Delta is the the change in the value of the option relative to the underlying stock price. If you buy and a call contract with a Delta of 0.25 for every dollar the stock moves up the value of the contract goes up $0.25.

Theta is the time decay value a Theta of 0.05 means that every days the value of the contract losses $0.05. So be careful high theta and high delta can cost you big money in a hurry.


Emily 001 28.12.2008. 19:49

How do you organize cash in your home? If you recieve cash on a regular basis and do not want to use a local bank, what is a good way to organize it in your home? Sort it out so I know exactly what to use for bills, food, pleasure, etc. Like a little bank with different compartments for bills so each pile is separated out. Do you know of a company that sells things like this? Or a way to make my own "bank" like this? Thanks!

Emily 001

Admin 28.12.2008. 19:49

Even though you do not want to use a local bank, you really, really should be making deposits as soon as you get the money if it represents earned income. You need a paper trail. In the event of an audit, showing that you consistently put all money into the account before pulling it out to pay bills is imperative.

Anyone who works in an trade that pays cash (including waitresses who receive tips) is a priority for IRS audits. If you get audited and the auditor even sniffs that you aren't telling the whole truth about your income, they can expand the audit into a lifestyle audit. Let me tell you, you do not want the IRS telling you that they think you spent $500 more on groceries than you actually did last month because that's "the average for your family size."

That said, many people use the envelope system. If the envelope is empty, they stop spending. (I used to write the big amounts ON the envelope so I wouldn't forget what I'd spent even if I lost the receipt.) You can use regular envelopes and store them in a large envelope, or you can get one of those expanding file folders at an office supply store and keep the money/envelope in each slot.


John 09.05.2009. 07:32

What stock broker will allow me to write puts after i have money secured in a money market account? I have etrade but they will not allow me to write puts. I want to write puts, use the unrealized profits to buy the underlying stock, and then write calls on that stock. Is this a hedge strategy?


Admin 09.05.2009. 07:32

I have etrade but they will not allow me to write puts.>>>

Most, if not all, brokers will allow you to write cash-secured puts if you meet their minimum requirements for writing put options. I believe

Think or Swim

are more likely to approve your account for writing puts than e-trade.


Unrealized profits from a short sale (including writing puts) can only be used to purchase stocks to the extent they exceed the margin requirements of the short position.


It would not normally be considered a hedge strategy, but it does share some important characteristics of a hedge strategy. Specifically, it has a delta of less than 1.00 and you have some limited protection from a drop in the price of the stock.


Marlbobama 21.09.2010. 17:35

What is the best way to cash in rolled coins? I have a lot of them rolled, were talking several thousand dollars, so would like to trade them in. Will my bank take the coins?


Admin 21.09.2010. 17:35

Assuming you're in the U.S.:

If it's a bank you have an account with:
---then if they're already rolled you can just take them to the counter and have them deposited in your account. It may take a few days before the full amount is deposited, however, as they have to verify the amounts in the rolls. (also it helps the tellers a lot if you write your account number on the rolls)

---if they're not rolled or you have some loose change as well, your bank may also have a coin counter inside the main office. If your bank does not have one of these, then you can take the coins to the counter and request to deposit them. What will probably happen is that they will give you a special bag to put the coins in and request that you fill out a deposit slip. The bank will then mail the bag off to a facility to securely process the coins and then deposit the amount in your account. This whole process may take around a week, however.

If you don't have a bank account:
----I recommend taking them to a CoinStar machine, which are located at most major grocery stores. You can get cash for the coins, however CoinStar will take a percentage of the money. Now though, if you request a gift certificate instead of cash, the full amount is applied to the gift certificate and Coinstar will not deduct any of your money. You'll have to check out the Coinstar website to see which companies the machines offer certificates for though, but usually they're for pretty useful places like Amazon or even the grocery store that the machine is located in.


Defunct 23.02.2008. 23:38

In order to trade oil, do Saudi Arabians and Kuwaities have actual US money on them? I need to know because I'm writing a blog for the 5th anniversary of the war.

US money is used for the transactions. Not the Euro or the Yen.


Admin 23.02.2008. 23:38

Oil is usually traded on a stock exchange on spot or in futures, priced in US dollars. Although theoretically they pay in cash, they are not really carrying $100 bills, they trade through clearing houses and banks. Think of it more as writing a check than paying cash.

The short answer is yes, because those bank accounts are demoninated in US dollars, but they don't "have actual US money on them"


Ryan H 29.06.2007. 03:40

Does anyone have some good advice for trading stocks online? I have never traded stocks online but I would like to start. What site is best for trading? How do I pick stocks? Where can I find good fundamental and technical analysis? Are there any sites out there that seem to pick consistent winners?

Ryan H

Admin 29.06.2007. 03:40

I can tell that you are a value investor. You want to ask 3 questions for the price of 1... well, here you go.

What site is best for trading?
Every one has different needs. If you're new and don't keep much money in your brokerage account, then Scottrade is probably good for you. They're real time charts are pretty good, but no CD's are available, the cash account only pays about 0.5%, and they charge pretty heavily for mutual funds. If you want to leave money sitting in a MM that pays 5% while you're out of the market, like a choice of no load, no fee mutual funds, has an excellent site for research, want to buy competitive CDs on line, all in one place, then you might like fidelity. It's what makes you happy. If you don't like the sevice, then you can always change.

How do I pick stocks?
An answer would take volumes to provide, so let me suggest some literature:

I would recommend William O'Neil's "The Successful Investor" as a good starting point. Follow that up with Peter Lynch's "Beating the Street". That should provide you with two strategies that you can learn from in building your own investment strategy.

Other good books include "The Motley Fool Investment Guide" by Tom and Dave Gardner or "Real Money" by James Cramer.

I have read all these books and many others and devised a strategy that adopts a bit from each one.

Another thing you can do is invest using a fictional portfolio. Let that run for a few months to see if you are ready to start trading with real money. In the meantime, invest in mutual funds. Once you are ready, sell the fund and invest on your own.

Remember, the time spend learning about investing is far less then the money lost by not being prepared.

Where can I find good fundamental and technical analysis?
You're on your own for this. There's a multitude of excellent sites out there, where you can get fundamental ratios. Try Zack's, Yahoo Finance, MSN finance, and a multitude of others are out there for free. As far as technical analysis, you need to research and find what works for you. As far as charting goes, Bigcharts is a good free site. Personally, I like Telecharts, which has a fee, but well worth the 50-75cents per day for the sorting capability, fast way to cycle thru many charts, and the ability to write your own personal critera.

Are there any sites out there that seem to pick consistent winners?
No. And anybody that says they can is a liar.


mozeki22 01.11.2007. 15:28

Is car trade good and how does it work ? i own my car and i was thinking about getting a new if i do a trade my car for another car do i have to pay a monthly payment or can i just pay the difference without refinacing or car note ..basically can i trade my car for another close to the value of my car or more ?


Admin 01.11.2007. 15:28

If you find a car that is selling for the trade in value of your current car, then it is possible to even trade. You may have to pay sales tax in certain states, such as Michigan because they do not allow sales tax credit.

If you have the cash, you can write a check for the difference between your car, and the one you want to buy. I hope this helps.


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