Is it better to have a specific market in mind when writing an article, or to write the article first, then look for a market for it?
It is usually better to write with a specific market in mind so that your writing
will match the publication’s style and tone, and be directed toward its particular readership. Writers trying to earn a living as freelancers study potential markets before starting to write; this increases potential sales. However, you can write an article and then look for a suitable market. Make sure you carefully research the market before you submit anything. Editors do not appreciate writers who bombard them with material that is obviously not aimed toward their audience.
Most experienced freelancers will query a market before writing an article specifically for it, and write only on assignment—that is, they only write articles that have been assigned to them based on a query.