Finding markets for your work seems a simple straightforward process. It is. Writers use market listings, which give publications' details, submission address, the contact or editor and the type of content they accept and publish, to find a place for articles and pieces already written or to create a piece for submission based on the chosen listings and their guidelines.
There are numerous references both on and offline which can provide writers with such listings. Online, there's WritersWeekly.com, WritersMarket.com, and the webpages of various ezines and publications that have a print format. Offline, Writer's Digest publishes Writer's Markets yearly and the publishers of Writer's Magazine also publishes a compendium of market places.
Many beginning writers get bogged down in the bounty of information. Here are a few suggestions to help with the search for markets. Use one market listing reference at a time. Familiarize yourself with it. Select markets that complement your area of expertise or for which articles you have written, but not yet published would be suitable. Some publications accept previously published work, but many do not. Read and follow the writers' guideline of each publication carefully. After reviewing the listing, selecting your markets and getting the writers' guidelines as instructed, submit your pitches/query letters and articles. Try to keep three submissions in the outbox at all times. Publication success is also a numbers game. You've got to have work circulating to be considered and ultimately to get paid if you're pursuing writing as a career. Then choose another market reference and follow the same process. Continue this process and you'll find the market listing reference which best suits your style, you'll be able to compare and contrast their strengths and weaknesses, and cross-reference as necessary.