Even if your aim is to write fiction or 'proper' articles, it's worth taking a look at the opportunities for filler pieces. These include tips, funny true stories, cute pictures of children or animals and opinion pieces or rants. Often there are also opportunities to ask questions of experts or to have you say on previous articles.
Writing these pieces is creative in its own way, is an interesting way of studying the market and is good practice at getting our point across in just a few words (the shorter the better for most of these).
Not all markets pay, or sometimes there's a prize or payment just for the 'star' letter, but the majority of women's magazines pay for all items published. The usual amount is £25, although it varies from £5 to £100. That's not bad for a few sentences, especially as these items can usually be submitted online. Including a photo means your letter is far more likely to be used.
If any magazines you read (womags or otherwise) have opportunities for these, please share the details below.