Nonfiction is easier to break into than fiction, hands down. I encourage you to NOT be discouraged
. The first piece I ever had accepted for publication was a nonfiction kids article about the pony express. It had actually started as an ICL assignment. I wasn't an expert by any means. I did lots of research, wrote a fun piece, and eventually sent it to a handful of magazines (including e-zines). It was accepted by an e-zine. Not all magazines ask for clips (in fact, lots don't). Don't let this frighten you away from writing nonfiction altogether. Once I had a few NF pieces published, THEN I had some clips to send out. Also, when I started sending packets to educational publishers, I didn't even use my published pieces as samples. I sent in unpublished samples of my work. Don't dishearten!