Do you want to get your articles published on sites like Forbes, Huffington Post, or Entrepreneur Magazine? Of course, you do. It’s a great way to gain traffic and generate sales.
So, what are you waiting for?
I know what you are thinking: “It’s easier for you, Neil. You have an established brand, and you are a well-known blogger.” In truth, the sites I email don’t know who I am and are not aware of my success as a blogger.
In essence, I have to work just as hard as you do to get an article published on one of these popular sites.
You don’t really have any excuses. Why? Because you don’t need a big brand to post on these sites, and you don’t even have to be a blogger.
Download this 5 steps cheat sheet to learn how to woo top bloggers and win their readers over.
Here’s how you can get your content featured on sites like Forbes and Huffington Post:
Step #1: Network with writers
All of these popular sites already have contributors. Find writers who blog about topics related to your industry, and start networking with them.
You want to do this because it is really difficult to get your articles published on these sites if you just send them a cold email. These sites get hundreds of such emails every day, and a lot of them go unanswered.
But if an existing contributor introduces you to them, there is a good chance you will get accepted as long as you follow the steps below.
So, how do you network with writers? For example, let’s say you want to contribute marketing-related articles to Forbes. The first step would be to look for writers who blog about marketing-related topics on Forbes.
While browsing through the Forbes website, I noticed a contributor by the name of Jayson DeMers, who writes a lot of high quality articles. This means he should have a good reputation with Forbes, and he probably knows a few of its staff members.
Next, connect with them through commenting on their articles, sharing the articles on your social profiles, tweeting at them, and sending them an email with suggestions on potential topics they can blog on.
You’ll notice that some writers will ignore you, but roughly 50% of the people you network with will actually respond to you. Just think of it this way: who wouldn’t respond to an email like this?
Subject: Your article on Forbes was superb
I just wanted to let you know that your article on social media trends was great. I loved it so much that I had to tweet it out.
Keep up the great work!
Chances are you’ll get a simple reply back that looks something like this:
It is a reply nonetheless, and you can continue the conversation from there.
Step #2: Create a portfolio
If you are already a blogger, you can skip this step because you can use your existing content as your portfolio. But if you don’t have a blog or have never blogged before, you’ll have to generate a few pieces of content.
Don’t worry, your content doesn’t have to be published anywhere. You can just write it in Microsoft Word.
Once you finish writing a few posts, you can either hire an editor from sites like Craigslist, or you can hit up my editor Ahna and have her proofread your work. This will give your writing the polish it needs to woo over the big sites.
Step #3: Get introduced
If you want to blog on sites like Forbes, you need to get introduced to them by existing writers. This is where your networking comes in handy. Email the contributors you’ve been networking with, and ask for an introduction.
In most cases, they won’t have an issue making an introduction. Typically, their introduction email will look something like this:
I’d like to introduce you to Neil Patel, a well-known blogger and co-founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg. Neil is interested in becoming a contributor to Forbes.
Neil, meet Tom, the editor with whom I work at Forbes.
I’ll let you two take it from here!
A typical response that you’ll receive will look something like this:
Why don’t you send me a bio and a few (i.e., no more than 4 or 5) samples of things you’ve written.
Step #4: Do your research before you respond
Before you respond to the email, you’ll want to do your research. For example, if you wanted to contribute to Forbes, you would first look to see what has done well and what hasn’t.
Go to the Quick Sprout homepage, enter the URL of the site you are looking to contribute to, and then click on the “Social Media Analysis” tab.
You’ll see a table that looks something like this:
The list above organizes all of the posts on Forbes by popularity, placing the most popular ones at the top. Follow these URLs to see how the articles were written. Pay special attention to their headlines.
The reason you want to do this is because 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, while only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of your post. This means if a post did well, chances are it’s because of the headline.
This should give you potential headline and content ideas that you can submit to that site.
For example, one of Forbes’ popular headlines is: The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends Dominating 2014. You can then spin that headline and submit a similar but unique headline. Here are some variations:
- The Top 7 SEO Trends Dominating 2014
- The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends Dominating 2014
- Prediction: The Top 10 Marketing Trends That’ll Dominate 2015
Now that you’ve got a few article ideas, it’s time to write your post. Follow the same steps you took creating your portfolio samples, including hiring someone to proofread your writing.
Step #5: Submit your article
It’s time to send your reply to the editor. Send him or her a bio of yourself, attach your samples, and pitch your article idea. When pitching your idea, make sure you include the article.
Chances are the editor will require a few changes, but once you make them, you’ll get your article published.
In the off chance the editor doesn’t like the article you pitched, ask him or her for feedback, make your adjustments, and try again.
Just don’t give up, and make sure you respond in a timely fashion. The quicker you are with your communication, the more likely you’ll get something published.
If you don’t get a response right away, don’t worry – editors of these big sites are busy. Just set a reminder to follow up with them in five days.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never blogged before or you don’t have a well-known personal brand. You can still get content published on popular sites.
All you have to do is follow the steps above, and you’ll eventually get your content published. Once you get accepted on a few sites, you’ll be given a login so that you can self-publish whenever you want, which will speed up the process.
In the long run, this will help you build brand awareness and gain more traffic to your website.
So, in what other ways can you get your content published on popular sites?