Since becoming a contributor on The Huffington Post, a few people have asked me how I did it. I want to share the steps I took in hopes that you can follow behind me and become published there, too. If you have any questions, just comment below, and I will gladly answer them for you. Here’s how I became a Huffington Post Contributor.
1) Decide on the article you want to submit. The Huffington Post takes both original and reposted articles. If you want to submit an article you’ve already used somewhere else, make sure you rewrite at least 20% of it first. This helps with SEO (search engine optimization) as you won’t be penalized for duplicate content. When writing, think of the audience you want to serve and a problem they’re having. Address the solution in your article. Include specific examples or relevant personal stories if you have them.
2) Research. Attempting to get published on a well-known international blog is a big deal, and I wanted to be prepared before I submitted my pitch. First, I searched for bloggers and business owners who had been successful at getting their pitches accepted in the past. Thankfully, they were willing to share their tips. An article at Erin’s Inside Job was especially helpful.
I also located the editor over the section I wanted to contribute to. Here’s a list of Huffington Post editors. Most email addresses are firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also navigate to the section of the Huffington Post where you want to contribute. There’s a boxed section on the right generic editor emails, such as email@example.com for the small business section.
There is a pitch a blog post form on the site you can use, but I would advise that you send it directly to an editor as well.
3) Craft a Pitch Email. When you’re submitting to editors, you want to make their job as easy as possible. Try to give them everything they need to publish your story without having to do a lot of back and forth with you. Include the following items in the body of your email.
- Quick introduction and the reason you think your article would be a good fit
- The full article, including the title, with word count
- A short bio with links to your site or a social media account
I put these same items into a Microsoft Word document and attached them to the email, along with a photo of me.
Then I spell checked my email, the article and the email address I was sending to. After much back and forth, I hit the send button.
4) Send, Wait, Pitch Again. After a week, I didn’t get a response. Rather than be discouraged and stop, I decided to pitch a different, more personal story directly to the President & Editor-in-Chief, Arianna Huffington. Using the same strategy as above, I crafted my email. It took a while to hit the send button, and I probably reread my submission at least 20 times. Then I thought about it. If I didn’t send the email, I was giving myself an automatic no to becoming a contributor. If I did send it, the worst Ms. Huffington could do is ignore it or say no herself. I sucked it up and pressed send.
Here’s a copy of the email I sent.
Dear Ms. Huffington,
I hope you are doing well. I would like to submit an article to be considered for the “What Is Working: Small Businesses” section of The Huffington Post.
Conventional wisdom states that it’s always wise for entrepreneurs to have a Plan B, C and maybe even D when setting goals. I don’t believe that. For many, the mere existence of those extra plans are holding them back from the business success they could be achieving. In my own life, my greatest achievements have come when I had a “Plan A or nothing” attitude. That’s what this article is about. It uses my life as a business owner as a backdrop to why ditching Plan B may be the best thing an entrepreneur ever did for his or her business.
I’ve included the article with title, author bio, and photo below and as attachments for your convenience.
I’d be honored to be a contributor. Please let me know if this is something you’re looking for.
All the best,
Why Your Plan B May be Holding You Back from Business Success
Dequiana Jackson, Founder and CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who helps women entrepreneurs find their life’s passion and turn it into a profitable, service-based business through solid marketing strategies. Looking for a supportive, engaging space to grow your biz? Join Dequiana’s Facebook group for women entrepreneurs: http://bit.ly/BecomeYourOwnCEO.
Article: (I included the whole thing)
The Result: Not even a week later, I received a welcome email directly from Ms. Huffington.
She copied her editor, and a few days after that, I got login credentials. Even if this second pitch was not successful, I would’ve tried again with a different article. I believe my voice is important and should be heard. Yours is, too. I also believe in giving back. That’s why I wrote this article. If I can step outside of my comfort zone, you can, too.
By the way, here’s my live article: How Your Plan B Is Holding You Back From Business Success