As a writer, podcaster or video person, you can get your content featured on the world’s largest websites. You can get exposure to millions of loyal readers who would be curious to see what else you’re up to. There’s no better way to build an audience and business in the online space today because of the potential.
You’ve probably heard me talk about “same audience” syndrome—this is common today. This is where a lot of the people in the online/Internet marketing space are trying to go after the space people. Large publications offer you a chance to get massive exposure to an untapped and always changing, audience. You can leverage that exposure to build and land bigger opportunities.
I have consulting gigs set up in 16 countries this year. A lot of the companies first found me through the articles I write for several large publications. I’ve also gotten book sales, coaching clients, speaking gigs, and built a large email list. Here are five tips to get accepted as a contributor.
Stop listening to self-limiting beliefs.
Whenever I talk about this stuff, I hear a lot of the same responses. People feel as if they’re not a writer, or that they’re not a “good enough” writer. There is also a fear that can come from putting yourself and your words out there in front of millions of people.
If you are going to write an article that gets accepted, you have to get over those fears and self-limiting beliefs. They WILL show up in your writing if you don’t. One of my rock star-coaching clients is Anya Hollis. Last year, she had her first article published on The Good Men Project and caught a lot of flak for speaking her truth. She didn’t let it stop her from writing. Today, she is also a contributing writer for The Huffington Post! She wasn’t published anywhere before sending in these two articles.
If you’re wondering if you can write for the largest websites in the world, despite your experience, the answer is YES.
Research each publication individually.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is writing an article and then seeing where you think it should go. The articles that get accepted are written specifically for that publication. As a former editor for the Good Men Project, I can tell whether or not an article was written for a publication. Start with researching what that site publishes.
Study the style, the length of the posts, the point of view the posts are written in (first or third person), and what topics their readers respond best to. Take each publication one at a time and get a deep understanding of what they publish every day. Your research is what will help you write the best kind of article and one an editor will say YES to.
Write from the heart
As an editor, I see too many articles that feel like the writer is preaching at people—those articles DON’T do well. Even if you’re writing something a little more technical, it should have some heart in it. You have the first two paragraphs to make an emotional connection with the reader on a publication. If you don’t, they won’t read any more of the post. This is the reason “listicle” posts do so well on publications.
You should ask yourself two questions as you write; “What am I trying to say? And, “Am I saying that clearly?” Each article should focus on one thought or idea. When you try to bring in too many topics into an article, you will confuse and then lose the reader. Dig deeper and write about what you fear the most. Here are several articles that I was super afraid to write and publish, but that had a super strong connection with the reader:
- How To Rebuild Trust After An Affair
- The One Decision Every Man Must Make to Live a Happy Life
- I’m a High School Dropout
- Why I Returned to Maui, Hawaii
Stop looking for a connection to get in.
Every day I receive several cold pitch emails that ask me to make an introduction to my editor at a certain publication. I have NEVER made an introduction. If I did, it would not be for someone I don’t know. You probably could find a connection eventually, but why would you want to waste valuable time chasing when you can get in without one?
Cold pitches to contributors who write for publications rarely work. A connection would be easier, but the chances aren’t very high. Instead of looking for connections, use that time to research a publication and write a better article. You can do this on your own.
Pitch better than most.
A lot of pitch emails are bad. They focus on themselves instead of what’s in it for the editor or publication. Editors don’t care who you are or what you’ve done. They have one job: publish great content. If your article isn’t researched and written for that publication, your social proof will be meaningless.
A good pitch starts with a well-written and researched article. The email is short and to the point. Start with a subject line that’s specific to that editor. Google them and find something they’ve shared or written. Pull a nugget as your subject line. If you were pitching me, you could say something like, “Taylor Swift knows how to write music.” That’s specific to me and it would catch my attention.
The first paragraph should expand upon that specific nugget. Again, for me, it would look like,
I enjoyed seeing the pictures you posted when you attended Taylor Swift’s concert. I know you a HUGE fan, so that must have been exciting. I’m a big fan of your site for X number of reasons (get specific) and would love to submit and article for consideration.”
You have shown me with the subject and first paragraph that you took the time to research—editors like to see that. Then, share some writing samples. It’s best if they are from somewhere other than your blog. If that’s all you’ve got, roll with it. After the samples is a thank you and put the article IN THE BODY of the email. Never send attachments to editors because they will NOT open them. If you have done your research, the article will speak for itself.
If you read my stuff, you know my story. I started writing for The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur Magazine three years ago. Since then, my business has exploded. Conferences have found me, new clients have hired me, and I have sold thousands of books.
What I did is not unusual and can be repeated. This is a strategy you can use to build a profitable lifestyle business if you use it. It’s NOT about who you know or what experience you have, it’s all about the article you write and how you submit. There’s nothing stopping you. Use this strategy.
Do you plan in pitching any publications this year?
I’m going to be forming a paid lifestyle business mastermind. I looking to form a group of people who are serious about lifestyle business and committed to helping fellow mastermind members thrive together. Our first meeting will be February 9th. This mastermind will meet once a week, be limited to five people, and cost $500 a month. To join, you would need to commit to three months.
There will be assignments, books read, pitch goals (publications, conferences, and companies), a ton of strategy stuff, we’ll share resources/knowledge/opportunities, and much more. We’ll stay focused on growing a lifestyle business that involves writing, speaking, coaching, consulting, selling digital products, and travel. This will be a mastermind, not me teaching a class. All group members will contribute.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for next steps. So far, 16 people have said they want one of the five spots. I will be looking at everyone this week and have decisions by next week. If you want to join, contact me sooner than later. I want to give everyone a fair shot so that we can form the best group.