What do Mashable.com, BusinessInsider.com and Huffington Post all have in common? For one, each blog captures thousands of unique visitors and tens of thousands of page views in a single day. Second, they all accept contributions from guest authors, creating the potential to drive massive amounts of traffic to your website with just a single guest post.
But there’s got to be a catch. You’ve probably got to be a big name blogger with a huge audience like ProBlogger.com’s Darren Rowse to be eligible for publication on major blogs like that… Right?
No Name? No Audience? No Problem.
Believe it or not, you need neither name nor audience to get published. I used to think you did until I began to look more critically at the bylines of the writers listed on authority websites like BusinessInsider.com, currently listed in the top 500 most popular websites on the internet according to Alexa.
What did I discover upon closer examination? BusinessInsider.com publishes a lot of content from guest authors, most of which is from unkown writers you would not know, don’t have audience or fancy qualifications like an advanced degree from a prestigious school.
Best of all, these websites need a lot of regular outside contributions from guest writers. How much? Enough to dedicate a category
of the website just to content exclusively provided by writers/bloggers referred to as “Contributors”. None of the writer’s listed here are on the BusinessInsider.com payroll.
So if you don’t need a big name or any specific qualifications to contribute to these major blogs, what’s preventing you or me from getting our content published on behemoth blogs like this? That’s the question I posed to three regular contributors of BusinessInsider.com–Frank Gullo of RavenWeb.net, Hillel Fuld of TechnMarketing.com, and Sudy Bharadwaj of JackalopeJobs.com–to get a sense of what the average blogger/marketer should do to be considered for publication on a major blog.
While you’re probably not familiar with the writing or names of the writers I interviewed for this piece, collectively these three have been published on the biggest blogs with names you do know including the Huffington Post, Mashable and Gigom in addition to BusinessInsider.com.
What separates these guys from the rest of us?
I emailed each of these gentlemen to pick their brains and get advice on how they were each able to be featured on these blogs. Fortunately, for me (and you) they were generous with their expertise and provided a simple outline of do’s and don’ts that if followed greatly increases your odds of getting published on these sites.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, each of the blogger’s I interviewed shared creepily similar recommendations for getting content published. There do’s and don’ts have been summarized below and edited slightly for readability purposes:
When submitting guest content to major blogs, do the following:
– Read and Follow Submission Guidelines to the Letter: Big blogs have much stricter requirements for what they can and can’t publish. Make sure the content you submit to these blogs aligns with posts that are regularly published by the blog both in content and style. Many of these blogs provide information about how to submit guest posts or contributions on a contact or contributor page.
In the case of becoming a contributor to BusinessInsider.com, all you need to do is to submit an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
stating that you’re interested in writing for them.
– Respect the Editor’s Time: When you submit guest posts to major blogs, they’ll need to be reviewed by an editor or writer before they can be published. Again, make sure you have formatted your posts correctly, do not have any spelling errors, and provided a high-quality piece of content that can be published. The more time an editor must spend rewriting your post, the less likely it is to be published.
– Keep Communication Short: This related to the previous point. Don’t write long emails explaining your story ideas to editors or your career highlights. Keep pitches concise and to the point.
– Be Persistent: The folks that work at these blogs are extremely busy and being emailed, Tweeted, and instant messaged by people just like you all day, every day. As a result, it’s typical that at some point your message could be forgotten about or looked over. If an editor doesn’t respond to your request after 5 – 7 days feel free to send them a reminder. If you still don’t get a response, move on and try contacting a different blog or editor.
When submitting content to major blogs, don’t do the following:
– Don’t miss a Deadline: This is a deal breaker for most editors. If you say you’re going to get an article out
to them by January, 17th, stick to it. Miss one deadline and you won’t get a second chance with many editors.
– Don’t complain if you’re article is rejected: Believe it or not, even strong writers have their content rejected from time to time. If you’re article is rejected, simply ask how you can improve it or suggest writing a new article on a different topic. If you believe the rejected article is valuable, you can always submit it somewhere else later.
– Don’t Pester Editors: While you need to be consistent and occasionally send followup emails regarding the status of a post, don’t be a pain. Do not contact editors via social media daily much less hourly. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 5 – 7 business days of breathing room between messages to an editor.
While you may not need a big name to contribute to today’s most popular websites, you will need to closely follow the editorial guidelines of each particular website and stick to the do’s and don’ts outlined in this article to get published on the biggest blogs.
Brett Lindenberg does a lot of guest writing in his own right. Read more of his stuff at 500aMonth.com and be sure to download his routine for building an email list when you sign up for his email list.