I am tech PR with a passion for cybersecurity and... fashion. Founder @ Abstract Stylist magazine.
Tons of websites offer guest post opportunities and you would probably love to get published at least in one of them. Working on both sides - as publisher at Abstract Stylist and an independent blogger - I have a rare opportunity to share my insights and most common mistakes people make while pitching their guest posts. Let's take a look at 5 mistakes I see people make daily.
I will say it - don't think that publication owns you something. Usually, it is the other way around.
I know many good websites that will charge YOU for putting your content on their website. So if you want to be featured in the prestigious publication, you'll have to pay the price. It's a good start if you haven't published anything before and want to build your reputation online or just want to brag about it on LinkedIn. The prices vary from $20 to $20k, and you will have to stay in publication guidelines.
You'll ask, so how creators make money then? Yes, they can sell their work as soon as they are noticed by the publisher or write reeeeaaaally good SEO content.
Your first email to the editor is everything. I occasionally get these kinds of emails "Hi there, I really like your website. I would love writing for you!". Well, that's great, but what should the answer be?
My strongest advice for you - pitch clear. Know what you want and what you can offer. I am sure you will get the answer if your email is right! Take a careful look at each publication you're going to pitch your article. I once got a pitch about specifics of LED lights to be published on the art website. As I suspected, I was one of many people that got that particular email that day. As the writer told me how much he liked our publication, I took the time to ask him which articles he enjoyed most. Yes, I did not hear from him again.
No secret that a great email will get you far. I am not talking about formalities like "I hope you are safe and well during these uncertain times," well, I have written that before...
I like to do a proper introduction - who am I, where I was published before, what topics I can cover, and how fast I can do this. Leave money question out of the topic at this point. Next, think of some strong headlines - the ones that a particular publication could be interested in. There's always a pattern on content that you can sense by browsing the blog. After the headlines, include some key takeaways, what the editor can expect by saying YES to the headline. And for the last step, include some of your previous work on similar topics you pitch. That will give you more credibility.
A lot of publications have a "submit an article" section. USE IT! If you find one of these - it's your lucky day! Some publications do not accept guest posts, and if they do not put it in writing, it can get complicated contacting them, then following up.
I suggest starting digging and looking for those forms, as this method is easy and clear. The editor does notice when you produce an article for them only. Believe me; if you do not follow the guidelines, the editor will suspect that this is not an authentic piece, and it's been offered to everyone from small to big. So why publication should make an effort if you don't?
You have to know; there is plenty of content online that can be easily reached and published or re-published. You have to offer something with value that both sides can benefit from. The best-valued piece? Something that other websites don't have! For example, you write about the recent news that is extremely relevant at the moment or you have something exclusive - may it be an interview or a powerful piece of information.
Do your Google, and by that, I mean, Google yourself. Build a strong result page in the area you want to be known. Even if you're not a professional, you should keep your search hygiene on point. Delete unnecessary accounts that are no longer relevant. Maybe untag yourself in Facebook photos that do not help you build the image you desire. Link your social profiles in your pitch if possible. Connect to publications staff on LinkedIn, start a conversation there!
Hope that helps to get you published and see you online! If you're reaching for the stars, take a look at my previous article on how to get published at Forbes.
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