In the past two years, I’ve had about 60 guest blogs published at Forbes, Huff Post, Entrepreneur, and other places. People often ask me about it, eager to learn from my experience and start pitching their own writing to big publications.
So here’s the inside scoop – the five most important things I’ve learned about pitching and blogging in the big leagues:
It’s not about you; it’s about your readers.
Guest blogging in the big leagues is killer exposure for you and your business, so you’ll be tempted to tell new readers how awesome you and your products/services are. Don’t do it. It’s icky. Your work won’t get picked up if editors think you’re just out for self-promotion.
At the end of the day, good blogging is about service. If people dig your stuff and find you helpful they’ll naturally share your work, follow you on social media, or check out your website. You don’t have to try so hard.
Pitching is a fine art.
You can be a great writer, but if you don’t know how to pitch to editors you won’t get your foot in the door. Learning the art of the pitch is very, very important to getting your work published.
Good pitches are short, but pack one helluva punch. Don’t give the editors your whole life story or a big, braggy bio (frankly, my dear, they don’t give a damn) before you launch into your idea. Editors want good content, and they’re reading a gazillion pitches a day. Make it easy on them. Keep it short and punchy.
But pitching isn’t everything.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but you need to read the blogs you want to write for. How long are their pieces? What do contributors write about? What don’t they write about? How can you add to the conversation in a way that is uniquely you, but also fits their format? Pay attention and use what you learn.
Bigger isn’t always better.
I write for Huffington Post, which has 81 million global readers every month (holy smokes!). But I get way more exposure at Entrepreneur (they have 9 million readers every month) because that crowd really digs my stuff. The takeaway? Fit matters more than reach.
Don’t target a particular blog just because they have huge readership. It’s way better to find a publishing partner that’s naturally aligned with what you write about. Your stuff will resonate with readers, which means more exposure for your efforts.
Editors and readers are hungry for your stuff.
Shocking, right?! A lot of people never get their stuff published simply because they’re too afraid to try. It’s too intimidating. Who are they to think they can publish their work on huge, well-known platforms?
Editors WANT great content to land in their inbox. Readers WANT to hear what you have to say. The trick is finding the right people and publications, and showing them what you have to offer. Find a place that fits and then muster the guts to just DO it.