Forbes, Inc, Business Insider, Entrepreneur.com – they’re all household names. For businesses a feature or even a mention on these sites can be hugely beneficial and bring in significant amounts of awareness, leads and also PR.
Getting on these sites isn’t easy. However, thanks to this guide you will find it easier. So, read on and learn how to write for Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc and many, many more.
Research, More Research, And Even More Research
Before you even open your email, consider taking the time to research everything as thoroughly as possible. The three main things to consider are:
However, before even doing that, ask yourself these key questions about sites:
Are their audience aligned to the audience you deem ideal? You want to generate quality leads and traffic from your efforts, so it is vital that they line up.
Do they offer writers a link and bio on another author’s page or at the end? Some don’t, some do. What’s the point of having a fantastic post if no one can find out more about you or tell that you wrote it?
Is the site’s audience engaged? Look for relevant comments and social sharing counts as evidence that people actually connect with and read the content.
Do they promote and share their content? Getting guest posts on their Facebook page or Twitter feed can considerably increase exposure.
Make sure that you are ready for the press
When you pitch your story to people, make sure that it’s something worth covering.
“Why is this story exciting or relevant?” – “Why should readers care?”
If you cannot straightforwardly answer these questions, then consider refining your pitch.
Also, make sure that you have a blurb or press release that you can send to people so they can learn more about you in no more than two paragraphs.
It’s also advisable that you have a “Press” tab on your website that writers checking out the site can easily find your graphics, logos, and articles related to you.
“Press” tabs also help establish credibility when your clients and readers check it out.
If you are still crafting a “perfect” story, have the following in mind:
What makes your company or brand unique? (study how to sell anything)Are you exploiting any of the trends happening within the industry? (that is, cryptocurrencies)What understanding do you possess that others don’t?
Once you’ve created a solid pitch, make the next step.
Get Public Relations via Current Writers Get people to notice you Comment on posts
Start engaging people in the comments section. If you are researching a site or author, you will be reading some of their content anyways. This is the perfect opportunity to slip in an engaging and thoughtful comment. Avoid those “Great stuff” comments or anything that is superficial. Instead, ask questions and start conversations. Add some of your own insights and create value.
Those are the types of comments that they will read and remember.
Reach To Your Audience On Twitter
I am quite active with other users, particularly Twitter users especially when they comment. My main aim is to try and be as helpful as possible. As such, I always try my best to reach out to users as often as possible when they have any questions.
The screenshot above is a perfect example of a user who uses Content Marketer and sought to know more about several technical aspects. If the user were to reach out to me again, I would probably recognise him from the Twitter comment.
Reply, retweet, direct message, or comment on your user’s content. Ask relevant questions related to something they shared or said to get conversations going.
Approach in Circles with Common Interests
We all aren’t equally accessible. There is a hierarchy when it comes to these things. Well, it would be silly emailing Bill Gates with a question related to the latest Windows 10 update. Chances are you won’t even reach the editor on cold email.
The journalist/writer is the outermost ring while editors are the innermost ring. From experience, it is much easier to reach out to writers and have them eventually introduce you to their editors later on. When it comes to outreach, it is essential that you be very strategic.
When pitching, you do not want to reach out in ways that communicate your intentions as a “one-off” thing. You want to create relationships with persons that are mutually beneficial. You have the insight and ideas; they have a platform – something you will, without a doubt, use more than once.
Let’s say you share an exciting tool, post, or service that you recently discovered. Maybe you comment on one of their recent articles in a slightly meaningful manner. You could point out broken links with replacement suggestions or quote them in your next blog post, or link to their section or content, or add them to a flattering list – anything that builds your relationship. It is essential that you make everything about them first – wooing them in a sense. Create value in engaging and connecting with you. Do not ask for anything (yet).
Do Not Pick Up Your Phone
It is better leaving things to email. While phone calls are not always the wrong path to take, when it comes to building a relationship, and ultimately pitching, email is, without a doubt the right choice. You are busy, and so are they – probably more than you.
Pitching Yourself Understand Your Publication
There is no quicker way to ruining your credibility than pitching editors a topic that is entirely irrelevant. Avoid doing so by checking your publication to see:- Who writes the articles – What topics the publication covers- How long articles are – The style articles are written in.
How to Get in the The Big Publications
I had an idea that Forbes accepts content from freelance writers, so I reckoned my odds were okay. What I also noticed is that their list posts were popular, which means their editors are generally open to accepting one.
1. How to Become a Forbes Contributor
The articles posted on Forbes often include personal finance, lifestyle, the stock market, business, and technology pieces.
The exciting thing is that they’ll allow guest posts within their own opinion section on different topics that are related to arts, public policy, culture or politics.
To write for Forbes:
First Option: Visit the website’s “Submitting Articles to Forbes Opinion” page.Once there, submit an article of any length to the following email address: email@example.com The content you submit must be exclusive to Forbes and original. They’ll reject any material that has already been printed or published on other sites.Forbes typically reviews articles within five business days. If by the end of this time frame you have not heard from them, then you can safely assume that they are not interested in the article and you can publish it elsewhere. Do not send follow-up emails as Forbes discourages it.
Second Option: If you desire to become a frequent Forbes contributor, fill this Google Form.In this form, you will be requested to provide links to your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, your concept page for Forbes, a few story ideas, why you think you’re qualified to write on the chosen subject and links to your portfolio or work samples.
2. How to Write for Entrepreneur
This website focuses mostly on new business owners that are just starting out or who’re trying to grow an established business. What you need to do is to create “practical inspiration and actionable information for business owners.” The following form will request some basic information and links to your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, ask about story themes and ideas you’d like to write about, and reasons why you believe you are an expert on the topic plus links to your work samples.
3. How to Contribute to INC.
Inc.com, an online publication, mostly publishes information related to small business growth. Some of the topics they focus on include pieces on small business advice, services, and tools.
To become a contributor on Inc.com, start by pitching your story idea using the link below. It is also advisable that you keep your email pitches as pitchy as you can. Remember to keep them simple and straightforward.
To Write for Inc:
Send your idea pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a columnist on inc.com by submitting requests to email@example.com 4. Become a blogger on the Huffington Post
While becoming one of Huffington Post’s bloggers is no easy feat; it is doable.
I have the experience; I know! This post led to me appearing on the Howard Stern Show that has about 8 million listeners. That sort of exposure is not bad at all.
4. How to Write for Huffington Post
For a majority of writers, the ultimate goal when it comes to guest posting is working for a mainstream and authoritative publication like The Huffington Post. Being published on this site is not easy; however, from my experience, it is certainly worth trying.
The Huffington Post’s SEO power is absolutely insane. Your article will start ranking for just about any 3 to 5-word term within a couple of hours after going live.
To Write for Huffington Post:
Model your article after the style of one of Huffington Post’s blogger in your targeted section. Send a short pitch that emphasizes the aspects of your idea you find interesting. Submit the pitch using the following Google Form.
5. How to Become a Business Insider Contributor
Business Insider is a technology, American Business, and celebrity website. Most of the site’s contributors are industry-leaders in one or several topics they cover.
It is worth noting that exciting profile pieces will do very well here. So, if you have a very compelling personal story, then Business Insider might be the site for you.
To Contribute to Business Insider:
Visit the website’s “How To Contribute to Business Insider” webpage.
Send a final draft of your piece to the following address firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to include several links to other articles you’ve published, a headline with your content, and a brief bio.
While they cannot guarantee you that they will publish your content, the site’s team will review your proposal and then contact you if interested.
6. How to Become a Contributor to Fast Company
If you’re interested in design, business, and technology, then Fast Company might be the site for you.
Fast Company publishes topics like strategy, creativity, productivity, career development, and innovation. The site loves articles that present new ideas to its readers and promote conversation.
When writing content for Fast Content, consider writing using the op-ed style instead of a marketing-oriented approach.
The site’s representatives have the following to say about the type of content the site prefers: Craft your Query
At the heart of a majority of freelance writers’ profession is something known as a query letter: a one-page document that describes the proposed article, the sources it references, how long it is, and the freelance writer’s experience.
If you are pitching guest blog posts, the editor might want to see the final document before he can accept. However, be careful. Sending finished articles to magazine publishers is a sign that you are a newbie.
Since Forbes also has a print version, I opted to take the more formal direction and pitch my post with the customary query letter rather than sending the entire article – which even wasn’t written yet.
Sending Your Pitch
No one likes receiving a letter addressed as “to whom it may concern.” Therefore, make sure that you do your homework and find out the name of the publication’s editor. If you are pitching to a magazine, take the time to look at the masthead on the front page of the most recent issue. If you are pitching a site, look for “Contributor Information” or “Editorial Guidelines.”
If you cannot find the right info or still aren’t sure who you should contact, consider calling the publication and enquiring.
Never send pitches to more than one publication agency at a time. This way, you avoid the risk of getting two acceptance letters, which means you will have to turn one down. Editors don’t like this, and they will not look upon your future queries kindly.
Follow Up, but Wisely Send your pitch and wait a week. Do not become a pest. Do not hound. Do not be annoying. These major publication editors don’t owe you a thing. They don’t owe you any position as a contributor. They don’t even owe you any response. You are not doing them a favor; they are the ones doing you a favor by clicking and reading your email. So, if you do not receive a response after one week, check that editor’s Twitter to see if they’ve posted within the week. Maybe he is on a business trip or on vacation. If he is active and looks like he is in the office, then send a polite follow-up message by responding to the mail you sent. Say something like “Hey, wanted to make sure my mail did not end up in the spam filter, thanks!”
Getting rejected should not stop you. Try your luck elsewhere. It does not mean that your piece was terrible; it just means that the pitch did not work for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was not the right fit for the publication, or the piece’s timing was bad, or you caught the publication’s editor in a bad mood. You never know, there could be a similar website that is waiting for a post like yours.
And remember, being rejected by a particular site does not mean that they are rejecting you, as the writer. Chances are they did not want that idea for whatever reasons. You never
What You Should Not Do
Here are a few extra tips for improving your likelihood of landing on Forbes and making writing for the website even more successful:
Don’t Pester the Editors. If you have pitched to an editor who rejected you, simply find a different one that may be open to your idea. Avoid badgering the same editor continuously with fresh ideas unless they request it. Alternatively, find a different angle and see whether an editor in a different category is open to publishing the original idea.
Don’t Burn Bridges. It is never a good idea to burn bridges with staff, editors, or contributors that you build relationships with. The same applies to any other writers or editors you may know. You never know when one of them may reach out to you and become a lead for either contributing to Forbes or a different publication or company website.
Don’t Compromise on Ethics. Forbes will not allow you to accept services, gifts, or anything for free from a company in exchange for a published piece that mentions the brand’s name. This rule should never be broken. It is also important to disclose your relationship with companies that you already work for on a freelance basis if your write about them on Forbes (It is allowed, but you first need to check with the editor regarding how they prefer this to be done).
Prepare a Calendar in Advance. If you agree to 5 posts a month with Forbes, it is much easier to keep up with this requirement by pre-planning at least 3 posts every month and using the 2 remaining slots for last-minute press release coverage on your own thoughts about a particular topic. Advance planning is particularly important if you plan to conduct interviews for future posts.
Alternative Ways to Get in Top Publications
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a tool that many writers use when looking for quotes from thought leaders and industry experts. When you sign up for HARO, you receive up to 3 emails daily asking for your insight on the topics of Education, Business, Healthcare, Biotech, Travel, Fitness, High Tech, and more. These writers belong to websites such as Forbes, NBC, New York Times, Askmen, and Bustle. If you are able to wow them with the answer you give them, you will have earned a solid feature on these reputable platforms, not to mention a backlink to your website that helps with SEO.
The key to being featured on a HARO query is:
– Being concise, providing value, and answering just what the query is asking you rather than providing just a generic answer.
– Being quick since if you wait too long the deadline might pass or somebody else may beat you to it.
It should not take you over 15 minutes to respond to a HARO query. If you take too long to reply to one, you should simply move on. It is also advisable to save all responses in a Google Doc since similar queries pop up all the time and you can have your response ready for sending.
You can even consider hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) to answer your queries on a daily basis. Ensure that your VA has perfect English grammar and understands your thoughts and voice. The last thing you probably want is having your name linked to a belief that you actually don’t hold.
HARO is an incredibly powerful tool that you need to utilize.
Check out our comprehensive HARO guide.
Hire a PR
Hiring a Public Relations company or professional is not free, but it can be worthwhile if you are an executive whose time is valuable. Hiring a PR professional like myself can help save you the frustration and hassle of this process. I typically charge on a per-publication basis unlike many agencies that charge monthly retainers.know, the next one might just be what they are looking for the next month.
If you require help with getting on these sorts of publications or any other sort – contact us.