I’ve been asked three times in the last week how to get published in the Huffington Post. I couldn’t answer immediately as the question needed some thought and time. However, I promised to write a blog and here it is.
I’m a regular blogger on the Huffington Post and I’ve been published three times in the Guardian. My most successful blog how starting a business has forced me out of the shadows has been shared over 400 times from the Guardian website. I have no background in PR or marketing but I do have determination and a will to succeed.
Whilst I had no master plan about becoming a regular blogger I was clear on one thing, I wanted to get in front of my target audience. Knowing that my target audience hangs out (online) in the Guardian and the Huffington Post made them obvious targets.
How to get Published in the Huffington Post
- Be clear and concise in your approach. Some months ago, a friend via twitter pointed out that the Guardian were looking for new business stories. I drafted a bullet point email which was chatty, opinionated and brutally honest about me (older woman, starting business, adoptive mother, colourful past etc) that addressed the brief. I also made it clear that I was flexible on what I’d write and was willing to take direction.
- Be efficient. Journalists work to deadlines so by being efficient you make their life easier. When I was aware the Guardian was looking for stories I immediately drafted an outline article which was easy to read. I got a prompt response asking for a draft article along with a deadline, which of course I met.
- Know what you want to say. It’s no good drafting something unless you know what you want to say. When I approached the Huffington Post I sent an unsolicited email with an idea for a blog about the importance of children having their own space. Again I drafted it in bullet points so that it was easy to read.
- Be opinionated. Chose topics that matter to you. The Huffington Post wants blogs that provoke debate and conversation. My blog on what to say to someone when they are adopting was shared and commented on widely.
- Be brave. It goes without saying but just have a go, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work first time, you can always try again.
- Mention previous successes. When I approached the Huffington Post I was able to point them to my blog in the Guardian. For the Guardian, I mentioned my experience in previous careers prior to the start of My Own Den to establish my credibility.
- Be helpful. As I’ve mentioned journalists work to deadlines. Since my first blog in the guardian, I’ve contributed to a live discussion on time management and have also been included in a piece about online software for small businesses both in the Guardian. I always respond quickly and nicely as I want to build a profile of someone who the media can ‘go to’ for help.
- Be clear to yourself why you want to be published. For me it’s about raising the profile of the business, understanding this, shapes all that I write and contribute. You need to understand why you are writing each article, without this it’s really hard to write, trust me.
- Enjoy it. I love writing, that’s not true, mostly I love writing. When I know what I want to say and I sit down and start I enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy writing I would say that this form of communication is not for you or you need to outsource it.
- Set a deadline. This might be just me but I work much better with a deadline. I use an online timer and sit down and write. I can blog as often as I want for the Huffington Post and I work on a fortnightly circle to keep myself disciplined.
- Follow the guidelines. All the press will have guidelines about length, content and style. Follow them to the letter, remember you want to be helpful and not a hindrance to journalists.
In a nutshell, know what you want to say and just have a go, it might just work!
If you’ve got any questions or comments please make them below I’ll do my best to answer them. I’ve probably missed some stuff out but my time for this blog is up.