My husband and I are regularly contributing to websites like Entrepreneur.com, Search Engine Journal, SEMrush and Social Media Examiner. We have been featured by the Huffington Post (US Edition) and one of my husbands articles was recommended by The New York Times.
How did we do it? Well, I can promise you three things:
- It requires work on your part
- It's not rocket science
- It won't happen over night
Here are a couple of things I wish I had known when we first started out that I believe will help you get your foot in the door.
Forbes vs. The Rest
The 3, 2, 1 Rule
I follow the 3, 2, 1 Rule:
- 3 Smaller Websites that result in
- 2 Medium Websites that result in
- 1 Large Website
How to determine whether a website is small:
I use Alexa.com to see the website rank in the United States. I copy and paste the URL in Alexa and double check that the traffic is growing and coming from all the right places.
How to evaluate Alexa page ranks:
- Anything in the top 600 is huge
- Anything up to 6,000-7,000 is medium
- Anything up to 20,000 is small
- Anything lower than 30,000 better sends me a cupcake for my article, that's tiny
Careful with abandoning the tiny sites because there might be a great niche blog that will bring you a few clients with relatively little effort. In general though, given that the goal here is to increase brand awareness, the bigger the website the more you are getting out of it.
Why editor's care about smaller websites:
You have proof that you don't run out of ideas and they get a first impression of your title choices as well as your consistent writing style. At the same time, you show them that you realize the website they work for is a step up from what you are doing and that you have put in the work to deserve becoming a contributor.
The Limited Edition Rule
Make your title suggestions a limited edition series!
This is probably one of the best tips I can give to make your sales pitch more effective. If you have to hand in a list of 10 titles, make it the best 10 titles you have ever handed in. Think of it as if you would launch a limited edition of an information product, articles that people would want to pay extra for to read.
The trick here is to word the title correctly and write about a real experience. Look at the following titles for instance to see the change.
- How To Create A Google AdWords Campaign
- How To Increase Your Landing Page Conversion Rate
- 5 Ways To Optimize Your Google AdWords Keywords
Same suggestions with Limited Edition Rule applied:
- Full Guide To Creating A High Converting AdWords Campaign For Any Business
- How To Double Your Landing Page Conversion Rate in 30 Days Or Less
- Do These 5 Things For A Killer Google AdWords Keyword Optimization
Tip: As seen above, the limited edition titles are much longer. Most websites that are used to having contributors work with SEO plugins where you can shorten the title in Google's search results and even require a longer title of around 60 characters for the article.
Leave the Blog Pitches For Last
What do you think is more convincing? Suggesting something you believe in or something that is based on a lot of shares of past articles and you believe in? Exactly. Any editor would rather rely on numbers and choose experienced, knowledgable you over a passionate startup guy that has never written a thing for anyone else than the own blog.
How To Get In Touch With Editors