How to Get Articles Published On Major Websites and Blogs
Getting your product or service mentioned on major websites and blogs can result in significant benefits for your business, so you should be trying to get articles published regularly. You can reach new audiences, drive your website’s search engine traffic to new heights, and increase conversions substantially. Before we get into how to get featured let’s first take a look at why getting published on major websites is so important.
Get Articles Published Online to Help You Reach New Audiences
Reaching new audiences is critical to growing your business. As a top content marketing agency in Vancouver, we can attest to the fact that new audience mean new growth. No matter what industry you’re in, there are publications that have already built large audiences that you should be trying to leverage. Having a publication publish your story (or a story on your company) will introduce your brand to a new group of people.
Featured Articles Increase Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Not only does reaching a new audience drive awareness, but it can also drive SEO. If you add a relevant link back to your website, especially if it’s within the article itself, you should see a nice flow of traffic from the publication to your own blog. Each of these clicks helps your website’s overall search engine optimization and can help people find your blog when they head to Google or Bing.
Website Mentions Generate Conversions
When people do come through a publication to your website, this is your chance to convert them into a lead or a customer. Make sure that your landing page is ready for a new flow of traffic, and tailor it to the audience you expect to come through. This strategy can help you capitalize on your new audience and bolster sales.
How to Get Articles Published On Websites
Now that we’ve covered why it’s important to get featured on blogs, it’s time to focus on how to do it. We’re going to lay out the steps you need to take to get featured, from planning to execution. Below these steps, we’ll layout a real-world example and show you how we went from writing for ourselves to getting featured on Fast Company, The Hill, and Business Insider.
Do Your Research to Get Published Online
Before you ever pitch a website or blog, the first thing you need to do is conduct some research. You’ll be using free tools on the web to do this, and with a little hard work, you should be able to layout a simple earned media plan for your business.
To start, open up a new spreadsheet, and then head to Google. Type in your industry and search for top publications. If your business is in the travel industry, try searching “Travel Industry Publications”. Once you’ve done this, create three columns in your spreadsheet for page one, page two, and page three of Google’s search results, leaving one empty column between each. It should look something like this.
List the publications in your industry on page one of Google under the 1st Tier column of your spreadsheet, page two under 2nd Tier, etc. This will help you stay organized on your quest to get featured on major publications.
Your instincts may tell you to pitch the big publications first, but hold off. You’re going to work up to the biggest publications in your industry by first building a portfolio.
Other tools you can use to find industry publications include BuzzSumo, YouTube, and Reddit. Try searching for your specific industry on these websites and see which publications come out on top. You can add these publications to your spreadsheet based on the size of their followings – smaller followings go under page three on your spreadsheet, large following under page one.
Once you’ve laid out the top publications on pages one, two, and three of Google and have added in relevant blogs and YouTube channels you’ve found using Reddit, YouTube, and Buzzsumo, it’s time to fill in the three empty columns on your spreadsheet.
These three columns should be used to add contact information for editors at the publications you’re targeting. Here are a few ways to find editors and columnists at the publications you’d like to target.
How to Find Contacts at Major Publications Who Can Get Articles Published
Hunter is a free Google Chrome extension that pulls all of the email addresses listed on a website and provides them to you in a simple list. You can then copy email addresses and names directly into your spreadsheet. This is a great way to find relevant contact information. If you like tools like Hunter, you’ll love our list of 50 tools to grow your business.
You can use Twitter Advanced Search to find people who write and tweet about the topics you’d like to pitch, see our guide to using Twitter Advanced Search for more details on this. You can also search Twitter for people who work for the publications you’re targeting and use the platform to pitch your story. More on pitching your prospects later. If you need help with social media marketing, contact us. We’ve been ranked Vancouver’s best social media agency two years running.
3. Browse the Publication For Contact Information
Most major publications will have a contact page or masthead with information on how they’d like to receive pitches. Always read this information before making a pitch – it often contains a lot of dos and don’ts that are specific to the publication.
Here’s how it should look after you’ve filled in your spreadsheet.
Build a Portfolio of Web Publications
Once you have a list of publications and contacts to pitch, it’s time to take a step back. At this point, you might be wondering, “Why did we do this step first only to take a step back?”
The answer is simple. You should layout your list of publications and potential contacts first so that you know what kind of content will impress them when you provide your industry insights. If you know you want to get featured by a major publication that covers air travel trends, it’s important to establish yourself as an expert on that subject.
If you’ve never written for a web publication, now is the time to beef up your resume to get articles published online. Start by writing content for your own blog or on platforms like Medium and LinkedIn Pulse, and put as much effort as possible into your pieces. You’ll be using these to grab the attention of editors in the next phase, so it’s important that you establish your expertise in a thoughtful and unique voice.
We’d recommend writing at least three articles that you’re extremely proud of before moving to the next phase.
Pitch Your Articles to Prospect Website Publications
After writing a few pieces of insightful commentary on your industry, it’s time to pitch. Start by contacting the publications you listed under Tier 3 of your spreadsheet – publications on or past page three of Google, or with a smaller audience than some of the major industry publications you’d like to be mentioned on. These are the publications that are most likely to accept your guest blog if you’ve only written articles for your own website before.
When pitching, always consider what’s in it for the editor. Expert insight, a free trial of your product, or a shout out to your social media following can be few good places to start. Keep your pitch short and sweet, and always attach your guest post to the pitch along with why the article would benefit the publication’s readers.
Tip: It can be tempting to pitch topics instead of full articles, but in our experience, you’re much more likely to get published if you submit a full article in your pitch email.
If you want to get articles published on major websites, go the extra mile and pitch your entire finished piece.
Level Up to Bigger Websites
Once you’ve published a guest blog on a smaller publication, continue to pitch editors in Tier 3 until you’ve successfully published three articles with your name attached to them. At this point, you’ll have built up enough credibility as a thought leader in your industry to move on to the next column.
Continue with this process until you’ve made it to the big leagues. There’s no secret to getting published on the industry-leading publications in your spreadsheet. It simply takes hard work. If you follow the outlined steps above and put in the time to hone your craft, anyone can make it to the publications in Tier 1 of their spreadsheet.
Real-World Examples of This System
We implemented this system at our agency and have been featured on Business Insider, The Hill, and Fast Company, among other industry-leading publications. As we’ve alluded to in this article, however, it doesn’t happen overnight. Here’s a quick rundown of how we were featured in these publications, and how to get articles published online for your brand.
After filling out our own spreadsheet of publications to target, we started writing for our company blog and on Medium. These articles allowed us to get featured in publications on Medium, including Art + Design which is a leading Medium publication for marketers.
From here, we used these articles to pitch small publications for guest posts. We wrote for FitSmallBusiness, Wealthy Gorilla, Ebyline, and a few other small publications that we’ll be honest – you’ve probably never heard of. Those blogs, however small they may be, helped us to get mentioned on larger publications in our second column.
Next, we became columnists at Social Media Today by showing them examples of our writing on the websites mentioned above. Becoming a columnist is probably the easiest way to get articles published online. Social Media Today is a larger publication that many people in our industry read daily. We posted videos and articles that linked back to our website and were able to generate leads and sales form these posts. REM Online, Inman News, Jeff Bullas, Thrive Global, and other publications also ran our articles and videos which helped us build enough clout to pitch publications in our first column.
The Hill reached out to us after reading one of these articles and asked us to write an opinion piece on social media’s influence on the 2016 election. After that article was published, we used it to pitch ourselves to Fast Company successfully. Shortly thereafter, Business Insider reached out to us after reading one of our articles on Medium and asked if they could run it on their website, which of course we obliged.
These three major publications drove significant traffic to our business, and we attribute our success to following the framework above. It’s a long journey, but the destination is worth it.