Before being published on The Huffington Post, I told myself I would not write an article about how I got published if the well-known online blog and news aggregator did eventually use some of my work. There are numerous well-written articles out there, describing how various authors got published on the Huffington Post, so why add to the noise? Yet here I am, writing that article, adding to the noise. Why? Two reasons:
- Simply because a lot of people have been asking me that exact question.
- My story is unique, just like everyone else’s story 😉
The steps I took to achieve this goal are very straightforward. I noticed that a lot of the top influencers I was following on twitter had contributed to the Huffington Post several times, so I posed the question, “Why not me?” I had been blogging for over two years and always wanted to have my work published by someone else, so why not the Huffington Post?
After setting the goal to become a contributor, the first thing I did was conduct a search on Google: “how to get published on the Huffington Post.” The majority of discussions and articles always came back to the fact that pitching the appropriate editor was the key to being noticed and in the end, published. So that is what I did. Unfortunately, I did not receive a response from any of the editors after pitching a few different articles.
Despite a high level of disappointment, I decided not to give up and instead, created my own blog (this one). I didn’t want the articles I pitched to the Huffington Post to just rot away on my computer, so I created my own platform.
About a month into my new blog project, I contacted a few of my closer twitter connections who have also been published on The Huffington Post. I asked them if they could review some of my work and provide me with some tips on how to get published on external platforms. On top of some very positive feedback, I had the opportunity to Skype with Emily Thomas, who has also had some of her work published on Social Media Week. In the end, it was her tip that led to my first article being published on The Huffington Post (thanks Emly).
So what was that tip?…Pitch Arianna Huffington (President/Editor in Chief) directly. I was very skeptical of this tip at first and did not think it would work. Arianna’s email address was, however, easy enough to find online, so I gave it a try. Unfortunately, this tactic also did not work the first time around. Again, my pitch went unaddressed.
Instead of giving up, I kept writing and building-up my portfolio of articles. Thanks to an engaged twitter network, some of those articles were shared hundreds of times on the various social networks, which gave me a boost of confidence. Three months after hearing nothing back from Arianna and six months after not receiving a response from the editors, I decided to pitch Arianna Huffington again. This time, she wrote back two hours after I sent the pitch. She connected me with an editor and I received a link to register as a blogger/contributor. The rest is history.
What I realized is that my first pitch to Arianna was lacking confidence and direction. Aside from working on my writing and generating a wide array of content, I also looked into some articles covering the keys to a great pitch. This certainly helped me the second time around.
So to sum up, this is how I got published on The Huffington Post
- Set the goal
- Seek advice
- Act on advice
- Don’t give up
- Seek more advice
- Act on new advice
- Don’t give up (I know, I already said that)
- Be confident
Like I said before, it was a pretty straightforward process. I was very impressed with the level of engagement from Arianna Huffington. After having my first two articles published, I took to twitter to thank Arianna for the decisive role she played in having my work published, and this is how she responded:
@Weaver_davidw Happy to have your voice on HuffPost, David!
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) January 28, 2015
The two main lessons I learned from this experience are:
- Don’t give up (did I mention this already?)
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help