There are many ways to use content to build an email list, attract new customers, sell books, create lead generation for your products and courses, and build your business. One under-utilized way to grow an audience and generate more brand credibility is through publishing articles in large publications.
Too many writers, content creators, coaches, consultants, agency owners, and online entrepreneurs don’t realize you can get articles published in large publications. Large publications such as Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Fortune, SUCCESS Magazine, Fast Company, O Magazine, and more publish content from outside contributors.
If you’re looking for new ways to grow your audience, increase sales, make an impact, and show consumers that you are credible — large publications offer these opportunities and more. This is a business and revenue growth strategy you should use this year.
Here’s our guide on how to get your articles published in large publications. Here’s what you need to know and the steps to get published in the most prominent publications in the world.
Why Large Publications
Forbes gets 132 million monthly unique visits to their website and social media platforms, according to their media kit. Inc. dot com gets 32.9 million monthly visitors to their website, according to their media kit.
These are just two examples of the insane amount of traffic that large publications receive each month.
The days of using organic social media posting are gone, sadly. The reach of social media is low, and consumers are inundated with distractions on social media. You’re competing with anyone and everyone when you use social media as your primary growth and marketing strategy.
The readers of large publications are there for one purpose — to read and learn.
You should consider publishing articles in large publications because other entrepreneurs, writers, and content creators won’t use publishing articles in large publications as a strategy.
It’s hard work to get published in large publications. Most of the people that pitch a publication will be ignored — for that reason, they’ll give up. It also takes a lot of work to write articles, which will dissuade people from pitching publications.
All of this is good news for those willing to do the work it takes to publish articles in large publications. Using large publications as a content marketing and business growth strategy will always be under-utilized.
The Steps to Get Your Articles Published on Large Publications
You’re here for the good stuff. You’re convinced of the value of large publications, but you’re not sure how to get your articles published in large publications. Here are the steps.
1. Have an established online foundation that shows what you create content about.
Getting published in large publications is hard, and one of the realities is that you DO need a website. That’s hard to hear, but you came here for the truth.
Large publications want experts on topics. Part of the way they determine if you have expertise is to go through your website and see your knowledge demonstrated.
Unlike all the “you don’t need a website, start a funnel” rhetoric online, you’ll have a tough time getting published in large publications without a website that shows what you teach and how you’re teaching it.
You need a website that:
- Shows what specific topic(s) you teach others.
- Has at least a Home, About, and Blog page.
- Has messaging on your Home page that talks about why your topic is important and how your website and content will teach that topic.
- Has a Blog that has at least five blog posts. Be sure to remove the dates from your blog posts so that they all look recent.
- Shares your story on the about page.
- Looks clean (not cluttered) and professional.
Large publication editors publish articles from people they feel have established expertise and are professional at what they do. A polished website is what they’re looking for, and how you show editors they are in good hands by accepting you.
2. Find the large publications that make sense for your topic.
It can be incredibly appealing to get your content published in a large publication such as Forbes, but Forbes may not be the best fit for what you do. The goal is to get published in the large publications your ideal target consumers frequent.
In other words, you want to get published in the publications that make sense for your topic. Google is your friend in researching what publications make the most sense for you. With an established foundation, use Google to find the publications that post content on your topic.
Major publications such as Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, and more have various verticals. It’s safe to say that there is a vertical for it in the major (name-recognizable) publications, no matter what your topic is.
3. Research each large publication that you’d like to get published on.
A lot of the reason large publication pitches get rejected is that the person pitching didn’t and hasn’t researched the publication they’re pitching.
It looks like the person is sending off a copy-and-paste pitch to multiple places to an editor. Editors don’t want to feel as if you’re sending them a canned pitch. Study what types of articles the large publication already publishes. Study what style the publication favors.
- Is it lists?
- Is it how-to posts?
- Is it story-based content?
- Your pitch needs to match the style and content type favored by the large publication you’re pitching. An editor can tell when you’ve spent time studying their publication.
4. Put together a pitch to the large publication(s) you’d like to get published on.
There is a lot of advice online about pitching editors through social media — that is not a good approach. Editors are bombarded on social media with pitches, so they tend to ignore social media pitches.
The best way to pitch large publications is by emailing your pitch to an editor directly.
This pitch should include everything IN the body of the email. NEVER send attachments to publication editors. No Word, Google, or Pages documents — put the entire pitch in the body of the email. Here’s what that pitch should look like.
A. Have an email subject line that gets your pitch opened.
If your email isn’t opened, you won’t have your pitch read by editors (and responded to). There’s just no way around that. The subject line of your email is worth its weight in gold.
The question then becomes, how can you craft good subject lines?
You can get assistance software. There are many free email subject line generators. We use Active Campaign as our email service provider and love them. They have a great free email subject line generator (activecampaign.com/free-marketing-tools/subject-line-generator)
Understand that your goal of an email subject line is to create curiosity — that’s what gets an email opened. Subject lines that use titles such as:
“RE: becoming a contributor” or “Possible contributor submission” or “Article submission” (and so on) don’t get opened.
The “RE:” is a classic marketer subject line that editors know to avoid. Large publication editors are super busy. They get hundreds of emails, and yours has to stand out. When they see standard subject lines, they’ll delete your email.
It’s not hard to do this. You can take an article from a large publication and use part of it in the subject line. Here are a few more things to keep in mind:
- Shorter is better. Think one to seven words MAX for a subject line.
- Don’t capitalize the first letter of each word. It’s not a regular sentence.
- Don’t put a period after the words.
- Try not to use common phrases.
- Try not to use words like “I can help, I want to help, this can help…”
- Your main goal is to create curiosity. Stop and think, “what would make me curious enough to open this email?” Keep your email subject to the point, and get those pitches opened.
B. The first paragraph should expand on the subject line and get specific.
The first paragraph of your pitch shows that you’ve done your homework and are not a lazy contributor. Editors want hungry contributors that aren’t afraid to put in the work.
Your first paragraph can’t be flimsy like, “I like your content; it’s so inspiring. I want to inspire people through your platform.” That’s a big NO. Your first paragraph should reference specific value from the large publication.
C. The second paragraph is to show your social proof.
In your second paragraph, throw in anything that shows you’re an expert on what you do. This section highlights your expertise and shows editors why you should publish articles on their publication.
The second paragraph shows your education, training, experience, and anything relevant to demonstrate expertise on your topic. List pertinent things but keep this section to one paragraph.
D. Have links to your other published articles.
The next section should include links to your published articles, blog posts, your book(s), or anything that shows your published work. But don’t include more than six links. It gets to be too much with more than six links.
Editors want to see that you’ve been published in places besides your website. You can get “social proof” — published articles — through publishing on your LinkedIn profile, Medium, and smaller publications such as The Good Men Project, She Owns It, and more.
E. Use story ideas instead of a full article.
The last section of your pitch should be what you’d like to publish on a large publication.
Story ideas are potential articles you could write for a large publication. You’re not writing the full article(s). You come up with a headline and a paragraph that explains what the article would be about.
You want to include story ideas at the end of the email. Make these potential story ideas interesting. The goal is to give the editor options to choose from.
F. End with your name.
One of the worst mistakes someone can make when pitching a large publication is to end a pitch with a signature line and attachments.
There should be NO signature line stuff and no attachments. They will get sent to spam. You don’t need to include a picture for your pitch ideas. Simply end the pitch with your name.
5. Pitch the section editor of the vertical your topic fits within.
If you’ve read thus far, you may be wondering whom to pitch at a large publication. You will get the best response by pitching the editor of the section in which your content would fit.
Here are the steps to find the right editors to pitch for your topic:
Go to the website of your desired large publication.
Find the editor(s) of the section under which your article topics would fit. If you can’t find a list of editors directly on their publication, check their LinkedIn page. Here is an example. Under the “people” tab, you’ll find the editors. Search your topic in the people tab of their LinkedIn profile.
Find the editor’s contact information. If it’s not directly on the publication, you can use a free tool such as hunter.io to find their contact information. Enter the URL of the publication and then the editor’s name.
Get to Work
These are the steps and the process to get your articles published in large publications. Understand that you’re not sending repurposed articles that you’re hoping to shop around.
Large publication editors want original articles because they can share those articles with their media partners. You will not get published with repurposed articles.
Large publications offer a captive audience that already trusts the large publication they’re reading. When you show up with your articles in large publications, that established trust and attention are transferred to you.
It’s time to see which one of these steps you’re on and get to work. You can use large publications to build your business.