If your business is new, building your reputation when you have no brand recognition and little capital isn’t easy. Gaining traction in the media is, of course, important, but you can’t simply wait around for influencers to discover and rave about your brand. The goal of getting your company covered in high-profile online outlets is lofty, but attainable. Once you are able to do this, you will enjoy better brand visibility, a more solid reputation in your industry, better web traffic, more online followers, an easier time recruiting talent, and possibly even interest from new investors.
Succeeding in obtaining the media coverage you need requires a strategic approach that includes a healthy mix of tactics peculiar to your brand and your industry. But gaining media attention can get you immediate results, in the form of an influx of new Twitter followers, high-ranking search engine results, and backlinks from prestigious publications and journalists.
Top-tier business sites are coveted by content marketing professionals, so you have to be at the top of your game when you submit content to them. Here is a roundup of top content sites and information from contributors on how they got their content published.
Publishing your content on Forbes
Speaker, writer, and entrepreneur Josh Steimle has written over 160 articles for Forbes since 2013. Though vetted contributors used to be able to blog about any topic, today they’re required to stick to their particular area of expertise. Additionally, Forbes contributors post directly to the live site, so it won’t go through an editor first.
Editors may make minor changes after publication, and if writers veer too sharply off-topic, posts can be taken down altogether. Here’s a screen grab of one of Steimle’s Forbes articles:
You can approach being published on Forbes in a couple of ways. You can submit a completed article (regardless of length) to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration on one of their opinion pages. This content has to be original and exclusive to Forbes. If you’ve already published it somewhere else, they’ll reject it.
Expect it to take several business days to review your content. If a week goes by and you haven’t heard from them, you can assume they aren’t interested and try to place your content elsewhere.
If your goal is to become a regular Forbes contributor, you can apply via Google Form. In addition to your typical contact information, you’ll also be asked for LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, and ideas about what you want your page to be. You’ll also need to link to examples of your writing and explain why you’re qualified to have the page you envision.
Steimle published articles on a once-a-week basis, and especially liked the site’s great analytics that allow writers to see how well their content performs. Training webinars for contributors are also offered regularly.
Publishing your content on Huffington Post
Co-Founder at Authority Alchemy, Brian Ainsley Horn knows firsthand what it takes to write for Huffington Post. He says it isn’t easy, but it’s certainly possible.
Huffington Post is one of the main “authority” publications where business owners and content marketers want to publish. The site has phenomenal SEO power, helping content rank for multiple three-to five-word terms only hours after publication. Here’s a shot of one of Horn’s blog posts on Huffington Post:
You should craft your pitch based on what top bloggers in your targeted section write. It should be short and should emphasize the most captivating parts of your idea, according to Horn.
To submit your idea to Huffington Post, you fill out a Google Form similar to the one Forbes uses. There is a blank on the post for the final draft of your proposed 500 to 1000-word post, which you include right on the form.
Bare in mind that you won’t hear back from Huffington Post unless they’re interested in publishing your content.
Publishing your content on Business Insider
A few years back, Thenuka Karunaratne, founder of AdMark Technologies, was determined to have his product featured in Business Insider (and other prominent online publications) on essentially no budget.
In addition to stories about technology, business, and celebrities, Business Insider will also run compelling profile pieces, which can be an option if you have a gripping personal story to tell.
If you’re interested in having your content viewed by the tens of millions of readers who use Business Insider every month, your first stop should be at the How to Contribute to Business Insider page.
You won’t submit a pitch, but will send the final, polished draft of your content to email@example.com. Along with the content itself, include a headline, links to other content of yours, and a brief bio. Here you can see a feature on Karunaratne’s product in Business Insider from earlier this year:
If they’re interested, they say they’ll get back to you, but Karunaratne did not know his content had been accepted and published until he found it by Googling the topic.
He also says that Business Insider will sometimes pick up stories from other major sites, and publish content to their international editions as well.
Additionally, Karunaratne says pitching his content (whether to Business Insider or another publication) on Sunday worked well for him, allowing outlets to pick up a story as it gained traction throughout the workweek.
Other publication options
Another option you may consider for content that can be republished is publishing it on a site like Medium. It’s currently a hot platform and has a large audience, plus republishing is mostly a simple matter of copying and pasting.
Many people worry about Google penalizing them for “duplicate content,” but that penalty may not mean what you think it means. Google is fine with you syndicating your content on multiple sites, and will show the version they believe is most appropriate for each searcher, though that may not be the version you prefer. They recommend including a link back to your original article in your syndicated content.
Medium only requires that you create an account in order to publish content there, and you can create an account with Twitter, Facebook, Google, or with your email:
Content posted or republished on Medium gains traction based on the interest and engagement it receives, and article lengths are flexible. Before publishing something, you should check out this 3 min read, on the official Medium blog to gain an idea of what is trending on the site.
After making the effort to create powerful, engaging content, you naturally want it to reach the largest audience. It’s not necessarily easy to have your article on Huffington Post or Forbes, but it can certainly be done if you follow various sites’ instructions carefully and submit content that resonates with their readership.