Bloggers and writers like to connect with their readers as much as possible; that’s why most writers aspire to publish their work places outside their personal blog or website, such as on Huffington Post. Contributing to Huffington Post gives a great boost to your portfolio and adds credibility to your name as a writer, and on a personal level, it allows you to potentially reach an unlimited audience. People all around the world read HuffPost daily, and it’s a useful platform to expand your readership and get your message out there to the masses.
For instance, my post Why I Kept My Surname After Marriage, one of the earliest posts on my blog, received only 464 views. When I posted on Huffington Post, it went viral. While the metrics are difficult to track and are limited through HuffPost (you will never know your page views), you can measure the social shares and likes. Viral numbers are obviously subjective, but for me, 70,000 Facebook likes and thousands of social shares, not to mention the story being translated and published in Japan and France in a matter of three days was viral enough for little ole’ me!
How to Contact Huffington Post
I can only imagine the page view metric for that post, but more than that, it has been incredible to connect with people all over the world, hear their opinions, and listen to their stories. Not to mention, you can link back to your blog or social media, as long as the links are relevant to your story.
Now that you know a few of the benefits of being published on Huffington Post, you may wonder how to get published there. In the first part of this series, you can learn how I got published on HuffPost with other tips on how you can, too. For this post, I’m creating a resource page for you to start interacting with and contacting editors at Huffington Post. You’ll also learn how to craft a pitch to them.
Before you email anyone, you should check out the section you want to pitch to and read articles in the section. I also think it’s great to interact with other writers and the editors to start building meaningful connections and to see the kinds of stories that are being published.
Your pitch is not just your article idea – it will include your entire edited story. Make sure to submit only your best piece because all you need is one great shot to get noticed. Once you’re in, you are set up with a blogging contributor account where you have more direct access to publishing whenever you want.
Contact Huffington Post
1. You can use their online submission form to pitch your story:
Some writers have been successful with this and had fast turnaround; others, like me, have not. This is a great starting off point though and certainly worth a shot!
2. HuffPost masthead: This link lists the current editors at Huffington Post by section. It does not contain their contact information, but you will know who to look up, who to contact, and who to start interacting with.
3. HuffPost Twitter: Huffington Post editors are very active on social media; start following the sections you’re interested in and follow the editors directly by clicking here. You can tweet to or message them as well. Once you have something published, be sure to use appropriate hashtags to get noticed and retweeted.
4. Arianna Huffington: Contacting Arianna directly is what ultimately worked best for me. I have heard she is very accessible and has given out her address at blogging conferences and events. All it took was a little Googling to find her address.
Don’t want to put in that work? No problem! Arianna herself published her email address in a beautifully written article here.
I must admit, the moment I received a response from Arianna, my heart just about stopped. I have now come to the realization that such a powerful and influential woman probably isn’t checking her own emails all the time; heck, I can hardly keep up with my emails. However, if you can catch the attention of a decision maker through this contact, you’re in.
Crafting Your Email Pitch
These editors receive hundreds, if not thousands of emails a day, so you want to interest them immediately. Here are some tips on how to do so.
1. Keep it concise: Don’t go on and on about all the research (aka internet stalking) you have done about them and Huffington Post. While I’m sure they’re all lovely people, they also don’t need or want to hear your life story. They’re busy people and are after one thing: great writers and stories that will add value to HuffPost. Put your schmoozing and fan-boy/girling aside and professionally get to the point.
2. Remain professional: In your excitement about pitching your fabulous story, don’t get so wrapped up in the moment that you quickly hit send before editing. Check very carefully for grammar and spelling errors, and be sure that you included all (and only) relevant information. Remember, you’re a writer pitching your writing – you have the potential to lose your shot with silly simple errors; be sure to check out these 4 Common Grammar Mistakes (and how to fix them). Also use proper salutations (not “Hey Arianna, it’s me, Linds…) and a professional email address (not unicornsR4reaLz@aol.com).
3. Address your value: Did you recently have a post go viral on your blog? Did one of your posts stir up controversy, emotions, or traffic? Do you have a news story that is time-sensitive and instantly relevant? Let them know!
Ex: My recent post, A Mother’s Hope for the Future, really resonated with parents on social media and has been liked and shared thousands of times in a matter of two days; I believe the readers in the Parents section would connect with it as well.
4. What to include: Be sure to include your name, blog/website if applicable, and highlight the most interesting part of your story in a concise manner. Then you’ll paste your story.
5. Your story: You do not have to pitch an original story, so if it is published on your blog, that’s okay. Include a link to it and also copy and paste it in the email after your signature. It’s easier for the recipient to read instead of opening a document. Keep your story to 500-1000 words in length, and read articles in the section you’re pitching to get an idea of the type of stories and voices they’re running.
While contributing to Huffington Post isn’t the easiest undertaking, it is definitely attainable! Several of my friends and outside writers have successfully published on Huffington Post after reading my tips, and I hope to add you to that list.
Opening yourself up to more readers can attract various internet bullies – if that happens, read about how to respond to the haters with kindness, and see real examples of my HuffPost haters.
Please let me know what other questions I can answer for you or if there are other topics you’d like me to cover for this series. If you’ve been published on HuffPost, share your favorite article in the comments!