If you’re a new blogger, you might be think that being published only happens to experienced or professional writers. Maybe you’ve been blogging for a long time but just don’t feel that your writing is “good enough” to submit somewhere. Maybe you have dreamed of being published but just don’t know where to begin.
These top 8 tips to get published are just the answer you’ve been waiting for…
Top 8 Tips to Get Your Writing Published
1. Read Read Read
I cannot emphasize this first tip enough. If you want to be published you must become one with the style of writing and the type of content of the publisher. Scary Mommy has a very different style than Mom Babble for example. Huffington Post also has its own groove. By reading popular blogs consistently you tend you get a feel for the types of topics that hit home with people. You might have a killer idea, however maybe you’re missing an essential piece that will take it to the next level. This brings us to the second point…
2. Study Study Study
It’s not enough to simply read popular blogs. Many publishers have a typical word count range. If you’re writing a 400 word article for a website that typically publishes 800 words, you’ll probably be passed over before you’re even out of the gate. Look at the flow of the writing. Do their published writers typically write in long monologues or short punchy sentences? It’s the details that make all the difference been a yes or a no.
3. Know Your Audience
Ask yourself: what is the brand message of the website where I’d like to be published? Do they typically publish uplifting personal stories or sarcastic humor pieces? Who is their ideal reader? You might have an amazing piece of writing that you are submitting to the wrong place. Do your research and submit your work to places that fit with your own brand. Have a clear vision for what you want to say. Who are you writing to and what do you have to say that is going to connect with a larger audience?
4. Unique content
There is nothing new under the sun. It’s unusual that you have something to say that hasn’t already been say in a million different ways. Having said that, there is only one you. Your individual take on a topic could be just the piece that the publisher has been waiting for. Know your point of view and write the hell out of it. Go big or go home. Don’t be timid. Bare your soul and others are more likely to connect with your content. Most importantly – be you. And for the love of all things mighty PROOFREAD. See more tips on the topic of unique content here.
5. Title = Everything!
You might have the most amazing piece the world has ever known and no one will ever read it because they’ve glanced at your title and already decided to pass. Research shows that the ideal number of words for an effective blog title is between 6 and 8. It must clearly identify the topic of the article. Don’t leave room for ambiguity. And as much as you might be sick of them, numbers sell. Blog post titles with a number in them are most likely to be clicked. A good title is everything. I originally sent a piece to Scary Mommy entitled, “Making Peace with our Parenting Choices” and it was rejected. I submitted the same piece a few months later under, “How Settling for Good Enough Makes Me a Better Mom” and it was accepted. Titles matter.
6. Don’t give up!
It took me about 30 submissions to Scary Mommy before I was first accepted. I knew my content was on par, but I wasn’t utilizing all of the other tips above. I submitted, I was rejected, I continued to read and study, and submitted again. Eventually I got a yes. After the first yes, the second, third, and fifteenth submission to a third party were easy. By then I had learned what type of content is most likely going to be accepted and what is more appropriate to keep to my personal blog. Don’t give up. Even J.K. Rowling was passed over many, many times before someone happened to give it a thorough read! Persistence definitely pays off.
7. Feedback is your Friend
If you’d like you can start small. There are lots of smaller publications you can submit to that are open to new talent. They are also more likely to offer you feedback. Take it. Though writing is undoubtedly personal, it’s not the time to get defensive. Set your pride aside and be open to the constructive feedback of those who have been in the industry a long time. Every piece of advice you receive makes you a better writer. You may not always agree with it, but it is always worth your consideration. By honing your skills and refining your craft, you’ll be in a good place tackle the big fish next.
8. Develop a thick skin
Once your work is out there in the world, it’s out of your hands. If you are published on a large site, the feedback from the general public can be downright ugly at times. My recent article, To The Woman Who Watches My Child While I Work, was shared over 45,000 times, which means that the level of crazy came out 45 fold. People commented that I was letting other people raise my children. That real moms stayed at home. I was apparently too judgmental about mac and cheese and hot dogs. If negative feedback bothers you, the bigger publications might not be your best bet. I don’t let it get to me. People be crazy and I choose to focus on the the positive.
The Good Enuf Mommy
When people start a blog they often think to themselves – oh it’ll be so much fun! Shortly afterward the disillusions they once held give way to the realization that blogging is A LOT of WORK. Most people have no idea how much.
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