Find Writing Opportunities the Unconventional Way
Whether you’re a freelance writer or looking to contribute articles across the web for visibility and links, it all starts with finding those writing opportunities in the first place. If you’re in charge of placing an article you write, then you probably know by now that it helps to find publications before you start writing. Even if you plan to write an article and then send it over with your pitch (depending on the situation), you still like to have an idea of where you’d like the article to go before you start writing.
Unfortunately, finding writing opportunities isn’t always easy. The “guest posting” days are still upon us, so editors are still being bombarded with emails from poor writers from poor companies, and so it’s easy to get ignored. Nonetheless, there are ways to get creative when it comes to finding these opportunities. It might be a little bit unconventional, but you’re a good writer, you deserve to be noticed!
Tips and Tricks for Finding New Writing Opportunities
Traditionally what you do is visit a website, look for a “guest post” or “write for us page” and read the guidelines. If those guidelines don’t exist, you move to finding contact information for the editor of the website. If all else fails, you’re writing a message to the invisible people on the other side of the “contact us” page. And by now, you also lose hope.
The trick to finding different writing opportunities is to not only be persistent, but to also try to connect with those in charge in other ways that aren’t the norm — where all the spammers go. Analyze the site where you’re hoping to get published and determine how far you want to go to get published on that site. If it’s a very good site (likely part of the reason you’re getting ignored), try some of these unconventional tactics:
• Try connecting through social media.
Of course this is the number one way to try and get your name out there to an editor. Unfortunately this is becoming a little bit more mainstream as well, but it’s worth a try if the editor of the website accepts your social follow request. Always request to connect first before sending any messages.
Once you connect with a publisher, reach out and express that you’re interested in creating a content partnership. I find that LinkedIn is the best place for this type of outreach because typically your requests to connect aren’t ignored here (like they often are on social sites like Twitter), and because it should be a network of professionals. It’s the best way for that publisher to see that you’re not a spammer and you’re serious about writing.
• Find contacts through other contacts.
If you’re ever at a loss finding different sites that allow contributors, talk with some of the editors who you already have a good relationship with. Not only will this help you find different options that you know accept articles, but you also have another editor vouching for you. Ask if you can have an introduction and offer to do the same for them with any of your contacts. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door — just use someone else who has already done it.
• Find other staff members at the website and try to connect that way.
If an editor isn’t getting back to you via the contact page or social media and you don’t have a mutual connection, try to find someone else who works at the company. Do this by checking out different social media sites and typing in the company name. If there is a full-time writer, chances are he or she knows the editor and can put you in touch with the right person. The writer probably doesn’t get many requests like an editor does, so you could be answered right away. A forwarded messaged to their boss is far more likely to be opened than something general you submitted on the site.
A Few Extra Tips
Scott Langdon, managing partner of SEO Company HigherVisibility, explained that a big part of finding opportunities is being committed to a regular relationship. He said, “Companies don’t want to hear from writers who are just interested in a link and publishing any content they have on hand. Publishers want to see that you are committed to finding the perfect content, potentially by sending ideas, and you’re ready to be a regular contributor who values the partnership over the link.”
Also keep in mind that when you are trying to approach an editor, it always helps if that editor has seen you before. Try to become an active member of different websites in your community by not only contributing articles, but by commenting on different posts. Recognition will always get you far when it comes to writing opportunities. And, although it can be tough to start, once you break through, these opportunities will start falling like dominoes.
Finally, don’t try and talk with editors if their site clearly doesn’t allow outside contributors. Always go for the traditional approaches first and analyze the website to determine if you want to move forward with some of the more aggressive approaches discussed above.
Do you have any extra tips for finding writing opportunities? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.
About the Author
Amanda DiSilvestro is Online Content Editor and Writer for SEO consulting service Higher Visibility. Follow her on Twitter @ADiSilvestro, and connect with her on LinkedIn and Google+.
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Creative Commons licensed photo thanks to Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures.
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