7 Steps to Publishing Articles in Major Media Outlets

Sally Kane

February 9, 2015

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How to Successfully Publish in National News Publications

Publishing in national news and trade publications is an excellent way to boost your visibility, gain professional credibility and drive traffic to your website. However, getting published in high-profile publications involves more than simply submitting an article. Since national publications receive a high rate of submissions, they are extremely selective in the articles they accept.

Getting published can be tricky, but not impossible. Below are seven steps to getting published.

  1. Research and identify publications – Research the media outlet in order to ensure that the article you write fits the publication’s target audience. Study the publication’s latest issues and review their website, editorial calendar, About Us page, advertising materials and other information to learn about their readership, the type of articles they publish and their typical contributors.
  2. Research submission guidelines – Every publication has different submission guidelines and the more prominent the publication, the more “hoops” you may have to jump through to get published. Some of the larger publications will want to see your portfolio of work, a detailed bio and a strong query letter.
  3. Develop a strong query – Many media outlets don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. They want to review and approve your article idea before you write it. Therefore, it is important to develop a pitch that is targeted to the publication. Editors are looking for articles that are fresh and insightful such as breaking news in your industry or articles with a unique angle, deep insight or controversial take on a topic. So, pitching an idea with a unique hook and writing a strong query letter is important.
  4. Develop your platform – You will want to market yourself in a way that will convince the publication that you are the right person to write on the topic. A one-size-fits-all bio is not the best approach; you will want to customize your bio for each market so you can emphasize the most relevant and compelling aspects of your background. Some publications may also want to see writing samples or a portfolio of published articles.
  5. Pitch your article – Pitching is an art – there are entire books written on the process – and there is right and wrong way to pitch. As I mentioned in Step 3, it is best to pitch the article idea before writing it; if you write the piece first, you may waste valuable time creating an article that is ultimately rejected.
  6. Write the article – If your pitch is accepted, the next step is to write the article. Many publications have specific writing guidelines and word count requirements that you must follow. You must also be sure to match your style and tone to that of the publication.
  7. Relationship building – Building relationships with editors, journalists and staff writers can help you break into some of the more competitive media outlets. Relationship-building takes time and effort but it is often worthwhile because publishing and guest posting opportunities often grow out of these relationships.

Publishing in major media outlets is well worth the effort. Publishing can help build your platform, increase your site search rankings and open doors to other opportunities. If you are interested in media placements but lack the time and contacts, PaperStreet can help.

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