How To Become A Contributor On Medium, Forbes, Inc, HBR, and 10 Authority Sites
Becoming a contributor on high authority sites is imperative for most bloggers out there. It’s also a great idea for any small business to do. Think of it as guest posting on steroids.
Everybody has a blog these days. Everybody has this idea for the next big thing. And, guess what, everybody has got a side hustle that they’re working on. Making money online isn’t like it used to be 20 years ago. These days it’s absurdly competitive.
If you’re new to the world of writing, then you might want to start with my article on how I made $100-$200 per day writing for content mills.
So how do you go about standing out from the crowd? There’s actually a million different correct answers to that question. But for today we’re going to focus on how you can become a contributor on high authority sites.
Why Should You Become A Contributor On Medium, Forbes, Inc, etc..?
Contributing to these websites will bode well for anyone. You will get some amazing exposure and, one some platforms, you will get some super amazing link authority or link “juice” from Google.
Backlinks on high-authority industry-relevant websites can mean the difference between you blogging as a hobby until you give up in 3 months vs you earning a living from doing this. It can mean the difference between your prototype flopping or you getting rich from your next big idea.
Seriously, it’s that important. And you can hover over the links to see that none of these are affiliate links. I know it seems like I’m trying to sell you on the idea — and I am — but only to drive home the importance of doing this.
BONUS: Have you ever seen blogs that have those fancy “As seen on” emblems like in the picture below?
You’re legally allowed to use that on your blog, on your site, or for your product or service. But rather than paying $10,000 for some minimal Forbes or Fast Company exposure, you can simply contribute some good content to them, and the rest will fall in line.
Pros & Cons Of Content Syndication & Guest Posting
Benefits of becoming a contributor on high authority sites: Exposure for your brand, products, and/or service, amazing high-domain authority link juice, ability to use fancy “As seen on” emblems.
Cons of becoming a contributor on high authority sites: There literally are none. Sure, you have to write some decent content (or at least pay someone else to write it) but many of the sites let you cross post this content to other platforms (or your own website). Also, the time and effort is worth it if you even get to contribute for only one of the sites in this list.
Contributing to high authority sites will oftentimes require a pitch email. You’re sending your topic or article idea to editors that get a lot of emails every day. You need to keep your topic on point and keep your pitch email as straightforward as possible! Here’s a Hubspot article on the worst pitching email of all time so you can know what not to do.
Become A Contributor On MEDIUM
We’re going to start with Medium because they’re a little bit different than the other sites here. Medium is a blogging platform that is open to anyone. Well, kind of. It’s not a blogging platform like Google’s Blogger or the WordPress.com hosted platform.
But Medium is open to anybody who wants to write good quality content. Your content can’t be overtly promotional as it will be shared with Medium’s in-house audience. It needs to provide some kind of value.
For example, I had a client who wanted to promote their teeth whitening kit on Medium. They tried writing the first article by themselves and it was turned down right away. They came to us and we wrote a 1,500 word piece on the teeth whitening industry as a whole with a very small call to action at the end of the article. That one got approved.
Contributing To Medium: If you’ve never been there before, take some time to look around and get a feel for what the content looks like. If your content quality is good enough then Medium editors may promote you to one of their front pages.
Sign up to create a free account and click on Write A Story in the top right corner. Anytime you write an article on Medium you are allowed to go repost it to your own site or blog. You might even be allowed to contribute this content to other authority sites below.
Become A Contributor On FORBES
Although known for their financial news and Richest People List, the content that Forbes publishes covers a variety of different backgrounds — technology, business information, lifestyle (women, minorities, LGBTQ), even celebrity news and cooking — so there’s likely room for whatever content it is that you’re considering contributing to Forbes.
Contributing To Forbes: Take some time to read through the Forbes opinion-piece articles. Get an idea of the quality that’s expected of Forbes articles. Now, site down and write your Forbes masterpiece. Format it amazingly well, run it through something like Copyscape to check for any issues.
Submit this article to email@example.com and make the subject line your proposed article title. This article can be any length but it must be 100% exclusive to Forbes. It cannot be submitted anywhere else online (or in print!).
Give them about 5 business days and if you haven’t heard back from them, submit your article elsewhere. If they like it then they’ll email you back within 5 business days (longer for holidays). Don’t send follow-up emails!
Become A Contributor On INC
Inc.com is an amazing publication that will publish articles and write ups that offer advice or information about tools or services that can help businesses grow. They typically gear that content towards small businesses. Their contribution guidelines aren’t too hard to follow either.
Contributing To Inc: You don’t necessarily need to have your article pre-written, but you do need at least a topic. Once you’ve got a topic or a story idea, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your pitch as straightforward as possible. Try to avoid trying to justify your idea. If you’d like to become a regular inc.com columnist you can submit your request to email@example.com
Become A Contributor On HBR
The Harvard Business Review has an online publication at HBR.org and covers a myriad of business-related topics. Negotiations, operations, innovation, decision making, strategy, leadership, work-life balance, team management, and a whole slew of other topics get picked up by HBR.
HBR says their readers are smart, skeptical, and always busy, so you need to capture their interest right away. A well-worn topic isn’t going to do that unless you’ve got some unique spin to offer that hasn’t already been covered yet. Because this is a collection of industry experts, all of your arguments and ideas need to be backed up with facts supported by evidence.
Contributing To HBR: You should first start by reviewing their contributor guidelines. It helps to have the article written, but it’s okay if you don’t. You’ll want to send your pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org and give them a brief overview of your topic. You may be asked to do multiple revisions or to take your article in a slightly different direction. But that’s okay, because getting published by them is amazing for your name or brand recognition.
Become A Contributor On FAST COMPANY
Fast Company, formerly known as Fucked Company, got their start by covering businesses that were, well, fucked. As they started growing they morphed their brand into one that covers a wide array of business topics.
These days they encourage writers to contribute unique articles that “introduce new ideas” and “advance conversation around trending topics”. To get a feel for what they like, you might want to read their post about how to write pieces that don’t make editors want to die.
Contributing To Fast Company: You need to have a completed article that’s around 1,000 words or less, as per their Submission Guidelines. Once you’re ready, reach out to Kathleen Davis at email@example.com and attach your completed article. According to Fast Company, if your guest post is approved then 24 hours after its posted you can post that content to your own site or blog, or syndicate it elsewhere.
You might also want to consider some of the other Fast Company sub-publications: Co.Labs, Co.Create, Co.Exist, or Co.Design — if that’s the case, contact their masthead with your ideas.
Become A Contributor On ENTREPRENEUR.COM
Being geared towards business owners who are just starting out or who are wanting to grow their business, entrepreneur.com is for, well, entrepreneurs. They encourage their writers to cover “actionable information” and to offer “practical inspiration for business owners.”
These guys aren’t as laid back as some of the other syndication/contribution platforms we’ve talked about so far. You’ll need to have a nice, professional Twitter and LinkedIn profile that has some verifiable information on it.
Contributing To Entrepreneur.com: You don’t need to have a completed article, but you do need to have some good ideas to pitch. You’ll want to visit their Become An Entrepreneur Contributor page to get a better idea of what they’re looking for and to learn how to get on board.
Become A Contributor On NEW YORK TIMES’ OP-ED
The New York Times allows submissions to their op-ed section and these submissions can cover plenty of different topics — not just government or politics. Topics about anything will interest the Op-Ed staff. Whether it’s opinionated or fact based, as long as they think it’s something that their readers would enjoy reading.
Getting noticed is easy as Trish Hall, Op-Ed editor, says they’re interested in all topics. Pieces that show opposing viewpoints to past-published editorials are also great. Those editorials are traditionally pretty liberal, and they thoroughly enjoy conservative viewpoints that present a different point of view. But, again, your article or submission doesn’t need to be political.
Contributing To New York Times’ Op-Ed: You’ll want to first visit their “How to submit an op-ed article” guide that will answer many questions that you probably still have. Once you’ve got your article written up, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you haven’t realized that it’s 2020 yet then you can fax it to them (212)-556-4100
Become A Contributor On BUSINESS INSIDER
Guess what topics Business Insider covers. Yes! Business! Oh man you’re so smart, how’d you know? They also cover some other topics. Hell, you can even find some articles about celebrities over there from time to time.
If your brand, blog, product(s), service(s) relate to anything dealing with business then you’ll want to give them a shot. It’s great to have your article already written, proofread, and in its final-draft form.
Contributing To Business Insider: You can send in your final draft and your suggested headline to email@example.com along with a brief bio of yourself and any other pieces you’ve published.
Become A Contributor On MASHABLE
Mashable covers a lot of technology-related news, but it’s not their primary focus. They bill themselves as a social networking and web-news blog. If you’re not sure what Mashable covers then you may want to check out either of these articles:
- 12 Tips For Getting Your Startup Featured on Mashable
- 12 Things Not to Do When Pitching A Story To Mashable
Contributing To Mashable: You can submit a pitch or article idea, a full article, or an industry-relevant tip using the form on their Submit News page. The form allows for attachments. If you’re writing about a startup or a business you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about getting listed on their Startup Review Series.
Become A Contributor On HUFFINGTON POST
Writing for Huffington Post is the holy grail for many writers out there. When it comes to syndicating your content or contributing to a high-authority mega outlet, Huffington Post is where it’s at. Getting published on HuffPo (as the regulars call it) is really damn hard. But it’s not impossible, and it is worth the effort.
SEO and Huffington Post go so well together. Seriously, your article will rank for most 3, 4, and 5 word terms within a couple of hours of it going live. This is why everyone strives to write for them. Also because it looks pretty cool on a resume or in your blog’s About Me section.
Contributing To Huffington Post: Spend some time to read how the other bloggers are writing their stories. Look at the titles of what topics are already there. Get a feel for their content. (Obviously an article titled “6 Helpful Business Lessons We Can Learn From Donald Trump” is not going to bode well). Pitch your idea to HuffingtonPost using this Google Form. Keep it simple.
Contributing To High Authority Sites Isn’t Easy
But it is worth it. Both the direct and indirect results are so insanely worth it. If any of the above help makes you super anxious, then practice on much smaller outlets. Try and find blogs to guest post on.
If your industry was kitchen gadgets then do a Google search for “kitchen gadgets + write for us” or “contribute + kitchen gadgets” and find some smaller outlets that you can practice with.
Use something like Google Docs, Open Office Writer, or Microsoft Word to type your articles in. Run them through Copyscape. Even better, format them through WordPress using the Yoast plugin for readability tips.
My name is Brad and I’ve been making money online since 1999. I’ve also been to federal prison for computer hacking and financial crimes. I regularly post great money-making tips and, sometimes, some funny (or heartwarming) prison stories.
I will never share, sell, or spam your email address.