I get asked all of the time how I landed my HuffPo (or Huffington Post) contributorship.
It’s actually not that sexy of a story, but I’m going to share it with y’all anyway. In addition to sharing how I sourced it, I’ll talk about how long I’ve been writing for them, why I continue to, what I write about and how it benefits me. You ready?
When I got started as a freelance writer, I pitched for anything and everything. I’m a bit more selective now, but I still put myself out there more often than not. I figure landing writing gigs is a bit of a numbers game – the more that I pitch for, the better my odds of securing work.
I came across an ad in the Careful Cents Facebook group (you can join here) for an unpaid contributorship at the Huffington Post and I knew I had to apply. Curious as to what my initial email said? Here it is:
As you can see, this was sent in mid-May. I was just launching my website at the time, which is why I probably added my samples as Google docs and not links (dead giveaway for many newbies;-). It wasn’t the best pitch, but it did the trick and they gave me the go ahead to write the article on paying more for cable than one saves for their retirement.
My first article was published on June 3rd, 2014. I promoted the heck out of it and received a lot of support on my personal Facebook page from friends and family. It made me feel great that I was good enough to submit to HuffPo and that I received congrats and well wishes from many in my natural market in return.
Since then, I’ve been posting on a monthly basis. Once you get the green light from HuffPo with your first article, they typically will give you user access to the back-end to write future posts directly yourself. They still go through a review process each and every time, but you can write as often or as little as you’d like.
As I mentioned, I knew I needed samples as I was just getting started. I knew that the HuffPo name carried some weight and would make for a great portfolio piece. Surely if the Huffington Post thought I was good enough to write for them, other (paying) clients would too!
I’m happy to say that this still holds true. Even though I don’t get paid to write for HuffPo and I don’t really see that much traffic in response to my posts (none have yet gone viral, but I’m still hoping;-), it has been a great in with many other jobs I’ve pitched.
Virtually everyone has heard of HuffPo and the fact that I write for them (clients don’t know or care whether it’s a paid position or not) gives me instant credibility. For me, the sample alone has been worth the effort and time I put into creating content. It also gave me a great chance to practice early on.
There are many different areas you can write in for HuffPo. I chose Financial Education, as my background and experience is in personal finance. I knew that would be a great area for me to highlight my skills/expertise. Check out my author page to see what else I’ve written.
I may branch out and write in different niches for them going forward though. Since they have so many different categories, it could be a great way for me to expirement with new niches over time and gain samples in them. It can’t hurt, right?
I still plan on posting on a regular basis going forward. Again, it’s not paid and it doesn’t boost my traffic, so it’s mainly to maintain samples and an “active” standing with HuffPo and support my claims on my LinkedIn profile and Hire Me page.
I got started by responding to an unpaid job ad and submitting a pitch. After getting the green light on my first article, I’m able to write as often as I’d like. I still post in the Financial Education column on a monthly basis, but I might branch out from that in the future.
If you’re looking to get in with HuffPo or another similar organization, it’s worth a shot. You can submit your own blog post to the Huffington Post by clicking here. Why not you, why not now?
Have any other questions? Ask them in the comments!