Yahoo’s home page drives more traffic than Twitter, and the website is ranked at number five worldwide.
How would you like that audience?
Our guest post today comes from Kate Bialowas, who shares how she got published on Yahoo! and the tips that are crucial when it comes to pitching an editor for the fifth largest website in the world.
Take it away, Kate!
It’s amazing what can happen in a year.
I first dipped my toes into freelance writing a little over a year ago. I had no clue where it would take me, or that I would be published on Yahoo! a few months later.
As one of the most well-recognized search engines, Yahoo! also operates as an online news publication, publishing articles about everything from beauty to sports to celebrities and entertainment.
I’ve published over ten articles on Yahoo! Beauty since I started writing for them. Yahoo! pays between $100 to $150 per original article, depending on the story.
If you’re interested in getting published on Yahoo!, here are my best tips!
1. Do Your Research
Make sure the topic you’re pitching hasn’t been done on the site before. A quick search on your favorite search engine will do the trick! For example, if you want to write a post on matcha tea, search “Matcha Tea, Yahoo!” If anyone has written about matcha tea on Yahoo!, it will show up in the search engine.
If you’re considering a common topic, think about a new twist on the subject. There may be plenty of articles on matcha tea, but has anyone written about matcha’s beauty benefits and how it can help your skin? What unique personal experience can you bring to the story?
2. Find the Right Person to Pitch
There are many editors working at Yahoo!. The key to getting published is finding the ones who work with your topic and sending your email pitch directly to them.
It sound complicated, but it’s not that hard. Take a look at the articles on the site and check out the names that show up more frequently.
Clicking on the name will direct you to their tumblr page (tumblr is the platform Yahoo! is hosted on), which tells you who they are and what their role is. Some people are contributors, while others are editors. Once you find the right editor, send your pitch directly to them.
You can also do a search on LinkedIn or Twitter to make sure they’re the right person!
Inside tip: You’ll have to set up a tumblr account too. This is how you submit your articles to editors. Include your photo and your title. For example, mine is Contributor, Yahoo! Canada Style.
3. Send a Fleshed-out Pitch
You don’t have to send in a finished article, but make sure to send a fleshed-out pitch that explains why your piece would work for the site, the main points you’ll cover and the context to your post. Also include the names of sources you’re planning on interviewing (if any), and what questions you’ll ask in your interview.
And don’t be afraid to get personal. Write about topics that you have a connection with. I’ve added a personal to every topic I’ve written about. A personal experience or story to go along with the article is more likely to draw people in and make them connect to your writing.
4. Follow the Style Guide
Read other articles that have previously been published on the site. Follow the same style so the editor doesn’t have to make too many changes to your post. Always pay attention to details. Do they use sub headings? Do they share a personal story at the beginning? At the end? How long are the posts? If they include an interview, how is the interview formatted?
If you make the job easy for the editor, they’re more likely to assign more work to you.
5. Get Comfortable with Interviews
For almost every article I’ve written for Yahoo! I’ve interviewed an “expert” – whether it was a hairstylist or a dermatologist. I’m sure this depends on your article and niche, but be prepared to reach out to experts and get the inside scoop!
You can either do a phone interview, an email interview, or meet up to do the interview in person. There are pros and cons to each type of interview. I prefer phone and in-person interviews because you can probe further if you need more information.
Email interviews can be great too, because they allow the person to really put in thought to their answer and write it all out. However, they can also work in the opposite way and people will just jot down short answers and send them to you. You can always follow up with them and ask them to expand or clarify their answers if this is the case.
6. Keep on Pitching
Last but not least, know (and make peace with the fact that) not every pitch is going to get accepted. I’ve probably had just as many pitches declined as accepted. So my advice to you is to be consistently pitching. If you come up with an article idea you think would work great on the site, see if it’s been done, and if not, pitch away!
It can be tough when your story idea gets rejected, but my best advice is to keep at it! If it’s not right for one publication, it may be right for another. Like Gina says, pushing out of your comfort zone will get you results! If one idea gets rejected, don’t be scared to pitch another one.
What’s the biggest thing holding you back from pitching? Let’s chat about it below!
Kate is a freelance writer with a background in beauty, fashion and wellness. She is the beauty and wellness editor at Meraki Lane, and her articles can be found on sites such as Yahoo! Canada and Siren Communications. When she’s not writing, taking a hot yoga class, or curling up with a good book, you can find her blogging about social media and blogging tips over at Layered Indulgence.