With 110 million unique visitors per month and dozens of articles posted per day, the Huffington Post can ensure maximum exposure for writers of all kinds.
That being said, you need to craft a pitch that will stand out from the competition.
In this article, I’ll discuss how HuffPost is great for guest blogging and brand building and how to pitch it!
What We’ll Cover:
- What is Guest Blogging?
- A Brief History of the Huffington Post
- What Makes HuffPost Personal So Great?
- How to Pitch a Blog to Huffington Post
But, guest blogging for Huffington Post is not for the faint of heart.
As a writer, getting your content in front of as many eyes as possible is the ultimate goal.
Talk about pressure!
What is Guest Blogging?
According to recent data, more than 70 million blog posts are published every month, which means reaching and retaining a large blog audience is becoming more competitive than ever.
Guest blogging involves getting your article published on a blog or online publication that you do not own or regularly contribute to. This process is often coupled with the expectation of building brand awareness, strengthening your credibility, or showcasing your expertise.
An integral part of any successful digital marketing strategy, there’s a healthy appetite for keyword-rich, high-quality guest posts on the web today. In fact, roughly 77% of internet users routinely read blog posts, which means guest blogging is a win-win for all parties involved.
For the host blog that is publishing your guest post, they will receive a free piece of content that they do not have to write themselves or pay someone else to write it for them. The writer of the guest post, on the other hand, will get to enjoy the perks of amassing a growing readership and driving more traffic to their respective websites. Here are a few additional advantages:
- Receive instant exposure to targeted traffic, giving you the opportunity to increase the chances of conversion
- Expand your personal network and engage with other contributors engaged in related niches
- Boost your social media follower count and fast-track your lead generation efforts
- Strengthen your backlink profile and make your content more discoverable
- Collect feedback from fellow contributors and refine your content strategy accordingly
A Brief History of the Huffington Post
Founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington, Jonah Peretti, and Kenneth Lerer, the Huffington Post has become an online staple, publishing daily content on subjects spanning politics, entertainment, world news, sports, and technology.
Six years after its launch, the blog was sold to AOL for a 9-figure sum. Since 2011, Huffington Post readership statistics have continued to climb, with the publication currently being valued at around $1 billion.
With Arianna Huffington spearheading operations as editor-in-chief at the time, the Huffington Post even became the first commercial-based online newspaper to win a Pulitzer Prize in 2012.
Over the last decade, the site has continued to expand internationally, debuting Canadian, United Kingdom, and French versions of the publication. Unlike many of their counterparts, special interest groups were represented, including Black Voices, Latino Voices, and Gay Voices, which aimed to address the issues surrounding these groups.
Despite its growth, the Verizon-owned company is still making adjustments to its business model to adhere to the needs of its readers, investors, and staff.
Much to the dismay of writers everywhere, as of January 2018, the Huffington Post announced that it would shut down its unpaid contributor blogging platform “to improve the editorial quality of the news site and cut down on unvetted reporting.”
The contributor program door may have closed, but two more opened up immediately after. During this same time, the Huffington Post launched a new opinion section, which has since shuttered, featuring regular columnists and commissioned contributors, as well as HuffPost Personal, in which guest writers could post first-person essays and interviews covering celebrities and other newsmakers.
What Makes HuffPost Personal So Great?
As its name suggests, HuffPost Personal focuses on personal stories, with storytelling being an essential part of the section’s mission. Many of them are political, like “The One Crucial Step Gov. Cuomo Hasn’t Taken That Could Save Thousands Of Lives” and “Social Distancing Feels A Lot Like My Immigrant Childhood. Here’s How.” Others focus on more novel subjects, like “This 83-Year-Old Man Just Starred In His First Infomercial” or “My Partner And I Traveled For 17 Months With Our Toddler. Here’s What We Learned.”
According to the site’s editorial guidelines, “a HuffPost Personal piece is original, authentic, compelling and told in the first person.” Huffington Post favors writers with distinct points of view above all else. Their community of guest bloggers come from a variety of diverse backgrounds that can lend a unique perspective to certain topics. Basically, if your post is not noteworthy or persuasive, it won’t be featured in the Personal section.
Themes represented in HuffPost Personal often include:
- Identity (ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, intersectionality, etc.)
- Physical health and mental health
- Love and relationships
- Family and parenting
- Career and entrepreneurship
- Body and body image
- All-around captivating stories about transformative life experiences
How to Pitch a Blog to Huffington Post
Coming up with a pitching strategy for a site like the Huffington Post can be downright daunting. Getting your first article published will undoubtedly be tough.
But once you’re approved for the first one, you won’t have to jump through as many hoops to get the second, third, and fourth ones up on the site.
All you have to do is be systematic in your approach and follow a few simple steps:
Research, research, research.
Start broad and then narrow down the focus of your topic. To gauge the popularity of a certain subject matter, you can use Huffington Post’s built-in search function to find existing articles that cover similar topics. For example, let’s say you wanted to write a blog post about living with a chronic illness, you might type the keyword “diabetes,” or “arthritis” into the search bar. Then from the results, you can locate posts about diabetes or arthritis in sections like “Parents” and “Science.”
Summarize your story idea.
Keep this concise. Odds are Huffington Post editors are receiving hundreds (if not, thousands) of guest post submissions each day. That’s why it’s imperative that your idea is engaging, thought-provoking, and impactful.
Explain what makes you the right person to write the piece.
This is where you establish your credibility. What is the “special sauce” that makes you the go-to person to tell this story? List any relevant academic or professional credentials you may have and talk briefly about how your personal experience qualifies you to write on this topic. Two or three paragraphs should do the trick.
Explain why this story is significant and what the stakes are.
Your story may not necessarily be unique, but the way you tell it has to be. Identify the angle. Has anyone ever approached it from this angle before? Pixar’s Andrew Stanton once said that the most critical element of storytelling is to “make me care.” It’s up to you to make the editor care. And after reading your pitch, they should know why your story matters.
Create a framework of how the piece will begin and end.
You could have all the other bells and whistles in place, but editors want to be sure that you can write an article that is easy to read and flows well. Be sure to format for readability and include a draft in the body (if you have one).
Craft a subject line with a clear headline of what you’re pitching.
At times, headlines can make or break a story. Editors particularly loathe “bait and switch” headlines that create false expectations that the article fails to deliver. You also want to specify whether or not your story is timely.
Include a description of your writing experience.
Writing samples speak volumes and provide editors with a frame of reference for your body of work. Always offer links to previously published posts of similar relevance. If you don’t have a ton of experience to speak on, then discuss your passion for the subject.
How to Pitch to HuffPost Personal
The ideal HuffPost Personal piece will present readers with an honest, nuanced perspective on modern political, social, and cultural issues, all of which are informed by personal experiences. In addition to the points mentioned above, a good pitch for HuffPost Personal will need the following:
- A succinctly summed up story that includes an argument and a hook. Why should HuffPost’s audience pay attention to this subject?
- Reiterate why you are the right individual to write this piece. Do you have first-hand experience with the subject at hand?
- Explain what makes the piece a good fit for HuffPost readers. Is this topic rarely covered or not covered at all?
- Describe what the takeaway should be. HuffPost Personal articles are meant to challenge, inform, and inspire. What do you want readers to learn?
- Be original. HuffPost Personal prioritizes the voice of those who are seldom heard from in the media.
It’s Your Turn to Guest Blog
Blogging is not dead. On the contrary, content marketing has never been more relevant.
And guest blogging for Huffington Post is the perfect way to introduce your voice and expertise to an audience you already know and trust.
Getting a publication spot on Huffington Post is all about finding a unique way to approach a specific topic, producing a quality blog post, expanding your outreach.
However, none of this is possible if you don’t do your research and take the first step.
The time to test your guest blogging skills is now!