Here’s what most bloggers do when they want to learn how to write for Huffington Post:
1. Do a Google search for “how to write for huffington post” or something similar
2. After a bit of digging, find the blogger submission form and send in their article
3. Cross their fingers and pray it gets accepted
4. When it goes live (yay!), get an initial high of exhilaration from being published on Huffington Post. Blogger bucket list item checked off!
5. Refresh their blog analytics a zillion times looking for the flood of traffic that’s bound to come their way.
6. After a couple days of little to no new blog traffic, end up feeling deflated and wondering what went wrong.
If that sounds like you or a blogger friend you know, then you’re not alone. This is the story for most bloggers who write for Huffington Post.
Admittedly, it’s pretty cool just to get published on Huffington Post – but “pretty cool” doesn’t grow your blog or put money in the bank.
Want to know a better way for how to write for Huffington Post? (It includes blog traffic, subscribers and even sales if you’re super smart about it).
If so, read on mama, read on.
How To Write For Huffington Post and Get Blog Traffic, Subscribers and Sales
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of what you should do to make your Huffington Post article rock your blog, let’s make sure to get your article pitch accepted in the first place.
(Already accepted to write for HuffPo? Skip ahead to the traffic tips >>)
Don’t Use Their Blogger Submission Form
When searching for how to write for Huffington Post, your first inclination will probably be to Google something like “write for Huffington Post”.
Pretty straightforward, right?
This will lead you to their contact page, and after some poking around a bit, you’ll find this standard blogger submission form and submit your article:
Don’t do that.
I’ve heard from frustrated blogger after frustrated blogger that this method takes weeks to hear back from, and many never hear back at all.
Do Pitch Arianna Directly
Yes, Arianna Huffington.
Her public email address is email@example.com, and this is exactly where you should send your article pitch. I’m pretty sure it’s not actually her at the other end of the line (she’s a pretty busy lady running a media empire and all), but it works nonetheless.
Here are some tips to increase your chances of getting a “yes”:
- Make your pitch personal and friendly (there’s an actual person on the other end of it)
- Clearly outline the benefit that your article will deliver to the Huffington Post readers
- Make it short and sweet – respect the editors’ time and show that you have the skill to craft a great pitch.
- Sign off with a friendly farewell
Even though I know from personal experience that it works, I can’t take credit for this pitch outline. I learned it from guest posting expert, Mary Fernandez, who successfully used it to get her own HuffPo pitch accepted.
The point is, there are no magic words (that I know of!) that will get your article pitch accepted, but if you use this outline as inspiration for your own pitch, then you’ll be well on your way.
Here’s What Happens Next
**IMPORTANT UPDATE: A new Huffington Post blogger platform has just started rolling out at the beginning of May, 2016. If you receive a welcome email to the new platform “Athena”, be sure to read this post for updated instructions. But don’t miss the traffic tips at the end of this post – they still apply and are very important for getting the most out out of your HuffPo article!
After you send in your email pitch, one of two things will happen:
1) You never hear back. If this happens, don’t give up! You know that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he got the light bulb to work, right? And Arianna herself suggests you dare to fail? If you don’t hear back within 2 weeks, rework your article angle and email pitch and try again.
2) You get an email response from Arianna saying you’re in! It took 8 days for me to hear back after my first pitch, but I’ve seen many others hear back the next day. Here’s what the email will look like:
At this point, it’s completely appropriate to dance the Futterwacken and take a brownie break. You’re in!
A Bit More Waiting
After getting your “Yes”, you don’t get to post right away. For me, this part was hard! Once I saw Arianna’s “yes” email I was ready to roll, but there’s a few more hoops to jump through.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the timeline and what happens before your article goes live:
EMAIL #1: You get an email from the Huffington Post blog editor welcoming you. For me, this happened 4 days after my “yes” email, but this can vary depending on how busy the editors are at the time.
EMAIL #2: You get another email (same day) with a link to set up your blogger profile.
BIO SET UP: When you click the link, you’ll have to set up and submit your profile. Take a close look at the screenshot below to see the appropriate setup. After filling this out and submitting it, you may have to wait a few more days to get the final approval (it took 2 more days for me).
EMAIL # 3: You get another email with your blogger login credentials and a few simple instructions. Now you can start writing!
WRITE YOUR ARTICLE: Once you’ve written your article, you need to submit it for approval (make sure you read my blog traffic tips below BEFORE submitting your article). The final approval may happen that same day, or a few days later.
YOUR ARTICLE GETS PUBLISHED (FINALLY!): You’ll get an email notification with link to your LIVE article.
Tips For Getting Traffic, Subscribers & Sales From Your Article
Now that you know how to write for Huffington Post, I’m going to share some of my best tips for actually getting traffic, subscribers and sales from your efforts.
If you follow the simple flow outlined below, you’ll be able to do just that. Sound good? Let’s go!
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Step #1: Getting Traffic TO Your Huffington Post Article
Even if you write an awesome article that you just know your ideal audience will love, there’s no guarantee that it’ll get traffic. After all, there are hundreds (or more??) of articles published on Huffington Post every day.
Follow these rules for every article you write to increase your chances of getting the best visibility and traffic to your article:
- Grab Their Attention: Give your article an attention-grabbing title. Now is not the time to be boring… make them click!
- Break It Up: To get readers to stick with your article after the title and share it, be sure to make it’s easy on the eyes by including plenty of white space and interesting breaks. This can be done with bullet points, numbered lists, images, blockquotes and limiting the length of your paragraphs to no more than 1-3 sentences each.
- Include a Social Share Image: (this only applies to the old HuffPost blogger platform) – Huffington Post has a library of images you can choose from for free, which will display when people share your article on social media. If you don’t select an image before you send it to the editor, no image will show when people share your image on Facebook or Twitter. This has a direct impact on how much your article gets shared (which means less traffic).
- Include Relevant Tags: Type in at least 5-7 tags related to your article topic and ideal audience. This helps the Huffington Post editors place your article in the right sections on the site, giving it better overall visibility and traffic potential.
- Share Your Article: This should go without saying, but be sure to share your Huffington Post article on social media. Utilize Facebook Groups, Twitter and Instagram hashtags, Pinterest Group Boards and your own social following to get that puppy seen!
Step #2: Getting Traffic FROM Your HuffPo Article TO Your Blog
Now that you’re getting traffic TO your HuffPo article, let’s keep that traffic moving right along to your own blog.
- Include Your Blog Link In Your Main Author Bio: This won’t show up on your article, but if anyone clicks through to your author bio from your article, you’ll want to make sure your blog link is ready to go.
- **IMPORTANT! Manually Add Your Blog Link To Your Article: Many bloggers don’t realize this, but your author bio doesn’t automatically show up in your article anywhere (only shows if someone clicks over to your author page). Since most people have no incentive to click on your author name, they’ll never see your blog link and never visit your blog! You have to manually type another author bio at the bottom of your article. Be sure to include a link to your blog in your new author bio.
- Make Your Author Bios Short & Sweet: Many bloggers write a long paragraph (or more) all about themselves and their blog. But the harsh truth is this: people don’t really care… and they’re busy. Make your author bios are short and sweet (1-2 short sentences max), and be sure it includes what benefit the reader might get if they click through to your blog.
Step #3: Getting That Traffic To Become Blog Subscribers
We’re on a roll! You’re getting traffic to your Huffington Post article and moving them right along to your blog. Now, how do you get that traffic to turn into subscribers?
One simple tip:
Make sure that link to your blog (from Step #2 above) leads to an Opt-In Landing Page. If your new traffic is just sent to your home page, they might poke around a bit and read a few things, but then will most likely leave.
Unless you give them a reason to stick with you.
Be sure you have an opt-in form (with an irresistible freebie offer) front and center on the page you link to from your HuffPo article.
Step #4: Making Money From Your Huffington Post Article
And now for the money, mama!
At this point, you’ve gotten new traffic and subscribers to your blog, so you’ve already made great strides towards growing your blog.
And you can do this every time you write for Huffington Post… or any other blog for that matter!
But is there a way to actually make money writing for Huffington Post? I wouldn’t have brought you this far if there wasn’t 😉
I made $250 from my very first Huffington Post article, and I didn’t even have a product to sell or ads on my site.
Here’s how I did it:
- When someone opted in to my freebie offer (see Step #3 above), they were automatically entered into a follow-up email series where I shared tips and resources.
- Some of those articles and resources had affiliate links where I earned a commission if people purchased anything through my links. (Be sure to be completely transparent when using affiliate marketing).
- I earned $250 in affiliate sales over the course of the next month off of traffic from that ONE Huffington Post article!
This is how I did it, but you can also use an email follow-up series to sell your own products or services and make even more!
Surely there are many different reasons you might want to write for Huffington Post: build authority for your blog, reach a personal goal, check off an item on your blogger bucket list…
But if you want to know how to write for Huffington Post AND get blog traffic, subscribers and sales, then make sure to follow the tips in this post so you don’t waste your time.