I began to elevate my credibility and boost my business with blogs. Blogs published in big media.
Blogs have become the traditional method of sharing ideas and experiences that others can use in pursuit of personal success and wellness. Whether posted on Facebook or in traditional media, they provide the opportunity to give voice to your innermost thoughts and musings. They may sometimes bespeak unusual ideas and untraditional paths, but they will almost always compel others to think, and sometimes, act.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts with readers of the Huffington Post in three blogs. One was about wearing the "Superwoman Cape" with grace. The other was about overcoming a perceived deficit, dyslexia, and turning it into a primary motivator for personal success. I shared my experiences in the hopes that others would be encouraged to look deep inside themselves and find the inspiration to thrive.
There is, of course, a method to getting your blogs posted in publications like the Huffington Post. Some experts advise selecting topics that relate to heart, health, or wallet.
Heart pertains to topics that tug at the heart strings, such as financial need or devastating loss. Health includes methods of living a longer and better life. Wallet addresses financial issues, such as tips on stretching a dollar, saving for retirement, or strategic investing.
Let that advice guide you when selecting a topic for your blog. When pitching blogs, follow these steps:
• Pitch your passion. I was passionate about managing my Superwoman Cape, and about refusing to allow dyslexia block my success, and that passion drove my pitches, and ultimately, my blogs. Pitch the media on topics you are passionate about, whether it is your profession, an issue that impacts your practice, or a particular hobby or interest. Your passion becomes evident when you speak from the heart and open your soul. That means you need to believe in the subject matter, and also believe that sharing your perspective can make a difference.
• Follow the rules. Some publications have specific procedures for pitching a blog topic. The Huffington Post, for example, has a "pitch form" that it asks writers to complete. I could have pitched the appropriate editor, but I instead, I sent a heartfelt email asking if their readers would be interested in what it takes for a woman who supports her family to wear the super-woman cape with grace. They responded right away, saying, "We would love to feature you." When blogging, it is important to visit the website of the publication you are targeting and look for guidelines on submissions. Some have specific criteria for pitching a blog, such as word length, appropriate topics, and whether submission must be by mail, email or on their "pitch form."
• Don't be a pest. Most publications require that pitches be made in writing and promise a response, if interested, within a specified time period. So I pitched the Huffington Post and I waited. If I had not received a response, I would have assumed the publication was not interested. Do not call an editor and repitch your idea if it has been rejected or received no response. Take your idea elsewhere, or wait until you have another idea and pitch again. Sure, no response seems rude, but publications like Huffington Post simply receive too many pitches to reply to every single one. You will survive to pitch another day. You may get rejected but do not stop pitching because you got rejected, just reformat your pitch or make a different one.
• Focus on your audience. You must write about topics that interest the readers of the publication you target. Otherwise, no one will read your carefully crafted prose. For example, you wouldn't send on article on "25 ways to cook chicken" to Inc. Magazine, you would instead pitch a magazine that regularly featured articles about food. When targeting a specific publication, take the time to learn who their readers are and adjust your blog accordingly.
• Provide concise advice. If you are advising readers on achieving a specific goal, you must first identify the steps involved, and then condense those into no more than three basic steps. Keep it simple. Be clear and concise.
• Play off of current events: For example, when a new law is passed that impacts some aspect of your expertise, take the opportunity to display your knowledge, either by offering further comment or pitching a related topic. Be sure to point out why your pitch is timely, and how it relates to other current events. Be newsworthy, be relevant, and be interesting.
• Repitch and republish: Blogs published on your personal social media sites can be submitted to general media. Just be sure to note in your pitch that it was published elsewhere first. For some publications, that establishes credibility. However, some publications want original, unpublished submissions only.
Use published blogs to promote your business. Provide clients with links, post a copy or link on social media, and provide printed copies in collateral marketing materials. Some businesses keep "lobby books" that contain copies of all social media posts and published articles/blogs. If appropriate, you should do the same.
Finally, if you manage to get your blog published, keep the momentum going:
• Create a schedule for future blogs, and include topics and targeted publications.
• Set aside the time you need to write your blog, edit, design and publish. Allow adequate time to craft a well-written and compelling composition. If you won't take the time to do it well, however, is it worth doing?
• Set goals. My goal is two blogs a week. I have been meeting that goal for over seven years, and it has proven a highly effective means of promoting my business. I have seen significant returns regarding visibility, SEO (search engine optimization), and building credibility with clients, prospects, and the community.
Keep on pitching and keep on writing. That's how you build credibility, personally and professionally, and make your business thrive!