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How to Become a Contributor on Top Platforms

The holy grail of content marketing isn’t only producing compelling, informative and valuable pieces of content; rather, it is also about getting such pieces of content in front of a wider audience.

In a world of content saturation on the web sphere, the number of shares, comments and other engagement metrics have become the yardstick for measuring success. This is where publishing your pieces of content on top platforms becomes important.
Asides the fact that you’ll be appealing to a wider audience, you’ll also be getting the chance to become an influencer within your niche, build your social following and email lists, improve your conversion rates, develop valuable relationships with the editors of these various platforms and need I mention quality backlinks to your website?
Would you like to become a contributor on top websites such as Examiner, Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Lifehack, Epoch Times, Triple pundit etc.?
Through the course of this post, I’ll be exploring the different ways I’ve been able to help clients become contributors on some of these platforms even with little or no web presence prior to the our content marketing collaborations.

Presence, Authority and Legitimacy

The very first step towards aiming to become a contributor on top platforms is to build your own brand and online presence. Bigger websites continually require valuable pieces of content to feed the insatiable quest of their audiences; however, they wouldn’t just take on any piece of content or contributor who they aren’t able to trust and verify. This is where building your own authority and legitimacy comes to play.

Do you already have a website? Why not consider a blog on this website and begin writing pieces of content that doesn’t even promote your brand but provides real value to users. This is how we proceed when starting a marketing campaign for our clients and this is how it can help you too. There are several content marketing tools and extensions that will aid your efforts and ensure that your campaign is a success.

Use tools such as Quora to get the queries the audience in your niche constantly seek answers and tools such as Buzzsumo to build topic ideas from such queries on the basis of how well these ideas are likely to perform.
Then build valuable pieces of content which will not only help build the authority and legitimacy you require online, but which will also form the basis of linkable assets down the line.

Starting Small

Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? The same way becoming a contributor on top websites doesn’t happen overnight.There are top websites that you could pitch with an interesting idea and would contact you if it is a piece they are interested in such as Huffington Post. Also, a platform such as Elite Daily only require one write sample and interesting topic ideas.

However, they’d still ask for your personal and professional bio to get to know about you.This way, we proceed to prospecting for guest post opportunities on quality, medium-sized platforms to further build on the legitimacy and authority. Using tools such as the Serp tool of Link Research Tools, we prospect for opportunities on platforms accepting guest posts. I wrote an entire case study on Link Research Tools that will guide you through the process of guest posting, pitching, follow ups and even some additional bonus points. You can find the case study here: Guest Posting the Right Way for Link Building.

By already getting external publications for clients and spreading the value, we’re able to prove they are passionate about a cause when approaching top platforms. From experience, this sways puts the clients in positive light from the top platforms, knowing they only need a bigger platform where their voices could be further amplified towards the positive causes that they believe in.

Approaching Top Platforms

Asides the Serp tool, top platforms can be found using the influencer search tool such as Impactana or the new Buzzstream discovery tool which is still in a beta version. With these tools, you can easily find the network of influencers in your niche and trace their footprints to the platforms where they constantly contribute. There’s no single approach fits all when targeting these top platforms. However, your chances are very high when you’ve built a reputation and solid base online with prior publications.

While some bigger websites have contributor applications you should fill out online, others would need to be pitched by email to get the ball rolling. For practical examples, I’ll be using Examiner, Elite Daily, Lifehack, 3 of those accepting contributor applications and The Epoch Times, which are some of the platforms where I’ve gotten our clients to become contributors.

Examiner

The first step to becoming a contributor is to go to the ‘About Us’ page of www.examiner.com

Then familiarize yourself with their requirements and click on the apply button to proceed. Then proceed to filling out the application form which would ask about your personal details, general category and specific topic areas you’d like to contribute to, credentials, links to previously published articles, etc.
This is where having a previous solid online experience plays out. Upon review of your credentials, previously published articles and motivation to contribute to the Examiner, your application to become an Examiner will be approved and you will get an email such as this:

Note: You can start contributing to Examiner right away but would need to contribute a minimum of 2 articles to become an official Examiner.

Elite Daily
As mentioned previously, Elite Daily only requires your motivation to contribute, topic ideas you’d like to contribute and only a sample writing link.
To get started, just click on the ‘Contribute’ page of www.elitedaily.com

Fill the application which is very basic at best. However, make sure you passionately describe your person and motivation.

Then, wait until the application is reviewed. If successful, you will get an email also like this:

This is also very similar for Lifehack. Just go to the ‘Contribute’ page of www.lifehack.org and fill out the application likewise.

Then wait for the review and if successful, get a response like this:

Epoch Times
For the Epoch Times, I reached out with an unsolicited pitch which I’m not at liberty to use here due to privacy concerns for our clients.
However, the pitch simply outlined my credentials, reasons why I’d like to become a contributor and possible topic ideas I’d like to contribute.
It took a while but I eventually got a positive reply from an editor from the platform:

It is up to you then to come up with valuable pieces of content that would be impossible to refuse. Also, this would be the ideal opportunity to showcase your value, build new followers and get the chance of becoming an influencer within your niche or industry.
There’s really no need further expanding on the importance of bringing your best game when submitting content on these platforms; it is self-explanatory.

Building Relationships

To maximize the benefits of being a contributor on top platforms, it is important you build an army of relationships as you progress. You shouldn’t only be looking towards building relationships with the editors on these various platforms, you should also be aiming to build relationships with other top influencers.

Share their posts socially, make comments, and even go a bit further to contact them personally to inform how much you enjoyed their latest post. They might also return the favour by sharing your posts and giving it a shout out across their social channels – even further getting your brand and work in front of a whole new audience.

It might also open up opportunities to publish on even bigger platforms where these influencers might already have a reach or on their own websites or blogs.

Don’t Settle for Less…

Publishing on top and quality platforms isn’t rocket science. The idea is getting started with producing valuable pieces of content that offers value, then prospecting for bigger platforms where you can gain a wider reach.

For some of these platforms, having just one solid piece of writing sample is all that is needed to get accepted and also interesting topic ideas. However, to increase your success rate, it’s advisable to build a solid base of authority and legitimacy.

When you succeed, you’ll be getting all the benefits associated with publishing on a top platform; plus, you’ll then be able to give a shot at the very best websites on the web.

Published
  • 12 February 2016
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