How to become a contributor on top platforms Author Hanna Sobolewska Read bio 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. The internet is saturated with content, and the number of shares, comments and other engagement metrics have become a benchmark for measuring success. This is why publishing your articles on top platforms becomes important. Besides 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 editors of these various platforms and need we mention quality backlinks to your website? Presence, Authority and Legitimacy The very first step towards becoming 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 have a website already? Consider adding a blog to this website and start writing pieces of content that don’t necessarily promote your brand but provide real value to users. This is what we do before starting a marketing campaign for our clients and 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 find questions the audience in your niche seek answers to, and tools such as Buzzsumo to build topic ideas from these queries. You can then then write valuable articles which will not only help build the authority and legitimacy you require online, but 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. After building an online presence it’s time for some trial and error. There are some websites that you could pitch with an interesting idea that will contact you if it is a piece they are interested in, and there are some that won’t answer no matter how many times you try. These two platforms are a good place to start: Huffington Post, and Elite Daily. These websites only require one write sample and interesting topic ideas. However, they might still ask for your personal and professional bio to get to know you better. This is why you should prospect for guest post opportunities on quality, medium-sized platforms to further build up your legitimacy and authority. Using tools such as the Serp tool of Link Research Tools, we prospect for opportunities on platforms accepting guest posts. By having many external publications for clients, we’re able to prove we are passionate about a cause when approaching top platforms. From experience, we know that this casts a positive light on the clients, as these big platforms will now know that our clients need a bigger platform to voice their positive causes that they believe in to a broader audience. Approaching Top Platforms Asides the Serp tool, top platforms can be found using influencer search tools such as Impactana or the Buzzstream discovery tool. With these tools, you can easily find a network of influencers in your niche and trace their footprints to the platforms where they constantly contribute to. There’s no single approach that will fit all when it comes to targeting these top platforms. However, your chances are higher if you build a reputation and solid base online with prior publications. While some bigger websites have contributor applications you should fill out online, others need to be pitched by email to get the ball rolling. Below are a few examples of successful collaborations with Examiner, Elite Daily, Lifehack and The Epoch Times. EXAMINER The first step to becoming a possible 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. After that, proceed to filling out the application form which will 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 presence plays out. Upon reviewing your credentials, previously published articles and motivation behind contributing to the Examiner, your application to become an Examiner should be approved and you might get an email such as this: Note: You can start contributing to Examiner right away but you need to contribute a minimum of 2 articles to become an official Examiner. ELITE DAILY As mentioned previously, Elite Daily only requires you to give them your motivation behind why you want to contribute, topic ideas you’d like to write about and only one link to your writing sample. To get started, just click on the ‘Contribute’ page of www.elitedaily.com, and proceed to fill in the application. However, make sure you describe yourself and your motivation honestly. Then, wait until the application is reviewed. If successful, you will get an email similar to 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, you’ll 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 to then deliver good, quality content that will be impossible to refuse. Also, remember that this is an ideal opportunity to showcase your value, gain new followers and get the chance to become an influencer within your niche or industry. Building Relationships To maximize the benefits of being a contributor on top platforms, it is important that you build plenty of relationships as you progress. You should be looking towards building meaningful business relationships with both the editors and other top influencers on these various platforms. Share their posts on social media, comment, 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 you a shout out across their social media 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 big platforms isn’t rocket science. The idea is to start with producing valuable pieces of content on smaller sites that offer value and show what you’re about, and then contacting bigger platforms where you can gain a wider reach. For some of these platforms, having just one solid piece of writing as a sample and interesting topic ideas are all that’s needed to get accepted. However, to increase your success rate, it’s better to build a solid base of authority and legitimacy.