Last week I wrote an article that was featured in The Huffington Post. Since then I have received a lot of questions as to how I managed to get published, so I wanted to take some time to go over the process that I went through. Keep in mind that this was my experience and it is by no means the only approach to getting published in The Huffington Post!
I had submitted an article previously to The Huffington Post around the time that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was airing. I had written a post last year about why I no longer watch it and I thought that it would fit nicely. I headed to their Contact page where there is a link to submit pitches, filled out the form, and didn’t hear anything back. Granted, I submitted the pitch the day of the fashion show, but ultimately I put my aspiration to be in The Huffington Post on the back burner for a little while.
I actually ended up submitting this most recent pitch while procrastinating. I didn’t want to study for my NASM exam, so I decided to rework the speech that I give at drug abuse forums and submit it. I did some internet research about how other people have been published and decided to go on an emailing rampage.
One of the most important things to remember is that Huffington Post editors receive thousands of pitches a day. In order to stand out, you need to develop a pitch that will catch their eye without requiring them to wade through loads of text. In my opinion there are 3 things that you should include when submitting to a Huffington Post Editor:
- Email Pitch
- Bio and Headshot
One of the most valuable pages on The Huffington Post site is the list of editorial staff. You can find this list here.
When pitching your article, figure out which section(s) would be most appropriate for your topic and email that editor (or editors). I felt like my article could be categorized under a couple different sections, so I emailed a couple of different editors. The structure for HP emails is generally firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is my actual email that I sent out:
Editor’s Name,Hi! I wanted to share my story with you in hopes that you would consider it for The Huffington Post.I was an honor roll student who lost everything to my addiction and have managed to build up my life again piece by piece through recovery. My story is compelling because I do not fit the “stereotypical” addict mold and I strive to inform others that addiction can affect anyone, anywhere.I am attaching my story, picture, and bio. Please let me know if this is something that you are looking for. Thank you for your time and have a great night!
I kept the body of my email relatively short and concise, then sent it out along with a copy of the article and my bio and headshot.
I think it is best to have your article written already rather than simply pitching them an idea. I wrote my story the way I would want it to be posted and then attached it with my pitch. Unless your pitch is extremely compelling, an editor may not have the time to go back and forth with you about a subject. You have a limited amount of time to get through and grab the attention of someone at The Huffington Post, so it is best to hand it to them on a silver platter.
Bio and Headshot
Again, the less you provide to an editor, the more he or she will have to come back to you. This lessens the chance that something you want published will actually get published. By providing an editor with everything he or she needs to simply approve your article, you are greatly increasing your chances of hearing something back. I attached a short bio about myself and the headshot that I use on this site.
The person that I actually heard back from was Arianna Huffington herself. After I emailed all of the appropriate editors, I took a long shot and emailed it to her as well. I figured the worst that could happen is that I didn’t hear back. (Note: Arianna’s email is slightly different: arianna
Soon after that I received an invitation to The Huffington Post and was supplied blogging credentials. I am excited to continue contributing and see what other opportunities open up as a result!
This is my experience and advice, but please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions on the subject. As always, thanks for reading!!
Update: I had my second post go live after publishing this, so if you are interested check it out here!