It’s been almost 8 months since I was first published in The Huffington Post. The time I spent researching how to pitch publications and then actually sending them out felt like forever, but once I was accepted (by Arianna Huffington herself!), the turnaround time was almost instantaneous. It felt like a whirlwind as my post was published and I obsessively checked my stats throughout the day and easily saw the largest number of views I had ever had.
Everything I had read about being published in The Huffington Post had to do with breaking through that barrier and finding an editor to read and approve your pitch. The story seemed to stop there and since I was so focused on that initial acceptance, I didn’t think much past that goal. Since I’ve had almost a year of working with them, I want to take some time and share with you what to expect after being published in The Huffington Post.
My initial post was published on January 28th 2015 and my numbers skyrocketed. It was also shared on HP’s social media channels and I saw 5.5 times the number of views from the day before. There was another spike in visits on February 1st as they shared it again on social media. This time there were 12 times the number of sessions from the day before. I was ecstatic. I’M FAMOUS.
Flying high from the increase in traffic and the ego-boost I got from adding “Huffington Post writer” to my media kit and social media accounts, I decided to submit more posts. Once you become a Huffington Post blogger, you are able to submit posts at your leisure. In the month of February I published 3 more posts, each a week apart. I would have submitted them daily if I didn’t think that people would think I was crazy.
A funny thing happened. Can you tell which days my posts were published? Neither can I.
I frantically scanned Twitter and Facebook to see if/when HP would link to the genius words that I had to share with the world, but I couldn’t find any mention of my posts. I got a few comments or likes here and there, but nowhere near the numbers I saw with my first post. I did some research on other Huffington Post bloggers and found a couple mentions of similar results after posting the first time.
Disheartened, I skipped posting in March and ended up posting twice in April. Most of the posts I would publish were ones that had already been published on this blog in an attempt to reach a larger audience. The second April post was an original one I wrote about why I don’t drink. Again, sometimes I would see a slight increase the day of or a couple days after, but nothing exponential.
Life got crazy from May to August and I forgot about The Huffington Post. When I remembered, I decided to submit another post. This time, however, I thought less about promoting the content that I thought was AMAZING and took some time to look at what the readers were interested in. I spent time on the healthy living section of The Huffington Post since that is where my posts tend to be published and looked at what types of posts were resonating with the audience in terms of shares, likes, and comments.
The post I shared in September, a version of 5 Ways To Improve Your Relationship With Yourself, brought in about 6 times the amount of traffic from days prior. From my research, it doesn’t look like Huffington Post shared it, but because it was a topic that aligned with their readers, it was shared by more of them than previous posts.
My strategy for posting on The Huffington Post is to do so once a month. This blog is what holds everything else I do together and without it I wouldn’t have these same opportunities. Rather than put my time and effort into something outside my main passion, I choose to use it as a supplement.
I have received a number of comments and contacts from the pieces I have published on The Huffington Post, but from my experience and the experience of others I have read, subsequent publications fail to bring in the same level of engagement as an initial post. This is not a bad thing, just something to take into consideration when managing expectations and planning your overall blogging or writing strategy.
I still love being published on The Huffington Post, but when I submit an article I make sure to research what topics will appeal to readers in order to maximize the reach that a post can have. The more it aligns with their content, the more likely they will be to share it with others. This is true not only for The Huffington Post, but for any publication where my writing is published.
Related: How To Start Freelance Writing
I hope this helps shed some light on part two of being published on a large outlet like The Huffington Post. If you have any questions or want to see a post about something in more detail, feel free to email me or leave a note in the comments!