Writing can be a very subjective thing. You may write something that’s rejected by one editor and find the very same thing is loved by another. Obviously, it’s hard for me to then claim that I have all the answers when it comes to getting published. But—as an editor and a writer—I do know this.
If you want to be consistently published, if you want to see your name on the bigger, more well-known sites, you have to have solid writing. You may already be published many times. But if you want to grow to bigger things—there needs to be a solid foundation.
Through all of my writing and pitching, and through my experience as an editor of an online publication, I’ve learned what seems to work and what doesn’t. The way I see it, it comes down to three key components. I’m not saying this is the be all and end all by any means—this is just my opinion. But, I do think that if you want to get published online, following this process will help.
Here’s the three-step framework that I find is behind successful writing. Follow this and it’ll be much easier for you to get published online.
Step 1: Improve your writing
This one is crucial. It doesn’t matter how successful you are, how many times you’ve been published or how good your writing is—you can and should always be working on improving your writing. How do you do that? Write, write and write some more. Take classes and courses on writing. Study great writers. Read about how they do it. Read books and articles and essays. Just always keep working on it. Because the number one thing editors will tell you they want and need is good writing.
Step 2: Have ideas that resonate
I listened to a podcast interview with Amy Joyce, the editor of the On Parenting column at the Washington Post, and she said that she gets pitched over and over again on personal essays about love. She said “We all love our kids so, so much. I get a lot of essays that are beautiful, but they’re better suited for someone’s personal blog.” So, while loving our kids is universal, and we can all relate to it, it’s not specific enough to resonate really well with an audience. It’s too broad. And you can be a fantastic, beautiful writer—but if the idea isn’t going to resonate, the editor will likely pass.
Step 3: Pitch properly
Once you’ve worked on your writing, have come up with an idea that will resonate and have written the piece, you need to get noticed. You have to make sure you’re pitching properly. How do you do that? Well, first you can take a look at this guide I put together to help you craft your pitch properly.
You can also take a look at this article on Pitching Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.
So, that’s the framework. I definitely think it’s key to helping you get published online regularly and on the bigger name sites you’ve got your heart set on. If you have one part, but not the other two, it’s harder to be successful.
Let me know if you have any questions. Now… get to writing!