How to Write for The Huffington Post and Earn Money for Your Work

How to Write for The Huffington Post and Earn Money for Your Work

Guest blogging is a long-term strategy. It can help you build your reputation and establish expertise in your niche, as well as lead to new work opportunities.

However, where you guest post has a huge effect on your results. Sharing your thoughts on a blog with a lot of clout in your niche will make a much bigger difference to your reputation and traffic than guest-posting on your brother’s blog that only your parents read.

For many writers, the ultimate guest-posting goal is a mainstream authority publication such as The Huffington Post. It’s not easy to become published on this site, but in my experience it’s certainly worth the effort: Not only did it add to my writing resume, but my first post as a Huffington Post blogger brought in $800 within a few days.

That’s why I want to share with you how to write for The Huffington Post. Here’s a detailed look at my experience, advice from other HuffPo bloggers on how to pitch for the best results and how to make the most of your new byline.

How to Write for The Huffington Post

While joining the ranks of Huffington Post bloggers isn’t the easiest task, it is doable. Catherine Alford and others who have succeeded say they did the following:

  • Modeled their post after the style of one of the bloggers in the targeted section
  • Sent a short pitch, emphasizing the most interesting aspects of their idea
  • Sent a complete package, with pitch, author bio and head shot
  • Commented on The Huffington Post Facebook page until invited by an editor to write something
  • Developed a relationship with a current HuffPo blogger by commenting on posts and asked for help submitting a piece to an editor
  • Contacted the editor of the targeted section by email

Huffington Post blogger Lisa Arends advocates reading posts daily in the section you would like to write for, and contributing “well-thought-out responses.” She says, “Keep this up for a while and you may get lucky and have an editor you with a blog idea.” If not, at least you’ve built a reputation for smart comments, which may help when you pitch an idea.

If none of the above methods work, simply submit a well-written post using the form on The Huffington Post page. It asks for your “final or near-final draft,” which must be less than 1,000 words.

My experience blogging on The Huffington Post

My story is a little bit different; I was lucky enough to have some help. I had just published my book, 101 Weird Ways to Make Money, and my publisher’s publicist arranged for me to create an article and slideshow for The Huffington Post on weird jobs that can become businesses.

In that article, I linked to my website, which had been seeing between 700 and 1,000 page views and earning between $12 and $30 daily through Google AdSense, with an average of $20 per day.

Here’s the traffic and revenue I earned the day the article ran (Monday, August 15, 2011) and the following days:

Huffington Post blog traffic

After Thursday, the numbers resumed their normal range, though my traffic stayed slightly higher, with 1,200 to 1,500 daily page views. But revenue of $531, instead of the $80 I would normally have earned in four days, suggests the traffic from The Huffington Post link was worth at least $450. Not bad for one post!

In addition, my website includes links to several of my other sites, so I’m sure I picked up another $50 worth of indirect traffic for those sites. And I linked to my book in the article and author bio, so I sold quite a few copies that week.

All together, that article and slideshow on The Huffington Post was probably worth $800 in additional income within a few days. In addition, it helped me attract visitors to my sites and promote sales of my book for several months.

It was a (very busy) year before I realized I had not just a post, but my own blog set up on The Huffington Post. I requested my password and started posting occasionally. The results were never as dramatic as that first post, but I did see increased traffic and book sales. And best of all, the editors never objected to my posts containing relevant links to my own websites.

How to Earn Money by Writing for Free

While The Huffington Post does not generally pay its bloggers, as my experience demonstrates, it’s still possible to earn cash by writing for free. Here are the strategies I used:

Include specific, valuable links

To start, be strategic when choosing links to include in your author bio. For example, if you’ve written a book or created a course, link to that. If you’re a freelance writer, you’ll want to link to your writer website or online portfolio. If you’ve monetized a website with affiliate products or pay-per-click advertising, link to it.

In addition, if any of these links are relevant to your post’s content, include them on related anchor text in the body of your post. I’ll reiterate: the links must be relevant. If they’re not, the editors will likely remove them.

Aim for the front page

For these links to be valuable, a lot of people need to see and click them, which means you’ll need a lot of readers. I was a extremely lucky with my first post; it was featured on the front page of the HuffPost Small Business section, which brought in a ton of readers. Later posts never approached that level of traffic.

With these results in mind, it can’t hurt to aim for this special treatment. Look at what’s being shared on your targeted section’s front page. Are the featured articles controversial or fun? Are they short or long? Do they have shocking titles?

Many big names blog on The Huffington Post, so competition for better placement is tough. When former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s post is on the front page of the Politics section, yours isn’t likely to push his aside. On the other hand, he doesn’t write every day. If you’re working in a section with fewer big names, you might have an even better chance to get a good post featured. Study your targeted section to learn the famous bloggers in your niche and how often they post.

Share your post as much as possible

Promote your post to your own networks to direct as much traffic to it as possible, as you would with any guest post. Share it with your Facebook and Twitter followers, write a short blurb about it on your blog or email it to your newsletter subscribers.

With a bit of luck, your HuffPo post might even go viral. Blogger Catherine Alford was lucky enough to see her recent post blow up:

[It] went hugely viral with more than 220,000 likes and 43,000+ shares. That viral post also led to me getting interviewed on Huffington Post Live, which led to tons of emails and new readers. There’s no doubt that it’s beneficial to any writing career to be an author there.

Whether or not your post goes viral, you’ll at least point a few new readers toward your site and offerings and add “Huffington Post Blogger” to your resume.

If you’ve been published on The Huffington Post, how did you do it and what results did you see? If you haven’t, would you like see your byline there?

Filed Under: Blogging
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146 comments

  • Fiona Allen says:

    Love to read your writing rules. I will try to follow your instruction! thankyou..

  • Valamere says:

    Thanks, Steve for sharing!

    You have given simple and strategic ways to blog for the best.

    I’ll give it a try and hoping for the best!

  • Bonny says:

    Hey, I’d also suggest sending through the blog post itself. I wrote a post with HP in mind and then pitched it with the full article attached. They got back to me within a few hours with an invite to join their community of bloggers. I thought they might have liked how I pitched and then had the piece good to go as well!

  • Angela says:

    Will you take a look at my blog and tell me what my niche is and what my target population should be

  • chapatti says:

    i really want to learn how to submit either a link or post an article on Huffington Post. Someone please help

  • Write and Live says:

    Thanks for the great idea. What kind of articles do they accept?

  • Patty says:

    Thank you for the advice Steve and everyone that commented useful tips! I just started looking for ways to make money from home as a new mom. With my hubby’s help I started a blog to get my feet wet and to publicly journal my experience with endometriosis. I will have to add this to one of my 2016 goals! 🙂

  • Denise says:

    Hello,

    I followed Catherine Alford’s advice (apart from modelling my blog of someone else’s, which I’m too lazy to do) and was fortunate enough to get signed up as a contributor straight away.

    Have since been in touch with Catherine and she’s lovely.

  • C.R. says:

    This was a great article, straight forward with actual numbers.

    I quit my job at J.P.Morgan a month back to start traveling and writing. (And to Become a pilot, which would be my main source of income.)

    And didn’t realize how involved and complex this all is. But I will most definitely be referencing this article as I navigate through this confusing period.

    Feel free to check out my work. In the last couple of months I’ve mostly picked up my followers through social media, Instagram and some Facebook. A little over 10k regular followers through there in a very short amount of time. So I it’s worth mentioning how much exposure can be had through them. (Mostly what I am good at.) but I’m very new to everything else and how to convert all that traffic into some income.

    Expect more of me popping in from time to time.

    Facebook: https://www..com/ChristianAReyes
    Instagram:
    @TypedByTheCityofAngels

  • ian says:

    Interesting post. I am especially interested in knowing about the long term benefits of posting on the Huffington post. I have read that links from authoritative sites tend to boost your rankings.

    I noticed you said you got a traffic boost ranging from 2-8,000 visitors over 4 days and I am wondering if those links from their site actually did improve your rankings in the long term? Did your general search traffic increase after those links? Do you still get traffic from their site? I’d be curious to know how much. Nice post. Anybody ever tell you that you remmind them of Ted Danson?

  • Jackie Rose says:

    thank you so much for this post, I have been trying to figure out a way to get my blog out there and never really considered submitting to HP…

  • Mushtaq Dean says:

    Dear Mr. Steve Gillman,

    I am glad to you, I am a registered member with Huffington Post and my comments have been published here under my name Mushtaq Dean.

    I want to submit a blog on political subject, needing your advice.

  • Dayle says:

    There are times when the clout received, from writing for a big-name publication/blog, may seem like compensation enough, but I still have a problem with the notion that writers are so desperate to be published that they’ll give their work away, especially when the publications are more than able to compensate them for their blood, sweat, and tears. Writing well is hard work, and were it not for writers, publications and blogs like Huffington Post wouldn’t exist. The least they can do is offer their writers something in return, something tangible that can be taken to the bank.

    In my early years of writing, yes, there were times when I wrote for free, and I have written for free in the years following, but only if it’s a reprint and I was compensated for the piece’s original appearance. The way I see it, a writer should be paid for his or her work, just as any other profession in the country.

  • Archana Kapoor says:

    That was really insightful… thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Really nice article; thanks for sharing!

  • Will says:

    Excellent article! I am just launching into freelance writing full-time with the help of http://freelancingamerica.com, and these are some very good points that i have to remember. Thank you!

  • Jen Clauth says:

    I will surely send the request for Guest Post. My topic of interest is Make Money Online. Please let me know the Mail ID.

  • Vivian Lee says:

    Thanks for the tips, Steve! I’ve just sent in a pitch. I hope for the best 🙂

  • rahul says:

    hi steve,

    You are up to the mark brother and I can say that all are actionable strategies.

    Today, I got a new vision to think about HuffPost

    As everyone dreams to get featured on this site and also have the same dream.

    but, don’t know how to pitch them.

    you solved my biggest problem.

    thanks a ton brother

    regards,

    Rahul

  • Andy says:

    Hey Steve, came across this on Quora – someone seems to have directly copied and pasted your write-up as an answer. Thought I’d give you a heads-up 🙂

    https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-become-a-writer-for-the-Huffington-Post

    That aside, thanks for an insightful read – will definitely take your tips into account!

  • Amad Arsal says:

    Thank you so much for the great tips about how to write for the huffington post. can you please tell me how can i publish article on Techcrunch

  • Tessie says:

    Thank you for sharing this information Steve. I recently made a post on gifts for Mother’s Day ideas and decided to check out Huffington Post, which led me to your great information.

    Sometimes I wonder how one can manage to find the time post in so many different places at once.

    I work full time, as I’m certain a lot of other people do as well, do you think it’s possible to make it free-lance writing if you are working full time?

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