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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  • Dayna Colvin says:

    Thank you so very much for writing this wonderful helpful article. I love the tips and I’m on my way to do a few now. You have a very simple clear easy to understand way with words and I appreciate your knowledge and experience.

  • Matt says:

    This was a great article! I am looking for a contributing editor on huffingtonpost to do some writing for me and I would happily pay them. If I can figure out a way to be an editor myself, I guess I won’t have to 🙂 Until then, I am happy to find someone else to do it.

  • Parvathy says:

    I have been trying to write for Huffington Post. But luck hasn’t been favourable. The biggest problem is we don’t even get an auto response saying its been rejected. So, you never even know if its been read or even if it has been delivered to the right person

  • thecybertrends says:

    brilliant post i was looking for similar post

  • Ty says:

    Actually, emailing the editors of a section is not a good strategy. They operate independently of the blog team. So you’re just emailing someone who’s going to delete your email without reading or considering it.

  • sarkari naukri says:

    Such an wonderful article.
    I am just thinking to start an article on huffington post :).
    But what ever i got from here is really hard to publish .
    Try our best.

  • Lauren says:

    Wow, great post! I just submitted a social media-themed article earlier today and am hoping for the best. I’ll definitely take your advice into consideration for submitting to them in the future. Thanks!

  • nazmu says:

    Amazing ! !

    I’m trying to write an article on huffington post, but don’t understand how to start and . Now I get some ideas from your post . I think it will be helpful for me .

    Thanks Steve Gillman

  • Dayna Colvin says:

    Thank you for sharing this helpful insightful thoughtful article. It’s eloquently conveyed and very well written. I appreciate the helpful tips and ideas very much. I’m very thankful to be a Huffington Post Blogger and I am very happy to share my published written content on Twitter and Facebook. Writing is my life’s work and I treasure and cherish and I’m very thankful for it. 🙂

  • Adil Zaman says:

    Its really an amazing and helpful post for us. Thank you Steve for sharing your expert advice with us.

  • Samuel says:

    I am just a young writer…I can help any one who needs an idea on how to be a blogger on huffpost..
    I am a blogger on huffpost and I can show you how.

  • Moin says:

    I think its a challenge to make a relation buildup with HuffPo bloggers, but not difficult. Its may take time but sure it will work. thanks for your nice share its steps help me a lot. good!

  • tiana bonhage says:

    Really!! I have no idea about how to become a author of Huffinton Post. Thanks for sharing this guide, i’m gonna try this out.

  • barb says:

    Question–say you pitch a topic and they accept it. Is it a one-off thing where they post your story, or do they give you an account? If they give you an account, can you post in different categories?

    Say you have a blog with decent traffic, should you mention that? What if the topic you pitch is not in the same category as your blog?

  • Marc Elles says:

    Great post Steve, fantastic advice in there! I can’t agree more with the point on reading through the content that is already on the site, it is one of the keys for hitting the right tone with your pitch have in my experience! For instance, so many travel pages are going for the ‘list’ type posts these days, some exclusively, so if you’re pitch is a 1500 word feature, they’ll probably just bin it (speaking first hand here!)

    Thanks again!

  • www. says:

    very useful article

  • Alicia Porter says:

    Wow! So much information to take in! Honestly, I want to write for HuffPo myself. Just didn’t find the courage to nod the guys up until now. I guess, I have to give it a try. I have nothing to lose. Who knows? I might be able to get in. 🙂 Thanks for the boat load of information both in the article and in the comments.

  • George Ngigi says:

    I have always thought of trying a hand on blogging for the Huffington Post as a guest blogger. Now the information l have got makes it clearer in my mind as to what the requirements are. Thanks.

  • George Ngigi says:

    Bloggers are invited to take up the golden opportunity of becoming the pioneer team of a newly created site for them. This blog spot is specifically dedicated to but not limited to the learning of a foreign language and the importance thereof. The blogs must meet set standards in terms of quality. Bloggers will be expected to write well thought out, insightful and inspiring blogs that speak about the ten most widely spoken languages in the world. These are Sscrafjkeg brand of languages. Sscrafjkeg is the acronym for Swahili, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, French, Japanese, Korean, English, and German.

  • anurag says:

    sond great.let me try this !!

  • Toni Sorenson says:

    Thank you so much. I realize this article is not new, but it’s still very helpful. I’m not new to writing, but I’m new to blogging, so I really appreciate your insights.

  • dark says:

    This has been an incredibly wonderful article.
    Thank you for supplying this information.

  • Lauren Stewart says:

    please guide me how can i create my personal profile on #Huffington post. i want to update my blogs on HuffingtonPost.. Thanks

  • minnie scott says:

    That’s great article, thanks for sharing some secret in writing huffington post

  • sanyukta says:

    Thank you so much, this is very helpful. I am working as a Ghostwriter currently for the money. But I want to write regularly under my name and have been trying to contribute to magazines and other websites as much as possible. but I specifically want to write in pop culture and entertainment.

    I haven’t found any channel that publishes in my interest.

    If you could help me I would be grateful.

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