How to Become a Huffington Post Blogger
Lots of people want to be published on the HuffPo, and there are tons of blog posts out there about how people did it. But there are a few different ways to do it, and the UK site is slightly different to the US one, so I thought I’d share my own experience in case any of you Brits want to submit a post and join me as a HuffPost blogger.
From what I can tell, the UK site works a bit differently to the US site, so instead of following advice I’d found online, I found an address for the UK Blog team — UKBlogTeam@huffingtonpost.com. It worked for me in 2014 (I got a reply the same day) and for someone I gave it to recently (who got a reply within minutes).
So you know where to send your pitch, now what should you write about? Well, like with any writing submission, you should start by reading lots of posts or articles on the place where you want to get published. That’s general advice for life, really. Don’t pitch unless you have a feel for the kind of stuff they publish.
So you should do your own research, but here are some guidelines I received from one of the UK blogging team:
- Posts should be between 500 and 800 words long. (Some of mine have stretched to 1200 and still been published, but I’d definitely stick to the guidelines for your pitch post.)
- They like a chatty, informal style that’s in the first person and which expresses an opinion. (Don’t bother pitching to the HuffPo without a strong opinion.)
- They like topics that are either relevant to the current news (especially a UK angle) or come from a place of passion or personal experience. It’s all about starting conversations, so they definitely aren’t looking for instructional stuff or press releases.
It’s also worth knowing that it’s fine to cross post articles from your blog to the HuffPo and vice versa. You’re not paid for your post and you retain full rights, so you can reuse it anywhere. It’s always good form to state at the bottom of a repurposed post where it was first published, so I’d advise to publish it to your own blog first and then to HuffPo with a sentence at the bottom saying ‘This post first appeared on [link to your blog]’. You can even go on to write a bit more about what you write about on your own blog. They don’t like posts which are full of self promo, but it’s fine to finish with a short section of where people can find more of your writing, and why they’d want to.
Finally, I know you’re thinking, this is all fine and helpful, but what the hell do I write in my pitch email? This is the exact email I sent, which worked for me. Obviously you’ll need to change the specific bits, but feel free to use it as a template.
Dear UK Blog Team
Thanks for taking the time to review my post pitch.
I’ve written a post for the Huffington Post Lifestyle/Women/Entrepreneurs sections entitled ‘Why I’ve stopped calling myself a Mumpreneur’ which is about what the term ‘mumpreneur’ really means and why people use it.
The inspiration for this piece (and why it’s so topical at the moment) is that the Daily Mail published a story online on Sunday about ‘mumpreneurs’ making ‘pin money’. The tone of the article was condescending and sexist and implied that mums running businesses are really just playing at it to pay for their shoes habit and to pass the time.
I’ve attached my post in a Word document which includes a bio at the end, and also a headshot picture of myself to save you coming back for one if you do decide to publish it.
In case you don’t like Word attachments, I’ve also pasted the whole text and bio at the bottom of this email.
Thank you for your consideration.
As you’ll see from the email, I attached a Word document and pasted the whole article into the body of the email as well. I also had a headshot and bio ready for them. If you’re submitting a post that’s already been published on your own blog, tell them that and link to it too.
Once accepted, they give you access to the blogger backstage area and then it’s your responsibility to upload your own posts as often or as little as you like. They’ll review what you submit and it usually gets published within a few hours (apart from evenings and weekends). If they really like it, they’ll put it in one of the featured sections and maybe tweet it out and share it on Facebook too, though this doesn’t always happen.
So that’s it. How to get published on the Huffington Post. And it may seem trivial, but I also wanted to share one of my favourite things about being published, and that was when one of my posts (Why Maternity Leave Was the Perfect Time to Quit My Job) was translated into German for the German Huffington Post. There’s something about seeing your work translated, published, and shared in another language that I still find pretty cool.
If you do go for it, I’d love to hear how you get on. Feel free to come back here and share your first Huffington Post post in the Responses section :)