Holy. Freakin. Cow.
I mean, who knew I would get such a positive response to getting my first article submission posted to the Huffington Post?! (You can check it out here!)To be quite honest, it almost never happened, and I’ll tell you why.
I didn’t have the confidence.
Let’s face it. I love writing, but this doesn’t mean I’m rolling in tens of thousands of dollars every month (yet) because of my writing. And as hypocritical as this sounds, I fell victim to the comparison trap. I looked around and chose to focus on how skillful others are, and how everyone who is published on popular platforms like The Huffington Post just have this special je ne sais quoi that I didn’t think I had. How would an editor choose MY article out of the hundreds, if not thousands of post submissions every day?
A part of me didn’t even want to try to get published on The Huffington Post. Why? Because I was expecting failure. And you know what? As far as I’m concerned, I got just what I thought--failure. My refusal to even try equates failure in my book.
If you want to get published, too, but you’re struggling with confidence like I did, let me pour you a cup of tough love, dear. Get up, and start making some intentional actions towards achieving that goal, girl! You can do this!
I didn’t know how.
Okay, so this is not completely true. Yes, I had looked up the contact information for editors. Yes, I read instructions on how to get published from the site. I also googled “how to get published on the Huffington Post”. I found some tips here and there, but I still couldn’t figure out how to make my submission shine so brightly that the editors just had to say, “Yes, JaQuette! We want to feature your voice on the Huffington Post!”
How I Finally Got Published on the Huffington Post
Now onto the part you’ve been on the edge of your seat for. How did I do it? How did I actually pull it off? Well, I came across an article by a fantastic blogger, Raelyn Tan. When I saw the title of her post, I thought, “Okay, here’s another post that still won’t really tell me how to shine and make it happen.” Fortunately, Raelyn proved me wrong! You can read all about how she did right here.
After looking through some popular Huff Po articles, I thought about how I could use my experience and emulate those articles. I brain dumped some topics that align with my brand and picked a topic I felt answered some questions my audience has. I looked on my Pinterest account for articles I had saved about crafting a good headline (because face it, without a good one, no one may read what you have to say).
I proofed, and proofed, and proofed my article countless times after I finished. Then, I did exactly what Raelyn suggested: I emailed Arianna Huffington directly with my pitch. I didn’t use Raelyn’s exact words because the former teacher in me wouldn’t let me do it! So, I used her copy as a base and instead infused my own personality. I copied and pasted my article, bio, and picture to the bottom of the email (and attached them to the email), said a prayer and waited in expectation.
I submitted my article last Friday and found an email from Arianna herself in my inbox yesterday morning. By afternoon, I had my access pass and was able to have my article published.
What Can You Learn From My Experience
I am living proof that if you have a goal, you can have it if you don’t give up. Beyoncé is not the only one who can “work hard” and “grind” until she owns something. (Now, I don’t own the Huffington Post, but you get what I’m saying.)
Maybe your goal is to have an article published on a similar platform. Or maybe your goal is to self-publish your first nonfiction book. What’s holding you back? What are you really waiting for? You will experience success when you’re willing to put yourself out there and take intentional risks. Even if things don’t pan out how you want, guess what? It’s a lesson learned. There is no failure unless you don’t try. So what are you waiting for, lady? Get up and go for it!