As a business owner with some knowledge of the trending marketing strategies these days, you probably know what getting featured on a popular website can do for your business.
A well-written article that solves your customer’s problems can generate lots of traffic or qualified leads to your website. And even months after your article was published, the privilege to include any one of these websites logos on your media page or website footer will boost your brand’s credibility for years to come.
Unfortunately, getting your byline in any of these popular websites isn’t easy. You can’t just write an article for them and expect them to publish it for you because you asked. They have strict guidelines and are selective in the articles they accept, so there’s a lot to you have to do before you start writing an article. You have to learn how to guest post on Entrepreneur first, before submitting an application.
Challenges in Submitting a Guest Post on Entrepreneur.com
Entrepreneur.com accepts articles that provide “actionable information and practical inspiration for business owners,” which is somewhat broad when you think about all the topics that could fall into that category. Indeed, you can see that they publish a wide range of topics, from the latest wearable gadgets, franchise options, and even business book recommendations from Bill Gates.
Since it’s a high-profile website, most of guest posts on Entrepreneur either have exclusive quotes from a reputable source or a fresh angle on a popular topic. Their editors like articles featuring new studies, industry reports, breaking news, or in-depth analysis of business-related subjects. They won’t run articles with generic advice you can find pretty much anywhere online.
You also need to pitch your topic idea first because Entrepreneur.com doesn’t accept unsolicited articles. If your idea is time-sensitive, such as a holiday or event-related piece, pitch it at least two weeks in advance (if you can) and mention that it’s time sensitive in your email subject line so your idea could be reviewed immediately. For evergreen articles, it may take six to eight weeks before you receive feedback on your idea.
How to Pitch a Guest Post on Entrepreneur.com
1. Find an Idea
Find a topic that you can confidently write about, either because you’re an expert on it or you have connections to trustworthy sources that will give you information. This bit is important because they want contributors to provide multiple examples to support your point. Unless the company, study, or personality you’re using as an example is well-known, such as Amazon, Bill Gates, or Google, Entrepreneur’s editors will require you to include more than one example to prove your argument. Another possible reason for this is they want to deter people who submit content just to promote their products or services.
If you can’t find three supporting examples on your own, look for a reputable source to lend credibility to your argument. If you don’t know anyone that fits the bill, you can ask their editor for suggestions on whom to interview. They can even help you line up an interview if needed, but it’s still better to have your own source to show editors that you’ve done your research. There’s just a catch if you’re interviewing a popular source: another contributor or an Entrepreneur staff writer might have already interviewed them, so if that happens you need to find someone else because Entrepreneur prefers to avoid duplicate coverage.
Their editors want articles with unique insight on current trends, actionable advice, and inspirational stories for business owners. The challenge is they have a large roster of contributors and they publish lots of articles daily, so you can’t just pitch an idea because you think it’s great. You have to check if someone already beat you to it. Here’s how to ensure your article idea is unique:
- Search the site to find the recently published and most-read articles. Use this to discover the kind of stories that resonate well with their audience, and to strike off ideas similar to recently published articles on your
- Consider your personal experience to bring a unique perspective on a well-worn topic
- Tie your idea to a trending event if you can provide commentary on how the said event might impact other entrepreneurs in your niche
2. Complete the Application Process
Go to Entrepreneur’s Contributor Application form here. Fill out your complete name, email address location, and social media profiles.
The first free-form box asks for two to three article ideas, this is where you will include the ideas you came up with in step one. Write a good headline for each and include a brief overview of what you plan to cover, why it’s unique and why entrepreneurs need to know about it. You only have 250 words for this section, so make every word count.
In the second box, you have to convince them why you’re the perfect person to write about the ideas you proposed. Here’s where you can brag about your certifications, business awards, published books, and anything else that can prove why you’re an expert on the topics you suggested. You also have 250 words for this question, but you don’t need to use them all.
The last box is where you can include previous articles you’ve written. Entrepreneur’s editors will read these articles to gauge the quality of your writing and the advice you can give, so only include articles relevant to the ideas you’re pitching. When possible, include one link to one of the best articles on your own site, and two links to articles you wrote for another popular site.
3. Pitch an Editor for a Specific Category (Optional)
Entrepreneur.com receives hundreds of submissions so it might take a while for you to hear back, if you get a reply at all. It’s safe to say your application was declined if they don’t contact you after 10 weeks.
You can fast-track your application if you pitch an editor assigned to handle a specific topic. Just find the name of the editor assigned to your chosen topic here then see if you can find their email address online or through LinkedIn. If you can’t find their contact info, try FirstnameLastname@entrepreneur.com as that’s usually the pattern for their staff email address.
If this is your first time pitching a big publication, you should know that it’s a numbers game. That’s how journalists and PR professionals see it, the more ideas they pitch, the more chances they have of getting accepted.
Don’t lose heart when you don’t hear back on your first try to guest post on Entrepreneur.com. Review your application to find out what you can do to improve, then apply again with another set of article ideas. The authority you build will be well worth the effort.