Contributing 101: Becoming a Contributor

By: Eden Hensley Photos by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

We have all heard blogging is dead and that to make money in a changing media landscape you need to do more than "just" blog. One way bloggers can make money is to contribute to other blogs and sites. Contributing is similar to guest posting, with two exceptions: it is typically done on a more regular basis than guest posting and it is usually paid.

If you have been focused on building your brand and your blog, you may be wondering why contribute and how do I get started? Here is some advice to get you going:

  • Melanie of You Are My Fave shares five reasons why you should contribute: money, traffic, exposure, your portfolio, and practice.
  • Melanie reveals the first step in landing a contributor position is to make your blog shine; your blog is your resume. Follow her tips and you will be on track to successfully pitching yourself.
  • Victoria of A Subtle Revelry gives you three steps to landing a great contributor position (after you get your own blog looking polished).

After reading Melanie's and Victoria's advice you may want to work on your blog (and who is perfectly happy with their blog?). Be careful of falling into the paralysis trap; identify what, if anything, you need to do before sending your pitch.  

  1. Set a date for when you will send out your first pitch.
  2. List everything you think you need to do before you start pitching.
  3. Now, step back and take an honest look at your list. For each item, ask yourself, is it an obstacle to becoming a contributor? An obstacle can be lack of content related to the subject you want to pitch or unintentionally blurry images.
  4. Circle items on your list that are obstacles, prioritize them, and estimate how long you need to complete them.
  5. Schedule your top three tasks on your calendar so that you can meet the date you set in the first step. (Alternately, set aside twenty minutes each day on your calendar for preparing your blog for you first pitch. Getting in a daily blog maintenance routine is always a good thing.)

Good luck!

Next in the Contributing 101 series, we will share tips for how to be successful once you land your contributing position. The best way to find out about possible contributing roles is to network with other bloggers. Live in an area where there are not any local bloggers you can brainstorm with? Our online conference, Alt for Everyone, September 25-27, 2014, brings the bloggers to you. Over three days, you will be able to chat with and get to know other bloggers. You can also take a session devoted to Contributing from Amy of This Heart of Mine.

Want to learn more ways to make money in a changing media landscape? Join us Friday October 24, 2014 for Alt on Topic curated by Meg Keene of A Practical Wedding. It is guaranteed to be a no holds barred conversation on how to build an engaged presence with great content, build a multi-platform brand, and make the smart money, right now.