Contributing 101: Tips for Success

By: Eden Hensley Photos by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

We all know the right contributing position can increase our audience and make us money. (Previously in our Contributing 101 series, we talked about why you might want to contribute to another site and how to go about landing a great contributor position.) Like anything, how successful we will be depends on what we do once we land the position.

  1. Know how the site/brand you are working with measures success. Is your content expected to increase traffic to their site? Or do they want visitors to purchase products you mention? Or both?
  2. Deliver consistent, quality content. Victoria of A Subtle Revelry outlines nine things editors want in a contributor, and Jenny of Hank and Hunt shares four tips for juggling content for other sites while growing your own.
  3. Jenny and Brittni of Paper & Stitch both agree the most important rule of being a good contributor is this: Do not be afraid to give away the good stuff
  4. Write about topics you are not currently blogging about on your site. Melanie of You Are My Fave explains how she manages being a contributor without giving up her best content.

What are your secrets to being a great contributor?

If you want to learn more about how to find contributing positions, what to charge, how to balance contributing and your own blog, and more, be sure to sign up for the session taught by Amy Christie of This Heart of Mine during Alt for Everyone on Friday, September 26 at 11:45AM PT.

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.