What if a million people read your work this month?
Business Insider recently ran a story about my schedule, written by Moi and edited by one of BI’s editors. My phone abruptly exploded as soon as the story hit the feeds. I’ve received two job offers on the same day and a decent dose of recognition from family and friends.
Business Insider has 83 million unique monthly visitors, 66 million social followers, and 279 million video views, according to the Insider’s website.
The entire Insider franchise is larger than Medium, amassing billions of monthly views and branching out into different popular topics.
Here’s how I got accepted into Business Insider in less than a week
I’ve not pitched a publication in months. But recently, I’ve decided to step outside my comfort zone and try something new.
The world of writing can be brutal at times. Most editors never reply to cold pitches, leaving confused writers ruminating about potential reasons and possibilities. Maybe the story is subpar. Maybe your email fell through the cracks. Maybe the editor is just busy. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
If you have ever read Stephen King’s On Writing, then you know that an editor’s reply is a fabulous sign, even if it’s a rejection. When my inbox clah-changed with an email from BI editors, I almost spilled my coffee.
“Thanks so much for reaching out. I like the working headline of your piece, but…”
Luckily, my rejection was an invitation for improvement. Laura offered actionable advice on how to rewrite the story to better fit Business Insider’s audience. I followed her feedback and re-submitted the pitch.
“Thanks so much! I made edits to your second draft here, it looks great. I also realized we hadn’t discussed a payment…”
Wait, what? BI is going to pay and publish the piece?
Yes, yes, and yes.
You can get your draft accepted and published in 36 hours.
I didn’t quite succeed in the same manner as Nick did. The editor asked for my headshots and a short bio — because the originals weren’t good enough — which is a huge crime in the editing world. Instead of 36 hours, my journey took a week before the story was officially accepted, edited, and published. I can’t complain. I’m still amazed at the rapid back-and-forth with the editors.
Nick has a decade of experience more than I do, and I’m grateful he shared his pitch with the world.
This is what you can do to get published in Business Insider this week.
- Read the latest submission guidelines on Business Insider. You can find the right email and more information on what they’re looking for at the moment.
- Find a timely topic that fits with the publication’s overall culture. Open Business Insider, search your preferred sections, and study the top articles. You should get the gist of it after five or ten stories.
- Write your first draft. Recreate a similar outline to other published articles. Business Insider articles start with a listed summary and feature dynamic formatting, with brief paragraphs, subheads, and more lists.
- Deliver a low-friction pitch. Provide headshots, and a short bio in the first email, helping editors have less work with your story. I still sent a hard pitch, but it was good enough.
- Explain why your topic is timely for BI’s audience. Offer a research-backed and punchy explanation for the pitch, with credible sources backing your thesis.
- Confirm affiliation. Make your intentions clear if you’re promoting a business, service, or product for monetary gain. Honesty is the best policy. Most editors can sport a lie from a mile away.
- Accept editorial advice. You’re lucky if you get a reply on your first time. Editors are people, and BI’s editors probably receive hundreds of pitches each day. If you receive a critique, remember that someone took the time to read your story and offer professional insight. Learn, grow and accept the feedback.
- Finally, negotiate the pay, and set up your invoicing system. The editors make an offer once they accept your pitch. I took the first offer without much negotiation as it was my first time writing for BI.
The ROI most expect from writing is usually not the ROI most writers receive.
You may earn a couple of hundred bucks directly from the publisher. However, sometimes the benefits are intangible and not easily calculated.
Insider is a media powerhouse. Published contributors receive a dose of authority, exposure, and opportunity with each accepted pitch. Millions of monthly readers now have a chance to come across your story. If the right eyes read your story, you may find yourself with a new writing gig or a business opportunity.
Business Insider could also publish your story. Follow the guidelines that worked well for Nick and me, make it easy to say yes, and deliver a compelling story for BI’s audience.
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