One of the really cool things that happened to me was getting published on the New York Times. The more I’ve thought about it over the years, the more I have noticed the unique elements and conditions that led to the re-publication of my Venture Beat article on NYTimes.com. This step by step process below might just result in the publication of your article on a reputable news portal.
Step 1: Use the Syndication Channel
My Appsgeyser article that appears on the NYTimes.com website was a re-publication (a web syndication) of an article I contributed as a guest to Venture Beat, one of the startup world’s most reputable media outlets.
The New York Times has a partnership with Venture Beat where they pick up articles and re-publish them occasionally on their website.
It’s important to be aware of these partnerships between specialized media companies and mega media conglomerates. Discovering media partnerships is incredibly easy. All you really have to do is browse through the large news websites such as New York Times or Washington Post and you will quickly notice the media partners they frequently use for republication of specialized content.
When you identify the most commonly used browse their websites and choose the ones that you feel confident are a good match with your article idea. This will enhance the chances of them hearing your pitch.
The example below shows how the New York Times identifies external articles.
Step 2 and 3: Build a Really Shiny Object, and make it a Team Project
Pundits like to use different buzzwords, like Shiny Object or Cornerstone Content (see our post on this topic here) but in reality what it means is: Invest a lot of thought, a lot of time, and a lot of effort into creating a high quality thing you can pitch to trade and major publications.
It should be newsworthy and high quality stuff. Easier said than done.
What I discovered with our NYtimes article was is that the best way to accomplish this is to turn it into a team project. Even though it’s a pain to manage multiple people’s opinions, it was worth it because several heads think better than one, especially for something this important.
To come up with the killer idea for the Appsgeyser article I had one email thread going on for weeks with the company co-founder. I also opened up another thread with the development team to extract reports and data from the Appsgeyser database.
We even had a third thread dedicated to the graphic design team to to make the data visualization look awesome.
Finally, the editors at Venture Beat were awesome (and cutthroat) at providing feedback as to what they thought would work. Their advice was invaluable.
Combining everybody’s efforts resulted in a guest post that was awesome enough to get picked up and republished on the New York Times website.
Step 4 and 5: Pitch the Editors of each Publication. If They Don’t Bite try Offering Exclusivity
After you’ve produced that killer piece of content, whether it’s an article, infographic, eBook, the results of a survey, or a combination of those things, then go out and pitch it to the editors. Of course the ideal scenario is where you already have an established relationship with the editors at trade publications and you can call them or email them a 2 line pitch first to see if they think it has potential.
But most people do not have editor friends at major publications, so we need to produce the product first and hone it to near perfect and hopefully when the editor sees it they’ll rush to put it in their publication.
Editors have very little time to sift through the endless clutter they get spammed with daily, so if you are going to publish your work, then you are better off sending them a finished product.
If you have been able to get an editor to respond to your article, but still cannot get them to confirm they’ll publish it, then offer them exclusivity.
If you Build it, they will Come
Follow the step by step guide and you will surely be published on a reputable trade publication, and if you are lucky, it will get picked up by one of the majors.