Want to Write for Forbes but Not Sure How to Get Your Foot in the Door? Here’s What I Did…
This article first appeared on my blog, ConspiracyWaltz.com.
This one’s for my fellow writers out there! Obtaining credibility as a writer is vital if you wish to make a long-term effort out of it…something I admit I haven’t made up my own mind about, having severe carpel tunnel and tennis elbow and all.
Still, one way to gain both cred and exposure is to guest post on the big sites…and so I thought I would attempt that myself, then, if successful, share the steps I took with you, dear readers!
Suffice it to say, I was able to get something picked up… And so, without further ado, here is:
How to Get an Article Posted on Forbes
I’m sure there are different paths to get to that end goal, but here is what I did to get my article on Turkish insult laws picked up… Of course at the end of the day, we have zero control over what interests an editor, but following these steps should improve your odds. It did for me; this was the very first time I ever submitted an article to them, or any major outlet for that matter.
And I am very grateful to the editor and staff for their kindness and support during the process. Okay, let’s go…
Drafting Your Piece
Well it starts with the story. What is your article going to be about? Does it have a broad enough sense of appeal while still being unique enough that not just anyone could write it?
In my own case, I had been talking to a Turkish friend about the Turkish insult law and the case against the guy who’d posted a meme of Gollum from Lord of the Rings and the president of Turkey. He got fired and arrested over it, and it became sort of the face of the freedom of speech crackdown going on in that country.
These days that is relevant on a larger scale because many are calling for Turkey to exit NATO, and they site lack of freedom of speech as one reason. So I was able to use this one otherwise very local issue and portray it as having a larger scope. And since I knew more than the average person about the insult law (having lived in Turkey myself), I knew I could offer a perspective others could not.
Does you have such a topic in mind? If so, great. Now go look at some of the other articles written on Forbes and try to match their formatting style to your own story.
That’s what I did… I took a close look at an article they had up, examined their format including number and size of paragraphs, then set out to tell my opinion piece but constructed in their exact same format.
As far as content, my article’s thesis is laid out logically enough to make sense but leaves plenty of room for disagreement.
Everything is linked to a source…except the opinion parts. That is what they like! Sourced stories but, for a guest poster, stories with strong opinions. Initially I submitted it with the sources at the bottom; after the editor agreed to accept it for publication I was forwarded to another individual who asked me to hyperlink the sources to their respective phrases, in a Word doc.
Submitting Your Article to the Editor
It goes without saying, your submission must be error-free, and I mean error-free. Editors aren’t going to bother with anything that needs a lot of work. That is your job as the writer. Yes, they have people to do that, but your piece won’t get to those folks unless it is already written up properly.
Note, they don’t take queries or ideas, they want to see the fully-formed article. Here’s a link to their site’s submission guidelines:
When I emailed them, I wasn’t sure of the editor’s name; generally you should try to find that information out, so you can address them specifically, but I couldn’t find it.
So the first line of my query letter was:
I am excited to pitch the below controversial opinion article regarding the Turkish insult law, including my analysis of the recent (and infamous) ‘Gollum’ court case and the implications of its outcome.”
After that was a little bio blurb; the submission guidelines didn’t ask for links to previously published works, or anything like that…so I didn’t list any. Here’s all I wrote:
“I’m a retired US ex-pat and freelance writer, and have had several items published, including: many feature articles for OMNI magazine; several Amazon eBooks and short stories; travel articles, radio ads, marketing copy, creative writing teaching articles, and English language learning materials for private clients.
Thank you for your consideration of this piece!
(my phone number)”
Next came the article itself, posted in the body of the email.
What to Expect If Selected
If you get picked up, great! Now, don’t pester them… they will get back to you. The editor’s assistant reached out to me after a day or two, and I gave my address, which they used to put on a formal contract.
A day or two later, the contract came in my email; I digitally signed and returned it. That is when I also submitted the article in a Word doc, with the sources hyperlinked. I also gave them a one-line bio (not the same as what was on the query letter) and a hyperlink to my Amazon Author page.
Here is what it looked like (note, they added the ‘Mr.’ part!):
Mr. Cates is a retired veteran, Turkophile, and the author of Haveck: The First Transhuman.
About two or three days later, I got the final article back as a locked Word doc. I agreed that it looked good, and it was live within a few hours of replying to them.
I send a very brief Thank You email back to the assistant….and that’s it!
Hope this is helpful to you all; if so, please SHARE this article!
Blurb from my eBook, Why Are You Still Working?
Have you lost your mind? You want to quit work and retire…at YOUR age? Who said you could do that?
Get up and go to work, you bum! Go every day until you die!
After all these years, aren’t you bored to death of the daily grind, of your boss, of the commute? Don’t you really, seriously think you could find SOMETHING better to do with that 40-plus hours of your week?
Hmm, you may be on to something.
Because you know in your heart, life doesn’t have to be like this; it SHOULDN’T be like this!
Don’t work yourself into the grave. We all deserve our freedom at some point… So why not now? Right now!
So many of us are MUCH closer to being able to retire than we realize. In some cases, we are capable of it right this minute…but we feel like we’re not prepared to make the leap. For me, it took a year to decide, but once I did there was no going back.
Here, in this book, is how I did it. There is no great secret to it. The only mystery is, what took so long!
At 44 years old, I left a good-paying job, packed up the family, and have been living a dream life on the Aegean Coast ever since…all the while NOT working, but instead focusing on taking things easy, spending lots of quality time with my family, and just plain old goofing off! (Yes, I did write this eBook in my spare time; I have lots and lots of spare time!)
You, too, have the ability to live life on your own terms, to ‘do it your way.’ But only if you really want it! You have to act; you must make it happen, because it won’t happen on by itself.
‘Why Are You Still Working?’ clearly outlines the exact steps I took to go from living and working in one of America’s most expensive areas to reassessing my priorities, downshifting and downsizing, and resettling in a place others only get to visit on vacation while paying the bills as a digital nomad with a pension. Not every tip will apply to every person; I realize that. Every situation is different. But most will apply, if we’re willing to keep an open mind.
In this updated version, I’ve hyperlinked to the new Why Are You Still Working website, which offers even more in-depth tips and insights. There’s no magic to it, and no schemes or tricks, and I’m not selling any over-priced online courses or trying suck anyone into a ‘customer funnel.’
It’s just down-to-Earth, common sense advice that any person can apply, plus tips to help anyone go from burnt-out employee to blissful beach bum… It’s easier than you think–the hardest part is just doing it!
The second hardest part? Sticking to it! But trust me when I say, every day of my mega early retirement is better than a day on the job!
But Why Are You Still Working isn’t only about retirement. It’s about independence!
Maybe you still want to work, but haven’t considered all the options…like working from home, working freelance, working online, working as a digital nomad selling your services and products on your own time, from anywhere on Earth! This book explores a few such concepts, and links to resources to dig in deeper.
Give it a try! You’ve got nothing to lose…and a whole new life to gain!