While getting your writing accepted by a website you’ve aspired to be published on is a great accomplishment, your work isn’t over as soon as you get a "Yes!" Once you get that coveted letter from an editor saying your work is going to be featured, there are several things left to do, to ensure that you get the most out of your experience as a contributor, and that you are welcomed back to write more pieces in the future.
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This starts with saying ‘Thank You” when you receive the thumbs up, and quickly providing anything else they require (bio, head shot, social media links etc.). I would also suggest adding a note to let them know you will be promoting it on your social media platforms when it goes live, and asking if they have any specific preferences around how they’d like you to promote it.Be Prepared to be Edited
This really depends on the host site. Some sites will barely do a spell check before they slap it up on their site, and others will edit it the heck out of it, until it is barely recognizable. Being open to working with editors is a great way to learn about publishing, writing, and especially about the type of work a specific site is most interested in. Try to be flexible here and not take criticism personally. In most cases, it is a great learning experience.Follow Your Host
By the time you have a piece accepted by a website, you should already be following them on social media, but this is a good time to double check and make sure you are subscribed to their newsletter(s) as well. You should also be regularly sharing other pieces you like from the site and tagging both the site and author. I always make a special effort to look for the social media account(s) for the site owner as well as any specific editor(s) I’m working with as they often have their own blogs and projects as well, and it is a great idea to keep up with those.Keep a List
Keep a running list of all of your blog posts. Include on this list: where each piece has been submitted, where it has been accepted, the date it was run, whether it’s paid, whether payment has been received, and any other key information. I also like to make any notes about terms and conditions here. For instance notes about simultaneous submissions, publishing rights etc. This can help you avoid duplicate submissions, missed payments, or violating any terms of agreements you may sign.Promote and Tease
On the day your piece is published, set aside time to promote it via all of your social media platforms. Pin it to any personal or group boards that are appropriate. Stumble it (or use other social bookmarking sites). I would also promote it sporadically over the next week. Promote it as heavily as if it were on your own site. If the piece has not been published on your own site before, you may want to consider doing a teaser post on your own blog, giving readers just a taste so they will want to read more. Be sure to include the link to the full post on your host site.Prepare Your Site
If you're expecting traffic to your site as a result of your feature, be sure to prepare your site accordingly, whether you want a pop-up subscription box or header, a specific post front and center, some kind of freebie offer.Additional Social Media
Be sure to follow your host site on social media closely in the days following your posts release. This will allow you to share their promotion of the piece, as well as participate in any comment threads they start around it.Manage Comments
If the site has a comment plugin allowing you to subscribe to comments, leave a comment and subscribe early, to be notified of future comments from readers. Otherwise, be sure to check back frequently in the days following the feature going live to answer reader questions and participate in the comment area.Track Your Stats
You will want to track stats as they relate to your goals. You may want to look at any sharing stats you can find, number of comments/interaction, new social media followers, newsletter subscribers, or traffic to evaluate if you are getting the benefits you are looking for to help when considering future submissions. Consider making notes about these things in your list to compare your experiences with various sites. I would, however, caution you not to feel like you always have to be quantitative when measuring success. If your goals are mostly around traffic and follows, that's fine, but if you really enjoy working with editors and writing the type of content a certain site accepts, you may still want to work it into your submission plan even if it isn't top on quantitative stats.Brag
Remember to do things like add the link to your ‘Featured On’ page once it goes live. Many sites also have badges they will either send you, or that you can find on their site. These can be added to the post itself (if it is also on your own site), your sidebar, and/or your ‘Featured On’ page. This not only promotes the site, but also gives you some street credibility/bragging rights in the blogosphere. Some people will also use badges and featured sites in their media kits.Schedule Your Next Submission
If you have a good experience with the site and are interested in repeating it, schedule time to write/submit your next submission. If the site accepts regular contributors, you may want to see what the requirements are for that as well.
Benefits of submitting your writing are numerous, including exposure to new audiences, credibility/resume building, new followers, networking and in some cases exciting speaking/writing/media opportunities, to name a few. To take advantage of these benefits and more, it definitely pays take these extra steps to ensure your success when featured on another site.
Beyond Your Blog - Writing Submission Tips and Submission Opportunities For Bloggers
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