There are two ways to build your brand through content marketing:

Start producing 10x content on your blog or get your articles published in other websites’ publications.

In this post, we cover the latter.

In this article, you’ll learn how to get articles published in major publications in four steps:

  1. Start building your writing portfolio
  2. Choose publications to write for
  3. PItch yourself to become a contributor
  4. Write content for their audience


How to Get Articles Published in Major Publications

This process isn’t a sure-fire formula to success, but will definitely give you chances to land on big publications.

Let’s start this simple process.

1. Start building your writing portfolio

Big publications will either invite you to write for them (that depends on your authority and expertise built on the subject) or become a contributor through pitching yourself.

I vouch for the latter because that’s something you can control.

However, you can’t pitch yourself to write for a publication without any samples of your writing.

It’s easier to get opportunities accepted when your prospects have an idea of the quality of content you produce.

Also, it would be efficient to have your editorial links link to your blog’s main content from your guest posts — if you have content assets ready on your blog.

So, start writing for your blog. Make it as 10x content as possible. Always think of its intended purpose of using it as your portfolio when pitching other publications.

10x content creation involves the process of having experts or industry practitioners to write for your blog. That said, if you haven’t had one available in your team, you may have opted for this option:

Hire domain experts to write for your blog or for other blogs

freelance writer


An article about health written by a freelance writer is different from an article crafted by someone who has 10 years of experience in the medical field.

The latter content comes from first-hand experience. The article includes examples, tests, own versions of examples, and other things that will make it easy to convince readers to finish the content. The web piece adds tremendous value to the readers.

The cost of hiring a domain expert who can write for you depends on their expertise, the vertical they’re in, length of content, and other content factors. In our experience, it can start with $100 going up to $2500 per content piece, even higher for the highly technical fields.

It is best to consider the expert’s writing portfolio, not only his or her writing capability.

If he has written multiple articles for different niche publications, it would be worth hundreds of dollars to hire as a domain freelance content creator for your target blogs.

Now, that’s how you start to build your writing portfolio.

2. Choose publications to write for 

You can’t choose to write to all the publications in your industry.

Being selective is a must, so you can start building momentum over time.

What are the things you have to consider?

Check publications’ target audiences

Choose publications that match your target audience.

This is a no-brainer thing, yet many brands fail to identify their audiences and aggressively pitch publications right away.

Even you land an opportunity for an authority blog, the odds of bringing their audience back to your site decreases.

So start knowing who you want to write for.

In cases when you’re in a very specific niche, there may be limited publications to get your articles published.

Not all industries have a high number of writers, publishers, and content creators. There are ones that have a high demand for publications — mommy, local, etc.. Some verticals have just a handful of publications to pitch to.

One recommended option is for you to target shoulder niches.

shoulder niches


Shoulder niches are a basic idea of Brian Dean wherein you find niches that you can tap into for a guest blogging opportunity.


Check publications estimated organic traffic

If your intended purpose to write for other niche major publications, you want to ensure you get the most value from it — basing it on the website’s ability to drive readers to your brand.

Use Ahrefs, or SEMRush to check the publication’s estimated organic traffic. 

semrush guest blogging qualification

Majestic offers the ability to discover the exact category of the website. This will help you assess if it’s a good fit for your brand.

majestic topical trust flow


Check publications engagement

This is an additional factor you can consider. Given that not all blogs or publications have high community engagement, where people post their own insights through the comment sections, it is still a good metric for assessing major publications to get your articles published.


Check publications requirements for contributors

Every publication has different requirements for its contributors — whether you wish to submit a one-time off article or become their regular contributor.

The reason you have to know this is because even before you send an outreach email to the publisher, you can gauge your chances of placing an opportunity.

Are they looking for industry practitioners who have had several articles written already? What topics of expertise are they looking for?

Even the minimum number of words required for each article will help you in estimating your costing budget if you wish to hire domain experts to work with you.

All these things can be seen in the contributor pages of a publication. So check that first before you pitch them.

3. Pitch yourself to become a contributor

The pitching process is a challenging part to get your articles published in publications.

The reason is very simple: if you can’t prove to yourself you’re worth a try to contribute an article, you miss the opportunity.

That’s not to say you can’t pitch again, but by doing it once, you should give your best try as much as possible.

Given that publications receive tens or hundreds of guest blogging pitches every day, they already have ways to figure out which ones are worth a response. Some publications require an exact phrase to include in the subject line of an outreach email — this filter out any mediocre outreach emails.


On value proposition and personalization

Always do your research about the publication. Know the needs of the publication in terms of content and topics they care about.

You can’t hit and miss every time.

Begin thinking of value proposition by providing better topics when doing outreach for guest blogging. You can find any content gaps in the industry that you (your team or your domain writers) can create content. You can check out my detailed entire process of content gap analysis

ahrefs content gap analysis


Be highly targeted when pitching. It may take a couple of minutes to do so, but worth your effort if you land one or two in your initial campaign.

Based on Pitchbox email outreach study, personalization for subject lines can boost the response rate of emails by 30.5% while personalizing the body of email content can have a 32.7% better response rate than those emails without any personalized messages.

Remember, to get better outreach placement rates, start offering a ton of value to whom you’re pitching.


Use domain outreach persons to scale outreach campaigns

Remember hiring domain experts to write for your blog or for other publications?

It’s also the same process you can take when scaling outreach campaigns. But this time for setting up an effective outreach campaign.

Consider creating your own outreach persona that has multiple effects for niche-related clients/ brands. Specifically, you can tap into that outreach person for every relevant client as this has enough writing credibility to get into someone’s publication.


Test pitching to assistant editors and support functions of publishing teams

One tip to increasing response rates is to look for emails of assistant editors of the publication, not just emails of main writers, authors, or publishers.

The reason being is that assistant editors normally have functions of filtering emails referring to any publication matters. They know which and which is for publication. Therefore, those people are more responsive to emails about content contributions.

4. Write content for their audience

Once you have your topics approved by the publisher, it’s time to write the content.

Overall, the content you should be writing depends on the terms, agreements, and requirements of the editor.

Content assets that are customized, experiential and expertise-driven have chances of getting articles submitted to major publications.

Doing so requires some inspiration.

One tip is for you to make a list of websites to inspire and help you generate content ideas, format, and style for your industry.

Create your own public or private Twitter list of websites generating the best content in your industry.

content inspiration twitter list

Other Ways to Get Your Articles Published on Publications

Besides pitching to become a contributor for major publications, you can apply other methods to get the same exposure on those sites.


You can check out my extensive guide on using HARO effectively. It is a solid tool for anyone looking for free opportunities (mentions and links) on relevant content publishing websites.

choose haro inquiries

Interviews / Round-ups 

Link roundups aren’t dead. It’s such that most of the roundups published in many industries aren’t generating engagement from readers as it is used to be.

One of the primary reasons is the sub-par quality content creators make when curating answers of experts and influencers in their industries. A few examples are:

  • One generic question was thrown at, so the likelihood of similarities of answers from interviewees will be higher. Without it being curated well, there is high friction of less engagement to consume the entire blog post.
  • Topics chosen have been generated multiple times (e.g. SEO tips, link building tips, real estate tips, success tips to __, etc..). The length of content is at a maximum level, yet repeated topics won’t satisfy the readers anymore.

Start looking for roundups that offer great value to your intended audience. HARO now has opportunities for round-up style contributions. Assess the quality of the possible roundup content, the type of questions, and what types of blogs they’ll be published.

Here is an example of a good link roundup: What 15 CEOs Learned Building Top Agencies by ConverxionXL


Why did it work?

  • Questions were categorized based on the desired flow of the topic (from individual contributor to agency owner, landing that first big client, scaling people, processes, and financial acumen, and marketing an agency that’s lived off referrals).
  • Written appropriately in story form with the flow with coherence and consistency on the subject

Further Resources:

Getting Your Articles Published in Major Publications Takes Time

If you are starting to build your brand, start penetrating mid-tier publications. Then embrace higher opportunities once you have a good writing portfolio in your arsenal.

Success in content marketing takes time. It involves a process to eventually reap the benefits of additional branding opportunities, backlinks, and assisted sales.