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How to Get Published on Forbes.com Without Really Trying

Yes, you read the headline correctly: this post is all about how to “accidentally” get published on Forbes.com.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Forbes.com doesn’t publish just anyone, let alone by accident. So allow me to set the scene for you.

How I Got Published on Forbes

It was the day my first major guest article was to go live. I had just started my personal financial planning business, and was thrilled to be getting press on LearnVest, a Mint.com for women that targeted my niche perfectly.

What’s more, I had waited exactly 4 months for this post to go live. This would be my first major post on the site. As I’m sure you can imagine, my anticipation was off the charts!

Throughout the first 4 hours of the day, I was completely consumed by the stats of my post. I scanned social media interactions, refreshed LearnVest for comments, and delighted in a steady inflow of new subscribers.

I was on top of the world.

At some point toward the end of the day, while scanning my Twitter feed on my commute home, I saw a tweet about my post from Forbes.com. At first, I didn’t believe it. Not in a this-is-unbelievable type of way, but a someone-is-confused kind of way.

I blew it off, and finished my commute home.

But of course, I went to check my site stats again. There, I saw it with my own two eyes. I was getting traffic from Forbes.com. No, I was PUBLISHED on Forbes.com – all without a stitch of effort on my part!

It was entirely surreal. And amazing.

Here’s How It Happened

Take a good look at the screenshot of my Forbes.com post:

blog marketing

You can see at the top that LearnVest is a contributor to Forbes, and re-published my article to their Forbes.com blog.

Luckily for Everyone, This is Common Practice

There are thousands of contributors, bloggers, content partners and news outlets who publish to Forbes.com blogs. So, if you want to be on Forbes, work backward by connecting with the contributor first.

Real life example: I inquired about publishing for the site The Glass Heel, a site that accepts guest posts, and also has a Forbes.com blog. When I asked how to get onto their Forbes blog, they told me that the guest post has to be the most popular piece of content for the month.

How to Find a Forbes.com Contributing Blog

Wonder how you’re supposed to find a contributor?

Some good old fashioned poking around will do. Use the search function to find articles related to your niche. Then, use those articles to guide your search back to quality contributors.

For example, I imagine that Mirasee is frequented by a lot of women interested in entrepreneurship. So, in the Forbes search bar, I typed in “women entrepreneurs.”

In the first page of results I found this:

blog marketing

I checked out the website listed as a contribution, only to find that this site allows guest posters AND syndicates their best content.

I also know that Mirasee attracts people interested in social media, blogging, and guest posting. Using the Forbes.com search using “online marketing,” I found this post:

blog marketing

In researching this contributor, I found My Say’s contributor profile which says, “This blog features contributors who don’t regularly write for Forbes but who have timely insight on starting, running and expanding small businesses.”

Just to show that there are contributors of all kinds, I searched for “relationships” where I found this gem:

blog marketing

And – all together now – you’ll find that The Muse accepts guest posts and publishes select articles to Forbes.com.

Build on Your Initial Success

So, let’s say that you finally believe that you, too, can get published on Forbes.com, nicely marketing your blog along the way, by going through a contributor. Now, I’ll sweeten the pot even more.

Let’s return to my story.

After nearly crying at the sweet feeling of getting my name on Forbes.com, I accepted my success as beginner’s luck. However, as the days ticked by, I started getting traffic from other sources with whom LearnVest had shared my story. I was on Broke Girls’ Guide, The Jane Dough, and The Week.

I continued writing for LearnVest – first for the clout, and second for the amazing reach achieved by each post.

The more I wrote for LearnVest, the better it got.

The More You Write, the Better It Gets

Of 5 articles I wrote in 2013, three of them landed on Forbes.com, and all of the posts were shared around the web on sites including Yahoo!, Lifehacker, SavvySugar, the Chicago Tribune, the Zillow Blog, Levo League, and more.

In other words, the more I wrote, the more opportunities I had to reach my target market. It was a guest poster’s dream come true.

Over time, and after much investigation, I learned that LearnVest was part of a syndication network, meaning they had content partners who shared their (and my) content.

Content Aggregators Can Distribute Your Guest Post to Millions

When I came to this realization, I also made the connection that there must be hundreds of other sites who shared their content far and wide, just like LearnVest.

As it turns out, I was right. LearnVest is a type of content syndicator, and the sites it shares to are content aggregators.

If you can get your work onto a content syndicator, you can reap the rewards of having your guest post distributed to millions of people through content aggregators. 

Work Backwards to Find Your Syndicators and Aggregators

At this point, you already know what my advice is: work backward!

There are both hundreds of content syndicators AND content aggregators, and I can’t possibly list out every partnership you could take advantage of.

Instead, you’ll have to get a little creative and do some research on your own.

Decide what website you’d like to be on (especially if it’s a difficult site to get on), and look for who contributes to that site. Some well-known, highly-desirable content aggregators include the Huffington Post, Lifehacker, Business Insider, CNN and Forbes.com.

Since a lot of people want the exposure of a site like The Huffington Post, I’ll use that as an example.

You could try setting up a HuffPo blog and hoping it will hit big, but I think that may be a waste of time.

Instead, try searching on Huffington Post for the subject headline most related to your niche.

In doing research for sites I’d like to pitch in the future, I went to HuffPo Money—a site deeply connected to my niche. In the Featured Posts section, I came across the following contributor:

blog marketing

Again, if you don’t find anything under the “Featured Post” section of the HuffPo page you like, click through to some articles related to your niche.

In another example, I peeked through the Healthy Living section, and found this article, syndicated by Greatist:

blog marketing

Good news, Greatist accepts guest posts!

4 Steps to Getting Your Next Guest Post on a Major Blog

So, to sum it all up:

  1. Check out the content aggregator sites you’d really like to be on, including Forbes.com, Huffington Post, CNN, Yahoo!, and others.
  2. Search the sections of the website related to your niche. Or, use the search bar to find more specific content.
  3. Start taking note of the content syndicators who post to sites in your niche (LearnVest, Women 2.0, The Muse, Greatist, etc.) These sites are easier to get on, and may just promote your content elsewhere around the web.
  4. Follow guest posting best practices: pitch your best stuff, build a real relationship with the outlet, and don’t selfishly view the outlet as a means for pimping out your content.

In Review

In conclusion, if you continually make an effort to research content syndicators as part of your regular list building efforts, you can start to tease out high-value sites that expand your reach. And, even if you find that your content is not ultimately syndicated to a major site, you can rest assured that you are reaching new audiences you might not have reached otherwise!

Over to You

What major site would you like to be featured on? Let me know on the comments below, along with the names of a few contributing sites that would be a good blog marketing opportunity for you.

About Leah Manderson

Leah Manderson is a personal finance coach who has been featured in Forbes, Learn Vest, and The Daily Muse. In her blog and newsletter, she publishes weekly tips and tricks that help people afford the life of their dreams. Pick up her FREE "Financial First Steps Workbook" to learn innovative ways to create ease and clarity around your monthly money to-dos.

53 comments

  1. Seth Coyne says:

    Great article! Thanks Leah!

    You mentioned My Say. I was hoping to try to write for them, but I can’t find their contact info. Anyone have an idea how to get in touch with them?

  2. Raj Jaiswal says:

    Hello,
    I really love the article,.
    I also want to publish my article on forbes.I am currently writing on huffingtonpost.
    My article is on women empowerment .
    Please let me help to publish the article.
    thanks

  3. Marlon Sanders says:

    Hi,

    I’d like to get published on Business Insider, Inc., Wells Fargo Online and Entrpreneur Magazine.
    Do you have any insight on those?

    I realize I’m only a year late posting to this article!

    Marlon Sanders

  4. Thomas says:

    I manage a few sites, one of which is in a niche that might be of interest to audiences on major sites. Any tips on how to get featured on to one of the big sites in a relatively short amount of time? What specific strategy do you use in getting featured? Do you send the sites you get featured on the blog post that you wrote after it is already live or before it goes live? Your article was awesome by the way! 🙂

  5. Ron C @copyron says:

    That’s one of the best articles I have read on the internet, and JUST IN TIME. Thanks.

    Also to be mentioned, you can also directly submit your op/eds at opinions@forbes.com.

    So, find a contributor or submit to them. Simple.

  6. Thank you! Very insightful! Question: doesn’t google penalise repeat content, it has to be original, so if your content is syndicated on the other content aggregators? Then it becomes the same story across different channels…?

  7. Tanz says:

    Great post, thanks heaps!

    I’m stuck however or maybe I’m missing something – Do I only find articles that are linked to content syndicators? Every article I look up has actual authors. Please advise. Thanks!

  8. tariq jaml says:

    hello dear,

    I am Tariq Jamil and i have many clients who want to live their articles on forbes.com, they are ready to pay good amount for it, kindly do let me know if you have access to it. It will be great for us.

    Thank,
    Tariq Jamil

  9. Kemya Scott says:

    Wow Leah, this is a juicy tactic I never thought (or read) about! Thanks for sharing such a detailed post. I always wondered how people get to Forbes and other major sites, and this is giving me tons of ideas. It’s time to do some research and more writing!

    I can’t say thank you enough!!

  10. Mai Bantog says:

    Leah, this is superb! Congratulations on your accidental Forbes post, and thanks for sharing it with us. Now that’s a great business strategy for everyone out here. Thank you!

  11. charles says:

    Leah,

    What a info. And what a clever girl you are.(-: I not only love the info which you so gracefully made available but also the triggered response by peach tree who also brought good points. Life is good.
    Not to forget Firepole which brings all this to us.
    Thanks Charles

  12. lynnsilva123 says:

    Hi Leah! : )

    I feel like I’m repeating what everyone else has said…but I had to at least thank you personally for this strategy! I’ve already worked on some opportunities based on your methods. THANKS SO MUCH!

    1. Leah ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Hey Lynn,

      I’m SO GLAD it’s working for you in the real world! As I said, even if you don’t get on the MEGA site, you’ll still be exposing yourself to a really well-connected, well-read, well-loved blog with whom you can build a relationship 🙂

      Keep up the good work!

      Warmly,

      Leah

  13. Corey Pemberton ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Leah,

    This is a fantastic post, and congratulations on your publishing success. Bookmarked. I loved how you laid it out there in 4 steps. This gives me some cool ideas about drumming up publicity for a new project I’m working on.

    Thanks,

    Corey

  14. Sue Roman says:

    This is simply amazing! I just got published for the first time and WOW what a feeling. Now I’m jazzed about doing it again so the timing of this email couldn’t have been better. It’s Karma man, Kama.

    Thank you for all the great advice and I can’t wait to get going backwards to get myself published.

  15. Chris King says:

    What an exciting post this is, Leah! Besides being so useful, you have made us, the readers, imagine that everything is possible! Who would have thought and believed that we and you could discover your article in Forbes. Way to go. And thank you for being so open and sharing with your information!

  16. Jessica says:

    That is REALLY interesting…I knew many blogs syndicated content but I hadn’t consider this as a process for getting posted to some of the really large sites without having to approach them directly. And since I’m right now working on developing a process for pitching blogs about my posts related to business plan writing, the timing of this article couldn’t be better. Thank you!

  17. Fran Civile says:

    Leah, I really enjoyed reading the generous way you built up the above article with useful information for other aspiring guest bloggers!

    I’ll be following some of your suggestions.

    Fran

  18. Simone says:

    I agree with all the kudos already given! Thank you, Leah, for being so generous with everything you’ve learned.

    I’ve only done a couple of guest posts. But, you advice will help me be more strategic. I’m going to start researching syndicators.

  19. Tea Silvestre ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Love this post and am also curious: what kind of impact did this have on your business? What kind of extra traffic did it bring you? What kind of growth has your mailing list seen because of your efforts? Would love to hear!

    1. Leah ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Hey Tea,

      I’ve had a tremendous amount of traffic and newsletter growth since getting my content syndicated.

      I remember when I posted on just single-author blogs that I’d get a surge of subscribers (maybe 10-50 per post), but then it would taper off pretty much immediately. With syndicated content, I’ll get a big surge up front (60+ depending on the outlet), followed by days and days of 10+ new subscribers.

      (These numbers may seem pitiful or great to you, but for me, this is really good!)

      For one thing, LearnVest (who I’ve published a lot of content with now), has a tremendous amount of my ideal clients–women ready to take charge of their personal finances).

      They syndicate to even MORE of those ideal clients on my behalf people, so I’ve gotten a hundreds of subscribers (who have turned into clients) from dozens of sites I never pitched. My first client was actually a referral from Lifehacker, which re-published one of my LV pieces!

      Even better, that Forbes article listed above is #1 ranked for the phrase “max out Roth IRA,” so IT gets a lot of traffic, and I get a lot of traffic each week from it.

      Not every content aggregator is a win–but having the syndicated content increases my odds of getting a few big hit traffic sources 🙂

      That was kind of scattered, haha 🙂

      Does that answer your question? Did it bring up other questions?

      Warmly,

      Leah

  20. Debra Graff says:

    Fantastic suggestions for working backwards to find ideal sites to guest post on! I definitely plan to make use of it.

    It’s actually somewhat similar to a slightly different game plan that I’m also going to use. The largest websites that most clearly target my ideal audience pretty much has guest posts from only a select few other bloggers. I plan to approach and guest post with these other bloggers, and hope to gain the attention of main bloggers this way.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience and ideas!

    1. Leah ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Oooh, very good idea! There’s ALWAYS value in building relationships with other influential bloggers, outlets, etc. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Debra!

  21. Samir says:

    Well I really loved to read your post at forbes and I’m heading over there just after reading this post. I will follow up your tips for the blog marketing.

    Thanks

  22. MarcyMcKay says:

    What a Cinderella story, Leah. I love it, except you didn’t just randomly find yo!ur prince…you worked your tail off to get to that ball and make it happen I’ve just launched a website for fellow writers to fight their creative monsters together, but you’ve definitely got me thinking. TY!

  23. Jagoda says:

    Thank you for this helpful article. Before I read it, I didn’t really understand anything about syndicators and aggregators. This gives me a whole new way to search for valuable blogs in my niche.

  24. peachfront says:

    What did Forbes.com pay you for the reprint? Or did they? Because I had some of my content shared by Yahoo etc with hundreds of thousands of pay views as well and it was worth sweet eff-all other than my original pay because the aggregator bought all rights to my posts. So I think people need to be super careful about writing their best/most popular stuff to make somebody else rich. As long as you KNOW what you’re doing and how you’re going to be compensated, it’s fine. There’s a comment in your post about writing for “clout” which disturbs me. Writers should be paid in money. That’s the real “clout,” when people think enough of your writing to pay for it. Publishers wouldn’t accept payment in “clout!”

    1. Leah ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Hey Peachfront,

      Concerning my article on Forbes.com–LearnVest offered to pay me for my content OR link back to my website. Seeing as how I’m MORE in the business of personal financial planning rather than professional writing, I wanted the link. After all, the majority of my client prospects come from my website and newsletter list!

      As such, I made the trade such that the article was LearnVest’s content to share, not mine.

      I completely understand your point and see why it’s frustrating for professional writers to have their content spread through unpaid means, I was thrilled to reach a wider audience.

      Anyhoo, thanks so much for taking the time to post your comment. People do need to be aware of the benefits and potential drawbacks of syndicated content!

      Warmly,

      Leah

    2. Becky Castle Miller says:

      Professional writers should get paid in money, I agree — those people whose business is writing, and writing is how they plan to pay their bills. But people who are business professionals in other fields and are building audience-based businesses around a particular niche are trying to earn money from products or services they sell. They don’t need to make money from the writing itself — the traffic from the posts brings people to their sites (through a great offer in their bios) and then those visitors can turn into subscribers and later customers.

  25. Daisy says:

    Thank you Leah, for such an educational article. I rather like the idea of working backwards by researching content syndicators AND aggregators.

    It’s a great way to go beyond the norm and still get free publicity!

    Thanks for sharing those smart ideas!

    Daisy

    PS: Danny & Sid, your emails are ‘must reads’ for me. Appreciate your efforts.

  26. Davis Nguyen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Congratulations on your earned success Leah.

    Forbes.com would be on my list. Potential contributing sites would be:

    Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC)
    YEC Women
    The Muse

    1. Leah ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Hey Davis,

      I’ve definitely been eyeing the Young Entrepreneur’s Council since they have amazing syndication opportunities for their members.

      The Muse is great, too!

      Now to get on with that relationship-building 🙂

      Warmly,

      Leah

  27. Michelle says:

    Leah, the information contained in this article is GOLDEN! I have a specific niche and this piece nicely details the steps to take to bring my work to larger platforms. Thanks so much for sharing your story and providing this insight. I rarely comment but I had to express my appreciation. Thanks again.

    1. Leah ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’ve been using this tactic profusely since I accidentally discovered it. I hope it brings you lots and lots of success 🙂

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