How to get published on health and wellness websites, gain new followers and potential clients, AND build your email list.
I’m excited to have my friend, and fellow health coach, Laura McDonald, share a few of her incredibly valuable tips to help you get published online. Laura has had her articles published many times, so she knows the insider secrets. Today, she’s sharing some of those secrets with us.
Enjoy! Here’s Laura –
I had my first of over 25 articles published on MindBodyGreen in January of 2013.
It seemed the whole country was in a deep freeze that week. I was heading to train a client outside in Riverside Park when I thought, “This would make a great little article, the benefits of working out in cold weather.” I’m a fitness and health coach in New York City and had been following sites like MindBodyGreen for a while. I could have written it up and slapped it on my own web-site, but I knew it was time to “think bigger.” When I got home later that day I went onto the MindBodyGreen site and poked around. How did these people get their articles published? How can I get published here, too?
I started working on my idea right then and there and did some research about working out in cold weather based on my own experiences. I’ll be honest; I wrote that first little article in about 30 minutes, reread it a few times and with much anxiety hit “send”.
I heard back from an editor at MindBodyGreen within ten minutes! “This is great, perfect timing, we want to run this now!” I was beyond pumped. I WILL be one of those people who get published! “5 Benefits of Exercising Outdoors When You’re Freezing Your Ass Off” went live the very next day!
I may have hit a home-run that first time, but I was soon to learn that it wasn’t quite so simple. For every article I’ve had go live, there have been quite a few that didn’t make it. But I learned how to turn those ideas into content for other uses and sites. Content is KING! Through trial and error I’ve gained much valuable information, and I want to share that with you today.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
1. Read through at least a dozen articles on the site.
First, take some time and read through current articles on any site you’re planning to submit to, especially those that are aligned with the subject you intend to write about. You want to get a feel for what type of articles they publish. Go back and reread a few that you really like. Make sure you have all outer distractions shut down. Turn off your phone, turn off the TV and make time to focus.
Second, be sure to read the guidelines for submitting your article since each website has different requirements (these details can make or break your submission approval).
2. Have someone you trust read the article.
If at all possible have a good friend, someone in a similar field or someone you trust, read through your article. You want feedback from someone who will give you their honest opinion and maybe catch any errors. I don’t always do this, but when I do, I’m always surprised at the little things I miss! I’ve even gotten some great feed back that lead me to re-work my idea a bit and I was never sorry I took the extra time.
3. Have a short bio and headshot ready to go.
If you’re anything like me, when you come across an article you really enjoy or relate to you go straight to the author’s bio. This is the golden egg that holds vital information and is an important key to getting people to your site. It’s also a way to give people a feel for your personality and to get to know you, and it all happens in just a few sentences. In this day of information overload, we want to keep it short, chocked full of juicy info and fun. Taking the extra time to work on your bio is important and can truly make all the difference in boosting traffic to your site, building your list and even selling your own unique programs.
If you don’t have a professional headshot, try to get your hands on a good camera and have a friend take a few snapshots of you. Make sure the lighting is good, you’re not wearing too much jewelry, and you feel comfortable. If you scan the head shots on different sites you’ll see a wide variety from super professional studio shots to someone sitting on the beach. The good news for us is there is room to play here, but the more professional, the better. I would even suggest investing in a photo session with a professional photographer and try to capture a few different looks. This is one of the best investments you can make and can immediately elevate you to a more “professional” status and boost credibility.
Consider matching your professional headshot across your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.
Follow these ideas to write your own catchy bio:
- Get your most important message into the first line. What is your specialty?
E.g.: Julie is a health coach in North Carolina who specializes in working with new moms struggling with the demands of creating a healthy lifestyle, taking care of a new baby and reducing everyday stress.
- Get your qualifications noticed.
E.g.: She received her certification in holistic health coaching from Institute for Integrative Nutrition, has studied vegetarian cooking and is a member of…etc.
- Add something interesting that makes you stand out
E.g.: Julie hosts her unique workshop, “Healthy New Moms” online and at local pediatrician practices.
Don’t forget to include a link to your awesome free opt-in (remember – this is a great opportunity to build your email list).
What can you gain by being published?
The benefits have been incredible and well worth the time and effort:
- The opt-in I had on my web-site finally started helping me grow my email list!
- I gained many new social media followers
- I’ve been approached by other sites and have published on them.
- I have gotten new health-coaching clients.
- I saw a spike in my Kindle sales and unique program sales.
- I have been asked to be a guest speaker for several health and wellness summits with the latest being a London firm which will be recorded and the exposure could hit the tens of thousands (plus, I get a copy of the recording to use however I want.)
The last two months I have been featured as one of MindBodyGreen’s “Top Wellness Experts” which is great for boosting credibility. Yes, people, respect! (That’s me in the lower right corner in the top image!)
If I can do it, you can too. It just takes a little strategy and persistence. I hope these 3 tips were helpful.
Wishing you much success and I hope to see your article published soon!
Laura McDonald a health and fitness coach and writer in NYC and a busy mother of three. I’ve been training clients for over ten years and recently graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I love writing rock songs, working on my yoga skills and creating new recipes full of love.
You can learn more about Laura on her website – www.LauraMDonaldhealth.com