I run a site that provides tips and opportunities for people to submit their writing – you are there now! While lots of freelancers and writers who are well acquainted with submitting their writing follow me, a large portion of my audience are bloggers, and a large portion of those have never been published outside of their own blogs.
The most common reason I hear for not submitting writing is fear.
Fear of giving away your best work to another site.
Fear of not being successful because you are not a ‘real’ writer.
Fear of botching the submission rules.
Fear of rejection.
I considered writing about why you shouldn’t be afraid of those things. I also thought about a ‘Rah Rah’ post focused on putting yourself out there. What I decided on instead though was a practical plan that you can start today to check off your first writing submission.
To follow this plan, you’ll just need to take a baby step for a few minutes a day for six days.
Day 1 – Select a piece
Day 2 – Re-Edit
Day 3 – Find it a home
If there is a site that comes to mind, great! Write it down. If not, do some searching. I recommend our submission opportunity directory as a great place to start. Be sure to only select places that accept previously published material since this is something you already published on your own blog. You will see that listed next to the sites in the directory that we know accept republished pieces. Ideally you can find about 3-5 places that would be a good fit based on niche, description, and acceptance of previously published material. Write them down.
Day 4 – Research and rank sites
Go back to the sites you selected in the directory and click on the SUBMIT or Submission Guidelines for each, or find the submission guidelines on the site if you identified it from another source. Read the guidelines carefully and do a little site study (read the about page and some recent and/or popular posts) for each. Rank order the sites based on how good a fit you think your piece would be for each.
Day 5 – Prepare to submit
Go back to the submission guidelines for your top pick. Read through them and make note of anything you need to prepare and do so. If you have questions (especially around anything to do with rights or agreements), ask in our Facebook group! Things you need to prep might include a bio, images, headshot, social media links, formatting requests etc.
Day 6 – SUBMIT!
You prepped everything yesterday, so take 5 minutes and submit!
Day 7 – Relax
I don’t count this day as part of the plan because you’re done! Stop biting your nails and refreshing your email. If the submission guidelines gave a timeframe when you can expect to hear back, make note of that on your calendar and try not to think about it until then. If it gets accepted, celebrate! Be sure to promote it when it is published and add the link to the featured writing page on your blog. If it gets rejected, join the club! We’ve all been there. And guess what? Remember that list of other places you had on your list. Try one of those next. If it gets a thumbs down from all of them, you may want to do a bit of recon for the next site you try and edit accordingly to be sure it meets the tone and voice as well as format of the posts they tend to publish most often.
Be sure to come and share your published piece in our daily thread in our Facebook Group!
And if you’re ready to move to the next level, check out my self-paced online course for beginners who are new to submitting their writing for publication: Submission Savvy!