How To Get Featured On Women Grow Business

by Shonali Burke on February 25, 2011

Birthday Cookies

Tthe icing on the cookie

I’ve been thinking it’s high time I wrote a little bit about what you can and can’t (or, at least, shouldn’t) do to get featured on Women Grow Business.

You see, I get pitched every day. Every. Day.

This per se doesn’t bug me; in fact, I welcome it; if you didn’t pitch me, how would I know what was out there?

But it’s when people seem to completely disregard the instructions that we think are already clearly laid out… or pitch me more fuzzily than a swarm of starlings… or even try to pay me to feature them or their clients

… that I get irritated.

Seems it’s time for a primer again. Here we go.

1. Before you do anything else, please please please read the “be featured on Women Grow Business” tab of the blog.

It gives you two options to start, and clearly lays out how many words we’re looking for, that we look for original posts, and so on.

You cannot imagine how much time this saves me, because I end up having to write it again and again and again… because I’d really like you to be able to submit something. I’d so appreciate being saved from carpal tunnel (been there, done that, no desire to visit again).

2. Please do not give me a reason to add your pitch to 15 reasons your PR pitches suck.

This started out as a descriptor of what it feels like to be a PR pro on the receiving end of pitches due to my involvement with BNET. The sad part is, many WGB pitches I’ve received provided ample fodder for this follow-up post; specifically, #s 8, 12, 13 and 14.

I really don’t want to have to add to the list, though I will admit to having created a “Wall of Shame” folder in my email for pitches that are just so terrible, they should be framed for their iniquity.

3. Do not offer to pay me to write a post featuring your client, or linking to your client.

I’m already paid by Network Solutions to manage this blog and elements of its outreach. There isn’t a chance in Hades that by offering to grease my palm, you’ll increase the likelihood of your client/product being featured here.

If anything, you’ll just make my feelings of incredulity (and more) worse.

4. Understand what Women Grow Business is about.

I’ve always thought that it’s pretty clear, but in case it isn’t: we’re about providing women entrepreneurs – and those who wish to join their ranks – the resources and community to grow (or start) their businesses.

Which means that if you want to be featured on WGB, you should either be a woman entrepreneur who can provide insight into this process, regardless of your niche, or be pitching a woman entrepreneur or woman-owned/led business.

I can’t tell you how many male entrepreneurs, authors and speakers have been pitched to me. I have nothing against men – love ‘em, been married to one for almost 12 years now – but there are other places on the Interwebz for those pitches.

5. Actively look for where you can add value.

If you look at the categories on the blog, you’ll see that there is quite a range; from empowerment and similar categories, to legal and financial issues. For several of those areas, we have regular writers, all of whom are featured via a byline as well as on this tab.

In addition, many of the women who contribute to this blog are excellent at marketing & public relations, and have a strong grasp of social media.

So if you’re going to pitch me a “how to” post that has either essentially already been written, it’s not going to help you.

This is not to say that you can’t contribute to areas for which we already have designated writers. Sure you can. But you’ve got to figure out how your post will add value to our readers and our community.

Which means you have to actually read the blog. I know – shock and awe!

For example:

  • Did one of the posts inspire another thought or series of them?
  • Can you relate a business experience that taught you specific lessons in entrepreneurship, that would fit into one of the categories?
  • Do you have a really great story to tell, as many of our guest posts do?
  • Can you provide concrete tips for women entrepreneurs on any of the many facets of launching and growing a business?

There are so many ways to write for us… and I always welcome guest authors. But you’ve got to help us add value, as much as I assume being featured on WGB adds value for you.

A few more things, that I’m repeatedly asked:

  • Yes, the posts do have to be original and previously unpublished.
  • Yes, the posts do have to be authored by a woman entrepreneur, if a guest post submission. See #4 above.
  • Yes, you may cross-post them to your own blog, but please allow for at least a week to elapse before you do so.
  • We love links in the body of a post (see the notes on “be featured”) but if they’re overtly self-promotional, or all of them link back to your blog, rest assured I will take them out.
  • No, I will not run the edited post by you for approval.
  • No, I can’t guarantee any posts you submit will automatically be published.
  • Yes, we’ll run a bio and head shot with the post (again, it’s on “be featured”) if it’s selected for publishing. Bios need to be 75 words or under; send me anything longer than that and I will edit at my discretion.
  • If you’re writing up (or pitching) a success story, talk numbers. Real, hard numbers, that put your story into perspective.

I have had the privilege

of encountering some remarkable women through this blog community, as well as through its social outposts. It’s been a pleasure to feature them and showcase their stories. I tried to make it as painless as possible for them, and they tried to make it as easy as possible for me.

If you’re new to WGB and looking to be featured here, I’d really appreciate it if you’d do the same.

More from Women Grow Business:

Image: SheepGuardingLlama via Flickr, Creative Commons

Women Grow Business editor Shonali Burke is the award-winning principal of Shonali Burke Consulting, where she turns your communication conundrums into community cool. Adjunct faculty for Johns Hopkins’ MA/Communication program, she is also featured on BNET as The Startup Storyteller, and publishes Waxing UnLyrical under the watchful eyes of Chuck, Suzy Q. and Lola, her three rescue dogs. Her long-suffering husband has accepted that Shonali can most often be found on Twitter.

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