Become a contributor to Entrepreneur.com
My guest today is Stephen J. Bronner. In addition to being a fitness buff and video games aficionado he also happens to be the deputy editor for entreaprenuer.com, which means he manages their vast contributor network. He graduated with a Masters degree in journalism from the CUNY School of Journalism in 2008 and has worked in local journalism for several years. He lives in New York’s Long Island and is always looking for a great story. You might remember we already had entrepreneur magazines editorial director Ray Hennessey on the show (that’s episode four in case you missed it). On that show we talked about what sets them apart, what they like, what they don’t like and what really makes a good entrepreneur story. I really encourage you to go listen to that episode but today we wanted to do something a little bit different. I want to zoom in on what it takes to land a regular column on entrepreneur.com, the digital site. We want to talk about what you can do to grab Stephen’s attention, how often you need to be pitching, what format he prefers etc. Most people think the paper magazine is more legitimate but the audience online is far bigger, tends to skew younger and are extremely engaged. If you want to speak directly to an audience of committed or curious entrepreneurs or wanteprenuers online is the place to be.
What not to do: Some tend to think that contributor content is marketing disguised as articles, but that is not the point. The goal is to educate, inform and entertain readers. The readers always come first. If you want to use the platform to promote your business that is not the proper way. That’s what sponsor content or your own blog is for. They want contributors to put forward their best advice and help readers accomplish their goals.
What is an expert? The contributor doesn’t even have to be an entrepreneur. They can be somebody who has worked for a big company. They are more interested in ideas and the way you present your ideas. You don’t have to have your own business to write for them but you do need to have expertise in the area you’re writing about. They are looking for subject expertise and personality which is very important as well.
How often should a contributor write? There is no magic formula or number. It depends on what you’re writing about and what message you want to send to readers. They have contributors who write twice a week, weekly, every other week and monthly. If you’re writing about a niche topic it’s probably best to scale back.
Content that works best for the digital edition: Pieces about starting businesses, growing businesses, productivity and personal improvement.
Preferred length: Pieces are usually between 700-1000 words
Copyright: They prefer exclusivity. If it’s been published on another website they will usually turn it away or request a unique version.
Three tips on becoming a regular contributor on entrepreneur.com
- Read the website, and get familiar with the content. Search the site for what you’re writing on, see what’s already been written and find your own unique angle.
- Start writing out ideas. Come up with three ideas that are fleshed out with a headline and three sentences explaining what you want to do with it.
- Send Stephen a pitch. He prefers email, which you will need to find yourself (so he doesn’t get inundated).
- When you land your contributor status on entrepreneur.com tweet, tag or email Geeta and let her know so she can celebrate with you
- If you liked this episode please leave a review in the iTunes store and share with friends.
- Let Geeta know if there are specific topics you’re struggling with around media, performance or entrepreneurship so she can hunt down the right expert for the topic and give you the answers you need.
- Be sure to check out Stephen’s fabulous article “3 Lessons for Entrepreneurs from ‘Ninja Warrior’ Training” on the entrepreneur site (hint: his contact information is right there).
- Write headlines no journalist can resist, with the 58-headline template pack