I strongly believe that writing is for everyone, not only for those who are studying journalism or communication. Currently, I’m studying Psychology and for almost a year, my articles have been published in some international online media such as The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, The Jakarta Post, Elite Daily, Unwritten, and even Indonesian online medias, such as IDN Times and Metagraf.
A lot of people were asking me regarding how I could be published at some international media and I think everyone can do it too. So, here are 5 things you need to know in order to be published in various international websites:
1. Know the Target Market
Each online media has its own readers or target market. For example, the readers of Thought Catalog will be different with the readers of The Jakarta Post, since Thought Catalog is a website for Millennial readers meanwhile, The Jakarta Post more likely will be read by professionals. Thus, you need to acknowledge who the readers are, why they open the websites, and what things they need to read from the websites. It’s compulsory for you to read the website first and the articles which they have published before you want to submit yours.
2. Learn the Submission System
Not only has its target market, each online media also had its own submission system. There are websites which will allow you to send your complete articles directly to their email address, but there are also some websites which obligate you to send pitch or ideas first before you make the complete article. Elite Daily is one of the websites which makes you have to send the pitch first before you can send your complete work, meanwhile in Thought Catalog, you can submit your complete article in their submission form directly and wait for 3-4 weeks to know whether your article will be published or vice versa. Always remember that in order to be published, you need to follow their guidelines and procedures and if you have questions regarding their submission system, you can send them an email.
3. Cooperate Well with the Editors
The Editors will be your partners in each publishing process; they’re your first readers before your article will be published. Thus, be cooperative by communicating with manners, attitudes, and don’t forget to always be professional. Before submitting your articles, try to proofread it first, so the editors won’t revise your small grammatical errors or typos. Some editors will also let you choose the featured image of your article as well as its title and you have to deliver your ideas clearly. Moreover, don’t forget to always be open on receiving feedbacks, criticisms, and you have to always follow the deadline that has been given.
4. Build Up Your Portfolio
To be a professional writer means to have an outstanding track record along the way. Being published in various websites is your achievement to pursuing the goal of being a journalist or a contributing writer professionally. Thus, being published on various websites is only for building your portfolio since many websites won’t pay your article to be published. So, don’t set money as your goal, do it because you want to build up your own track records instead. You see, the more you’ve published, the more opportunities to come simply because many websites will ask regarding your track records before they will publish your article. Try to look for other online media to publish your article and be persistent to send your articles to various websites; the more you’ve published, the more special your track record is.
5. Build a Persistent Writing Habit
I think this the most challenging one since it’s hard to be persistent in writing the articles. But, being persistent is a must if you want to pursuing your hobby as your job, especially in writing. Try to set a goal for yourself, for example, I personally have a goal that at least once a week I can publish one article on any website that I want. Thus, that personal goal makes me always want to write anything at least once in a week and it makes writing become my weekly habit. So, where do I get ideas? Have I ever got writer’s block? Ideas are everywhere, guys. The key is to be observant. You need to look closer to your surroundings; there will always be something worth to be written, writer’s block is only an excuse. So, look closer and just try to write it down.
At the end of the day, you need to remember that the best writing will always come from your heart. Readers know whether you put your heart in it or otherwise. To be memorable, you need to be genuine and honest with anything that you write; write to inspire, write to help other people. As long as your willingness to write is coming from your heart, your writing will be memorable in the heart of your readers.