Publishing a column with top business and tech-related publications – some refer to them as tier-1 media – will give you great exposure and help build your personal brand.
Top media receive a lot of pitches and that’s why they’ve drawn up clear rules for contributors. You need to know them before you start reaching out to increase your chances.
TechCrunch covers fundraising, growth, hiring, and emerging technology trends. They accept expert commentary from people actually doing the work of building companies. They’re only interested in posts offering actionable advice that are written by authors who have experience working under adverse economic circumstances.
At the moment, TechCrunch mostly looks for columns about management, growth fundraising and budgeting.
How to contribute. If you have an idea, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org. TechCrunch editors ignore any pitches sent via social media or to personal email.
To prepare for your pitch, select several keywords that describe your idea and search them on techcrunch.com to see if they've published something similar recently. Afterward, take a few minutes to review the topics that TechCrunch covers the most. This will help you refine your idea.
Don’t send them your column right away but a brief description or summary – 2-3 sentences of the post you'd like to write with a proposed headline. Remember that the content should be about your experience, original and not posted anywhere before.
Backed by Financial Times, Sifted writes about European tech startups and venture capital. Fintech, EdTech, Healthtech, climate tech — they cover it all. “We’re for anyone who wants the fuller picture (of these spheres),” reads the Sifted website.
How to pitch. Sent your draft to email@example.com. Your email must include a catchy title and an outline of the main gist of the argument presented in the column — in a few bullet points.
Draft your piece if the idea is accepted. It should be 600-800 words. When you send it, include a high-resolution headshot of yourself and any other images, graphs, and charts you want to have in your story.
“We love getting pitched ideas for opinion pieces that take a slightly controversial or unusual view on an element of the European startup world,” reads a note from the editors in the Sifted guide.
Try to make your column present an unusual or even controversial point of view that may help start a conversation among the Sifter readers. Include examples to prove your point and research data from credible sources. Humor is welcome.
They publish leadership-related stories, as well as opinions on productivity, creativity, career development, culture, strategy, and innovation.
How to contribute. When reaching out to Fast Company, you should send completed articles to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A submitted story must be under 1,000 words. Fast Company editors “regularly monitor” the inbox. “We will be in touch should we choose your submission for publication,” reads their guide. If there’s no reply, they ask not to follow up. If you don’t receive a response within five business days, you can move on.
Fast Company requests that guest columns remain exclusive to Fast Company for 24 hours, after which you can replicate the full text (or part of it) somewhere else, including in your company’s blog. But there must be a link to the original post by Fast Company.
If you think your story suits Fast Company’s Work Life section, send it to Diana Shi, an assistant editor. Her contacts are available here: fastcompany.com/user/dshi
But before you do, 1) read the publication’s contributor guidelines; 2) make sure your story isn’t promotional, has no “flowery language” and clearly defines its thesis in the first few sentences; and 3) re-read the piece: it must be personal and unconventional — no “vanilla business advice.”
If you want to cover other topics, check sub-publications Co.Design, Co.Exist, Co.Create, or Co.Labs and pitch your story to the appropriate editor. Their advice about its contents is similar to Diana Shi’s one.
The New York Times
The only way to submit your story to The New York Times is to submit an opinion, also called an op-ed. According to former Op-Ed and Sunday Review Editor Trish Hall, “anything” can be a column.
“We're not only interested in policy, politics or government,” Hall says. “We're interested in everything if it's opinionated and we believe our readers will find it worth reading."
The piece must be original and exclusive to NYT. They won't consider articles that have already been published either in print or online.
Editors at NYT say they like to read “conversational English.” That means that if an article is written with lots of jargon, they probably won’t take it.
Try to explain the professional or personal background that connects you to the argument or idea in your op-ed.
Even guest columns at NYT are rigorously edited and fact-checked, so make sure you’re 100% confident in your facts. To make it easier for editors to check your facts, include sources for key assertions made in your essay (as hyperlinks in the text or in parentheses).
If you do not hear in three business days, assume the article will not be used.
WIRED focuses on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and politics. Its opinions cover a wide array of topics, including big data, cryptocurrencies, design at work, education, eSports, and internet governance. The whole list of topics with examples can be found in its guide.
They look for opinions that argue a strong and specific point of view. WIRED is especially interested in deeper analysis beyond the obvious or different takes. The kind of thing that starts leads, or furthers conversations – not just follows them.
How to contribute. Send pitches with complete drafts to email@example.com. Include the phrase “Op-Ed Pitch” in the subject line of your email, along with a sentence that sums up your thesis or idea. In the email, tell WIRED about yourself and your relevant experience.
It's fine to draw on your research or publications, but the content itself should not be recycled. If part of it is being excerpted from your other writings, that needs to be noted and linked. Overall, your opinion should match your background or expertise.
The ideal word count range is no more than 1,000 words.
WIRED takes care of headlines and timing. The latter is decided by editors based on a variety of factors including the news cycle, what else is happening, and the day of the week.
If you don’t hear back in a week, feel free to follow up via email. If you do not hear back after that, it’s safe to assume that they are unable to publish your piece. “We try to respond to most pitches sent in, but sometimes that is not feasible,” reads their guide.
Forbes is perhaps the most well-known business publication. The opinions on Forbes are often about business, personal finance, stock market, and technology. Yet, they will allow guest posts within their opinion section on any topic related to culture, arts, politics or lifestyle.
How to contribute. Submit your completed article to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your opinion can be any length. The piece must be original and exclusive to Forbes. They won't consider articles that have already been published either in print or online.
They ask that you allow five business days – excluding weekends and holidays – for them to review your column. If you haven't heard from them after five business days, you should move on and try to submit your article elsewhere. Don’t follow up.
If you plan to contribute to Forbes regularly, you may want to consider becoming a member of the Forbes Business Council. This membership gives the ability to publish expert insights on Forbes.com. Working with skilled editors, members participate in expert panels and write bylined articles to enhance their reputation as thought leaders,” reads the council’s blurb.
To become a member, however, your business or nonprofit must generate over $500,000 in revenue. Or you have three years of experience as a publicly recognized business, leadership, career, or executive coach. Executives can apply if the company they work for has an annual revenue of over $1 million or if their startup raised at least $1 million.
Read more: Forbes Councils Application For Membership.