Tuesday, May 31, 2022

10 Tips to become a Valuable Contributing Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

One excellent way to grow your visibility and readership is through contributing to articles and posts to other websites. This can be done through a single guest post or by becoming a regular, contributing, writer on a site that’s not your own. 

While website and blog owners are always looking for new content, they are protective of the communities they’ve nurtured and only willing to accept contributions that benefit that community. 

10 Tips for Submitting Articles to Online Sites

1. Get to know the community. Don’t stop with reading the guest post or article submission guidelines. Study the site and pay attention to the content that’s already there.

2. Follow the guidelines. This isn’t a place to get creative, if the submission guidelines say they only accept submission that are 700-900 words, don’t send a 1200 word article. 

3. Pay attention to the most popular posts. Figure out the types of posts the community build around the site enjoys. You’ll be able to tell by looking at the comments and shares of specific posts.

4. Find a niche that fits your knowledge base. As you study a site, look for areas where you could provide content. For example, Karen Whiting looked at my site and saw I was light in the area of author marketing tips. That was what she proposed when she asked to become a contributing writing. I already knew I was weak there and snapped her up in a second!

5. Don’t go outside to the site’s focus. I get daily proposals from people who want to write an article about unrelated topics, such as mental health, dog care, and how to repair a computer. I don’t even bother to answer. If the person submitting didn’t even take two minutes to see what the obvious focus of my site is, I feel no obligation to taking my valuable time to answer them.

6. Learn how to write for the internet. Writing online articles and blog posts is a very different craft than writing for print outlets. Site owners don’t generally have time to educate you on how to do this. If you’re proposing to write for an online outlet, it’s assumed you have that skill in your wheelhouse. 

7. Follow the deadlines scrupulously. Submission deadlines are important and they’re usually NOT much wiggle room. Professional bloggers need to have posts and articles up several weeks ahead of the actual publish date. This allows time for keyword research and image selection to make sure each post is top notch.

8. Include a professional bio. Actually you should have several—of differing word-count lengths. This bio is your calling card and enables those who read your article will be able to find you and your work. 

9. Be ready on the day your article goes live to promote it. Your benefit for writing for a different site is being exposed to a new audience. The site owner’s benefit is the same—their site is exposed to the new audience you bring to the picture. If you’re not willing to promote the article on the day it’s published, you aren’t holding up your end of the deal. A contributor who doesn’t promote (or answer comments, see #10 below) probably won’t be asked back. 

10. Go back and answer comments. If the site you’re contributing to allows comments, be sure to check in several times on the day your post goes live to answer comment questions and thank those who leave a comment. If the site posts less than every day, I usually check in several times before the next article/post goes live to make sure I don’t miss anyone who is kind enough to take time and comment.

These tips won’t always guarantee acceptance, but they will ensure you stand out in the crowd and make the site owner more likely to accept you in the future. 

Now it’s your turn, what would you add to my list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  1. Great information! And so very true...

  2. Thank you for sharing these tips.

  3. Excellent information! Thank you, Edie. :)