If you want to be a writer,
you must do two things above all:
read a lot and write a lot.
– Stephen King
Hello, hola everyone!
We’re back with a new edition of Reader’s Q & A.
I’m very fortunate to receive emails from some readers based in different cities around the planet.
Some write asking for advice or help regarding their travel itineraries, suggestions on what to see and do, others require technical help for their blogs and a few need some guidance for their personal lives.
I must say that it humbles me and feel so grateful that my opinions are valued as well as respected!
Now it has been quite some time since the last answered question from a reader but no worries, we have a great one this time around!
So let’s go straight to it shall we? 🙂
Reader’s Q & A: How To Be Featured On Important Sites
Here is the question sent in by a reader and published with permission:
I am just getting around to seeing your blog! You do a great job and I’m aspiring to run a blog like this.
I noticed you have been featured a few times as well.
How did you fall into this business and what would you recommend to get to that point?
Here’s my reply:
Thank you for your message and for following the blog!
First of all I owe you a sincere apology for writing you back so late but as I explained in detail in my last update, there have been quite a few things that got in the way. However I am back and didn’t forget to answer you!
I greatly appreciate your infinite patience and please don’t think or feel that I let it slide or ignored it. Absolutely not, this post was written just for you and as they say, it’s better late than never right?
So let’s get to your question!
Background – How did I get into Blogging
You may or may not know this but I started the blog way back in 2011 as I lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea as an ESL teacher.
I have always loved writing, taking photos and shared them with family and friends (I had a page on MSN spaces (does anyone remember THAT?) which was eons ago).
So it was a way to keep them updated on my life and trips in Asia and other countries around the world.
It did feel as if I wrote in a journal at first but I heard back from them, so that encouraged me to continue.
Little by little I improved my writing style after reading and learning from other travel bloggers. This was back in 2012 I must add.
To my surprise, I was getting more and more visits and followers in several countries! How exciting!
It got even better with time. Some people contacted me for an interview and others asked if I could write for their sites to which I agreed as it was a great opportunity to be connected to their audience.
Ultimate dream come true
Now what I’m about to share with you is not meant to brag or show off, absolutely not. It is simply stating the facts or detailing the actual step I took to get things rolling or activate my luck because if you don’t do anything, well you get nothing right?
One of my all-time goals and dreams was to write for my favorite travel magazine, National Geographic Travel.
When I found out that they accepted submissions from readers and fellow travelers describing their hometown in the I heart my city edition, I jumped on the occasion. There are a series of questions they want answers to, so I filled it out and sent it in.
To be honest with you, I got so busy with teaching and traveling around Korea every other weekend that I completely forgot about it.
One day, as I was checking my emails, I received one that almost made me faint. It was a message from Nat Geo congratulating me for having been selected and they sent the link to the post on their site!
There’s no need to tell you that I did the moonwalk and jumped of happiness. If that was like million dollars, then let me tell you that it’s one of the most amazing feelings ever!
It truly is a once in a lifetime experience and phenomenal opportunity. They say the best things in life are free and this was one of them. A lucky strike and help from above without a doubt :). It was definitely the ultimate confidence boost or kick in the you know where that I needed.
From then on, I decided to work even harder and started to write better too. You never know who reads your blog or updates on social media, so it must be done very well!
Here are my suggestions on How To Be Featured On Important Sites:
Make a list
Enumerate the sites you read regularly and where you would like to appear in.
I got the incredible opportunity to write for a few sites like WordPress after they contacted me following a post that was written after someone stole one of my images (and it’s still one of the most popular on the blog until this day):
To Watermark or Not To Watermark? How do you protect your photos?
It was a fiery post in reply to that so-called professional who had the nerve to take my picture and uploaded it to her Instagram feed and didn’t even bother to give me credit for it.
When that appeared in my timeline and I gave her a piece of my mind, well it resulted in the post
I honestly didn’t know it would resonate with many of the readers but it did and by judging from the comments, they sure had plenty of stories to share as well!
So after that a writer from WordPress contacted me and included my experience in one of their expert roundups.
As you can see, it takes action on your part first to later see results of your work.
Write a controversial post or simply share your two cents on any subject you feel strongly about and see what gives. Be unapologetic, that’s just the exact term I was looking for. At least your personality will shine through 🙂
Try and try again
Don’t be afraid to submit your writing or posts to as many sites as possible. Some will send an automated reply thanking you and others will never acknowledge receipt or won’t give you the time of day.
A large number will send you those dreaded rejection emails but here’s what I say to you or anyone
Please don’t take rejections personally. Use it as a motivation to go for more. – My own quote
Honestly, I’ve been vaccinated against rejection at this stage in my life. If someone says thanks but no thanks, it’s water off my back. I simply don’t take it personally and move right along.
Always be willing to learn and improve your skills along the way. Eventually someone WILL see the quality of your work (also your potential) and will agree to work with you.
Can I share a few things with you?
I had been trying to appear on the Huffington Post Travel Section for the longest time but had absolutely no luck.
No matter what post I uploaded, I never heard back. Not even a thank you note. I guess my content is not sensationalism or appeals to the masses or fits their standards so I moved on to bigger better things.
One of the best things for you to do as well is to do some networking. I met some awesome people through social media (especially via Twitter and Twitter Chats) which allows genuine conversations and lately I’ve focused a bit more on LinkedIn.
Every single person has something unique and special and if there’s something we can do to help, we do it right?
Create and grow your network and expose your work or writing to fab people who work in various industries and also get to know them! That’s the whole purpose of being social eh?
To sum up what I just wrote above, I suggest you to:
- Write with passion and conviction
- Do something that you can only do like no one else and never ever compare to anyone else,
- Try and submit to different sites until you succeed
- Don’t take no personally
and last but not least
- Connect with brilliant minds
You’ll be so glad you did!
We are all on different journeys and live different experiences but share it with the world through our writing. Who knows who will read and be impacted with your words!
No matter what happens, keep moving forward and upwards!
I hope this answered your question on How To Be Featured On Important Sites
Once again thank you for your patience and support!
Let me know if it was worth waiting for this chapter!
All the best of luck, buona fortunata!