About once a week someone emails me asking, “How did you become a Forbes writer? And how can I start writing for Forbes?”
Indeed, I’ve been writing for Forbes.com for a couple years now and I’m one of the most viewed Leadership columnists. My all-time most successful post has almost 22 million views!
And I would encourage anyone who is trying to build their personal brand or to become an authority in their space to spend time writing for as many different publications and platforms as possible.
But the first thing you should realize is that I’m an unpaid writer; they’ve never given me a dime despite the millions of views. There are some people who get paid by Forbes (and the other major online business publications) but I’m not one of them.
The second thing is that I got in awhile ago when they were actively recruiting new writers. My understanding is that they are focused more on quality than quantity these days and have NOT been accepting new writers.
Third, I personally have no ins. I’m not an employee of Forbes, the hundreds of writers for Forbes don’t all show up in an office together, there are no secret meetings or handshakes. In fact, I’ve never met a single Forbes employee in person and only had one phone conversation in my life with my editor.
So, the answer is–and this is how you should try to get a writing gig with ANY of the online publications:
1) Find the name and email or contact form of the site editor; got to be somewhere on the website
2) Send them a SHORT email saying:
– you’d like to write for them
– highlight your credentials
– give them links to THREE of your best articles that fit their audience
– pitch them a title for potential article you could write custom for them (even if they don’t have room for permanent or paid writers, if you pitch well they might give you a “guest post” to try you out).