Would you like to learn how you can write for Social Media Examiner (arguably the world's greatest social media marketing publication)?
Writing for social media examiner allows you to reach a highly engaged audience of 1,000,000+ & will dramatically increase your brand's exposure & credibility.
Follow this tutorial to learn the strategic steps I took before, during and after my successful application to learn how you can write for social media examiner too!
Thousands of people apply to write for the publication but only a small percentage get accepted. This year my application was accepted and I have since written 3 blogs which have been shared 11,700 times.
After writing for the publication I was also named #12 Most Influential Digital Marketer in the world on Twitter in 2016 which I believe was driven by the exposure I gained from SME. Now it's your turn!
Step 1: Have At Least 3 Examples of High Quality Blogs
Within the application you will be asked to provide examples of 3 or more of your best social media articles. To ensure your application is successful I'd highly recommend your 3 blogs tick the following boxes;
1. Make sure the blogs are educational step by step tutorials (like this blog or most of our others).
2. Create custom graphics for your blogs.(Follow this custom graphics tutorial)
3. Make sure the blogs 'bring something new' and don't just copy other tutorials (Think of a Digital Marketing strategy you have used that others will find valuable).
Step 2: Build Relationships with Social Media Examiner Team Members
To ensure your application is successful you need to build relationships with influential members of the Social Media Examiner Team.
Relationship building takes time. The stronger your relationship with these influencers, the more likely your application will be accepted. I'd recommend you build relationships with these influencers for at least 3 weeks (preferably more) before applying.
Follow the 5 Point Influencer Relationship Building Checklist below to build effective relationships with the relevant influencers. You will find a list of the Social Media Examiner Team members and a link to their social media below.
1. Follow them on all social media channels
The first thing you must do to pop up on the influencer's radar is to follow them on all social media channels. You will easily find their social accounts by typing their name into google or social media search.
To really get noticed, find out a bit about the influencer and send them a personalised message on social media introducing yourself.
2. Engage with them on social media...
You need to consistently engage with the influencers on social media. On a basic level you need to share/ like/ retweet their content (preferably on a daily basis). Creating a Twitter List will make this very efficient on Twitter.
To take it up a notch, you need to start and get involved in intellectual conversations with the influencers. Demonstrate your knowledge by reading some of the content they share and ask a specific question. It could be around how they think a strategy could be improved or their thoughts on an industry update - get creative!
3. Comment on their Blogs
A lot of the Social Media Examiner team contribute content on the website. Simply search the influencer's name in the SME search bar on the website and you will see all the posts they have written.
Read these posts and the comments others have made and get involved in the conversation. Provide some intellectual feedback on the blog, if you know any tools/ strategies that would compliment the piece of content then speak about them in the comments.
SME use Disqus as their commenting platform ( the same as this blog), so make sure you have a fully set up profile with all relevant info filled in.
4. Provide them value
The more value you provide influencers the more positive opinions they will have of you. On a basic level you need to consistently share & engage with their content (as mentioned above) to provide value.
To take it to the next level, why not write a post/tweet tagging the influencer, telling your audience reasons why they should follow them ( the more personal the better). You should also ensure you tag them when you share their content. For example using 'via @example' on Twitter.
You can even go one step further and tag them in a Facebook post with a link to their content. Write a personal message about why people should read the piece of content & what you like about the author.
NOTE: Be genuine. Influencers can see fake 'you scratch my back I'll scratch yours' a mile off.
5. Sign up to their email list
Signing up to SME's email list will not only get you on the influencer's radar again, it will ensure you stay in the loop with the latest content.
To take this to the next level, reply to the emails you receive asking intellectual questions.
CEO & Founder of Social Media Examiner
Director of Strategy
Director of Events
Step 3: Write an innovative blog about Social Media Examiner
Before applying to write for SME I wrote this blog which listed their most viral content from 2015. I shared the blog on numerous social media platforms and made sure I tagged them.
I also wrote them personalised messages telling them about the post. In addition I contacted other SME writers who I had featured in the post (I discuss this influencer blog & outreach strategy in this post) & managed to get them to share it to their large audiences online.
You need to be innovative. Think outside the box. Try to think of a blog you can write about SME which will catch their eye.
Here are some suggestions;
NOTE: you can follow my 5 steps to creating the ultimate blog post tutorial to help you.
"10 Reasons Why You Should Subscribe To Social Media Examiner's Top 5 Social Media Examiner Contributors"
"7 Ways Social Media Examiner Provide Value"
"The Number 1 Social Media Marketing Resource: SME"
"The Most Viral SME Post Ever"
"Top 10 SME Twitter Tutorials"
"Top 10 SME Facebook Tutorials"
Step 4: Think of 3 innovative blog ideas & Apply
In the application process you need to provide 3 suggested blog ideas. To ensure your application is successful, these blogs must be unique, innovative and provide a huge amount of value.
The successful blog idea I provided was this one. I hadn't seen the strategy outlined in any SME posts or on any other website for that matter.
NOTE: Your blog doesn't have to be completely unique. As long as you have added something significantly different and unique to another tutorial you have read then this could also work.
Social Media Writing Experience
Within your application there is a box to fill in named 'social media writing experience'. This is your opportunity to share your biggest achievements related to blogging/ social media/ Marketing/ Awards etc. Think outside the box!
As an example I included;
2. Some of the most well known Digital Marketing Influencers have shared my content (e.g. Content Marketing Institute, Jeff Bullas, Matthew Woodward - you can see the posts they have shared by clicking on the links).
3. I have a First Class Honours Degree in Business Management with Marketing.
4. I have a unique blog idea which has never been written about before.
Step 5: Send a personal Tweet to Social Media Examiner Influencers
Once you have applied, you should send a personal Tweet to the various SME team members you have built relationships with. When I did this, I wrote to them explaining that I had applied and I was really excited to hear from them. I also sent SME more detail around the blog I wanted to write in a number of Tweets.
This step is so important if you want to stand out from the crowd - don't skip this step!
Step 6: Follow Up
Luckily I did not need to follow up as I received a quick response but if you do not hear back within a day or two you must follow up.
Send a personalised message to the influencers you had previously tweeted asking if they had received your previous tweet via email or social media.
Becoming a writer for SME is by no means easy. However, if you put in the work and follow this tutorial consistently it is 100% possible. It is so, so worth it - trust me!
Do you have any questions about this strategy? Do you need any more detail? Any additional comments? If so, simply write in the comments below and I'll be back to you in a Jiffy!