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5 Steps for Getting Published

Image: Creative Commons

Let’s talk about getting some publicity for your business!  I’m going to share 5 quick-n-easy steps for getting your business featured in a magazine or on a blog.  Keep in mind that these are MY steps… OR: general steps on submitting material.  It’s always best to find out how a magazine or blog wants things submitted specific to them.  (I’ll get into that here when we talk about “editorial guidelines”.)

5 Steps for Getting Published

1. SUBMIT

This sounds like a silly first step.  The truth is that most wedding businesses don’t submit their work to be published.  How can you ever get published if you don’t take the first step and submit your work to editors?  Here’s another thing that people don’t know… publishers NEEEEEEEEEEED your work.  They’re dying to have it, see it, and feature it.  Without out your submissions there is very little for them to talk about on their medium.  So, do it.  Submit stuff.

2. KNOW the TARGET AUDIENCE

Do your research on the magazine or blog that you want to submit your work to. What sort of weddings do they feature?  What sort of weddings do you specialize in?  If you specialize in funky far-from-traditional weddings, you’ll want to consider rocknrollbride.com or offbeatbride.com .  If you have a classic style that features outdoor-vintage-rustic weddings you’ll want to consider submitting to stylemepretty.com .  Make sure you study the different magazines and websites and know the difference.  Each has an audience that they are attracting with their features and you’ll have better luck if you submit work that is a match for that audience.

3. Get the EDITORIAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Each magazine or blog will have it’s own “submission guidelines”.  You need to get your hands on this.  The guidelines are the publication’s list of rules for submission.  Just following the rules ensures that you’ll have a better chance of getting published. Many magazine websites or blogs will have the submission guidelines or submission instructions listed on the site.  Just dig around.  If you don’t find anything, seek an editor (preferably someone at an assistant level) and phone or email them to kindly ask for the publication’s guidelines.

Some examples of guidelines might be “send 5-10 high resolution images to email@email.com”.  You’re already doing well by reading and following directions.  The people that send 20 images have already made it more challenging for that editor.

4. TELL a STORY

Magazines want sizzle.  Tell the story of the couple.  You don’t need to be a prize-winning writer… show emotion and connection about the wedding and the editor will be intrigued.  Also, be original.  If the magazine has recently featured at wedding at XYZ venue that is sapphire and amethyst, chances are slim that they’ll be featuring another one at the same venue with the same colors any time soon.  If you have a unique story to tell, publishers will listen.  And, by all means, keep it simple.  No need to write a 2000 word essay on the wedding.  Lastly, you’ll want to provide professional images so make sure you know the photographer on the event and work with them to get their images submitted.

5. TRY and TRY again

I love what Beth Helmstetter, Event Planner, shared last year about getting published in magazines: “Don’t be afraid of the word ‘no.’ I send my work into editors, bloggers, publicists and even television producers on a regular basis. Often I am ignored or even get a “we’re not interested” response, but just as often I find someone who does like my work.”

Keep trying!

Whaddya think?  Was this helpful?  TOMORROW – PLEASE come back for more on getting published!  I’m going to talk about how to use Two Bright Lights to get media exposure.

 

 

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November 15, 2011 - 2:19 pm

Sydnor - These are excellent points Michelle and a fantastic article! Also, just wanted to say HELLO from waaaay across the US. We miss you!

November 15, 2011 - 4:36 pm

Patrick - This was an excellent blog! I have seen people speak on this topic and I get all charged up, go home and not take action. I think we all do as wedding professionals, we get so wrapped up in our brides and the work put in front of us. We can lose sight of the importance of getting discovered by an editor, blogger or even a TV Producer. At I Do Appointments, we believe we are changing the way brides and wedding pros are planning weddings, we just need to get the word out to the rest of the world. :)

November 15, 2011 - 6:22 pm

Jessica Creter - I’m curious as to your thoughts on how advertising with blogs and magazines influences a person’s chances of getting published. I’ve seen bloggers and magazines swear that it doesn’t work that way at all. I’ve seen wedding professionals swear that it does. In my personal experience I’ve seen plenty of examples of both. Wondering what your opinion is and if you have any advice to deal with it.

November 17, 2011 - 12:23 pm

Michelle Loretta - I think it depends on the publication. Editorial and advertising are *supposed* to be separate departments, but sometimes the line is blurred at some publications. (eg: a magazine that is losing advertisers may feature more advertisers’ weddings to keep them) Ultimately, the *ethical* code of conduct at publications is that someone need not pay for play… anyone can be featured regardless of whether they advertise or not. It’s in the best interest of the publication – and the publication NEEDS that content. I encourage wedding pros to submit, submit, submit – whether or not they advertise with the publication.

January 29, 2013 - 9:26 pm

Elaine - Really appreciating this series!! Thank you so much for sharing!

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