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How to publish on Buzzfeed

They say: “Your posts will automatically appear in the Just Launched section of BuzzFeed Community. Our community editors can then choose to promote them to different areas of the site.”

If they really like it, it could make the home page.

What you should publish

As with pitching to any other publisher or editor, the key is to know the publication and what they like.

That’s often harder than it sounds.

It may be that you are instinctively in tune with a particular audience and what an editor wants for that audience. If so, it’s likely that you will have a high hit rate from your pitches.

Often, potential contributors fall into the trap of thinking: ‘they haven’t published anything about this, so they’ll be delighted I’m offering them something they haven’t thought of’.

Usually, if a publication hasn’t covered a particular subject, its because its editors don’t think the audience is interested in it.

The only way to pitch accurately to any publication is to know it very well. So you’ll need to use Buzzfeed – a lot – to have any chance of getting your content picked up by its editors.

One great thing about Buzzfeed is that you can begin to submit items to it at a very low level. As they say, your material will automatically be published under the Just Launched section, and you can gauge reaction to it from the audience.

Readers can rate an item with comments including LOL, WTF, Love it or Oh Dear, or pick a gif that suits their response

You should begin to get a feel for what the audience responds well to, and can tailor your content more effectively based on that feedback.

And there is always the chance that you’ll get noticed by the editors.

Content that goes down well

They say: “Post cool, funny, interesting stuff that you’ve found online or made yourself that you think has a strong chance of going viral and being shared by other people. Better yet, post lists of things. Here are some examples of awesome lists that you can look at for inspiration.”

Buzzfeed warns that sometimes you might submit content on a particular topic only to find someone else’s material has been used. So why did they pick this other person’s material over yours?

“Here are 4 possible reasons why your thing didn’t get featured:

  1. An editor wanted to frame the same content in a very specific way that was not covered in the original post

  2. The writeup for the post wasn’t adequate or required too much editing

  3. The content of the post was something that was all over the web anyway and was posted multiple times by users and editors

  4. We just missed it – we’re not perfect!

That replicates experiences right across the journalism spectrum. Buzzfeed has staff, and like any publisher, it assigns its staff to the biggest stories, and prefers their material over that from others.

So you need to post subjects – or at least angles on subjects – that Buzzfeed hasn’t planned to cover in-house.

Ideas from Buzzfeed

When you sign up for an account they’ll send you an email with examples of what they consider great content. There are more examples on the How to Use page.

The basics of the publishing process

  • Create a free BuzzFeed account by clicking here
  • Go your profile and click to create a new post.
  • Create your article using the editing tool

  • Before pressing ‘Publish now’ , tick ‘Suggest for a community feature’. If you want your piece picked up, you need to do that. You can suggest one item per day.

So you’re live, but – realistically – no one will see the post unless they have the link. It’s unlikely to be indexed by Google.

If you’ve ticked Suggest for a community feature an actual human Buzzfeed journalist will look at it – usually within 24 to 48 hours.

If they decide to use it, you’ll get an email. if they don’t, you won’t hear anything.

That puts it on the community pages.

The next stage is to make the front of the community section. That can only be achieved if it gets enough traffic. So do you have a big enough social media community that you can promote your post to them and get them to take a look at it?

The next step us is to make the category front page.

Finally, the big prize, the front page of the site.

How to pitch stories to Buzzfeed Life

Here’s advice from them: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/how-to-pitch-buzzfeed-life#.dmr1oxBNR

The Buzzfeed guide to writing blog headlines

And some more advice from Buzzfeed: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/the-buzzfeed-guide-to-writing-blog-headlines/ 

Someone who is good at getting their posts picked up by Buzzfeed editors

Matthew Barby has written How I made it to the front page of Buzzfeed twice

Matthew has loads of good advice there on how to give yourself the best chance, and things to avoid which will scupper your chances. His post is worth reading in full.

See how much research an analytics he undertook?

Suggestion: Take a look at what he did and come up with half a dozen bullet points that characterise a good Buzzfeed post.

Next: Categories of content on Buzzfeed – a look around the site