28 March 2012

Now on The Huffington Post

I am pleased to say that my work is now on the Huffington Post!

A few weeks ago, Our Duty released an analysis of the Veterans' Affairs 2010 Client Satisfaction Survey.  When i sent out the press releases, I sent one to HP.  About a week later, the Canadian editor replied and asked if I could turn it into a blog.  I jumped at the chance; its not often an editor contacts the writer for work.

This is the result.

I'm pleased with it.  Huffington is giving me the opportunity to say what I think about the survey, instead of just analyzing it, and I'm always happy to give my opinion on something. ;)  Huffington are also willing to consider anything else I care to submit.

Here's a bit about my experience with the Post, for those who may be getting their first break.

Huffington does not pay for your articles.  However, given that they have editors and a high-profile, HP is an excellent writing credit.  (As you know, one of the things about being a writer is that you need other people to say you are good, otherwise people don't take you seriously.)

Next: Huffington does not work like a standard press platform.  While they want items that are timely (the editor was concern that I was writing about something from 2010), they also don't seem to suffer from the immediacy of, say, newspapers.  It took about two weeks to get my post up.

Part of the reason for that was scheduling: week 1, the editorial staff was short-handed.  After I bugged and bothered, I finally got a response requesting that I make my submission more timely.  I did a quick edit and had it sent back within 48 hours (it was a weekend, so I didn't rush).  After another week of silence, I needed to be a pain-in-the-ass again:  I had updated my post by hooking it to the federal budget, and budget day was less than 3 days away.  This time, it turns out the Editor was on vacation, but she interrupted her break to give it a read and send it to the posting staff (for which I am grateful).

My advice?  When submitting to the Huffington Post, make your blog timely but not time sensitive.  Write about something current which is either ongoing (say, robocalls right now) but not dated (like Elections Canada officials testifying today).  Huffington is not looking for news-stringers; they have staff that handles that.  What they want from you as a blogger is insight, analysis, and relevancy...but not immediacy.

It helps if you give the blogs-section a good skim before you begin; that should give you some good ideas on timeliness.

So I need to offer special thanks to Danielle Crittenden, both for giving me the opportunity and for putting up with my impatience.  You should check out her blog as well.  There a great article on vaginal drinking.  (no, I'm not making that up.)


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