5 steps for cultivating relationships with editors

Sending an email with a cheery ‘Hi, Sam,’ at the beginning rarely works—especially if the target’s name is Phyllis. Do your homework, be genuine, and stay flexible.

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How to build relationships with editors

To get your article published on a popular website, you have to do a little homework before hitting send.

Just submitting your article through a generic email address or in an online form almost guarantees your piece will get lost in the noise. It also means you’ll have a slim chance of its appearing on the site.

You must first develop a relationship with the editor at your targeted publication, especially for high-level sites—whether that means CNN and The Washington Post or Gourmet and Food & Wine magazines.

By developing these relationships, you may even become the go-to person that editors seek out for featured topics. Building these relationships won’t happen overnight, however, so consider these key steps you’ll have to take:

1. Understand the publication’s beat. Before reaching out to an editor, do some research. Look at recent articles to get a sense of its tone and style. Review the masthead to determine the right editor to contact with your article idea. Decide whether you’ll have to offer a relevant time peg for your piece. By showing the editor that you understand the publication’s style and needs, you’ll demonstrate that you’re reliable and thoughtful and that you care about the publication’s goals.

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