This post was originally written back in April of 2013, by Catherine Alford (a contributor to the site at the time) and has since been updated over the years. In the past, you could craft an article and pitch it to the editors at the Huffington Post, or even Arianna herself. Or you could submit everything via a specific Google form.
This is the way that Catherine and I have both done it in the past. And we’ve each been Huffington Post bloggers for over 4+ years. Once approved, you would get access to their blogger portal and be able to submit posts for review anytime you wanted.
You could republish content that was on your blog, or create brand new posts. Their editors would review them within 24 hours and you’d get an email letting you know if your submission was accepted or rejected.
These articles are indexed in Google, meaning they show up in search results and are featured on their site — if they were getting a lot of shares. Catherine even had one of her posts go viral, where she talked about her personal experience with having twins.
But now things have changed, and not necessarily for the better.
The new Huffington Post blogger platform
Since Arianna Huffington’s announcement to leave her media business and move into the wellness space with her new business, ThriveGlobal, she’s actively stepping away from HuffPost.
In the past you’d get a personal response from her and be connected to the site’s managing editor. Now, however, when you send an email or pitch to her directly, here’s the reply you can expect to receive.
If you’re a past Huffington Post blogger (pre-2016) the old blogger portal now prompts you to use the new contributor platform.
According to members of the Careful Cents Freelancer’s Club, you’ll be prompted to sign up for the new platform but you can still go back to old one and submit there. Latoya has had “about 3 or 4 published the old way since signing up for the new platform so you should still be able to use it.”
What this means for contributors
The new changes have pros and cons, and only time will tell if this is a good move or not. Currently, you can sign up for the new contributor platform and join the waiting list. Once you’re approved you’ll receive a username and password. Then you can start contributing posts at will.
(UPDATE: as of October 15, 2016 registration to become a new contributor is closed. But they may open it back up at a later date.)
Yep, you no longer have to wait for the editors to review your contributions and can see your work published almost immediately. Obviously this means that anyone and everyone can become a Huffington Post blogger, which kind of muddies up their brand since there aren’t any standards anymore.
It’s turning into a Medium of sorts — or nothing too special.
And the worst part is that your blog posts are “noindex” with links that are also “nofollow”. This means your posts are likely not indexed in Google, Bing or other search engines and won’t show up search results. They could show up in search results (if your post is extremely popular), but it’s not likely.
The only way to access your content is to link directly to your author page, or the URL to the post itself. Otherwise you, and your friends, won’t be able to find the content in search.
Additionally, theses posts are only published on their Blog section, as opposed to the specific news section based on category. Previously, I was a contributor to their Money or Business sections, but all of those are being done away with in favor of a more streamlined process.
Hey, I get why Arianna has to do this. She’s leaving the company and doesn’t have time to think about what will happen to everything when she’s gone. So if you’re thinking of becoming a Huffington Post blogger, now’s your chance — time’s running out.
Is there value in being a Huffington Post blogger?
For now, yes, there’s still a good amount of prestige in seeing your work published on a big site like the Huffington Post. Clients will still think it’s impressive if you use it in your portfolio, and you can still link directly to your posts even if they don’t show up in search.
Just don’t use the site as a way of building links, or part of your guest blogging campaign, as there is no longer any “link juice” or authority as a contributor. If you’re currently blogging for the Huffington Post it’s not worth it to continue. Just get your sample(s) and move on to paying gigs or bigger media outlets that actually offer “dofollow” links and index your posts.
In the event that your post does really well, they may promote it a featured section of their blog and then you will receive indexing with Google. But you’d basically need to have a swarm of traffic to get that kind of recognition over their journalistic pieces and other newsworthy content.
Here are the benefits that becoming a Huffington Post blogger provides:
- Recognition from advertisers – They likely don’t know that HuffPost articles are “noindexed”, so you can still command a good sponsorship rate for your blog.
- Social proof – This is one of the biggest benefits of being a HuffPost blogger. Social proof still matters when you are trying to build a blog/business, so it’s a good way for newer bloggers to get validity.
- Validates your work – Writing for HuffPost validates your work because its still tough competition getting clients and standing out from the crowd. There are also things you can do to help your article get featured, so be sure to check out my free Promotion Checklist below!
- More eyeballs and traffic – While you won’t get search traffic from Google (unless your post gets featured) you can still get more eyeballs and traffic to your blog, through HuffPost followers and those who trust the platform more than your own website alone.
How to maximize your media mentions
Ultimately, time will be the deciding factor on whether or not this was a good decision from the Huffington Post. But for now, I’ll keep this post updated and share my thoughts as a 4+ years Huffington Post blogger.
In the meantime, keep using your HuffPost blogger status as a way to gain recognition, use in samples and build your reputation with potential clients. Put the logo in your “as seen on” section of your website/blog and list it on your portfolio page or LinkedIn profile.
Until the HuffPost brand deteriorates, most professionals and clients will see your contribution to the Huffington Post as a positive thing. So go ahead and milk it for all it’s worth. And then leverage it to move on to actual paying gigs.
Have you had experience writing for the Huffington Post? What do you think of these new changes?