How to Be a Thought Leader (Part 3): How to get Published in Newspapers and How to Apply to Have Your Editorial Work Syndicated

06/12/2015 02:07 pm ET | Updated Jun 12, 2016

In part 2 of the series, I spoke about blogging and guest blogging. Part 3 of the series will discuss how to get published in newspapers and how to apply to have your editorial work syndicated.

As you work to become a thought leader, you may be wondering how to have your written work published in newspapers. Simply follow the steps outlined. First, research the publication's sections to garner a sense of subject matter, style, target audience, and word count. Then, in the body of an email draft an article in AP format with a short 100 word or less biography beneath it and attach a passport style photo of yourself to the relevant editor. By relevant, I mean the editor who analyzes the newspaper section that the article will occupy. In the subject line, use a short but descriptive title. Now is not the time for metaphoric or poetic language. Focus on search engine optimization (SEO) with the title explicitly describing what your article is about.

Editors' e-mails can be found on publications' websites and by purchasing media lists through companies like Easy Media List or Media Bistro. It is important to remember that newspapers are looking for time relevant information. Also, keep in mind that some editors and publications allow work to be sent to multiple editors while others publish only exclusive pieces. Violate an editor's rules and do not expect to be published by that publication again.

Getting your work syndicated is one of the best ways to gain a following as a thought leader. Syndication is the process of distributing work to a variety of newspapers. A syndicate acts as the middleman between columnists and newspapers who publish non-exclusive work. Syndication allows columnists to drastically expand their ability to be published simultaneously. Furthermore, syndication networks allow for writers to be published in newspapers and magazines that otherwise do not accept non-staff submissions. Columns, unlike solo articles, are a series of articles on a single topic and can be sufficiently understood when read as a solo piece. Syndication requires that a writer have substantial amount to write on a single topic.

In order to go about becoming syndicated, first construct a long-form piece, with a single overarching theme, that can then be broken up into solo pieces. Next, look up information online about the submission guidelines to individual editorial syndicates. Be aware that some syndication channels represent newspapers within certain geographic areas, exclusively cover certain subjects, or only represent publications geared towards certain audiences. A few editorial print syndication networks are Canadian Artists Syndicate, Creators Syndicate, Senior Wire, King Features, Tribune Media Services, Universal Uclick, and Washington Post Writers Group.

While some syndication networks accept submissions through e-mail, many only accept them through snail mail or directly through their website. Due to the amount of submissions received on a daily basis and the high standards of syndication networks, only a select few columns are chosen for potential publication. Furthermore, responses as to whether a column will be accepted can take up to three months. If accepted, the syndicate will negotiate a contract with the writer usually allowing for a fifty-fifty split of income generated from the sale(s) of the column. While syndication is by no means a high paying business venture, it will help to strengthen your credibility as a thought leader.

In Part 4 of the series How to Be a Thought Leader, I will discuss how to get your content published in magazines.