Got your own career conundrum you’d like advice on?

Then sign up for the WCA peer mentoring program. It’s free to members!

It’s all about peers who care helping their fellow WCA members.

Any Advice On Publishing My Writing?

Compiled and edited by Julie Tereshchuk


Dear Mentors,

For 2018 I’m pushing myself to get my writing off my laptop and out into the world. (FWIW, the general topic of my writing is tech ethics.) However, I don’t really know the “right” way to do this and have a lot of questions.

  • Is it better to launch a blog and just start publishing, and then pick the pieces I like best and send them around to real publications?
  • Will places like TechCrunch, Quartz, Forbes, etc. publish an article if it’s already been on my personal blog? Will they publish a “cold-call” submission or is it really better to find a warm contact? Should I apply to become a regular contributor somewhere?
  • If I do need to start a blog, should I go the Medium route for discoverability, or create a blog page on my personal website to retain control? If I write “off-topic,” more personal pieces, is it better to segregate those to a separate blog?


Want To Publish


Dear Want To Publish,

Hi! Publications won’t generally take material that’s been published elsewhere. You can pitch articles to these publications but I can tell you it’s an arduous process where you spend a lot of time crafting a pitch that often gets rejected, or more commonly completely ignored. They have a lot of people submitting to be regular contributors so you have to have a body of work and expertise to catch their eye.

Writing on your own blog is good but you have to do all the promoting.

I would say start with Medium and promote it yourself as much as possible. Make sure what you write is unique and not vanilla.

It’s a jungle out there! Good luck!


Susan Lahey


Dear Want To Publish,

I’ve been an editor accepting pitches and a writer, so I come at this topic from a couple of different perspectives.

It’s easy to get discouraged and feel “unheard.” So, there are a couple of things you need to do that will make navigating the jungle better. First, decide what constitutes “success” for your writing. Get down in the weeds on what you want from your writing. That will determine how much you’re willing to give. It will also help you set parameters for your blog.

Second, recognize that writing these days is also truly a strategy game. I use my blog as a home base, a place to practice my craft, and to launch pitches. It’s part of my advertising scheme and an end to itself. Promotion is now part and parcel of writing. How you view your blog in the big picture will determine its content (ads? Guest writers? Sponsored material?).

Join groups; educate yourself by talking with people you view as successful; spend time setting goals and focuses. That essential groundwork—which you’ve begun by posting here—is invaluable.

Best of luck.

Leah Nyfeler


Dear Want To Publish,

In order to provide useful answers to these questions, it’s important to examine your motivations for writing.

Maybe it’s to help brand you as an expert. (In that case, go where the audience is—pitch large outlets.) Maybe it’s to improve your search engine rankings. (In that case, more is better. Pitch to large outlets but also write for your own blog, and cross-post on Medium and LinkedIn, and anywhere else that will have you.) Or to generate business for whatever product or service you offer. (Again, more is better, but credibility is also important.) Knowing your “why” will help guide you toward the right answers for you.

Maura Thomas




Julie Tereshchuk