Congrats! You’re a published writer. It’s been a long road, hasn’t it? Researching, writing, revising and interviewing sources for your piece. Pitching editor after editor and weeping softly into a jar of peanut butter when the rejections (or radio silence) roll in. Well, don’t put that spoon away yet, because your job is not done. Not by a long shot.
This is the stuff you absolutely must do after your story goes live.
Tweet it, put it on Facebook, pin it. Ask your mom to do the same. Maybe hit up your friends, too. Use whatever means necessary to put that shit on blast via social media. Not only because some contributor networks offer financial incentives– namely, cash bonuses if your story goes viral– but because more eyes on your story means more eyes on your byline, which means more followers. And editors absolutely take your number of social media followers into account when they’re considering whether to accept your pitch. Sad but true.
Email it to your sources. Remember everyone who helped you out when you were trying to pull this thing together? Now you get to return the favor. Bonus: you can politely ask your sources to share the piece via their social media platforms.
Monitor the story for comments and respond when appropriate. Sometimes online commenters are snarky assholes and make fun of you for commenting on your own story. But engaging with these assholes generally results in a livelier discussion, making it more likely that your story will get shared and read. So talk to them. Be disarmingly friendly and easygoing. Make them love you. Or at least, make them pay attention to you, which is the next best thing.
Add the link to your online portfolio. Add it to your website, your LinkedIn, your Contently portfolio, wherever it is on the internet that you go to gain admiration and employment.
Send a physical thank-you note to your editor. It might be overkill to do this every time. But if you’re working with someone new or had a really plum assignment? Definitely doesn’t hurt to say thanks. Also send a thank you note to the person who hooked you up, if applicable.
Make sure you get paid. Find out if you need to invoice and how to do that, if necessary. Be prepared to fill out a bunch of paperwork. Hound your editor if the money isn’t forthcoming. You’re a professional, damn it.