Sales Hacker Content Contributor Guidelines

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Sales Hacker publishes sales thought leadership by and for sales professionals.

 

That’s in really big letters for a reason.

Our contributor network is sellers writing for sellers sharing sales hacks, career advice, research, stories from the trenches, and challenges to industry wisdom — to help the community succeed in all aspects of the sales life.

Keen to contribute? Here’s what to know:


Who is eligible to write for Sales Hacker?

Any Sales Hacker community member who is:

  • A sales professional, from new sellers to seasoned leaders,
  • A revenue enablement or RevOps professional, or
  • Sales trainers, coaches, consultants
  • Sharing a POV about sales from direct experience

 ⛔️ We do not publish articles by marketers, content writers, or PR professionals (even if you’re really nice). ⛔️


What topic should I pitch?

If you’re not familiar with our site, browse our articles to get a sense of what we publish.

Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Special in 2022:
    • Efficiency — tips, tricks and hacks for getting more out of the people & resources you already have
  • Evergreen topics:
    • Sales tips, step-by-step guides, and best practices for every stage of selling
    • In-depth coverage of core sales skills or methods we haven’t already covered
    • Career or lived advice for sales professionals
    • Templates, scripts, and downloads
  • Topics we see too often (feel free to pitch, but unless you have a fresh take or a downloadable template, these are a harder sell)
    • The importance of personalization / human connection in sales
    • “Your Most Important Resource Is Your People”
    • “How Coaching Builds Great Teams”
    • Sales and marketing alignment tips
    • High-level strategic content (not tactical) on the role of RevOps in an org
  • ⛔️ Nonstarters ⛔️
    • Marketing materials — i.e., “Why Your Company Needs Our Tech Solution”
    • SEO-building content
    • Link-building/link swaps

 


Pitching and publication: the process

1. Join Sales Hacker and create a profile

First, join the Sales Hacker community and create your profile. Don’t skip out on uploading a photo! We’ll use it for your bio.

Note: The byline needs to go to someone in a sales role. If you are a content writer for your organization, please find an appropriate person to give the byline to (such as a VP, director, or manager), and include their name and bio in your pitch. 

2. Submit your pitch

 ⛔️ We do not publish content from marketers, content writers, or PR professionals. ⛔️

Send an email to Sales Hacker content marketing manager, Kendra, at kendra.fortmeyer [at] outreach.io. She’ll let you know if the idea will work, or help you find another idea if it isn’t a fit.

Again, ⛔️ we do not publish content from marketers, content writers, or PR professionals. ⛔️

Here are the criteria we use to evaluate your pitch

  • The content is newly written for Sales Hacker and has not been published elsewhere, including your own blog or website.
  • You’re writing to inform the audience, not promote your company, products, or services.
  • The topic has not already been written about on Sales Hacker. (Not sure? Browse our site to see what topics we have not yet covered or what new angle you can provide on a topic.)
  • Jump to: Tips for getting your pitch approved

 

3. After your pitch is approved, write the article

(Jump to: Tips for getting your pitch approved)

We’ll work with you to provide editorial guidelines and set you up for success. When you’re ready, submit your draft as a Google doc using these settings:

  • Title your Google Doc with your first and last name – article title 
    • e.g. Rebecca Carver – How to Refine Your Sales Funnel for More Leads
  • Turn on settings so that anyone with the link can edit 

4. Wait for our team to edit your draft

Your story is your story — but Sales Hacker retains full editorial control over your content after it is published on our site. This means we’ll edit as we see fit, including removing promotional content, optimizing for SEO, and rewriting sections for clarity or readability. Please don’t submit if you aren’t comfortable with this.

Based on our current queue, time from pitch acceptance to publication is about 4-5 weeks.

5. Promote your article on social media!

Tag Sales Hacker, and start a discussion about your article in our community and on your own social media account(s). Try to get your company accounts to promote the article as well! The better the promotion, the more views your article will receive. 

  • Share it on social media (LinkedIn and Twitter especially) 
  • Include a link to it in your newsletter
  • Link to it in other articles you write for your site or other websites 

KNOW BEFORE YOU PITCH: best practices

Want a seamless acceptance? Check out our quick list of golden rules and pet peeves:

Lean into your unique experience

Make it clear in your pitch why you are the best person to talk about this topic — then tell us your life story like it’s a page-turner we can’t put down.

The weakest pitches we see are general, high-level, academic, and vague. Be specific. We want details. Anecdotes. The blooper reel. The nitty-gritty.

Anyone can write an article about the importance of coaching in an org — but only you can write about the lessons you learned from your 20 years coaching teams. Or the time management strategy that helped you co-found a business while still crushing your quota. Or the 5 things you learned about objection-handling working as a cashier at McDonald’s. Don’t hide your light. Shine it! It makes you stand out from the pack.

No promotional content! Solve, don’t sell

Great content is about solving problems, not selling your product/service. Your article must NOT come off as a sales piece. Your goal as a writer should be to share your experience or knowledge to help the other salespeople. Tell readers what to do and how to do it without mentioning your own brand or product

Do NOT try to sell in your article. Do NOT link to a landing page. Do NOT be self-promotional. You may link to an ungated, relevant, informational resource (blog post, white paper, infographics, etc.) on your site, but we will remove links to landing pages.

We’ll also delete sections (or reject an article) that sounds too promotional. 

Do not include:                

  • Backlinks to lead gen, sales pages, or product landing pages
  • Product demos, screenshots from only YOUR product 
  • Talking exclusively about your product, your solution, your buyers  

Use external source materials to back up your claims

Make sure that whatever source materials you include, you include the direct source link in your content. All sources must have a link for reference purposes. 

  • Third-party statistics: “According to Forrester, 50% of marketers struggle with X” 
  • Original research and data: “We analyzed 250,000 content contributors using machine learning AI, and learned that Sales Hacker content contributors are 97% more likely to be amazing than the average content contributor.” 
  • News and current events articles: “We all saw the news story about the avocado shortage due to Millennials making unprecedented amounts of avocado toast.”

Provide clear, actionable takeaways

Readers should be able to read the post and go apply something to their daily work right away. A good rule of thumb is to answer the question “how” rather than “why.”

Give specifics in your content

Write in your own voice, but write to our audience. Write in second person where applicable. This means writing you-focused content for our readers, not “I-focused” content that comes off as a huge opinion-based blog post. If you do use “I” in your article, make sure it’s absolutely necessary. Our editor will refine the language in your article as necessary. 

  • “War” stories: If you tell us that grit is important in sales, tell us the story of the grittiest rep you ever managed. If you tell us about the biggest mistakes in cold calling, tell us about the time you called a prospect by the wrong name and blew it. Here’s an example.
  • Examples/templates/checklists: If you’re telling us the “best presentations,” include visuals, include some screenshots or links to attractive presentations. If you’re telling us that the “best email subject headings are short,” include templates that worked for you.
  • Research/statistics: Articles are nearly always stronger when you include references and numbers to support your points. 

Have a point of view – think “thesis”

  • Good: ”Dreamforce 2018 was the Best Ever. Here’s Why” 
  • Bad: ”Top 5 Takeaways from Dreamforce 2018” 

Challenge conventional wisdom

  • Good: ”Why the Top Sales Contests Don’t Reward Top Performers” 
  • Bad: ”At the End of the Day, Sales Is About People”

Writing about specific tech solutions

The quick & dirty: Write for users, not for prospects.
Quicker & dirtier? No promotion.
At Sales Hacker, we take pride in publishing content that helps sellers at all stages in their careers excel and advance. To preserve the integrity of this goal, our content is a marketing-free space.

So can I write about a specific technology or what?

Absolutely — you just can’t market it here. To clarify:

You can tell users how to use your tech better to do their jobs (crush quota, find efficiencies, etc).

But if your article is a veiled marketing pitch for why your tech is better, we won’t publish it.

It’s the difference between:

  • “Here’s a detailed process for streamlining your sequences using HubSpot Sales”… (good)
  • and “HubSpot Sales is the best tool for streamlining your sequences” (bad)
  • Or linking to a blog post on your website with 3 strategies for getting more out of AI… (good)
  • vs. linking to your company’s product or solutions pages (bad)

Another way to think about it: We’re more interested in what your CS team is publishing, rather than your marketing team.


Thanks for reading! We often find great ideas in unexpected places. The next article published on Sales Hacker could be yours!

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