For those of you who haven’t heard the news, I was recently bestowed the incredible honor of being featured in the June issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.
For the most part, I try not to obnoxiously flaunt my accomplishments for the world to see as I believe humility is the best approach. BUT…when something this surreal happens, I definitely feel compelled to share it and celebrate it with my readers.To be quite honest, on the day in/day out grind, blogging can be a thankless endeavor and opportunities like this are typically few and far between.
So, yeah…I definitely want to shout this achievement from the rooftops, but I also want to share the process that led me into being featured in such a prestigious publication. Below I have also included some tips for increasing your odds of being featured in a major magazine.
It all started one day when I was sitting in my doctor’s office reading an issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I saw a fellow blogger featured in the magazine and I thought to myself- one day, when I have created something I consider worthy of this magazine, I am going to submit it.
You see, Better Homes and Gardens magazine actually accepts submissions. Well, a few months passed and I finally published what I thought to be a DIY masterpiece on my blog: DIY Cone Light Pendants (which you can read here). I submitted a link to the blog post with a a brief pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org (which is the email address where BHG takes submissions).
A few weeks passed, and I didn’t hear anything. On top of that, my pendant light post turned out to be a bit of a flop on Pinterest (which is how I get most of my traffic and thus my ad revenue and livelihood).
In the midst of what I thought to be rejection, we had started demolishing our old deck and had just discovered our pool would need to be excavated and demo-ed as well( talk about a homeowner’s nightmare- over a $30,000 surprise). After a week of renovation hell, hormonal mood swings and struggles only a work-from-home mother of young children can understand, I remember standing in my kitchen exhibiting the onset of a nervous breakdown-spewing emotional outbursts while my husband watched in bewilderment. I can recall my rants went something like this…..
Buying this house was a mistake!…….. What the f%c*k were we thinking taking on a fixer upper?!…. I am a shitty mother because I am always too busy and exhausted to play with my children!…..On top of that, my body is ruined from two pregnancies and I will always be a fat cow no matter how hard I work out!….Why cant we just be millionaires?!…. I should give up blogging because it is time away from my children and unnecessary stress! And on and on.(First world problems; I know and I am not proud!)
That night, I really felt like I had reached my boiling point. I felt so down in the dumps, I remember not really even wanting to get out of bed the next morning(of course, that is not an option with a one-year-old and three-year-old.) The show must go on.
As the dawn of a new day manifested, I forced myself out of bed, poured my obligatory cup of black coffee and began my morning ritual of checking my emails. This particular morning however, the heavens smiled down on me- my inbox contained an email from a Kit Selzer of Better Homes and Gardens.
She told me she was interested in including my cone pendants in an issue of BHG and wanted to know if I could send her the high-resolution images of my project as well as remove my “designingvibes.com” watermark from them. She said she would pass them by the art director and editor-in-chief for approval and get back to me as soon as she knew more.
The few days I waited for Kit’s reply seemed like an eternity, but the wait was worth it. She told me the art director and editor-in-chief wanted to use my images and story for the I did it! feature in the June 2017 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. But before I could fully release my joy in a celebratory dance, she warned me there was a small chance my feature could get cut from the magazine. Apparently, on a few rare occasions, stories get cut at the very last minute. So basically I was on edge until I received my very own copy of the June issue right before Mother’s Day, and boy was that the best Mother’s Day present ever.
For those of you interested in being featured in a major publication, I have listed some tips below.
How to Increase Your Chances of Being Featured in a Publication
- Shoot your images in RAW format, for ultimate editing capabilities and quality
- Be sure to keep original, high resolution (300 dpi) copies of your file (void of any watermarks)
- Submit your best work.. Don’t wait around for editors to find you. In fact, Kit told me that is how most of these articles come into fruition.
- Include a well-written, thoughtful pitch along with photos and , if applicable, a link to the original post on your site.
- Make sure your “after” photos are magazine quality – bright, clear and well-styled. I use Lightroom and Photoshop editing software to ensure bright, crisp photos.
- Take photos of each step of the DIY process for a detailed, easy to follow tutorial.
So there you have it. That is how this little country bumpkin landed onto the pages of Better Homes and Gardens freaking magazine.
Now get out there and design some good vibes.