Oct 04, 2011

Making it on Mashable – Calling Guest Writers with Great Ideas

Voted one of the top ten blogs by Businessweek, Mashable has become the media darling – the top source for news and digital media.  According to CEO Pete Cashmore, who was quoted in the New York Times this week, the site had 17 million unique visitors in September.

That’s no surprise to San Francisco Bureau Chief Chris Taylor, who thought they might have been on track to top 20 million when he spoke to an audience just last week.  Taylor was part of a news roundtable hosted by Graffiti PR.  He joined  Aaron Pero, News Director for KRON 4 TV and Theresa Rodriguez, founder of sites TangoDiva.com and Jetset Extra to offer up thoughts and impressions “behind the news and stories”.

Mashable measures its own content’s success in part through the same channels it covers – social media.  A story has to have at least 1,000 shares on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Stumbleupon as a baseline benchmark for being a good read according to Taylor.   He says about a third of Mashable’s traffic comes from Facebook and Twitter, another third from Google, and a third from direct visitors to the site.

Whether it’s a story about artificial intelligence coming to the iPhone — or digital platforms poised to change the conversation in election year 2012, Mashable is on top of the trends.  And Taylor gets pitched — a lot.

“I receive an insane volume of pitches,” he revealed; even more than when he was Bureau Chief for Time Magazine.   He claims a ‘pitch a minute’ is no exaggeration.

Mashable is a 24-hour shop run by about 55 employees, and the door is open to guest writers.  Taylor says it’s not just for well-known names — they cast the net far and wide.  The bottom line is the ability to write concise and short.  If you can keep your copy to under 800 words, all the better, says Taylor.   He offered up this insight to budding Mashable contributors after the San Francisco forum:

Submissions can be sent to Josh Catone at joshcatone@mashable.com.  Pitches can be sent to news@mashable.com

Diane Harrigan Account Manager, PR Newswire SF and author of the video blog PostcardsFromSF.

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