Thursday, February 16, 2012 Front Page Feature

Recently, I had an article of mine featured for several days on the front page of It was included in "Editor's Picks" and "Today on Yahoo!" The first appears at the bottom of every news page or article on Yahoo! and the second appears in multiple places including the top, featured position at the home page of

I get two questions most frequently from other writers about it. 1) How did you get featured? 2) How many views did it receive?

First, let me say that I've had editors from the Yahoo! Contributor Network (Y!CN) pitch articles of mine for the front page before. At least one made it there previously, but had a shorter run of just a few hours.

Getting featured can depend on luck to some extent. If you have just written about a topic that suddenly becomes very newsworthy and your article is relevant, editors may drop it in to take advantage of the timeliness of  the issue. Then there's always the other breaking news factor. If aliens land on the lawn of the White House, then your article about the National Collegiate Cheerleading Championships might get pushed aside for front page feature consideration.

In any case, it generally takes a body of high quality work that demonstrates your ability to write accurate, interesting and original material. In two of the four cases where my work was pitched to the front page, an editor at Y!CN contacted me in advance and offered a topic that he thought might be a good fit for the front page. For another, I had just submitted an article and it just happened to coincide with a planned press conference by President Obama on the same topic. Another was suggested to me for front page consideration, but missed because the angle I took was a bit too controversial.

Once, an article was suggested, but in doing the research, I found that the suggested premise, though widely accepted by media outlets and various web secondary sources, was inaccurate. I wrote it up as something of a myth-busting article which provided better sources for that real information. It wasn't the fun, human interest piece for which the front page decision makers were hoping.

In short, I don't know of any sure-fire way to get a piece featured on the front page at except to write well consistently, attract the attention of editors with the quality of your work (and/or by becoming a Featured Contributor), and to be willing to accept difficult assignments that may or may not pan out despite an investment of research time and effort. Also be prepared for one or more title changes and additional editorial scrutiny of any article that is being considered for the front page. I think Editor's Picks, Today on Yahoo! and the text news listing all used different titles for my recent feature, none of which were passed by me before publication (which is fine by me).

As for the second question, my most recent featured article received about 1 million views in the first 24 hours, and about another million over the next 48 hours and during a repeat feature the following weekend. Those who write for Y!CN know the page view bonus rate for Y! News and can calculate that the earnings from that single article went into the thousands of dollars.

In addition to the 2 million page views, it was posted to Facebook by over 13,000 users, Tweeted over 1500 times resulting in more than 45,000 page views via Twitter, and shared by 245 people on Linked In. The article itself was also mentioned and linked by The Huffington Post, Forbes online, and a host of other sites. CNN did a feature piece on the same topic 3-4 days after mine appeared on Yahoo! all of which is helping the article gain about 1000 readers per day long after it passed out of the main stream's attention span.

I'll also note that it was copied in its entirety and otherwise plagiarized by more websites and blogs than I care to mention. That comes with the territory, so learn how to enforce your rights under the DMCA.

I've heard of other Yahoo! feature pieces from Y!CN freelancers getting even more page views than mine by a wide margin. I've also heard of others not doing as well.

Finally, I know some writers don't like to say which of their articles do very well for fear of copycats going after their topics, but I've always felt that the Internet is a very big place. It also helps that I tend to write current events type issues that have high, but fleeting popularity rather than evergreen material. At any rate, here's the article that received the front page feature position for a number of days at Feel free to share a link to the original on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, your blog, or anywhere else. I get paid by the page view and every one counts. ...and don't forget to follow this blog using one of the following option in the margins.


  1. I always wonder if the plagiarizing helps or hurts page views. I know that sounds like a rhetorical question. Obviously, having them on the is the magic, but on my blockbusters (smaller than yours, of course) that have not been on, I always find them otherwise c/pd on other sites. Which came first, the plagiarism or the popularity?

    A note to scammers: I am not suggesting or validating plagiarism. It's theft. Anyway, good post, my friend and good advice.

  2. Good post. An article I wrote on Kim Kardashian got about 6 million in November after being on the homepage for a day. Your story was completely original, as mine as a unique angle on a popular topic. That's the only "surefire" way to get on the front page, IMO.

  3. Wow, Meagan. 6 million is quite a payday!

    Marilisa, plagiarism doesn't help. If folks are takign a 100 word excerpt and linking back to your article for those that want to read more, that's all well and good, but copying and pasting the whole thing does nothing but compete with your article on search engine rankings, siphoning off your page views.