How To Get Featured In Southern Living Magazine [For Businesses & Writers]

Getting featured in well-known magazines like Southern Living can help you instantly get regional exposure and sell more of your products or services.

The only problem is most business owners and writers don't know how to get featured in the mag. The Southern Living website doesn’t help either, as it contains little to no relevant info. 

Fortunately, our link building company has helped many businesses get published in Southern Living in the past. We’ll reveal everything we’ve learned in the process in this guide. 

Let’s dive in.

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Benefits Of Getting Featured In Southern Living Magazine

Southern Living brands itself as “the ultimate insiders’ guide to Southern culture, recipes, travel, and events.” And its stats support this claim.

Just consider that the magazine reaches more than 26.2 million people every month. Their website alone has over 11.4 unique monthly visitors:

Southern Living's stats show the website gets 11.4MM unique users

So, getting featured in Southern Living can help you instantly get in front of millions of people in the South and around the country. But it also has some extra benefits for both businesses and writers. 

We’ll walk you through them below.

For Writers

If you’re a writer, journalist, or blogger, publishing your story in Southern Living can help you:

  • Establish your authority as a writer or a reporter on Southern culture or a particular niche, like home interiors or cooking
  • Get more people and businesses to follow your work
  • Get more opportunities to write for other high-authority publications 

Take Lynn Coulter as an example. As an author and a freelance writer, she writes about gardening for Southern Living. She has also been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV, The Spruce, and other notable publications:

Lynn Coulter's bio on the Southern Living website

Our point? Being featured in one authoritative publication makes it easier to get featured in others — and to get new business opportunities you wouldn’t get otherwise.

For Businesses

Businesses can also benefit from being featured in high-authority publications like Southern Living. A mention in the magazine can help them:

  • Get exposure
  • Sell more products or services
  • Increase their websites’ authority and get more traffic

Let me show you how that works in action. Consider this article published on the Southern Living website:

An affiliate article promoting a beauty brand published on the Southern Living website, with the do-follow link to the brand's website highlighted

The article is promoting a particular beauty brand and its products. That should help the company raise brand awareness and make more sales.

On top of that, the article contains do-follow links to the brand’s website (we highlighted one such link in the above photo). And do-follow links help the sites they’re linking to gain credibility and perform better on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. 

So, one article in Southern Living can help brands improve their SEO, increase their reach, and potentially sell more products. If that sounds good, let's now see how you can get featured in the magazine.

Two Ways To Get Featured In Southern Living Magazine

Generally, there are two ways to get featured in Southern Living:

  • Pay to play: Pay for advertising space. 
  • Story writing: Write stories for the magazine.

We’ll look at both options in the rest of this section.

Advertising In Southern Living Magazine

Buying ad space is obviously a better option for businesses than for writers. 

According to the Southern Living’s media kit, brands can choose between several advertising formats: 

  • Contextually relevant editorial content: Articles that educate the audience about your products or services, the problems you solve, your industry, a particular step in your process, etc. 
  • Social, video, and email marketing programs
  • Native content solutions: Content that looks and feels like a natural part of the magazine instead of a traditional ad.
  • And more (see photo below)
Advertising formats available for purchase

You can also buy more traditional advertising units within the magazine. How much you’ll pay depends on the color and size of the unit you want:

Rates for advertising units in the Southern Living magazine

If you’re interested in buying ad space in Southern Living for your company, contact

Submitting A Story (And 3 Types Of Stories To Submit)

If you don't want to pay for ads, you can get featured in Southern Living by writing and submitting an article. 

The magazine usually publishes three types of stories:

  • Opinion pieces (op-eds):

An opinion piece from Southern Living, titled "Why I Refuse To Buy Gifts Online"
  • News articles:
A news article from Southern Living, titled "Kentucky boy donates $350 worth of school supplies to kindergarteners in honor of late brother"
  • Informative articles:
Informative travel articles from Southern Living, titled "10 southern destinations that feel like europe," and "5 reasons to visit louisiana's twin cities""

Of course, the type of story you’ll submit will depend on the subject you want to cover. You can also consider switching between different types, especially if your initial pitch gets rejected.

We’ll talk about how you can pitch your story to the magazine in the rest of this guide.

Submitting Your Story To Southern Living

Learn how you can pitch your story to the magazine below.

1. Decide Which Section You’ll Write For

Southern Living publishes articles on a wide array of topics, from delicious recipes and holidays to house interiors and beauty tips. The articles are divided into sections and subsections of the magazine based on the topics they tackle. For example, an article about perfumes and an article about lip balms would both belong to the Style section and the Beauty subsection.

You probably already know which section you want to write for. If you don’t, simply choose a section that best fits your niche and goals. 

You can find all the sections on the Southern Living website:  

Sections on the Southern Living website

You'll be able to see the subsections when you click on a section you’re interested in.  For example, by clicking on “Culture and lifestyle”, we can see that it’s further divided into Travel, Healthy living, Coastal living, and other subsections:

Subsections of the Culture and lifestyle section, ranging from Quotes and Sayings to Coastal Living

From there, you can click on a subsection to see its own sub-subsections: 

Travel sub-subsections, ranging from Oklahoma to Southwest

Make sure you know exactly where your story would fit before moving on to the next step. 

2. Find The Right Topic

Once you’ve decided which section you want to write for, you need to come up with a topic for your article. 

It’s best to choose topics that already garner interest. You can find them using topic research tools like SemrushSemRush

Enter a niche-related keyword, hit enter, and let the tool come up with topic ideas for you:

Topic research results for the keyword "home interior" with the search volumes for each suggested topic highlighted

Notice you’ll also be able to see the search volume for every suggested keyword/topic. That will tell you if a topic is popular among users. 

For example, “living room” is more popular than “coffee tables,” and “coffee tables” is a more popular topic than “dining room.” 

Of course, you shouldn’t blindly follow these suggestions. Use common sense — and make sure you actually have the expertise needed to write about the topics you’re considering.

3. Adopt The Magazine’s Style

How you write is as important as what you write about. 

Your article should reflect your personality — but your style still needs to fit that of Southern Living. 

That’s why we suggest reading through a few past issues of the magazine. As you read, take note of things like: 

  • The average article length 
  • The average paragraph length 
  • The average sentence length
  • The tone of writing (formal, informal, authoritative, friendly, etc.)
  • The average article depth (whether it provides a lot of detailed information or is kept brief)
  • Whether articles are written from third- or first-person perspectives

If you’re writing for the travel, food, or similar sections, photography may be important, too. Consider if other contributors in your chosen section included original photos in their articles. If so, check if there’s a common thread between the photos and try to replicate it.

4. Define Your Offer

It’s almost time to pitch your story. Before that, get really clear about what you want to get from the magazine and what you’re giving in return. 

Here are a few Qs that can help you get that clarity: 

  • Where do you want to publish your article? Print or digital, which section, which subsection, and which sub-subsection
  • What’s the benefit for the magazine? Usefulness to the readers
  • What will you submit? The topic of the article you’re pitching

Make sure your pitch answers these questions.

5. Contact The Magazine

Finally, it’s time to pitch your story to the magazine. We’ll show you more ways you can do so, but let’s start with the most straightforward one: contacting the staff.

According to the Southern Living website, there are two ways to get in touch with its representatives: 

Unfortunately, both contact options are mainly reserved for customer support

Still, customer support may be able to forward your pitch to the editors — or, at the very least, they may give you more relevant contact info.

6. Connect With The Editors

The easiest way to get published is to get your article approved by Southern Living’s editors. So, why not contact them directly and send them your pitch? 

Which editor you should contact depends on the section you want to write for. For example, if you want to share tips on house décor, you should contact the editor in charge of the Home section. 

Here are all the editors of the Southern Living magazine:

Finding them on social media shouldn’t be difficult. You can send them a message there. Or you can try to find their email addresses using an email scraping tool like

Emails connected with the Southern Living website, collected by

As you can see above, email scraping tools will look for (and often find) the email addresses connected with a domain you enter. We suggest sending your pitch to emails connected with a specific person, like the ones we highlighted above.

The downside of this strategy is that editors usually receive dozens of unsolicited pitches every day. That means they may pay little to no attention to yours.

That’s more the reason why you need to ensure your pitch stands out. It needs to be persuasive, concise, and spark the editors’ interest. If you need help writing such a pitch, feel free to rework our template for pitching to bloggers.

7. Reach Out To Current Contributors

If reaching out to editors doesn’t work, don’t worry. There’s still one more method to try: contacting other contributors. 

Again, you want to contact contributors that are most relevant to you — contributors that publish articles in the same section you want to write for.

Simply browse through the section you’re considering, click through a few articles, and check out their authors. 

Your goal is to find independent contributors. These are writers that aren’t a part of the magazine’s staff but rather independent journalists, writers, or freelancers:

Independent journalists contributing to the Southern Living website

Just like in the case of editors, finding contributors on social media should be easy enough. You’ll probably also find other contact options by googling contributors’ names:

Google search results for the keyword "kelsey ogletree" include her social media accounts

Once you find a way to contact a contributor, try asking them if they could connect with the editors. Be ready to showcase your previous articles, as most contributors won’t be open to recommending someone with no insight into their work. 

Most importantly, don’t get discouraged if you get rejected by one contributor. Simply reach out to another one. Or hire our link building company to help you get your first feature in Southern Living

How To Increase The Chances Of Getting Accepted

  • Write for other high-authority publications — Most Southern Living’s contributors have previous experience writing for high-authority publications like the Wall Street Journal or The Spruce. Try to gain similar writing experience before pitching to Southern Living. Our article on becoming a Forbes contributor may help.
  • Connect with an editor — Some of Southern Living’s editors are active on social media. Follow them, engage with their content, and try to forge a relationship. 
  • Make your stories beneficial to the readers — Best articles are reader-oriented. For example, the best travel articles focus on activities or attractions the readers are interested in. As a result, they make the readers feel as if they’re visiting a particular place in the South that’s being described:
An example of a well-written travel article that helps the readers envision themselves on Florida's Gulf Coast

Think about what your readers would be the most interested in while reading. Then give them exactly that in your article. The editors will take note of this. 


Who owns Southern Living magazine?

Meredith Corporation owns Southern Living magazine. 

Get Featured In Southern Living And Other Authority Publications With Our Help

You can’t get featured in Southern Living on your own? Our link building agency can help. We’ll handle the entire process for you, from the back and forth with the editors to writing the article we’ll submit in your name. 

And you don’t pay us a single cent until we get you the placement you want. That way, you’re only paying for results — not promises. 

Sounds good? Schedule your free consultation today to learn how we can work together.

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Written by
Dina Šoštarec

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