People ask us what we look for at Better Humans. It’s really pretty simple.
We’re often asked for examples of “the best” Better Humans articles.
Usually, this question has one of two purposes:
- It’s coming from a reader—often a coach—who wants to be aware of canonical works to read and bookmark for targeted needs at a later time, or
- It’s a question from a writer who wants to be published in Better Humans.
The first group presents a fun challenge because I know I can send them examples and they’ll enjoy them and use them as a launchpad for more. (Read on for that!)
The second group can be a little frustrating. They’re trying to “crack the code” by creating replica work to get an article published. The trouble is, a replica of a Better Humans article is always going to fail. What we look for is the lived experience of the writer—which is original by default. And we look for fresh ideas and interesting goals that we haven’t covered well before.
In any case, I’m going to give you—whichever camp you fall in—the requested list of some of our favorites that exemplify the Better Humans editorial point of view. It starts, of course, with the interesting thoughtful humans who write for us, in a friendly, engaging way. You can see that in these examples:
- The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your iPhone for Productivity, Focus and Your Own Health — Configure your iPhone to work for you, not against you
- How One Year of Microdosing Helped My Career, Relationships, and Happiness (and the follow-up, The Curious Beginner’s Guide to Microdosing for Work, Relationships, and Happiness)
- How To Make Your Relationship More Loving, Stable, and Fulfilling —
Step-by-step techniques to end negative patterns and work on your relationship in the best way possible: together
- Minimalist Journaling: A Fun and Effective Tool for Tremendous Habit Change — How to create your own habit dashboard that motivates you to stick to any habit
- This Alternative To-Do List Will Help You Complete 100 Tasks Every Day—This system trades guilt for real productivity
- How I Stopped Trying to Control My Partner and Took Responsibility for My Own Happiness — How to identify and change codependent behaviors that may be ruining your ability to have a mature relationship
- Revitalizing Our Inner-City Neighborhood — Without gentrification —go beyond simply having a nice house in a bad neighborhood
- How To Wake Up at 5 A.M. Every Day — An unconventional and compassionate guide to becoming an early bird
- How To Be a High-Functioning Night Owl—A compassionate guide for late-risers
- How To Experience Your First Insight in Mindfulness Meditation — A complete guide and 8-week plan to an effective mindfulness meditation practice
- Better Than Meditation — Why free-writing can be a better way to clear your head
- How To Do 1,000 Push-ups in a Single Day — Applying behavior science to a fitness routine can give you the motiviation to hit a bragworthy endurance goal
- How To Walk 100,000 Steps in One Day — At 66 years old, reaching a big fitness goal means creating the right mindset as well as increasing physical endurance.
- Your Slow, Fat Marathon — How to complete a marathon regardless of your size or speed
- How To Talk to an Audience of 40,000 People — What a lifetime of conducting orchestras teaches about how to handle enormous audiences
- How To Use Psychology to Solve the Procrastination Puzzle — Tips from the world of procrastination research
- Why Fasting Succeeds Where Caloric Restriction Fails—A physician’s look at weight loss
All of the articles above are written by people with deep experience on their article topic—they’ve lived it. Most of them have lived it by doing, but some have lived it as professional scientists who are active researchers. Some are a mix of both. Whatever the case, these articles exemplify the lived experience that we’re looking for. These are not articles that were written by simply researching a topic and producing a report about it.
The problem with lists like this is that for days I’ll be thinking of ones I left out. Some of the best are also featured on our directory of articles by topic, if you’re looking for more or if your favorite subject isn’t covered in the list above.
If you’re a writer who wants to get published with Better Humans, please keep this in mind: these articles have already been done. It’s pointless to replicate them.
Instead, consider your own lived experience. What have you done that’s important to you? What prompts your friends to say, “That’s amazing. I wish I could do that, too!” That’s when you know you’re onto something that might make for a Better Humans article. What would you tell your friend to encourage them along? What tips would you share with them, the insider info to make it easier?
There is no formula. There is no secret code. We look for great articles from good writers who share from their own experience about doing things that we know will captivate the interest and enthusiasm of our readers. And if you think you’ve got something to share, this gives you all the so-called “secrets” about the only way to pitch us.