So you want to get published?

Maybe you're a business owner looking for a little extra publicity. Maybe you're looking to become a thought leader in your field.

When I was 24 years old, I was told the "old way" of getting published: Submit work and hope for the best.

Instead, I went my own way, and within a year I had been published in TIME, Inc., Forbes, Fortune, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and more.

Here is how I did it, and how you can too:

1. Quora

If you aren't already on Quora, you need to start immediately. For those that don't know, Quora is a question/answer site--everything that Yahoo Answers should have been. What makes Quora such a unique platform is that it houses some big names of people who spend a lot of time answering people's questions: entrepreneur and investor David Rose, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, blogger and investor extraordinaire James Altucher, to name a few. 

The secret that nobody knows about Quora is that their team of moderators have direct relationships to teams at many of the top digital publications. Every week, Quora moderators scour the site for really great answers posted to people's questions, and pitch them to these publications. The publication teams review the pitches, hand-pick a few, and then republish these same answers as blogs on their own site. It's a clear and direct shot straight to the top, as long as you are providing great content.

Here's why else this is amazing:

2. Social Media

The second (and obvious) avenue to getting published is to use social media. But where a lot of people go wrong is they send out direct messages with no rhyme or reason. As Gary Vaynerchuck would say (or yell), "Jab, Jab, Jab, THEN Right Hook."

If you are going to reach out to someone on social media, here is the recipe you need to follow:

providing value

3. Climb The Blogs

Ryan Holiday talks about this in his book Trust Me, I'm Lying, but I've been doing this since I was 17 years old blogging on the Internet.

The big secret to climbing the blog world is to get in on the ground floor, trade up. Get in on the second floor, trade up. Get in on the third floor, trade up. And so on.

Here's the recipe:

What's interesting about "trading up" in the blog world is how fast it can move. Be prepared.