How I Started Writing For Forbes

by | Nov 9, 2022

People ask me all the time how I started writing for online magazines. 

I’ve had articles published on ForbesInc.Entrepreneur, and many others over the years.

We’ve actually written over 1,000 articles, and yes, that’s over 1 million words!

First of all, know that I’m not a writer. I barely passed the second grade, and because of my dyslexia, have difficulty spelling.

I remember when first reached out and asked me to write for them. At the time, they had no one writing about product licensing for them.

I was sitting at our kitchen counter in Modesto with my wife, Janice, and my eldest daughter Madeleine, who was home for Thanksgiving.

I told them I didn’t think it was going to be possible. 

Then Madeleine said, “Just record the content and send it to me.” 

At the time, she was a freshman at Berkeley, so I began providing her with content for my articles.

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After writing for AllBusiness for many years, we reached out to Someone was already writing about inventing, so we had to wait a little while.

When their current writer left, they contacted me, and we began writing for them.

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It’s a very small world.

One of the people we worked with at was now working at So we pitched them our ideas and were accepted as a contributor.

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We had to change the content up, so we weren’t writing about the same topic for multiple publications.

Then I wanted to write for Forbes.

So I reached out to an editor and pitched a few ideas. He got back to me fairly quickly and said no.

He told me the content I was writing about wasn’t new.

So, I took my own advice and studied the marketplace.

I needed a new angle. I needed a point of difference.

Just like any inventor, when you’re pitching a product, it needs to be “new.”

After reviewing the articles about intellectual property from other writers, I found a point of difference.

Writing about intellectual property from a “business perspective,” not a legal one.

I pitched three articles from that perspective to the editor, who told me I was in.

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This is what I’ve learned: 

  1. You have to start at the beginning. It takes practice. 
  2. You need to take one step at a time. Don’t be in a hurry! Writing for Forbes did not happen overnight. It took about 10 years. 
  3. Never burn a bridge. 

There have been many times when I wanted to stop writing for one of these online magazines. Dealing with editors at times hasn’t been easy. But it’s important to have a good attitude and play the long game.

If you don’t like someone, just wait a little while — they will likely move on. 

I’ll never forget what Madeleine said after we had been writing for AllBusiness for a while. “I don’t think there’s anything new we could possibly write about,” she said. .

That was over 15 years ago. We both discovered we’d just begun. 

I could not have done this without the help of my daughter Madeleine and I cannot thank her enough. Thanks for making me look so good!

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She now has her own byline on Inc. and is starting to write her own content. I’m a very proud father! 

Thanks for reading,

Stephen Key

inventRight CoFounder


  • Stephen Key

    Stephen Key is an award-winning inventor, renowned intellectual property strategist, lifelong entrepreneur, author, speaker, and columnist.
    Stephen has over 20 patents in his name and the d...