Michele and I have found different ways to get much needed content on our blog and that is to get either guest bloggers who love to get acknowledgement for their article while at the same time help to build out our blog. Over time though we have had admin people upset with us and we have been upset with guest bloggers. So I guess it was time to draw a line in the sand to share helpful tips to not to ruffle any feathers.
As with any type of marketing strategy, it is important to take the time to plan, and make sure that your precious time is well used. How can you go about getting your opinions and experiences covered in a leading publication without getting on the wrong side of editors?
Never make your article promotional: Leading publications do not accept promotional guest articles, and are able to sniff out self-promotion like bloodhounds. Sending promotional content guised as a guest article to editors is a surefire way to make a bad name for you and risk having future contributions rejected off hand.
The only direct link to yourself or your company should be in the byline which offers information about the author. Most leading publications will allow you to provide a live link to your website. The value from the article should not come from promotion, but rather the fact that you have contributed valuable opinions and advice to the wider conversation.
Never write unless you have something helpful to say: While attempting to publish a guest article is a million times better than making a weak public relations announcement, the same rules apply: If you anything at all.
You have built something from an idea to a real, functioning product or service, and no doubt had an educational road along the way. Reflect on your personal experiences as an entrepreneur and assess whether there is any actionable advice that you could offer to others. Then take a Google search and see whether the story has been covered before, if it has, then it’s best to head back to the drawing board.
Take a step back and look at your areas of expertise. Look at wider trends in your industry or connected fields and then assess whether you can contribute some new ideas which will be of interest to the general public or if you decide to go down the route of industry specific publications, what will be of interest to competitors, potential customers and peers. Come and think of it!
If ideas aren’t flowing freely, then take a look at content that your competitors are producing, and try to find a new angle or opinion which others will find useful and informative. That said, it is best to stick to topics which are linked to your own industry and experiences, as it is your social proof which will validate your ideas. You have to make the case for why you are best or right person to address the topic.
Have the courage to mention even your competitors: While you may have your rival’s photo on your board, offering the things that they offer or mentioning their work in your field may lead them in sharing the your article with their contacts and client base, and they might even return the favor in the future. Do not be afraid to explore many possibilities.
Planning, researching and writing a publishable guest article is a long and time-consuming process, which should not be taken lightly. Pitching in the name of a CEO or founders offers more social proof, than for example a head of marketing, but if writing’s not your forte, then allow a wordy colleague to step up to the plate. Submitting guest articles is a great way to generate inbound links and build brand awareness, but the main goal should be to establish yourself as a real industry leader based on the quality not the quantity of your contributions.