One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is getting your content noticed. It’s a Catch-22 situation: You need great content to attract readers to your website and get them to sign up for your newsletter or blog. It takes time to build that audience, however, and you may feel like all that content is going to waste on just a few eyeballs.

Getting your content in front of the right people requires a multipronged approach. Social media plays a big role, of course, and it needs to involve social sharing by your sales and marketing teams as well as your company’s branded social properties. Email can also be used to disseminate links to your blog and other content as supporting information to the campaign.

Contributing guest blogs and articles is an often-overlooked technique that can capture a much larger audience for your content. Industry publications and associations are hungry for high-quality content. Informative bylined articles by your executives and subject-matter experts will position them as thought leaders and drive traffic to your company’s blog.

(If your experts are too busy and perhaps not the greatest writers, you can have a professional writer develop articles on their behalf, either through research or an interview process. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach.)

Now, you can’t simply recycle your existing content — the publication is going to want something unique and tailored to its audience. But you can leverage the research you’ve done creating your own content for your guest post or article.

Follow these eight steps to develop your content contribution strategy:

  • Look for publications and association websites in your customers’ industries. Whether you work with accounting firms, manufacturers or medical practices, you’ll find forums that draw the same audience you’re hoping to attract.
  • Study each publication carefully to get a feel for the subject matter, length, tone, etc. of the articles. Many sites will have guidelines as to the topics and types of articles they’re looking for.
  • Determine the topic you want to cover. Remember that narrow topics are easier to write about than broad ones.
  • Pitch the idea to the appropriate person. Many sites will want an abstract, some will want an outline, and a few will want both. Craft these submissions carefully.
  • If your idea is accepted, develop the post or article according to the publication’s guidelines. Try to find a unique perspective on the topic. Make sure that the headline and lede really grab the reader’s attention — but also make sure that the article delivers on this promise.
  • Whatever you do, don’t make the article self-promotional. Publications want informative content not a sales pitch.
  • Edit carefully and proofread at least twice. If you deliver high-quality content, the publication will be more likely to accept it and to seek you out for future posts.
  • Promote the article in your own blog and social media. Let your customers and prospects know about your expertise.

Building an audience for your blog takes time and effort. You can extend the reach of your content by contributing guests posts and articles to third-party publications that have already earned the readers you’re after.

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