For a while now, marketing experts have extolled the value of content marketing. This necessarily entails developing content. Sometimes, you will have other people develop your content or use graphics, videos and other information you already have on hand in your blogs, email newsletters and social media channels. Those tried and true strategies work great.
But at some point, you should also move into the realm of authorship. This means it’s time for you to write articles and actively submit them to other publications, either print or online. Authorship is a key component to any solid content marketing plan.
Authoring articles that appear in other publications has several benefits. First and foremost, you will gain authority within your market. When your words appear in another publication, by proxy, you also gain the reputation of the publication. They have deemed your content worthy of their publication and so it’s respect by association, so to speak.
You will also improve your SEO rankings because your name, your company’s name and your keywords will appear organically in more places. Algorithms love original content and they love interlinked content.
Finally, you position yourself as a thought leader and can start conversations about key issues within your market to engage your clients and even your competitors. Your words become the first words on the topic and a jumping off point for others to reference as they further the conversation.
Path to Publication
The maxim in higher education reads “Publish or perish.” Professors must have their work appear in scholarly journals to attain tenure. The same maxim should hold true for marketing efforts as well. Authorship is getting published, easier said than done, though.
To get published, follow a few key steps.
Top Notch Content
Getting published has to start with content your audience wants to read. (We’ve extoled the virtues of writing for an audience, not a search engine earlier. Feel free to check out that article for how to target your audience.)
Writing for an audience means understanding what content your readers will value. Think about articles that tackle problems, offer advice and steps toward success, or address a problem you know your audience faces regularly.
And, your articles should matter. Don’t write just for the sake of writing and publishing because your content won’t turn out very good and no one will read it. Make your articles matter by writing about content you and your audience care about.
Sell Yourself for Authorship Success
Once you have content or ideas for content, you need to get it out there to the public and this means pitching your article to the right people.
Many online publications, blogs and other media need fresh content for their sites and guest columns fit the bill. Traditional media outlets may publish your story as well as a guest op-ed or community member column so don’t rule out your local newspapers, especially smaller, weekly publications.
Each time you pitch your article, you need to keep the publication and their target audience in mind. Consider the publication’s goals in mind and show an awareness of their audience and what they can gain from your article.
Finally, follow through once your article pitch gets accepted. This makes it more likely you will get asked to write repeat articles.
Getting an article published is a great start to promote your authorship. To turn that work into lead generation, you have to take additional steps. Publish it on your blog, promote it on social media, tout it in your email newsletter, and link to it on your website.
Authorship takes you to the next level of leadership in your market putting your name and your message in front of a much wider audience.
Photo by Flickr User PinkBow