You can spend just a few minutes on Google and find guest post guidelines that tell you how to get your content published on many major websites and blogs. But, before you start filling out submission forms and firing off emails to editors, take some time to be strategic about your contributed content.
There’s no doubt that there’s an appetite for it. Tech companies love contributed content because it offers access to new, larger audiences, with whom they can share their ideas, opinions and expertise. And publications rely on contributed content to fill their editorial calendar, add new voices to their website, and, in the case of paid engagements, bring in a source of revenue.
Even though there’s demand for contributed content on both sides, we’re also seeing it become much more competitive to earn the placements. Editors are swarmed with guest post pitches daily. How do you make sure your pitch and piece stands out? It’s not enough just to follow those “How to Get Your Guest Post Published” guidelines.
Tech companies need to not only apply creativity and tell a compelling story, but also ensure their story has a chance to reach and resonate with their key audience. Here are three questions to ask yourself before seeking out placement for a piece of contributed content.
1. How Strategic is this Placement?
It’s important to evaluate your target publications in the context of your larger content strategy. In other words, do these sites make sense for your post? Will readership in these publications actually translate to your definition of success?
For example, you might want to see your byline on a major publication like Mashable. That name certainly carries some cachet, but is it right for your piece? Mashable’s audience is quiet broad, so if you want to be assured that actual potential customers will read your piece, you might find a better home on a more targeted industry publication.
2. Do You Have the Right Story to Tell?
Editors want compelling stories, not marketing fluff. No matter where you want your piece published, you need to make sure that you have an actual story to tell, and that the author’s genuine voice and opinions come through in the final piece.
Your story will also influence your placement strategy. Publications with a broader audience might not want to publish a highly technical article. On the other hand, if you have a “big idea” that you feel could position yourself or your brand as a forward-thinker, then you might want to shoot higher than niche industry publications.
3. Does the Topic Require an Ongoing Commitment?
How “big” is your story? Will one piece be sufficient to cover your topic, or will it require a full series?
Some publications will only want you to participate if you are going to contribute on a consistent basis. On the other hand, it may be more productive to start a story on a major earned platform and then continue the conversation on your owned platforms, like a corporate blog or LinkedIn Pulse, while linking back to each story in the series. A multi-platform content strategy also allows you to dive deeper on the topic or approach it from multiple viewpoints and tones of voice.
Ultimately, it’s important to keep in mind that while getting a guest post published is nice, it’s even better when your contributed content strategy, placement and follow-through all result in your ideal version of success. Contributed content is just one part of a well-considered marketing and PR campaign, and when done strategically, it can drive positive results.