In this episode, we’re diving deep into the concept of contributed articles, also known as guest posts or op-eds.
I’ll unravel what they are, why they matter, and how you can make the most of them in your content strategy.
First, I want to shout out Farzad Rashidi who left me a 5-star rating and this review in Apple podcasts.
This is part of what he said:
“Christina is an excellent host! I was blown away by the quality of the podcast. I highly recommend the podcast to anyone in the media world.”
How to Create Content for Contributed Articles
Now, here are some of the questions you may have that I will answer.
- What are the benefits of being a contributor and writing contributed articles?
- How can contributed articles help establish credibility and authority in your field?
- What are some common mistakes people make when pitching their contributed articles to media outlets?
- How can you optimize your contributed articles for SEO?
- What strategies can you use to identify the right platforms and topics for your contributed articles?
- How can you craft a compelling pitch that captures the attention of publishers?
- What are some key elements of quality content in contributed articles?
- How can you ensure that your contributed articles resonate with readers and provide value to them?
- What steps should you take to navigate the publishing process of contributed articles?
- How can you measure the success of your contributed articles and track their impact on your business or brand?
What Is a Contributed Article?
A contributed article can also be referred to as a guest post or op-ed.
It is a piece of written content by an individual or organization that is placed outside of their home base – like their website, for example.
These articles are typically written for and submitted to online or print publications, blogs, websites, or industry-specific platforms, also known as trade magazines.
This of this as being a guest on a podcast. Instead of audio form, it’s written form.
Why should I become a contributor?
Contributed articles are very important in content marketing and thought leadership.
We use them in PR as well at my media relations agency, Media Maven.
In the past few years, this is what made us add content creation to our list of services.
Today, it’s very common to pitch a great idea to a journalist and hear back,
“This is a great idea, but I just don’t have the resources to cover this story.”
If you reply to that with the option to write the article yourself as a contributed piece, you may get a yes!
If you visit 16places.com, you can get
- 16+ Pitch Ideas to make your pitch stand out
- Unique Contributor Guidelines to increase your chances of getting a “YES!”
- Contact Information of the right person to reach out to – whether it’s an email address or online form, I’ve already done the work to save you time so all you need to do is hit send.
Here’s why you want to jump on this as a business owner or PR firm on behalf of a client.
1. Credibility and Authority
By contributing articles to reputable websites and publications, you can establish yourself or your brand as an expert in your field.
Readers are more likely to trust the insights and information presented by industry experts.
I did this as a contributor to Inc. Magazine for two years and still have a backlink from the website in addition to others like Fast Company, Huff Post, Boss Babe, Business Insider, and more.
2. Reach and Exposure
Contributed articles allow you to tap into the existing audience of the publication.
This exposure can significantly expand your reach and introduce your ideas to a broader audience.
It is one of the most effective ways to build your brand awareness.
3. Networking and Relationships
Collaborating with publishers can help you build valuable relationships within your industry.
It opens doors for further opportunities, including speaking engagements, partnerships, and collaborations.
I also built relationships by interviewing people for Inc. Magazine.
The struggle is real.
Many individuals and businesses struggle with contributed articles because they often overlook essential aspects of the process.
From crafting compelling pitches to optimizing for SEO, there are common things that can hinder success, like believing only professional writers are corresponding authors to a bylined article.
While there are lots of benefits to contributing articles, many people and businesses struggle with them.
Writing an effective pitch that captures someone’s attention can be difficult.
I’ve done many podcast episodes, YouTube videos, and social media posts about this topic, so I won’t get into it now, but you must have a good idea.
I’ll go deeper into this in a minute.
Writing a contributed article that meets the publication’s standards is important.
Most websites will have this on their website.
The content also needs to resonate with readers.
Again, just like pitching the media for coverage, you need to come up with a topic that is newsworthy and trendy, not obviously promotional.
Lack of Strategy
Failing to align your guest-contributed articles with your overall content and business strategy can end in missed opportunities.
So many people drop the ball here because they rely on the other outlet to turn the publicity into profit.
That’s your job, so having a contributing strategy is a must.
Now, I’ll share five simple steps that will help you become a regular contributor so you can start reaping the benefits of this kind of public relations.
In order they are identifying opportunities, writing a perfect pitch, writing for impact, navigating the publishing process, and measuring success.
Let’s break these down for subject matter experts.
But first, I want to make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter because this week I will be sharing some emerging trends in the contributor world.
I’m not getting into it in this podcast episode, but I will in my newsletter, so sign up to join more than 6,000 others at MediaMavenNews.com.
How to Contribute Articles on a Regular Basis
1. Identify Opportunities
To identify the right platforms and topics for your contributed articles, start by researching your industry or niche.
Look for reputable publications, blogs, or websites that cater to your target audience.
One of the best ways to do this is to consider the following:
- Audience Relevance: Ensure that the platform’s audience aligns with your target demographic and interests.
- Content Fit: Review the type of content they publish to see if it matches your expertise and writing style.
- Submission Guidelines: Pay attention to submission guidelines, which often outline the preferred topics and formats. It’s important to ensure you meet authorship criteria before you reach out.
Also, use tools like Google Alerts or industry-specific newsletters to stay updated on trending topics and potential opportunities.
Networking within your industry on LinkedIn and Twitter (or X) can also help you discover new opportunities and build relationships with editors.
2. Write a Perfect Pitch
Here is the short version of what a strong pitch for guest-contributed content should include:
- Be short, sweet, and to the point: Just highlight the main idea of your proposed article in your initial thought leadership piece.
- Show Relevance: Explain why your article includes relevant topics to their audience or current trends with hard news that includes data, statistics, or a breaking news story.
- Demonstrate Expertise: Showcase your qualifications and expertise in the field to show the person you’re writing to that you are the perfect person to contribute.
- Suggest a Unique Angle: Offer a fresh perspective or unique take on a common topic to stand out from the other wannabe regular contributors.
- Customize: Tailor each pitch to the specific publication showing that you’ve done your homework and are not blasting a bunch of people with the same thing at the same time.
Remember that a great pitch can make the difference between acceptance and rejection, so invest time in perfecting these steps.
3. Write for Impact
Creating high-quality contributed articles is vital for building your reputation and engaging readers.
This is where you get to stand out and make an impact.
- Research: Conduct thorough research to gather accurate data and credible sources.
- Engaging Headlines: Craft attention-grabbing headlines to entice readers to click on the hot topic.
- Clear Structure: Organize your article with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion while making the article skimmable.
- Originality: Offer a unique point of view or a fresh perspective in your subject area.
- Visual Elements: Incorporate or suggest images, charts, or infographics.
- Proofread: Edit and proofread your article to eliminate errors and improve clarity for the editorial team.
4. Navigate the Publishing Process
Understanding what publishers look for and how to navigate the submission and review process makes things a lot easier on your end… and I say this as a former reporter.
- Editorial Guidelines: Familiarize yourself with the publication’s editorial guidelines, including word count, style, and formatting preferences.
- Submission Process: Follow the submission instructions carefully, which may involve sending your pitch or article through specific channels or email addresses.
- Communication: Maintain professional and prompt communication with editors, responding to questions and feedback quickly.
- Revisions: Be open to making revisions based on the editor’s feedback to ensure your article aligns with their standards.
All of this is very important because building a positive and collaborative relationship with the publication can lead to more opportunities in the future.
5. Measure Success
You have to gauge the impact of your contributed articles.
It’s a good idea to track key metrics and key performance indicators, or KPIs, if you can.
Common metrics include:
- Page Views: Measure how many times your article has been viewed.
- Engagement: Look at your insights to analyze comments, social media shares, and likes.
- Conversion Rate: See if your contributed articles lead to newsletter sign-ups or product purchases by using a trackable link.
- Backlinks: Monitor whether your own articles generate backlinks, which can improve your website’s SEO.
Best practices are regularly reviewing these metrics, so you can make data-driven decisions on future submissions.
Now you have a clear roadmap to leverage contributed articles in your content marketing and public relations strategy.
Don’t be afraid to pitch your unique perspective to Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the editorial staff at trade publications.
This podcast and article are a great way to get started, so #noexcuses.
Don’t forget to visit 16Places.com to get started with 16 places to pitch, new ideas the outlets want to build on, and the email address for the right person to contact.
I’ve already done a lot of the work for you so it’s easy for you to get started.
Don’t forget, at MediaMavenNews.com you can read about some emerging trends that you can implement to be a contributor or in your own content too.