As a creative entrepreneur, it can be a challenge to simply maintain your normal day-to-day marketing activities. Producing and publishing content, dropping social media posts, and reaching out to a prospect list takes real dedication. Eventually though, once these habits become routine, you might want to consider kicking your marketing up a notch. Last time I recommended speaking engagements as one way to boost your marketing. Another way to accelerate is through guest authoring articles.
Expanding the Value of Your Content Strategy
One of the benefits of maintaining a content strategy is that your writing skills and professional insights will continually develop and mature. As you write, your articles become valuable contributions to your content library and they can also become valuable to other entities that serve your chosen industry. And so occasionally writing articles for an industry magazine, or an association’s publication is a logical next step.
Frankly, once you’ve written enough articles, you can offer such publication the use of something you’ve already written—or perhaps offer to rewrite something for them using the essential ideas in an existing article. This is one way to increase your return on investment in the work you’ve already done.
Getting Paid to Market Yourself
What’s more, publications will typically pay for your articles. You might offer to write one or two for free, simply for the exposure, but content is valuable and publications expect to pay for it. It might just be one to two hundred dollars per article, but since you’re investing so much of your time writing anyway, that’s a nice little bonus.
Real value is in the exposure of your insights to your industry, and the corresponding elevation of your position in the minds of your prospects. And that’s what you’re really after. You see, while positioning might start with your decisions about what you offer and to whom, but at the end of the day, your actual position is established in the minds of your prospects and clients. How they perceive you is your real position. And the endorsement of a trusted industry association can provide a huge lift to how your prospects perceive you.
Additional Benefits of Guest Authorship
Writing opportunities provide other benefits as well. Naturally, you expand the audience for your content. But you also improve the discoverability of all of your other content. That’s because of how search engines work.
Long ago Google used to publish a website’s “page rank.” This was a number between one and seven reflecting how much “authority” your website had, based on how many other websites linked back to you (and the relative ranks of those links). Google doesn’t publish these rankings anymore, but internally their search result algorithms still use this kind of data to determine which pages end up first in their lists for various search terms.
So when you offer to write for a publication, make sure that you negotiate that they will link back to your website.
Don’t Forget to Promote Guest Articles
Of course, when you write for another publication, be sure to take advantage of additional content opportunities in the same way I mentioned last week for speaking engagements. Add a post to your own site about the article itself. Your connection to an industry publication strengthens your positioning with followers and prospects. Of course, you’ll want to drop some social media posts about it as well.
If you’re going to write for an industry publication, your content has to rigorously serve their audience’s interests. You can’t use guest authoring to pitch your services. Case studies and examples of your work are not going to be attractive to such publications.
But frankly, your content strategy should be reflecting that standard anyway. It can be a temptation to fall into patterns of only writing about techniques of your craft or your latest portfolio additions. But writing for industry magazines will keep you focused on the real concerns of your industry. Their editorial concerns will force you to stay focused on the real needs of your clients and prospects. This will rub off on how you write your own content, ensuring that you stay focused on insights that are truly helpful to your clients.
All these benefits make guest authoring a great way to take your marketing to the next level.