Having your content published by a print or online medium has multiple benefits. It’s great for branding, profile raising, broadening your network, and even generating leads. Yet, to most people, the media is a thing of mystery. Many wrongly assume huge sums of money are involved every time something appears in the press.
If you produce written content and would like it to reach a bigger audience, here are ten tips to help you get your content published in the print and digital media.
Publications are usually only interested in original content. Think ahead before you post or share your content: might a publication be interested in what you’ve produced and, if so, are you willing and able to first offer it as a byline or blog?
Be clear about the conditions. Many media outlets will disallow the content appearing elsewhere, including on your website and LinkedIn page. Others will embargo on-publishing for several weeks. Ask the question if you’re unsure and try to negotiate if a condition seems unreasonable. Just make sure that once you do accept the conditions, you respect them.
3. Are you ready for your close-up?
If a publication agrees to use your content it will ask you to supply a high-resolution headshot, a brief biography, and, if you’re lucky, a link to your website or blog and social media accounts. Have these things ready so you don’t hold up the process.
4. Match point
Don’t make the rookie mistake of offering a piece of content to a publication that has no interest in the subject matter. For example, if you write about marketing, as I do, you can do one of three things:
- Identify the publications in that space – for example, Marketing magazine or CMO.
- Tailor your content to an industry and target its publications (for example, offering an article about law firm marketing to Lawyers Weekly).
- Tailor your content to a market segment, such as small to medium-size enterprises, and then seek to reach them via a publication such as Inside Small Business.
Check which accept contributions, opinions or blogs. Often it will be obvious, but if you’re still not sure, consult the site menu as there will usually be a page which outlines the publication’s editorial stance. If still in doubt, reach out to the editor – their contact details are usually made public.
6. Build rapport
Once you’ve identified the publications you’re interested in, take time to get to know the editors. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Like, share and comment on their content. Engage with them appropriately.
7. Start small
Small, niche and industry publications typically run on very tight budgets. They not only welcome quality content – they rely on it. Be realistic about the publications you target. As you build up a body of work more doors will open.
8. Currency is the new currency
When producing content, use current affairs as hooks. Take inspiration from something that’s in the news to have a conversation about your topic.
9. Stand out
You need to offer a fresh perspective, an alternative point of view. You won’t get published if you agree with what everyone else is saying, or writing about something that’s already been done to death.
10. Take it up a notch
If you find you’re succeeding in having your content published in a particular medium, ask the editor if he or she might be interested in you writing a regular column. This will allow you to gain even more prominence, and potentially to negotiate additional benefits in exchange for your insights.
Jacqueline (Jaci) Burns, Chief Marketing Officer, Market Expertise