You Don’t Have to be a Good Writer to Score Guest Contributor Spots
For many people, scoring a one-time or on-going gig as a guest contributor to blogs and magazines is a great way to promote their business and expertise.
But how do you go about landing these guest spots? And if writing isn’t your thing, how do you create the content?
In this post, I’ll walk through the process for landing guest contributor spots and address the “But I don’t want to write it!” issue.
Step 1: Lay the Groundwork
To improve your chances of landing these gigs, it helps to have an active business blog or newsletter that demonstrates the depth of your knowledge and communication style.
Step 2: Identify Which Publications to Target
Next, decide which blogs or magazines you want to pitch. And remember, don’t limit yourself to the most popular sites or titles—also consider narrower niches.
Look for blogs that serve your local geographic market or specific industry niche. (It’s a lot easier to land a guest spot with a slightly more obscure site than the most popular sites, such as Forbes or Entrepreneur. And this is especially true when you’re just starting out.)
Think about the sites or magazines you like to read and (more importantly) those that your target market is likely to read.
Step 3: Decide on Your Pitch
Once you know who you want to pitch, decide what you want to pitch. What topics are a good fit for those publications? What topics have they already covered? Can you offer a new perspective on a popular topic?
You can save yourself a lot of time (and a lot of unsuccessful pitches!) by doing some research first.
Step 4: Research Submission Guidelines
Once you’ve settled on a who to pitch and what to pitch, make sure you know how to pitch. Most publications have rules for how pitches are to be submitted and how they should be formatted—and they can vary from publication to publication. Make sure you follow them.
Step 5: Maximize the Impact
Once you’re pitch has been accepted, put things in place to leverage the opportunity as much as possible.
Most publications will invite you to include a short bio to accompany your article. Make sure the bio reflects the topic of your article.
In addition, include a link to a landing page that also reflects that topic, rather than sending them to your home page.
For example, if you’ve written an article on how to hire the right person, include a link to a service page (or better yet, a landing page) that is solely focused on your recruiting consulting services.
If you send people to your home page, and recruiting is only one of many consulting services you offer, then you increase the odds of the prospect not finding what they’re looking for and moving on.
Step 6: Secure a Writer or Editor to Help
Now here’s where we get to the problem of not having the skills or time to write these articles. The good news is you don’t have to.
It’s not unusual for guest contributors to business publications—and even regular columnists—to work with professional writers.
Now that doesn’t mean the writer simply goes off and writes the article on her own. Instead, the writer gleans the bulk of the content from the author (in the form of bullet points, rough draft or a brief interview) and then goes off to write the piece.
When the writer returns with a draft, the author has the opportunity to provide input and feedback.
After all, the author is the subject matter expert, and it’s his/her perspective that the publication is after.
And many publications appreciate this arrangement because it means they’ll spend less time editing and revising the piece.
I’ve been proud to write many guest articles for clients over the years. If you need help creating written content for your business blog or guest contributor spot, give me a call.