How do you get online publications to post your content on their websites? With the evolution of guest blogging, it’s not as simple as sending out an email blast to multiple publishers with a template message, or paying a publisher to post your content. Getting your content published is about providing value to readers and building relationships with publishers. I’ve already talked about content marketing extensively in this blog, so now I’d like to focus on how to go about reaching out to the right publishers.
Find the Right Publishers
As a content marketer, you probably keep up with the latest news in your industry, and that means you probably have an idea which publications to target. Prominent, high-quality publications that accept content from contributors are always great for gaining traction and getting your content to the right audience.
Focusing on just the publications you follow or are a fan of will severely limit your opportunities, though. If you’re doing local SEO, consider local news websites or local business associations that accept content publications. One of the most effective ways to find great publications is to look at your competitors’ content publication and distribution endeavors.
Spying on your competition is a perfectly acceptable way to help your business grow. Looking at your competitors’ backlinks and published content using tools like MajesticSEO can help you identify good publishing opportunities that you may have not thought of on your own.
Know the Publication
Different publications have different guidelines and preferences when it comes to guest posts and other contributed content. Read these guidelines carefully before pitching your content, or before you even develop the content you want to share with them.
You also need to read the content that’s already been published on the website, especially the ones sent in by guest contributors. This will help you determine the right tone and topic for your own contribution.
Know Your Publishers
Once you have your list of publishers, don’t give in to the temptation to send them an email or fill out a contact form right away. It helps to get to know the publication and its writers/editors before proceeding. Knowing the publication and its niche allows you to create relevant content, and getting to know its editors and journalists might increase the chances of your pitch being noticed.
Online marketer and content writing expert Felix Tarcomnicu suggests using MuckRack to find journalists who write for or edit major publications. He provides a detailed MuckRack walkthrough in his Content Marketing Institute post.
After identifying the editors and writers involved in the publications you’re targeting, check out their public social profiles and the articles they’ve written. This helps you pinpoint which journalists and editors might be involved in the approval and review processes.
Build Up Your Relationship with Publishers
Engagement and interaction are your best tools when it comes to building good, long-term relationships with content publications. Much like how Alex Turnbull developed a solid engagement plan to get influencers to promote his company’s blog launch, you need to make people actually care about what you have to offer before you even think about asking them to publish your content.
Reaching Out to Your Publishers
Having an existing relationship with publications and the people behind it make outreach much easier, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get your content published 100% of the time, especially if you don’t approach them about it correctly.
An effective content publication inquiry/pitch should have:
- A personalized message – Your emails should be unique and personalized for the publication and the person you’re trying to reach. Remember that these people receive several emails in a day, and they can probably smell a template message from a mile away.
- A polite and up-front approach – Don’t beat around the bush or bore the recipient with self-serving or promotional information. Start with a quick, polite introduction, and tell them why you’re reaching out within the first few sentences of your message.
- Contact and company details – You should always include links to your social media profiles and website at the end of your email. This makes it easier for the recipient to find more writing samples and information about you or your company.
Track the Responses
After sending your messages, make sure you keep track of who replies, when they reply, and what their response is. This helps you measure how effective your efforts are, and determine if you need to improve your approach.
Don’t be too impatient while waiting for responses. Most publications will have information on how long it takes them to respond on average. You need to take note of this information to know when you can send a follow-up message.
Content marketing and distribution is no longer about building links – it’s about building relationships with publications and their readers. The tips listed above can help get your content published in great places all over the web, and can even help you expand your network of contacts.