An author’s willingness to write isn’t enough to secure an ongoing column.
Like following the directions in a recipe, there are steps to take when it comes to landing a repeat opportunity. Here are five elements you’ll want to combine when working to secure a contributor opportunity for your company:
1. One contributor
Your writer is the most important ingredient in a contributing opportunity, like flour in a cake or eggs in an omelet. In order to secure a contributor column, you must first have an author to offer. A person might be fit to be a contributor for a variety of reasons, but when it boils down to it, every contributor has one thing in common: They are an expert in their field.
Whether that proficiency lies with your VP, CEO or CMO, consider which area of expertise you want to promote when selecting your contributor.
2. A sprinkle of target audience
Part of the appeal of becoming a repeat contributor is consistently getting your company’s voice in front of an ideal audience.
In order to make a contributor opportunity valuable to both you and the outlet, your target audiences must align. Decide which audience your company is most interested in reaching and determine which publication matches that audience.
3. A splash of voice
An author who only adds to the noise in the industry won’t make a good contributor. The key is to present your writer in a way which demonstrates their niche. Contributors that present their industry expertise with a fresh angle and unique voice appeal best to publications.
4. A hint of communication
Publications have a contributed content gatekeeper in charge of selecting contributors and ensuring they maintain the standards of the outlet. Some publications have clear guidelines for how to pitch contributed content — like PR Daily’s “Pitch Us” landing page— but others limit information, providing an email alias or nothing at all. In the case of the latter, instead of sending your email to an alias and crossing your fingers that your message gets through to someone on the other end, try to connect with a real person.
Contributed content gatekeepers can have many different titles, so make sure to do your research prior to reaching out or consider working with a team that is familiar with managing these types of media relationships.
5. A cup of content
The final ingredient? You must have good content.
It sounds simple, but it is one thing to draft a piece of content, and another to draft a piece that gets published. Outlets have guidelines that must be followed by contributors to ensure content meets the expected standards. Your contributor shouldn’t simply produce their best work, but their best, relevant work, in order to be considered.
Incorporating the brains of an entire team to draft, edit and review content can help perfect a piece for publication.
Having each of these five elements doesn’t guarantee you’ll land a repeat contributor opportunity, just like having all the ingredients doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up with a baking show-worthy cake. However, following a recipe helps set you in the right direction.