A bylined article is a PR tool that is frequently overlooked by business leaders. Yet the reality is that a bylined article can generate more publicity than the thousands of dollars worth of paid advertising that is printed on the same page.
Are bylined articles daunting for some business leaders?
Sure, but even if writing isn't your forte, you can still use bylined articles to establish credibility in your field. Here's how to do it:
- Review publications. Placing your bylined article in the right publication is half the battle. Each field or industry has a circle of publications to which it gravitates. Before you settle on a story idea, research things like where the competition has published articles and the publications that are most popular with your target audience. Then consider article topics that are similar to the ones found in those publications.
- Build relationships. It can be useful to make contact with the editors of targeted publications before you're ready to submit an article. Calling the editor for information about his publishing needs never hurts. But an even better strategy is to contact editors of targeted publications to tell them about your area of expertise and then invite them to reach out to you when a need arises.
- Consider editorial calendars. The publishing world works on longer time horizons than most people think. Editors don't roll out of bed one day and randomly decide what they're going to publish next week. Unless their publication focuses on current events, editors rely on editorial calendars that specify issue themes months in advance. Get your hands on editorial calendars and strategically fit your articles into their schedule.
- Adapt your article. The biggest difference between a writer and a published writer is the willingness to adapt articles to the publisher's needs. Editors know exactly what they are looking for in a bylined article. If you refuse to budge on things like article length, titling, or other non-substantive issues, your editors will move on to someone else who is less problematic and more willing to give them with the article they really want.
- Hire a copywriter. Copywriters are writing professionals who are experienced in putting your thoughts on paper. A good copywriter will interview you and write the article for you, but your name will appear in the byline. There is a cost associated with a copywriter. However, in the end you'll get a polished piece at a price that costs far less than paid advertising.