A contributed article should be inherently valuable for your readers and for your industry.
But if you want your contributed article to have PR value for your company, you will need to put in a little extra work after the article has been published.
After your article has been published, the magazine or journal owns the rights to it. Your name appears in the byline, but you can't just do whatever you want with the article because it doesn't belong to you. Although it's not easy, smart marketers know how to exploit contributed article placements to their advantage.
If you're now a published author and are wondering what to do next, here are a few good suggestions:
- Update your bio. Your bio is probably already full of impressive stuff. Now you can add published author to list. Sometimes a contributed article can open the door to other opportunities that you can piggyback on your author credentials (e.g. "John Smith is a published author who has appeared in Inc.com and on WKRP.")
- Request reprints. Reprints are reproductions of a published article. You'll have to pay for reprints because the publication owns the right to your article, but they can be an effective way to highlight your work in a general marketing campaign or a targeted mailing.
- Include a media section on your website. Most contributing authors include a media section on their company website. Are people going to scour the Internet looking for your published article? Probably not. But by posting a clip, credit, or link to your article on your company website, you make it available to people who are already on the site and you create a valuable link you to promote your article in social media applications like Facebook or Twitter.
- Use it as a springboard. A published article can be a springboard to other opportunities in your industry or community. Without minimal effort, you could use the article as the basis for a speaking gig at a tradeshow or other industry event. If your topic has widespread appeal, it might even give you access to broadcast media outlets.
- Mention it in an e-newsletter. A quick mention in an e-newsletter to prospects and clients costs absolutely nothing, but it gives your credibility a big boost. If the publication has an online link to your article, include it in the newsletter. If not, the publication might give you permission to publish an excerpt.