It’s easy to default to the most well-known publications when looking to place a bylined article. However, this can be like fighting through the clutter and confusion of a big box store. It attracts a lot of shoppers with its wide variety, but it makes finding help or even getting what you need that much more difficult.
Contributing to these larger, mainstream publications is valuable — I’m not denying that. But as any good marketer knows, you need to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message. With a broader focus, these publications cater to more than one target audience, which means readers can easily skip over your valuable article to indulge in the latest celebrity news or another article examining Marissa Mayer’s wardrobe.
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The real benefit of a bylined article is reaching your target audience in a setting where they want to learn more about a specific industry — something that niche publications expertly excel at. Here are a few benefits of a niche publication:
- An engaged readership: Niche publications organically create an exclusive community around content because readers are highly invested in the topics covered. This guarantees the bylined article you’ve worked hard to write will be read and appreciated, not lost in a clutter of unrelated content.
- A badge of credibility: Getting published in niche publications can give you exposure to industry experts who have the power to vouch for a person’s credibility. Simply put, if your audience has credibility in your industry, you have credibility in your industry. For example, let’s say someone is trying to decide who the city’s best chef is. He will most likely trust the opinion of other professional chefs over a general, hodgepodge audience’s.
- A loyal following: Many niche publications’ readers return daily for news and even subscribe to newsletters. You’re more likely to pick up followers or business leads when you guest post on someone’s favorite niche blog because readers know they can trust the content.
So now that we have the benefits of a niche publication, here are three tips for choosing just the right publication for your guest post:
- Readership always comes first. You want to be sure that the readers of a niche publication will be interested in — and benefit from — your expertise on a topic. Also, ensure the publication’s audience falls into your general target market. After all, exposure to potential industry clients and peers is why you’re creating a guest post in the first place, right?
- Tone and attitude must fit. Always read through some of the publication’s articles and previous guest posts to ensure it seamlessly fits with the tone and attitude of your own writing. For example, let’s say there’s startup publication that includes a lot of touchy-feely pieces about startup life; you’re an entrepreneur, but you know your writing is usually full of satire. That’s probably not going to be a good fit.
- Logistics matter. Before getting to work on your guest post, be sure the formatting and style of your article match the publication’s requirements. This means identifying word counts, stances on listicles versus long-form content, and other style/formatting specifics. Look to either the contributor guidelines or other articles on the site for this information.
The Information Age has left editors with a constant need for great content to keep readers engaged and coming back. As an industry professional with expertise to offer readers, you can provide the editors of niche publications with the quality content they need. The key is to not sell your content short by throwing it to a big box store. Strategically position your content in front of the readers who will benefit most from your expertise.