As summer approaches and your mind wanders from your office to pools, baseball games, and backyard barbecues, it can be tempting to procrastinate and push off guest posting for another time. But while it might be appealing to take the summer off to enjoy the warmer weather, year-round guest posting is essential to a consistent content strategy. In fact, based on our research, summer is one of the most opportune times to publish your content in online publications.
Earlier this year, Influence & Co. published “The State of Digital Media 2018,” which gathered and analyzed responses from online publication editors across industries about contributed content. When asked which months were light on content, editors said they could use more submissions in June, July, August, and December.
If you want to ensure you’ll see results from your content marketing efforts, you have to capitalize on the opportunity to deliver content to editors when they’ll have time to review your content, offer more editorial support, and publish your content quickly.
Editors of well-known publications sift through hundreds of pitches every single day, and editorial queues fill up quickly. So, to make the cut when you pitch an editor your content, you normally have to have an extremely unique angle, takeaways the editor has never heard before, or an irresistible timely hook.
Unless you’re sure you can deliver those, or you already have a strong relationship with the editor, you can expect to be quickly dismissed or bumped to the back of the line to wait it out for a few months. That’s why it’s so vital to take advantage of the summer lull.
I’ve been working with publication editors for six years now, so trust me when I say that you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to work with an editor when he has time to give your guest post the attention it deserves.
When editors aren’t experiencing inbox overload, they can devote more attention to reviewing your content carefully and offering constructive feedback as needed. I’ve found that editors are more willing to offer feedback and review a revised draft when they don’t have the hectic schedule that spring or fall can bring. And with more time to interact with the editor, you’ll also have more time to build a solid relationship.
Plus, you’ll notice that editors and publication staff take vacations, too! Fewer staff members will be writing internal content while they’re vacationing, so editors will try to fill their queues with more guest content early on. Get your article in before you get an auto-reply that the editor is enjoying a much-needed break.
Now that you know why you shouldn’t hold off on writing content this summer, here are a few ways you can make it happen — no matter what your schedule looks like.
Don’t use that as an excuse not to write content. It’s easy enough to bring a laptop, a tablet, or even a notebook along on a flight to jot down some article ideas or thoughts while up in the air. If you’re catching up on reading other content, let those articles spark your own opinion pieces.
When one of our account teams learns that a client is going on a business trip, we make sure to have writing prompts and question sets ready for her to answer. This allows her to plan ahead for designated writing times and to know what she should work on when free time becomes available. Apply that same mentality to your own approach to make content creation easier during travel time.
As you start the interview process, think about what you would want your candidates to understand prior to meeting you in person. This is a great jumping-off point for creating content that you can share with candidates about your industry, company values, and culture to make your interview process more productive.
Our HR team encourages candidates to read our content prior to interviews, which leads to more engaging conversations with candidates who are already familiar with what our company does. It also gives candidates an opportunity to learn more about our company and ask more pointed questions so they feel more prepared and relaxed in the interview.
Use the questions that leads are asking your sales team to determine what your content should address to make the process easier for future leads and sales conversations. Once the articles are published, your sales team can use content to educate and break down barriers with potential customers.
Our sales team consistently uses content as a way to help leads through the sales funnel and answer prospective clients’ questions. When leads have questions about content marketing, our team can educate them using a recent article and help them feel more confident in our approach once they do sign on as clients.
Perfect. As you think about your direction for the rest of the year, write about it! What lessons have you already learned this year? What action steps could lead your company toward your year-end goals?
Your current and future customers, employees, and potential hires want to see what steps your company is taking, so share this thought leadership with them. Set aside 15-30 minutes on your calendar after company meetings to write down your thoughts and let your marketing team use those notes to create content around the future of your company and industry.
Whether you’ve been contributing content all year long or you’re looking to get started, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to fulfill a content need this summer. I’ll be on the lookout for your article while I’m relaxing by the pool!