August 28, 2012 1 Comment
It’s summer and most of us (especially in Europe) are on vacation – at least mentally if not physically as well. And so it’s only natural that the press seems to get a little quieter around this time of the year as well. Most companies refrain from making big announcements during the summer as people are more likely to be at the pool than at their desks. But just because your company isn’t making any announcements doesn’t mean that you can’t get press. In fact, there are several ways you can get coverage even when your company has nothing to announce. Here’s an example.
Behold: the guest post.
It amazes me how few companies think to publish guest posts. For many online publications, more content simply means more page views. It’s a simple equation, which means that lots of publications won’t shy away from the chance to publish another article – especially if it’s written by a so-called “expert” and adds a new voice to their catalogue of regular journalists.
Who publishes guest posts? Oh. Everyone.
Yes, it’s true. A majority of publications publish guest posts.
Here is an example from TechCrunch:
And here is an example from Forbes:
Essentially if you’ve ever seen a guest post in a publication, it’s likely that they publish guest posts on a regular basis. But even if you haven’t stumbled upon a guest post, it doesn’t mean the publication would be against publishing your piece.
How to get published and what to expect.
First things first, do not expect to get paid and it is very unlikely that these publications will be paying for your article. You can always ask but just know not to expect a fat check. Remember that you are writing to help your company gain more exposure – but that said, you should by no means “sell” your company in what you write. Your goal with the article is to provide an opinion or demonstrate your industry expertise. If at any point you get into grey territory, it’s likely that you won’t get published.
A (really good) example.
When I was running TechCrunch France, I regularly got pitched to publish guest posts. But there was one that really stole the show in my mind. The piece was published by the former CEO of a France-based startup, Charles Mignot, who is now at Google. What was brilliant about this piece was that Mignot didn’t write at all about his company’s service. In fact, he decided to focus on a topic that would be pertinent for the TechCrunch audience (which is largely entrepreneurs): the benefits and drawbacks of using Freemium as a business model. And the TechCrunch France audience simply loved it.
What NOT to do.
Writing a guest post is definitely a great way to gain exposure but you should definitely avoid trying to sell your own business, bashing your competitors, etc. through what you write. In other words, avoid anything that may seem like a conflict of interest. I recently stumbled upon someone on Quora who wanted to write a guest post on his own product – which is not very likely to get published (but there are exceptions).
Because it can be hard to know ahead of time what publications will or will not publish, I advise anyone who wants to write a guest post to pitch the topic before actually drafting the article. It’ll save you a lot of time and wasted effort in case publications say no, for whatever reason.
Writing a guest post like may not immediately result in more sales. However, it will definitely drive more trafic to your site (especially if the publication links to your website in the byline) and place you as a thought leader in your given industry. Ultimately, guest posts are a terrific way to increase your exposure but also to share your thoughts and experiences with others. Therefore, I highly encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to consider writing guest posts whenever possible.
If you have questions or other advice or comments regarding guest posts, please feel free to share.