The first step to integrating regular articles as part of your marketing is to commit to your own blog. I'd say aiming to add something new at least weekly. Maintaining frequency is important, it forms part of what I call your Baseline Marketing Activity. It’s that regular lighthouse idea, a steady and regular release of materials that keeps your message visible. Once you've got into this rhythm, it might be time to spread your message a little further.
Increasing the reach of your wise words...
Moving beyond your own blog, to third-party blogs, is about reach. It’s about accessing a ready-made audience of people who are likely to want to read your book. It can also contribute to the credibility of your work by association. Take some time to research what the people who you’d like to buy from you already read.
Build up a list of their favourite websites, bloggers, and press titles by:
- Asking them. You could do this in a specific survey, via your social media profiles, running a focus group with a few key people, or adding a field to your various web forms.
- Following the social scent. Find the Twitter IDs of some typical readers and see who they follow. Find the #hashtags for a particular industry or interest area and find influential bloggers or websites using them.
- A simple search. Use the words and phrases you think your potential readers would use to search online, to which your book would be an answer, and see what sites come up.
Getting on radar with the sites you'd like to write for
For Watertight Marketing, I was looking for blog opportunities to reach entrepreneurial business owners. I reached a list of around 20 sites in the UK, and decided to focus on 10 of them.
You can first start to subtly get on their radar and warm them up to you and your material:
- Follow them on social media, both the title itself and the editor or journalists if you can find them.
- Add them to a public list on Twitter of ‘Great blogs’.
- Retweet or share their articles on your social feeds.
- Leave intelligent comments on their articles.
- Join any groups they might have on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. and participate intelligently. You do, however, need to be judicious in how, and how many you approach. I doubt that you have endless time to be writing posts.
Keep an eye on your long-term strategy
You can't possibly write for everyone. It's hard enough maintaining your own blog. So, you need to be judicious in who you approach for guesting. I'd base this on what relationship you might build over time. Work out your objectives and find those with the closest fit.
Personally, I have taken the approach of negotiating an ongoing contributor set-up with a few key sites. For example: The Guardian Small Business Network and Smart Insights. I chose these for their credibility, national reach, and audience size. With an eye to a speaking angle, I was also mindful of building relationships with blog owners that also run events. This is, of course, supplemented by more adhoc or one-off pieces with others.
© Bryony Thomas – The Watertight Marketer
Author and Founder, Watertight Marketing
Bryony is an inspirational marketing speaker, and author of Watertight Marketing (Panoma Press, £14.99). Billed by Start Your Business Magazine as “a must for small businesses.” It was described by one MD as “the entrepreneur’s essential marketing manual”. By another, as the “best business book I’ve ever read.”