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The Benefits of Byline Authorship, and How to Do It Right

by Cathy Caldeira  |  
February 20, 2013

When a business owner decides to dip a toe into the waters of marketing, the choices can seem overwhelming. Should she buy a few ads? Sponsor some events? Put out a few press releases?

Short of jumping all the way in with a full-fledged marketing plan, entrepreneurs can start with one tactic that is inexpensive and pays big dividends: content marketing in the form of bylined articles, or article marketing.

Today's media landscape is not the closed-door fortress it once was. True, traditional media relations still hinge on convincing the right reporter or editor that your story is worth telling. However, many publications and online outlets are hungry for content written by guest bloggers or authors. At a time when media are short-staffed, highly competitive, and niche-oriented, subject-matter experts have an opportunity to talk directly to readers.

When you get such an opportunity, use it to solve a customer problem, shape a market conversation, clarify a confusing issue, or introduce a new concept. Contributing content isn't about direct sales; it's about positioning yourself, your colleagues, and your business as industry thought leaders.

The benefits of getting this high-value tactic right are many. You'll gain authority in your market, you'll improve your search engine optimization (SEO), and you'll spark conversations that can generate leads.

Follow the following three steps to get started.

1. Write articles that humans would want to read

You have two elements to consider: First, you have to come up with some ideas that appeal to your target market. Second, you have to write for real readers, not search engines.

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Cathy Caldeira is a co-founder of Metis Communications, which employs a unique combination of journalism, content marketing, and public relations to help clients get in front of the right audiences at the right time. She has more than 15 years' experience positioning, launching, and supporting companies, entrepreneurs, products, and services.

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  • by Rishi Wed Feb 20, 2013 via web

    I think you pointed out something important that wasn't talked about in detail. An eye-catching title like "Five Steps for..." or "10 Steps to..." informs the reader that the article is easy to read and straight to the point. These types of articles also act like a guide and helps the reader solve a problem. It is important however to remember that any type of promotion pitches need to be left to the end. Get access to all our marketing cheat sheets at

  • by Brett Stineman Wed Feb 20, 2013 via web

    I agree with your suggestion of mining existing content for a bylined article. In fact I mention this approach in my most recent blog post, "Think Twice Before Writing Another White Paper" ( With detailed white papers, a couple highlights can be used for an article, and then the paper can be referenced and promoted for readers to learn more.

  • by Kristen Hicks Wed Feb 27, 2013 via web

    You do a good job of addressing one of the important features of any type of content marketing: avoid the sales pitch. If you can offer valuable information and build trust, without overtly talking up your company's products or services, readers are far more likely to read your article through to the end and feel good will towards the author and the business they represent.

  • by Danie Fri Mar 1, 2013 via web

    Great article! I've never thought of expanding articles to include a shared byline but now am starting to reconsider this way of thinking.

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