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When leaders at your company write a guest article for a respected online publication, they expand your company's audience. You not only gain instant credibility and brand elevation but also create opportunities for lead generation and improved SEO.

If guest posting is part of your content marketing strategy, you should be paying attention to what the editors of online publications have to say.

After all, they're the gatekeepers at your audience's favorite publications.

Which is why my team at Influence & Co. surveyed editors in multiple industries about guest posting—what's working, what's not, and what the future of contributed content looks like at their publications. Our study, The State of Digital Media 2018, found that three-quarters (76%) of online-publication editors publish 1-10 guest posts a week, and 94% plan to publish at the least the same amount of contributed content this year, if not more.

That should be music to every marketer's ears, because contributing guest posts to the right outlets can help you amplify your company's message and achieve your marketing goals.

To achieve success with your contributed content, you have to understand what editors (and their audiences) want from contributors like you. Your job is to study the publications your audience reads and build relationships with those editors. The better you know a site's content and an editor's goals, the more likely you are to find a niche to fill.

But doing so takes more than knowing your respective goals. You've got to actually create the right content, pitch the editors, and keep nurturing relationships if you want to earn your place in an outlet—and reach your company goals, too. The editors we surveyed were kind enough to share their insights into why these relationships so often go awry.

Here are the five guest-posting traps to avoid.

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image of Kelsey Raymond

Kelsey Raymond is a co-founder and the CEO of Influence & Co., a content marketing firm that helps companies showcase their expertise through thought leadership. Its clients range from venture-backed startups to Fortune 500 brands.

LinkedIn: Kelsey (Meyer) Raymond

Twitter: @Kelsey_M_Meyer