6 tips to get your contributed content accepted
25th June 2015 | Posted in Content creation
I’m the commissioning and content editor of a web site that’s all about information. We’re the place that a niche audience goes when they want advice, facts and support – often urgently.
How we work with content providers
We’ve clearly reached a tipping point in the past few months. There’s been a very noticeable rise in the number of content agencies, SEO companies and PR people who want to get their client’s name on our site.
They can do that. The deal has always been that if someone can provide a useful addition to our resources in the way of an article, blog or guide, they’ll get an acknowledgement.
And we’ll work with them to make sure the piece is accessible to our audience and tells a sensible story.
I’m a copywriter. I’m always going to want to encourage good writing.
That’s worked really well while we’ve been dealing directly with experts or story-tellers.
Now the agencies are on the case, it’s a different matter.
What is happening depends on who’s doing the selling to us.
The good and the ugly
Many agencies and aspiring bloggers submit really good, well-written, information-laden articles. At their best, the PRs and agencies completely understand our need for expert, independent articles and happily bring us new insights from the knowledge holders at their client companies.
But we’ve also had the most appalling dross sent to us. While I do my best to offer comments and encourage improvement, there are limits to my time and desire to help them.
So here are a few pointers for absolutely anyone who wants to write an article for a web site such as ours for whatever reason. And that includes any writer who’s being briefed by an agency.
How to raise your chances of getting your content accepted
1. Understand the audience. If they’re retired people, they won’t mind that some events are held in the day, will they?
2. Find something valuable to say. Unlock the expertise at the client company. Interview someone. Look at what we’ve already published and find a new perspective.
3. Look at the site you’re writing for. It will give you a really good idea of the structure of your article. If the site doesn’t pepper its pieces with images, you don’t need to spend the time finding half a dozen yourself.
4. Decide whose voice you’re writing in. Suddenly lurching into the first person for a short rant in the middle of an otherwise rational piece is odd to say the least.
5. Don’t cut and paste. It’s obvious to any practised editor when you’ve done this. Your article ends up as a mash up of styles for one thing.
6. Read your article through once you’ve written it. Please. And if someone else has written it, you read it and check it before submitting it. A proofread article reads like an article that someone cared about. (Always a dangerous one to berate others about in my own blog of course.)
I’m sure I’m not the only content director who values quality while also needing quantity. And I also value the content providers who understand this.
Do you need an experienced content director who can help you move your blogs and articles to the next level? Drop me a line at [email protected] and we’ll start a conversation to find out how I can help you make the most of your content.