One of the best ways to gain consistent exposure is to become a featured contributor at media outlets that reach your target audience. In the world of PR, regular columns often get you the most bang for your effort. Pitching content to the media takes time.
Once you are accepted as a regular contributor, you spend much less time pitching content to the media, and more time writing content that already has guaranteed placement. Gaining repeated exposure in front of the same audience also strengthens brand awareness more than a one-time article in multiple publications.
So how do you land a regular gig as a featured contributor? Below are three inroads to becoming a featured contributor.
1) Apply via a submission form. The most straightforward way to become a featured contributor is to look for media outlets that have a submission form for prospective contributors. Countless people apply for these positions so the competition is stiff. Some forms specify that they are looking for one-off articles, while others are for regularly contributed content. Be prepared to submit writing samples. Editors want to know that you have a depth of topics to write about so consider including a sample of possible topics you will cover that align with the media outlet’s content calendar. Don’t expect to be paid for your content, however. Most of these are unpaid opportunities, but the exposure is valuable.
2) Establish a relationship with an editor. Write the best content of your life and submit it to an editor for consideration. If the editor accepts the article, do it again. Keep doing this and the editor may ask you to become a regular contributor to the publication. The editor will often give you a list of topics they need covered, as well as a schedule of deadlines. You could also be more proactive and pitch the idea to an editor directly. Present a list of topics and irresistible headlines that align with the publications editorial calendar. Just as an FYI, some publications have rules around how many times a business expert can be featured within a specified time period. If you are chosen as a featured contributor, keep in mind that you will likely need to provide exclusive content to the publication.
3) Be an unofficial regular contributor. Even if you are unable to become an official contributor, you can still benefit from repeated exposure by submitting content to a few select publications on a regular basis. This strategy involves narrowing down your list of target publications and concentrating efforts on getting exposure in these media outlets versus dozens of different publications. It often takes multiple touchpoints for people to recognize your brand, so the more frequently you appear in front of the same audience, the higher the brand awareness will be.
4) Be a paid contributor.
Another possibility is to become a paid contributor. While this is a great option, note that it usually comes with restrictions regarding conflicts of interest, deadlines, topics covered, what other media outlets you can write for, etc. If you are a paid contributor, you likely will need to have a deep expertise in a specific area.