Bylines are a great way to build credibility for your brand, especially when the bylines appear in top-tier publications. Few things do more to establish you as an expert in your field than a byline in Forbes or Entrepreneur.
While the road to achieving top-tier bylines is not an easy one, it is well worth pursuing. The bigger the publication, the more credibility your byline will bring. Whether you are an influencer, thought leader, or brand, any work you do pursuing top-tier bylines will pay you dividends.
Boost You Bylines by Writing Well
Top-tier publications are top-tier because the writing you find there is top-tier. While you do not need to be a Pulitzer-prize winning writer to get an article published, you do need to be a solid writer. If your writing is sloppy, your chances of getting a byline in a top-tier publication are slim to none.
The quickest way to improve your writing is to employ a tool like Grammarly. It will not only make sure that your writing is free of typos and spelling errors but will also make suggestions to clean up your grammar and make your writing look more polished. Many word processors, like Word, Pages, and Google Docs have built-in spelling and grammar checks that can also help to clean up your writing.
Another way to clean up your writing is to hire a ghostwriter. Once you have defined the topic about which you want to write, visit a freelance writing site like Upwork, Guru, or Craigslist to find someone with experience as a writer and knowledge of your field.
Boost Your Byline by Writing the Right Kind of Article
If you are seeking to grow your brand by having it appear in the media, your dream is probably a feature article. As the name implies, feature articles feature you or your brand, explaining who you are, what you do, and why you are newsworthy. While features are a great goal, they are not the kind of articles you want to write, or have written for you, if you are looking for a byline in a top-tier publication.
Top-tier publications will be quick to consider articles written by someone who is able to share expert insights on a topic. Being an expert on your company or product does not qualify you as an expert in your field. If you want to be a contributor for a top-tier publication, you should be able to provide an article that features expert insight in your field without focusing on your product, service, or brand.
For example, if your company makes ice skates, you do not want to write about how your skates are the best, even if they are. A better approach is to write about the latest technology in the world of ice skates, or why vibranium is the best metal to use for the blades of ice skates, or how the world’s top ice skaters lace their skates.
While none of those topics may give you the opportunity to promote your company, they all will give you the opportunity to reveal how brilliant you are. Once that is established, readers will check your byline to see who you are and how you know so much. That is when they will read about your company and probably even click through to your website.
You might think of good byline writing in this way: It is not the place where you share your elevator pitch; rather it is the place where you prove to someone that they should take the time to listen to your elevator pitch.
Boost Your Byline by Writing a Relevant Story
When your article is relevant, either to the focus of the publication or to what is happening in the news, your chances of getting a byline increase greatly. If the publication to which you are pitching your article is a business magazine, then your article needs to share business insights. If it is a publication about entrepreneurs, then you need to share information that speaks to the entrepreneur journey. If it focuses on startups, your article needs a startup angle.
There is no better way to know what a publication will be quick to consider than reading through the publication and becoming intimately familiar with what they have already published. Pay special attention to the contributors who already have bylines in the publication. They will provide you with insights as to what you need to achieve if you want to become a contributor.
If your article is geared toward a publication that is more journalistic, you will do well to align it with current news. They might be more open to your article on ice skate technology if you remind them that the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics begin in less than 100 days. Watch trending news with an eye for events that are related to your brand. They could be your ticket to a great byline.
Boost Your Bylines by Working Your Way Up
Your top-tier byline most likely will not be your first byline. Most top-tier publications are going to ask to see some examples of prior bylines before they consider your piece. They want to know that others trust you to be a contributor before they give you the same opportunity.
A great strategy is to start with smaller publications and work your way up to the top tier. Your first byline might be your own blog. From there, you might try writing a guest post for other blogs. From there, seek out publications that look professional and publish regularly.
Submit your articles for publication as often as you can. If they are rejected, find out why, fix the problem, and submit again. If the answer is still “no,” move on to the next. You can find some guidance on how to pitch your articles here. The key is to not give up. Every byline, whether it is a guest post on a blog or article in an online publication, builds your portfolio and takes you closer to your goal.
Boost Your Bylines By Building Your Brand
In addition to a writing portfolio that includes bylines in other publications, top-tier publications usually will also want to see that you have a social following before giving you space to share your thoughts. As you are writing or managing your ghostwriter, make sure you do not forget about continuing to grow your business, brand, and influence. Someone with 10,000 Twitter followers will have an easier time getting a top-tier byline than someone with 1,000.
Boost Your Byline by Partnering with an Expert
You can navigate the road to a top-tier byline by yourself, but it will take longer and involve more detours than if you partner with a public relations firm. PR firms maintain relationships with hundreds of journalists. They can pitch you and your article to hundreds of publications at one time. They also can make sure that the publications you are pursuing will be relevant and open the door to more byline opportunities. And they even have staff writers that can ghostwrite for you, making it much easier for you to become a contributor.
While getting a top-tier byline is a lot of work, it is well worth it. An article in a top-tier publication is the best kind of exposure for your brand. It establishes you as an expert, builds your credibility, exposes you to a much bigger audience, and encourages people to explore your product or services.