You may not think of yourself as a publisher, but guess what? You are! Maybe you provide services to consumers or other businesses, or perhaps you manufacture or sell products. I get it, those things are your bread and butter. But in today’s online environment, you can’t sell anything unless you’re also effective at creating and publishing content. Like it or not, you are a publisher.
The question is, how good of a publisher are you?
Millions of pieces of content get published on the web every day. Whatever you’re doing online, you’re competing with that content. But it’s not just content you’re up against. It’s peoples’ attentions and desires.
Posting generic descriptions about what you do just doesn’t cut it anymore. You’ve got to do better. That means you have to start thinking and acting like the publisher you are need to be.
Everybody is looking for new and better information. If you want to be noticed, your information has to be of higher quality and value than the next guy. It’s not a matter of producing greater amounts of content, but rather producing content that gets attention, makes an impact, and establishes you as the authority in your space. By following these three tips, you can be sure to publish content that does all of that.
Collaborate with Content Owners
The hard part of being a great publisher is figuring out how to come up with high-quality content that gets attention. The good news is you don’t have to go it alone. For starters, there is a lot of content out there on the web, and much of it can be used as a jump-off point for content of your own. Whether you see questions being asked or problems in need of solutions, you can use this as fodder for your own blog. Don’t worry about whether someone else has already answered a question. Put your own spin on it. By providing your own unique perspective, you’re adding valuable information that is likely to reach an entirely different audience.
Think about it. How many books can you find about any given topic? A lot. And each offers a different perspective and unique insights. What you’ll also notice is a lot of authors use research of other authors when writing their own books. This not only gives their information credibility, but makes their own work credible in its own right.
As a publisher, you can do the same. Find the information silos for your area of expertise and see what sites have great information. Give yourself credibility by linking out to these authoritative resources that your audience might go to for additional information. It won’t hurt to do a little outreach to let these content owners know you got value out of their information and you’ve provided your own take. These relationships can lead to other content owners linking back to you to point out your own authoritative content. These links continue to build your authority and will net you an even bigger audience.
Collaborate with Content Creators
It’s not just content owners you should be reaching out to. You want to look for opportunities to work with content creators, as well. (Often they are one in the same, but not always.) Reaching out to creators may open up opportunities that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
One of the strategies we used with a copier blog we were working on was to reach out to other content creators in different but compatible areas of expertise. Face it, it’s hard to come up with sexy copy machine information over and over again. So what we did was find someone who worked in the design field and worked with them to produce a blog post about how to create copy machine ready designs.
It seems simple enough, but we took a boring copier topic and merged it with a more exciting design topic to create a new and compelling bit of information that we could publish. You can do this with other types of content creators as well. Think of opportunities for video, pod casts, image designers, etc. Look beyond the marketers and find any interesting content creator that might make a compatible partner for some new content.
Reaching out to other content creators often gives you an opportunity to create content that no one else is creating. If everyone writes only within their niche, then the area between two niches is wide open.
Establish Your Guidelines
Finally, no content publisher would be worth anything if there were not a few guidelines to follow. Nobody wants guidelines for the sake of guidelines, but in order to maintain consistent messaging, a few guidelines will keep you and all your content creators on track. Even if it’s just you, guidelines help keep you focused and prevent you from going down a bunch of rabbit trails.
Decide up front what is important for your blog and messaging. Set guidelines for the voice you want to use so you’re consistent across blog posts, what topical areas you cover and maybe what not to cover, blog post formatting for consistency, how and where to socialize your content once it’s published, and specific roles each team member might have in the process.
Setting up guidelines up front ensures your blogging is managed smoothly with few problems. Commit your guidelines to paper and make sure everyone follows them regularly.
I mean, if you have to be a publisher, you may as well act like one. Since the world of publishing has been around for hundreds of years, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Just look at what good publishers do (both online and offline) and follow their example. But don’t be a “me too” publisher. Do all the right things right and do the content better than the other guys. That will give you the advantage you’re looking for!
Editor’s note: This post is a portion of a larger slide presentation. See full slide deck here:
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