It's no secret that content marketing has undergone a lot of changes and best practices have shifted over the last year, so it doesn't come as a surprise to most that publishing ideas are brought into the mix. Having a publisher mindset is becoming one of the most important things for success in content marketing, but the big problem is that most content marketers don't know how to think like publishers. Sure there are similarities and both industries have similar values, but what does it mean to think like a publisher, and then furthermore, how can you use that mentality in a content marketing strategy? Fortunately, getting started is pretty simple if you just break down the different aspects into smaller parts.
What It Means to Adopt a Publisher Mindset and Steps to Making It Happen
Adopting a publisher mindset means understanding what publishers value, what they look for in content, and then what they feel needs to be done to that content once it's published. Being able to understand how this mentality works is an excellent way to help get your content posted on different publications across the web.
Below are a few steps you can take and things you can do to help get you thinking like a publisher:
- Keep in mind that publishers like strict schedules.
Because publications deal with so much content, they almost always have a strict schedule and stick to it. In the new-age of blogging, sometimes schedules are more flexible, and while this usually isn't a big deal, it's important to consider how smoothly publications run because they have regular authors and regular columns. Furthermore, knowing how important this is to publishers can help you get your content accepted.
When you reach out to an editor, make sure you mention the deadline you are looking at and a regular schedule you would be willing to keep. The ultimate say goes to the editor, of course, so you have to remain flexible, but showing that you're ready to commit to something regular will only make their job easier; thus making you look more appealing.
- Create regular features and pieces.
Publications are normally incredibly structured, which means they often run feature pieces regularly. Many times there is a certain audience base that comes back just to read a feature piece, and it's a good way to keep your content in line and offer something unique that your competitors aren't offering readers.
If you can come to an editor with an idea for a feature sequence, you will stand out from the rest and show that you're creative and have ideas for content that will really work. Maybe you're interested in creating a video series, or writing recaps happening in your industry on the last day of every month, or creating infographics for each step of a process you're explaining, etc. Spend a lot of time analyzing the feature pieces a publication is posting and then go from there.
- Create content for a specific purpose.
A publishing mindset means focusing on the people that you want to target. It's all about getting their attention and then making the content attractive and accessible for that audience. While this may be something content marketers should also have at the forefront of their minds, it hasn't always been that way, but for publishers it has. It's always been about relevance to a specific audience, and it's safe to say publishers have found success when they use this focus.
As a writer looking to work with a publication, this is arguably the most important thing you can do. Try not to write content for a general audience or for no reason. Analyze the reader base, but then go one step further by looking at the content that has already been published on the site. For example, look at the comments and questions readers have, and then try and write an article answering those questions. Come up with something that has not be covered before, and publishers will take note!
- Think quantity.
You have to constantly produce enough content to keep a publication up and running, and while quality is a primary concern, quantity cannot be discounted. In a HubSpot report, they found that the businesses that blogged at least 20 times per month generated 5 times more traffic than those who blogged less than 4 times per month. These same bloggers also saw nearly 4 times more leads than those who didn't blog at all.
So what does this mean to you? It goes back to being able to produce a lot of content regularly to give to publishers. The more you can show that you have quality content to offer, the better.