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Build Authority By Writing Guest Articles

September 25, 2020

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Doug Haines

Build Authority by Writing Guest Articles

Getting published is a great way for accountants to build their reputation and authority. You’ll get exposure in publications your customers read, which will increase the brand value of you and your firm. 

This article contains a five-step strategy you can use to get guest posts.

We illustrate each step using the example of an accounting firm that provides services in hospitality. However, the techniques will work for getting guest post opportunities in any sector. 

1. Discover Who Your Customer Is and What They Want to Know

First, define your customer and think about accountancy-related topics that will interest them.

Hospitality clients could be anyone from people who run small seaside bed and breakfasts out of their home, to senior management at large hotel chains. 

An article targeting the former will be different from one targeting the latter. Consider which group you want to connect with and write the article for them specifically.

Potential subjects include: 

  • Managing payroll.
  • Reporting income from various platforms.
  • The effect of newly introduced legislation.
  • Effective tax management.
  • How to manage contractors.

If you are unsure about ideas, look at competitors to see what they write about. Or, join online communities within the niche you are targeting to see the types of questions and issues that are discussed. Beyond that, look at the problems facing your existing customer base.

Remember that while articles shouldn’t be promotional, you should still align them with services you offer. This is important because you want the article to be the first point in the reader’s journey towards becoming a customer.

2. Choose Relevant Publications to Target

Step two is discovering where your target customers get industry information from and then pitching these publications with your idea. 

Searching on Google for “[industry] trade magazine” will show you lists of relevant websites. Look through the sites on the list to see if any stand out. 

You’ll typically find two types of publication: independent trade magazines, and blogs associated with companies that offer services in the industry. 

The first kind is typically more authoritative. These are akin to traditional trade publications and will attack the topic from a neutral angle. 

Big Hospitality is an example of a trade publication in the hospitality industry. You can see that while it mostly covers news, it features guest posts and opinion pieces in the “Advice” section.

Company blogs are worth approaching if they have a broad readership and produce quality content. Just be aware that even when these blogs appear neutral, their overall aim is to promote a service. 

The resources section for event management tool SocialTable is an excellent example of a company blog in the hospitality industry.

3. Write a Persuasive Pitch

Next, pitch your story idea. Some websites have specific guidelines you should follow that tell you exactly who you should contact and what you should include in your pitch. 

If the website you want to guest post on doesn’t have these instructions, look at the existing content and write your proposal in a way that shows your article is a good fit for their audience. 

Also, highlight your experience and the reason why you are a good source of this information. 

You’ll typically send your pitch to the editor. Find this information on the site’s contact page. Be aware that editors often receive a lot of guest post emails so may take time to reply. Send a follow up if you haven’t heard from them within a few days. 

For more information about pitching, check out this in-depth article by PointVisible.

Some website owners may charge you to post the article on the website. 

In this case, you’ll have to consider whether the cost is worth the potential exposure. Ask about page views not just for the site as a whole but for new articles. 

A site with hundreds of thousands of monthly visits may receive most of these through a few articles on Google. This means that despite the high page views, few people are likely to see new content. 

Look at the website’s social media profiles to see how much engagement new posts receive. If articles typically have many likes and comments, it suggests people are reading them. If they don’t, it could be a site to avoid.

Side Note About Paid Content

This article focuses on how accounting firms can increase exposure and authority by guest posting. 

However, guest posting is also a common tactic website owners use to get backlinks to their sites. Links from other websites are important because Google’s algorithm considers these when deciding where to rank its content. Having more backlinks can therefore result in websites ranking higher on search engines.   

Website owners know the value of these links, which is why they may charge for your guest post. It also means you might decide it is worth publishing content on a particular blog even if you don’t anticipate the article providing much exposure.  

4. Write the Article

Actually writing the article may be the most challenging step if you aren’t used to producing online content. 

Always consider your audience when writing. Avoid jargon or overly complicated terms and focus the article on topics relevant to the reader. 

Follow any instructions sent by the publication to increase the chances of your article being successful.

Internet content is typically less formal than other types of business writing, and your article should reflect this, assuming it fits the style of the website. 

Try to make your work skimmable. This means breaking your text down into shorter paragraphs and including plenty of headings and subheadings, bullet-point lists, and descriptive images. This all makes your content easy to digest. 

5. Share the Article on Your Platforms

The final step is to publicise the article. While the publication will do much of the work here, there are many benefits to doing it yourself.

First, you’ll increase the number of people that read the article. Showing you have a network of people who enjoy and read your work will help with getting repeat articles or getting guest posts on other publications.

You’ll also increase your authority within your existing network. If people like what they read, it could lead to more opportunities. 

Where to Promote Content

Your LinkedIn profile is probably the best place to promote content. Share the article alongside a short comment. You can do this on both your company LinkedIn profile and your personal one.

Look for hashtags to add to your post. You can find these in the LinkedIn search bar. Below are some that are relevant to hospitality.

Also, consider other platforms you have access to. For example, you could share your article on Facebook, Twitter, or even in your accounting firm’s email newsletter if you have one.  

There are Many Opportunities for Guest Posting

Accounting is a complex topic that most people do not fully understand. It’s also crucial to running a business. This means there are plenty of opportunities for accountants to write guest posts that tackle issues from their unique perspective. 

The key is to find suitable publications and then provide good pitches that tell editors why their audience will enjoy the content. Once you begin to grow your reputation, it may become easier to find further opportunities. 

If you want help creating and pitching ideas in your niche, book a call with one of our experts here