You send us lots of rejected contributed content, asking what went wrong. Sometimes we can spot a path forward, but it's heartbreaking to hear that "the client wants it written this way" or "this has already been approved." That's why this week we studied nine sets of contributed content guidelines from top edit targets and packaged what we think is their most valuable advice.
Historically, when it came to contributed content, success equalled placement. Today, an additional measure has emerged: how widely a given piece is shared, and what elements fueled those shares? This week we studied ten recent VentureBeat guest posts and saw patterns we've seen before, in VB and other publications.
[Learned lots this week in meetings with editors and subscribers. Here are this week's notes from the field. Hope you enjoy. Please let us know if you like this format and how we can make it better.]
First, the newsy stuff. Business Insider is close to launching a consumer tech publication that will offer news, reviews and analysis with the 'tude we have come to expect from BI.
San Francisco's KQED got lucky this week, hiring tech edit veteran Christina Farr to launch a blog and podcast "at the intersection of new technologies, healthcare and medicine." The new franchise is called "Future of You" and launches Mar. 12 -- the day before South by Southwest -- at KQED.org/futureofyou.
If you want to place contributed content, be a myth buster. Search the web and you'll find page after page of headlines with the term "myth busting" (or its one-word or hyphenated variants). Myth busting is big. Forrester uses the term to hawk its webinars. The HuffPo has a standing column about them. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman have been busting myths on TV for 12 years; name another show that lasted that long.
Now that Hortonworks, New Relic and Box all have gone IPO, who's next? Perhaps a client of yours. If so, how should you be framing that client today -- while you still can -- before the SEC-mandated quiet period kicks in?? The question is vital because you don't want to be selling story lines that don't build a business case for exit.
Publishers these days want contributed voices, not just contributed content. In its online application form, the IDG Contributor Network "asks how many posts would you like to commit to at this time?" Inc. now gives its contributors access to its content management system so they can post as many times as they wish. Forbes pays contributors X for every one-time monthly visitor to their page but 20X if that reader returns to read that contributor's other posts.
If you've got marketing automation clients and you're tired of pitching the same old jaded reporters, don't forget about VentureBeat. In recent weeks VB has committed big-time to marketing tech in the form of paid content (VB Insight), live events (GrowthBeat) and a new full-time marketing automation reporter, Barry Levine.