Without a doubt, byline articles are one of the best tools for establishing thought leadership in your industry.
You get the benefit of having an external source, usually a trade publication, validate your expertise by providing you a platform in the first place. And you get roughly 500 words to establish your prowess on a timely topic.
For a technology provider hoping to increase sales and build relationships in the retail sphere, what could be better?
But the commerce tech space is saturated. Your strong competition is likely matching or beating your media cadence. A published byline article is good. A catchy, well-written article is better.
To take your content from good to great, simply follow these quick tips:
1. Craft a catchy title
Consider the homepage of any popular retail publication: they are chock full of articles for readers to peruse. Why would they choose yours? Because they liked your catchy title.
I recommend writing your title after your article is complete. Ideally, your title should describe the entire article. It should also tempt a potential reader, inviting them to click and read more.
Personally, I find lists make great, clickable content. So too do themes, alliteration or strong words. When writing the title for this article, I choose the list format. I used both alliteration and an interesting adjective: “superb.”
My colleague Catherine often incorporates songs into her articles, making them a theme that is included in both the introduction and the title. For inspiration, check out, “We Were Remote Before Remote Was Cool.”
2. Write skimmable copy
These days, our time is only becoming more limited. Your reader expresses interest in your headline by clicking on it, but you must capture their attention within the article to tempt them to read.
Many of us are guilty of skimming content to capture the basic idea of an article, without actually spending the time to dig in to the details.
Consider this analysis by Slate, which completed an in-depth investigation into behavior on their site: most readers only scroll to about the 50% mark, or the 1,000th pixel.
To keep reader attention:
- Break up your content into short, readable paragraphs
- Incorporate a variety of headers
- Add bullet points or numbered lists
3. Match words in lists
By far one of my favorite ways to transform content from good to great is to execute a very simple trick. Each time you list an item within a series, describe it using the same figure of speech.
For example, all of your headers may start with a verb and provide a recommendation, such as the headers in this article:
- Craft a catchy title
- Write skimmable copy
- Match words in lists
- Conclude with a strong charge
Or, you may choose to write a list of items that feature an adjective and noun, such as, “our technology solution features a user-friendly UI, simple onboarding process and auto-generated dashboard.”
Either way, matching words in lists consistently results in more pleasing, easy-to-read content.
4. Conclude with a strong charge
We all know that a good conclusion should sufficiently summarize all of your previous content. But as a solution provider looking for new business opportunities, you also want to encourage your reader to keep wanting more.
Unlike a blog post, which can incorporate a promotional call-to-action, a good byline conclusion should inspire your reader to consider a brighter future.
What will their business look like if they enact their tips? What trends will appear in the future they can be better prepared for? Direct them with a clear path forward.
Transform your article from good to great
Placing a byline article with a publication is only the first step to creating enticing thought leadership content that drives your business forward. Once you’re committed to writing, you want to create an article that inspires audiences and sets you apart from your competition.
Thankfully, simple tricks can easily take your writing from good to great, establishing you as a long-term leader in the space and positioning your company for success.
Interested in getting help with your content? We love to work with clients to help them achieve their media relations goals. Get in touch.