Running an online magazine is a fun and exciting way to build your brand. However, it doesn’t come without its share of challenges. There’s tons of competition that you’ll need to stand out from, which you can do by creating an eye-catching magazine cover, and you have come up with interesting and relevant content based on your niche.
You also need to ensure that your communication style is aligned with your brand voice. As editor, you’ll need to ensure that everything in your online content resonates with your company and what you want to represent.
In your quest for good content, you’ll want to tap contributors who can help support your messaging and your brand. Guest contributors can be influencers, recognized authority figures, or other bloggers who are known for producing good content related to your website.
But how do you find these guest contributors, bloggers, and influencers? How do you encourage them to work with you?
In this article, we show you how to network online for contributors.
Let’s get started.
Find Writers in Forums
Writers are everywhere. In forums, you’ll find them contributing their views and fueling discussions. As long as you’re clear about your niche, you can easily identify which writers might have something interesting to say about a specific topic. You can then start up a conversation and see how they feel about doing a guest piece for your online magazine.
The major drawback with this method is you may not find professional writers. You may not be entirely sure of a potential contributor’s credentials before reaching out to them. However, this can easily be overcome during your private conversations with potential writers.
This also gives you the opportunity to engage potential audiences who might find your website interesting. In addition, it can help you identify relevant topics that your target audience is interested in.
Experiment with Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a little different than inviting random strangers to contribute to your site. It requires your guest blogger to have a site of his or her own (hopefully with greater reach and ranking than yours) to further extend their influence.
It’s clear how you can benefit by having someone more established writing for your website but what do they have to gain?
Here’s why guest blogging can be attractive for them:
- Helps them reach new audiences
- Adds to their credibility
- Helps them network with professionals within the same niche
- They increase their domain authority when their articles link out to high-ranking websites
Offer Paid Opportunities
If you can spare the expense, offering paid writing opportunities for contributing to your site is a nice way to generate quality content from writing professionals and SMEs (subject matter experts). Since you’re paying for articles, you’re in a better position to demand quality and have greater control over the content.
A nice way to get an authority figure without writing experience to contribute to your site is to have someone do the writing for them that you can later edit together. You can easily look for credible spokespersons on networking sites like LinkedIn and hire a company or freelancer to tackle the actual writing.
If you’re short on cash, you can always turn to sites like Fiverr but remember: you get what you pay for. Expecting quality content for $5 may be a little too optimistic so always ask to see portfolios and writing samples.
Include a Nominal Fee Clause for Articles That Don’t Make the Cut
Not all guest post submissions will resonate with your brand voice and audience. What do you do when this happens? Should you pay the full amount for a piece you can’t use?
Here’s what to do: Include a nominal fee clause in all your writing contracts. This means that you don’t have to pay the same price for an article you publish and one that doesn’t make it past the editor’s desk.
This can also pave the way for better-quality articles that require little to zero edits and can open you up for long-term collaborations with great writers.
Use the Power of Social Media
Social media has evolved to a point where it has its own communities, its own culture. It also plays a major role in the consumption of written and visual material. This makes it a great way to recruit writers while giving them a feel for your brand.
For example, your Facebook cover photo acts as your brand voice. Using professional and well-designed templates gives contributors an idea of what that identity and brand voice is like.
If you don’t have access to professional graphic designers, it’s not a problem. Online resources today make creating graphic social media materials easy and cost-effective. Sites like PosterMyWall have impressive selections of Facebook cover templates that you can customize and use.
If you want to create a post inviting would-be contributors to write for you, you can also find free Facebook post templates for polished and professional-looking designs.
Before You Get Started
Now that you have a few ideas for getting contributors for your online magazine, here are some suggestions to make the process smoother and the results better:
- Have clear-cut guidelines. Before inviting anyone to write for you, know the kind of quality content you want to have. You should have such a clear idea of it that you can describe it in detail to anyone who wants to be part of your magazine.
For inspiration, visit blogs and collect URLs of writing that you like. You can then easily reference them when you need to revisit the standards you want to uphold.
- Give your guest contributors credit and online mileage. Include an author bio section that links back to your guest blogger’s website. This will give them more visibility and encourage them to create more content for you in the future.
- Remember those guidelines you set? Stick to them when reviewing submitted work. Sure, you can make allowances now and then but make sure that it doesn’t affect the overall cohesiveness of your blog.
If you want to editorially stray a little bit now and then, go ahead and mix things up. However, have set minimum guidelines for you to follow and don’t publish anything that doesn’t meet them because it can compromise your website’s credibility and your brand’s image.
Wrapping Up: Guest Contributors Add Fresh Perspectives and Credibility
There are so many ways that you can go about looking for contributors, especially in today’s internet and social media-empowered world. You can easily let people know that you’re open to guest contributors by customizing social media post templates.
Why look into guest contributors for your online publication? You may be the best writer in the world and you can have the coolest online magazine but guest contributors can help provide a fresh voice and perspective to your publication.
If you’re able to entice established SMEs, thought leaders, and bloggers to contribute, it can even help your blog’s credibility and reputation.