Once upon a time, a consultant contacted me about possibly ghostwriting some informative articles that he could post online to display his industry expertise. He explained that this would be a relatively easy job: "All we'd really have to do is take some existing articles we like and change the verbiage a little so we can post them as ours."
Well, no. Apart from the (I hope) obvious ethical considerations of simply dressing up someone else's article and sticking your name on it without that person's permission, a generic article simply won't do you much good. This is the Internet era. We have online articles coming out of our ears. Your readers don't want more anonymous information -- they want your information.
Here are a few tips for promoting your expertise:
Write your article. Not someone else's, and certainly not everyone else's. You can create a piece that works for a general audience and still bears your individual stamp. That's the point of posting an expert article -- you're the expert.
Sure, being the expert means relaying general industry trends and observations, but it also means interpreting them for your readers. I don't need a financial expert, for instance, to relay the latest stock reports or unemployment numbers; I can get those myself from Google or Yahoo or wherever. What I do need, since I'm not an expert in that field, is my trusted advisor telling me what, in his opinion, it should mean to me.
When I have industry experts in various fields explaining things to me and advising me on how to respond and strategize, I'm receiving the direct benefit of these advisors' expertise, and I begin to rely on them for all my needs in those areas.
Keep it short. Boiling a thorny topic down into something understandable to the public also means delivering the least we need to know. Give us a few good pointers, provide a brief rundown, or ask some leading questions to get us thinking in the right direction. If we need more information, we can contact you. The whole point of inbound marketing is getting that phone call.
Brand yourself. It's no use writing an expert article if a first-time reader has no idea who the expert is. Always include a sentence or two about yourself in a little blurb positioned somewhere near the article (most web-based article directories require this before they'll post the article). If possible, include your company email address or website link. Make it easy for the reader, once he's dazzled by your insight into his problem or question, to click a link and start a conversation that might lead to business.
Writing an expert article doesn't necessarily require expert writing skills on your part, by the way. An experienced professional copywriter can communicate your ideas, expertise, and insights in your own words, only better. Want proof? Contact me today!