Making yourself known as a thought leader who offers unique, forward-thinking ideas can be great for business, provided you have sufficient outlets for expressing those ideas. Obvious choices are quality websites and blogs that welcome your insight, but OPEN Forum community member Dan Stelter knows that first you have to find these sites.
With that in mind, the freelance copywriter and SEO/inbound marketing consultant recently asked the community:
"So how do you find quality websites to contribute your content to in order to build and grow your business? Tricky, but getting easier with the sites Google is putting at the top of the SERPs these days."
Several OPEN Forum community members offered their ideas for finding the appropriate sites for content contribution.
Determine Your Target Audience
Identify who your target audience is, and you’re bound to discover where they hang out online, says OPEN Forum community member Elizabeth Tan, a digital marketing consultant with the company Affluential. “By identifying your target market, you would be able to find forums, blogs and social media where you can contribute to and build your thought leadership.”
Knowing, for instance, that your target audience is antique car enthusiasts or individuals into holistic health gives you clear indicators as to what sorts of blogs, forums, websites and social media to search for content contribution opportunities.
Examine Your Own Thought Leadership Interests
Emerald Bixby, founder of Clarity Health Centers, recommends comparing your target audience to your own content source interests. “I suggest starting by examining where you hang out online and writing down a few notes about what you value in blogs and other content sources that feed your interests,” Bixby says.
“Try to focus less on topics and more on accessibility—think about how you search for things, and what sort of media you like to experience. (For example, how did you find this site?) Then compare and contrast this to the Web-searching habits of your target market,” she says. “I think you might find this helps you creatively and realistically target good places to establish your name as a contributor.”
Try Keyword Searches
An especially effective way to find sites where people are talking about what you wish to comment on is to Google your own keywords or the more generic versions of them. The top results are apt to offer excellent outlets for guest blogging.
Another surefire way to easily locate conversations regarding your thought topic is to take those same keywords and sign up for Google Alerts, says OPEN Forum community member Jason Kanigan, owner and founder of Sales On Fire, Inc.
“Go to Google Alerts and sign up for emails about articles on your keywords,” he says. “It's as simple as that. I have four key phrases that Google Alerts sends me emails on every day, and that is more than enough to find content to write about. Another source is to go to Twitter search. The term 'inbound marketing blog,' for instance, got me many useful results.”
Remember Your Inbound Marketing
While offering your expertise on other websites and blogs is an effective marketing technique to establish yourself as a thought leader, Ken Marmer, vice president of CLERITI, suggests that you don’t forget about showcasing your thought leadership ideas on your own website.
“The best way to build your own thought leadership is through inbound marketing,” he says. “By creating and providing valuable content for your target persona, promoting your remarkable content, building customer relationships and overall pulling the customer towards you, you will create thought leadership,” he says. “At the same time, you will have brand awareness, improve SEO and establish credibility.”
Being seen as a thought leader doesn't happen overnight. Follow these tips to get started building your foundation and broadcasting your expertise.
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