Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a reporter to get an article published. PR and marketing firms regularly help their clients become published authors in publications read by their target audiences.

Being a published author has many benefits. It reinforces you as an expert and a leader in your business, increases your credibility, builds general awareness, and shows audiences that you are more than a sales pitch.

Trade magazines, newsletters, online news blogs and the occasional newspaper or business journal are typically receptive to publishing material from outsiders. Whether they’re short staffed, have space to fill, or in constant need of new information, there is opportunity to submit an authored article.

Bylined articles have many forms. They can be advice columns, feature stories, or opinion pieces. But, before you start writing, you should know that the key to landing an opportunity lies in your story idea and how you pitch it.

When writing a bylined article you should capitalize on your experience and offer readers timely and useful advice and information.

Here are the steps to materializing a bylined article:

  • Brainstorm an interesting story idea
  • Identify the appropriate publication and editor to pitch it to
  • Inquire about the publication’s writing policies and specifications
  • Create a brief story pitch to relay by phone or send by email
  • Work with the publication to set a deadline to submit the article
  • Draft the article and have someone proof read it – if writing is not your strong suit, you can lean on your PR firm to write and/or edit the article
  • Meet the deadline to submit the article

If you lack the experience in how to do this, call on the expertise of a PR firm. They often have the relationships with the media to secure your opportunity.