As a content marketing strategy becomes increasingly prevalent for brands in the digital age, it’s important to understand the do’s and don’ts of submitting guest articles to various publications.

Blast PR offers strategic content services to our clients, so we know just how significant and influential these bylines can be for growing a brand, establishing thought leadership and expanding reach.

So, what exactly are the editors at the various publications we work with looking for when it comes to content from outside contributors?

1. Keep it vendor-neutral

Most editors say they want to receive submissions that include advice, insights, trends and best practices. However, the selling point is being able to create content that resonates with their audiences without actually selling your company or products.

According to PR Daily, most editors say “guest content helps generate more page views, increase traffic and grow their audiences.”

Do your research on the publication: who is their audience? Read through the guest articles they’ve published over the past 6 months to get an idea of the tone and type of pieces they’re likely to publish.

Similar to other media outreach you’re conducting, you want to make sure you’re bringing something of value to a publication’s target audience. One of the most effective ways to do this is to find a publication that frequently discusses the topics you can eloquently and informatively speak on.

2. Establish yourself as an exclusive thought leader

Put your thought leadership to work and share a piece of advice a younger version of yourself would have found engaging, conversational and insightful. Many publications are looking to share tip-oriented content, so any article offering practical tips a la this one “3 Ways to…” is bound for success.

When you’re pitching an outside author to a publication, be sure to include links to previous work to showcase their specialty. This is key for showing rather than telling an editor that you’re an established thought leader in a certain subject.

Also, keep in mind that publishers want exclusive content, so pieces that have been published elsewhere are a definite no-go. That includes your re-worked Medium posts.

3. Bring something unique to the table

To stay consistent with more modern trends, many editors are looking to scrap traditional bylined content in favor of authentic storytelling that can truly inspire readers.

Information Week’s guest content guidelines specifically state: “We want to hear your real-life stories about how you’ve handled issues in your professional experience. For example, your stories can be about how you solved a technology problem, how you dealt with a management challenge or ways that you handled a personal career challenge.”

Also on the rise this year is video content, as Inc. reports 67 percent of editors are looking to publish articles that include video, which often increases website traffic.

Another way to stand out in a crowd full of pitches is to incorporate infographics into your content. 52 percent of editors are interested in posting content that includes insightful infographics. Don’t be afraid to visit Dreamtown Creative and step into your creative yet mathematical mindset.

By keeping it vendor-neutral, establishing yourself as an exclusive thought leader and bringing a unique point of view to the table, you have the ability to create guest content that resonates with audiences and establishes you as an authority. A vendor-neutral article that has been published in a respected industry outlet opens up all sorts of additional, sales-accelerating opportunities.