Using online publications to drive traffic to your website

A lot of emphasis has been placed on investing in a company blog, and with good reason. A blog can improve the search engine optimization (SEO) of your website, provide information to prospective customers on products and services, and strengthening the dialogue with current clients.

In the rush to mobilize the company’s collective intelligence, however, executives shouldn’t overlook another valuable channel: placing content in online publications. These external channels offer a number of benefits to B2B companies looking to drive traffic—and potential customers—to their website.

Industry-specific content. The most valuable online publications for B2B marketing are focused on a niche or industry. Readers will be informed and interested in detailed articles and discussions that can directly help their company.

Built-in readership. Well-established publications have weekly visitor totals that dwarf the average company’s numbers. Therefore, your article will get far more eyeballs on it than if it were just posted on your company blog.

Credibility. Placing your article in an external publication confers a stamp of approval on it. Readers assume that content has more value when it appears on an impartial, knowledgeable entity’s website.

The number of online publications has proliferated in the past decade, and many of them have a constant need for new articles to keep their site fresh. Here are some basic steps you can take to get your content into this channel.

Identify the right publications. A look through websites such as or can provide you with a list of publications by industry. Before cranking up the content machine, you should verify that they accept submissions. This information is normally available on the editorial page.

Understand the article guidelines. Every publication has different article types, so be sure to find out the basics: word counts, whether you can include links to your website, and if you can post the article on your website with attribution. In addition, tone is very important: editors don’t want a blatant promotion for your company but rather an objective, insightful take on the industry.

Develop distinctive content. Since the article will be posted externally, it will serve to introduce your company to a new audience. Therefore, it’s worth spending some extra time to ensure that the article effectively demonstrates your expertise. In addition, you should strive to provide value through prescriptive recommendations or examples of what’s worked for other companies (such as your clients).

Placing an article with an external publication shouldn’t be treated as an isolated effort. Instead, once you get confirmation on the publication date, your company should be prepared to make the most of it: for instance, by featuring it in e-blasts, newsletters, and other communications. Companies should also be sure that their website is in good shape to receive visitors.

Scott Leff

Scott is the founder of LEFF. He’s spent his career helping executives and subject matter experts tell their story in a compelling way. In the process, he’s had the opportunity to work with C-suite executives, politicians, academics, and Olympians, not to mention dozens of talented writers, editors, and designers in the business world. Scott developed the concept of “lean content creation” as a cost-effective way to support comprehensive, integrated communication strategies.

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