You’ve probably noticed newspaper and magazine columnists. They write a daily, weekly or monthly column on their area of expertise. I personally have a couple of favorites I read avidly.

You’ve also probably noticed many blogs and websites use guest articles and guest blog posts. It’s a great way of adding fabulous content to your sites and very often only costs an external link, (You would need to be a very well visited site though for this to work).

So if you think about combining the two methods to create the Featured Expert Columnist, you could end up with something really cool. Read on, and I’ll explain…

Guest blogging is good, but it’s still not consistent enough with getting you exposure or driving traffic to your website.

However becoming a columnist for websites in your niche provides you with ongoing, consistent exposure and traffic. In fact you get to be in front of their target market for as long as their site is getting traffic. As their site grows, so your exposure grows, too.

You don’t have to wonder if your latest article will get published, because you KNOW it will in advance.

You get links, great links, that can help you with your search engine rankings.

You also get exposure in their online magazine as well, when they email their list to tell them of your new article on their blog, or even to send your article to their list. Plus your work might get added into their autoresponder, (You never know)..

Why would a blog or website owner want you to be a regular columnist for them? Four words: Fresh, Unique, QUALITY Content. Your articles appear on their website only, they are fresh, relevant and they’re targeted to their particular audience.

Do you have any idea how many blog/website owners would LOVE for knowledgeable writers to write exclusive articles for their websites on a consistent basis? I can assure you, lots of them would.(I know I would instantly)..

How would you set it up? First step, find the sites you want to write for. Choose this step carefully. You’re looking for sites that get a fair amount of the kind of traffic you want coming to your own website. Don’t be daft and choose a niche you have no idea about.

Next, ask em. It’s that simple. Send the site owners samples of your work or send them to your own website and simply ask them if they would be interested in you being a regular columnist on their site. If they say no, check back with them in 2-3 months because things often change. If they say yes, here’s a list of things to discuss BEFORE you get started:

1. Location on their website where your articles will be published. Front and center on the home page? In a certain section? You don’t want surprises here and it’s pointless if they are going to be hidden.

2. Can you have your photo by your articles? You’ve seen the columns in newspapers and magazines – they feature a head shot of the author and you want the same. Having a photo means readers are more likely to identify with you.

3. Length of your articles. Agree on a rough word count.

4. How often you’ll be writing (weekly, monthly, etc.) and the deadlines you have to adhere to.

5. How many links you can place in your resource/bio box and the format and size of your resource/bio box. If they say you can’t have a bio box then don’t bother because the whole point of this is getting the exposure for your own sites etc.

6. Copyright. Do not negotiate on this point. You OWN your copyright, not the blog/website owner. If the website owner disagrees, find another website to write for. You’re going to want to publish these articles in ebooks or reports later, to be either sold or given away. Walk away from anyone who insists anything you write belongs to them.

7. Another point you must not negotiate away is that you want good back links, not “no-follow” tags. Again, there is no point in writing for them if they don’t give you decent workable back links.

Offer something specific and highly enticing in your resource/bio box to drive traffic to your website. Capture that traffic with an opt-in form and send them plenty of great information along with the occasional offer.

Track the traffic you get from each website you write guest columns for. If one of them isn’t sending you enough good traffic to make it worth your while, politely remove yourself from that site and find another.

Use your guest articles to create free reports you give away to list build, as well as to your affiliates to drive traffic to your offers. Consider compiling your best articles into ebooks and Kindle books and see how quickly it will grow..

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