Best practices to engage readers

    • Don’t Spin. Because your sponsored article will reside within an established and respected editorial community, it should not include a product pitch

    • Get people talking. Content should educate readers and provoke conversation or debate.

    • Have a point. Give advice, take a stand, or provide a detailed analysis. In other words, give readers something to think about. Sponsored article should be more conversational than reported articles, so say what you think. Challenge your readers!

    • Keep it fresh. Look for opportunities to write about timely issues, to reveal subject matter expertise and thought leadership. We cover a lot of material each day, so try to bring a fresh (even contrarian) perspective to what you write.

    • Keep it real. Give real-world examples drawn from your own experiences.

    • Link to additional info. Links give your piece credibility (as in “Don’t just take my word for it, read what so-and-so says about it”) and position your article as part of an ongoing conversation. By linking to other credible content, magazine articles, and online information resources you guide readers to new resources and establish yourself as an expert voice. If you cite a survey, link to it. If you mention a product, strategy, standard, article, and so on, link to it. You’ll be building reader trust with every valuable link you provide.

    • What’s next? Give readers a take-away or a call to action.

    • What our readers like:
      • Being challenged, made to think
      • Practical information
      • Informative articles
      • Charts, graphs, and verifiable data
      • Useful resources (tools and data)

    • Headlines should be provocative with targeted keywords as close to the start of the headline as possible, as it affects both ranking and click-thru in Google searches.