Writing for print and online publication can generate new business leads, drive traffic to your site, build relationships with your clients and prospects, and attract an audience. If you need to grow your business, consider the following ways to get your byline out there.

1. Online Article Directories

If you’ve never published an article before, article directories—like SelfGrowth.com and EzineArticles.com—are a great place to start. Basically, you post articles to these directories and other web publishers can read them and republish them on their sites (don’t worry; you get credit and a link back to your site in return). All you need to do is create a profile and start uploading articles.

2. Trade Magazines

If you belong to professional associations, then you probably get some of their publications in the mail. And if you serve a market that belongs to an association, then you SHOULD be getting that publication too. When you flip through the pages, you may notice that other members and experts often contribute articles to these magazines and they get an about-the-author box at the end that lists their business and web site. A great way to establish expertise and get new leads is to contribute your own articles to these publications.

3. Your Own E-zine

Everyone with a business can and should send an e-zine or electronic newsletter to their clients and prospects. It’s an inexpensive way to stay in front of people on a regular basis and e-zines allow you to build relationships and stimulate repeat business. So start collecting e-mail addresses (the legal way) and publish your own e-zine, even if it’s just plain text to start.

4. Blogs (Your Own or Someone Else’s)

Blogs are another way to build relationships and establish expertise. They’re easy to set up and update, and you can post new material at a frequency that suits your schedule (such as once or twice a week). Blogs are also great for search engine optimization because they’re usually updated more frequently than a web site. If you’re not interested in maintaining your own blog, try guest posting at blogs where your ideal clients and readers are likely to see your material.

5. Your Own Print Newsletter

If you have a long list of past clients, a print newsletter (like the e-zine) is a great medium for keeping in touch and generating repeat business. Some experts suggest incorporating both a print newsletter and e-zine into your marketing plan. Printing and postage are more expensive than doing everything electronically, but if you include good content that your clients want, they are probably more likely to read the print newsletter.

6. Special Reports

Nothing gets people interested and builds a list of prospects like giving away a freebie. I’ve used downloadable special reports that appeal to my ideal clients and their needs to generate new leads, and people love it! An informative special report also gives people a taste of what it’s like to work with you and lets you answer some frequently asked questions up front.

7. E-books

After you’ve written a few articles and reports, why not repackage them into an e-book that you can sell from your web site? This adds a passive income stream to your existing business, and lets you help prospects in a way that’s often less expensive than working with you one-on-one. With an e-book for sale on your site, you can literally get clients and make money while you’re out doing something else!

8. Books

Although you may not be ready for it now, writing and publishing a book is still one of the heaviest marketing hitters out there. And with print-on-demand publishing making it so easy, there’s no reason why you can’t write a book that will allow you to raise your rates, get more lucrative speaking engagements, and grow your business dramatically.

Getting Started

If you’re a consultant, coach, speaker, small business, or self-employed service provider, writing for publication is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from your competition, attract new clients, and make more money doing what you love. So pick a publication from the list and get started. You’ll be amazed at who might be reading your words!

Author's Bio: 

Melinda Copp helps speakers, coaches, consultants, and self-employed professionals write and publish to establish expertise, build relationships with their clients and prospects, and make more money. For a free copy of "Write to Grow Richer; The 7 Secrets of Writing to Sell Your Services," go to http://www.WritersSherpaPrograms.com.