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Mysterious disappearances are occurring all over the world. “Published by admin” messages or no publisher at all have replaced author bylines. Many B2B companies are opting to maintain their blog without bylines for what they feel is a cleaner alternative to too many people saved in their CMS and too many publisher names uploaded over time. However, what might be economical in the short run can damage your brand in the long run. Including bylines on your webpages have many benefits, from driving traffic to boosting employee morale.
Image via Flickr by starmanseries
Blogger outreach and influencer marketing are two of the most popular forms of marketing and PR on the internet. Someone with great influence with your company — such as a CEO, production manager, or founder — will collaborate with an industry blog or website to create content for the domain. The influencer benefits from brand awareness of the company and links to the website, with the burden of content creation removed from the industry blog. Both sides also benefit from the mutual social media shares that expose their names to new audiences.
However, blogs without bylines may not be as appealing as those who use them. Influencers who are trying to attract attention to their names might balk at the idea of their brand and title getting an honorable mention at the bottom of the content. They want to create a recognizable first impression so that audiences can consume the content in their voice. Not only will you struggle to find people to write for you, but you also won’t be able to reach their pools of readers and followers for your own gain.
Along with collaborating with influencers to create content, more marketing managers are opting to hire freelance writers to ease the burden of regular blog creation. These contractors are able to approach your brand with fresh eyes, and they are an affordable alternative to expanding your internal staff. However, if you’re looking to recruit expert writers to create in-depth content for your field, you could struggle to hire the best without the opportunity for bylines.
In fact, as of 2015, 44 percent of writers said they were dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied that they weren’t getting bylines for their writing. They also said that bylines have a significant impact on their work quality. Meanwhile, 53 percent of writers receive bylines less than 25 percent of the time, and most never receive bylines. What does all of this information mean? Essentially, a huge demand exists for publishers who offer bylines, and writers will make sure their work is better for it.
Of course, freelancers aren’t the only ones who need motivation to write for a blog and take pride in their work. Many companies rely on employees to write for blogs. While some do this job willingly, the task can become a chore.
Smart companies treat their blogs as an incentive for employees to promote themselves and establish their reputation in the industry. Interns might write a few pieces during their time with the company that they can use as writing samples, while project coordinators can prove their ability to one day become project managers. Offering bylines to your team members allows them to take pride in their work, especially because they benefit from the exposure in the long run.
As your clients research your company to decide if they want to work with you, they want to make sure they’re making the best possible choice. They want to know that the developers have years of experience, the designers have multiple solutions for problems, and the account representatives are up-to-date on the latest trends. Adding author bylines to your blog or website is one of the easiest ways to demonstrate that experience.
When your clients review your blog or website to learn more about your company, they can rest easy knowing that your team has a strong online presence and shares knowledge with others. Further, bylines with headshots also allow your clients to put a face to the names of people they work with, humanizing their vendors and service providers.
While most of your content might discuss industry trends, share breaking news, or offer tutorials, you also have opportunities to share opinion pieces or offer personal discussions on certain matters. Indeed, opinion pieces have a time and place in content marketing. Companies can push the envelope by taking a dramatic stance on a topic or share their thoughts on difficult matters. However, these pieces tend to garner a lot of attention and discussion (as they should), which means brands need to seem as credible as possible. The easiest way to achieve that goal is with a byline. You can prove that the thoughts came from an expert in the field who is knowledgeable and qualified enough to make certain statements.
Similarly, you want to use your blog in the center of a public relations crisis. Your CEO might share insight into what happened at the company and how your team reacted, which will offer answers to media that get quoted across multiple channels. Without a byline, the content wouldn’t seem as credible. Worse still, it could be attributed to the head of content marketing or an advertising intern.
In a world where author bylines can’t be found on websites or blogs, writers aren’t motivated to create the best content they could, media outlets and influencers distrust content because they don’t know who wrote it, and website traffic drops due to a lack of new audiences taking an interest in the content. These situations have become a reality for some companies that are removing bylines from content. Think about the pros and cons before you decide to remove bylines from your website content. You could do more damage to your reputation with your audience than you had planned.