Bylined Articles: The Value of Authoritative Content
Authoritative, bylined articles give your company a credible voice. They provide researched, verifiable information and expertise, developing customer relationships and fostering trust.
With ads vying for attention from every platform and media channel, consumers value reliable, unbranded information from reputable sources over branded and promotional content. Over 80% of consumers surveyed said trust is a deciding factor in their buying decisions.
Keep reading to learn why authoritative content is successful, how to write an effective bylined article, and how critical a role bylined articles play in search engine optimization (SEO).
What Is a Byline in an Article?
An authored piece is written by a subject matter expert who brings a deep understanding of a particular topic or field. They may have years of experience, specialized training, or education that gives them authority or insight that others don’t have.
An author byline is the author’s name, the article’s publication date, and sometimes additional information like the author’s job title or company. It is usually listed at the top or bottom of the article.
While a byline differs from an author bio page, it’s important to include both on your website. A writer’s bio is a blurb that tells the audience:
- Who they are
- What they do
- Why the audience should care (what makes them an expert on the topic the audience can trust)
Depending on the author and industry, the writer’s bio can be playful and quirky or serious and impressive. Adding an author byline can boost your SEO by helping Google recognize your website’s credibility and expertise.
Why Build Authority With Content?
Authored pieces add weight and credibility to the content your company produces, whether they are written by a leader in your company or an outside expert.
There are two primary benefits to building authority online with bylined articles. They are:
- To develop relationships and build loyalty with your prospects and customers. Readers who find value in your content and respect the author’s expertise will associate their professional knowledge with your brand.
- To become more visible online and drive traffic and engagement through organic search.
When prospects or customers read your content, they feel like they are developing a relationship with your brand. Over time, this familiarity and comfort translate into trust.
What Is Authoritative in SEO?
Authoritative content, particularly bylined articles, signals to Google and other search engines that you have information readers want. The most important rule in search engine optimization is E-E-A-T. This stands for experience, expertise, authority, and trust.
Google and other search engines prioritize quality, helpful content that answers reader questions thoroughly and effectively. The more value your content offers, the better the odds it will appear near the top of the search results.
How Do You Write an Authoritative Article?
An authoritative article is clear, complete, and readable. The best topics relate to your brand, its products and services, or a specific pain point your business solves.
Ideally, your articles will present a unique perspective, a more complete analysis, or a topic that seamlessly leads to conversions. A review of your competitors’ top articles is a great brainstorming resource, both to see what people are interested in reading and how you can improve on what is out there.
Broad topics are not ideal. They are hard to organize well and are less likely to impact and interest your audience. Instead, break down broad topics into sub-topics, each focused on answering a specific question, fulfilling a need, or driving a conversion.
Authoritative citations, interviews with other experts, and relevant studies reinforce your message and add to the authority of your content. Depending on the publication, injecting your personality, experience, and insight is excellent, but aim to deliver balanced information supported by evidence, not opinions.
How Do You Write a Bylined Article?
A bylined article is like any authoritative article you or your content team might write for news outlets or your website. The difference is your name will be linked to the content, so you want it to be well-written and within your area of expertise.
Here are a few tips for writing effective bylined content.
Know the Outlet
Are you writing for your website, a news platform, a guest post, or an industry publication? The more familiar you are with the articles they publish, the more successfully you can tailor your content for readers.
Know the Audience
What questions are your clients or customers asking? Are certain industry trends stirring up controversy or getting public attention? Is there an insight that could surprise people?
Not every bylined article needs to be groundbreaking, but it’s worth considering what people searching for content like yours want to know.
Make it Skimmable
Skimmable content includes the following:
- Short, readable paragraphs
- Headers that accurately and concisely describe the content below it
- Bullet points or numbered lists
Mix Original Insights and Expertise With Studies and Statistics
A compelling and authoritative bylined article is a mixture of your original insights and expertise with recent research. Link to or cite research, studies, and statistics from the past few years. More recent data from highly ranked sources is the most impactful.
Most likely, other people have already written on the same topic. You can stand out with a fresh and comprehensive look at the topic. Aim to incite your reader’s curiosity, opening questions in their mind that leave them wanting to know more.
End With Encouragement or a Positive Vision
A standard blog post concludes with a call to action. However, a bylined article should encourage your readers or invite them into the brighter future that is possible if they incorporate your recommendations.
For example, imagine your company offers a platform that delivers real-time patient data to doctors. Your conclusion could walk readers through an improved reality where physicians have data at their fingertips to make more informed diagnoses in real-time. Patients get customized medical support even while in the comfort of their homes.
What Makes a Good Bylined Article?
Aside from compelling, high-value content and readability, the strength of the author, their background, and expertise is what makes a good byline article.
The authoritative article’s compelling perspective, voice, and personal touch come from the writer. Beyond well-structured sentences and catchy headlines, it’s about the expert’s depth of knowledge, personal experiences, and insights.
Relevant experience adds a layer of authenticity to the piece that’s hard to replicate. Their firsthand experiences and stories make the content more relatable and trustworthy for the readers.
Finding the Right Writer
A great bylined writer can elevate a brand’s image, drive engagement, and position a company as an industry thought leader. The first place to look is your company’s leadership and experts. Whether or not they can write or will use a ghostwriter, who has the authority and insight to represent the company’s message?
Outside of the organization, look for industry experts, seasoned professionals, or rising stars. If you see someone already producing quality content in the field, you can invite them to write guest articles for your blog or publications.
A professional marketing service like ContentWriters has a vast pool of writers and can match your brand with a credentialed expert. This simplifies the process, connecting you with a vetted writer and proven expert. Many of these services also offer editorial oversight.
Here are a few keys to a good byline article.
Writing a Strategic Headline
You’ve done it yourself. You’re scanning through a publication or a results page, and one headline captures your attention. Whether you click on it because it appears to answer your question or because it piques your curiosity, the headline is the gatekeeper.
Writing a clickable headline is often a matter of trying out a few ideas. If you’re stuck, read through platforms related to your topic and notice the best headlines. While you want a unique headline that leads into your content, seeing provocative examples can spur your creativity.
Starting With a Strong Introduction
Once a reader has clicked on your headline, you have a couple of paragraphs to draw them into reading the full article. You want your opening to be clear and on point. You are setting the tone for the whole article and confirming for the reader that they are going to get the information they expected from the headline.
Writing to a Defined Audience
You are probably not writing for people with the same level of expertise you have. It’s important to express your ideas so that they are easy to understand without your years of experience or educational background.
What Is an Example of a Bylined Article?
An outstanding bylined article expresses the insights and expertise of the author. It starts with a compelling headline and delivers on that promise with well-organized content that is easy to scan.
Here are three examples of how businesses in different sectors use bylined articles.
Merritt Hawkins has a “Physician Staffing Blog” with bylined articles from medical staff. The article Eight Medical Innovations in 2023 was written by Debra Wood, an RN.
The title is relevant, contains numbers, and piques the reader’s interest. The opening is concise. The body is scannable, with a precise header for each list item.
Businesses can join the Forbes Business Council for a subscription fee, entitling them to publish a couple of times a month. The article With VC Money Slowing, Crowdfunding Is Increasing — Here’s How To Have A Successful Campaign is credited to Becky Center, CEO of Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform.
She combines professional expertise with research. The article links to high-authority sites like WSJ.com. It offers interested readers actionable insights while presenting a case for crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo.
BigCommerce is one of Shopify’s more prominent competitors. Its CEO, Brent Bellm, has five bylined articles on the company’s blog. While his expertise and authority may be better leveraged with compelling headlines and content suitable for a wider audience, he has a presence, byline, and bio on the blog.
Authoritative Content at Any Scale
If you are a leader in a company or an experienced specialist with insights and expertise to share, you may be excited by the potential of authority content. But where do you start? How does a busy professional carve out time to write engaging, fresh, and relevant content?
At ContentWriters, we help thought leaders achieve ambitious publishing schedules. Whatever your industry, we have writers with subject matter expertise. Our account managers oversee the process, from getting your notes and direction through writing, editing, and proofreading. To find out how we can help, connect with our team.
Joan Weisman’s strong research skills, SEO knowledge, adaptability of style and voice, and passion for staying current make her an asset for freelance web content, SEO, and copywriting.