Most website owners will agree that building traffic is a top priority, and we are all searching for creative ways to attract people to our site. Once your site is built the hard work of promoting it starts. With all of the effort and care put into building your site, it would be a shame if nobody saw it.
Whether you are looking to increase newsletter subscribers, promote your podcast or community site, or just trying to sell more products and increase online revenue, finding and implementing inexpensive publicity to attract viewers is of critical importance.
There are many ways to get traffic, but one of the most overlooked strategies is using the media to help get your message out.
Newspapers, television and radio stations are always looking for interesting content, but most people make the mistake of assuming the media isn’t interested in what you have to say. You couldn’t be more wrong.
The truth is that every newspaper, radio and television station needs prodigious amounts of content. Whether it is pages or airtime to fill, they have a need for interesting, timely and informative content every day. Imagine yourself as the editor of a new daily local newspaper. Everyday you have to come up with new, interesting, relevant stories to fill the paper. The same is true for radio and television stations. Lets not forget about websites as well.
Today there are thousands, possibly tens of thousands of websites that are continuously looking for new, interesting stories for their audiences. This is where the opportunity exists to get your story in front of the media and earn FREE publicity from newspapers, magazines, radio and television as well as other websites.
FREE Publicity for Those Who Seek It
A good case study is my wife Arlene’s website EpilepsyMoms.com. After creating her website, Arlene needed to promote the site and get word out there about her new chat forum where mothers of children with epilepsy could meet and support each other.
Arlene had arranged an interview for her second podcast with Hollywood movie producer and Charlie Foundation founder Jim Abrahams. Mr. Abrahams had a son with similar challenges and Arlene had found his through his foundation. She was scheduled to record the interview via conference call, and her goal was to fill up the lines with 125 listeners for the teleseminar. The problem was her site was band new, she didn’t have an audience and she didn’t know what to do in order to attract 125 people in a short amount of time.
She was already working on natural search traffic, as well as a little paid search, but she was on a deadline and needed to get the word out much faster. Recalling some of the success I had with press releases, Arlene decided to try one herself. She proceeded to write out a 3-page bullet-point press release, but pressed for time decided to outsource the writing to a professional. I recommended posting the project on Elance.com. She posted her project and within a couple of days she was amazed at the number of bids she had. After reading through bidder’s feedback and evaluating samples, she corresponded with a few bidders before selecting a girl named Julie.
Arlene awarded the project, sent all of her notes and answered a couple of questions. Three days and $125 later, Julie completed the press release and Arlene was in business. The next step was submitting the press release to PRWeb.com. Arlene set up a free account following the outlined steps and within 20 minutes she was done. The press released was distributed on a Sunday evening, and by Monday morning she awoke to find her press release on page one of Google News and Yahoo News!
But that wasn’t all. Within a week her press release was listed on hundreds of websites. Buoyed by success, Arlene then printed off 30 copies and packaged them up with a letter to the editor and sent them off to the local media. That was a Thursday. By the following Monday afternoon a reporter and cameraman were sitting at our kitchen table interviewing Arlene for a story.
The success of the press release continued, and the next weekend she was the feature story in a weekend edition with the full front cover of the newspaper and another page-and-a-half inside. She was amazed. To buy a full-page in the local paper cost $1250, and she had two-and-a-half pages, including the front cover, for free. Arlene received thousands of dollars of free promotion for her website, while her actual cost was $125 for the writer, $80 for the PRWeb release, and the cost of 30 envelopes, stamps and photocopying.
As you might expect, her teleseminar was a huge success. Hundreds of people signed up, many attended the live interview, and those who couldn’t received an audio recording.
7 Steps to Getting FREE Publicity
Utilizing the media is an effective and free way to garner publicity for your site, but you must be willing to take the steps necessary. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to earning traffic-generating free publicity for your site.
1.) Make Something Happen
Mario Bonilla, platform trainer for PRWeb.com states that, “a press release is simply an announcement about something that 1) happened, 2) is happening, or 3) is going to happen.” No matter your business, something is happening and you need to announce it by sending out press releases to any media that you can think of. What if nothing is happening? Make something happen. Write a free report, schedule a teleseminar, create a new product, tutorial, audio or video. Create something that will attract interest and then announce it using a press release. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking, just interesting and valuable enough to attract attention and drive traffic to your site.
2.) Build Your Media List
A great way to build your list of media contacts is by surfing Google. In Arlene’s case, she gathered all of the necessary contact information for epilepsy societies and support groups online. She collected all of the key influencers for her niche. You need to build a similar list for your site and then start sending them your press releases to them. You might be surprised how much interest you attract and how much free publicity it will generate.
3.) Post a Project
Don’t be afraid of press releases. If you aren’t confident in your abilities to craft an effective press release, then learn. If you still aren’t comfortable writing one, then outsource the job to a professional by posting a project on Elance. The cost to hire a professional will be small and will more than pay for itself when you start to receive the free publicity from the media.
4.) Don’t Forget To Optimize
This is a critical step. It is important to have a press release that includes keyword rich links pointing back to the relevant pages on your site. This is a step many miss. What is the point of announcing your new product or service without the ability for people to immediately connect to your site.
5.) Distribute Widely
Again, don’t fall into the trap of thinking people don’t care about what you are doing. The worst that will happen is they will just ignore your press release. But more often than you think, it will attract the attention of an editor in need of a good story, or even a desperate editor in need of anything to fill space. Regardless of the reason, the more media you get your information in front of the more free publicity you will get. Use PRWeb.com for wide distribution, and typically you will find your press release in Google and Yahoo News with 24-48 hours.
6.) Think Locally
Make up packages of your press releases and mail it to all of the local media you can think of. Don’t overlook small weekly newspapers and specialty magazines. Think outside the box here and utilize every known media outlet in your area. Snail mail will be more effective with local media, as editors rarely receive print mail anymore and they will find it refreshing and more likely to read it.
7.) Be Consistent
This isn’t a one-time effort. Get in the habit of sending out monthly press releases. Keep beating the promotional drum. The key is to be consistent, and this effort will result in more and more media attention. Timing is everything. Sometimes you will get the attention of an editor, sometimes you won’t. The important thing is to keep a consistent flow of press releases and eventually the free publicity will come.
Get Started Today
Promoting a website is a constant task. The sooner you start the quicker you will build your traffic. Don’t wait for the right time, that doesn’t exist. Start today and use your creativity to create publicity every day. Put the media to work for you immediately and you will discover that it is one of the most creative and exciting ways to build your website traffic. The fact that it is inexpensive is a big bonus.
Learn more about building and promoting your online business through James Martell’s training programs, watch a FREE informative video and get your FREE subscription to James & Arlene Martell’s NEWSLETTER - The News About Building Profitable Websites From Home - by clicking HERE!