This is a guest post from Spencer Mitchell from SurveySpencer.com. I commented on one of his guest post previously and he agreed to contribute a post here.
Press releases have all the goodies that internet marketers adore rolled into one package:
Brand exposure? Yup.
Laser-targeted traffic? Oh yeah.
Google-friendly backlinks? By the boatload.
Fuel for palatable social media buzz? You betcha.
To me, press releases are the most underutilized weapon in the internet marketing world. Most people know that press releases are a killer marketing tactic, but seldom use them.
I’m going to smash the limiting beliefs that stop most site owners from using press releases and unveil some of my black belt tricks for maximizing your release’s exposure (with a focus on backlink creation).
Why You Need to Write a Press Release This Week
Press releases are the backbone of my SEO strategy for my surveys for money review site Survey Spencer. That, along with some guest posting, is all I’ve done to get the site ranked for a number of hard-as-nail keywords in big G, including the #2 spot for “online surveys for money”. Admittedly, press releases don’t usually melt my server with a tidal wave of traffic. But I do usually make back the money that I spend on a press release distribution package from the visitors the release brings in.
But whenever I ask one of my new SEO clients why they haven’t done a press release lately they usually reply with something along the line of: “We don’t have anything newsworthy to write about.”
As long as you’re writing content, creating new social media accounts, launching products or even just breathing you probably have more than enough material to craft a decent press release.
Press Release Topic Cheat Sheet
The trick to creating press releases that get accepted by press release sites (which are usually picky about the content that they accept) is to simply take something NEW that you’re doing and write it as a news article. That’s it!
Of course, if you have something truly newsworthy you should use that, but it’s important to note that you don’t necessarily need Earth-shattering news to get a press release out there.
Here are some topics that any site owner can use to put together a top-notch release:
- Redesigning or updating your site
- Adding a new post or infographic (yes, that’s it!)
- Opening a new social media account (like Pinterest)
- Launching a newsletter, ebook or service
- Getting your guest post published in an authority site
- A contest
- New section of your site (forum, blog etc.)
- A JV with another marketer
Once you’ve picked a topic, you need to write it in such a way that it will be accepted by PR sites and picked up by powerhouse authorities.
Writing Winning Press Releases
There’s an art and a science to writing a press release. The art is putting a newsworthy angle on what you’re up to. The science is making sure you follow the basic rules of press release writing.
This page has a nice overview on how to write a press release for newbies.
In addition to the basics, there are a few tricks that I suggest you use to squeeze every drop from my press release campaign:
- Include a high volume keyword in the press release title: Lots of sites have built-in feeds that post press releases to their site if they’re on a certain topic. To get your release posted on as many of those as you can, try to work in a broad niche keyword into your title. For example, if you had a website about eggplants you’d want to include keywords like “nutrition”, “food” or “health” into the title.
- Include your link in the first sentence: Many sites only post the first 50 or so words of your release on their site. To ensure you get a link from as many as you can, put your backlink in as early as possible.
- Write a Strong Summary: Like real news articles, press releases have a short summary section. Don’t skimp on this section as it is all most sites see (in addition to the headline) when deciding whether to syndicate your release.
Get The Word Out
Now that you’re press release is ready to rock, all that’s left to do is send it out and let the newswires do their thing. There are literally hundreds of sites that will send your press release around and choosing one is an art in and of itself.
After a lot of trial and error I’ve found that PRWeb.com and EmailWire.com a push my release to the most places. But they’re pricey. SEOPressReleases.com, WebWire.com and EmpoweredNews.net offer good value distributions for those on a tight budget.
In addition to the wire’s distribution, you should also promote your release via social media. A press release is a great way to say to your followers: “Hey, look at me. I’m not just cool to you guys…I’m in the news!”. Amazingly, I’ve seen my press releases published in sites like SFGate.com and Boston using a $20 distribution package. Imagine sharing that with your Facebook fans.
Spencer is the coffee and SEO-addicted owner of SurveySpencer.com, a site dedicated to helping people make money online from paid surveys. When he’s not building backlinks Spencer can usually be found backpacking through Western Europe.
Photo credit: adactio