Most bloggers dream about having features in newspapers, magazines, radio or TV about you and your site. Being featured in the mainstream media is seen as the haunt of the exclusive few, but it need not be. Getting the press to cover your site isn’t too tricky, however you need to work for it.
What Happened To Me & Why It Isn’t The Best
I have been featured a number of times in a number of places. The Guardian, BBC Radio Wales & The North Wales Weekly News have all done a feature on me, or done stories that involve me as a blogger giving my opinion. This is great, as it has put me over as an authoritative member of the blogosphere. But how did I get this?
By doing nothing.
Well that’s not strictly true. My title tag for my blog at the time was “Rhys Wynne | Technology Blogger from Colwyn Bay, North Wales”. This isn’t optimized greatly for general blogging, but it did say:
- Who I was
- What I write about
- Where I was living
The researcher for the story (this was for BBC Wales) did Google “blogger North Wales” or “North Wales Blog”, found my name, read a few posts & then telephoned every person with the surname Wynne, living in Colwyn Bay, located within the phone book. Although I wasn’t listed, my mum was & she rang me about it.
It was a bit lucky yes, but you can make your own luck. If you want media attention, start small, target keywords both geographically & niche, and include the word “Blog”. You only need one break, but once you get it & you conduct yourself professionally & knowledgably, you will probably get asked back again & again (I’ve appeared on the radio a few times now).
That’s a great way to start, but it isn’t always the best. The amount of traffic obtained from the BBC isn’t the best, and very few people who did visit became regular readers, but it’s nice just for you to use on your press page.
The Less Than Ideal Way, But Still Cool & Ultimately More Profitable
The second way is a little more work to do, but ultimately more profitable. Again target local media, but go hyper local (newspapers for your area for example). Most local newspapers have a circulation of around 40,000 in the UK at least – who wouldn’t want 40,000 eyeballs looking at your site (well, technically 80,000)?
To do this, you need to get media attention, and offer something that benefits local people. Release a product that’s aimed at local people, give your old computer to a local charity, or offer a free seminar to businesses on how to do something. My personal favourite is a tweetup – organise a night in a local bar or conference centre for your twitter followers.
If this all sounds expensive, well it’s only as expensive for as much as you make it. Venue hire varies for facilities & size, but you can probably get something quite cheap for under $100. Bars are usually cheaper if you can get numbers there who will have drinks. Getting local businesses to sponsor the event as well is a great way to lower costs.
Make sure the event has a focus – that way you’ll get more people to attend, and write a press release. Simply state where, what for & when in the release, as well as information on yourself (list your blog here, put yourself as a “blogging guru” or something similar), and contact local papers. Most struggle for news, so you are likely to get coverage, as long as you make it clear that it benefits local people (also good to say how).
If you are targeting local businesses, not only will the media attention be greater, but it’ll also be more profitable. You’ll immediately be seen as the go to guy for that subject, which could land you some great contracts. You can make it a one off, but it could be great to build from there, with a monthly or annual event.
If It Gets Serious
If you do get a lot of interest in your content, the best way to go forward then is with a press page on your site. This will be hidden away within your site, often leading off your about me page. List your experience, what you do & what you are comfortable talking about. Furthermore, this would be a great place to optimize for the title tags talked about earlier on the page. Finally, list your contact details (an email address will suffice).
In conclusion, if you are after media attention for your site, here’s some tips for getting it:
- Present yourself as authoritative – the go-to guy for your niche.
- Have something that the media will cover. Events & Seminars work better than products.
- Write a press release, and ring your local papers to talk about it asking to send it over.
- Use your full name.
- Create a press page explaining what you do, how you can be contacted & previous experience.
- Optimize your site or press page to hit local searches.
This does take time, it took me about 5 years before I started getting interest, but it can be a nice diversion, maybe even profitable in the long run. Best of luck!
A post by Rhys Wynne.
Image by Monroe’s Dragonfly.