How to Become an Expert at Getting Free Publicity
No doubt if you've been online any length of time, you keep hearing about all the wonderful opportunities for free publicity, and how this can skyrocket your web traffic and your success level. Like everything else on the Net, it's easier after you've done it a few times. Getting started is what often separates the "been there - done that" crowd from the "never have - never will" bunch.
Accordingly, I have researched numerous articles, resources, and websites to put together a comprehensive guide to getting Free Publicity. This is a recipe approach, so that anyone can follow the steps and get good results. At the end of the article, please look for links to some of the excellent resources I used in compiling this information.
Here are the basic steps involved:
It's really as easy as that. Of course, in everything you publish, you will be including a signature line, which describes succinctly and powerfully what particular benefit you provide people, and how to reach you for more information. Typically, this is done by advertising your website's URL. Also, give people a real incentive to go the extra mile and visit your website. Offer the readers of the article (or listeners of the interview) a bonus for visiting your website that is not offered to anyone else.
And it goes without saying that before you invite a lot of people to your website, make sure you have developed your core products and services and arranged to have them properly showcased on your website. When that traffic arrives, you want them to have an easy time purchasing from you!
Becoming an Expert
This is at once the hardest and the easiest part. Almost everyone is an expert at something, if only through endless daily repetition. But few people recognize the value of their specialized knowledge, or how to structure it to appeal to a mass market. Analyze your Information Assets, and determine an area in which you are an expert. Then get started! Truly, all the Experts in the world became so after declaring themselves Experts and setting about the daily business of producing specialized niche products and information.
If you would like more help in identifying your own Expert Niche, e-mail us for a free complete report: Niche Marketing: The Secret to Internet Success!
Develop Material, Articles, Opinions
OK, so now you're an expert - prove it! Begin to create products, articles, resources, and opinions which illustrate that you have spent a lot of time learning more than the average person about a particular subject. For purposes of Free Publicity, you will want to create informational articles and opinion pieces, for publication, and to form the basis of interviews. Of course, it hardly makes sense to make any free publicity efforts before you have products and services ready-made to market once the wave of visitors arrives at your website as a result of all your free publicity, so make sure you develop your product line thoroughly first.
As for the articles, How-To pieces are the most popular, and most likely to get published (this is an example of a 'how-to' article). Also, well-thought out and articulated opinion pieces are often picked up by national publications, especially if the opinion is controversial, or on a subject of current national debate.
A tried and true technique is to peruse several issues of a target publication (online or offline) to get a feel for the type of articles published, the length, the topics covered, etc. Then you can develop your materials in such a way that you dramatically increase your chances of getting published.
Open Publication Avenues
Once your material is developed and ready to be shared with the world (and maybe before you write your articles, so you can match your work to the publication requirements of your targets), it's time to locate and open your publication avenues. Visit websites, check out back issues, and read FAQ's where available, to find out the procedures for submitting articles.
Most places have length and topic requirements for submitted articles. Follow these scrupulously if you want to get published. There is competition out there! If an editor is faced with deciding between your epic and one that fits in his single page of available pace, you get axed, even if your material is superior!
Follow a three-pronged approach, directed towards these major publicity avenues:
The benefits of using Online publication sources are well-known: free distribution, well-defined demographic readerships, cross-linking possibilities, traffic-building nature, and they serve to bolster your reputation as an Expert. The only remaining question is which newsletters, e-zines, and news / discussion groups do you target as publication avenues? Research is the answer: you must locate publications which are discussing your topical area of Expertise, since that is where your target audience congregates.
For Newsletters and E-zines, check out http://www.dominis.com/Zines/ByCategory/E-mail_Newsletters/ , which indexes thousands of publications. Also, look at this list of popular web marketing ezines, courtesy of JDD Publishing http://www.bizweb2000.com/competit.htm
For Newsgroups, the best resource for finding groups which are discussing your topic is still Deja News. I have tried some others, but so far, this one is my favorite. You can search any number of ways, and you get outstanding results, with numerous leads to follow. Check them out at http://www.dejanews.com
For Discussion Groups, check out some of these resources:
Indexed list (by subject!), which makes it very easy to locate appropriate targets.
Over 70,000 lists - great database of information.
And then there's the Offline world. Free publicity here comes in two flavors: Broadcast and Publications. Broadcast publicity takes the form of radio and television interviews. There is an entire art and science to getting on radio and television. And, as with most other things, there is an expert! Dr. Kevin Nunley is one of the Net's foremost experts on free publicity, especially as it relates to radio and television interviews. You can learn everything you need to know about this subject by visiting: http://www.drnunley.com/index.htm
There are numerous ways to get published in offline publications, but the easiest, most surefire way is to visit http://www.gebbieinc.com and check out their extensive resources for disseminating your articles and press releases. Gebbie is also a renowned resource for locating television and radio contacts, to help you find your way onto the airwaves. Programmers are STARVING for high-quality, topical, interesting subject matter! Present yourself as an Expert, and you will have no trouble getting interviews, often ones that air NATIONWIDE!
I haven't mentioned Press Releases yet, but in many cases, they are an excellent way to get Free Publicity also. I prefer to add something to the body of knowledge by creating an Information Article, but sometimes a well-timed Press Release on some new product that provides compelling information about a hot topic works just as well. There are even several firms that specialize in developing and circulating Press Releases to a global list of publications. I have had good experiences with http://www.newsbureau.com/ .
For further information, check out these experienced "Free Publicity" Experts on the Net, whose websites and publications have provided me with plenty of information and resources on getting Free Publicity.
JDD Publications - http://www.bizweb2000.com
Kevin Needham - http://www.inetexchange.com/
Leslie Speidel and Dr. Kevin Nunley at Small Business University - http://www.SmallBusinessU.com
Dr. Paul Hartunian - http://www.netrageous.com/pr/video.html