I had a great time meeting alot of new people this week at SMX East and at Jane and Robots Summit. Several things became very apparent from my brief time stepping out of my cave and mingling with others. I noticed that newbies are still making newbie mistakes (some things will never change). More experienced people were always making newbie mistakes.
My forehead really hurts from the repeated times I smacked my forehead after listening to a semi-experienced webmaster running a profitable websites and totally misunderstanding a basic concept. One common feeling that I found was that press releases suck and are worthless for internet marketing. As you could probably tell from my blog title, I disagree with this.
I (and many of my colleagues) regularly use press releases for internet marketing and PROFIT from it.
How is this possible? Well let me first tell you how I don’t use a press release…
Simple Paid Link – If you think of a press release as simply paying $100 and getting a link then you are gonna lose money.
Ego Boost – If you are submitting press releases because you like to see your google alert for your name get triggered well congrats on seeing your name online but it is not the best way to profit online.
Generic Content Distribution – By submitting a press release for every page of your boring, crappy content you are probably creating more of a duplicate content issue than any promotion benefit. People don’t care about generic, boring, crappy content.
How should you use a press release…
Selectively Promote Best Content – Only use a press release when you have content that is interesting. I don’t care if you think its interesting or if your mom thinks your are special. If I gave your press release to 100 people waiting at a train station would more than half read past the first paragraph? Don’t worry every industry (including your boring industry – no offense to you but its probably true) has an interesting angle you can use for a press release. You just need to be creative or hire something that is creative.
Attracting Traffic Leads to Links – Technically a press release is a paid link because you are paying a submission and it will probably lead to some links but don’t think of it as paid link. Take pride in having your press release being so interesting that it gets picked up by bloggers and newspaper editors. If you focus on having a high quality press release that attracts real readers I guarantee you it will also gain backlinks. If you are only focusing on the paid link aspect you are probably pushing a low quality press release that will likely deliver low to no link benefit.
Overall you want to use a press release as a promotional tool that just happens to have a side effect of attracting links to quality content. Come up with a funny top 10 list or a useful guide for that new product in your industry. Just come up with something that has value and will be interesting to someone other than you. Otherwise just ignore this blog post and keep on ignoring the benefits that press releases can bring to your website 🙂