How can your blog work more effectively to generate more credibility, more brand awareness and more sales for your business? Yes, we all know blogging delivers in terms of improving your website’s search engine optimisation and thereby, improving the ranking for your website. However, blogging can also improve your brand awareness by providing you with free press coverage in various magazines and newspapers.
I’ll start off by providing you with a couple of examples of how blogging helped me to achieve considerable PR with my online business and how your blogs can have a synergy between them which means that one blog can improve the recognition and scope of another blog.
My Garrendenny Lane blog was less than a month old back in early 2008 when I received a telephone call from a journalist writing for a national weekly newspaper supplement (Irish Country Living of Irish Farmers Journal). Initially she was wondering if I could provide her with some of my photographs but during the course of our conversation, she realised that I was married to a dairy farmer and within 3 weeks, she had visited to interview me and the photographer had called and I was featured in a full page spread. That call came because an influential interiors blog at the time had placed me on her ‘Favourite Blogs’ list and the journalist followed the link. It was my first piece of free press coverage.
Sending out a press release giving news of a new exclusive wallpaper supplier resulted in press coverage in a number of Interiors magazines but perhaps more importantly, it meant that I could now build a relationship with these journalists, sending them information of new products that I was stocking, products that were not available elsewhere in Ireland and as a result, many of my products were featured in various Interiors magazines and weekend newspaper supplements.
Journalists are constantly looking for news angles for stories hence, try to phrase your blog topics or blog pages in such a way that they will find the answers to the questions they are asking. I recently delivered a talk on my use of social media to a business group in Wexford and during the course of my presentation, I mentioned my three blogs. Last week, I received a phone call from a journalist at the event, she had visited my Irish Farmerette blog and read my page ‘Why Farmers Should Blog’ and felt it fitted into an article she is writing for the international edition of the New York Times and rang me for a telephone interview. That page could have been written for any business type but I had moulded it to suit my personal blog and it spelt out something I felt strongly about which happened to suit the angle for this journalist’s article.
10 Tips – How To Get Free PR Via Your Blog
- Write about newsworthy topics.
- Think ahead – what events will be covered in the news in the coming weeks? Do you have a story that can be manipulated to tie in with a newsworthy story or event – write about it in your blog.
- Report on important events so that you become the go-to blogger for that particular event. This will strengthen your credibility as an expert in that area and you will be contacted for your opinion.
- Posit interesting angles on topics.
- Be slightly controversial.
- Write about a product that you are stocking that is exclusive or not readily available within your area.
- Promote your blog post on other social media channels – you never know which journalists might be following you.
- Identify questions that customers and journalists may ask and answer them within your blog posts.
- Use good images, particularly if your product/service is visual.
- Ensure your contact information is easy to find.
5 Tips For More Press Coverage
- Remember to thank them. Just as everyone does, journalists appreciate being thanked and they will be more likely to remember you and use you again.
- By sharing links to the press coverage, the journalist will know you are also working to ensure their piece is read by a large audience and is successful.
- Maintaining a good relationship with even one or two journalists will mean that they will refer you to others.
- Following journalists on twitter and engaging in conversation with them will get you noticed. However, ensure your replies or comments are meaningful and never overdo it.
- Be helpful. Journalists are often working to a tight deadline and need everything within a short space of time so by providing them with high resolution images or quotations quickly usually transfers into a higher likelihood of being included in their feature.
Has a journalist contacted you after finding your blog? I’d love to hear more stories of how blogs generated free press coverage.
If you are struggling to think of newsworthy topics for your blog, why not book a ‘blog consultation‘ with Marie or I where we can help you come up with a blogging strategy for the coming months.