Your blog is craving attention and journalists are starving for new useful information to share with the public. Top quality content attracts publicity, recognition and traffic. Writing content that attracts journalists and backlinks from other bloggers takes a little know how but if you know how to write attention grabbing content for your readers, you're halfway there.
Here are a few tips and strategies to write Publicity Friendly Content.
1. Write Compelling Headlines
An average site visitor will spend 30 seconds checking out your article to decide if it's worth their time to continue. Start with a compelling headline that tells your reader what you'll be talking about and how it can answer their needs. Always remember to use "WIIFM" mentality. What are you offering your readers? Figure out a need and meet it.
One secret I learned for coming up with great headlines was to track what gets my attention. Create a "swipe file", which is a list of all the headlines in your email inbox that grab your attention. Swipe and file those headlines as a resource to return to for ideas.
Without a doubt, you MUST do a little keyword research when creating your headlines.
You do this for a number of reasons but the most important one is to learn the language of your audience. What keyword phrases are they using to find the content they need? The old sales term comes to mind "mirror and match". This means you practice being and speaking just like that person you are researching so there is a better - clearer - means of communication that they can relate to. Speak their language.
Use the keywords and phrases in your headlines for a better search engine results, but don't sound like you just pulled your headline from a dictionary. Be human and speak like you normally would...just incorporate the keywords into your sentence.
A few resources for writing great headlines:
- How To Write Magnetic Headlines - Copyblogger
- A Top Headline Writing Trick Copywriting Gurus Love - Remarkablogger
- 31 Days To Build A Better Blog - by Darren Rowse of Problogger
2. Why Am I Here?
As we mentioned before, you have a matter of seconds to convince your visitor to continue reading your blog, so it's important to have your message - or your blog's purpose - to come through at first glance.
Remember your readers are always asking "WIIFM". Can they identify your message and does it speak to them? Does your blog title, domain name, tag line and blog design give an immediate snapshot into what they can expect from you?
My goal with Market Like A Chick's domain name was to take the "she throws like a chick" innuendo and dish it right back up with smart marketing strategies in the voice of a chick - a woman that can hang with the best of the guys and speak with a real, no BS viewpoint. I created my main header banner myself to include my personality...one that is current with the trends, a deep thinker, yet still definitely feminine. Do you get that when you visit here?
When creating your content and lay out keep your points clear and your content formatted so it's easy to read online. That means headings and subheadings with clear points and bullets or lists because the truth is, people tend to scan rather than read online.
A journalist looking for an article to publicize is not going to take more than a few moments to try and uncover your message. Keep things easy to scan using subheading to pique the reader's interest. Your subheadings are just as important as your main headline to keep readers engaged. Long, run-on paragraphs are boring and lose attention.
I generally try to keep my paragraphs between 2 to 4 sentences. Just get your point across without making a reader dig through a bunch of rambling.
Don't be afraid to use a one sentence paragraph to make a point and keep your reader from glazing over.
Some great resources:
- Are You Trying To Be Too Smart - Men With Pens
- Can Your Blog Explain Its Purpose in One Second? - Entrepreneur's Journey
3. Use Images and Graphics
Whenever possible you should integrate graphics and data to support the information in your article and quote sources responsibly. Journalists take their work seriously, as we all should, and when our work is used without permission or proper attribution it is considered very bad etiquette.
If you've written your article based on a case study or market research you will usually find that the graphs have already been created for you. If not, it's fairly easy to create one in PowerPoint yourself and use the image in your article.
Images speak a thousand words and can help get your point across or prepare the reader for what to expect, simplifying the reading experience.
One of my most trafficked articles that received several trackbacks was written using a case study report that Razorfish had done on why we friend brands online. It doesn't have to be YOUR case study, just remember to quote your source for proper credit. Your viewpoint is what readers are interested in and helps uncover the meaning of all those statistics.
4. Make Your Content Newsworthy
Make sure your publicity friendly content has a point and the point is relevant and newsworthy. For example, an article about housetraining a dog may not be newsworthy though your prospects may be drawn to your site to access that information.
However, if your article is about the rise in homeless animals and the need for more adoption, which could then lead into information about housetraining a new dog or link to an article on housebreaking a dog then you're fulfilling the needs of journalists and your audience at the same time.
Journalists and publications seem to love "top lists". You can create a list for whatever niche you are writing about. Think of what has benefited you as you have learned your industry...what authors helped you the most, what 20 things did you discover were a waste of precious time, where can you find resources to save time or money? Get creative and make your list.
One example that I used was the 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs by Women that had made a difference in my journey. I put together the list of all the women I had networked with, learned from and respected. It took me weeks to put together this one article, but it was worth it since it was picked up and published on Forbes! Not only did I benefit, but so did those 20 ladies.
5. Share Your Industry Knowledge
Journalists respect and flock to experts in a particular industry and if your website is consistently leading with information and discussing the latest industry news you stand a great chance of becoming their go-to person.
Using your keywords that we talked about in #1 will help journalists find you. Without those keywords and your name associated with them how will anyone ever know you have the experience they are seeking?
Google your name, your industry niche, and industry keywords to get an idea of where you rank and what type of message you are sending for Google to reference.
When I wrote my series on using social media for event marketing I made sure I checked keyword competition and the amount of search traffic for various phrases before publishing. Because of this my articles appeared on the first page of Google which led IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) to my blog and my work was discovered.
I just finished writing an original article on event marketing with social media for IABC's monthly newsletter which goes out to over 15k subscribers.
Awesome resource for keyword research learning:
- Cloud Living - by Glen Allsop of PluginID and Viper Chill
6. Create Your Own Media Kit
Finally, make sure you have a media page on your website with photos, bios and contact information. You may also want to post links to press releases, published work, awards, recognition and any other information that will add credibility.
If you have great publicity friendly content but forget your media page, then you could be losing valuable opportunities.
You will find most of this information on my About Me page...barring the photos, which is still one of my most dreaded requests. Yes, I need it. Yes, I know I am probably missing out...so what is my problem?? I'm working on my camera shyness, so bear with me as I overcome this last hurdle. Don't be like me in this case.
When designing your content strategy for the next quarter or year, make sure to include regular publicity friendly content, it can work quite well to attract media attention while at the same time add credibility to your website and still help draw traffic from prospects and customers.
What say ye?? Do you have any other tidbits you might offer to get your content noticed? Start the discussion below in the comments section. Replies are usually posted within the hour.
To Your Success,
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