[Case Study] Getting Featured on Websites with Over 250,000 Viewers

Getting your business featured on a website with over a quarter of a million daily visits can be pretty exciting.

It still makes me smile, and I’ve been doing this for years!

But the trick to this kind of publicity is actually surprisingly simple. Today, I’m going to tell you how we managed this feat just last week.

1. Use a clean, straightforward press release.

Making an explosive press release may seem like a good idea, but editors don’t have time to read between the lines and dig deep for the story.

So when our client sent us his book, we kept it simple. A short, well worded press release was all it took to convey the message.

And it worked.

2. Take the time to email people personally.

Sending out your press release to every possible email address might seem like a good idea, but personalized communication still works best.

After all, no writer on Earth is going to get angry when you compliment them for the great article they wrote last week–so if that article is related to your press release, mention it!

Simply affirming their good work can be all it takes to build a lasting relationship that develops new stories for you and your business.

Just make sure you’re being honest and personal. Saying “your article last week was great,” isn’t going to fool anyone.

3. Mass distribution is ineffective (on its own).

I hate mass distribution for press releases–or at least how people use them.

You can’t simply post a press release on a few hundred websites and expect people to care.

But by using mass distribution in addition to your personalized messages, you can add credence to your press release.

It also boosts your SEO efforts, which is huge in the internet age.

4. Don’t be afraid to follow up.

Sending a followup email can seem bothersome, but there are ways to do this without becoming a nuisance.

Just make sure that when you follow up, you don’t repeat yourself.

Instead, here’s what you should do:

  • Offer a new angle for the story.
  • Create more value by offering something new.

By suggesting new spins on the story, you make the writer’s job easier–and who doesn’t love that?

Plus, you can create more value by offering a discount on your product or sending a free sample to the publication you’re targeting.

These 4 simple steps have got our clients on some pretty popular websites, and they can work for you, too!


The Real Purpose of a Press Release [Hint: It Has Nothing to Do with Your Company]

When people write a press release, they usually make one subtle mistake–a mistake that ruins their chances of success before they ever send the press release out.

They think the purpose of the press release is to spread the word about a business.

Of course, that’s the ultimate goal: to get coverage. But the real purpose, at least for the editor who reads it, has nothing to do with your company.

The real purpose is to make life easier for the editors and writers you contact.

Editors look at hundreds of press releases every single day.

Just let that sink in for a minute. Imagine reading 200 press release headlines every day. It takes hours and hours to go through all of them, and the most an editor can hope for is that a few of them make for an interesting story.

If it’s not instantly clear how the writers could drum up a story with your press release, the editor will most likely pass on it.

But if you can create a press release that presents a clear, interesting story right off the bat, then you make life easier for the editor.

And that’s how you get coverage for your business.

Standing Out & Blending In (The Advice You Never Hear)

When it comes to marketing, every person on Earth knows that you need to stand out, be unique, paint yourself purple, and stick out like a sore thumb.

I’m not saying that advice is wrong, but it’s important to remember that standing out and blending in are not opposites!

Here’s what I mean:

By associating your business with similar groups, you can draw a lot more attention to yourself. Don’t try to be a lone wolf! Instead, find the businesses that compliment your services and start cross-marketing.

Here are a few ways you can do that.

Throw a Charity Event.

If you have a local business, get together with others for a charity or social event. It will create goodwill for your brand and draw in new potential customers.

This can be especially useful for newer businesses to make a name for themselves in the community.

Digital Business? No Problem.
Just Don’t Get Stuck in the Friend Zone.

You’re probably already sending friend requests all over the internet… and you’re probably already disappointed.

Being friends with someone online is a meaningless gesture.

But creating products cooperatively, building lead magnets together, and hosting an event in real life can all make that relationship more powerful.

Even simply offering coupons to your respective customers can strengthen your bond (and your bottom line).

Just Remember:
People Trust Groups More than Individuals.

It’s natural for us to be wary of random people selling us goods and services online.

But by aligning yourself with well-known and trusted businesses, you instantly boost your credibility.

It’s the same reason that web designers show a portfolio of their best clients. It’s called social proof, and it can drastically increase your sales.

[Case Study] How We Got 27% of Publications to Cover an eBook

Let’s face it: there’s no shortage of eBooks out there.

With Amazon and Microsoft Word, anybody can publish a book in a matter of minutes.

There are over 12 million Kindle books available right now, covering virtually every topic and telling virtually every story.

Getting your own book some attention can be frustratingly difficult.

In spite of the overflowing pile of competition, we were able to get stories in 27% of the publications we emailed.

And the way we did it was incredibly simple.

1. Personalized Emails.

Even though your press release is going to be identical for everyone, there’s no reason your emails should be.

In a very informal test, we tried sending out two emails:

  • One with a personalized message, followed by a press release.
  • Another with a generic greeting, followed by a press release.

The personalized email became a story 20% of the time.

The generic email produced only one result–and it wasn’t a story. The recipient emailed us back about two months later to say that they’ve been busy, and they might cover the book later.

So how did we personalize the emails?

All we did was mention something the publication had written about or was proud of. If they focused on environmental concerns, we made sure they knew how important that was to the author.

Press releases create stories, but personalized messages create connections.

2. Following Up.

Just because you haven’t heard back from someone doesn’t mean they’re completely uninterested.

The editor here at Two Potatoes receives literally hundreds of press releases every week. He has to boil that down to a handful of stories, and on top of that, he’s busy actually editing the news.

Sometimes, stories slip through the cracks.

That’s why we followed up. A phone call was the preferred method, but if we couldn’t find the number, we went with a second email.

This boosted our success rate from 20% to 27%.

It only took about 15 minutes, and it created an additional audience of about 100,000.

3. Forget the New York Times.

I love the Times, but they’re probably not going to write about every client that comes through here.

That’s OK.

When deciding whom to email, we didn’t focus on the “big fish.” We found the publications that were going to care most about this particular book, big or small.

Stay-at-home bloggers made the list, too. This is important, because even though they have small audiences of about 1-10,000, it adds up quickly.

Plus, they’re usually pretty excited about having a PR agency email them, asking for their attention.

And the because of the way search engines work…

10 publications with 10,000 viewers is better than
1 publication with 100,000 viewers.

That’s because your book is easier to find and more likely to show up in Google.

It doesn’t sound as impressive (to people outside of marketing), but it’s more important to your sales.


Consumer-Targeted Press Release: The Perpetual Motion Device for Business

I’ve rallied for the use of press releases in place of advertisements due to the (often higher) ROI.

But most people think of a press release as something unrelated to advertisements, which is why consumer-targeted press releases probably don’t get the attention they deserve.

Here’s how it works:

  1. We create a press release with links to your product or service.
  2. The press release is then posted online, either on your own website or with a third-party journal of some sort.
  3. Finally, the press release is also mailed to publications who can then write their own stories about your business.

This consumer-targeted strategy allows your press release to work as an advertisement, sort of like an advertorial or native ad.

3% Conversion and $1.70 per Click.

Using a consumer-targeted press release, one of our clients, a supplement affiliate, managed a 3% conversion rate, making almost $2 for every person who clicked the ad.

($2 isn’t much, but when you have 100,000 visitors every month, it adds up fast.)

And bear in mind that a 3% conversion rate isn’t bad even for an actual advertisement. Getting these results with a press release is great.

Generating Buzz and a Profit All At Once.

Making money directly from the consumer-targeted press release is awesome, but what really sweetens the deal is that our client then used the same press release as… well, a press release.

That means that publications were telling customers about his offer for free, in the form of a news story, which generated even more traffic.

It’s like a perpetual motion device that spits out money.

And all it took was a $250 press release.

What’s the ROI on that?

Well, just 147 clicks covered the cost of the press release.

1,000 clicks after that made him about $1,700.

At 100,000 clicks… $170,000.

That’s enough to quit your day job, take a vacation, buy a new car, and go all-in with your true passion.

Is that worth $250? I certainly think so.