Obviously, Guest Posting + PR is an important part of our strategy at Ginger Marketing, being one of our primary services. Slowly but surely we are starting to increase the amount of time spent marketing our business, but it's tough to carve out the time! Even we have difficulties - and we have everything set up and in place to execute!
Recently I've been trying one tactic which has worked pretty well. It is SUPER simple and takes only a few minutes every day. That is if you follow the basic rules about how to execute the tactic effectively.
And today I'm going to explain what this tactic is AND the basic rules you need to follow in order to execute it effectively.
Please, please, please, read down to the end of the post. Don't just read the tactic and go "Right - that’s it!" and launch into execution without at least trying to understand the nuances.
Very likely you will already know this, you will probably have read every piece of advice I am about to give.
BUT, until you have actually implemented it correctly, to land your company a premium PR placement like we did for The Telegraph, maybe there is something you are missing. I am pretty sure if you are pitching and pitching, and pitching and pitching, and not getting anywhere then I know what the reason is.
And I'm going to explain exactly what is going wrong and how you need to start changing your behaviour to get results.
The reason I am pretty sure I know the reason is because I see people doing it all the time.
In fact, very recently I found an ‘hourlie’ on People Per Hour where someone was selling a pitch template - and even their pitch template had this error. It had been sold hundreds of times, with this error.
Another fact, last week I made the error myself and had to adjust, correct and send the pitch out again.
So, if there is a voice saying - "I know this", "boring", "I don't have time", kindly tell it: “Thanks for popping by and sharing, this is only going to take a few minutes, let’s pay attention and see if we can get this and land our business an epic mention on a premium site.”
P.S. Before I go further, we do not currently offer premium mentions or premium PR (I keep getting enquiries). We offer a mid-level, niche guest posting service which is extremely valuable for your SEO strategy, growing community and brand presence in your niche.
So let's get going.
The tactic I used to land a mention on the Telegraph was answering a #journorequest on twitter.
If you don't follow it already then there is a great hashtag on Twitter called #journorequest where journalists, and also bloggers, tweet out for comments on features they are writing.
There is also a free tool you can sign up to called; Journorequests which collates all of these requests into a handy email so you can just scan through and reply.
Pretty simple right?
You are probably thinking “It can't be that easy?”.
Which is exactly what I thought when I tested it out. I figured, I'll sign up, for the next 2 weeks I'll answer requests and I'll see if we get anywhere. As a rule, I tend to test lots of new tactics and then shelve or keep, depending on results.
#journorequest is a keeper.
So, hopefully, by now, I've convinced you to sign up for the tool or follow the hashtag.
Let's get into how you are going to make it work for your business.
1. Get your sales head on
itching is like selling. You are selling your story to the journalist. When you are selling something to a client what is the first thing you think about? I'll bet you think “What does this person want that I can help them with?”. Or at least that is what you should be thinking.
The trick to selling is aligning what you have with what they want.
Are you with me?
Spend at least one minute reading and thinking about what this person wants before you even think about what you can give them. In sales - the person you are selling to is more important than you. Get that trick right and you are golden.
The problem is, we have a major egocentric issue in our society. Most people are just waiting for everyone else to be quiet so they can speak, this won’t get you anywhere. Read, listen and really think about what this journalist wants and is asking for.
2. Get to the point quickly
There is a MASSIVE difference between writing an educational post like this one, and pitching/selling yourself. When you write a post like this you have to take your reader on a journey, hold them by the hand and lead them to a realisation or a knowing - that's the goal. It's a slower process, the message takes time to unfold because the goal is to educate.
BUT, when you are pitching to #journorequest all you have to do is prove in 140 characters you have what they need. Your goal is to sell. So, get to the fricking point! Just tell them plainly, this is what I can add to your feature. Don't dress it up, don't start talking about your gazillion awards, just tell them what you can offer.
3. Pack your pitch with juice
Just look at how succinct the pitches are with this hashtag and look at how much juice is being packed into the responses. The good thing about Twitter is you have a limited character count which gets rid of waste. The best pitchers give a large amount of information in a short number of words. This gives the journalist everything they need to understand if you are a fit for their piece. If you are a fit they will contact you to get more information, at which point you can start to expand and go into depth.
In summary, read what the journalist is asking for - think about it for at least a minute. Then think "How can I add value to this piece?”. Then sell the journalist that value in a short tweet which
Gets to the point
Packs a lot of juice
Practice makes perfect, so get out there and start pitching!
If you have any more tips we’d love it if you could share in the comments below. What has worked for you?
Patrick Foster, e-commerce writer & marketer
Ten years e-commerce experience under the belt, with a more than a fair helping of SEO know-how. Writing articles to help entrepreneurs and small businesses.
How to Set Up an SEO Campaign - Everything You Need to Know About Your First Steps into the World of SEO
For those who have never done any SEO work, it’s a subject area which can seem strange and daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to take you by the hand and help you take those first steps into the world of SEO campaigns. You’ll find that it’s not so daunting, or as difficult, as you might have first expected...
SEO for Entrepreneurs
Are you an entrepreneur who’s doing everything yourself? If so, you can still get your SEO campaign going with some simple steps. And don’t worry - funds are obviously going to be tight in these early, tentative days, but there are actually quite a lot of things you can do without spending a thing!
Here’s an overview of some of the things you might like to do when you have the chance:
When you’re doing everything for yourself, SEO is probably going to be lower down on your list
of priorities, but you shouldn’t neglect it. If you can find the time, these three things are definitely worth doing — just remember to approach anything like this with a measured approach, as search engines are suspicious of sudden changes and new domains.
Small/Medium Sized Business SEO
If you’re a small business, then you may be in a position to hire somebody specifically to run your SEO campaign. With somebody dedicated to this full time (or even part time), you can get a little more ambitious with it.
Here’s what you could do with an SEO person on your team:
To hire an in-house SEO, you could expect to pay them a salary of around $43,000 - so this is probably not going to be an option for a lot of people. However, there are a lot of freelance SEO consultants around who would be able to offer you some sound guidance at a much cheaper price. Speaking to an SEO could actually help you get an idea of more things that you could be doing yourself as well. (Hiring a digital manager to do SEO, PPC, social media, content and everything else might seem like a good idea at first...but can anyone really be an expert at everything?)
If you really want to push forward with a strong SEO campaign, then your best bet is to hire the services of an SEO agency. Doing this, you are most likely to be dealing with professionals who really know their stuff and the risk of working with SEOs who aren’t well enough informed is much lower.
Here’s the sort of things you can expect from SEO agencies:
Pricing will range a lot on this. If you can only afford a little, then you might like to pay for a slightly smaller service from an agency. Then, of course, there’s also the fact that there are huge differences between individual agencies. If any of them seem too good to be true in terms of pricing, you might want to find out more about their methods: they might be unreliable and outdated.
So in conclusion, if you are going to start up an SEO campaign for your business, there are several different paths open to you. Of course, different options won’t be available to all businesses, but there are tips here for businesses of every size. SEO is extremely important and now that you know how to get started, it would be a good idea to invest as much time as possible into doing so.
SEO is a topic which many small business owners find a confusing part of Marketing their business. There is no doubt about it, it is a large area of Marketing which involves many different skill sets and disciplines.
We asked SEO experts if they could give us their number one SEO tactic for small business in 2017 - the answers are surprisingly varied, which has resulted in a fantastic SEO resource we hope you’ll enjoy.
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
For a small business to gain a competitive edge it is important this year more than any to have your mobile SEO strategy in place.
Later this year Google will most likely be rolling out its 'Mobile 1st' algorithm which means Google will be evaluating and ranking sites based on the quality of the mobile version rather than desktop, as it is now.
If you don't have a 'mobile friendly' website then this should be your main focus in 2017, ideally by creating a responsive/adaptive site that changes dimensions based upon device, or alternatively a specific m.domain.
When this is in place then all your On-Site SEO activity should be planned with mobile in mind.
Alex Maclennan SEO @ Appleyard London
Use Customer Insight To Create More Searchable Content
A good approach to doing SEO, especially in a competitive space, is by blogging and sharing information about topics your target audience would find interesting and are actively searching for. But don't just blog for the sake of blogging or because you heard the phrase ‘Content is King’. Instead, make a list of the questions you get asked frequently.
You could look through emails from customers or make a note after having a direct conversation over the phone or in person. These topics are gold, as you know they want the information. Now, not only can you save time by pointing them in the direction of your blog posts when you get asked the same question, but you also increase your ability to get found in Google when someone is searching for that question. There's a direct and indirect benefit and that's how I approach SEO.
Neil is SEO and Director of Your Brand Found
Image Optimisation Is Key!
Make sure you name your images correctly with the keywords you want to be found for, if you're selling red running shoes, call the image name red-running-shoes.jpg and use the ALT tags as well. Don’t just leave it with the filename from the camera or manufacturer.
Jamie Gemmell from Search Jam
A Well Crafted Content Marketing Campaign Sets You Apart From Your Competitors
Publish valuable content such as guides, points of views, how-to's, reports or case studies for your target audience on your website and on relevant platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. Publish regularly on podcasts and on guest blogs to improve your presence and to develop yourself as an authority in your niche.
It will be easier to rank your site and generate the types of links that your competitors won't be able to acquire.
Essentially, it is a well-crafted content marketing campaign. When it works, it works extremely well.
David is a published author and Director of Business Growth Digital Marketing
Reverse Engineer Google Searches For Backlinks
Google search terms your content is targeting, to gather a list of popular blog posts or companies performing well in search results. Use backlink tools like Moz's Open Site Explorer and Ahrefs.com to see what websites are linking to these good performing pages. Then reverse engineer how to get listed on these websites. It could be with submission, partnership, paid sponsorship or many other options.
Joshua Uebergang Director of Shopify marketing agency Digital Darts
Use Images To Build Backlinks
Far too many people are focused on guest posts and sponsored posts for building links. Not only is this time-consuming, it's also not very interesting or varied, and if these are your main link building tactics then your backlink profile is going to be fairly plain and unvaried.
Most blogs and online publications are crying out for images that they can use, and if you have original imagery you can allow these publications to use it, provided that they link back to you.
Sam Williamson is the SEO Executive for Scotland Shop
Local Is Very Important For Small Business in 2017
Local SEO is even more important in 2017 so make sure your NAP (Name, Address & Phone number) is identical on every citation source. Your website details should be listed in the same format on Yelp, Google MyBusiness, Facebook, and any local directories. This helps Google understand that your business is legitimate and ‘permanent’.
Keith Lang SEO at Digital Consulting
An SSL Certificate Will Show Google You Mean Business
Google are upping the game with respect to ‘excellent sites’ vs ‘just another one of these’ and are actively penalising those which are insecure. A quick win to show Google you mean business is to ensure your site is secure with an SSL-certificate. If you've got a little green padlock in your address bar, you're good - if not, get one!
Alex SEO from Martingale Marketing
Use Video To Increase Time On Page
Use lots of video… but not just for better user experience. Video helps increase dwell time – the amount of time people spend on your page. Google pays attention to what happens AFTER the click as they want to ensure people are enjoying the search results that they are serving up. The longer the dwell time, the better.
Carrie Wood is Chief Marketing Officer for Lease Ref
Use 'People Also Ask' to Find Featured Snippet Opportunities
Perform a search in the form of a question and chances are you'll see Google's list of suggested questions people also ask about your topic. This is an easy way to find longtail queries to target and potentially steal featured snippets from competitors. If you expand the list, chances are you'll find some 'answers' that are out of date, not localised or incomplete. Answer the same question on your own site and you may just poach some prime real estate on the results page.
Lachlan Wells SEO from Optimising.com.au
Focus On Creating Content Around Longtail Keywords
Find phrases that are 3-5 words long. They might only get 10-100 searches/month according to Adwords. But you’ll get more traffic than you realise because:
1. There are tons of keywords you’ll rank for.
2. The keyword tool doesn’t give all information of the exact search.
Whichever route you pursue, once you've created the 10x content, reach out to get influencers to share their views. In doing so, not only will they often help promote the article, if you target the right influencers sometimes you can get a natural link from them when they blog about your topic.
Jason Quey Digital Storyteller from Storytellermarketer
Use Customer Reviews To Boost Your Rankings
Improve your visibility in Google and increase traffic to your site with online reviews. They're perhaps the most underutilised BUT easiest SEO tactic at the moment. Start asking your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing and other review sites (but not Yelp!). Make sure you publish reviews on your site and mark them up with Schema!
Quentin Aisbett Digital Marketeer from OnQ Marketing
Have A Content Promotion Strategy From The Start
Always have a promotion strategy when planning blog content. This means conducting your ideation around topics that can provide relevant long tail ranking opportunities, then source material from people that you can reach out to and let them know they are featured to encourage sharing, and maybe a backlink if it really speaks to them. Also, be sure to leverage this technique to grow your influencer network.
Nick, SEO from Web Profits
Optimise Your Key Meta Titles For Search
Nail the Title Tag with the right Keywords for each page on your site. That is the single most important SEO tip. If your pages are titled "home" and "about us" you will never be found!
Adam, SEO from Imwave.com
Infographics Are Still A Great Tactic For Gaining Links
In 2017, search engines have evolved to being intelligent enough to determine whether information which is organic is informative and adds to the user experience or not. A fundamental part of our SEO campaign are infographics which add value to the reader. Humans are very visual creatures and infographics are exceptionally linkable.
Rob Williams Director of Hawthorn
We hope you have enjoyed these tactics! A little note, we did not sway the experts in any way, they were simply asked to give their best tip. This is a great example and showcase of how vast the topic of SEO is and how each individual part of an SEO strategy works together to get those all-important rankings.
If you are an SEO or Digital Marketeer and would like use to add your top tip to this list, comment below or send us an email and we will include it.
If you are new to guest posting then the chances are you are a little bit worried about your pitch. Writing a good guest post pitch is something a lot of entrepreneurs have trouble with. But you don’t need to be concerned!
Writing a guest post pitch is actually super, super easy. And the most important bit you need to concentrate on is the first section of your pitch. Have you ever heard the saying that people make a decision about whether they like you within a few seconds of meeting you?
Well, this is the reason why your Guest Post pitch needs to start properly!
A poor few sentences and you will have lost your reader forever and you will never be able to win them back.
The only thing you need to remember when you write your guest post pitch is this:
It is not about YOU, it is about YOUR READER!
And this is the fundamental mistake that I see over and over and over and over (go on for infinity) times.
I’ve even seen professionals make this mistake.
So, you might think “Yes, yes I know that, of course I put the reader first”. But, is this an assumption on your part or are you leading with yourself?
Beginning a guest post pitch with yourself sounds like this;
I am the founder of Jess Ads, we are an Award Winning Advertising Agency who focuses on getting our client's brands noticed. We have a very active and engaged community of fans and followers with over 20,000 monthly views.
We would love to offer you a guest post titled: XXXXX, for your audience.”
The chances are you’ve lost your reader before they even get past the first sentence.
No-one cares about your business, at least, no-one cares about your business before they care about their own.
Here is what a pitch looks like with the READER FIRST:
I’ve read your post about XXX and I’d love to offer a follow-up Guest Post on the topic; XXXXXX.
I really think your audience will get a kick out of hearing a deeper look into one of the points your post discussed. In fact, I even noticed a couple of your comments touched on this topic so I’m pretty sure they’d be interested.
I am the founder of Jess Ads, we are an Award Winning Advertising Agency who focuses on getting our client's brands noticed. We have a very active and engaged community of fans and followers with over 20,000 monthly views.”
Do you see the difference?
How about these two examples, which one would you reply to?
I followed you on twitter a few weeks ago, which led me to reading that post you published about the top SEO tips for 2017, interesting article. I agree, connecting with bloggers & influencers on a regular basis should be a top priority for a small business owner focusing on SEO - well Digital Marketing in general in fact !
Intro Example 2:
I am an expert Digital Marketing Professional with over 6 years of experience working with big corporate brands and small business owners. I am the founder of a Digital Marketing Agency and we are launching a tool right now to help business owners and bloggers connect.
There is a clear winner here right!
Example 1 engages Kev instantly and builds rapor, Example 2 sounds as if you want a round of applause from him.
You can still include details about your business. You should definitely still include social proof like your community numbers, awards (if you have any), etc.
You only include that information AFTER you have your reader interested in what you have to say.
Apply this to your next pitch, come back and let us know how you get on!
Or, cut out all the fuss and order a guest post placement here >> http://www.gingermarketinghq.com/guest-blogging.html. Browse through the bloggers & influencers we have in our programme and order online! Every single blog has been vetted and approved - these are high quality bloggers with an engaged following.
Written by Cheryl A Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Director Of Ginger Marketing (unless stated otherwise)