Blog Marketing with Press Releases

A press release is an announcement of something considered newsworthy by the submitter in hopes if it getting picked up by the media. If you’ve ever come across all those lists out there for best website traffic building ideas, I’m sure you’ve seen press releases mentioned in most of them. I was always under the impression press releases were for celebrities and fortune 500 companies, but I was so wrong.

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The key is to have such compelling news that people want to talk about it and share it. You’re probably wondering how a press release can help you if you’re not breaking big news or don’t have anything interesting enough to go viral. I was thinking the very same thing until I pulled up a half dozen articles in my Firefox tabs and began reading.

I think the most important part is to spend the time to write a very concise and persuasive release on the best information you have to offer over the course of a month or two. Not everything is worthy of a press release, but if you have interesting news in your niche or can take the finer points of many posts to create a strong release, you’ve got all the ingredients you’ll need to plant some website traffic seeds.

When you submit your press release to a free distribution site, you will naturally attract visitors who are interested in the topic of your release. The visitor numbers you generate from your press release will depend greatly on your headline and your copy. Let’s say that over the course of a couple weeks you only saw a trickle of about three or four visitors a day come in from your release. You might think of this as a complete failure, but you shouldn’t. Instead, think of it as a numbers game.

There’s a saying, and I forget where I heard it, who said it, or how it was said exactly, but it’s something along the lines of this: If you can find a way to earn a dollar, whether it’s from a product, service, system, or whatever, you already have the capability to become a millionaire. All you have to do is duplicate your efforts.

Same goes with traffic sources. Life would be so grand if I could simply generate a whole bunch of hits from my one press release, but the four a day you got in that hypothetical release still added up to over fifty hits in two weeks. Now all you have to do is find a whole bunch of free press release sites to submit to and you suddenly have a whole lot more visitor trickling going on.

Building Backlinks with Blog Comments

I’ve often read that by commenting on other blogs you can build backlinks for your site which pushes you higher in search engine rankings. The three recurring tips I’ve come across make it absolutely clear that these are tried and true steps one should follow in order to achieve the greatest possibility of comment backlink success.

1) Comment on blogs that have posts similar to your own

This seems like sensible advice. I’d assume you want search engines to recognize that your website has similar keywords in common with the site where you’re leaving your comment. I would think that a link having similar keywords would have a a higher chance of being relevant and trusted over sites with no matching keywords.

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Finding relevant blogs has been one of my biggest challenges so far. This site talks about open source and commercial software from the non-programmers perspective, but the usual blogs relating to open source software are usually highly technical and code related. Perhaps I’m an anomoly which could be both a good and bad thing, but I definitely need to broaden my searches for blogs similar to my own.

2) Comment on DoFollow blogs.

DoFollow blogs are the ones that allow the website link in your name to be picked up by search engines. The reverse of this is obviously the NoFollow blogs that prevent your comment link  from being influenced by their site search engine ranking.

From a webmaster perspective, I don’t see the big deal either way if all comments posted to your site need to be approved prior to going live.  However, if you’re the one commenting, I suppose there is always the possibility of visitors clicking through to your site regardless of NoFollow or DoFollow link settings, but why not go for the search engine benefit at the same time by sticking with NoFollow sites.

3) Leave genuine comments relating to the subject matter.

Even if you leave comments all over the place just for the possibility of getting those curious comment clickers to visit, you won’t have much luck retaining visitors if your site is unrelated. Your political opinion blog probably won’t see much benefit by those comments you left on that Beanie Baby collector site you visit. Commenting for gain should be saved for sites with a similar themed site as your own.

How do we find keyword relevant DoFollow blogs to read and comment on?

As I mentioned before, randomly searching for similarly themed blogs as my own has been arduous, but at least there are a number of resources that help in finding DoFollow sites. This helps narrow the two pronged search into one. Just by searching for the keyword phrase “DoFollow sites” I found a number of articles and posts with lists relating to DoFollow sites. Apparently there are also a couple of FireFox add-ons that will help locate NoFollow links by highlighting them on a page.

The one site I found that I wanted to briefly mention is called FastBlogFinder. It’s an excellent way to find blogs related to your niche by reporting on whether it’s DoFollow or NoFollow, the site PageRank, how many outbound links it has, and when the site was last updated. There is a free version but unfortunately it is limited to only fifty blogs for each keyword. I think a lot of sites might be able to find a ton of new blogs to post to with just the free tool, but if you find you’re having trouble locating quality blogs that relate well to your own, or you want to aggressively grow your backlinks, you may want to give the Gold Edition a try.