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How To Increase Your Press Coverage Using Your Blog

Some people are of the opinion that blogging has limited use for their business, some don’t see the need for it at all, others see it as useful for improving SEO and with good calls to action, believe it capable of delivering increased sales.  However, blogging (and other social media tools) can do so much more for your business than driving people to your website through improved Search Engine Optimisation.

  • B2B businesses that blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t blog.
  • B2C businesses that blog gerneate 88% more leads.
  • Companies that blog receive 55% more visitors. (Source: Hubspot)

However, blogging can also help you to receive significant press coverage, build your profile, increase brand awareness through traditional media and become a ‘go to’ person for journalists.

I’d like to share the story of four years of blogging with you and show you what other benefits blogging brought to my online retail business.

Free Press Coverage in Newspapers/Magazines

Four years ago, a mere two months after I had started blogging for my business, I received a phonecall from a journalist from Irish Country Living (supplement to the weekly national newspaper Farmers Journal) who wanted to use some of my images. During the course of the conversation, she realised I was married to a dairy farmer and within six weeks, I had been interviewed, photographed and featured in a full page feature in this national newspaper. This was my first piece of national press coverage – because  she found me through my blog.

Editors and journalists of various interiors magazines also discovered my business via my blog and contacted me for photographs, product information and to ask if I would write articles for the magazines.  Once the relationship was started, they were happy to receive press releases or updates about new products and I have had products featured many times in publications such as House and Home, Image Interiors, Munster Interiors, Moving In to Inspire, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Irish Times, Sunday Times and Irish Country Living.

I am now using a small online PR company which hosts all the images in high resolution as an image bank for journalists but for 3.5 years, I received a significant amount of PR through contacts made as a result of my blog. I would like to add that I have never asked a journalist or blogger to review my products in return for a free gift.

15 Ways To Increase Press Coverage:

I wasn’t using twitter or facebook when I started blogging, in fact, my blog was my sole social media tool for 18 months. With the increase in platforms available, it is now much easier to become noticed by journalists and, as a result, become featured in their publications.

  1. Be topical
  2. Use good images
  3. Ensure your contact information is easy to find.
  4. Let your personality shine through your blog posts.
  5. Identify questions that customers and journalists may ask and answer them within your blog posts.
  6. Addressing topics such as forward trends in your business area will prove that you are trustworthy, credible and a valuable source of information.
  7. If editors like your writing style, they may ask you to write articles as a freelance writer, thus increasing your brand awareness.
  8. Follow the journalists of your favoured publications on twitter and respond occasionally to their tweets – build a relationship with them.
  9. Follow their blog if they have one. Become visible by leaving comments (but don’t overdo it).
  10. Maintain a strong relationship with even one or two journalists and it will lead to more introductions.
  11. Sending a quick thank you to a journalist who has featured you or your products is good manners and they’ll appreciate it too.
  12. Suggesting original ideas for stories or features (which will include your product/service) can reap dividends too.
  13. Tweeting/Sharing links to the press coverage will show the journalist that you are working to drive traffic to it and make their story more successful.
  14. Enter Social Media and/or Blog Awards – if you do well, journalists will be visiting your content.
  15. Above all – create great content and the journalists will find you.

I was recently interviewed for a feature involving four foodie bloggers that will shortly be going to press in a national magazine. I am not a foodie blogger but due to my business blog Garrendenny Lane and my personal blog Irish Farmerette with their occasional inclusion of recipes being well known by the journalists and editor meant that I was invited along.  I will be featured as one of four bloggers in a 4 page feature – all because of  my blog.

Image: “stack of newspaper next to a laptop/Shutterstock

Lorna Sixsmith is a social media trainer at Write on Track, providing mentoring, training and content creation services to SMEs. Particularly passionate about blogging and Pinterest, Lorna also teaches these courses online at We Teach Social. Married to a dairy farmer in SE Ireland, Lorna recently self published her first book 'Would You Marry A Farmer?', a humourous look at life married to an Irish farmer.

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  • What I love most about this Lorna is that you walk the talk. You have proved time and again that these tips work for promoting your business. It should be very encouraging for all business start ups to see that with a little imagination, perseverance and dedication,  anyone can achieve the same results!

  • Some great pointers here, Lorna. I’m loving what’s happening with the feature involving foodie bloggers and the national mag. Even though food isn’t the focus of your blog, you’re still benefiting because you sometimes include recipes on an already successful blog 🙂

  • This is a great post Lorna. I will be taking your tips on board as I’d love to be writing for magazines too. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Móna Wise

    Excellent post Lorna and I am sure a lot of bloggers, myself included, will
    read and learn from this. Thanks for doing out such a great list and
    well done!

  • Agreed that it is nice to see someone actually doing what they are writing about, rather than just speculating on a topic!

  • smallbizatlanta

    These are great tips. As a business writer myself, I really appreciate tip # 11. Very few do this but the ones that do are always at the top of my mind if I need to do another feature or need a comment/ reference to use in another article which ultimately equals more exposure for the business owner.

  • I think bloggers forget that there is still a world of print and Radio/TV out there. If you have built a readership and expertise than reporters have many reasons to seek you out for a story. You might actually be one of the few in the world that knows a particular fact. 

  • Hi Niall. Thanks for publishing it. I feel exactly the same. For me, the experience was a loud call to action, and a challenge to really be conscious of what I am doing when ever I produce anything that I put out there.

  • Thank you all for your comments. My event covered three main stages that I suggested as a way to empower through creativity. Opening up, stepping in and taking action. All too often, in our busy lives, we are closed down and avoiding stepping in. And yet our creativity is so closely linked to empowerment if you think about it. What else is empowerment other than the power to create – rather than be the victim of circumstance? And it’s the victim mentality that leads to mental illness, while empowerment leads to freedom.

  • You’re welcome Cendrine – always on the look out for good posts 🙂

  • As I am a trader in matter in spirit, I will read Richard Branson’s piece, The Power of Ideas.

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