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