September 1, 2011

Marketing via On-line Press Releases and Article Directories

In my 2 previous posts, I wrote about using social networks and social media to help market a business. In this post, I would like to discuss using press releases to announce a business start-up or introduce a new product. I also want to let you know another way to share your expertise besides in social network groups or on-line forums, that is through the writing of articles.

Press releases are a great way to let potential clients know about your new business, book, product, or service. Before you look to see if there is a local news blog or PR site to only find local business, you need to have a website or an on-line directory/phone book listing. Then decide what you want to communicate and write your press release according to standard PR guidelines and then customize according to guidelines for the site(s) you decide to use to publish your release. Many of the news or PR sites are free to use or may require a very small fee. Search for PR sites where you can include a clickable link to your website, as readers are more likely to click to learn more rather than copy/paste a URL. If your business is something you are willing to take national or global, check out this List of The Top Free Press Release Sites and compare to The Best Free and Paid PR Websites and When to Use Them.

If you want to spark interest in your business by sharing your expertise, writing one or more on-line articles may be the best way to get your name or your company out there on the internet. Most of the article directories will provide a place for you to put a short biography of yourself and a clickable link back to your website (if you do not have a website, make the link go to your LinkedIn profile). However, you must provide good content for a reader to want to visit your site to learn more about the article’s author. Read the article directories writing guidelines carefully to be sure you can provide a well-written article that will be accepted by the site editors. Keep the articles short but informative. If you have a lot to say on a particular subject, either make it a series of article (part 1, part 2, etc.) or divide it into multiple articles that can stand-alone with an intriguing headline/title to attract readers. Many of article sites provide statistics on your articles so you can see where an interest in your niche might fall. This way you can write more articles on the highest ranking topic. Remember these article sites are providing you free publicity, so you typically will not be paid for your articles. Here are the Top 25 Article Directories to check out:

Another benefit of the free article sites, if that you can also use content on the site for your personal blog if your have one. Read the publisher guidelines on the article site to see what their requirements are before using someone else’s article on your blog. If you do not have your own blog, you might want to consider writing a guest post (which is another form of article writing) on another blog that publishes within your niche to begin your writing campaign. Blogs that allow guest posts typically also have guidelines and provide links back to your site. Send the blog administrator an email to find out what topics they are interested in and what their writing guidelines are. If you have your own blog, as suggested in the previous post on social media, you should find other blogs in your area of expertise and request a link exchange. A link exchange is where you list their blog with URL on your blog roll or link list and they put your blog and URL on theirs. This could increase traffic to your blog and raise your blog in the SEO ranking because of the additional links to it. Read these posts for more on guest blogging:
Let us know if you have any additional marketing ideas or sites you highly recommend by putting them in the comments on this post. Thanks for your help and support in advance!
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