Let’s face it. We all want more eyeballs on our site. That’s the coin of the blogging realm, and it opens up just about every possibility on your site. More affiliate sales. More sponsored post opportunities. More [insert your ad platform] views.
One way to boost your site’s visibility is to gain free exposure from the media. How? It can happen organically, of course. Cover a trending topic with a dash of experience and thoughtful context, and news sites will be itching to link to your work.
Or, you could help the process along. That’s easier when you know the reporters who cover your particular beat. As a conservative movie critic, I knew a reporter at The Hollywood Reporter, a major industry publication, who often tracked Hollywood from a right-of-center perspective.
Our paths crossed at a conference years ago, and I made it a point to introduce myself and stay in touch.
Quick note: One way to do that is to share his/her work on Twitter and Facebook and mention their names while doing so. That will keep you on their radar and score some Karma points at the same time!
Recently, that reporter wrote a roundup story in our niche but failed to include the article I wrote on the same subject. I really wanted him to include me for both the exposure and the link — this is a major site, after all — so I quickly shot him an email:
That’s it. He instantly wrote back, apologized for leaving my story out of his roundup feature and had it added to the existing text. You couldn’t do that with yesterday’s newspaper!
How did this happen? I knew the reporter in question from my networking skills, acted swiftly and didn’t say anything negative in my note.
Why not try the same? Keep tabs on the reporters in your beat. When they cover a topic you recently addressed, try sending them a note. Be polite. Positive. Helpful.
Even if they don’t include your story this time, they may do so the next time around.
Best of all, I made my fellow reporter’s story a wee bit better and got some publicity in the process.
Contributor Christian Toto is a freelance reporter and editor of HollywoodInToto.com