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Printbaiting – How to Get Your Blog Mentioned in the Papers

Penelope Trunk has a helpful post on how to get your blog mentioned in Print.

She writes some good tips in each of the following areas:

  1. Don’t pitch yourself, pitch an idea.
  2. Pitch an idea with the print audience in mind.
  3. Tailor the idea to the journalist.
  4. Sign up for Profnet.
  5. Answer questions strategically.
  6. Be available.

It’s a useful list and a lot of it could be applied to getting mentioned on other blogs also.

I’ve had moderate success in getting into mainsteam media articles over the last few years – however I find a lot of it either comes out of the blue (through journalists approaching me after finding me in Google for a term they are writing about) or through relationships that I’ve already established with journalists.

Once you do get an approach from a journalist it’s worth giving some careful consideration to what you want to get out of the interaction. You’ll find that journalists will have their own agendas and ideas on where they want their article to head but it’s worth giving some careful thought to what sort of message you want to convey. Pick one particular message that you want to get across and keep saying it throughout the interview.

Also ask (politely) if they could please give a URL for the article. For example I generally respond to them by calling my blog here ‘ProBlogger.net’ instead of just ‘ProBlogger’.

Lastly – getting mentioned in the press is not everything. In fact the times I’ve been written about in major papers I’ve had very little noticeable increase in traffic and limited opportunities have arisen from it. In many cases it would be more beneficial for a large blog or website to link up than a paper to do it – still, it’s fun to see your name in print and it can legitimize what you do in the eyes of some (ie – parents love seeing their kids in the papers!).

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. In the last 2 mos I’ve been interviewed by Harvard Biz School and by the Wall St Journal. In both cases absolutely nothing helpful came from it (other than the bragging rights and the boost to my ego). I never even saw my url in print, just my name. Argh.

  2. brem says:

    I’d also add, make friends and add contacts among the blogger-journalists.

    That’s how I made it anyway. :)

    brem

  3. Your last paragraph really resonates with me. My blog appears all the time in the Boston Globe, but what really gets me excited is having my blog mentioned on ProBlogger :)

  4. Your last paragraph really resonates with me. My blog appears all the time in the Boston Globe, but what really gets me excited is having my blog mentioned on ProBlogger :)

    Thank you.

  5. Something else to add, don’t write an essay when you contact a reporter because they don’t have time to read paragraph after paragraph of text.

    If your trying to get your blog noticed then be brief but to the point, if your trying to promote an article you have written that you think they would find useful, write an extract and link to the article on your blog, so that if they like the extract they can read the rest of the article online.

    Reporters are busy people :)

  6. Ashish Mohta says:

    Not sure if it will work in india or not.The blog awarenes is still to catch up here.Though there many indian bloggers coming up.

    Its a good idea to catch hold of a journalist.Guess one more thing i will try to do in 2007.Thx for the tip

  7. George says:

    Asking for the URL is very important. My wife Jill was interviewed by the Washington Post and they didn’t link to her blog. After having this happen we realized she should have asked for a link in the article. Won’t make that mistake again.

    Good advice.

  8. Do you know what’s kind of funny–Penelope actually contacted me a few months back saying she was interested in featuring me in one of her articles after seeing my blog, and I didn’t do anything to intentionally “bait” her.

    What happened was I saw that she had written a post in which she said that being a problogger was like being an astronaut–it’s shockingly cool, but no one actually makes a living blogging. So, knowing that this wasn’t the case ;-), I wrote a post politely countering that point of view and included a link back to Penelope’s post.

    She came to my blog to see who was linking to her, saw what I did for a living (virtual assistant working with folks with virtual internet companies) and thought that also sounded like a “shockingly cool” job (although nowhere near as cool as being a problogger ;-)).

    So, she contacted me and told me she’d like to find a way to feature me in one of her articles. We did the interview, and Penelope’s article was syndicated in 20+ newspapers, which pleases me excessively!

    As Darren pointed out, there isn’t necessarily a huge upsurge of traffic after being mentioned in mainstream print, but it does help establish you as an expert in your field, and if you’re featured in one print article, then it’s more likely that you’ll become known to other journalists and seen as reliable resource for their articles. This is what happened with me–a few days after Penelope’s article was published, another journalist contacted me saying she had seen me mentioned in Penelope’s article and wanted to interview me too.

    As part of my work, I’ve also deliberately tried to get publicity for clients and their blogs by pitching story ideas to mainstream media folks, and to tell you the truth, it’s never worked.

    What seems to work better is letting things happen naturally, just being engaged in the blogging community, being focussing on being really excellent at what you do, and then when you come into contact with a journalist, to be as helpful and friendly to them as possible.

    Also, one thing I’ve seen some bloggers do is set up “Press Rooms” on their blogs with detailed contact info, a short bio, possible story angles, and a list of their previous media appearances. The easier you make things for the journalist, the better!

  9. Just a quick thought about ProfNet (see #4 above). This is a fairly costly service set up specifically for PR firms. They send out media leads for a huge list of topics. PR firms can use the wide variety of topics for their list of clients. But if you only want/need just the media leads on your specific niche area then ProfNet is over doing it. (A Ferrari to go to the post office kind of thing.)

    There is a much more affordable option for small businesses. It is called PRLeads. For much less money you sign up for just the topic you want and get actual ProfNet leads.

    In my non-blogging life I am a book marketer and we highly recommend PRLeads and I personally know Dan Janal who runs this service. It is the real deal.

  10. Dustin says:

    Darren, will you write an article about me? ;)

  11. Andrew says:

    Darren, yours was one of the blogs highlighted in a Boston Globe article on “Blogging for Dollars.” I posted about the article at:
    http://changingway.org/2007/04/16/blogging-for-boston-globe/
    The article itself is at:
    http://www.boston.com/business/personaltech/articles/2007/04/16/blogging_for_dollars/

  12. Well researched site – will look to incorporate some of your ideas into my site.