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Using Local Newspapers to Promote Your Blog Offline

This mini guest post is from Harry Maugans the co-founder and lead developer for Desktop Nexus.

One of the biggest problems for local newspapers is finding things to write about.

Email or call 5-10 of your closest local newspapers and explain you have an explosive new website that will revolutionize the industry you’re in. Make sure you emphasize you’re local, and build it in or near their coverage area. In my case, I’m touting my wallpaper site as the next YouTube- the next huge community oriented around desktop backgrounds, and while that might be a bit extreme, it catches the newspapers attention.

Nine times out of ten, local papers will run this story: “Local Hometown Internet Entrepreneur Ignites Revolution in Wallpapers.” (of course different for your particular situation). Also, a surprising number of local papers are considered authority sites by Google, so a backlink from them would give your SEO rankings a nice boost.

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. Jason says:

    Wow. That’s a great idea! I’ll give it a shot, but I’m not so sure it’s as commonly accepted as Mr. Maugans says it is.

    By the way, you have a broken link there, Darren.

  2. Deb says:

    “One of the biggest problems for local newspapers is finding things to write about.”

    I work for a newspaper and we do not have trouble finding things to write about; nor does any other paper. I will ab-end my tirade but I stopped reading after such a blatantly erroneous statement.

  3. Brennan Ryan says:

    I live in a city called Geelong, SW of Melbourne, not exactly a small town, but regional none the less.

    Darren – the “biggest problems” quote perhaps a little bit of an exaggeration

    Deb – Exaggerated maybe, but blatantly erroneous?

    I think it depends on the day.

    We have had some great success with PR about our blog, space in a national trade mag, lots of bits and pieces here and there, an interview with a NSW radio station. The spikes in traffic and new sign ups are testament to PR’s value.

    Most relevant to this post, we have had two full page stories in the business page of the Geelong Advertiser. The first took us weeks of ‘schmoozing’ the journo and building a good rapport, basically convincing them we had an interesting story to tell. it was hard work and persistence got us a story that time around

    The second story in the Addy – World Web Winners! (great headline right?) was published withing 24 hrs of my partner dropping an email ‘letter to the editor’ about our Technorati rating improving.

    20 minutes after he sent an email, the journo was on the phone, the next day full page story.

    So it might not be their “biggest problem” but local papers certainly do have slow news days, and if you catch them on a slow news day, you can get instant results.

    With PR, just keep at it and come up with an interesting story and either through hard work or a slow news day you should get something.

    Bren

  4. Brennan Ryan says:

    Oops – Sorry Darren, just relalised it wasn’t your post but Harry’s

    ^ swap “Darren” for “Harry”

    :-)

  5. Hey Darren, just thought I’d let you know your link to Desktop Nexus is broken.

  6. marquis says:

    This is a great idea. I’m definately going to try this. Thanks

    http://alltalksports.wordpress.com/

  7. Paquito says:

    Wow!

    Unfortunately I think I’m not that good to send some mails to local press saying I could break information limits :-(

    Anyway, I think it’s a good idea… Will think about it :-)

    Thanks for the advice and kind regards from Spain.

    Paquito.
    http://paquito4ever.blogspot.com

  8. Sean Cayton says:

    Do one better than a call to the editorial department. For the past five years we’ve traded advertising space that promotes our blog. It amounts to about $20K worth of ads for assignment photography for the paper.

    It doesn’t need to be photography though. If your an expert in your field write a column that centers around your niche. Hint: Do it for free.

  9. You are starting to run to many guest bloggers. I come here to hear your opinions. I’m starting to skip past your posts in my feed.

  10. David Mackey says:

    Another option that I have used in the past is writing a continuing column relating to the topic for the newspaper. This won’t work for every topic – but for example, if the blog is about fashion, writing a column about fashion regularly for the newspaper and requesting a tagline with the url of your website.

  11. ciken says:

    A very good idea…another options from Darren..thanks a lot!

  12. Chris says:

    Never thought of this, I will certainly try it out. Thanks for the info!

  13. Kadir says:

    Really it is an amazing idea to hit the market in a perfect way. Thanks for the info. Hope I’ll get more visitors for my new blog…

  14. Matt says:

    I have reservations about this approach for this blog. I would do it differently.

    Blogging is about building relationships – not one off “hits” , and Harry is attempting to “use” the newspapers by puffing his own blog. It is just a new way to present something from a decade ago. Interesting, but only interesting. Most local newspapers I know would see through this in an instant.

    There’s also a hostage to fortune for next year: “New Youtube goes down Old Tube”.

    I’ve blogged how I would do it on the link on my name.

  15. Matt says:

    Brennan
    >The second story in the Addy – World Web Winners! (great headline right?) was published withing 24 hrs of my partner dropping an email ‘letter to the editor’ about our Technorati rating improving.

    I have to admit some admiration on that one. Using a Technorati Authority figure of under 20 to get the story from the newspaper is good .

  16. Matt Batcho says:

    This to me is an excellent post. A friend and I recently started a new blog called MindsofWealth.com. Since I am looking for a place to promote my blog, why not start at home? Something as simple as placing a small article in the paper never crossed my mind. Not to mention its free. Thank you for the information and if you would like to check our blog out please do so. Our site is mainly self help issues that everyone deals with at some point. All in all this was a great post.

  17. Steve says:

    Thanks for the powerful suggestions you continually provide – this one is just the latest. Thank you, thank you.

  18. This is a great idea.

    http://www.technobuzz.net

  19. darrenh says:

    “…a surprising number of local papers are considered authority sites by Google, …”
    I don’t find that surprising at all. Who is a greater authority on local content and info in most places than the local newspaper? No one. (Yes I am and editor at a local daily US newspaper.)

    Trying the local newspaper for PR is a good strategy, and it is because the paper still has standing and meaning in the community. But I think the days are gone when even the most provincial of newspapers will be dubbed into running an article about a local web site owner just because they’re local and they’re on the web. You’re gonna need a news “hook” to get an editor interested these days (unique idea, award, first of its kind, something like that).

    A onetime news article is useful and a feel good, but if you can pull off Sean’s advertising trade, that might be worth more in the long run.

    Good luck.

  20. Brennan Ryan says:

    Matt > Yes, i agree, i nearly fell over when the journo rang! :-)

    It was even lower at the time. I happened to mention to my partner in the site that our rank had climbed from 2 million something to 400 K something in technorati.

    He asked me how many blogs they rate, and i told him 6 million.

    He sent the email with a note that we had hit the top 10% of the technorti listing and the editor latched onto it as something special.

    I wasn’t about to tell him anything different! :-)

  21. One of my clients actually mentioned this idea and it sure is a great idea!

  22. Rather than describe your site as “an explosive new website that will revolutionize the industry”, I would suggest describing what problem the site will solve or what service it provides. Explosive and revolutionize sound a bit cheesy and will turn journalists off.

  23. I am in the process of having a press release written for my new recycling website so will give this a try.

    http://www.recyclingsupermarket.com