Close
Close

How to Get Media Coverage for Your Blog

One way to build awareness, brand, credibility and buzz about your blog is to appear in mainstream media (read more about the Benefits of being featured in Mainstream Media).

A lot has been written about how to get your blog featured on other blogs – but how do you get press coverage whether it be TV, Radio, newspapers or magazines?

media-coverage-blog.jpgImage by tozzer

Following are a few tips on how I’ve done it:

Develop a Unique Story

One of the best tips I can give is to really think about the story that you’re pitching to journalists before you approach them. If you simply contact the editorial staff of a mainstream media outlet and say that they should write about you without giving them a unique angle they’re unlikely to respond positively (if they respond at all).

Stories about a blog are not that exciting to write – so what angle can you give them? What have you done, experienced or achieved that is going to grab people’s attention? What relevance does your story have to the readers or viewers of the media outlet?

Note: you don’t just manufacture these stories out of nothing but if you’re on the look out for opportunities they do come up. They might emerge out of a post that you write that gets attention, causes some controversy (controversy is a great way to get media attention), gets picked up by other blogs etc – or it could even emerge out of something that someone else does that you could comment about or that you’re featured in.

For example I was featured in a ‘top Aussie bloggers’ list last year and shot a link to the list to a national newspaper – the story got picked up with me as one of the bloggers featured.

Think (inter)National AND Local

I know one blogger who complains every time that I bring up mainstream media that he’s never had any success. When I ask who he’s pitched his story to he tells me that he’s approached the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC and a few other top tier news outlets.

While I commend him for thinking big – a more successful approach is likely to be to approach not only the big guns but smaller outlets. For one you’ll increase your chances of success in approaching a more local outlet – but you might also see the story picked up by larger media outlets (or you can use it to pitch to them later).

Write the Story

I’m not suggesting that you fully write an article when pitching mainstream media – but I’ve found that when I pitch a story and when I do a little extra work in showing how the story might look that journalists sometimes take what you present them with and build upon it.

So do some work on your pitch. Provide the media outlet with any facts, figures, stats or quotes that might help the journalist do their job more quickly and efficiently.

Be Approachable

Sometimes it isn’t a matter of pitching your story to mainstream media as them approaching you. This grows as your blog and profile grows but you can enhance your chances of being approached by being contactable.

An essential item for blogs should always be a way to contact the blogger. Whether this be by providing an email address, phone number and/or having a contact form – if you’re able to be contacted (and make it easy to be) you’ll drastically increase your chances of being approached.

Also useful for this is developing an about page that contains the type of information that journalists are looking for. Include information like your biographical information, links to a FAQ page and even a specifically written Press Page that shows how other press outlets have covered your story.

Press Releases

I’ve had limited experience and success with writing press releases but know at b5media that we regularly use them and that they are very useful – particularly when launching new blogs/portals.

You can learn more about the power of Press Releases here.

Build Profile

Perhaps the most important thing to do is to work hard at building a fantastic blog and having a great profile in your niche.

I’ve found that as I’ve done this that mainstream media outlets have increasingly come to me and that on the occasions that I’ve approached them that they’ve been much more open to covering me.

This of course comes with time and you can’t manufacture it over night – but I say it to give bloggers having problems getting on the radar of media a little encouragement – stick at it and build a great blog and it’ll come in time.

Keep In Touch with Journalists

If you do strike it lucky and get featured in a story – keep the contact details of the journalist that writes the story. If they’ve written one article they might be willing to do another. Also let the journalist know that if they ever need a quote for another story that they are writing that you’d be willing to take their call.

11 Tips from my Friends on Getting Media Coverage For Your Blog

I asked my Twitter followers for their tips on getting press coverage for blogs. Here’s some of what they said:

  1. “If your writing to try and get press coverage be emotive, timely and topical – demonstrate ‘special’ or ‘insider’ expertise” – keithdon
  2. “1- easy to find contact info; 2- photo of self & decent bio; 3- blog trends, hot topics” – alizasherman. She also tweeted – “My miscarriage blog was featured in More mag. I was blogging a “controversial” topic in a daring way. Got noticed & featured.”
  3. “Break the news so the press use you as the source. Has worked multiple times for me.” – michaelmeloni
  4. “Keep blogging your niche and the reporters will find you. And when they do contact, jump at the chance to help them.” – GrantGriffiths
  5. “Treat traditional media like you would want 2 B treated; don’t spam them, read their stuff 1st, be concise, give links 4 more” – CathyWebSavvyPR
  6. ” 1) write quality content 2) have clients that write quality content and reference you” – leahmac
  7. “Be bit controversial, write press release for them (they lazy) be original.” – theworstofperth
  8. “provide constructive criticism when everyone else is bitching about a problem and you’ll be noticed” – MadLid
  9. “give your blog a spit shine before press release. Check spelling, grammar and theme errors. Be prepared for a big jump in hits.” – beanfair
  10. “Start small. Offer something eg tips, advice, short column to local newspaper. See what works then go for the bigger papers.” – bussogardener
  11. “Media coverage advice for bloggers- Be honest, be brief, and find a relevant hook. I’ve had success with the press doing this. ” – BJMendelson

To be included in future lists of ‘tips from my friends’ – follow me on Twitter.

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.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. Rahul says:

    I specially like the reply from ur twitter users, and specially #4 by GrantGriffiths,

  2. Jenn Mattern says:

    As a former online PR consultant, I’d like to echo / re-emphasize two of the points you made, which are really the most important:

    1. Make yourself newsworthy (come up with that unique story). Too many folks on the Web think they deserve coverage for doing something that’s already been done to death, and they’re shocked when they don’t get it. If you’re not doing something, or significantly better, than others in your niche or industry, the media doesn’t care.

    2. Don’t ignore your local / regional media. Coverage is about so much more than quick links and often untargeted traffic from distribution sites – that local coverage does matter, and it’s often the easiest kind to get. The fact that it can potentially, especially over time, lead to wider spread media coverage is just icing on the cake.

  3. Aira Bongco says:

    Mainstream media can bring in a surge of audiences for a blog. It may be hard to get them to notice but they will if you know how to play your cards right.

    I really like this article. Something new to think about for me.

  4. Mano Rame says:

    Just one look at Google Hot trends tells us how powerful media coverage can be. On any given day you can notice there are lot of searches for a particular term and if you trace it back like a good detective; you can find that term was given some media coverage.

  5. Toma Bonciu says:

    When it comes to building a strong image on the Internet by the use of a website or a blog or a business blog it’s like running a marathon backwards : patience, creativity, and determination are your main weapons.

    Thank you for this article.

  6. Off Topic but Relevant Question: Have you been featured on Mainstream news websites? If so, what sort of way do they link to you (i.e. is it a searchable, dofollow link). There’s been a bit of a hoo haa recently (quick plug – check out my latest post – http://www.deadsite.co.uk/2008/11/bbc-go-seo/ – about it), with the way in which the BBC link out to blogs & other websites etc. If say – the New York Times linked to you – would you complain if they used a non-seo friendly link or do you believe (like I believe) that all mainstream publicity for your blog is good publicity?

    Anyway, some great tips there, as somebody who has been on the BBC myself, I find being approachable & aiming local (the call was off BBC Wales to begin with, and I ended up on BBC Breakfast News not because the story spiralled, but because I was approachable) is a great help. Flexible is a great help as well, though if blogging isn’t your main source of income, get the time off work before you commit! :)

  7. Robin Plan says:

    I’m not sure how this relates to Mainstream media – my blog has been featured online with FoxNews, Reuters, USAToday and others. It’s because of Blogburst.com.

    I will try more of your tips here. I love it when there’s a chance for Mainstream media to feature a good blog. (not just my blog, I’ve found some of my favs from Reuters.com)

  8. Very good overview…and nothing that applies uniquely to blogs, I might add. The bottom line is to think like an information-overloaded journalist who has to sort through 500 news releases and pitches a day, and is constantly under the gun with a deadline threatening to whack his head off. Bottom line, the closer the story is to completed (other sources, possible angles, research, etc.) the more likely he will want to do it. And the better you can position your story within the context of what is already news, the more easily he can pitch the story to his editor.

  9. Tom says:

    Great tips on getting media coverage. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Definitely have a unique or unusual story. Mainstream people eat that up.

  11. Kim Washetas says:

    I’m really grateful for having found this post just at this time, not to mention the abundance of resources your entire blog offers! I am writing a press release announcing the launch of my blog this afternoon, and I know the ideas you’ve given me are going to ratchet up the interest dramatically!

    Thanks very much for providing the kind of blogging advice that can be put to work immediately.

    Kim Washetas
    http://scoutforsuccess.com

  12. Mainstream media is still one of the best areas to get your word out effectively. It’s like in the blood of readers who grew up with the media that they’ve already been exposed to for years.

  13. Lin Burress says:

    Darren, you’re absolutely right about the benefits of stirring up controversy and how controversial posts can often grab the attention of social media outlets and news sites.

    A few months ago I did a controversial rant post about Miley Cyrus and I quickly heard from a reporter from the New York Times, who then mentioned me, my site and my controversial post in the reporter’s article. That brought about emails and phone interviews by other news outlets and radio stations.

    My article was the first posted online reaction to Miley Cyrus going topless for Vanity Fair, so being the first to break the news or react to the news works very well. Even if it was quite by accident.

  14. Great post, very valuable. And as long as it has the audience and implied endorsement, mainstream media can still be very effective for building awareness and credibility for your blog and other social media ventures.

  15. It’s interesting that you write this post. I 100% agree with the STORY element. STORY is the key to a successful buzz marketing campaign.

    In fact just a few weeks ago I was featured as the frontpage news on a local newspaper here in Hong Kong (the second largest newspaper to be precise) The story I used was how a 15 year old kid made money using the internet and about the launch of my upcoming print book.

    In just a few hours, it brought me over 12,000 unique visitors to my blog. I even wrote a case study about it on my blog:

    http://www.emillionsblog.com/how-about-this-for-a-promotion-frontpage-news-coverage/

    And the snowball effect was just HUGE. Soon, I was contacted by dozens of other press, all wanting to do interviews with me. I had random readers of the newspaper emailing me and congrating me… some even approached me to do JVs. Just from that ONE media coverage, I made at least 2 JVs and conducted 5 interviews. It got syndicated to many of the major TV networks here locally. Plus, it’s never bad to get a free frontpage advertisement for my book ;)

    Stanley

  16. Tumblemoose says:

    Pay attention to the community that is not coming through your monitor.

    My neighbor was building a structure on his property across the street. I eventually went over and asked him what it was.

    Turns out he was making a vodka distillery. A legal one and the only one in our state. Hmmm. Great article idea. Queried a national mag about our state and got accepted. Dontcha know the bio is going to list my web/blog site.

    The moral of the story is that there is a big, wide world out there. Get out and explore.

    Cheers

    George

  17. Tumblemoose had a great point. Sometimes we forget about the community we live in.

    Who else has successfully merged the offline world with the offline world.

  18. Think (inter)National AND Local

    I know one blogger who complains every time that I bring up mainstream media that he’s never had any success. When I ask who he’s pitched his story to he tells me that he’s approached the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC and a few other top tier news outlets.

    While I commend him for thinking big – a more successful approach is likely to be to approach not only the big guns but smaller outlets. For one you’ll increase your chances of success in approaching a more local outlet – but you might also see the story picked up by larger media outlets (or you can use it to pitch to them later).

    This is a great point. Have you had success with this?

  19. Andy Merrett says:

    I certainly agree with being timely and relevant. The couple of times I’ve been contacted by British newspapers are when I’ve written an opinion piece on something that has been in the news. I haven’t been first with news, but the opinion has been picked up and I’ve been asked to comment further for print.

  20. VlogHog says:

    Interview someone in your niche and promote that to the local media.

    OR interview several media personalities in your area: reporters, newspaper writers or DJs.

    I’m working on this approach for my blog.

  21. I have made contact with Marie-Jose Klaver, an internet journalist from the Dutch newspaper NRC.

    During our Twitter conversation, I had suggested her to write on the usage of Twitter at large organizations.

    Perhaps as a result, and surprisingly, she quoted me on her blog at this newspaper:
    http://weblogs3.nrc.nl/klaver/2008/10/27/twitter-verkleint-afstand/

    This is the blog post that she has quoted:
    ‘Microsharing and Twitter’:
    http://jeroendemiranda.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/microsharing-and-twitter/

  22. Omar Yesid Mariño says:

    Gossip about celebrities or public personages are a good choice to be mentioned by other large media. Of course, if the topic of your site is related in any way and if that gossip is not very known.

  23. This is great. We were recently highlighted in my local media for speaking out against a movie. One of my authors just sent an email to each of the major outlets in town and all of them covered her story.

    Were also highlighted on my local Fox News affiliate, because they were looking for a mommy blogger to highlight. Luckily they found me and liked my blog. It was a lot of fun being on TV. They have told me that my video is their most watched video in recent months.

  24. saleel says:

    You are certainly right Darren. one of the finest way to catch the attention. It was an intersting point by one of your friend who suggested that ‘Breaking a news’ can be a smart way to get the attention of media.

  25. Thomas says:

    YES! YES! YES! This is exactly what I was waiting and searching for.

    I think the key to building long-lasting traffic is promotion via the media. Thanks for all of these tips!

  26. Debo Hobo says:

    I would love to gain media coverage, but I am also very shy and would probably shy away from it once it arrived. LOL ;)

  27. ShriNagesh says:

    This will be too good for trend bloggers, who blog news about the latest trends.

    I agree with Jenn Mattern “If you’re not doing something, or significantly better than others in your niche or industry, the media doesn’t care.”

  28. John Smulo says:

    Another method I’ve found helpful in this regard is submitting your blog to BlogBurst. Once I was accepted in their network I started having my blog posts show up in papers like the Chicago Sun Time and Reuters. Typically this has been online, but its a helpful resource.

  29. MLRebecca says:

    It’s great to read inside secrets from one of the top bloggers in the industry. I had always wondered how some of the blogs I had seen in mainstream media were ‘discovered.’ I also really enjoyed the tips from your Twitter followers. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

  30. Utilizing the media outlets is something that I have always wanted to do but I have never quite found a good way to get my foot in the door. I might play off the fact that I am 19 and own a business :)

  31. Excellent. Should be able to report back in a few days on timeline for response to putting the above tips in place! MUCH thanks, excellent timing.

  32. Lindsay says:

    Yes, I imagine it’d be a lot easier to get written up by Podung Local Paper than the Wall Street Journal, and even a little story in a little paper can bring you some traffic.

    I’ve not tried it myself, but I’ve heard that some authors have had luck getting recognized by establishing themselves as experts on YouTube.

  33. matt mernagh says:

    excellent ideas. i’ll be embarking on a round of media next. timing is critical. as a freelancer knowing when to speak to an editor is crucial to success. getting them just before deadline is bad. an hour or two hour is excellent. day of the week too.

    monday morning is not a good time to issue a press release. mid day is better. after the weekend clutter is tossed aside. your press release might kick around a few days and be used as cover for when a journalist is out of their own story ideas.

    have a wonderful day

    matt mernagh

  34. Hannah Solo says:

    Sorry, but this is just another post where you state the obvious. Do people really enjoy reading this kind of thing? What’s next “how to blog by typing on a computer keyboard”?

    Seriously Darren, pick up the pace and give people information that they don’t already have.

    from Darren – Hannah, as I’ve said on your other comments (all which pretty much say how much you don’t enjoy reading this blog – yet you seem pretty intent on continuing to read and comment) – you’re welcome to critique what I write but perhaps some constructive comments would actually be more effective at getting me to write the kind of content you seem to want. Otherwise it just likes you’re after a bit of attention and wanting to cause trouble.

    All I can say is that most of the other comments on this post seem to indicate that other bloggers are wanting to learn how to get press coverage and found the post to be of interest.

    If you’ve got some wisdom to share on the topic that the rest of us don’t know about I’m keen to hear your thoughts.

  35. Darren, I sorta agree with Hannah but then again, I know your audience are professional bloggers down to beginners so you have to cover a variety of topics and depths of topics.

    For someone like me, I have a lot of media coverage, NY Times, ABC News, etc but still reading articles like this serves to remind me of a few things. It reminds me to keep in touch with those reporters. It reminds me to update my press page and to stay on top of recent news and write good content.

    I know many bloggers get frustrated b/c they don’t get coverage. Why do some get it and other don’t. When you’re looking for it, searching, digging and seeming desperate…it just doesn’t happen. I say, stop looking and do what you do and good things will come your way.

  36. Hannah Solo says:

    I think the real problem is that problogger.com, like johnchow.com and others like them are nothing more than affiliate bait. People visit Darren and John hoping to make money, only to be told “sign up for this program” and make easy money. In reality the gullible people that sign up make tiny amounts but Darren and John and all the clones of them make a decent return. It’s about time that bubble got burst for the scam that it is.

    from Darren: you think this is affiliate bait Hannah? Where’s the affiliate link in this post? It’s simply a post answering a question I’m regularly asked by readers – ‘how do I get press coverage?’

    In terms of affiliate programs – yes I use them occasionally (I’d estimate they’re in 1 in 20 to 30 posts) and I don’t ever tell people to blindly sign up for anything and I NEVER say that they’ll make easy money by doing so – in fact I’ve written many articles on ProBlogger about how it’s virtually impossible to make ‘easy’ money from blogging – it takes years to build up. If you can point me to some places that I’ve told people to sign up for something to make easy money they I’d love to see it and make ammendments to the post if I’m in danger of luring anyone into something that isn’t helpful.

    If anyone is ‘baiting’ with their posting around here I’d suggest it’s someone who writes article with titles like “The truth about Darren Rowse and the great Pro Blogger swindle” and “10 reasons why you should leave school and become a teenage pro blogger” and who leaves comments picking fights on other people’s blogs.

    As I’ve said on your other comments Hannah – you’re welcome to do some critique of my posts but if you’re going to do so – get your facts straight.

  37. uwak says:

    thanks for sharing great tips….you are always give something different from other blog….very good idea…thanks

  38. Ganesh says:

    There are plenty of regional newspapers in my area which are read by a large community of tech oriented folks who are experienced with internet. Surely, a few of them would be bloggers. Writing an article about blogging with a mention to your blog would be a great way to get some promotion.

  39. Neil says:

    Some great insight and tips. While I’ve been considering writing a press release (I will for sure now), I have never considered approaching my local community paper to perhaps gain some exposure. I’ll need to look into it.

  40. Linda Abbit says:

    I’ve recently joined this free service by Peter Shankman that connects journalists with sources they need for stories and vice versa. It could prove to be a great way to initially connect with the media.

    http://www.helpareporter.com/

    I’ve never heard of Blogburst before and I’ll be checking that one out myself.

    Very helpful post, Darren! Thanks.

  41. While I have been writing press releases for myself and for my clients for a while now, there is always something new to learn. This is a great post with some wonderful tips. I have sent it to several of my clients and ALL members of my Virtual Assistance team. Thanks!

  42. JB says:

    I wish you would’ve elaborated a little bit more on the ‘press releases’ section. I’ve talked to other business owners about issuing a press release, and all have agreed that using press releases can really benefit your business. Of course now, I’m currently trying to perfect my press release draft, and am desperately seeking some help and guidance. Maybe you could do an entry on this in the future?

  43. Jenn Mattern says:

    JB, Press releases are actually my specialty area. I have a free e-book on the subject that you may find useful (written from the perspective of an online PR specialist, whose clients generally deal with formatting for online distribution – but the template and such have worked equally well for me and my clients offline).

    http://probusinesswriter.com/downloads/pressreleasesmadeeasy.htm

  44. QuaChee says:

    thanks for the tips. i think this is good – not only for bloggers :) ive not really been featured as a blogger, though the press did feature on my other works. :)

  45. Takumi86 says:

    This is not so easy, you need at least some briliant ideas to start and how to make that briliant ideas takes a lot of time and full of consideration, only few people were managed to fulfill this like Shoemoney and Johnchow

  46. Mike Henry says:

    I’m impressed more and more at the free discussion of these topics, when just a few short years ago people would be looking to sell them in a lame e-book.

    Thanks.

  47. Sri says:

    Hi,

    I really found this blog and all the posts useful to me as I just started developing a blog and new to this kind of environment.

    Thanks a lot for all the information.

    Regards,
    Sri.
    http://reddy-sri.blogspot.com

  48. Tumblemoose says:

    @Hannah:

    I personally enjoy coming here because I’m always getting something from the posts – which is the idea, right? Ive never felt pressured or obliged to click on any ad/link/program here.

    I understand that some folks advocate commenting strategy that includes stirring up the masses, but I think that strategy is short lived and ultimately helps no one – including the comment poster.

    So for myself, I’m not clicking anywhere near your site. I’d rather not encourage the behavior.

    Cheers

    George

  49. Press releases always seemed an impossible task to even
    consider. After reading your post I have changed my viewpoint.

    It’s now time to crack open that ebook on writing press releases I purchased all those years ago. I’ll let you know how it goes :-)

    Phil

  50. Comes to Mind to say if one is doing the approaching, make sure you have humdingers of some ideas for them.. With access to the media literally at everyone’s Fingertips anymore, one could (unknowingly) find themselves deleted without being opened if they present a prior history of regularly forwarding (for lack of a better phrase this sec) “lackluster” material..

    Cyber hugs from North Georgia.. :)

    PS.. Ditto @ Tumblemoose and Mike Henry directly above me here..

    PPS.. I like MadLid’s tweet.. Strive to be constructive, proactive, and you stand out like a breath of spring fresh air when others around are “whining”.. :)