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The Fail-Proof System to Score National Magazine Publicity for Your Blog

This guest post is by Melissa Cassera of www.casseracommunications.com.

You write a blog post. You post it. You tweet, Facebook, Digg, Stumble, and perform every other type of online promotion to supersize your presence.

What are you missing?

Promoting “offline” using a major influencer like a national magazine can bring a blizzard of traffic to your blog. Not only is it great for exposure to have your name inked on the glossy pages of a national magazine, it lends the credibility and endorsement of a national magazine claiming you have the best blog on the block.

Read on to learn how you can get national magazines to sing your praises from the rooftop.

Why should I use national magazines to promote my blog?

magazines

Image used with permission

Magazines have millions of readers. Literally millions.

National magazines are also nationally-recognized brands. They’ve cultivated a reputation of excellence and wield a substantial amount of power for those that are fortunate enough to grace their pages.

Bloggers have leveraged national magazine publicity into six and seven-figure book deals, scored high-paying speaking engagements, attracted fancy corporate sponsors, and commanded top-dollar for coaching and consulting services.

Magazine publicity is like winning an Emmy, Tony, Grammy, or Academy Award. It provides instant credibility and high profile status.

How do national magazines feature blogs?

Some magazines highlight bloggers individually. Other magazines will interview bloggers as expert sources for their story. (Example: Melissa Cassera from Casseracommunications.com said that national magazine publicity brings droves of new readers to your blog).

For example: Glamour Magazine’s August 2011 issue featured seven fashion bloggers in their article “Dress Like a Do Every Day.” INC Magazine’s July/August 2011 issue also featured several bloggers throughout the issue as expert sources.

How do I contact national magazines and ask them to feature my blog?

  • Understand lead times. Magazines work anywhere from three to six months ahead of the issue. That means you should be pitching for the December issue in August. So, get crackin’!
  • Find the right contact. Check the masthead toward the front of the magazine to note the appropriate section editor (beauty, fashion, technology, food, etc.). Always work from the bottom up (contact the associate or assistant editor rather than the executive or senior editor).
  • You can also peek at the bylines for individual articles. Magazines hire freelance writers to produce content, and these folks are always interested in good sources and stories. Google their names and get in touch.
  • Put as much effort into your pitch as you do writing your blog posts. Read the magazine and highlight the sections that would feature your blog and/or use you as an expert source.  Know the magazine’s tone and readership inside and out. (Quick tip: search online for the magazine’s media kit which includes demographic and other readership info as well as an editorial calendar highlighting specific topics they will cover in future issues).
  • Build a relationship. Your goal is to get ongoing publicity for your blog in these offline channels. Your first contact with an editor should be a warm introduction to you and your blog and a newsworthy angle that would pique their interest to write about you. (Example: I’m a career blogger and would love to discuss the latest trend of unemployed people being told not to apply for jobs. My take on this is….).
  • Offer to cover the magazine on your blog. Ask the editor if they would participate in an interview for your blog. This is a great way to build a budding relationship and to offer them a bit of promotion. (Example: A fashion blogger might interview a Vogue editor on the three hottest trends for Fall).

What do I do when I get national magazine coverage?

Promote away! First things first—you want to blog about your national magazine coverage.  Don’t automatically assume that all your readers will see it. Let them know how super fabulous you are to be featured in [insert favorite magazine name].

Add a “fame cluster” to your homepage. If you have no idea what that is, check out my homepage and look at the little cluster of media logos. You can also start a Press page that lists all of your media shout-outs.

Last, welcome your new readers. If you know your feature in Entrepreneur Magazine comes out in November (which means it will likely hit newsstands in mid-October), add a little line to your homepage near your RSS feed or opt-in offer that says, “Welcome Entrepreneur Magazine Readers! Sign Up Here to Stay in Touch.”

Take action: post the #1 magazine you want to feature your blog in the comments below. Then use the above advice to make it happen.

Melissa Cassera is a publicity expert that helps bloggers and other small business owners score millions of dollars in free advertising using the power of publicity. You can download her free eBook on How to Pitch the Media Like a Pro here: http://casseracommunications.com/newsletter/

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Comments

  1. GeekZenith says:

    mmm. Interesting. I hadn’t really considered offline marketing before to promote my website, but now that I think about it…I can’t understand why not. My niche lends itself very well to this and thinking about, I’ve seen other competitors do very mcuh the same, with less relevant content.

    Thank you very much for your post, Melissa.

  2. Kevin Cullis says:

    I’ve started some of what you suggest already, but the rest I’m going to have to add to my To Do list. I like the fact that you suggest FREE ways of getting publicity. Might I also suggestion HARO http://www.helpareporter.com/ as a source of reporters, including magazines, that are looking for content for their sites.

    Thanks

    Kevin

    • Thanks Kevin! And HARO is a great place for media leads :-) You can also subscribe to just the queries that are relevant to your content like Lifestyle + Fitness or Business + Finance.

  3. Dan Rovito says:

    I do some offline promoting by wearing a t-shirt showing my blog out in public. it is a comic book niche site so generally when i go to conventions or the store i wear it. it brings some decent traffic in. the real test is a convention coming up in two weeks.

    • Cool Dan! My husband gets tons of inquiries from his t-shirts because the branding rocks. He doesn’t have a blog (he’s a dog trainer) but it’s in the same spirit. That company iwearyourshirt.com seems to do well with this model too!

    • Carolyn says:

      Funny you mention that — I just received my t-shirts to wear to a trade show in the mail yesterday. Vistaprint will do quantities as small as 1 at a reasonable price — they did a nice job on mine (they often have online coupons for 25% off, too). I put the blog’s logo full size across the back — 12×12 — with the URL below it.

      Getting articles in mags with a reference to your blog is also good on another front — they pay! Usually pretty well, too.

  4. Brad says:

    Good article Melissa. I’ve been given a little link love from a national magazine in the past, with a now retired blog, and it brought a ton of traffic. If you write good content and stay vigilant in getting your name out there someone will pick you up. The thing to remember is that as a stategy, getting national attention is not sustainable. There is no easy path to getting your blog into top keywords and into the elite level within your space. Content is always king and it’s important to continually work on your content..then your promotion.

    • Absolutely Brad – and the content will help you get the promotion because of how amazing it is. You can also use the method in this post to build relationships with the media and become a regular go-to source for their stories so the promotion is more frequent. Always better to target ongoing opportunities than one-shot deals.

  5. This strategy is great actually. I’ve tought about this strategy not so long ago. I think I have to execute this strategy ASAP. Or else, I’ll behind.

  6. So funny – I came from more of an editorial background, and now most of my writing is either in my niche industry (technology) or online through my blog. I never thought about getting back to my ‘roots’ and using print media to promote my blog. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. Lynn says:

    Great ideas here for anyone who wants to get more media coverage. I underline the “build a relationship” statement. I’ve built relationships over time that resulted in great coverage, but also was able to help editors fulfill other needs.

  8. It’s probably a lot like winning the lottery.

  9. Adam Watkins says:

    I would have never in a million years thought of promoting my blog through magazines, BUT this is a great idea! I’ll have to keep a lookout to see which one of us makes the break into publication! hahah!

  10. terry aley says:

    “The New Yorker” — Here I come!

  11. Laura Laing says:

    Great advice. As a freelance writer, I naturally thought of my colleagues when developing a publicity plan for my blog. I reached out to a few freelancers whom I knew wrote regularly for some of my target markets and got a good response. And as a freelance writer, I wanted to share some advice with bloggers who may not have an understanding of how this strange business works:

    1. Just because someone has written for a national publication (ie: has a byline) doesn’t mean they’ll ever write for them again. Look for folks whose bylines appear regularly in a publication. Also, consider pitching contributing editors, who may be freelancers and may have more pull with the powers that be. Google bylines and check out freelancers sites to get an idea of how often they write for these pubs and other pubs they write for. (Parenting freelancers tend to target all of the parenting and perhaps the women’s magazines, for example.)

    2. Lead time is critical. Unless the pub is weekly or daily and the topic is very timely, you won’t see the fruits of your labor for at least 6 months — and probably more like a year or more. (I’ve had story pitches picked up a full year after I sent them.)

    3. Please pitch wisely. There’s no better way to burn bridges with freelancers than to pitch something that is out of their expertise. Believe me, this really ticks them off. Don’t stretch the truth or the idea. These folks are looking for ideas that will work for them, and if you misstep, you could be ignored for life.

    4. HARO is a mixed bag for freelancers. While PR folks are still in love with the service, most freelancers I know are really angry with what it’s become — clunky and micromanaging. You may try something like PRWire as well.

    5. If you do pitch, you can go one of two ways: pitch yourself as an expert or pitch a story idea. Think about what you’ve been writing about lately and what’s gotten traction. Does it warrant a story in print? If you think so, pitch it. But remember, you won’t be the only source for the story. You’ll be a small part of a larger story (unless you’re featured as a profile).

    Good luck!

    Laura Laing
    http://www.mathforgrownups.com
    http://www.lauralaing.com

  12. Michael Hampton says:

    Most of the advice works great for newspapers, too. Being on page B1 of USA TODAY helped me a LOT.

  13. Thanks for the great advice!! This is really helpful!

  14. Marcie says:

    This is fabulous! I always wondered how this works. Now, I know and I’m going to use it. And congrats on your national coverage!