Influence High Valued Websites & People
When it comes to online marketing, the goal is to consistently see your content published on
high-visibility sites. This tutorial provides tips and advice on how to get published on high value
websites that offer your company the maximum amount of exposure.
It won’t happen overnight, but small, consistent steps help you build a reputation to move your
company into the spotlight.
STEP 1. OPEN YOUR ONLINE PR TEMPLATE
To get the most out of this tutorial you must understand the functions of your Online PR
Template. Be sure you have viewed that tutorial before continuing.
The first step is to open your PR Template and click on the tab “High Valued Points.” This is the
area that lists all of your high valued media outlets and bloggers, i.e. the most important and
influential sites. These are the locations that have high traffic, lots of followers, etc. One
editorial or other type of content on these sites could do a lot for your business. They are the
CNN’s of your particular industry.
your template is not filled in completely, please see our tutorial on how to add information to
Assuming you already have listed tens or maybe hundreds of websites on your template, the
next step is to choose who you are going to influence.
STEP 2. CHOOSE WHO TO INFLUENCE
You will now decide which website(s) you want to pursue by looking at all the information to
the right of each URL listed. It will help you to see which sites have the highest value and so are
the most important ones to work on.
STEP 3. HOW CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE?
Once you decide which site to influence first, go to their website and read everything on the
site. You must be very familiar with the publication and those who write for it before you can
reach out to them.
Next, check their editorial calendar which shows what they’re going to write about for the
upcoming year. These are not final topics but general ideas.
Perhaps the site will pay someone to write about one of these topics or accept editorials from
outside sources. For example, you might see that in January they will talk about whiplash. If
you are an expert in this area, reach out and talk to them about publishing your information on
their site. If there is no editorial calendar, reading all the articles on the site will give you a good
idea of their preferred topics. You can also check archived articles if they are available.
Look for people who don’t work for the company who are published on the site. You might
notice the writer’s biography and see links back to their site. Your goal is also to contribute and
have a link back to your site.
Do your research to see how you can add value to these websites before you reach out to
STEP 4. DEVELOP A LIST OF CONTENT IDEAS
When the research is done and you know what information the editor wants to publish,
develop a list of content ideas that would work for this publication. This is customized and
targeted research based on each particular site.
If a site’s editor had coffee with you, you’d present this list of topic ideas and start discussing
the particulars. Once you decide who to contact, you will choose a tactic to present your topic
STEP 5. DECIDE ON YOUR TACTIC
One way to reach out to websites is with a pitch letter. The two main types of pitch letters are
press release pitch or a news pitch.
- News Release/Press Release Pitch – This will alert editors to something you’ve already published on line that would be valuable to their readers, or it can let them know of an upcoming event that involves your company
- Guest Post/Expert Article/Online Editorial Pitch – This is an offer to publish unique content on their website and nowhere else. You’re giving them the content, and in exchange they will mention your name on their site and/or add a link to your website.
STEP 6. PREPARE EMAIL/PHONE CALL
After deciding on a tactic, you’ll email the site editor or contact person and include your list of
content topics. The email must be very detailed but succinct. You must show that you know
about their upcoming topics and should include links to anything you’ve already written on the
subject so they can see your skills in action.
Our website has great examples of good and bad pitch letters along with advice on creating a
letter that gets you noticed.
The above steps offer a customized approach which sometimes works very well and other times
will produce few results. The following tips can help increase your chances of success.
TIP #1: TIPS IN PITCH LETTER
- Keep your email succinct. Make your pitch without a lot of extra, unnecessary information.
- Show that you are familiar with that publication. If the editor detects that you sent a template or a mass email, you’ll get nowhere.
- Every letter must have a proposed title and some talking points of what you will provide. This is where your list of content ideas is helpful. The editor needs to know what benefit that site will get out of letting you in their publication. There must always be something in it for them.
TIP #2: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Target your contacts. Start with as few as five to ten publications and contact them one by one,
using a unique letter for each person. Do not use a template.
Your proposed content must be original. Publishing the same content over and over will hurt
your relationships, and you will likely not be published in the future. However, the same
content becomes new when created in different formats.
TIP #3: PRODUCE A LOT OF CONTENT FROM A LITTLE
Pretty much every company, even a company of one, has a budget. We want to distribute the
most unique information possible but spend the smallest possible amount of time and money
doing it. The solution is to produce one massive resource on a specific topic and reproduce it in
different media formats.
For example, the content of this tutorial was also produced as a video and a PowerPoint
presentation. WebBizIdeas works with a company called SEO Content Solutions who used those
other content formats to create this text format, and the same information is presented in
three unique ways.
Content can also be presented as videos, graphics, polls, surveys, tutorials, tips, infographics
and more. It’s the same information but published in lots of different media formats. You’re still
the expert providing the information, but now you’re taking that one piece of information and
turning it into many, many more.
If need be, you could reach out to those ten different publications you chose with ten different
types of content formats–all using the same information. Research once, publish ten times!
TIP #4: IF THEY SAY YES
- Write for your audience, not for your company. This is about giving something valuable to the readers of the site.
- Stick to what you proposed for content and format. It won’t go over well with the editors if you change it.
- Incorporate any and all suggestions from the editor whether title, content, or something else. Do whatever they want to achieve your goal of getting published.
- Provide a web-friendly HTML author bio with a photo so that you get credit and have a link to your website. Provide this even if you’re not asked for it. Most sites will publish it because they want to credit you for work you’ve done.
TIP #5: IF THEY SAY NO
The “no” happens more than the “yes,” but don’t just give up! Instead, revisit your list and go
after the next site. Approach each opportunity one at a time. The graph below offers some
helpful tips, but read on for an example.
A Real Life Example
Recently, WebBizIdeas wrote the cover article for the publication ACA Today. The topic was
getting great local SEO rankings for chiropractors. How did we accomplish this?
We located the chiropractor sites on our PR Template that we wanted to contact about this
article. We were lucky in that the first company contacted said yes to the article idea, but if
they had said no we would have continued down the list and contacted each one with our idea.
Work Through Your List of Sites 1-by-1
When you do this, your entire list might say no. If so, don’t give up. You have a great idea that
deserves to get out there, so move on to your list of bloggers to see if any of them would be
interested. Bloggers are not as influential, but contact them one by one to see what happens.
If the bloggers don’t bite, go to your low value sites and start contacting them. Maybe there’s
someone you have an account with who will publish your information.
Perhaps everyone said no. Still don’t give up! Try places like article directories, forums or other
sites. Getting published in a lesser valued site is still better than not getting published at all, and
your goal is always to get published.
Meeting Your Goals Sometimes Means Compromise
You’ve set up a goal to produce so many links or so much content per month to keep up with
your competitors, and this often means taking a base hit (getting published on a lower value
site) over a home run (getting published on a large media outlet).
Always going after large media outlets will reduce your success rate because it’s difficult to get
published on these sites. When you don’t get published regularly, your Google search rankings
will sink. Getting published consistently, even on lesser sites, will push those Google rankings
So don’t give up, even if you get lots of rejections.
TIP #6: USE OTHER AVAILABLE TOOLS
You don’t have to be the one reaching out to people. Services like HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
and Reporter Connection can do some of this work for you.
Reporters tell HARO and Reporter Connection exactly what stories they are working on and
what types of sources they are looking for. HARO and Reporter Connection then send out daily emails that you can scan to see if any match your expertise. There are consistently amazing
success stories of national exposure that have come from businesses using these resources.
Register on these websites and get in their databases so reporters can reach out to you as an
expert for information to help them write their articles.
TIP #7: BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
Creating a relationship doesn’t happen with one email or phone call. It takes time and
persistence, which might just get you published on that large media outlet, the CNN of your
industry, and gain great exposure for your business.
Here are some tips to build relationships (some might say to “suck up”) to editors, journalists
- Comment on articles, blogs or other content that they’re publishing on Twitter, Facebook or other online sites. Whenever possible, try to be the first one to comment. (Subscribe to their RSS feed so you’ll immediately know when new content has been posted.)
- Say how much you like what they publish and that’s why you keep commenting, following or participating in their surveys. If you comment again and again, you might be recognized when you contact them about publishing your content on their site.
- On your own site, brag about the person you want to contact. Put the person’s name in quotes so they’ll easily find it when monitoring their online reputation. Once they find your site and see themselves mentioned, they’ll know who you are and probably be positive toward your request.
- Send tips or information you know might be of interest to the person, along with a little note that you thought they might find the data useful since they write about that topic a lot.
You’re not selling your company. This is a “soft sell” to identify who you are so these folks might
recognize you when you make your pitch.
The information below shows a person that my company has been connecting with and doing
small articles for since 2009. No home runs yet, but many base hits. Plus we’re developing a
great two-way relationship so we might do something big with them down the road.
What I’ve done so far includes commenting on things the company has written, writing articles
for their website, contributing to their forum and becoming a forum moderator because they
liked me so much. This has led to having my company profile on his site. As a favor to the client,
I even asked my employees to create graphics for an article they were writing.
I’m patiently building my relationship with this person in the hopes of something big in the
TIP #8: CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Your goal is to consistently see your business in print. Aim not for home runs but for consistent
A successful media outreach program consistently connects with companies on their list,
consistently sends out queries, and consistently follows up on their goal to provide a high value
company with some well-written content that they will publish.
There are no guarantees in the PR business, but if (and when) you do get that big hit, the
visibility and sense of accomplishment you’ll receive are well worth it! In the meantime, don’t
The large media outlets require lots of continued effort, so keep working in the forums, blogs or
other areas. As you build up your reputation and your qualifications, you’ll be able to reach out
to larger and larger media outlets with more and more success.
See our website for more tips and information or to ask us any specific questions you have
about this process.
To successfully publish your company’s content on high value websites, follow these steps:
- Open your Online PR Template.
- Choose a Website/Person to influence.
- Identify how you can contribute (i.e. add value) to that site.
- Develop a list of content ideas.
- Decide on a pitch tactic.
- Prepare an email/phone call with your specific content ideas.
- Follow all of our tips.
Getting published on high-value sites is difficult, but not impossible. By combining the steps and
tips in this tutorial with a commitment to long-term, consistent effort, you will hit that home
run sooner than you think.
For this tutorial, you will need:
To complete this tutorial, you will need to have watched this tutorial: