The idea of creating an online women's magazine had been bobbing around in my head for ages.
I wanted website content similar to the kind of articles in the glossy magazines you buy at the book sellers. And I had ideas for stories that I was itching to write. The problem was that the kind of website I envisaged would not easily adapt to the use of the search engine optimization (SEO) tactics I'd used on other keyword-driven websites I've built.
Having a very generalized and immensely competitive concept like “women”, I knew the kind of niche phrases I wanted to use would make it very difficult to achieve good search engine placement with the kind of SEO strategies I had been using. So my goal was to come up with a strategy to drive visitors to my website as cheaply and effectively as possible, knowing that they weren't going to arrive after seeing my results in the Top 10 Google results!
That's where the idea for using a press release to publicize my website came from. I'd heard and read about Internet PR, but until I developed this website, I hadn't had any experience with it.
Press Release template
I chose PRWeb, a free online press release distribution service. The PRWeb.com website offers helpful tips and a press pelease template, great for a newbie like me. The editors even give your press release a score out of 5 and make helpful suggestions where necessary. The editors score your press release on a number of factors based on their submission guidelines and the quality of the content, including format, grammar, spelling, use of jargon and creativity.
Although PRWeb advertise their service as “free”, they use a voluntary contribution system they call “Fair Commerce.” In their words, “We ask our users to take into consideration what similar services cost and contribute accordingly. It's fair.”
Your “contribution” can range from $10 to $80 and beyond, depending on the distribution enhancements you'd like.
After you have submitted your press release, the screen takes you to the Contributions page, which defaults to the $30 contribution level. This level includes distribution to Google News, Yahoo! Search, Overture and eMediaWire. It seemed a small price to pay for getting my press release distributed to as many sources as possible. This level of contribution also guarantees that your press release will be issued within 24 hours of submission.
Flood of emails
Within 48 hours of my press release being issued, I started to see results. I received a flood of emails – some merely congratulatory, but many offering clever and interesting articles I could publish for the price of a hyperlink. Very good value, if you ask me!
I also received a number of emails requesting advertising space on my site for products or services, in most cases offering something in return.
All up, I received 41 positive emails in the first 5 days after launch, and the emails are still rolling in.
But the most pleasing aspect of the exercise was the visitor stats. Within the first 7 days of launch, my brand new website received 1132 visitors, with 37% staying more than 20 minutes, and an astonishing 16% staying over one hour! The stats also indicate that 16% are returning visitors.
Google AdSense revenue has also been a pleasant surprise. Sorry, it's not in the thousand of dollars, but I've easily covered my $30 contribution to PRWeb.
Sure, they're not mind-boggling statistics, but very pleasing for the first website I've built on my own, particularly when I chose to ignore almost everything I've learned about building successful search engine friendly websites, and particularly in an industry where over 98% of websites fail in the first 12 months.
The service and professionalism of PRWeb were exceptional, and I plan on using the services of PRWeb to help launch all the new affiliate websites I build. The results speak for themselves.
PRWeb Direct is the service bureau for the PRWeb newswire. This new service maximizes online distribution by incorporating PRWeb staff experience and expertise in submitting, scheduling and optimizing distribution. PRWeb Direct offers additional services that are unavailable through the standard PRWeb wire service.
This is a fast, professional way to use a press relase.
Check it out now…