How To Get Free Traffic From Forums Without Writing A Single Post

October 20, 2008

Online forums can be a good source for traffic. Now, I’m not suggesting that you spam forums, i.e. posting promotional messages.

I’m talking about contributing informative and helpful content in forums. And in your posts, you can include a link to your website in your signature.

Occasionally, you can link to a post on your blog that’s relevant to the discussion.

But here’s the problem with using forums to generate traffic… you have to keep posting to get traffic. Read more

How To Format Your Press Releases

June 12, 2008

While hiring a publicist is preferable, you need to know the basic format and important characteristics of a press release. In order to be considered for inclusion in the news, the following characteristics must be present.

  • Newsworthy: Evaluate the news medium where the release will be sent. Make sure that the subject matches the typical content of this particular news outlet.
  • Journalistic writing style: Your press release needs to be written in the style of a journalist so that it is ready to be published.
  • Meet the deadline: If a news outlet has a deadline for receiving content, meet it. Late press releases will not be considered.
  • Concise: Use short sentences. Paragraphs should contain only three to four sentences. Use subheads, bulleted lists, make keywords bold to create an easy-to-read document.

A good press release will use keywords in the title and then repeat them in the opener, the body and the bio. The body of the text is often written in an inverted pyramid style, so the most important information is at the top. The goal is to answer the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

Your press release should include:

  • Contact Information: Usually found on the top left-hand corner of the page. Include your complete contact information (name, address, phone, e-mail and fax) to enable the reporter to contact you at any time. The reporter may have questions. So, make it easy for her to reach you.
  • Date: Typically on the right-hand side of the page, one line lower than the end of the contact information.
  • Release Date: Directly underneath the date, explain when the information should be released. (Example: “For Immediate Release”)
  • Headline: Just like a newspaper article, include a headline. This is typically in all capital letters and underlined.
  • Dateline: Include the location of the story. Some publicists choose to include the date here rather than at the top of the page.
  • Body: The main paragraphs of the text.
  • Call To Action: Include briefly at the end of the text an action that you want the readers to take. It can be as simple as directions to visit a website for further information.
  • Bio: A short paragraph describing your company. Prepare a short paragraph that generically explains who you are. A bio is NOT about boasting. You could also direct the reader to resources with a link to your company’s website. Write a custom bio for each press release, tailored to that particular subject.
  • Slug: This item is located at the bottom of the page to indicate the end of the story. If the story continues to a new page, use “-more-” to convey this message. When the story reaches an end, denote it with “-###-” or “-30-“.

Always, double check for spelling errors, grammar mistakes and factual errors. Finally, make sure you send the press release to the appropriate person.