Why should I write a Press Release?

I’ve talked with quite a few clients about Press Releases and articles lately and wanted to share with them some information I’ve found about press release effectiveness.

  • Why do we write press releases?
  • How are they going to help us make sales on our eCommerce Website?
  • Are they really worth the time you have to invest?

These are a few questions I’ve had myself regarding the press release concept. Below is an interesting case study I found aobut the power of an effective press release.

Millions of people use news search engines to find articles and press releases from the past 30 days. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, Yahoo News had a unique audience of 21.6 million visitors in March 2004 and Google News had a unique audience of 4.9 million visitors that month.

News search engines have also become an indispensable tool for journalists. According to a Middleberg/Ross Survey, 98% of journalists go online daily, 92% for article research, 81% to do searching, 76% to find new sources or experts, and 73% to find press releases.

Savvy marketers are harnessing this phenomenon.

On February 12, 2004, Southwest Airlines issued a press release that announced, “Southwest Airlines Offers Low Fares to Philadelphia; Airfare to Philadelphia as Low as $29 to $99 One-Way. Southwest PR Department used SEO-PR to optimize the press release so it would appear when prospects or the press searched for relevant terms on Google News or Yahoo News.

Using unique tracking codes in links embedded in the press release and customized landing pages on its site, Southwest found that this one release generated more than $80,000 in advanced ticket sales. In other words, potential passengers read the press release on one of the major news search engines, clicked on a link in the release, went to http://www.southwest.com/cities/philadelphia.html, and ordered over $80,000 worth of tickets months before Southwest service to Philadelphia started on May 9.

In addition to the ticket sales, the press release also generated publicity. The New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Dallas Morning News, St. Petersburg Times, Philadelphia Business Journal, and half a dozen other media picked up the Philadelphia story. (source)

How would that be? Are you a bit more motivated now to write a press release?

If you’re like me, time is money. I do refer clients to places like www.elance.com or www.getafreelancer.com. These are websites that offer services from free lancers all over the world. They will give you bids on how much they’ll write a press release or article for.

Where do I post my Press Release?

Great question! Thanks to Newspapergrl, a fellow blogger and colleague, I found a great press release article by Ponn Sabra that should help. It’s a detailed list of Press Release directories that’s in order of page rank. It also gives pricing options – yes, some of them do cost money.

Hope this helps. What are your thoughts or successes with Press Releases?

Why writing articles for your website will set you apart

Special thanks to Newspapergrl for the requested post. I did more research on writing articles too and actually made two posts tonight at www.ezinearticles.com, which is my favorite article directory so far. I also recommend the following:

  • www.goarticles.com
  • www.articledashboard.com
  • www.isnare.com
  • www.articlecity.com

I think the toughest thing for new clients about articles is their fear of failure. They don’t want to write something that doesn’t get accepted or they don’t want to write period. The thing is, writing articles is one of those “little things” that can really separate you from the competition. It’s a cost effective way to build quality links and it really doesn’t take too much time. My good friend Lisa Herbik has done great with article writing and it will prove to help her set herself apart in the wall mural industry.

One of the things I do to save time is write an article about a specific keyword phrase I want to get noticed for by search engines. After posting it to one of the article directories, I’ll then revise the article, edit the title and content a bit, and post it at another article directory. I recently wrote an article about a cheerleading photography website and have seen the traffic increase to that site substantially. Not only traffic, but back links can be built this way too.

If article directories allow a bio section, I make sure I don’t always use the Default Source (as found in ezinearticles); instead I try to customize the bio based on the article I’ve written and the keywords I want to be found for. After all, I’m not in the business of writing necessarily (although SEO and eCommerce requires quite a bit of this). I am in the business of eCommerce consulting, creative business marketing, and creating win/win solutions – both on and offline. By writing articles consistently, you will differentiate yourself from others who don’t understand these basic link building strategies.

More about Time Management

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the number of things there are to do when building an eCommerce Business? Do you feel like there’s never enough time to get all the things done you want to? Are you devoting the necessary attention to each assignment or are other day to day things getting in the way? Is staying organized difficult for you? If your answers are similar to mine, this article may help. Time management and organizational behavior are crucial to success in any endeavor, especially an eCommerce Business.

Effective organization and time management are primary means to a less stressful life. These practices can help you reduce your stress, see better results and also allow you to have more “free time” too. What’s free time for an entrepreneur?

You probably know that effective time management will help you get more done each day. It has important health benefits, too. By managing your time more wisely, you can minimize stress and improve your quality of life.

How do you get started when organizational skills don’t come naturally? To start, choose one of the following time management tips, try it for two to four weeks and see if it helps. Make sure you record your “small successes” in your Success Journal – it will be fun to go back and look at what you’ve accomplished. As you begin to see positive results, try adding another tip. If you find that the tip you first selected isn’t helping like you’d like, make some adjustments or try a different one.

Here are some suggestions that have helped me:

* Plan each day. Planning your day can help you feel more in control of you life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes.
* Prioritize, Prioritize! Like many people, you may be spending the majority of your time on a small percentage of your tasks. Prioritizing will ensure you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important to you.
* Just Say No! (to nonessential tasks). Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.
* Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list. Is there something you can do at a later date? What about forming a team and assigning some tasks to someone else?
* Do a quality job. Taking the necessary time to do work right the first time will help you save so much time in the long run. Errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.
* Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done. This is something I do when submitting to directories. I’m obviously not going to submit to all the directories in one day. Instead, I’ll chip away at it, set a specific amount of time, and then, when that time is up I stop and move on to other projects.
* Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it. Writing articles and press releases can be this way. Once you get started though, things can really start coming together.
* Evaluate how you’re spending your time. Keep a “Success Journal” of everything you do for three days. Make sure you write down everything you do. This can help you determine how you’re spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends. What about that TV time? Is that really helping you make progress with your business? It doesn’t help me but I still seem to waste time doing it.
* Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Improved focus and concentration will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time. If you’re like me, late nights can sometimes be productive; but the more rested you are, the better you can think logically and really see things happen with your eCommerce Business.
* Take a time management course. If your employer offers continuing education, take a time management class. If your workplace doesn’t have one, find out if a local community college, university or community education program does.
* Don’t be afraid to take a break. Can you say “Burn Out!” Too much stress can derail your attempts at getting organized. When you need a break, take one. Take a walk. Do some quick stretches at your workstation. Take a day of vacation.

Let’s all commit to actively do one or two of these things. Let’s use this blog post as a journal if we need to to monitor our progress. I look forward to reading results.

Performance Goals vs. Outcome Goals

Performance Goal vs. Outcome Goal – What’s the Difference?

performance goalsThis is a question I had as I did research about setting and achieving goals. Of course we all want outcomes, results, money in the bank. But before that happens we have to take the necessary steps to get everything in place. This is where “Performance Goals” come in to the picture.

If our goals are based on outcome and outcome only, our motivation may be super high at first; as we achieve the initial goal, the benefits of further achievement at the same level are reduced and motivation will decrease.

I know this seems hard to believe, especially when we’re talking about money. However, sometimes we don’t have complete control of how much money we make on a given day, week, month or year. If we set goals that we have control of, our mindset and motivation are not going to be in the hands of others. There’s nothing worse than failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control such as bad business environments, poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. Goals based on outcomes are extremely vulnerable to failure because of things beyond our control.

For example, you might achieve a personal best time in a race, but still be disqualified as a result of a poor judging decision. If you set an outcome goal of being in the top three, then this will be a defeat. If you set a performance goal of achieving a particular time, then you will have achieved the goal and can draw satisfaction and self-confidence from achievement.

Another example of an outcome goal is to make a certain amount of money today or by the end of the week. In my Moller Mission Statement, I set specific “outcome goals”. But, in front of those outcome goals were well defined, written out action steps (or “performance goals”) that I held myself to in order to achieve the final result. If I want to make a certain amount of money, I’d better set specific goals I have control of. Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you set “performance goals” for your business:

  • How many people do I plan to contact every day?
  • What book am I going to read to get ideas for help with my sales?
  • How many current clients will I talk to about their purchases and attempt to get repeat business with?
  • Do I have a “Plan of Attack” on what I’m going to do each day to increase the chances of making more sales?

What are “Performance Goals” you all have set the help you get the “Outcomes” you want?