The biggest challenge for most new authors who aspire to be picked up by a traditional publisher is to develop a large enough following. Several of my clients have recently signed contracts with literary agents or publishers had to develop their “author platform” first.
Recently, I spoke to Dan Janal, founder of PR Leads Plus which helps authors, speakers, coaches and small businesses get publicity with do-it-yourself tools and done-for-you-services. Dan told me he’s using press releases in all kinds of creative ways–and not just for traditional publicity. It helps your website’s ranking with search engines, for instance.
I’ll be interviewing Dan on December 9 at 1:00 pm eastern time on How to Get Publicity on Major Media Websites to get more qualified prospects to visit your site. This will help you whether you’re building your following before writing the book and getting a publishing deal or if you already have books to sell.
I’ve asked Dan to share a little more about the power of press releases with us on this blog.
Lisa: How have press releases changed with the Internet?
Dan: In the old days, you sent press releases to reporters and, if they acted, great. If they didn’t, you were out luck. That happened all the time, since so many people fought for limited space in the media. Now, with Internet being the world’s largest printing press, media sites want press releases and they have lots of room to print them. Search engines index press releases and consumers read press releases they find via the search engines and via your site. It’s a lot easier to get your message read by consumers if you write and send press releases.
Lisa: How are authors and aspiring authors using press releases differently than in the past?
Dan: They’re using press releases to get more prospects directly by using search engine optimization tactics.
Lisa: How do press releases help with search engine optimization and getting more traffic to your website?
Dan: You can’t get prospects if people can’t find you. Fortunately, people do go to Google to find people just like you, books just like yours and advice just like your have to offer. The question is, “Will they find you?”
If your press releases are posted on major media web sites, there’s a better chance you’ll be found. That’s because Google loves links. You probably know that. But not all links are treated the same. A link from my site or Lisa’s site is nice, but a link from the Boston Business Journal is worth a lot more in the eyes of Google. When you write a press release with SEO tactics in mind, you stand a better chance of being found and making your dreams come true.
Lisa: Can you give an example of a press release that helped an author sell more books and led to additional opportunities?
Dan: Nancy Juetten, author of Bye Bye Boring Bio, wrote a press release about her book. We got it printed on at least 40 media web sites.
Reporters called her and wanted to interview her and review her book. I don’t know if that happens to everyone, but I’d consider that the icing on the cake.
She took the credibility of those media placements and pitched herself as a guest expert on Rain Today, which is a very big and popular site for professional services companies. She got on the teleseminar and was able to pitch her book there. All in all she said this was the best PR move she made this year and her book sales were strong.
Lisa: How do you write a good press release to show up high in the search engines?
Dan: I’ll share several tips during our teleseminar. Here’s one: Use the most popular keywords for your topic in the headline and first paragraph so the search engines know how to index your press release.
Lisa: Any other tips on Search Engine Optimization? [getting search engines to put your site up high in their search results]
Dan: Yes. Put links to your website in the press release. You can provide several links, so I’d suggest you do that. Put a link to your home page, your book sales page and your squeeze page [the page from which you’re selling something]. That formula should work for most people. If your book is already published, you can add a link to your Amazon sales page.
Lisa: I love how Nancy used her press release. Can you say a little more about how authors and entrepreneurs can use their press release once it’s posted?
Dan: Here are three ways:
1. Tweet a link to the article. I do this for my clients, when they tell me about publicity they get via PR LEADS. I use a provocative title to get attention. For example: Need writing tips for a job application? @prleads client Diane L Samuels gets publicity on Monster.com http://ow.ly/2tGcI
The keyword “publicity” makes sure that people searching for “publicity” on Twitter will see this. Use the hashtag function (#) with your particular keywords.
2. Post the link on your Linked In profile and relevant groups on Linked In: Don’t say “I’m quoted here. ” Tell people what they can learn by reading the article.
3. Send the link and article to your prospects, clients and followers via email.
Daniel Janal is an internationally-recognized speaker, Internet marketer and best-selling author. He has written six books for John Wiley and those books have been translated into six languages.
A former public relations executive, Dan Janal was on the PR team that launched America Online and personally directed the PR launch of Grolier’s Electronic Encyclopedia, the first consumer software program ever produced on a CD-ROM.
Join me on Dec. 9 at 1:00pm Eastern when I interview Dan about How to Get Publicity on Major Media Websites.