You want the New York Times, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Hackers News to link to your website. You built a great app! Why shouldn’t they link to you and send you a flood of traffic?
That’s the thinking I encounter in quite a few conversations with tech entrepreneurs. It’s unfortunate because it is based on magical thinking. It’s the same kind of thinking you see in the movie and music business. You know those stories about aspiring actors and musicians waiting to “be discovered” by an agent? That’s not a good plan!
If you want significant, high traffic, high prestige websites to link to you, you need to take action.
1. Be different instead of “better” in your message
You built an app that is 5% better than the best solution on the market? That achievement, on its own, is not enough to get attention. All hope is not lost. To pursue this achievement and get major websites to link to you, use this tip. Translate that performance improvement into a customer outcome.
Technical Achievement: Our ad tech platform serves ads 5% faster than the competition.
Newsworthy Angle: Our high-speed platform just won CNN as a client because of our record speed.
2. Adopt the “craft-brewed” approach to your pitches
Some services on the web offer “email blasts” or sending a press release to thousands of journalists. For many companies, these services are not a good fit if you are just getting started. Why? These services make it nearly impossible to customize your message for a specific audience. I know what you want to use these services. They offer a short cut. A way to get your free traffic and mainstream credibility fast and cheaply.
The reality? These services do not often work. It is not the fault of the press release service. It is your expectations and level of preparation. You fail to think of the journalist or website owner as a customer. You need to connect the dots between your business and the publication. You cannot assume that your “awesome app” will be understood.
The solution is simple.
Do 5-10 handcrafted pitches next week. That means writing out emails yourself to specific people. Make the email YOU FOCUSED. Think about the journalist or website owner’s problems. They want to look smart to their audience. They want to feature news stories that generate buzz and help them stand out.
3. Play the long game of online publicity and traffic
For a few years, I worked hard on building up ProjectManagementHacks.com. I started by publishing articles on my website for a few months. Then, I started to reach out to other project management websites with an offer to contribute articles. After nearly six months, I had a big break – landing a monthly column with ProjectManagement.com. Building on that relationship further, I had the opportunity to deliver more than 20 webinars and grow my audience along the way.
Why do I tell you this story? Simple. Many people want to jump straight from zero to working with a major partner. However, this is like building a home without laying the foundation first. It is simply not going to work!
The way to sustainable success in online publicity is to start small, build your credibility in the industry, and work your way up.
This Is Just The Beginning
There are more ways to get significant websites to link to you and provide a flood of traffic. Stay tuned on this page for more insights about ways to get the credibility and traffic you need to grow.