Press Releases

Description: Most webmasters are constantly searching for new ways to promote their website. Press releases can be an ideal way of doing just that - so long as you know how to do it right.

Boosting the popularity of your website basically boils down to getting more traffic. But there are many ways of doing this, and not all of them need to have anything to do with search engine optimization.

Whenever you are considering ways to attract more attention online, it's worth considering whether you have any newsworthy stories you could share with the internet population. If you do - and provided they are genuinely newsworthy - you could have the basis of a good press release.

There are plenty of different ways to distribute a press release online:

  • You can send it to a PR company, using either a paid or a free distribution service
  • You can send it to the editors of relevant online magazines and journals
  • You can distribute it to the publishers of ezines and email newsletters
  • You can send it to webmasters

You can also distribute it offline as well if there are any periodicals or newspapers that are likely to find the story interesting.

There is an art to writing a press release, but there are several main points that you need to bear in mind in order to make sure your release has the best possible chance of being used.

Firstly it must be newsworthy. That word has already been used in this article but this point is so important that it's worth mentioning twice. If you are about to launch a brand new product then that would qualify as a newsworthy event. Think along these lines to try and find newsworthy items you can use. Is your site about to introduce a new forum for its visitors? Are you offering a new service which undercuts all your competitors? Anything like this can form the basis of a good press release - so long as it's written in the correct format.

The first thing to remember when you start writing is to stick to the third person format. Don't talk about yourself in the first person - for example ?I am launching a new forum?' - and don't refer to the reader either - as in ?You will be able to take advantage of our new forum?'

A good example of how to write this sentence for a press release would be to say ?Joe Bloggs, owner of the Cool Forum website, has just launched a brand new forum?'? This is written in third person and demonstrates how the writing should proceed.

It's a good idea to make some notes of all the important points you want to include before you start writing your release. Keep the whole point of your release in sharp focus because this is what will make people decide whether or not to use your press release at all. Just because you send it to someone it doesn't guarantee that it will be used, so you need to make it as strong as you possibly can and keep the writing tight and relevant.

Every good press release has a specific angle that is used to hook the reader, and you should be able to describe your hook in a single sentence. So for example your hook may be the fact that you are now offering free delivery on all products worldwide. This would be particularly newsworthy if no other company in your sector is offering this. This is a good point to remember when you are searching for good stories to provide the basis of a press release. You don't always have to have good news - it could be a controversial development that you want to draw attention to. So long as it catches the eye and it qualifies as being news then it's worthy of a press release.

You should also make sure your hook is clearly stated in the title of your release and referred to again (using different words) to start the body of the release proper. It should be borne in mind that the people who receive press releases tend to receive a deluge of them every single day - so you need to make sure that yours stands out. The title and the first sentence or two may be all the time you get to make an impression and get that person to read more, so make the most of it and make sure that every single word counts. If you try and create suspense by holding back the actual news element until later on in the release, no one will actually get to read what it's about.

As far as length is concerned a press release should generally be confined to a single sheet of paper. Use your words sparingly and only include the information that is absolutely necessary. You will put your contact details at the foot of the release anyway, so if it generates any interest you should receive a call or an email asking for more information. Don't forget to include your website address in the body of the release as well - you'll want to make sure that if your release is printed or published online, people will be able to find you.

One final point on writing a good press release - try and include a quote if you can. Even if you create one that you could say to describe the event that has or is about to occur, it will help your press release to stand out from the competition.

When it's completed and you are happy with it, make sure you send it to as many relevant places and people as you can. You want to make sure your news reaches as many people as possible, and you need to accept that a fair number of your releases won't be looked at or used, so it makes sense to try and spread the news as far as you can.

Once you get the hang of writing good press releases they should be used as a regular part of your website promotion strategy. After all, they are a free method of getting more traffic and raising the profile of your website - all of which helps to boost your rankings within the search engines.

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