Most of the strategies I share with you on this blog are ones which I’ve had very positive results with myself.
However, on this occasion I’d like to tell you about something which hasn’t really worked out.
I think this kind of thing is important so you can make better decisions about what to do yourself and avoid some of the countless mistakes I’ve made in my own business.
What I Did…
One of the greatest methods of getting traffic is something called “Content Syndication”, where you create content and spread it around the internet to gain exposure to your target audience.
I do a lot of this with some really great traffic results.
However, there’s one strategy in particular that I had never tried: Press Releases
We often hear from different marketers that press releases can get you an awful lot of targeted traffic so, as you can imagine, I was very keen to test this.
The perfect opportunity seemed to present itself a couple of weeks ago after the successful launch of my SpyBar software.
So I set about writing a press release for it focusing in particular on the successful launch and the benefits that it provides to users.
There are many places to publish press releases but the market leader is arguably PRWeb.com. Since this was a test I thought I might as well do things properly so I signed up for an “Advanced” Release at $199.
You can see the pricing details and what that includes by clicking here.
Press Release Results
Submitting the press release was easy using PRWeb.com’s interface and I scheduled it for release the next working day.
You can see it yourself here: WordPress ‘Spy’ Software Smashes 1,100 Sales in Launch Week
One of the key features of press release distribution services like PRWeb is that they syndicate the content to their subscribers and news portals. What is more, since PRWeb is an authority site in Google’s eyes you are far more likely to get your release ranked highly in the search engine results pages.
Or at least that’s the idea 😉
In the 7 days since my release went live, traffic from PRWeb.com has been 34 visits according to Google Analytics.
Please click on this image to see full traffic stats….
So not exactly great but what about the syndication to other news portals?
Well digging down deeper into the stats I can’t really see any significant traffic at all, maybe just a handful of smaller sites.
This said, there is no doubt that the release has indeed been syndicated. If I do a Google exact match search for the title of it I get 339 results:
Was It Worth It?
On the basis of these results definitely not considering the cost at $199.
It is only 1 week since it was released so you could argue it is early days. Equally, my result may not be representative so I wouldn’t necessarily rule it out – these things are always worth testing.
I also will say that yesterday I received a follow up phone call from a PRWeb representative who said that the real power comes from doing at least 2 press releases per month.
In fact he talked about a subscription service that they offer (around $1,500 per year) which will allow you to do exactly this. This service is not available directly through their website so it seems that it is only offered to existing customers like myself.
It always interesting to see the sales funnels of other businesses isn’t it? 😉
If you have the sort of business that could generate ongoing releases then this might well be a worthy investment.
Although I don’t have anything bad to say about PRWeb – they were very professional – I don’t think I’ll be rushing back for more as there are many other traffic strategies both free and paid that I use which have a much bigger bang for buck.
Overall, I’m very glad I tested it though as one of the golden rules for success on the internet is to test things for yourself and to remember most of the people dishing out advice online aren’t really using the tactics themselves – they just want to sell you stuff.
That is one thing which we do differently here at Gain Higher Ground – the good, bad and ugly all exposed and I thank you very much for being my subscriber.
I hope this helped you – maybe even saved you some money? Please Like and Tweet if so and let me know your thoughts and questions below… Cheers, Rob. 🙂
Within the last couple of weeks there was a WSO of THE DAY with the usual Mike Lanz overhyped promotion of it, telling us how press releases was the way to riches.
The trouble with that particular site is that so much is rubbish ( with exceptions such as a gentleman called Cornish !)
I am so glad you tried it showing that even the expensive way, it apparantly is not what it is made out to be.
And the warning that you really have to take care when seeing the latest wonder project on W.S.O. A couple recently have appealed to me but I have learned to wait for 3 or 4 days to get past the promoting affiliates until some experienced operators look at it and pull them apart.
That you are prepared to share your “failures” with us is so valuable Rob, and confirms the legitimacey and creditability of those practices you state DO work
Thank you Colin and great to see you here as always.
You are right with the “so much rubbish” comment and that applies to all markets as well – we’ve all had bad plumbers and builders for example!
The trick is seeking the gems through the noise – common sense and experience is definitely the key here.
Cheers – Rob.
I’ve used several PR services (including PRWeb on many occasions) and also haven’t been impressed with the traffic. I tracked one of my releases to several hundred sites, which sounds good but they were just picking up news feeds. Not much different from auto-posting RSS, and we all know how great that works 😉
Very interesting to hear your experiences are simliar to mind – I’m sure this will be of great help to other reading this so thanks again 🙂
Cheers – Rob.
I am a builder and plumber………………………………
so am I Colin & unfortunately as with all businesses you still come across rogues 🙂
Ouch, I wish I hadn’t said that now. Thanks though Michael and Colin, I shall learn from my indiscretions!
Cheers – Rob.
very interesting that you choose to share your ‘testing’ with your subscribers & for that you achieve credibility, it’s just a pity that the so called ‘gurus’ that publish on the Warrior haven’t got your business ethic.
thanks for your honesty……………… you reap what you sow!
Thanks very much and great to see you here 🙂
Don’t lose total faith, there are still many great quality products and “gurus” – they are just often drowned out by the lower quality stuff.
Cheers – Rob.
Hey Rob –
From what I know of press releases, you need to make it more sensational. Telling “the media” that you made 1,100 sales with your new piece of software doesn’t entice them. Here’s another angle:
SpyBar: Secret to Lindsay Lohan’s Bad Reputation Online
SpyBar Used To Find “Secret Code” on CNN Blog – Shocking!
New Software Reveals Kardashian’s Don’t Care About Anyone!
Some of those titles would get picked up by the main stream media. If you’re really interested in using the media to gain exposure, read this RIGHT AWAY: http://www.amazon.com/Trust-Me-Lying-Confessions-Manipulator/dp/159184553X
That book really opened my eyes to how to let the media “see” me.
Thanks for this. I wondered if my headline wasn’t catchy enough. The PRWeb guy said it was a pretty good release although admittedly he was trying to make a sale so I guess he isn’t without bias.
You could be right though, maybe the trick is to be more punchy. 🙂
I have used PRWeb before and I was not that impressed either – admittedly I only used the free release. But the traffic both short term and long term was not that great. But I think its how you use these things, maybe it does work for other niches or platforms?
In my opinion there is not one traffic method that is the be all and end all. It would be interesting to see how you fair over time with this method – because that is a ton (or two) of money to spend on traffic with those numbers.
Its a good job the Spybar was so successful! 😉
Although – as you say Google likes these pages so I expect if anything else you would have got a high quality link out of it which will ultimately lead to improved organic traffic numbers….
Yes, every cloud… 🙂
It’s early days as I said but I suspect that traffic will drop off from the PR if anything. We shall see…
Cheers – Rob.
re PRWEB – I used them as part of my work with Video Results – when I tracked it on Google I seemed to get bugger all – maybe 15-20 placements. Over-hyped and dubious I feel.
Hey Rob and All..
Firstly want to say that I really like the spybar software..makes things alot quicker.
I thought I would continue this thread by asking:
1. Did any of you guys use PR submission software when you put your articles in?
2. If so which software did you use?
3. If so, did you use a spinner?
Thanks for your comment and great to hear you are enjoying SpyBar 🙂
No there was no submission software involved. I have had some experience using spinners when I first started in 2010 (and didn’t know what I was doing!) but I don’t really like the idea as they basically produce junk articles and I just don’t think they work anymore like the used to either.
Cheers – Rob.
Firstly, congrats on the product Rob .. a great time-saving bit of software.
Secondly, don’t beat yourself up over the Press Release itself … it was well written and all points nicely set out.
My problem with online PR, which is seems to be reflected in your results is that it’s not targeted enough. It’s too scatter-gun.
I’ve used various online PR companies over the years (free & paid-for) and actually going back 4 or 5 years they weren’t too bad in terms of SEO.
However, since the Panda update ANY duplicated content or content-aggregation sites have been slapped by Google. (most famously E-Zine lost 80% of it’s traffic overnight).
This makes it really difficult to make yourself ‘stand-out’, especially if you’re selling an identical product to someone else.
I get slightly worried when you say your Press Release was picked up by over 300+ sites. That means you’ve got 300+ duplicated bits of content.
From my own experience the method I use when releasing a Press Release is this:
1. Define your target customer (sometimes this maybe more than one segment of your overall market and therefore you may have to write several slightly differing releases.)
2. Identify where each of those different segments ‘hang out’ both online & off-line.
3. Identify who are the leading market ‘voices’ in each segment. (eg. journos, editors, bloggers etc)
4. Find both their physical address and their online address (95% of ‘industry voices’ will have a Twitter account.
5. Send your product & press release to their physical address and interact with them on Twitter / Facebook (Twitter is easily best) then tweet your PR to them.
This method has worked consistently well for me for the last 3 / 4 years (especially as Twitter has become the more popular choice for journos and editors etc).
I’d rather have 20-30 highly defined targets than 300+ of questionable quality.
Best of all …. it’s virtually free 🙂
Rob, I doff my hat to you ‘exposing’ your experiences whether good or bad.
Keep going … loving your work!
Thanks for your kind words and EXCELLENT strategies here – really useful stuff 🙂
Cheers – Rob.
Nice post Rob, thanks. Good to know!
Rob. P.S. Really like the look of your site 🙂
I agree with point 3 from ian white. Targetting influencers is great if you can get them on the hook. Sending a product to them can still be allusive. I have thought about it though with my $75 dollar a bottle physical product…
You’ll very rarely get anyone to write about a physical product unless they’ve held it, touched it and used it.
That’s why beauty manufacturers send freebies out to journos, editors, celebrities etc. Also why car manufacturers invite journos for a ‘test track day’.
I’ve tried a press release in the past for one of my other sites (I’m a full-time internet marketer) to test it out and I was definitely underwhelmed. I did get a backlink and a minor traffic blip but that was about it.
Glad to see it wasn’t just me.
Thanks for sharing,
Thanks for sharing your experience with PRs – no, you’re definitely not alone! I think the answer is to actually hire someone on oDesk or Elance who has direct media contacts to get you a few key interviews where you can get your message out. I’ll definitely be trying this next time 🙂
cheers – Rob.
Some interesting stuff here. Especially the book recommendation about marketing and lying etc must fish that one out and read.
Thanks Steve – glad you found it useful 🙂
Cheers – Rob