Getting Quality Backlinks with Press Releases

My approach to press releases is different than traditional PR. Most of the press releases I write are less about getting press coverage for my news, and more about getting quality backlinks to my site. However, it is possible to do both. It starts with a good story and added to that, online distribution.

Many people believe it’s enough to blog about their news. For some high traffic blogs (thought leaders) this might be true. For most blogs there isn’t the distribution. You want to reach outside of your community for greater exposure.

Here’s an IM conversation I had recently about the importance of press release distribution:

Clogon: i guess i just put my “press releases” in the form of blog posts

Me: yes and your reach is pretty limited compared to a distribution site that sends it to thousands of people

Clogon: so which one do you prefer at this point – or are there better ones?

and cost?

Me: even our hero [name deleted] said the pr is what killed it the last time I worked with him

on a contest

prweb is still the best

tell me you can get that kind of reach for free

not going to happen

even if you blog you should be sending out press releases

it doesn’t need to be either/or

What should you write about?

This is easy if you have news to announce – like a new product. If you don’t have any news of your own to announce, look at the news going on in your industry right now. Then give your opinion or slant on it.

One of the best ways to increase visibility is to tie into a trend. Right now a trend that’s hot is the economy and how it’s affecting your business, customers or community. Anything that has a green benefit (as in saves the environment) is popular. For example, colleges are trying to save money by cutting down on the number of commencement ceremonies. What is happening in your industry?

I look at press releases as feature stories more than hard news stories. That way journalists or bloggers have a ready-made story to work from and a good angle. We’re either lazy or we’re overworked and giving us a good storyline is helpful. We can add our opinion and input and it’s good to go. So give us a good story and make sure it’s not boring or bragging. That’s the fastest way to turn off a writer.

A good story will get you links – sometimes not to the press release itself – but they see the story and link to the domain.

Want more information about press releases? Read my Book.
My book, “I Want a Killer Press Release, Now What?!? A Guide to Online PR” goes over more ways to increase your exposure online. It’s in pre-order both in paperback and as an ebook. I wrote it after years of writing press releases and seeing what works. Also as a resource for people who want to write and distribute stories themselves. I also charge a fee to review and improve press releases that are already written. It’s my favorite thing to do.

FREE OFFER: I’m looking for before/after examples of press releases so I have a special offer. I will review and improve your press release free. Just be one of the first 10 people who make a comment on my blog or become a fan of the online PR book on Facebook.

By entering you give me permission to use your name in blog posts and promotional materials. Email me when you’ve done this. If you’re one of the first 10 then I’ll ask you to send the press release to grocerybike @ gmail .com

No matter what your budget writing and distributing news online monthly or quarterly is a great way to build links and get traffic to your site.

25 thoughts on “Getting Quality Backlinks with Press Releases

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  3. Louise Desmarais says:

    I heartily endorse PRWeb as a PR distribution company.

    My challenge however is pushing releases through if they’re not deemed by the editors to be newsworthy. I’m not sure that an opinion piece would really get past these guys. They seem to be uber picky.

    Can you provide a headline example or two of a release that is a company’s take on an industry trend as you describe in your post?
    .-= Louise Desmarais´s last blog ..Tools to improve your social media listening skills =-.

  4. Ted Kenney says:

    Good points made in the blog post and comments. It would be interesting to know – but difficult if not impossible to test — the ROI of press releases w/ backlinks, as described above, vs. Google Adwords.

    After all, both involve spending some money, with the goal of driving traffic to your site.

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  6. Scott Paden says:

    This is extremely helpful. I am in charge of our comapnies pr and marketing and sometimes trying to figure out something to write about and be original is…interesting. Especially when you factor in the many blogs and things out there, I feel like a broken record. This really helped thanks!

  7. Joel McLaughlin says:

    I believe that PRweb is the best as well. I also love MarketWire. There are free press release sites like PRLog that provide great rankings for a short period of time, but you don’t receive any sort of distribution to news or networks.

  8. Atkinson says:

    Hello, guys.. I got something interesting to add. I think you guys allready know social bookmarking on URL’s like digg and mixx can help in recieving increased backlinks, PR, and traffic. Well.. i was invited in testing a new piece of software that can automatically submit websites to the biggest social bookmarking websites. I have to tell this piece of software is FREAKING GREAT and saved me much time allready. It even breaks captcha’s! The creator just launched the coming-soon site@ (bookmarkwiz . com) or you can just open google and search for “bookmarkwiz” to get some more info. with search engine optimization and IM the key to success is to stay ahead of your competition.. and with automation tools like bookmarkWiz I will dominate other marketers every day! What do you guys think?

  9. Adam Skiba says:

    Great post, you offer some excellent information in regards to press releases. As with you, I typically use press releases for quality backlinks for a majority of my clients, unless we’re directly targeting local newspapers and media.

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  11. Kukri says:

    Great! Thanks for the great informative post and you effort.
    I think the above article is valuable for all concerned people. For me the Informations are really really useful. I’ve Bookmarked this page for future reference.

    Thank you
    Robin Kukri

  12. Scott says:

    Never thought of using PR’s for backlinks but I guess it makes sense. Is there a good list of PR sites that are current that list pagerank? That would be helpful.

  13. Barry Spates says:

    Hey great post about the power of backlinks this is good new for those of us who are looking for new ways to increase our web traffic thanks for sharing have a great and successful day.

    Barry Spates

  14. Lewis says:

    I have been using free PR sites over the last couple of weeks and I have noticed a massive push in google rank. This has helped bring me traffic and has worked really quickly. I have noticed that I need to keep writing good articles and submitting them as I have noticed I start dropping quite quick. I guess the paid submissions help you stay up for long?! Any way, great post 🙂


  15. Kirsty says:

    I have tried press release I guess a year ago and I guess I have to familiarize that again because I think I forgot the whole process of it. I am looking forward to do more about it because it is really beneficial especially to those who are new to business or if they offer new products.

  16. Ella says:

    In my experience, submitting press releases do work fairly well for building backlinks, and just ads another element to your backlink diversity. Don’t expect to get that much traffic from the PR’s, but over time these links will increase the rankings of your site.

  17. Charles says:

    I am also submitting Press release when I boost up my keywords. When you write a press release you can keep in mind one tips, make sure the first ten words of your release are effective, as they are the most important.

  18. Someone from Perth says:

    I’m having trouble getting my asbestos websites news approved by some of the press release sites.
    Its just that i don’t think we have anything newsworthy to talk about.

    What do you guys think should another medium of SEO would be more appropriate?