One of the main things we do online is stay up to date on news. Some three quarters of internet users check the news in a given week, so it makes sense to blog about newsworthy topics and to post about the news in social media. Some topics are inherently newsy. We find it easy to post about news for clients who are working on keywords related to politics, current events, and ever-popular topics like crime or taxes.
Not all keywords are newsy, though. There is frankly not a whole lot happening in the worlds of legacy servo motors, church pews, or franchise business opportunities.
So what should you do if you want to work the news beat and there’s not much news on your topic? Here are some possibilities:
This is a popular technique for getting extra traffic. This is how you do it:
- Check Google Trends to see the hottest topics of the day. Right now, Valentine’s Day and the State of the Union Address are still being talked about, but affenpinschers are also big news since one won the Westminster Dog Show.
- Come up with some connection between what you do and the big news topic. Affenpinschers, you can say, are like a legacy servo motor because — while most people have never heard of them — they are perfectly designed to do something… whatever it is that affenpinschers are designed to do.
This can bring surprisingly high spikes of traffic to your website. However, it’s worth asking yourself — are you trying to win a bet or something? Because, if not, newsjacking just lowers your conversion rate by bringing a bunch of poorly targeted traffic to your website.
Seize the moment
Sometimes you’re not making up some connection between your topic and the news, you’re just taking advantage of an opportunity. Puerto Rico Report had the best article on a particular Puerto Rican Olympic athlete last year, and got good traffic because of that. Sports isn’t usually something we write about there, but it was relevant and we were able to have the best page on the subject for a while.
If you keep an eye on the news and watch for opportunities, you can often use this technique to get some mileage from the news. You can’t usually just decide to use this technique one day, though — it requires actually keeping up with the news so you’ll be ready when an opportunity presents itself.
Create some news
73% of us look for news, but 89% of us look for information that isn’t newsworthy. Package your information as news by doing something like this:
- Do a survey and create a press release announcing that “New Study Shows that 89% of People Surveyed Believe X,” where X is something about one of your important keywords. You can then debunk their belief if it’s wrong, or expand on it if you agree. You can even quote your press release and blog about it.
- Create a list of tips connected with something vaguely newsworthy. An amazing number of our clients can offer a list of tips related to the weather or the season, and it’s very likely that you can, too. Cold weather tips can include staying healthy in cold weather, driving in cold weather, keeping your pets healthy in cold weather, decorating to feel cozy in cold weather, books about cold weather, how (or whether) to paint in cold weather, exercise tips for cold weather… I could go on like this for hours, and then switch to hot weather and do the same.
- Create an infographic or report on a newsworthy topic that might be just tangentially related to your keywords. Get creative with those connections. We’ve done things like Bigfoot sightings for an outdoor gear company, getting enough exercise during Fashion Week for an athletic clothing company, and nanotechnology for a housepainter. Collecting the data and publishing it in a new form gives a newsy slant.