I just completed an interview with Entrepreneur magazine. The piece will be in the February issue, which will be available on newsstand around the middle of January 2008. The article will also be online at Entrepreneur.com. Read by 2.4 million people every month, Entrepreneur is one of the biggest business magazines in the world and being featured by them can only bring good things.
Every time I am featured by “old world media,” I get many emails asking how I did it. A full page ad on Entrepreneur cost tens of thousands of dollars. An editorial feature would be worth at least that much, if not more. Here are some tips to getting yourself some old world media love.
Start At Home
Magazines and Newspaper are always looking for news story. It’s what drives their business. Without content, they can’t run. Generally speaking, the bigger the magazine is, the easier it is for them to find content because they’re bombed with story ideas all the time from people or companies wanting to get coverage. Your best bet is to start at home with your local papers and magazines. Once you’ve been featured locally, you can leverage it to get featured nationally and internationally.
Send your local paper an email to the editor and tell them your story. Every editor loves a story about a local boy doing good. I recommend you start with the biggest local newspaper instead of the smallest. It takes the same amount of effort talking to a 1 million circulation paper as it does for 10,000 circulation tab. Aim high locally to get maximum bang for the buck. Another reason for doing this is it makes it a lot easier to get coverage from the smaller papers once you’ve been featured in a big one. If the biggest paper in town says no, then move to the next biggest and so on. Starting from the top down is much better than going from the bottom up.
Have a Story To Tell
I got the Entrepreneur interview because the editor downloaded and read my ebook. What caught his eyes wasn’t the moneymaking techniques I wrote about. It was my story at the end of the book. Magazines are looking for stories.
Everyone has a story to tell and your story is a lot more interesting than “place the ads in the most visible spots on your blog.” The best place to tell your story in your about page. If you don’t have one, then you better make one. People visit a blog for the writer as much as the information. I visit Shoemoney not just because he tells me how to make money but because he’s an interesting guy as well.
It’s All About The Brand
In order to get tier 1 media coverage, you have to stand out from the 117 million other blogs in the blogsphere. You can’t do that if you don’t have a brand. What makes your blog different from all the other? If you can’t answer that question, then you can forget about getting readers much less getting in a national magazine or major newspaper.
When you have a brand, you have an advantage over the blog next door. Even if the two of you write about the same thing, you will be the one who gets the press because you are a brand name while the other guy is a no name. At a minimum, building a brand means you must have your own domain name and custom blog design. Read my post on how to brand your blog for more information.
You can be the most knowledgeable person in the world on a topic and the media won’t care because you have no brand and no story to tell. Those two items are the foundation on which on great press coverage is built on.