Promoting an e-Course with a Press Release
Writing a press release can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal of e-course promoting techniques. Not only is a press release a great marketing tool for search engine optimization (SEO) which is incredibly important for driving traffic to your promotions, but if properly written a release will get in front of the decision makers that can direct targeted individuals to your exact product pages. However, a press release is just one piece of an e-course promotion strategy.
Many press release providers have a free version of their service. These will get you limited functions, such as getting your work out in the pool to be discovered by publishers, bloggers, and webmasters, but opting for their paid services can set your e-course launch on a trajectory that will bring incredible results.
Watch this video to get a clearer understanding on what a press release is all about.
Anatomy of an Online Press Release
Timing: you can use FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, or HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL (specific date). I would use the first because the latter may not always be honored, especially when using a free service.
Target: Who are you trying to reach? If you want to target your content to a specific group then use, for example, ATTENTION FICTION EDITORS, or ATTENTION NON FICTION EDITORS, or ATTENTION ALL EDITORS.
Headline: USE ALL CAPS FOR THE HEADLINE. Keep your title short and make it catchy. Use an alliteration, a colon, or offer a tip.
Sub-Headline: This is optional but it can give you another opportunity to slip in a relevant keyword or keyword phrase.
Date: This is important if you are reporting news or some timely event. You may be writing about a book tour at the end of the month, something that might not be relevant to someone that finds your post a year later.
Introductory Paragraph: Grab the reader’s interest. Answer the who, what , where, and when, but keep it short.
Subsequent Paragraphs: Here you want to include some short facts and supporting information. No more than 2 subsequent paragraphs but this is where you inform the why and how.
Further Information: Here you want to write just enough information to get the reader to click on the link to your main offer. This is the teaser, if the reader has gotten this far, it’s likely they will follow the link.
Contact: this is where you put your contact information. A name and email address will be sufficient unless you are selling a product or service and want individuals to call. If that is the case then provide your phone number, business address, and website url. Just remember, this will be posted to the general public and everyone will have access to this information so be certain if you want to include this information.
Reasons to use a Press Release
- People around the world are using online sources to find information on just about every topic. People are searching for news, product reviews, services, companies, and ideas. It could be a recipe or a how-to guide, or a new thriller. People want real information from people on the inside.
- Correctly optimized keywords can get you organic positioning in the search engines. Within a week, a press release will migrate from the news searches to the web searches.
- Your audience is targeted directly. There are no middle-men, no journalists or editors to filter out your content.
- When someone reads your press release it’s because they were searching for it by keyword and they are seeking the information you are sharing.
- A correctly optimized press release will get picked up and published on other sites relevant to the information you are sharing and increase the amount of traffic to your content.
List of Free Press Release Services
The following is a list of some of the press release services that I have used in the past. As of this writing, they have a free option which is limited but valuable. They all have premiums services as well that can get you even more reach. The free option usually gets the press release distributed through a network of RSS feeds.
Most of the free PR services will publish your release in the order they were received and you will normally get an email alerting you to when it has gone live. From previous experience I can say that it takes anywhere from a few days to a week before the press release is live so plan on at least a week ahead of time.
Once your press release does go live, the services will send you a link or a .pdf file of the release for you to track. Don’t just file that release in a folder on your computer; it still needs to make the rounds through the top social networks so that you can maximize your exposure. This creates another opportunity to share your e-course promotion with your followers.
When you go to the press release websites listed above, you can view other press releases to get a feel and idea of how to write one and what information to provide. Just remember, a press release is just one piece of the overall e-course promotion puzzle.