How to Blog Your Way to Publicity
Blogging changed my life. It facilitated my move from practicing law to being a sports business reporter/analyst for outlets like Forbes, ESPN, and more. Blogging has landed me two book deals and dozens of speaking engagements.
The secret to my success? Consistent content.
That’s it. I don’t spend money on Google AdWords or Facebook ads or any other kind of advertising. Currently, I spend approximately $100 annually on domain name registration and hosting for my most successful blogging venture to date, The Business of College Sports.
More than anything, blogging is a time investment
The real investment is time. Currently, I spend the bulk of my time writing for national outlets, but when my own blog was my sole focus I devoted approximately 10 hours per week on writing new posts, promoting those posts via social media and overall management of the blog. That was on top of my full-time job as a corporate attorney.
I ran some numbers on the early days of The Business of College Sports, which I started in April 2011 when I was a full-time practicing attorney and also a sports business blogger for Forbes. When I founded that blog, I vowed to write a post every single weekday. I wrote 133 posts on BusinessofCollegeSports.com from April 18, 2011 to October 10th, 2011. That’s 133 posts in 175 days, or slightly more than five per week.
Becoming a visible expert
The result? My work was linked to by everyone from local newspapers to ESPN, Fox Sports and NBC Sports. I was doing radio interviews on local and national broadcasts at least once a day. I started getting request to do television interviews, and I had a once-a-week segment with Comcast Sports Southeast.
Four and a half years later, The Business of College Sports is a respected authority on – you guessed it – the business of college sports. It was the basis for my book deal with Wiley for Saturday Millionaires. It’s led to speaking engagements with intercollegiate athletic departments, sports management programs, law schools. booster clubs and a multitude of corporate groups.
Most importantly, it cemented me as an expert on the business of college sports.
Results take time
Most first-time bloggers are really excited about what they’re doing for a few weeks. They might even post multiple times a week for those first few weeks… but then it drops off. Everyone wants instant gratification. If they aren’t getting linked to by major sites and the phone isn’t ringing off the hook with new business right away, they lose motivation.
Blogging is a long-term strategy
Persistence pays off in blogging, as in most things. I checked about a dozen long-tail keywords I want to rank for on The Business of College Sports, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. My site ranks #1 on Google for “business of college sports” and number two for “business of college football.”
ESPN has content on the business of college sports (particularly football), as does Fox, CBS, NBC and every other major sports outlet. And yet my little free WordPress site ranks #1 or #2 for those keywords. I have to pinch myself.
What does it matter?
Well, that’s how people find you. Whether you want to be quoted in the media, interviewed on tv or radio, want a book deal or speaking engagements…it pays to rank high for keywords surrounding your area of expertise. Because that’s what reporters and producers and talent bookers and event planners do many times when they’re looking for an expert: they search Google.
Some keywords are easier to rank for than others, but I’m thrilled that my site ranks on the first page for so many of the keywords we target. It didn’t happen in the first week or the first month or even the first year.
Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. If you want instant gratification, buy a puppy.
Do you want to use blogging to establish yourself as an expert?
If you need some tips on getting started, check out my free guide on How To Position Yourself For Free Publicity. You’ll get my expert advice on how to position yourself for loads of FREE publicity, including everything from guest blogs and podcast interviews to radio, TV, and speaking gigs. Download it here to get started!