How to find journalists that are already looking for you.
Did you know that some journalists are already looking for your content? And do you wonder how to find them? If so, read on.
The secret of a good story.
Almost every journalistic work starts with a good source. If it doesn't start with it per se, it involves it along the way - sooner or later.
This comes naturally. A good source warrants a good story. It makes a piece of written work look credible. It provides the writer with access to domain expertise. And it helps them to reflect on what the target audience deems interesting.
Now, imagine you were a journalist with an assignment to write a story about small business owners. How would you start? Would you look for fellow small business owners to ask about challenges they're facing?
And when you identify such challenges, would you ask them further on ideas how to overcome them? And how are they affecting both their businesses and customers?
Are you starting to see how helpful the story sources would become to your work? And are you recognizing the effort they would need to put in, just to answer your inquiries? What they're giving to you would be very valuable, wouldn't it?
So what could you give back to them as a journalist? Could it be a reference to their name, website, or business in your article? It seems fair to give them credit for the help they provided, doesn't it?
It looks like helping journalists as a story source is a win-win situation. The journalist gets to do great content that is awesome to the point. And story sources get publicity through a reference in a journalist article. Whether through a link back to their blog, website, or content.
Swapping the shoes.
In the previous section, you understood how journalists look for people like you. But you know what - you are not a journalist here. You want to become a story source. So you can get quality links. And how does the previous section help you do that?
It helps you to swap the shoes with them. If you want to get in a journalistic article, you need to position yourself so they can find you. And what's the best way to do that? Could you switch positions and think like they do? This way, you know exactly how and where to position yourself.
So what's the best position you should take? Remember, they look for story sources, right? So what do you think if you could go to a place where they are looking for you, and answer their requests? Would that be effective?
Of course, it would, but where are these places? To answer in short - all over the place!
The abundance of online sources.
Journalists, just like all other people nowadays, hang out pretty much everywhere. They post on Facebook groups. On LinkedIn groups. And on specialized journalistic websites.
Easy then, isn't it? Well, not quite. The problem with this is, most of these venues are closed. If not closed, then they require a membership. And if you manage to pass all these barriers, there are just too many of them to monitor effectively.
But you may guess that, as, with everything else, an 80/20 rule applies here as well. This rule says that 20% of causes are responsible for 80% of consequences. And in this case, this translates to - if you monitor just a few venues, you will catch most of the requests from journalists for story sources.
In particular, when looking for these journalists, this 20% translates to Twitter. From the data we see at Postbag, it can be inferred that when a journalist posts a request for a story source, wherever that may be, they will also post it on Twitter with few special hashtags.
If you know these hashtags, you can monitor Twitter manually every day. Then you can filter down through tons of requests to find the ones related to you. But how much time does this take? And is there a better way to do this which would free up your time to do what matters most to your business?
There is, and it will be shown to you in the next section.
Exercise: Finding relevant journalist requests for sources.
For this exercise, you can reuse any of the Postbag outreach lists you've previously built. If you skipped these steps, you can open your FREE Postbag account here and build an outreach list as described here.
When you open the list, you will see the last section named "Requests" as shown in the figure below.
As you can see, when you click on it, it will provide you with a list of all journalist requests for story sources that are relevant to your search term. This list will encapsulate all the requests that were posted over the last two months.
This way, you can just make your Postbag outreach list, and immediately know if there are any new journalist requests relevant to you. And if there are, you can contact the journalist directly.
So to conclude today's lesson...
A perfect journalist request doesn't happen very often but, when it does, it has the potential for an impact greater than anything else.
The problematic part about it is monitoring all the sources where they may appear. As we have revealed to you in this article, your 80/20 rule for this can be Twitter.
However, even with Twitter only, it can be too much to process. Therefore, you can do it a lot faster by using Postbag Requests.
And congratulations! By reading the Postbag guide up until here, you've learned how to find all the important people and their contact information for your backlinking campaign.
However, people often accommodate backlink requests a lot easier when they come from someone they know. So here's food for thought before you get the next guide in the series: How do you get people to know you before you send them a link request?