Forget Digg: Don’t Underestimate the Money Power of Traditional Media


For many, the goal of getting on a social media site like Digg, Reddit or Stumbleupon is the ultimate for their blog or website. I know that it’s an exhilarating feeling when a site that has been getting a few hundred hits a day all of a sudden is swarmed with tens of thousands of people. I’ve been there and it is one of the best feelings in the world the first time one of your articles makes it there.

While getting on social network sites has some alternative benefits (increasing rss readers, getting backlinks, etc), making a lot of money off the traffic isn’t one of them. The people who frequent the social media sites are Internet savvy and rarely click on advertisements. Of the times that my sites have made it onto Digg, I would estimate that the traffic increased my earnings anywhere from $10 to $50 in adsense earnings depending on how much further the post traveled from Digg onto regular blogs. If you aren’t making much money, that can be a significant amount of money for a day, but if you really want to make money, you should be looking at other areas to bring in traffic.

One of these areas is traditional media. A lot of bloggers completely ignore offline media, but getting a mention in a traditional media outlet can be extremely profitable for your site. In fact, a single mention in the traditional media can be worth several thousand dollars.

This happened to my Timeshare niche site last month. It’s a site that I haven’t touched for months, but it is one of the better performing niche sites I have created bringing in a couple of hundred dollars a month from search traffic. In June it brought in $258, in July $223 and in August $272, so it had been fairly consistent over an extended period of time.

Then in early September, an article in the AARP magazine began arriving in homes that included a reference to this website. Traffic increased going from about 200 hits a day to 4000 on the busiest day and stayed above 1000 hits a day for over 2 weeks. This may seem like small peanuts compared to the tens of thousands of hits an article that hits the front page of Digg brings in, but the main difference was that these visitors actually clicked on advertisements. The results were that Timeshare Trap earned $3125 in September – and increase of almost $3000 from a single mention in an article.

Whether you have a blog or niche websites, taking the time to get mentions in traditional media should be part of your plan to get word out about your site and increase your income. Here are a few things that you can do to help in this respect:

Make Contacts: It is well worthwhile to make contact with people that write in traditional media outlets. One advantages of blogging is that you often are the first to see trends that are emerging or see stories that attract a lot of attention. Establishing a friendly relationship with traditional media writers and passing them story ideas that you haven’t seen addressed in the traditional media much will establish you as a person that they will contact when they need a quote or opinion for an article in your subject area.

Offer Free Articles: Just like guest writing on larger blogs is a great way to get word out about your blog or site, the same is true writing for traditional media. While it may be more difficult to get your work into larger media outlets, smaller local papers are always looking for quality content to add to their papers.

Set Up A Media Link: Set up a media contact somewhere on your blog or site so that if anyone from the media does come across it, they can easily contact you. While this information is often available under contact information, having a “media” area shows that you are willing to talk to the media and help them (something that not all bloggers are willing to do) and increases your chances of being contacted.

Reply Quickly: If you are ever contacted by the media, get back to them as soon as you can. Most writers are on deadlines and don’t have a lot of time to get the information they need. They have likely contacted others besides yourself and the person that provides them the information they need the quickest is the one that is going to be quoted in the article most of the time. Responding quickly also establishes you as a good contact for future articles.

Sell Yourself: Just like you need to sell your blog online for people to discover you, the process is similar in traditional media. Being mentioned in a few articles will help establish you as a good contact and other writers researching will come across your name. This can lead to even more contacts and media mentions. Take the time to sell yourself to the traditional media as well as online.

if you are like most bloggers I have talked with, you probably haven’t spent much, if any, considering strategies to get mentions in traditional media. if you haven’t, you most definitely should begin thinking about it right now.

Image courtesy of sweetpea515