I’ve been a contributor to Ragan’s PR Daily for approximately 4 months.
It has been an interesting experiment and, thus far, has panned out better than I imagined it would.
This type of activity takes time. That’s the output. It also generates returns; some easy to measure, some harder. I don’t get paid cashmoney (something I quite like despite all the commie propaganda you see on this site) for my work with PR Daily.
Maybe you’ve thought about doing something similar to what I do for PRD. Writing for publications, websites, newsletters that you don’t own or run can be an excellent way to increase your own notoriety, followers, blog traffic, etc. It can also be a waste of time.
Below, I describe what has happened for me since I started writing for PR Daily. Your situation may not be remotely analagous, but perhaps knowing a bit about my story will help you discern what producing content for properties other than your own can do for you.
- My follower count on Twitter has increased 50%.
- My blog’s monthly readership has increased by about 40% – admittedly, now that I am a contributor to the the publication Michael (the editor) and/or Mark Ragan (the publisher) may feel more impetus to run my nonsense in the newsletter.
- It is now rare that I write a blog post that receives no comments or retweets – and this version of my blog is 8 only months old. (Believe it or not, I used to blog about politics)
- I’ve received at least 3 paid speaking gigs – directly attributable to my PRD work – since I became a regular contributor.
- Though I previously read a bunch of blogs, news items every day, I feel I’m far more in the know in terms of news re PR and social media (simply put, writing stuff about stuff makes one more familiar with it).
- I have developed relationships with smart people such as Heather, Adam, Susan, Shonali, Mike and Pia. They all work in the industry and they all add to my knowledge about it.
So, what are the lessons?
- The obvious: You can gain following by plugging into others’ communities. Ragan – specifically PR Daily – is a hell of aggregator to write for. Over 50 000 PR people receive it each day. There aren’t a lot of publications like it. But, even if you can’t get somewhere big, getting into other’s spaces is worth your time. It’s the old rule in social media – if you help others with their content, you see returns on your own.
- The slightly less obvious: Gaining following via exposure on aggregators requires sustained effort. If we run your stuff on PRD once, you will see a spike in traffic. It will likely be that though: a big spike and then a return to normal levels. If you want to get involved with producing content for properties that aren’t yours, commit to more than one offs.
- The connections you make through wider exposure are worth their weight in gold. I had a 45 minute chat with Susan Young that was invaluable. This would NOT have happened without the PRD gig.
So there, that’s my experience. What is yours?