Choosing a WordPress Theme

After you’ve installed WordPress on your site, the next thing you’ll want to do is fine a nice looking WordPress to install on it.

WordPress has literally hundreds of thousands of themes to choose from, which can change the look, feel and even functionality of your website. For example, some WordPress themes will turn your website into a sports blog or financial news website, while others will add ecommerce functionality, customer services and photo gallery pages.

Best Sites to Find WordPress Themes

Thankfully there are tons of places where you can find premium-looking WP themes that you can install on your site in a matter of minutes.


When looking for a nice WP theme you really have to look no further then Theme Forest, seriously. has the biggest and best selection of premium WP themes on the Internet. You can find literally 1,000s of themes in every category imaginable and view live demos to see what they look like. Each theme that you download has good customer support and should include a handbook on how to install the theme.

Price are very good too – only around $29-$49. This includes free customer support and help communities. You can also filter themes according to user ratings, prices and sales.

2.    Free WordPress Themes Directory

WP ThemesThe theme directory contains a wealth of more than 2,000 free WP themes, which have had almost 100,000 downloads.

Because these themes are free, they don’t have the same style, quality and features of premium themes such as above. Personally, I think you’re better off spending $30-$50 on a premium theme, since this is such an important part of your site.

3. is another really nice WP theme site that specializes in magazine/blog style and some corporate themes. In total I think they have 25-30 themes to choose from.

Most themes cost around $99.99, which is pricey, however they each contain unlimited support and theme tutorials, which is good for beginners.

How to Install a WP Theme

Installing a WordPress theme on your site is very easy and straightforward – it should only take a few seconds to do.

Once in your WordPress admin, go to Appearance > Themes and then click on Add New and Upload Theme. You can then select the zipped theme file saved on your desktop, press upload, then activate theme.

Installing a WP Theme

Installing a WP Theme through an FTP Client:

On rare occasions, the theme file will be too large to upload through the manual upload in WordPress (it will give you an error message saying it exceeded the memory limit). If this happens to you, you should upload the WP theme file to the WP-Content/Theme/ directory using your FTP client.

Installing WP Theme through FTP Client

Installing WP Theme through FTP Client

After you’ve installed a WP Theme, you might need another 10-30 minutes to adjust the theme settings (e.g. adding the right widgets, choosing your preferred layout, menu options and page design) but this is just personal preference and isn’t a requirement.

Choosing a Theme for Different Types of Websites

When browsing WP themes, you’ll find that they will be categorized into different categories. These are intended for different types of websites depending on your functional requirements and appearance.

  • Blog/Magazine – Themes under this category are suitable for news/media/blog websites. The homepage will usually include your latest posts and the whole website will be focused around your latest articles and news.
  • Corporate/Agency/B2B – Suitable for businesses and agencies that provide B2B services. The theme will be set up to market your professional services with a professional design to match. Useful features include the ability to add a portfolio of clients on your homepage, display recent projects, background videos, contact us page etc.
  • Retail/B2C – These are service themes designed for consumers. As such, they have more style and design catered to your specific industry. An example of a site using this type of themeould be a local hairdresser or gym.
  • eCommerce – eCommerce themes will have built-in ecommerce store functionality that enable users to browse items, add to a shopping cart and then enter payment details. One of the most well known eCommerce WP themes is BuddyPress.

How to Get a Custom Design WP Theme

If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, or you’d like your own custom designed theme with unique features then you’ll need to hire an agency or freelance designer to design and code a theme for you. You should expect to pay around £200-£500 for a custom WP theme design and elements (depending on how many pages you need designed and how complex it is), then another £500 – £1500 for coding the theme template to your site (again, depends on how complicated the theme is).

There are a number of places you can find high quality freelance WP theme designers including (specialises in WordPress themes) and Google.

Why are Social Media Pages Important?

So you’ve set up your website and already receives thousands of visitors per day. What’s next? In this lesson, we’re going to look at the importance of setting up your own social media pages and why they’re important.

Why are your Social Media Pages Important?

Right now you’re probably asking yourself “I already have a website, why do I need a social media page too?”

The answer is that your social media page can be used to generate additional traffic, brand engagement and loyalty. And it can help you to learn more about your consumers. Take a look below at some of the key reasons why brands use social media.

  1. Target your Customers, Promote Brand Awareness and Engagement

Everyone is already on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter noways. In fact, Facebook already has more than 1.2 billion users with 67% of people in the US active on the social network. Therefore setting up your own Facebook and Twitter page will help you find and connect with your existing fans.

Posting competitions, stories and pictures on your Facebook page is a great way to keep users engaged with your brand. Use the 70/30 rule to post a combination brand building and self-promotional posts. Posting daily Facebook updates and posts will help grown your brand, increase your audience reach and increase traffic and sales to your website.

Although a report by IBM showed that only 1% of total ecommerce sales during Black Friday had come from social media, according to Google, social media actually plays a much bigger role in the brand awareness phase. Take a look below to see how social media is a big part of the brand discovery and consideration phase.

 Importance of Social Media and eCommerce

  1. Increase Social Proof, Trust and Sales

Social proof is an incredibly powerful factor for conversions, especially for e-products. According to research by, 70% of Americans look at product reviews before making a purchase online and 63% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.

Social proof steps in by helping to build consumer trust in your product and brand.

  1. Use Twitter as a Platform for Customer Support

Many large brands and ecommerce sites now use Twitter as a customer support channel. The simplicity of Twitter means that users can contact your support team straight away with issues or complaints. Twitter is also a great channel for announcing new products, sales or new services to your followers.

Twitter is also a great tool for reaching out to journalists and engaging in PR.

  1. Drive Additional Website Traffic

Social media can be used to drive additional traffic to your website. Although Google has already confirmed that they don’t use social media signals as a ranking factor for your site, they do see it playing an increasingly important role in the future.

Don’t forget that with the evolution of Google Universal search (Google has started to incorporate Google Plus brand pages into the search results), Google+ will play an increasingly important role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and traffic generation.

Check out the video of Matt Cutts on the important of social media as an SEO ranking signals below:

  1. Market Research and Insights

Social media can provide huge insights into your customers and demographics. For example, with Facebook Insights you can look analyze your audience behavior, age and sex. You can then use this information to better target your audience with more relevant ads.

You can then re-target fans of your Facebook page using cookies and Facebook’s Ad Exchange network to increase purchases from existing customers.

Finally, you can use your social media pages as a listening device and for additional market research. Listen to what your customers want and tailor your products or services around them. You can even conduct polls on your Facebook page (e.g. “What is your favourite colour t-shirt?) to launch new product ranges for your customers.

  1. Reward Customer Loyalty

Social media fan pages are perfect for rewarding your loyal fans with special promotions and deals. Publish special bonus codes on your page or use the “Deals” call-to-action on Facebook to post deals that fans can then “Claim”.

  1. Use Facebook Call-to-Action Buttons to Promote Events, Deals, Apps and more

Facebook’s Power Editor tool allows you to add call-to-action buttons in your posts to help promote events registration, products, apps and more. Therefore, having a social media page and advertising on Facebook gives you an easier way to directly promote your services to existing customers.

Choosing a Social Network to Target your Customers

Generally speaking, if you have a smaller budget you should focus all of your social media presence on 1-2 social networks. This prevents you spreading your resources too thinly. Most people choose Facebook and Twitter for their main social network, however if you promote videos as part of your business than you should definitely use Youtube too. Youtube allows you to earn subscribers to your channel and gain comments and shares across your videos.

Before you make a decision, you should find out which social networking site your customers are most active on.

Facebook: Facebook is great for targeting 20-30 year olds and it has the largest user base of any social network (67% of users are active on Facebook). It also has the  higher percentage of active users in the 30 to 49, 50 to 64, and over 65 age brackets than any other social networking site.

Twitter: 16% of users are active on Twitter. It’s great for its wide reach and broad audience. Twitter appeals mostly to the under 50 demographic, specifically 18-29 year olds.

Linkedin: LinkedIn is a social professional and networking – this is specifically useful for businesses in the B2B industry.

Google Plus: Google Plus has good results in the tech/webmaster niche


As you can see, social media pages provide a number of benefits that complement your existing website. The main advantage that they bring a platform for greater communication between your brand and your customers. Social media pages can to give your business a personal identity and improve engagement, trust and loyalty.

Social Media Page Design and Dimensions

Exciting and fresh social media page designs are one of the simplest ways to stand out from crowd and increase engagement on your social media fan page.

In this lesson, we’ll explain how to get your social media pages designed and the image dimensions required.

Social Fan Pages – The Importance of Visual Marketing

Your social fan page is where you can connect with your target audience and improve brand engagement and communications. As such, having a custom-designed social media fan page with your brand and logos can go along way towards helping you achieve success.

According to HubSpot, photos generate 53% more likes than regular posts, which shows how important visuals can be. You can also take a look at Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday video, which explains how visual assets are now at the forefront of online marketing.

It’s also important to be consistent and use the same colors, fonts and logos throughout your marketing material. Many large brands such as have their own color palette and fonts that they pass to designers when outsourcing any marketing material.

Alas, let’s get started and teach you the different dimensions for different social media networks.

Which Social Networks should I Focus on?

As covered in our previous lesson on the importance of social media pages, if you have a smaller budget than you’re better off focusing your efforts on one or two social media networks. This usually includes Facebook and Twitter.

However, if you’re promoting videos at all then you should definitely add Youtube to your mix. Although Youtube is technically a search engine, it also serves as a social network since you can earn subscribers, comments and likes to your channel (all integrated with Google Plus).

Design your Social Fan Page to Maximise Conversions

If you run a business that is selling a product or trying to get users to sign up to an email list than you can design your social channels to acheive this objective. For example, check out how (below) have designed their page to maximise conversions to their Nandos competition.

All you need to do is create some interesting copy, with a large arrow pointing towards the “Like”, “Subscribe” or “Follow” button on a social network.

Getting Started – Social Media Design Image Dimensions:

The bad news for marketers is that social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus tend to update their page designs every 12 months or so. This makes it a little tricky finding an update to date list of accurate image dimensions for every social network.

Take a look below for updated social media design dimensions at the time this article was published.


  • Large Cover Image – 851 x 315px
  • Profile Photo – 180 x 180 (displays as 160x 160)


Twitter has recently undergone a total makeover changing their profile dimensions to the following:

  • Header Image – 1500 x 500
  • Profile Image – 400×400

Youtube: (Find All Dimensions from Google Here)

  • Channel Art Cover Image: 1546 x 423
  • Profile Image in Top-Left Corner: 100x 100
  • Make sure you leave room for social icons in bottom right of channel art cover image

Google Plus:

  • Cover Photo Size: 2120 x 1192 (16:9 ratio)

Hiring a Social Media Page Designer:

You should be able to hire any graphic or web designer to create your social media fan pages. You can find a range of freelance graphic designers at sites such as and However, you can also use services such as where you can get a Facebook, Youtube, Twitter or Google Plus page designed from £99.

The price of getting a custom design will vary from designer to designer; it also depends on how complex your design is. Overall, I’d set a budget of around $500 to get a custom design across all of your channels.

 99Designs Fan Page Design Form

How to Track Results and Mentions from PR

Investing the time to write and promote your press release is great. But what happens afterwards? In this lesson, we’ll teach you how to track the results of your press release and earn some extra links to your site.

Which metrics can you track from PR?

Most PR agencies and webmasters will track all kinds of mentions and results deriving from a press release/outreach campaign. However in some cases you might only be interested in certain factors (e.g. backlinks generated).

In order to cover everything, we’ve outlined a list of different that you may or may not use to track the results from your recent PR. It’s important that you give enough time after your initial press release (e.g. 2-3 weeks) before you start totalling all of these up.

  • External Backlinks to your Site
  • Non-Linked Brand Citations (non-linked mentions of your brand across the web)
  • Mentions of your site in Google News
  • Mentions of your site in social media
  • Social shares across Facebook, Twitter and G+
  • Traffic analytics and user engagement
  • Sales and conversions

How to Track and Monitor Results from PR:

The following tools and ideas will help you track the results of your PR campaign and earn additional links in the process.

  1. – Track your Brand Mentions Across the Web (free) is by far the best tool for tracking PR results and brand mentions.

All you need to do is add your keywords/brand name, filter what type of results to track and Mention will automatically send you alerts when your keywords appear on the web. is able to track mentions across news sites, forums, blogs and even social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Unlike Google Alerts, goes much further for tracking keywords across the Internet. It also provides a much more sophisticated platform that allows you to monitor mentions, filter the types of results and assign response tasks to other team members. You can even perform actions such as replying to Tweets and emails from within the tool.

The price of is free for one custom alert per month (good for up to 100 mentions) and then £9.99 – £29.99/month for the premium versions. Obviously the free version is great for tracking one-off PR campaigns.

The downside to this tool is that it doesn’t track offline press clippings from newspapers and magazines.

  1. Google News – Track Mentions on News Sites

A quick and easy way to track PR mentions of your site (without having to sign up to any software) is to perform a quick search on Google News. Simply search for your brand name (e.g. “” or “WikiWeb”) and click on the news results. This should track any pickups on major news sites from the last 2-3 weeks.

The only problem with this strategy is that it only picks up your brand/keywords on Google News listed sites. It won’t pick up mentions on other sites, unlike the next strategy…

  1. Google Organic Search – Last 30 Days

With this strategy, we simply search Google for your brand/keywords and then edit the parameters to only show the last 7 days, 2 weeks or 30 days. This helps narrow down the results for our last PR campaign.

The small disadvantage of this strategy is that it can show a lot of weird, unfiltered content (e.g. scraped content and PR syndication websites) that you’ll need to weed through.

  1. Just Discovered Links – Track New Backlinks to your Site

OpenSiteExplorer’s “Just Discovered” tool is best for tracking new backlinks to your site. This tool can track new backlinks to your site within one hour of being published, thanks to their partnership with Bitly Click Tracking Data. In order to use this tool, simply enter your website name or URL and click on the “Just Discovered” tab.

In addition to OSE, I also recommend using, which shows fresh backlinks to your site within a couple of days.

  1. – Social Media Analytics is a social media analytics tool that allows you to track social shares for individual pages or URLs on your site (as well as competitors sites). Essentially, it provides a service already covered by

  1. Analytics – Track Traffic from PR

Google Analytics is a form of analytics software that allows you to analyze and monitor traffic on your site. In order to view traffic from a press release, simply analyze your traffic log and the edit the dates from the moment your press release was sent out.

Studying your traffic analytics is also one of the best ways for assessing the impact of a press release service or agency. This is because the more targeted journalist your press release was sent to, the more initial traffic you should receive.

  1. Press Cuttings – Track Offline Mentions in Newspapers

The limitations to PR tracking mainly come when tracking offline press cuttings. This is because no free software is currently available to track offline mentions of your brand in newspapers and magazines.

If you require this service, you’ll need to search for press clipping companies such as You’ll usually find press clipping services quite expensive – at least £300 per month. Even professional PR tools such as VOCUS and Cision, which cost £5k+ per year, don’t include press clippings in their standard pricing.

8. Reverse Image Search – Tracking Infographics and Images

If your press release included the use of infographics, charts or images than you can also use Google’s reverse image search to find uncredited uses of your images. In order to do this, simply drag and drop your image/graphic in the Google Images search bar. It’ll then display a list of all sites that have published or used your image. You can then contact these sites and ask for a link mention if they haven’t attributed it to you already.

 Reverse Image Search Tracking


In conclusion, you can see there are a number of different tools you can use to track results from PR. If you’re using a premium press release syndication service such as or, you’ll also receive a personalize report of clicks and media views 1 week after your initial PR is sent out.

5 of the Best Manual Outreach Tools for PR

In our previous lesson, we explained how to write an outreach email, with various case studies and examples. In this lesson, we’ll take a look at some of the best PR tools for doing manual outreach for link building.

Quick Recap: What is Manual or Blogger Outreach?

Manual outreach is the process of building relationships and promoting your article, product or business to other bloggers, journalists and businesses. This helps achieve brand awareness, backlinks and brand citations.

What are the Best Tools for Manual PR Outreach?

1. (from $29.99/month) is a PR and link building tool that helps simplify, improve and manage the entire outreach process from start to finish. It is used in-house by literally thousands of SEO and content outreach agencies.

Once you’ve purchased, you’ll be able to search for relevant outreach targets in your niche or import a list of URLs (from a backlink tool) in CSV format. You can also pin websites to your Buzzstream account whilst browsing the web.

Buzzstream will automatically find the contact details for that website and display important features such as the Page Rank, inbound links and MozRank of the site (based on data from


You can contact all websites via email or Twitter from within the system itself (a huge time saver), which also reports on the status of your communications. You can also use preset emails for your outreach, which can save you a great deal of time.

 Send Emails from within the BuzzStream System

2. (from $99/month) is another outreach tool that allows you to target individual journalists and bloggers in your industry. Unlike, it focuses on finding individual bloggers and journalists as opposed to websites. Thus, it’s more useful for media PR as opposed to contacting websites for guest posts.

The tool helps find individual contacts by searching websites/Twitter streams and showing authors who have written on your chosen topic.

Once you select a journalist or blogger, you’ll be able to see author bio information about them and contact them through Twitter or email (if they have this option enabled).

The large downside to is the high price and the limited number of database contacts in certain industries. For example, if you work in igaming there are very few contacts in their database. Secondly, the search functionality of the tool can be a little off. For example, if an author mentions a specific word just once in their article then it will come up in the author search. This of course doesn’t mean they write extensively on that subject.

3. is a free tool that helps you to find key influencers in a topic or industry.

In order to use the tool, simply click on “Influencers” above the search box and then enter your topic or industry. displays useful information about the key influences including their URL, page rank, number of followers, retweet ratio, reply ratio and more. You can also sort the results using any of the Above.

This tool is useful because it allows you to add influencers to your own list or Tweet them without leaving the website.

4. HARO and

HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and are similar tools that allow you to receive email pitches for interviews, spokespeople or experts in a certain industry.

 Example of HARO Query

The advantage of HARO is that it’s free to sign up using a single email account and you can narrow the types of queries you receive based on industry or keyword. The downside is that it’s only US-focused. is a more expensive option (£300+ per year for each industry) however it contains far more daily email queries and is great for the UK businesses. It regularly features email enquiries from the BBC, Huffington Post, The Mirror, OK magazine and many others.

5. ($4/month) is a relatively useful tool that helps organize your emails and set reminders for outreach.

Every time you send an outreach email, simply cc the email to and it will send you a reminder based on the timeline that you required (e.g. 30 mins, 1 week, 1 month).

There’s nothing exceptional about this tool but if you’re sending hundreds of emails at once than it helps to keep on top of them all.

How to Create Successful Outreach Emails

By now, you should be familiar with ways of finding bloggers, influencers and journalists in your niche, along with the tools and channels to start facilitating engagement. Email is the most common way of alerting targets to your brand’s presence and content. This lesson will explain how to craft successful outreach emails in order to increase your response rate.

Social Before Email

Journalists receive hundreds of ‘cold’ emails a day from firms desperate for PR coverage. They usually block out an hour before and after work to sift through pitches, which means they aren’t checking their inboxes around the clock and your email might get lost in the avalanche. Journalists and editors are, however, constantly active on Twitter.

Therefore it makes sense to engage with them here first in order to build up rapport. Retweet their articles or compliment their work before tweeting them from your personal (not brand!) account. Provide a teaser for your content, and ask them permission to send them an email. They will appreciate the courtesy.

Topsy is a great way of monitoring your targets’ social media activity, and for a one-off purchase of £179, BuzzBundle, pictured below, allows you to participate in conversations across multiple social media channels on a single interface.

Note: It is only really important to use social media before pitching journalists.


Email Outreach for Guest Blogging

We have discussed guest blogging as a method for link building and increasing referral traffic. Outreach has been scaled, automated and abused by SEO agencies, so editors and webmasters tend to be very sceptical about ulterior motives when reading pitches.

Sam Miranda, content strategist at, delivered a presentation where he outlines his tactics for guest blogging around the gambling niche. His approach has seen him secure guest posts on authority sites such Moz, Gamasutra and The Bleacher Report. Here is an example of one of his successful outreach emails:


What we Learned…

From here, we can establish 10 best practice guidelines:

1)     Pitch as a writer, journalist or a fellow editor, not as a link builder, outreach executive or anyone on behalf of an SEO agency.

2)     Establish your credibility by positioning yourself as an authority. Do this by describing your previous experience and linking to published examples of your work.

3)     Be specific about the content you’re pitching, and provide a brief synopsis.

4)     Explain why your content is timely, and relevant to the website’s readership.

5)     Where possible, personalise your pitch. Try and find the name of the editor, and comment on some of his/her previous work.

6)     Provide a reason for offering your content (you want to broaden your portfolio, help consumers get to grips with a new product etc)

7)     Ideally, write the content and include it as an attachment. This shows your commitment.

8)     Ensure that your signature contains all your contact details (email, telephone, Skype).

9)     Do not mention the word ‘link’.

10)  Do not mention the words ‘guest post’.

Email Outreach to Journalists

Pitching your company story or product to journalists is the most difficult pitch of all. Journalists are busy, often under-paid and pretty judgemental. A study by iAcquire and BuzzStream puts industry average content placement rates at 4.8% for males, and 4.5% for emails. That means, on average, you’ll have to send out a minimum of 20 tailored pitches in order to receive a single bit of media coverage.

Paul Sawers from The Next Web has produced a great guide, entitled ‘A Startup’s Guide to Getting Coverage’. In it, he includes the perfect email pitch template:

From here, we can establish 10 best practice guidelines:

1)     Approach the journalist through social media first, asking for their permission to send an email.

2)     Keep the subject line under 55 characters, and make sure it references the story. You don’t want to be misleading.

3)     Be short and concise. The email body shouldn’t really be more than 200 words.

4)     Explain why your content is mutually beneficial. Is it news? Is shocking, inspiring or educational?

5)     Avoid buzzwords such as ‘unique’ and ‘revolutionary’. Journalists don’t want sales patter.

6)     Don’t overload your email with attachments such as press releases. If the journalist wants to know more, they will be in touch.

7)     Create an emotional hook to induce a response; this should come in the form of offering first refusal. It creates urgency, and journalists love an exclusive.

8)     If you’re using a product such as BuzzStream, you can create multiple email templates, and track the performance of each.

9)     Always leave your full contact details at the end of the email.

10)  Try and forge a relationship with the journalist through HARO, Response Source or MuckRack.

The Softly-Softly Approach

In the email template above, you’re essentially selling your brand’s product or content.

You can enjoy similar success, however, by selling your personal expertise to a journalist. This can translate into brand references and links further down the line. This approach doesn’t require inspirational content or a ground-breaking product, simply your willingness to pick the phone or go and meet them in person. Here’s a fantastic email template developed by Matt Ackerson at Petovera.

This template is clever because it starts by praising the journalist’s recent work (ego-baiting), before positioning yourself as an authority and a potential source for a future article. When suggesting a tip, make sure you reference something interesting or divisive. The email ends with a confident call to action, without sounding too pushy or desperate.

Being Ignored? Try These 5 Steps

Outreach requires patience and perseverance – you will have to send out a significant volume of personalised emails to receive a content placement. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t receive a response; instead follow these steps:

1) Always send at least one follow-up email, ideally a week later

2) Add your target on LinkedIn. In fact, you should do this before you send your email.

3) Get on the phone! It’s more effective than email for building rapport.

4) Offer to meet a journalist face to face. It’s worth it if they are from the BBC, Forbes etc.

5) Try snail mail or ‘creating a mystery’ – techniques outlined by Distilled’s Rob Toledo.

How to Find Link Prospects for Outreach

As part of our PR and manual outreach module, this lesson focuses on how to find link prospects by targeting relevant niche websites and getting their contact details.

Unlike our lessons on guest blogging and influencer outreach, this lesson focuses solely on finding niche websites/blogs to target as opposed to individual authors and guest blogging opportunities.

What can Link Prospecting be used for?

Topic-based link prospecting can be used for a number of PR outreach and link building strategies such as:

  • Infographic Outreach
  • Gaining coverage for new tools or features on your site
  • Promoting survey results or industry research/white papers
  • Providing write-ups for a new service or report
  • Promoting exclusive deals and offers
  • eCommerce competitions and giveaways
  • Relationship building

6 Strategies for Finding Link Prospect for Outreach:

We’ll now teach you 6 strategies for finding link prospects for manual outreach.

We’ve referenced a number of outreach tools that you might also find useful. For more information on tools, we recommend reading our article on the best PR and manual outreach tools.

  1. Using to Find and Collect Contact Details

The first thing you should be doing is setting up an account at This PR tool allows you to easily save all of your target websites and helps manage the outreach process for you.

The advantage of is that you can easily “pin” all target websites to your dashboard with the click of the button. This then automatically pulls out the contact details for you. You can also then use to send out email s(using your personalized templates), filter websites by priority, and keep track of all communications.


 Send Emails from within the BuzzStream System

  1. Use Advanced Search Queries in Google to Find Relevant Sites

Google Search still remains one of the best and easiest ways to find relevant sites for your article topic, niche or industry. In fact, according to, 87% of SEOs use search to find bloggers for outreach.

Simply use the advanced search queries below to find websites that have published similar articles/infographics/promotions/stories to the one you’re doing outreach for.

  • “Keyword Topic” – searches for all articles with your specific keywords or phrase
  • Allintitle: keyword – this query searches for all articles with your specific keywords in the page title. This helps find more targeted results around your topic.
  • Allinanchor: keyword – this query searches for all posts that include this keyword as an anchor text in their backlinks,
  • Allinurl: keyword keyword2 – this query searches for all posts that include your keyword(s) in the URL parameter. e.g.

 List of Google Search Query Commands

Bear in mind that this process works better for more niche topics. For example, if you’ve done an infographic on the History of HFT Trading then you can search for keywords such as “HFT Trading”, “HFT risks”, “HFT history”, “allintitle: HFT trading” etc.

  1. Google Alerts/

Google Alerts and are free tools that allow you to track mentions of your brand or specific keywords across the Internet. Once you’ve found a website mentioning a topic or your brand, you can reach out to them through email or pin them to your dashboard.

For example, if you’re written a report or conducted an interview with an expert on problem gambling amongst teenagers, you can use keywords such as “problem gambling”, “gambling teenagers”, “problem gambling young people” to find targeted outreach opportunities.

  1. Backlink Analysis

Is there a similar infographic or contest similar to yours that has been promoted in the past? Why not go through their backlinks using or to steal their backlinks. Read more in this lesson on stealing your competitors backlinks.

Once you’ve got a list of your competitors backlinks in OSE or, you can export these to a CSV file and then re-import them back into This will then automatically find the contact details and log them into your outreach campaign on your behalf.

  1. Search to Find Relevant Authors with Websites

Although this technically falls under our lesson “finding influential authors”, we can also use this tactic to find bloggers on Twitter who have their own sites.

For example, on you can search for Twitter bios in your industry (make sure you apply the URL filter to only show results from users who have a blog). You can then export these results and import them into, just like the previous method.

You can see a video demonstration of this strategy courtesy of Matt Barby here:

  1. Reverse image Search

As covered in a previous lesson on promoting infographics, you can also use this tool to find unaccredited link opportunities for your graphics or visual charts. Simply email any blog owners who have used your graphics and kindly ask them for a link credit.

 Reverse Image Search Tracking

  1. Utilize Existing Relationships and Twitter Followers with Blogs

Do you have existing relationships with bloggers or journalists? Why not contact them with your new PR story or feature to try to get the balls rolling.

You can also research your brand/personal followers on Twitter, export a list of your followers, filter out those without blogs, and then import their URL into just like step 5.

Film critics and bloggers are amongst the most social media savvy. I managed to get a film review gig at Cine Vue, talking about financial broker dishonesty in the Big Short, by speaking to their editor over Twitter.

  1. Use Guest Blogging Outreach Networks (I Don’t Recommend Them Personally)

Personally, I’m not a fan of using guest blogging outreach networks since the types of blogs in the network are very questionable and most end up getting penalized eventually anyway. For example, take a look at how (which many marketers promoted) was penalized in March 2014.

Nevertheless, here’s a list of some guest blog networks in case you’re interested in seeing them:

  • GuestBlogIt
  • GuestBlogGenius
  • Guestr
  • BlogDash

How to Find Bloggers Contact Details:

If you’ve found a blog owner you’d like to contact but can’t find a contact address, there’s a few strategies you can use to get around this.

First of all, you should search for their contact details in the database. This displays the contact details for 90% of websites (unless they have a private address such as

If you have, you can pin the website to your account using the BuzzMarker tool. This automatically finds the contact details (including Twitter profile) if available.

Finally, you can try searching for the author’s name in the articles and search for their Linkedin profile or other social network profiles (I’ve used this method successfully on a number of occasions).


In conclusion, we’ve provided you a number of strategies you can use for finding link prospects for outreach. For more link building strategies, we recommend reading our main link building guide. In order to improve your outreach success, you should also read our lesson on writing an outreach email.

Writing and Submitting a Press Release

Press releases are an effective marketing tool that can be used to promote your new website, service or product. In this lesson, we’ll show you how to write, plan and submit a press release for maximum results.

What is a Press Release and why should you use one?

A press release is an official statement that is sent out to journalists, newspapers and bloggers to inform them of a new service, product or other news story to do your business. Essentially, a press release is a promotional tactic used to get the word out about something new in your business.

In marketing terms, press releases are great for promoting a new product, service or part of your business (this might include new surveys, infographics and new website features). When you issue a press release, it’ll get sent out to 100s of targeted journalists and news sites with the hope that they’ll pick it up and run the story themselves.

The main advantage for utilising press releases in SEO is that journalists and bloggers can pick up your story and write about it; this helps generate powerful brand citations and backlinks that help rank your site for SEO.

Before you Issue a Press Release…Make sure it’s actually news worthy!

Before you write and issue a press release, ask yourself “is it news worthy”, “will it get picked up” and “is there value in this story?”

The fact is, if your press release isn’t news worthy or interesting for journalists than it won’t get picked up. Period.

That’s why it’s important when planning your press release that it has an interesting angle, engaging headline and great copy. It needs to engage journalists and readers from the offset if they’re to write about it later.

Are Press Releases Good for SEO?

As previously mentioned, the aim of a press release for SEO purposes is to get your story picked up and republished on authority sites and relevant media publications. For example, if you can get your site linked to by the likes of, or BBC News than that’s great for your SEO.

As noted in Google’s Link Scheme Guidelines however, you do need to avoid submitting press releases with over-optimized anchor text, as these can get you into trouble. Take a look at the Link Schemes document below for more information:

Link Scheme Guidelines and Press Releases

How to Write an Engaging Press Release:

Once you have a good store, the next step is to plan and write the copy for your press release.

1. Writing the Press Release Headline:

A boring headline can put off anyone from reading a good press release, which makes it the most important part.

The headline is what captures the journalist or reader’s attention. It should be short (enough to fit into an email subject title, tweet or search engine results page), engaging and contain your most important keywords. Your headline should also be specific and include “what” has happened.

Headline Examples:

Examples of good press release headlines include: “Survey Reveals Majority of Students Feel Ripped off by University”, “New Report Ranks Top US Cities for Bed Bug Infestations”, and “Facebook Passes more than 1 Billion Users”.

The best types of headlines are those that are short, exciting and encourage the reader to read more. If your press release contains interesting or controversial statistics then aim to include this in the headline too.

Bad headlines are usually too vague, long and lack emotion. Compare the two headlines below for example, which both describe the same news:

“New Survey Reveals Christmas Shoppers Spent 32% more than Last Year.”

“A Report shows that Shoppers Spent more money on Gifts over the Holiday Period than the Previous Year”

Obviously, the former headline sounds better. It’s shorter, gets to the point faster and includes interesting statistics.

In order to help write a snappier headline, some copywriters recommend saving the headline until last. This can give you a clearer picture of the most important items in the press releases.

 Example of a Great Press Release Headline

2. Writing the Press Release Body

Now that you’ve got the reader’s attention with your headline, you need to fill them in on the details in your body.

The most important thing is to include the proverbial “Who”, “What”, “When” and “Where” as early as you can in the body.

You need to get across a sense of urgency and action of what happened, whom it affects, why it’s important and when and how it came about. But, you need to write it in a short, engaging manner so that they get the message across as early as possible. The more the reader or journalist connects with the story, the more likely he’ll pick it up and cover it himself.

The overall length of the press release body should be around 300-400 words. This includes details about what happened as well one or two quotes from an important stakeholder (this might include a CEO, Vice-President or industry expert).

Press Release Example

3. Include a Quotable Spokesperson and Include Statistics in your Press Release Body

A great way of encouraging journalists to cite your brand or link back to your site is to include quotable experts and independent statistics in your press release. Journalists love to use new stats, especially when they’re controversial or go against the prevailing trend.

Expert quotes (or even statements from people affected in the story) help bring your story to life and increase the emotional response of the reader.

If you do include statistics in your press release, make sure you tease journalists by limiting the actual data and then provide a link to the full data (or visual charts) at the bottom of your press release to your website. This will encourage journalists to visit and link back to your site when writing your story.

4. Add Contact Details to the End of your Press Release

It’s imperative that you add contact details (email, phone number and spokesperson) to the end of your press release. This is so that interested parties and journalists can get in contact with you if they want more details on the story.

For example, they may wan to conduct their own interview or grab some extra information or background for the story. Adding contact details also helps bring credibility to the story. Don’t be afraid to pickup the phone either. If you’re working for a client than encourage them to respond to the journalist’s request and get maximum results. Remember, just one pickup on a major news site can lead to hundreds of additional pickups and links from bloggers.

Finally, Where to Submit your Press Release?

Once you’ve finalized your press release, it’s time to target some news outlets to send it out to.

Essentially you have two options when it comes to sending out your press release:

1)   You can use a premium press release syndication service such as PRWeb or PRNewsWire, which sends your press release out to hundreds of news sites and generates 1,000s of page views.

2)   You can engage in manual PR outreach. This process involves curating a list of targeted journalists and bloggers to send your press release to. You can learn more about this process here.

The advantage of the first method is that it’s quick and has mass impact because it syndicates your press release to 100s of Google News approved sites. It’s also relatively cheap ($300-$400). The disadvantage of PR syndication services is that they’re not very targeted or personal. They can also be expensive if you’re turning out press releases every week.

The advantage of the second method is that it allows you to build relationships with important journalists and reporters in your industry, generates better results and has a higher success rate (around 5-7% of targeted journalists will respond to your email). The disadvantage is that it’s resource intensive – it requires a lot of time curating outreach targets and emails. It also requires a certain level of expertise – that’s why many small businesses will usually hire a small PR or SEO agency to do this on their behalf.

Useful Press Release Submission Sites:

How to Steal your Competitor’s Best Content

Great content is the lifeblood of the Internet. If you’re looking to increase traffic on your business, news or education site then you need to publish great content and get it in front of your audience.

In this lesson, we’re going to teach you how to research, analyse and copy your competitor’s best performing content.

Why Copy your Competitors Content?

Copying others saves time, provides key information about your industry and allows you to create a better content strategy than your competitors.

If your competitor’s have already laid the foundations or content blueprints for you then you’d be stupid not to analyze their site and see what type of content performs best or generates the greatest amount of traffic and social shares.

The following methods show you different ways you can analyze your competitor’s best performing content and steal it for your own site.

  1. Find your Competitors most Shared Content is a brilliant free tool that allows you to enter a topic or keyword and see the most shared content over any time period ranging from 24 hours up to 6 months. You can also filter content by article, video, infographic, guest post and giveaways.


The advantage of analyzing the most socially shared content is that it allows you to directly see the type of content that most appeals to your audience. For example, does negative or positive spun content perform best? Are infographics a successful marketing channel in your niche? Does a particular topic keep getting shared? Do surveys and reports perform better than news and static content?

  1. Find your Competitors most Linked Content

Backlinks are one of the most important parts of an SEO campaign. By analyzing which content generates the most backlinks to your competitor’s site, you can invest in producing even better content and then stealing their links.

In order to view your competitor’s most linked content, simply load up a backlink analysis tool such as Ahrefs.comor Then all you need to do is click on Top Pages to see the most links pages; allows you this via total number of backlinks or root domains.

If you’ve seen a lot of the links to your competitor’s pages have been placed on “list” or “useful resources” pages than you can invest in an even better page on your site and ask the webmasters for inclusion on their list. This is a strategy I’ve done a number of times with things such as graduate jobs board resources, student finance help guides and postgraduate funding links.

You can also use this strategy to come up with tools, research, products or eBooks around this topic. For example, if a certain topic is generating a lot of attention and links than it might be worth publishing your own industry research or product around it and doing some PR.

  1. Sign up to your Competitors Email List and view their most Important Content

Signing up to your competitor’s email list allows you to spy on their email marketing strategy. By studying the content that they email to users, you can view what they believe to be their most strategically important content (this may be tied to conversions, earnings or user engagement). Over time, you can also see the type of content that they regularly send out to users.

  1. Search for their Brand in Google and View the Extended Site links

Sitelinks are those extended blue links shown in Google search results when someone searches for your brand name in Google. They were designed in order to improve user navigation in the search results.

It’s heavily suspected that Google generates these sitelinks based on your most important content by analyzing traffic flow on your site. Thus, searching for your competitor’s brand name in Google will theoretically allow you to see their most important and high traffic pages.

Google Sitelinks

Google Sitelinks

In conclusion, once you’ve got an understanding of the types of content that performs best in your industry, you can then integrate this with your content strategy. Likewise, you can avoid investing in boring content that receives little social shares, traffic or user engagement.

Hiring Content Writers for your Site