You have probably heard that a good way to learn is to read, but the best way to learn is to do.
And so in June 2005, I decided to put together everything I had been learning at university about marketing, advertising, public relations, graphic design, and programming. So I built NZHotPools.co.nz.
- It generates 250+ unique visitors every day from all over the world
- It is #1 for several common phrases on Google.co.nz
- It earns me some passive income from sponsoring commercial hot pools and adwords
The Objective: To spread the word about my new NZ Hot Pools website, and not spend a cent
I achieved this objective in two ways:
- By researching how to build a search engine friendly website so Google would send me tons of free traffic
- By generating press attention (for free)
I received a huge amount of free advertising for it when I launched it.
Lesson Learnt: Newspaper journalists are always looking for content for their newspapers
- So the lesson is: don’t pay for advertising/editorial, just package your product/brand into a newsworthy story.
- Phone the newspapers you want to be in (don’t just send a press release and hope for the best), ask to talk to the journalist in charge of that section, and tell them the best parts of your idea in 30 seconds
- Focus on the local angle.
- For example when I called the Daily Post in Rotorua I told the journalist how I grew up in Rotorua and was always going to hot pools and that’s when I built the website.
- For the Waikato Times I told the journalist how I was loving Waikato University and building this site put everything I was learning together and how it was a shame their weren’t many hot pools in the area.
- It’s the law of proximity: “The closer the story is to the reader, the more interesting it is”. So that’s why you need a local angle.
- The NZ Herald picked up the story from one of the regional papers. The article in the paper that day was pretty small, but the link they put on the website generated a huge amount of traffic and publicity for my website