Now that we're all well versed in Newsjacking, we've got great news: it is surprisingly easy. Luckily there's an easy to follow 6-step method to newsjack like a pro:
Easy Step #1: Create Alerts
The majority of the effort of being a newsjacker comes from having to regularly comb through news sources to find the gem you need. Our advice? Don't. Let Google and other networks do it or you. Utilize Google news alerts by creating alerts for specific keywords in your industry and other industries. If you're old school and like a challenge, then setup an RSS feed with the major news stations—since the big ones have the resources to get news first. If you want to be truly professional and stealthy, then use social media monitoring tools to come up with trending topics.
Easy Step #2: Keep an Eye on Keyword Search Volume
After you've jacked your story, you need to create content around it; content that gets noticed. In order to do that you need keywords that are just as popular as the story is...trending keywords that will trigger your content to be displayed to readers searching for the day's popular story. Not only will it warrant you traffic from people searching for trending news items, it will also give you a boost with your SEO since you'll be one of the first to report on a popular news item. Targeting keywords with high search volume will also help set you apart from the crowd, since there will be hundreds if not thousands of other people reporting on the same story.
Easy Step #3: Be Well-Read
You want to get your news item out as soon as possible, in order to be relevant, but—don't sacrifice quality for timing. Be well-read on your topic because reporting it incorrectly is a big no-no. Even more importantly you need to compare the original breaking story with what others have already written—and be different. This will ensure that you are both original AND credible.
Easy Step #4: Be Quick—But Accurate
Time is of the essence, but equally, so is accuracy. We mentioned it again in case you missed the importance of accuracy in step 3. In order to be both accurate AND quick, you need to cut out some of the frills that you might usually employ. This includes things like peer editing, triple-revisions, taking time to pick out the perfect photo, gathering the highest-quality outbound links, playing around with formatting, etc. If your perfectionist nature is cringing at the thought of cutting corners, don't worry—you can always update the story later—the importance is just getting it out quickly initially.
Easy Step #5: Differentiate Yourself
If you read only one step of how to newsjack like a pro, it should be this one. Differentiating yourself from the crowd is key. Because you aren't the only newsjacker and your story could well be competing against hundreds or thousands of others. Think of a unique angle before writing your story to ensure that you've got a fresh take—then double check that other people haven't already written about that angle in spades. If you're angle is already used but you feel it is just too clever to pass up, then you need to write it better (using jokes and/or cleve analysis often helps).
Easy Step #6: Spread the Word
Now that you've got your original, newsjacked content, you need to quickly market it. Use every form of marketing you've got in your arsenal. If you know someone on a (relatively) major news site in that vertical, ask them to run the story. Spread it on all your social networks. Ensure that you put it on Digg and other trending news sites to help it go viral.
Now, go and newsjack to your hearts content, your readers and future readers will thank you. As will your sales team when your leads start pouring in.
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