3 Ways Free Press Release Sites Can Cost You

publicity-houndPress release marketing is one of the most effective methods to generate both media attention and targeted traffic to your web site.

Now if a little voice in your head cries “Oh no! One more thing to learn!” just calmly tell the little voice “thanks for sharing” and know this: if you blog, write articles and email autoresponders, you can easily repurpose that content into press releases.

All you need is the right formula and resources which I’ll share with you at the conclusion of this article. Now once a press release is written you need to distribute it. Enter today’s topic: free press release sites. The allure of free distribution is quite appealing. You can submit articles for free so why not press releases, right?

Most often, articles appear in directories. (Like EzineArtices.com) With press releases, they are distributed to thousands of different web sites. As a result, sometimes costs are involved.

And while free press release sites can work, be aware of these three ways free press release sites can cost you:

1. Extra time investment

Time is money. With paid distribution you can rely on just one service, especially with established newswires like PR Newswire, BusinessWire and Marketwire. Even PRWeb provides enough coverage all on its own.

However, some major newswires aren’t budget-friendly. So it’s natural to consider free press release sites. But instead of using one provider now you’re using several. Each comes with its own interface, unique requirements, upgrades, etc.

And unlike the major press release sites, do plan ahead. Many free press release sites have limited editorial desk/customer service hours, often requiring you to submit your online press release 48 hours in advance or more.

Takeaway: is the extra time you’re worth what you’re saving by going the free route? With some economical paid press release sites, $20 – $100 per release can deliver good results.

2. Online exposure and visibility

One reason to use multiple free press release sites is that you can’t match the total exposure one paid site delivers.
Granted, you can increase visibility by paying to upgrade (see #3).

But even by upgrading I’m not convinced you’ll duplicate the exposure that paid press release sites generate. One quick way to evaluate online exposure is the level of penetration in Google News and Yahoo! News. The number of listings a press release site has in those search engines is impacted by the following:

1. Quantity of releases. PRnewswire.com typically has the greatest number simply because that’s the preferred choice of many companies.

2. Quality of newswire. Search engines give preferred treatment to more established press release sites.

3. Syndication/aggregation. Some press release sites (PR-Inside.com) often pick up newsfeeds from other newswires and press release sites.

Takeaway: Again, there is a time issue, of submitting to multiple free sites to get the exposure you’d receive from one paid site.

3. Upgrades = extra cost

How do free press release sites stay in business? Advertising revenue is one way. Another is an upgrade fee.

And just about anything extra is an upgrade. These upgrades are not consistent from site to site. In fact, in a review of about 15 different free press release sites, I counted 28 different upgrades. Here’s a sampling:

•    Speed of approval
•    Speed of distribution
•    Higher placement on page (above free listings)
•    Preferred/showcased listing
•    Distribution: more sites
•    Media Attachments: images, video, PDF, mp3

Takeaway: free sometimes costs money, especially for features that are already bundled in with paid newswires. Selecting numerous stand-alone upgrades may cost more than a paid newswire that includes several at one fixed price.

Press release marketing (free or paid) is a proven method to accelerate online visibility, generate traffic and capture media attention. Now, after reading this article, you’re better informed on free press release sites. And to help you take action, I promised you a formula and some resources to repurpose your other content into press releases. You’ll find those on my web site and can access them via the link at the end of this article.

In the meantime, please share your comments and thoughts on press release marketing.

To get you started quickly and easily with online press releases, I invite you to claim your FREE Instant Access to my Optimized Press Release Template when you visit www.30MinutePR.com

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