In the past, I’ve talked quite a bit about the benefits of a sound press release distribution strategy. With good press releases sent out to a targeted list of interested reporters, your company can get valuable media coverage. This builds your credibility and boosts your name recognition, helping drive more customers to your business.
Now, when you’re starting your press release marketing campaign, you might be tempted to push your press releases on free distribution websites. These free press release directories let you post your news at no cost to you, so it seems like a good deal, right? Wrong.
Free press release websites are almost always a waste of time. Here are 4 reasons to avoid using them.
- Takes up too much time—I have a hard time considering free press release websites “free.” Why? Because it takes up so much of your time to find all the right directories, create accounts on each of them, and post press releases on one directory at a time. The process can take several hours. Ever heard the phrase “time is money”? I don’t know about you, but I could spend those hours on other marketing and PR tasks that would get much better results than putting my press release on some low-ranking free directories.
- You share space with spammers—Because these websites are free, they tend to attract a lot of spammers. Just take a look at any of the popular free press release websites. If you click on a few of the press releases, you’ll see most of them are more like advertisements than news. Do you really want your press release sitting on a website with a bunch of spam? It seems kind of pointless if you ask me.
- Journalists won’t see your press release—Isn’t the whole point of press release distribution to get your news picked up by the media? Yes, I know that press releases have become a good tool for SEO and link building, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw away the other benefits of a solid press release marketing strategy. The simple truth is if you only put your press releases on free websites, your story will never get picked up. Reporters don’t check these sites. You have to use a distribution service that gets your press release in the hands of targeted, influential reporters
- You have to pay if you want anything decent—There’s always a catch, isn’t there? With free press release websites, the catch is usually that you have to fork over some money if you want a wide range of features. For example, you usually have to pay extra if you want your press release to run without ads all over the page. You may also have to pay if you want to embed links in the press release. My advice: Save your money for an actual press release distribution service that can get you results.
Do you use free press release distribution websites? Why or why not?