A month or so back when I was putting together all the details and sponsors for the Dorm Room Biz contest, I was worried about getting the word out. I know this is a problem or worry that everyone has at some point. I mean only so many people read your blog and they may share it with a few people or it may end just there. So, you have to come up with all kinds of ways to get more exposure to your article, post, podcast, video, or contest. I followed the more normal methods of the blogopshere – emailing people, friends, contacts, bloggers asking them to blog or tweet about it, posted on twitter about it, posted a link on Facebook to the contest, and blogged about it many times. The more times it got in front of someones face, I knew the better chance I had of getting the responses that I wanted to see.
So after about a week of being open, the contest post only had a few comments and I was getting worried. I didnt want to have 7 prizes to give away to 3 people. So I was pointed in the direction of a site called HelpAReporter.com. Basically, the site is AWESOME! If you want a down and dirty, no bull shit method to get your information out in front of a lot of people, then you need to check out HARO. BTW, people seem to use HARO…which I assume stands for Help A Reporter Out (I could be totally off on that though).
Anyway, you fill in a form with some basic information (name, email, website, etc) and then describe the content that you want me to check out. For me, I described my contest and the details about how I wanted to find more people to participate. I talked about the prizes and how they were great resources for entrepreneurs, students, and small business owners.
Within 5 hours of submitting my information on the HARO website, I had responses coming in and comments on the site. People started entering and it was a HUGE snowball effect. All of the sudden within the 12 hours of the submission 20 new comments were left, with a bunch of trackbacks to postings the people had written.
All of the sudden, things exploded and when finished, the contest had more than 300 entries (combined from comments, subscribing via email, and posting about it). Not too bad right? So, if you want to get your article, website, or post out to a lot of people quickly who can then pass it along to others and share it, HARO is a great way to go.
Besides the benefits of getting more people to the site and entering the contest, HelpAReporter brought some other unexpected advantages. Through HARO, I was able to make some new connections to young entrepreneurs that are interested in guest posting on Dorm Room Biz, that are interesting in doing podcasts and interviews, and also found more sponsors for the contest. I’ll definitely be using the site again in the future to help promote other articles, contests, and projects – I suggest you do the same. It is the best FREE direct email to a targeted audience you can get!
By the way, I did want to say that this post is completely my own opinion and is not paid for or sponsored in anyway…although that would have been super cool. If you’re interested in a sponsored post or paid review, feel free to contact me.