I’m going to go totally meta on you today.
If you’ve spent any time on the internet in the last few weeks, you’ll probably have noticed something called Pokemon Go.
In case you didn’t, it’s a smartphone game designed to get players off the sofa and into the street, on a sort of treasure hunt.
If I understood correctly.
Be that as it may, it’s received enormous – and I mean HUGE! – exposure in all kinds of media.
This morning on a Dutch news site even, there was a story about how the Dutch Railway company issued a warning and got into talks with the manufacturer, because kids apparantly even end up on train tracks, looking for treasure.
The reason I’m bringing this up – and the meta in this email – is that when there’s something big happening in the news, you might just have an opportunity to get massive amounts of traffic to your website.
It’s called newsjacking, and it simply means that you ride the wave of something that’s already getting a lot of attention.
Exactly the way I’m doing now, by writing this email (which will also be posted to my blog, for Google to index) about… Pokemon Go.
Now obviously, for me to write about Pokemon Go is probably quite off-target.
There’s only so much probability that Pokemon Go players are interested in building a successful creative business.
But the principle is the same: By putting content on the internet about something that’s widely publicised, right when the big publicity is happening, my SEO ranking gets a little boost, and I just might get a bit of extra traffic to my site.
Which in theory could mean a few extra subscribers, and that in the end can lead to more business relationships.
For you to use the newsjacking principle does require you to be a bit more specific.
If you paint whales, it’s going to do you zero good to latch on to a news story about, say, the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
That said, if you paint whales because your mission and message is about the environment and saving the seas, then you could actually conceive of an article that ties the two together, and it wouldn’t be too difficult.
So if you want more traffic, and current affairs matter to you because of what you stand for, be on the lookout for broadly publicised stories.
Twitter is always a good place for research.
Even though some people claim Twitter is on its return, that’s not true for news.
It’s still the people’s breaking news channel #1.
A simple hashtag search for keywords related to your work, your area, or your mission might turn up leads that you can work with and write about.
So that’s newsjacking, and that’s the going meta:
Me writing about Pokemon Go right when it’s happening, so that perhaps you can find topics for yourself.
So what about it?
What wave is in the news that you could ride?