Why Every Startup Should Hire A Journalist!

- June 7, 2012 3 MIN READ


So you’ve finished your minimum viable product, had your launch and have a nice group of users. Now giving your product a whirl. You’re growing, but you’d like to grow faster. You’ve done your research into online marketing; you think that SEO, social media and blogging are probably the best ways of doing that. But you struggle to stay on top of it all; you’re not blogging as much as you should be, you’re not building inbound links, you’re not tweeting anymore, your Facebook page is a ghost town and your business is just not growing anymore.

It’s time you hired a journalist.

Why a journalist? Journalists are the new marketing manager. Journalists are the “go to” guys and gals for long term online marketing success. Journalists are publishers and creators, and to be successful at online marketing today, you need a publisher.

A journalist will help your SEO significantly improve

Building inbound links and great content (the pillars of great SEO) comes naturally to a journalist, they don’t even have to think about it. Most startups fail at SEO early on because they simply don’t have the time to apply their skills. A good friend of mine once asked, “Mike, if you think you’re so good at SEO, how come you’re no longer number 1?”. Knowing I didn’t have time to get back to number 1, I decided to do something completely different than hiring an SEO firm. I hired a journalist. Within four months our traffic had significantly increased and we were back to number 1. SEO is all about producing frequent and unique content and a journalist will do far better than any SEO firm.

A journalist will help you craft an awesome blog

Having a blog that is updated frequently with relevant and unique content will help you drive significant traffic to your website. A journalist is a natural writer, and natural writers write great blogs. Make a list of topics that are important to your business and use the topics to help your journalist craft articles that will drive traffic and conversations. The best posts are always going to be unique stories, surveys or how-tos.

When I hired a journalist to write an awesome blog for my last business, I found myself obsessively reading the posts. They were that great I had become a fan. You need a blog of this quality.

Don’t forget to keep posting on your own blog with your journalist. There is nothing like a founder being the voice of the company, a journalist just takes the pressure off while you craft great posts.

A journalist will help you better engage on Twitter and Facebook

I’m sure everyone reading this has one of those friends that is overly social on Facebook or Twitter (Ryan this is you if you’re reading this!). By that I mean they seem to use it like it’s a full time job. A great Facebook page or Twitter account is not one-way spam, it’s about joining conversations, posting valuable content and crafting a persona for your company. Having a full time journalist controlling your social presence will ensure you’re always in the conversation and encourage your network to refer your product or service, because you’re always top of mind. It will also help you grow the readership of your new, brilliant blog.

A journalist will make sure your copy is up to scratch

Copywriting? You know that thing you totally suck at. Journalist. Every website I have ever launched has initially suffered from extremely bad copy, it’s like a necessary evil just before you launch that you think you can completely avoid. Wrong. Bad copy makes for an underperforming website.

The Virgin Group are masters of copywriting. Learn from them. Get a journalist to review all of your copy and messaging, craft a tone of voice for your company and apply it throughout your business.

OK, convinced? Now how do you hire the best journalist possible?

I’ve eaten my own dog food here several times. The best journalists I’ve hired have been students, fresh out of a communications degree and extremely passionate about the future of digital media and interaction. It’s these types that tend to perform the best as they aren’t set in their ways and can be crafted into the ultimate online marketing wizard.

So do yourself a favour, hire a journalist.

Questions? Comments? Troll-abuse? Post below.