This is a strategy called ‘news jacking’, or ‘trend tagging’ – it goes by lots of different names. With James Murdoch having resigned his post on the board for the Sun and The Times it seemed like a good time to cover this.
It’s an excellent (and legal) marketing strategy we could all take advantage of. Whether you want to make a bit of advertising money from passing traffic on your blog or website – or drive people directly to your products.
Google is clever. It changes its rules constantly to filter out the shysters.
So many ‘get rich quick’ products focus on techniques that try to fool Google. This is mad. That’s like trying to fool a billionaire genius with a brain the size of Jupiter.
All these ‘black hat’ (unscrupulous/trickster) strategies you’ll see sold on ClickBank and elsewhere might work for a week or so, but in the long term they have no value whatsoever. You’ll be shut down quicker than you can cash your first affiliate check and whistle in your first cocktail order.
The secret to making money online is not to try and trick Google but to work with it. Master this and you can make a great income online. It’s worth repeating:
Form a relationship with Google and you will make money.
Google wants real and current content. Content that people are looking for and are interested in. The kinds of thing people tweet about and post on Facebook.
Here’s where news jacking comes in…
News jacking is taking current events and putting your own spin on them. It’s looking at the most popular content on sites like the BBC and other leading mass traffic news sources and then capitalising on the search frenzy.
So for example if someone’s tweeting about Wayne Rooney’s latest hair transplant you might post an article about ‘How to get a Rooney hair treatment without going under the knife’.
This isn’t just a copy and paste job. You have to make it relevant to you and your business. You want to intrigue people enough to click on your website and then make it link specifically to your business.
The key here is to be quick.
Right now there couldn’t be a better time to do this. Google have started delivering it’s results in real time – they’ve cut out the delay between websites finding content and them being able to find it. This is what makes ‘news jacking’ so effective.
You see there’s a magical time gap between when a news story is first broken and when everyone else (newspapers, blogs etc) scramble around looking for more information to give further analysis and commentary.
If you can target that gap and get something posted online fast you can really profit from this technique because your site will start appearing in the search results.
Google will love that you’re so ‘current’ and you’ll attract visitors looking for information on the hot topics.
Here’s how to find the hot topics and trends…
Here are my 4 top sources to find those breaking news stories that you can ‘news jack’ and start using this strategy for yourself.
1) Look on the newswires for breaking stories.
You can start by going to Yahoo’s news page here: Yahoo News.
They post content from Reuters and AP two of the world’s top newswires (they sell breaking news and information to other outlets). News doesn’t come much fresher than this.
You can flit between the different tabs to select different news sources.
2) Check out the ‘most read’ and the ‘most shared’ section on the BBC
I’m sure you’ve seen it before – if not you can find it on the box on the right hand side of the BBC News website. This gives you a real indication of what people are actually interested in – not just what the news editors think people are interested in.
3) See what’s trending on Twitter
Twitter is fast becoming the go-to-place for breaking news. Riots in London, Protests in Egypt – some of the world’s major news stories are being covered by ordinary people using blogs and social networking sites.
Ordinary people can be in places and cover stories that journalists can’t – and often they’re first to the scoop.
Twitter probably tops the list here and the ‘trending tool’ lets you see exactly what people are talking about right now. Just follow the hash tags which look like this # to see the hottest topics. Right now a popular one is #BlackFriday which is a sale day.
4) Find out the latest celebrity gossip
Don’t underestimate the gossip hunters!
Terms like “Justin Bieber” and “Katy Perry” were among the most popular Google searches in 2010. People love gossip and many lunchbreaks across the land are spent reading about what colour hair the female X Factor panellists are thinking of dying her hair.
Okay so we’ve talked about the concept and where to find the hot topics, so now let’s look at how you can monetise this.