It was 9 AM on a Tuesday morning. Coffee in hand, I started my work day, checking my website’s email to see what sort of letters I get today. As usual, the majority of it is spam. “Your PayPal account has been limited”. “My husband died, and I’d like to transfer $3,999,999 to your bank account.” Sound familiar? 🙂
I click over to the final email in my inbox, when my eyes shoot wide open.
“Hello James! I’m a publicist on NBC’s upcoming show “The Million Second Quiz.” She then continues to discuss a little bit about the show.
“Given iOS Universe’s emphasis on new apps and iOS technology, we would love to work with you on spreading the word about this exciting first for network television. Would you be interested in conducting an interview with “MSQ”‘s executive producer, Eli Holzman? He can talk about “Million Second Quiz” and its revolutionary format.” (For privacy reasons, I’m changing the emails around a little bit, but they are very similar to what’s written here.)
What? WHAT? Nothing like this had ever happened to me before. I had figured this had to be a fake letter. My blog is only receiving a few thousand visits a day, and NBC, a major television network are contacting me for business related activities? Is this real?
Despite the fact that their email was from NBC’s domain, I was skeptical. I asked my close friends what they thought about this. They were also skeptical. I found the LinkedIn profile for the person who was emailing me, and sure enough, everything matched up.
Nervously, I responded saying that I would be interested in the opportunity. We talked a bit about what the focal point of the interview would be, and who I would be talking to. Then we scheduled a date and time. Friday, 1 PM.
“You’ll be speaking with Eli Holzman, one of the executive producers of the show, along with Michael Martin from the NBC Digital team who was instrumental in developing the app. Eli’s bio is attached. I can set up a conference line so that you can all chat.”
The day came quicker than I thought. Here I am, a 17-year old high school student about to conduct a HUGE interview. I was nervous, shaking almost. Strangely, I get nervy talking on the phone to people I know, let alone a group of major celebrities!
I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into as I called in.
“Hey, are you James McAllister?”
“Yes I am.”
“Great. Mr. Holzman is running late, he’ll be with us in a few moments.”
Oh great, I thought to myself. What was I supposed to do in the mean time? Was I supposed to talk? Remain silent? My heart was thumping.
Thankfully, the wait wasn’t too long. Within a few minutes, Eli Holzman entered the conference call. One of the other members answered,
“Hello Mr. Holzman? Mr. McAllister from iOS Universe is here with us for the interview.” The entire time, they treated me like I was the celebrity.
“Great, let’s get started.”
Nervously, I began asking questions, notepad in front of me. You could tell I was very nervous. Fortunately, they were very laid back with their answers, telling stories and jokes as the interview went on. As I ran out of questions, I asked them if there was anything else they’d ask me to include in the article. I just wanted it to be over. The entire thing lasted about 15 minutes, but it felt like hours. When it was over, we thanked each other and hung up.
I had done it. I had just interviewed a major television producer, and several of the world’s top application developers. It was the scariest thing I had ever done, but I did it.
I quickly and carefully wrote up an article. Then I edited it about 10 times. I wanted it to be perfect, but I wanted it released in a timely manner. Despite how scary it was, I wanted to get more opportunities like this, because it felt great.
After about an hour and a half, the article was published. It was the best thing to ever happen to my website.
I added myself to the Wikipedia page along with some more information about the show. At the time, I was one of the first references on the page. I quickly began ranking very highly for several of the show’s main keywords. My website had exclusive information, that wasn’t published anywhere else. As a result, I got a TON of backlinks, and my traffic nearly doubled.
On top of that, every time a commercial ran for the show (which became increasingly frequent as it got closer to the release date) I’d see a huge surge of traffic. I remember a commercial coming on once while I was working at my computer. Curiously, I checked Google Analytics to see hundreds of people beginning to read my article. This continued throughout the time the show was aired. I made a ton of money during that period, and all the extra backlinks kept my site ranking higher than ever before.
It wasn’t long after that I started receiving invitations for sponsored posts paying several hundreds of dollars or more. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any huge opportunities like that since, but I know they will only become more and more frequent as my websites grow.
I consider this the highest point in my business so far, and couldn’t think of one single event that has done for my business and me personally than that one. Take advantage of every opportunity you can, because you never know how beneficial they could be for you.
And if you want to see the article, check it out here. 🙂
Have you ever had any opportunities like this one? How did they go for you? I’d love to hear about your experiences!