An interview with Andy Crestodina: How to make friends, rank high and get famous online!

As a niche publisher, one of your biggest priorities is to create larger niche audiences to build your print and online revenue. So what’s the key to amazing social media, PR and SEO?

Andy Crestodina breaks down social, PR, and SEO for niche magazines!

We recently interviewed Andy Crestodina, co-founder of Orbit Media and one of the foremost authorities on building online audience to learn how publishers can build relationships that lead to better content and more traffic. Few niche publishers have the expertise and resources….but this is how you separate yourself from the competition.

Niche Media HQ: People, relationships, networking. Is it just good business or can it be revenue-generating? Can you share some real-world successes? 

Andy: “It is good business. And it’s fun. But it’s also an important piece in the puzzle for generating demand. I’ll break it down.

  • If you want targeted visitors who are likely to interact with your content… you need to rank high for lots of phrases.
  • If you want to rank high for lots of phrases… you need to increase your domain authority.
  • If you increase your domain authority… you need other websites to link to you
  • If you want websites to link to you… you need relationships with people who create content
  • If you want relationships with content creators… you need to do lots of networking.

So as long as you’re networking with content creators (journalists, bloggers, editors, etc.) and collaborating with them in meaningful ways, then networking is not just part of the revenue generation chain, it’s the first link!

The piece that a lot of people don’t understand is the relationships between links and rankings. I did my best to explain this in detail in this article: How to Increase Your Domain Authority.

After years and years of blogger relations and content collaboration, I’ve managed to build and maintain a higher domain authority than my competitors, which has kept us at the top of search results. Here’s a chart that tracks our “DA” over time…


This translates into hundreds of qualified leads per year and millions in revenue. And it would all be impossible without those relationships.”

Niche Media HQ: What are some key ways niche media companies can collaborate on content for better quality? Why is this so important?

Andy: “Probably, you’d call it “blogger relations” and it involves building a relationship with a group of people who all meet a set of criteria:

  • They are excellent writers, photographers and/or video producers
  • They are committed to the sharing of content and audiences
  • They are active on social media
  • They publish on websites that have good authority

If you’re thinking about SEO as I explained above, you need that last point to be there. They’re not just “social media influencers” who are famous on Pinterest. They have a blog that is credible in Google (DA of 30 or more), they write consistently and they link to other websites. Ideally, they write for multiple websites.

I recommend at least a dozen strong relationships with people who meet these criteria. If you have a larger organization with editors and outreach managers, you might have as many as 50 or more.

Now you work these people into your content in several ways:

  • Contributor quotes
  • Interviews
  • Guest posts

When you do, you’ll naturally link back to them. But our ideal outcome is that they eventually take pride in these collaborations and they eventually begin linking to your content. There shouldn’t be a need to ask them to link back. It should happen organically. When your content and relationships are strong enough, it will happen every day!”

Niche Media HQ: What trends do you see coming in how media companies take their connections to the next level?

Andy: “Simple. Offline events. If you want to level-up your relationship building, create a VIP experience for your bloggers and influencers. Bring them together at an event. Fill a room with your combined audiences and make something great together.

As things get more crowded online, you can jump into less-competitive green pastures offline. You can start small and build it up over time.

Example: Wine & Web

For the last six years, we’ve had a monthly event in our office called Wine & Web. We open the doors and a case of wine, then we teach web marketing for an hour. People love it. Some people have come every month for years. It’s turned into a great little community. And we often have guest speakers, who are of course, content creators.

For the last Wine & Web of the year, I interview Gini Dietrich. She’s what you’d call a social media influencer for sure (keynote speaker, best selling author, famous blogger).













We chat in front of a digital fireplace to a packed house. It’s a blast. And the results? Attendees, links, shares, mentions …and friendship.”


Editor’s note: Andy will be speaking about Niche Fortune & Glory: How to Make Friends, Rank High, and Get Famous Online at Super Niche in Charlotte, March 27-29. Join us!


More about Andy: Andy Crestodina is a co-founder and the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, an award-winning 38-person web design company in Chicago. He is also the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing. Past Life: Over the past 15 years, Andy has provided web strategy and advice to more than a thousand businesses.


Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Check out the all new Super Niche, March 27-29, 2017!

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