How to drive traffic from premium media


Imagine your brand’s blenders featured in a Buzzfeed listicle. Or your new entrepreneurial course listed in a roundup by HBR. Premium media partnerships get your brand name out there fast — and bring exponential traffic growth and conversions with them. 

We’ll talk about premium media partnerships and how to get them in this guide. Plus, we’ll show you how to track performance like a pro with Tapfiliate

What is premium media?

You can usually identify premium media when you see it. Still, the less obvious ones have these criteria in common: 

  • High-quality content: Premium publishers create a wide range of top-notch content regularly, at least once a week, but usually more often. The copy is polished — we’re talking human writers with unique perspectives and impeccable editing, none of that AI-formulated copy or internet-regurgitated fodder all over the web. Plus, the graphics are usually the work of a talented online media designer. 
  • Audience trust: Big brand names like or Buzzfeed come to mind. But premium media aren’t necessarily household names for everyone. Even a top publication within a niche industry and a niche audience count as premium media, like Skies Mag in the aviation world or Gluten-Free Palate in the food industry. 
  • Engagement and sharing: Do people comment on the outlet’s articles or social media posts? Digital media content on premium media outlets often has hundreds of comments and impressions. Plus, they’re often linked across social media platforms like Linkedin or other premium outlets. 
  • High traffic: Premium media outlets have hundreds of thousands of web visitors each month. One easy way to tell is to plug in the URL into Similarweb. It’ll show you traffic stats like web visitor numbers, geography, and competitors. 
  • SERP standing: SEO is a premium media outlet’s bread and butter. Look for publications that make it to Google’s top 10 SERPs (search engine results pages) without their name as a keyword. The image below offers some premium media examples — Gearpatrol, NY Times, and 
Image source: Google

Why work with premium media?

No other affiliate comes close to the street cred that premium media offers. Here’s what you get out of a premium media relationship:

  • Higher conversion rates: When potential customers see your name on a premium media outlet, you win instant traffic. Plus, you’ve already achieved the ultimate referral, making it easier for visitors to purchase your product. 
  • Brand awareness: That same traffic contributes to brand awareness. For example, a mention on Byrdie could take your beauty name to new heights.
  • Brand trust: Eighty-one percent of customers won’t make a purchase until they trust a brand — a premium media mention is a great way to instill that trust. 

But how do you make sure you see all these results? 

By tracking your digital campaigns, of course! 

Tapfiliate helps you track sales with unique links and coupon codes, showing you which premium media outlets bring you the most conversions. You can check it out for yourself.

Check out Tapfiliate’s free 14-day trial

7 proven ways to work with premium media sites and drive traffic

A brand backlink on a NY Times article looks cool and collected — but that marketing team (or digital marketing agency) worked hard to make it there. 

That’s because premium media sites won’t just feature anyone on their platform. You’ll need to prove your worth with stellar content, persuasive pitches, and relentless networking. 

Here are some tips to drive traffic with premium media partnerships. 

1. Build relationships

You likely have long-term relationships with your affiliates. Maybe you share performance bonuses with them, or check in to talk about industry trends every so often. Keep that same momentum and crank it even higher for premium media partnerships. Some of you will have hundreds of campaigns to manage so making sure the relationship is nourished is essential.

So you score one backlink or mention. The journalist says thank you, and you move on to the next prospect. Hang on — why does the relationship have to end there? Nurture it by making yourself useful and marketable for more content. Your end goal is a partnership contract, so you should maintain the relationship. 

But if you still haven’t made a premium partnership, don’t fret. Get out to some industry events. Connect with your existing network. Dress up your website, social media profile, and blog to attract your dream publisher. 

Tips for building premium media relationships:

  • Ask for introductions from your existing network. 
  • Attend industry events and conferences, that big names in your niche might attend. 
  • Cold-pitch and offer freebies to show transparency and back your product. 

2. Pitch directly to affiliate managers at premium media sites

Do your research. Premium media sites have tons, if not hundreds, of staff members. 

If you send a content pitch to the DevOps VP’s assistant, you’ll end up in the trash folder. Similarly, the tech and gadget column editor won’t want to hear about your organic cookies. 

You’ll want to send pitches directly to an affiliate or partnerships manager — these are the players responsible for the OK on any affiliate links in their content. 

Now, if you’re just looking for exposure and don’t care about the link? Just pitch to the relevant editor instead. 

Tips for finding relevant contacts: 

  • Browse a premium publisher’s LinkedIn network, noting any location-based contacts as well. 
  • Always ask to be connected to a more relevant contact when pitching if necessary. 

Even if you score the right contact, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the partnership as it develops. Use Tapfiliate to track performance across different publishers and content channels — try the free 14-day trial!

3. Be prepared to provide free product (or access)

Whether you sell parenting courses or vape pens, you’ve likely sent out a few freebies. Influencer affiliate giveaway? YouTube vlogger how-to video? Freebies are essential to helping customers see your products and online services in action. 

They’re also a great way to build trust with an affiliate, and that rings 1000X more true for premium media publishers. 

See, they have a big name to back with every single piece of content they publish. If you want to make it onto their content calendar, they want to know for sure that your product is the bee’s knees. 

Prepare to send out a freebie, or offer premium access to your service. 

Tips for rocking the freebie game: 

  • Present ideas on how to best use the freebie, like giveaways or specific content ideas. 
  • Leverage freebie opportunities for social media mentions.

4. Know how to write a killer pitch

How would you describe the journalism industry? One survey asked journalists themselves and the top adjective that came up was “chaotic.” Aka, they’re pretty darn busy. 

That means they don’t have time to read a three-page essay about why they should feature you. So, you need to catch them quickly and entice them in a short amount of time. 

Enter the pitch, a short description about what you can offer their publication or article, and why they should work with you. But journalists receive anywhere from 10-100 pitches per day

How do you stand out?

PR firm owner Jenna Guarneri tells Forbes that pitch writing embodies three main characteristics: 

  • Persuasion: Convince them why working with you is worthwhile. 
  • Creative thinking: Demonstrate your topic or idea’s uniqueness.
  • Storytelling: Help them visualize its place in their publication. 

She goes on to describe the most successful pitches as fewer than 200 words, skimmable (headers, bullets, short sentences), and still above all? Relevant to their needs. 

You have two options for premium media pitches: 

  1. Pitch a new story or insights for a new article. 
  2. Pitch a brand inclusion into an existing, highly-ranked article. 

Tips for pitches: 

  • Offer unique angles and perspectives not yet covered in their publications or others. 
  • Pitch in the morning — that’s when most journalists check their emails. 
  • Keep things concise and relevant. 

5. Use HARO

HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is an online platform where journalists from regular and premium media outlets seek expert insights on a topic for publication. It’s a fabulous way to build relationships with premium media outlets because they’re actively seeking your quotes rather than you cold-pitching. 

The journalists submit queries to HARO. Then, anyone who signs up as a source (it’s free!) receives 1-3 daily emails compiling all queries. From there, you can browse through queries by category, noting each outlet in brackets beside the topic: 

Image source: My email inbox

Check out the snippet above. Notice any premium outlets? We spot Forbes seeking medical experts for two pieces! Keep in mind that these emails aren’t always a premium media library — you’ll need to sift through the most relevant ones. 

Other categories include fitness, lifestyle, tech, and travel, offering you many niches to provide your input. Not sure if an outlet is considered premium? Use our criteria at the top of this article to assess each one that interests you. And if you notice any that say “anonymous” in brackets? The journalist might be from a premium media outlet… but you should focus on the obvious ones first. Remember to check Similarweb for traffic stats on each site. 

Brands beware — HARO is fraught with plenty of sources fighting for a backlink and exposure. This leads some overachievers to offer insights into a topic that they have no experience in. Don’t get so desperate. If you do, the journalist might report you and you’ll lose access to the platform. Plus, it just looks bad. 

Tips for HARO: 

  • Identify what makes you credible as a source and provide proof (LinkedIn, website, etc.). 
  • Keep answers concise and quotable so journalists can easily paste them into their articles.
  • Invite journalists to connect with you if they have other questions, or need a source for future articles (email, phone number, and Zoom options all work well). 

Now, you might not be featured in every publication you pitch to. Still, it’s worth putting in the time for the most relevant queries. The real magic happens when you build a relationship with a journalist and become one of their regular sources. Plus, some journalists and writers create content for multiple media outlets, meaning more opportunities for premium exposure. 

6. Work with a PR affiliate agency

Don’t get us wrong — we know a solid outreach strategy and persistence will get you a premium partnership. 

But if you have a million other initiatives on your plate? It’s easy to leave this on the back seat. That’s where a PR affiliate agency comes in. They do the heavy lifting for you, helping you acquire more media coverage and pitching to premium affiliate managers on your behalf. 

The benefit? A higher chance of a partnership with less output on your end. But it’ll cost you. PR affiliate agencies are expensive. Plus, some might not even work with you until you bring enough revenue to make it worth their while. 

Tips for using PR affiliate agencies: 

  • Always ask to see testimonials and case studies to prove a PR agency’s ability to bring results. 
  • Present your ideal premium partnerships and ask agencies how they’d go about acquiring them. 

7. Create your own attractive content 

Last but not least, keep that quality content flowing. Whether you’re a social media influencer or blogger, you should always prepare relevant, engaging content for audiences to attribute to you. Think about topics and problems you could express and discuss — build a few articles or Reels and put it all out there! 

Of course, everything should be SEO-friendly so that you make it to the premium media grid radar. 

Thought leadership content is especially attractive to journalists and establishes your brand’s authority. But you don’t need an entire creative team to make it pop. Just try out some of these quick tips below. 

Tips for creating attractive content: 

  • Spice things up with photos and videos for social media posts and blogs.
  • Polish everything before publish with quality control, be it through grammar tools or strong video equipment. 
  • Add personal experiences for credibility and uniqueness (especially important for Google’s Helpful Content Update and SEO). 
  • Keep content consistent and relevant — answer questions, propose multiple solutions, create how-to instructional videos, and always prioritize your audience’s needs and interests. 

Get started with premium media partnerships today

In the market for new affiliate partnerships? A premium media outlet is a fantastic prospect for more conversions, traffic, and brand awareness. 

Imagine a potential customer only considering your brand — then they see you on a big publication. That appearance could be the difference between browser and buyer, times hundreds or even thousands of new buyers. 
Of course, you still need to assess performance and fit. Do your premium partners gain you traffic with few conversions? Perhaps one performs significantly better than another. Tracking these insights will only help you improve your partnership program. Tapfiliate shows you every new view and purchase and the affiliate who sent them there. Try our 14-day free trial today!

Ashley Howe

Ashley Howe

I’m the content strategist here at Tapfiliate. Living in Amsterdam, I like reading books, travel and ramen. You can find me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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