I have had success with being part of Google news. I was able to generate alot of traffic mostly because I timed the news articles to gain maximum traffic from the universal serps. For several months this traffic has fallen off ... alot.
Why has traffic fallen off? Maybe it is because there is more competition. Maybe it is because Google is showing news headlines less often in serps. Maybe my articles are using outdated headlines & keywords. Honestly it doesn't matter. I am now looking towards the future and trying to figure out how to replace my news traffic.
My news stories garnered me a good level of usage to my site, boosted brand exposure, added many white hat backlinks and a bunch of other benefits. Now I need to replace these items.
I am curious how would you do this?
Let's say you hit the jackpot in Las Vegas and now have $100k of extra cash.
Option 1 - Hire a professional publicist to get me interviewed on a regular basis with journalists and popular websites. This would get me backlinks and brand exposure but might be pricey.
Option 2 - Fire many of my writers and replace them with free guest bloggers who are qualified to cover my industry. I would save alot of money but would have to more closely monitor the content to protect the quality.
Option 3 - Launch a viral game that encourages people to visit the website on a regular basis to compete with others. This could be a great success getting me backlinks & boosting usage signals if it is popular or a huge waste if no one plays it.
Option 4 - Launch a video category. This would open up traffic from youtube & other sites but has the same achilles heel as running a news site that relies on Google universal serps.
What should be the next option?
How would you do this with a $100k budget?
(bonus points to the best ideas that use the least amount of cash)