About Joan Stewart

Publicity expert Joan Stewart, a PR mentor aka The Publicity Hound, works with small business owners who need free publicity to promote their expertise. She shows you how to establish your credibility, enhance your reputation, position yourself as an expert, and sell more products and services. To receive her free DIY publicity tips twice a week, subscribe here. See all the ways you can work with Joan. Or contact her and ask a burning question about PR, self-promotion or social media.

The Best of The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2014: Yours to regift

Ebook--Best of 2014 coverHere’s a gift that’s perfect for small business owners, a nonprofit that needs publicity, authors who want to sell more books, or anyone who wants to self-promote on a shoestring budget and without an expensive publicist.

It’s “The Best of The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2014,” an ebook that includes 26 tips from my popular email newsletter. I’ve been offering this ebook as a holiday gift for the last several years, and my subscribers love it because almost all the tips, tricks and tools are free, and the ebook is a helpful reminder of promotion they might have put off earlier this year.

Download the ebook, or use the handy app we created, by clicking on the links in red, below.

When sharing it, use this link which will lead people right over to this blog post: http://PublicityHound.com/bestof2014 (you can’t download the book from this link, which leads right back to this blog post. Look for the download instructions in large type, below.)

This year’s ebook has a special emphasis on book publishing, marketing and publicity. The ease of publishing means more authors will be facing stiffer competition online and offline to sell print books and ebooks. Read my pointers on how to sell a truckload.

Here’s what you’ll find in my free ebook:

Book Publishing, Marketing and Publicity

—Where to find a helpful list of 39 places to promote your books for free, including erotica and books for kids.

—The three most important groups of people to send requests to review your book.

—5 ways to use animated GIFs for publicity on Pinterest.

—Where to find 15 tips for marketing your book for less than a dollar.

—A fun, free idea for promoting your ebook and attracting attention galore on your Facebook page.

—Where to find 12 digital publishing tools the experts, including me, recommend.

—How to find book reviewers on LinkedIn.

—What to do, and not do, if someone gives your book a one-star review.

 

Ebook--Best of 2014 coverClick on the book to download the free ebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MobileAppPhone

Click on the phone to add the app!

The “Best of” Mobile App

This is “The Best of the Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2014″, delivered to your mobile device. This is an app you can download to your smartphone or tablet so you can keep the ebook at your fingertips!

Problems accessing the book? Email my assistant, Christine Buffaloe, at Chris@SerenityVA.com

 

Make Money While Self-promoting

—9 reasons you should use crowdfunding, a way to get financial help from friends and strangers, to fund marketing your book or any other project.

—How you can make money from your blog by using the same simple tool used by a blogger and freelance writer for prestigious publications like Wired UK, The Atlantic and the New York Times.

—Why lots of website visitors aren’t completing your annoying “Contact” form and, instead, doing business with one of your competitors.

—How to take better product photos for your website and press releases, and drive more sales.

Radio Publicity

—The one word you should never use if you’re being interviewed on a radio talk show.

—What you need to know before you pitch multiple shows on National Public Radio.

—A directory of paid listings that radio show hosts, TV talks shows and newspaper and magazine journalists use to find expert sources and guests.

 

Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn

—Where to find almost three dozen killer Facebook tips, most of which are free.

—How Pinterest can pull traffic and give you excellent search ranking, even if your topic is dull, academic, yucky or difficult to illustrate.

 

Free Tools

—The free online tool that will analyze your press releases, blog posts, articles and any other type of writing and tell you how to improve it. It’s a digital editor, and the closest I’ve seen to a human editor.

Pitching an Idea

—One of the very best ways to pitch top-tier media when they won’t take your phone calls. (No, it isn’t email.)

—How to make a journalist to say “yes” to your pitch by doing what 9 out of 10 other people who are pitching don’t do.

—The one thing magazine editors say you must have if you want publicity for a new product (they are begging for this).

—5 reasons you should follow up pitches to journalists and bloggers, even if they tell you they don’t want follow-ups.

—How to use “before and after photos” in a publicity campaign, a super idea for nonprofits and small business owners.

 

Ebook--Best of 2014 coverClick on the book to download the free ebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MobileAppPhone

Click on the phone to add the app!

The “Best of” Mobile App

This is “The Best of the Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2014″, delivered to your mobile device. This is an app you can download to your smartphone or tablet so you can keep the ebook at your fingertips!

 

Problems accessing the book? Email my assistant, Christine Buffaloe, at Chris@SerenityVA.com

 

Blogging

—6 reasons why blogs won’t die, and the most important reason you should be blogging.

Finding Your Target Market

—3 places where your target market hangs out online and can use someone with your expertise.

—A brain-teaser that will show you exactly how well you know your target market.

Let me know if you like the ebook and have used any of the tips. The Comments section awaits….

And if you don’t subscribe to these twice-a-week tips, you can do so in the white box at the top left side of this page.

 

Ebook--Best of 2014 coverClick on the book to download the free ebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MobileAppPhone

Click on the phone to add the app!

The “Best of” Mobile App

This is “The Best of the Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2014″, delivered to your mobile device. This is an app you can download to your smartphone or tablet so you can keep the ebook at your fingertips!

 

Problems accessing the book? Email my assistant, Christine Buffaloe, at Chris@SerenityVA.com

 

Dog Tweets–How to Get Read: 8 Ways to Take your Blog From Existence to Greatness

twitter birdHere are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow The Publicity Hound on Twitter.

How to Get Read: 8 Ways to Take your Blog From Existence to Greatness
There are lots of things that separate a great blog and great posts from the rest. What’s in your must have factors for a great blogpost?

How To Use Slideshare To Market Your Book

SlideShare is a great and often overlooked social media site that has great potential for marketing your books. Creating a SlideShare presentation takes time, but especially since you can use the presentation multiple places such as on your blog, it’s well worth the effort!

Don’t ditch my pitch: 5 ways to get a yes from an editor

While pitching stories can be frustrating, these tips will make the process easier and make it much more likely that you’ll receive a positive response.

Instagram beats Twitter with 300 million active users

Instagram has officially passed Twitter with active users, making the photo- and video-sharing app the second largest social media platform.

How to Find Good Topics for Infographics [VIDEO]

So you want to create an infographic, but you do not have a topic? You don’t even know where to begin. Here are a few things to keep in mind that can help you get on the right path to finding a great topic that can not only tell a story, but educate your audience.

The Benefits of Blogging for Your Business

As common as blogs are, it’s not so common to find a truly successful blog. So, in order to break through the hoards of them online, here are five ways to better host your company blog and the benefits that come as a result of following these pro tips.

Interview: Joan Stewart, Publicity Expert

2014’s final InterviewFX feature is one you definitely won’t want to miss! Today we’re sitting down with Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound, a publicity expert who has coached thousands of business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs on the topic of making their PR efforts more successful.

6 Ways to Jump on Holiday Sales

While it’s late in the season to be thinking of your holiday strategy, there are some great things you can still do to nudge sales in your favor.

5 Brilliant Ways to Get More Blog Social Shares
We all want more traffic and social shares for the content we create on our sites. So how can we get them? Easy… create content that provides value and is something that people actually want to share!

The subject line was irresistible

How a content strategist caught my eye with a perfect pitch.

 

Banner ad for book review product

 

How a content strategist caught my eye with a perfect pitch

Nicole Kohler's email pitch

The subject line was irresistible:

Hi Joan, a suggestion for you

I clicked. My eye went immediately to the photo, and I knew she was friendly.

She addressed me by name and said she’d get right to the point. She knew exactly what I covered in my blog because she linked to a previous post about a list of ways to contact Google.

Then she offered me a link to her “more up-to-date list, sorted by service, with multiple options for each service.” (Value, value, value.)

She thanked me and signed off with “Best,”

 

I Was Sold

Google Plus for Small Business badgeI liked her updated list so much that I replied and suggested she add to it the very helpful Google+ for Small Business Community where I throw out many of my owns questions to the group and receive answers almost immediately.  She did, and she thanked me.

Meet Nicole Kohler, Web Content Strategist for WebpageFX, a full-service Internet marketing company and the 11th best place to work in Pennsylvania.  

I was so impressed with her pitch that I visited her blog and discovered a very helpful post about how to drive sales with effective product photography.

It was perfect for my ezine, and I let my readers know about her tips and linked to them in the Nov. 11 issue.

 

The Relationship Grows

Free Publicity Tip 43--Share your content with bloggersCurious about how she found me, I asked.

Nicole said she used Ahrefs, a tool that helped her look specifically for sites that were linking to the other “how to contact Google” post. She thought that anyone who liked the other list might also appreciate the updated one she compiled. Then she started investigating and read my blog.

One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, she invited me to be the subject of her company’s Q&A interview called InterviewFX . Of course I said yes.

She sent me seven questions and let me choose five. I answered them all. She chose the five she wanted to feature and she’s publishing them later this morning and you can read them here. I liked her idea of sharing with you the answers to the other two questions she didn’t use.

More about that in a minute.

I want you to use Nicole’s pitch to me as a template on how to pitch a blogger. It was very brief, friendly, to the point and helpful.

Often, we’re churning out so much content for our blogs and social media that it’s difficult to find the time to really drill down and figure out exactly who’d want to know.  The extra time she took resulted in traffic to her blog from my ezine, an interview at her company’s blog for me, and more exposure here for Nicole and WebpageFX.    

Here are the two other questions she asked me about my business and getting publicity.

Why I Left Newspapers

Q. What motivated you to leave journalism and the publishing industry to start your own business?

Two things:

First, the pathetic job that the news industry has done over the years teaching people how to use their product. Journalists bitch about receiving poorly written press releases and bad pitches. But few of them do anything about it because they’re up against constant deadlines and don’t have time.

When I worked as an editor, I welcomed invitations from local service clubs and community groups to speak to them. It gave me a chance to explain things like the editorial calendar and how to know about editorial deadlines before they occurred.

I showed them examples of stories we loved, and described story ideas that fell flat. I told them how to work with us long before their important event occurs, and how to ask for meetings with the editorial board to gain our support for a cause or issue. Another editor in my department created a brochure that explained how to get your news into the paper. People loved it and we reprinted it many times.

If you want proof that newspapers, magazines and other media do an abysmal job teaching people how to use the product, just go to any newspaper or magazine website and try to find the editorial calendar or the “how to pitch us” instructions.

When I was still working as an editor, I can remember thinking, “Someday, if I ever leave this crazy business, I’m going to help people figure out how to do this the right way….”

Second, I saw the handwriting on the wall, long ago, that newspapers were dying. As early as the 1970s, paid circulating was falling. By the 1990s, just before I left, many newspaper editors had morphed from news gatherers to budget cutters. At one job, I was forced to lay off more than 20 people from the news department in only six months.

Newspapers have also been horrible at handling circulation and customer service problems, many of which were forwarded to the newsroom on weekends. For the most part, newspapers have been slow to change and even slower to figure out how to serve niche audiences.

 An Overlooked PR Strategy

Q. What’s one way to gain publicity that you think businesses often overlook?

Targeting a very narrow market. Here’s why:

–It’s so much more powerful than targeting a broad, noisy market because there aren’t as many competitors vying for the audience’s attention. It’s much easier for an expert to become a big fish in a small pond.

–You can customize your message specifically for that audience and provide a lot of value by going deep into a topic with helpful tips that people in that niche can’t find elsewhere. Take a look at the iTunes Podcast Directory, for instance. It’s a fabulous place to find ready-made audiences for your topic as well as podcasters in narrow niches who are looking for guests to interview. Podcasts include:

• The History of Aviation
• Beekeeping
• Pet Fish
• The Missouri Botanical Gardens Plants in Bloom
• The Polymer Clay podcast
• The Bethel Church Sermon of the Week

How successful do you think experts in any of those areas would be if they pitched USA Today?

Dog Tweets–12 ways to create a mailing list that will sell books!

twitter birdHere are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow The Publicity Hound on Twitter.

12 ways to create a mailing list that will sell books
The key to a good newsletter list is simple really and the biggest piece of this is you’ve got to have something useful to say. While your friends and family might enjoy hearing about your latest book signing, people who happened onto your site and subscribed to your ezine might become bored with this information and unsubscribe.

What PR pros should know about the Supreme Court’s Facebook case
This is a milestone in social media litigation, and whether it’s for personal or brand use, PR pros should monitor the case closely to share findings (and suggestions) to keep company employees of all levels out of trouble on social media.

How to use this helpful social media cheat sheet when planning your next event
Sample Social Media Plan for Events was created by the folks at Marketo, a digital marketing agency. You can see an easier-to-read version of this in The Definitive Guide to Event Marketing, a free 120-page event marketing workbook that you can get in exchange for your email address.

The Art of Social Media for Writers
Writing a great book is just part of the equation, your social media platform is where readers will get to know you, find out about what you’re writing, and could determine the success of your book sales.

Goodbye, SEO: PR is the new king
Remember to find what’s truly interesting about your piece and ask yourself if it’s it really news, or just puff. If you don’t, you’ll find out soon enough when your press release spreads or flops.

Is it Time to Burn Feedburner? Yes! There are Alternatives
The essence of our research: there’s not one solution for all. It all depends on what your needs are. Feedburner is not working anymore, and it’s time to do the switch. Feedblitz (inexpensive) and Feedpress (slightly more expensive, but more features) are the way to go.

7 Ways to Think Like a CEO on Social Media
Tying social media to business outcomes is less likely to become a monthly or yearly nightmare to endure. It all comes down to your mind-set.

The worst media disaster of November 2014
September was quite a month for media blunders, but this one from a former pro athlete was the most bombastic of the bunch.

How to Write a Blog Post in Just 30 Minutes
Here are some ideas about how to keep the actual writing part short and sweet and make the whole process a good use of your time, whether you are at a growing startup or make up a one-man-band.

Free Graphics for this Holiday Season
Websites where you can grab free holiday graphics and use them on your websites and in your marketing.

 

Banner ad for book review product

 

How to use this helpful social media cheat sheet when planning your next event

sample social media plan for events
In yesterday’s email tips, I shared a link to one of the best infographics I’ve seen lately on how to promote an event beforehand, while it’s under way, and afterward using social media.

Sample Social Media Plan for Events was created by the folks at Marketo, a digital marketing agency. You can see an easier-to-read version of this in The Definitive Guide to Event Marketing, a free 120-page event marketing workbook that you can get in exchange for your email address.

I suggested that readers use the infographic it as a cheat sheet the next time they’re hosting an event. 

At a meeting in Milwaukee today, I was telling several other consultants in The Summit Group who do marketing and publicity about it, and they all asked for the link to the infographic above. Then I started mentally ticking off ways to use this helpful cheat sheet when marketing your own events. You can:

  • Choose your hashtag early before someone else can claim it.
  • Give this infographic to an assistant who helps with your social media.
  • Share it in your PR, marketing and social media groups on sites like LinkedIn and Google+.
  • Speakers, if you do presentations on PR, marketing, or event planning, share this with your audiences and be sure to credit Marketo.
  • As part of your event planning, think about types of blog posts you can write, types of photos you can shoot at the event, and whether you want audio or video recordings of the event that you can share afterward. Often, these are last-minute considerations that fall through the cracks if you run out of time.
  • Authors, use this checklist for your next book signing or author event.
  • Webinar and teleseminar hosts, you can use this too.

Consider adding to the list:

  • Enlisting the help of a graphic artist who can create a logo for you, for only $5, at Fiverr.com
  • Creating a tagline or slogan for a major event. Check out SloganSlingers.
  • Create some snazzy images of your own using Canva, the free and simple drag-and-drop program.

Those are my ideas. Now, let’s hear yours. What other ways do you promote events? How would you use this infographic?