Issue #896 March 3, 2015
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- How to Monetize Your Blog
- Responding to Bad Reviews
- Have Fun with PhotoFunia
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
If I didn’t love Bogie so much, I’d put a handwritten sign around her neck, take a photo and submit it to one of those dog-shaming sites like this one. The sign would say, “I eat goose turds at the park.” Or it would say, “I destroyed the foam ring that goes around the filter on mom’s vacuum cleaner.” But deep down, I have this nagging feeling that both of those are mom’s fault, not the dog’s.
1. How to Monetize Your Blog
When tip jars first started appearing at blogs several years ago, I thought they were tacky.
Now, I don’t hesitate to donate a buck or two or three to bloggers whose work I love.
Maybe crowdfunding changed everything. If people can raise thousands of dollars from strangers to pay for their orthodontic bills, what’s wrong with asking for a few dollars from people who love your writing?
Here are three ways to add a tip jar to your blog:
–If you have a Blogger blog, you’ll find instructions.
–Nonprofits, if your blog is raising money for a cause or issue, you can add a PayPal tip jar.
–If you’re a Plus or Pro user on Vimeo, you can use a tip jar to ask for donations from people who love your videos. Find full instructions here.
Tip jars are just one of more than two dozen ways you can make money from your blog, starting today.
Learn about 24 other ways to make money from your blog during the webinar I’m hosting from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, March 5. Register for “27 Ways to Monetize Your Blog.”
If you use a tip jar at your blog and fans are donating, let me know. I might feature your blog in the training on Thursday. Email me at JStewart@PublicityHound.com.
2. Responding to Bad Reviews
When someone trashes your store, restaurant or consulting business online, the damage is far from over.
How you respond to the complaint can be much more damaging than the original comments because thousands of eyes might be watching.
Jeff Tomlin, co-founder and VP of marketing for Vendasta Technologies, advises you take the time to respond publicly with a short, well-thought-out and sincere comment. It might also be necessary to take the conversation private.
When a customer complained on Yelp that an elastic band made its way into their food at the Toscana Restaurant & Lounge, the restaurant responded with an apology and an invitation to talk to the customer by phone and “make this up to you.”
“Offering a phone number and a way to connect privately ensures the reviewer that you want to fix the situation for them, not just for the digital audience,” Jeff says. Also, if you decide to offer a free or discounted service to make up for the bad experience, it’s best not to do this in front of other customers and potential customers — that might encourage bad reviews to get free stuff.”
Read his four other tips for responding to bad reviews.
Authors are the exception to this advice. If you receive a bad review, resist the temptation to comment. I’ve seen too many authors embroiled in flame wars because they tried to fight back.
What? You don’t have enough book reviews? Let’s do something about that.
“How to Ask for Book and Product Reviews from Bloggers, Journalists and Consumers” gives you step-by-step instructions on how to identify reviewers who are a perfect match for you, and write customized pitches for reviews. The video replay comes with 5 fill-in-the-blanks email pitches you can use when asking for reviews. If the time doesn’t work for you, sign up anyway. I’ll send you the replay and all the materials afterward.
Take a look at what else you’ll learn from this training.
3. Have Fun with PhotoFunia
A woman in The Publicity Hound Mentor Program has started blogging, and she needs photos and images to accompany her blog posts. During yesterday’s coaching session, we discussed the long list of free tools and stock photo sites she can use, and the best ways to use them.
I told her about PhotoFunia. This drop-dead-simple site lets you put your headshot in a cup of cappuccino, on the wall of a museum, on Times Square, on a Wanted poster, on an artist’s canvas, on the cover of a book, and many more places. It takes less than a minute to create a fun photo, and you need no tech skills.
Here are three reasons images are important:
–You can name each image with a keyword that pulls traffic.
–You and your fans can share images on social media.
–They make your blog more interesting.
Publicity Hounds in my Mentor Program meet with me one-on-one, twice a month, for customized coaching. Find out if you’re a good candidate for the program.
4. Hound Video of the Week
You might remember this one, a Suzuki commercial from the 2012 Super Bowl. The Eskimos and the Huskies get in the groove listening to 50 Cent.