Sunday, October 30, 2011

Creating Your Online Newspaper Part IV

Now, that you have created your paper, you want to promote it. In a way it is self-promoting. By clicking on the "promotion" tab in the settings box, you can choose to have a tweet sent every time your paper is released. It goes out to your followers and looks something like this:

Science news for Sci-Fi Writers is out! ▸ Top stories today via @wokyt @k_university @jhundseder @ind_insights @diffbw
It will list your followers whose tweets provided the links for the articles. This all by itself is a bit promotion because those people will usually click through to see which articles they had referred. Also, many of them will re-tweet. I usually get 2-3 retweets a day some of these people have over 1000 followers. Many of the people who see that their items have appeared in this paper choose to follow me as well. I am currently getting about 3-5 new followers a day compared to 1-2 a week previously. Some even tweet me to tell me that they are following specifically because they appeared as a "contributor" in the paper.

However, I don't leave it up to the automated system to promote the papers. I do three things:

Rewrite, Repost and Retweet

First, I read through my paper. I move articles I think will be most interesting into the headline section. I remove those that are not really relevant to my assumed audience. I also check the "inside" pages. Sometimes there are stories buried there that would make good headline stories.

Then when I've got it looking good. I identify three interesting stories and I feature them in a Post I make on Facebook and Google+ It looks something like this:

Science Projects for Halloween, Jupiter mistaken for distress flare, Video from ISS, in Science for Sci-fi writers.

This is a teaser to get people to click through. I take the same teaser and adapt it for Twitter like this:

#Science Projects for #Halloween, Jupiter mistaken for distress flare, Video from #ISS, in Science for #Scifi #writers.

In insert the hashtags most likely to reach the readers who would be interested in this paper.

Using this technique, from all my papers, I'm getting about 100 hits a day for about 30-45 minutes of work.

Promoting Your Self Through Your Paper

While I have to admit I just have fun putting these together, reading the stories and tweaking the layout, these papers can also help promote your other interests in four ways: Twitter followers, embedded links, positioning and embedded stories. We have already talked about how such newspapers can generate Twitter followers. So Let's look at the other three.

Embedded Links

You have a place on your paper for an "Editor's Note." You can use this to give the basic mission/philosophy of the paper and you can embed a link. Here's an example from my Free Your Education paper

To create this note, simply click on the link to create an editors note. It looks like this:

You will get a box that looks like this:

Simply enter your copy and I suggest a link to your website or blog. This gives people a place to go for further information of a similar nature. I'm already getting click throughs to my website from these papers.

Embedded Stories

Of course, it also helps if you can get your own stories included in the paper. You can do this in two ways.

First, whenever you post a link on twitter to a blog post or your website be sure to pack it full of hashtags relevant to your paper. You can also add your own Twitter account as a stream for the news when you set up the content, but limit the scope by using the filters to specify key words in those tweets.

Secondly, once you start using, you will notice in the side bar once you log in a link you can use to add a tool to your bookmark bar. Using this tool, you just go to any web page and click on it, and that page will be added to the next issue of the publication.


Positioning is a marketing concept that says you need to find a place in the marketplace that identifies you. By putting out a newspaper linked to your business or writing you position yourself as someone knowledgeable about that area.

I'm getting a lot of recommendations by my Twitter followers that following my tweets will be interesting. I'm getting regular "follow Friday" mentions now. One said about me and three or four others "These tweeps scour the web for great links." That's positioning.

So, that's it. You can set up a newspaper for yourself or for a wide readership. It can be fun and profitable.


  1. Thanks for all the information on producing and promoting an online newspaper. I found it all very interesting.

  2. Excellent posts Terri. Thanks for putting together such an easy to follow how-to for this tool. Very useful.


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