Sunday, November 11, 2012


With newspapers on the decline, there's no need for a big PR firm to help you publish your content - you can do it yourself.  It's easy, more efficient, and cuts down on costs, so why not?  Here are 3 tips on self-publishing that can help you generate more revenue:

1. Be forward
It is important to be direct with your content.  With the many distractions that are occurring day-to-day, it's a wonder if we can just focus on one thing.  Be direct by just getting to the point, and leaving the "fluff" for another time and place.

2. Pull Marketing
What strategies are you using to self publish?  Push marketing was soooo yesterday, and people aren't intrigued by that anymore.  If you want to grab your audience's attention, you are going to need to pull them in.  Having your audience opt-in for their information will have them asking for more.

3. Write Everyday
To perfect your content, you have to write - each day.  This will make you a better thinker, and a better writer.  Writing everyday teaches us how to work with words in print to construct a meaningful message.  Overall, your writing should support your marketing and sales.

These simple steps will help perfect your craft of self-publishing, while also generating more revenue.  As you create more content, keep this in mind: "What have you done with what you've been given?"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Songza: My New Favorite App

I'm not a big app junkie, but I do love my music.  I recently stumbled upon this app, and if you are a techie music lover like me, you have GOTTA check this out.

I've always wanted an app that matched music to mood successfully, and I've finally found it. Now, now, don't abandon Spotify - this is more of a web streamed radio, similar to Pandora.  You can still create a playlist based on artist, genre, and track.  It's the mood, or "theme" feature, that is priceless (no really, it doesn't cost anything!).

You can choose what day of the week it is, and what time of the day (morning, late morning, afternoon, etc), and Songza will pick several moods you might be experiencing.  For example, if it is a Tuesday at 6pm, your options might include "Dinner", "Commute", "Road Rage", "Unwinding After a Long Day".  Now, try Tuesday at 12am.  You might choose "Reading", "Staying Up All Night", or "Work/Study".

Once you pick a mood, you can then choose the genre you were in the mood for.  This could be soft jazz, or bass-heavy hip hop!  After a genre is chosen, Songza gives you the choice of three specific and different playlists you can pick.  Then, listen away...

It's a flawless app.  No commercials in between songs, and is available on your iPad, iPhone, or on their website for all day streaming.

I've mentioned it's free.  So, what's the risk?  Try it today!

Monday, June 11, 2012

iTunes Might Be Dying...

Well, maybe just the music portion of it.

I was on my computer talking to a friend about music.  We were using Spotify to share different songs, and we were able to see each of the songs we had played for the day on Facebook.  It was then I thought,

When was the last time I used iTunes?  

All of the music I listen to is free.  I do pay for the Spotify premium, but $10 a month is a small fee for unlimited music at my fingertips.  I can listen on my phone, iPad, and computer, whether walking down the street, in the car, or even on the plane! Even if you do not pay, you are still able to listen on your computer for free.  I am able to proudly show anyone what I am listening to in real time on Facebook, and my whole iTunes library is available on Spotify as well.  So, is iTunes dying? Yes, to some extent.  Here's why:


1. Costs money! Most songs are $1.29 each, and if you are a music junkie like me, that adds up! I'm a student...I can't afford that!

2. Is not social media integrated.  Uhhh, why not?! Isn't that the direction that most websites are going in? If I can share where I'm at, my photos, what I'm doing, why not share what I'm listening to?

3. Cannot listen to whole songs for free.  Not unless you pay for it.  And sometimes you just want to listen to it and not necessarily own it.  That's how I feel with Justin Bieber's new song "Boyfriend".

4. Cannot share with friends.  Now I can't imagine life without it! Never again do I have to ask a friend to look up a song, I can just send it to them!

5. No "radio" (such as Pandora).  So sick of shuffle.  I don't want my music, I want new music!  I also like radio because I listen to songs I know, and songs I don't know, so it keeps it interesting.

Apps, Apple TV, movies, games, TV shows, are all still great on iTunes.
Music? It's just not the place I turn to for music anymore.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Creating the Perfect Email Address

Recently, I was working for a photography company during graduation season.  For each graduation, all graduates would fill out an information card so that their photos would be sent to them.  My job was to take these cards, organize their information, and insert it into an Excel spreadsheet.

Besides deciphering bad handwriting, I was amazed to see the email addresses they put down.  "2cool4u", "balla4lyfe", "soonerfanordie", "childof4", "princessbuttercup892950000". You've got to be kidding me.  These are high school and college graduates, mostly 18+ and about to go into the real world.  It was then, I realized, that people do not understand how important a good email address is.

Here are some tips on creating the best email address:

  1. Have a Purpose 
    What is the purpose of this email address? Is it for work, school, friends & family?  Decide who you will share this address with, then choose the best name.  For friends and family, it is okay to have a fun one, but make sure you do not use that for a future employer.  If it is for business, I would include a professional name or title.  For school, it could be your nickname, major, hometown, etc.  It is never a bad idea to have many different email addresses!

  2. Stay Simple
    This is the best way to appeal to all.  Keep it easy to understand, read, and remember - it makes it easier for everyone.  You want to be able to tell someone your email address once, without repeating yourself.  That is your goal!

  3. Less is Best
    Get rid of all of those numbers, several words, letters, underscores, etc.  Short, sweet, and to the point is the best tactic.

  4. Use Numbers and Letters Appropriately 
    Numbers and letters should be used sparingly, but they can be used.  If you want to include a middle initial, a favorite number, an abbreviation, that's fine.  This tactic is commonly used when the email address you had wanted is already taken.  Ways to use this poorly would be to include your year of birth, many random letters at once, and a string of many different numbers.

  5. Represent You!
    You want your email address to make sense to those who read it, and to reflect yourself.  Your email address is your business card, and this is why choosing a good one is very important.  Let it showcase exactly who you are, and give everyone who emails you, the best first impression.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Top 5 Things To Make Your Spring Break Productive!

Spring break can be a blast if you are away on vacation.  It can also be pretty boring if you are staying in the dorms or staying at home with nothing to do.  Here are some things you can do to make your spring break productive:

  1. Plan ahead and Finish Strong!
    • Just because there's no school, it doesn't mean that there isn't any work.  With there being only a month and a half left before the semester ends, work definitely piles up quickly.  Those term papers that were announced in the beginning of the semester? Yeah, almost due.  Yes, take your break and RELAX, but it's always a good idea to use this time to get ahead as well.  Any papers due can be started, any online tests or quizzes can be completed, or any personal goals you had can be accomplished (take out that "to-do" list and cross some things off!).  This way when you get back, the rest of the semester will be a breeze. 
  2. Summer Activities
    • Yeah, summer is definitely around the corner.  Have you thought about it yet? Well now is the perfect time.  Maybe you wanted to travel, get an internship, get a job, go to school, etc.  Spring break is a great time to get that sorted out.  If it's a vacation, plan it and start saving.  If it's a job, start applying. If it's school, get enrolled. 
  3. Reconnect with Friends and Family
    • Use this time to catch up with loved ones.  When you are juggling school, work, and various activities, sometimes time moves so quickly.  Talk to your grandmother, visit your uncle, and get a chance to "chill" with some old buddies.  Using this time to connect withe some of the people you care about the most is probably one of the best uses of your break.
  4. Work on a Resume
    • I feel like I need to practice what I preach.  This is something I might start on as well.  It is a good use of time since you will be around friends and family who can critique your resume and help you perfect it.  If you don't have one already, get started! And if you do, good for you! Now perfect it!
  5. Take Care of YOU!
    • Please!  Those all-nighters, junk food at 12am, partying, working, lack of exercise, takes a tool on your body.  Get some rest, eat healthy (since you can raid your fridge at home now- for free!), and go out for a walk.  Do this so you can come back to school well rested and ready to finish the semester strong!
And please, stay safe this spring break!!