How to create an online newspaper in 60 seconds

September 2, 2011

by Gail Kent

online newspaper Create multiple topical papers to brand your business with social media.

If you’ve got a Twitter or Facebook account or an RSS feed from a blog or other source, you can create an online newspaper on any subject with a few clicks. Not only that, but you never have to touch it again, and it will republish to either or both your Twitter or Facebook accounts.

The site for this is paper.li. There you open a free account and start as many topical newspapers as you like. Content is pulled from up to five sources: keywords, Twitter accounts or lists, or RSS feeds that you identify. I currently have five newspapers that I publish to my Twitter feed: The Humor Buzz, The Writer’s Buzz, The PR & Media Buzz, The Internet Marketing Buzz and The Hampton Roads, Virginia, Buzz.

Increasing online visibility

The cool thing about the online newspapers is that people assume you slaved all day over them, and they are very grateful to see their content included. You’ll receive numerous “thank you’s” and retweets of the links to your paper, building your visibility and social capital. I’ve even gotten phone calls and email requests to include press releases in the papers because they they look so authentic.

The downside to creating an online newspaper such as this is that you have no control over the look of the paper and the content that is published in individual issues. What appears in each day’s issue is a matter of chance, and it may or may not exactly match the topic you’ve selected if you are pulling your content from a Twitter list you’ve created based on topics.

Just because someone’s “brand” is creative writing, for example, doesn’t mean that they won’t also tweet about politics. That means your creative writing newspaper might have have articles about politics or other unrelated subjects. You may also pick up some content that you might not want associated with your brand — content that includes four-letter words, for example.

Still, for no money and the little effort expended, it’s a great tool for getting your brand some visibility and getting more tweets into your stream. So go out there and make yourself an online newspaper or two!

Photo: Attribution  ElvertBarnes

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