Category Archives: Uncategorized

Social Networking & Sharing a Collective Experience

I’m not trying to take on a cause but I pull for social networking sites to bring out our collective humanity. Really these sites just reflect who we are. If we’re jerks then we can be even worse because we don’t have accountability. If we hate, we can hate anonymously and be very cruel. But we can also reach out and be moved by people we otherwise wouldn’t have known. And impact far more people’s lives.

This card from @Postsecret is an example of how social networking sites can bring up painful memories. I wrote recently about how I experienced a mother losing her baby, almost in real time on Twitter. That’s another example of how social networking sites connect us in various ways on different levels.

It was my birthday this week and thanks to Facebook a lot of people knew about it and wished me happy birthday. I could think it was too impersonal but I didn’t — I just enjoyed it. It strikes me though that with all the automation – I could die and people would still wish me happy birthday, my ebooks & products could still sell, blog posts I’d written could still go live, tweets could go out, etc.

It’s sort of eerie in a way but also sort of immortal in a way too…notice this message below isn’t in past tense. I’m not sure how I feel about it. The internet brought us a global community & these tools only make it more intimate.


Crush It! Or a 4-Hour Work Week?

If you want a real trip philosophically, do what I did. Read Crush It! By Gary Vee and then read the 4-Hour Work Week. It will put you in a philosophical bind.

Crush It! Will tell you that to truly succeed with an online business you need to put your soul into it. You need to know everything and live your business. You need to BE your business. It’s going to take insane work and crazy hours to accomplish but to be truly outstanding is worth the price. Gary is very passionate about it and lives this. Watch a video of his work and you’ll feel it.

CRUSH IT! (Kindle Edition with Audio/Video)

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Now, watch a video of Tim Ferris. Just as passionate. These 2 are both maniacs. They are insane. They go to extremes in life and they absolutely love their lives. People become devotees of their style. People like John Jonas create entire businesses off the philosophy (teaching people how to outsource their business so they can spend a minimal amount of time on it and do what they love the rest of the time).

Perhaps the most extreme example is the Markus Frind who owns the dating site Plenty of Fish. He based his business on mathematical equations to determine how to match people up, made it free and makes millions. He’s covered in Inc. Magazine and he basically works almost never and plays the rest of the time.

To make it even worse for me I drove 2 hours to attend the Wasatch Business Community workshop and we have a guest speaker on publicity. Or on branding actually. Howard talked about how he is friends with his customers. He went into elaborate detail about the gifts and attention to detail he has when it comes to clients. His top clients get nice perks. I’m sitting there thinking, yes I like people but there is no way I’d want to be friends with all my clients (no offense – it’s just not practical and if everyone is your friend, then no one is your friend). I’ve seen disaster when that’s happened. But it’s brought him a lot of clients and it obviously enriches his life.

So as I’m transitioning to promoting ideas and other people’s products to having my own products, I’m at a crossroads. I need to outsource because I’m getting overwhelmed. I don’t want to outsource because I’m not sure what direction I want to take things. There are all sorts of pulls on me. Be a “guru” with a bunch of URLs with sales letters that lead to my products? Go B2B and partner with firms that have a good following (get my DVD into MarketingSherpa’s store, for example)? Both? What is true to who I am? If I go one way or another am I cheating myself?

All I know is just about every month we go on a mini vacation and a few times a year we go on a bigger one. So I can’t be a Gary. On the other hand, if I don’t outsource some things will just never happen that I need to happen (like getting an affiliate program running before Affiliate Summit).

So I bounce between these extremes. And I’m perplexed by them. And I’m trying to figure out what I want (which is pretty much the norm but I’ve gotten some things down – like I really like vacations but I also like coming home and working on my business).

Now it’s your turn. Have you read these books? What do you think? What’s your advice for me?

Online PR “How To” DVD is Shipping!

Creating my online PR training DVD has been another journey, like the journey of writing a book, only different. My editor Jason Alba encouraged me to produce a DVD based on the concepts in the book. Luckily he’d been through it before and had a great editor (Bong) and the experience I lacked.

Half way through he told me to start again because of technical details. I was discouraged! Of course, just like the book it felt like it would never get done. But it is done. And it is shipping! Here is a preview:

Preview of Killer Press Releases Training DVD by Janet Thaeler from bongvideos on Vimeo.

Here is a review from Bong my editor. He’s great because he makes me look good and he’s also very positive and enthusiastic about the project. He had over 40k views on his video after following some of my advice.

Here’s what he said:

Jason Alba, CEO of When I started editing Janet’s video, I was so amazed on the knowledge I got from editing it. Not only that I am editing, I was also learning great things about online press releases, SEO value, how to be news worthy on the web, and last but not the least, how to submit an effective press release. I got a lot of tips that actually helped my website appear on the first 5 pages of Google search for video editing services.

I can sense Janet’s passion for Online PR while I was editing the video. She make’s it easy for the viewers to understand the power of Online PR with also the help of SEO. You can know more about this DVD by clicking this link.

Speaking: PRSA Salt Lake City Chapter, Jan 20, 2010

I’ll be speaking at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Utah Chapter for my employer – OrangeSoda.

Day: January 20, 2010
Time: 12pm noon
Location: The Pizza Factory – 2230 North University Parkway, Provo

Members and non-members welcome

Here’s the topic: Pitching to a Search Engine. Here is a preview of my DVD that just came out about this.

We all think of our publics when crafting messages, but have you
been including search engines in that planning? While a search
engine may not be a “traditional” public, 70 million people get
their news online every day, so knowing what a search engine needs
n order to maximize your news reach is a skill set you should, and
can, master.

Janet Meiners Thaeler is the author of I Need a Killer Press
Release, Now What???, and a recognized
expert in the field of SEO, social media, and crafting press
releases for the online world. She recently won the award for “Best
Social Media Content Guru” from the Utah Social Media Club, and her
webinar entitled “Creating a Killer Publicity Strategy with Online
News Releases” for PR Web was attended by thousands and earned her a
spot on PR Web’s list of “Best PRWeb Webinars of 2009.”

Janet will talk to us about how to think of a search engine like a
public, and will teach us best practices that will make your
releases and social media campaigns stand out and be recognized by
these increasingly important news vehicles. You will come away from
this luncheon with tools you can put to use right away and a renewed
confidence in your ability to reach this untraditional, but often
misunderstood public.

My Top Blog Posts of 2009

I looked at my stats for the year 2009 on Newspapergrl and OnlinePRBook. Sometimes I’m surprised but here goes

NewspaperGrl blog

  • Most of my traffic comes from Google (34%)
  • The next biggest source is direct (typed in – 22%)
  • One link from The Pioneer Woman’s Blog gave me 13% of my traffic for the year!!
  • Twitter gave me 5% of my traffic (surprising since I invest most of my time on Twitter)

Lessons learned: a link from a big name blogger can inject a TON of traffic. I need to work on getting links from big names in my industry though. I imagine most of those readers didn’t become regulars. Twitter isn’t a great place to get traffic for my blog.

Also, I must have some high ranking reviews on Google. It shows that SEO is better as it ages because posts that I wrote 2 or 3 years ago are still sending me a lot of traffic today. I’m not very deliberate in my SEO because this is a business journal of sorts. My other blog is more business.

Most popular blog posts (most traffic) for 2009

  1. Me, the Pioneer Woman, Dooce & Jason Gough
  2. Drop Ship Access – Not Worth the Price (from 2007)
  3. Blocked by CraigsList?! (from 2006)
  4. The First Business Book to Make me Cry (linked to from Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wall on Facebook)
  5. 4 Tips on Getting Followers on Twitter

Top 5 blog posts on OnlinePRBook Blog (started in July 2009)

  1. 5 Killer Press Release Examples
  2. Example of an SEO Press Release
  3. 7 Killer Online Press Release Tips for Small Businesses
  4. 102 Headline Ideas for Social Media
  5. Free Press Release Sites

What I Want For 2010 – The Year of the Tiger

2010 is here and it’s the year of the TIGER. According to Chinese astrology: The Tiger is said to be lucky vivid, lively and engaging. Another attribute of the Tiger is his incredible bravery, evidenced in his willingness to engage in battle or his undying courage.

chinese-year-of-the-tiger-2010-thumb7885615So I will keep these 2 things in mind: courage and good luck. I will be courageous and lucky this year!

For my online business this year I want to accomplish the following (maybe you can help with some of them!):

  • Sell out of my first run of online PR training DVDs and start streaming them online.
  • Get an article about online PR in Entrepreneur Magazine (I noticed two people I know were in the last issue, so I should be able to swing this).
  • Set up my affiliate program. Then find at least 10 joint venture/affiliates  to sell my DVD and make a commission of $75 a sale on each.
  • Finish my SEO press releases ebook and start producing one per quarter.
  • Start an online store for my online PR products at Challenge: what platform to use? Cost? I want it to be like an ecommerce store rather than spread in random places throughout my site.
  • Get my email list up & going!!! This sounds so easy but it’s been stopping me for a while now. It’s almost embarrassing that I’ve never done it.
  • Find newsletters to put content in in exchange for a mention of my DVD (this is the biggest investment I’ve ever made in my business, besides my book and of course I want it to be very successful. It’s 3 hours of content.
  • Become a better speaker – join Toastmasters and look for new opportunities to do both in-person and webinars. (Is there a list of webinar hosts??)
  • Write press releases about the DVD, important webinars, etc.
  • Update my blog with a real photo of me, widen the main section, underlined links (I’ve tried), remove ads except for my own (since they mysteriously stopped making money when I redesigned my blog), font color = black, fix background colors on sidebar to white, add Facebook & Twitter Connect, remove dates & make comments link larger, any other suggestions for me?
  • Get banner ads made for the DVD.

What about you? What are you looking for in 2010?

Merry Christmas Happy Holidays 2009

Here’s my life in Facebook updates:


Highlights of 2009:

I made my own products, which I should’ve done sooner! Since writing a book I’ve written more about other authors and bought more books myself.

  • My book, I Need a Killer Press Release, Now What??? was published and is selling on Amazon and Happy About! (what, you haven’t seen it yet? what are you waiting for)
  • A companion DVD – Killer Online Press Releases was produced (and it was a LOT of work, tons of hours but it’s for sale!)
  • I’ll soon be selling the audio and transcripts of my webinar with Joan Stewart

I partnered with amazing people & organizations this year:

  • Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound
  • Spoke at 2 universities
  • Spoke at the American Muslim Consumer Conference (where I was not the only one who didn’t drink)
  • One of the judges of the best press releases of 2009 at PRWeb
  • webinar with PRWeb (voted one of the best of 2009 and “met” Bill Stroller the Publicity Guru),
  • Creating Wealth Podcast with Jason Hartman
  • Online PR Podcast with Pete Codella
  • webinar with Jeremy Palmer (who taught me that you should always be reading and learning even if you’re successful)
  • More to come in January!

I also blogged a lot and started a new online pr blog

Next up for 2010:

  • Developing my email list – yes it’s amazing that I haven’t done this yet!
  • Finishing the update to my SEO press release ebook
  • Some book partnerships?
  • Create an online store to sell my products

To do on the break

On a personal note, I haven’t taken so many vacations or learned as much and worked as hard on my business as I have in 2009.

What was significant about your year? What is in store for 2010? Share in the comments.

Peace, prosperity and fun to you all! Let’s Crush it in 2010!

How NOT TO Fire Someone

This is an email sent to someone I know this past week, firing them while they were on vacation (not that there is ever a good time to fire someone). Read on for my comments [in brackets] and advice…and you might want to play this song as you read.

SUBJECT: Updates and changes

Hope your vacation is going well. I feel bad that I am writing you an
email to give you this update but due to the nature of the contract I
feel it is imperative to contact you now.

[First, let me tell you about your replacement]
Over the past 6 months, I have been in touch with a past colleague
that I have been “courting” to join ____ and me with our [what we do so well].

We both worked with him in the past and know his
abilities. Well, earlier this week he notified me that one of the two
contracts he has been working on dried up. As a result he is available
and willing to work with us. I can’t be more excited to have him help
out. [and to get rid of you so I can hire him]

His expertise and experience is very comprehensive and has made me
reevaluate our current structure and set-up [yours is not]. This evaluation, and
financial assessment, has led me to conclude that there is too much
overlap with what I am going to have him do and what you are doing for
the project [he’s taking your place].

The bad news, and again I am sorry for sending this email [NOT REALLY!!]
rather than calling or waiting until you return [That would take some courage I don’t have], but as he is joining
right away, I am, effective today, terminating your contract with [name of company].

I debated on calling you but thought it best to not bother you with
your family time today [besides, I’d rather ruin your vacation than tell you the day you return]. I welcome a call and hope to talk with you
upon your return [not really, but it makes me feel better to say that]. That said, please transition your work to _____ straightaway and provide me with your final time sheet.

Thanks for all of your work. I am happy to provide you a reference if
you so desire. [but it won’t be a good one!]

Regards and best wishes,



NOTE TO JERK: first, this person should thank you – you did them a favor. You saved them from working together any longer. But maybe you could’ve handled this better.  Contractors can be let go of by either side without notice or reason. Make it a business decision rather than bragging about the person you got to replace the person you just hired.

Firing someone is not easy or fun. Neither is telling someone they didn’t get a job (especially in this economy when people and families are hurting.) I’ve had to do it. I’ve had it done to me. I didn’t like doing it but I always tried to show compassion.

Here’s what I suggest –  you email something like this: We had a change in the business and I regret to tell you that I’ve decided not to hire you on. So effective today[insert date] I’m ending your contract. Thanks for your work.

If they asked why I’d give them a short but truthful response – like this – we found someone else who we thought would fit the position and our company better.

I also have some more free advice for employees: most businesses don’t want to hear your real opinion about their ideas if they are bad ideas. If asked stick to the facts about your reservations. Don’t get yourself labeled as a complainer or someone who stops projects.

My husband taught me this – he will not complain or try to change a lot of things about where he works. He’s on a committee that gives feedback. The boss appreciates that he’s not taking up a lot of his time with things and that he’s producing (his numbers are great). I used to be more free with my opinions and I’ve found most of the time it doesn’t work. Plus, if you I had that many complaints either I needed to change my attitude or look for another job.

It’s always best to keep to the facts and leave the other person out of it.

What do you think?

MarketingSherpa Email Conference in Florida this January

Email Conference from MarketingSherpa

January 20-22, 2010 in Miami, Florida

Email Summit ’10 from MarketingSherpa offers proven tools, tips and strategies to help you avoid common email mistakes.

7 top Email marketing challenges:

1. Delivering highly-relevant email content to recipients
2. Competing with social media for recipients’ time and attention
3. Measuring and proving email marketing program ROI
4. Getting people to opt-in to email lists
5. Integrating databases with email systems
6. Reducing the amount of legitimate emails perceived as spam
7. Increasing email deliverability

Here’s a video link to give you a feel of the Marketing Sherpa Summits:

I haven’t blogged as much about MarketingSherpa but I’ve been a fan for years. They do research and testing so their advice is not guessing, it’s backed by real data. Also, they are professional and you can count on the content being top-notch.

Email marketing is inexpensive compared to other forms of marketing. You can see how many people opened your email and track what is most effective. I need to ramp up my email marketing now that I have a book and a DVD (coming next month).

You can try to learn yourself, or attend and learn from pros. There are duel learning tracks: B2B and B2C. They’ll focus on practical and specific Email tactics and strategies. You can choose either learning from reviewing case Studies, the latest research on email marketing, or one-on-one clinics.

Save $200 until January 8, 2010 by using the link below.