How to Create an Online Daily Newspaper for Your Small Business

Last week we wrote an article explaining the benefits of using paper.li for small business. What we did not cover was how to create a paper.li newspaper. This article is going to walk you through how you to go about creating an online daily newspaper for your small business. It’s actually a very intuitive process that shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to complete. The tough part isn’t creating the paper.li newspaper, it’s being consistent in your promotion of your online daily newspaper. With that said, we can’t put the cart before the horse, so let’s walk through how to setup your paper.li newspaper.

Create a paper.li Newspaper – The Basics

Paper.li allows you to sign-in with your Facebook OR Twitter account. Once signed in you can create up to 10 unique online newspapers for free. The first difficult decision comes in deciding what to make your paper.li newspaper about. Hopefully you took time to create a plan for this Marketing Tactic, in which case you already know what you want your newspaper to be about. If not, a quick tip for creating a paper.li newspaper is to set it up around a content topic that’s relevant to your business; a topic that will pull in numerous quality articles & videos which your customers and prospects will find valuable.

Once you’ve signed-in and determined what topic your newspaper will revolve around you can click the ‘create a newspaper’ link in the top right corner of paper.li. You will then be presented with 5 options for creating your paper.li online daily newspaper.

How to create a paper.li newspaper

Create an Online Daily Newspaper with your Twitter account

The first option is to create a very generic online daily newspaper by sifting through your tweets AND all of the tweets from EVERYONE you’re following within the past 24 hours to come up with “newspaper stories” for your next edition. We do not recommend this option for small business owners as you are unable to truly create a topic-specific newspaper since many people tweet about different topics. With that said, if you go with this option, it is easy to setup. If you logged-in to paper.li with your Twitter account then you need only click “Create” under the ‘…of your Twitter account’ heading and you’re all set. If you want to create the online newspaper using another Twitter account then you can simply input the Twitter handle and click ‘Create’.

Create an Online Daily Newspaper with a Twitter #Hashtag

The “…of a Twitter #tag” option is recommended for small business owners. A paper.li daily newspaper created from a Twitter #Hashtag can be topic-specific. As mentioned above, you already created a plan for using paper.li, which means you have a topic in mind. If your paper.li newspaper topic revolves around “sustainable products” then your hashtag might be #sustainable or #sustainability. If you’re an organic bakery then you may want to create an online daily newspaper with a Twitter hashtag of #Organic #Baking. Although the algorithms used by paper.li are not 100% known, the system has a process for selecting tweets containing your specific hashtag. A newspaper is created based on the stories collected within the past 24 hours. It’s brilliant, isn’t it?

Create an Online Daily Newspaper with a Twitter List

Creating an online daily newspaper with a Twitter List is another great option for small business owners. The “…of a Twitter @list” option allows small business owners to create an online daily newspaper from any of the links shared in the past 24 hours from ANYONE on the Twitter List that you input into the paper.li system. You simply enter the @username/list-name and click ‘Create’. If you don’t already have a Twitter List setup, then set one up specifically for your online daily newspaper. In fact, that is recommended. This option is one of the best for small businesses. Find all of the great people on Twitter who are tweeting about your topic, put them on your paper.li Twitter List (you can even make it private if you’d like), and create your online daily newspaper. That’s it. It’s really that easy.

Create a Custom Online Daily Newspaper

The number 1 best paper.li option for small business is to create a CUSTOM online daily newspaper. By taking a few extra minutes to use the “Custom paper” option, small business owners can create a hyper-relevant online daily newspaper. Being that you only have to set it up once, it’s well worth the extra 2 minutes it’s going to take to create a custom paper.li newspaper.

Within the custom paper.li option you can create a title for your newspaper, set the focus through integrated search functions, setup a Twitter list, and even customize the language that the paper.li is displayed in. The custom option basically combines some of the options above, and then adds even more custom features. Setting up a title and selecting a language are pretty self explanatory. Be sure to select a title that will capture your audience’s attention. We have already discussed how to integrate a Twitter List into your paper.li newspaper, so lets focus on the search customization feature.

Here’s how paper.li describes it, “You can query Twitter with a more complex search term than just a #tag (e.g. find all the tweets that talk about climate AND carbon but NOT solar = climate carbon -solar).” Take a second and re-read that… It took a minute to grasp how it’s handled, but eventually it made sense.

Create a custom paper.li newspaper

Small business owners can create a hyper-relevant online daily newspaper through the paper.li “Paper Focus” feature. If you’re an auto repair shop then your “Paper Focus” search query might be “#car repair”, which would pull in articles tweeted in the past 24 hours from anyone on your Twitter list who used the hashtag #car and word “repair” in a tweet. If you’re a local retail clothing store who’s topic is organic clothing then your search query might be, “organic clothing -Etsy”, which wold pull in tweets from anyone on your Twitter List who used the words “organic” and “clothing” in their tweet. If the word “Etsy” appears in their tweet then it will not make it into your publication. You may have numerous reasons why you don’t want to include links containing specific words. The point is that you come up with an unique search query for your paper.li newspaper.

These are just examples, but hopefully you can see how taking the time to create your custom online daily newspaper makes sense for your small business.

Create an Online Daily Newspaper with Facebook

The final paper.li option is to create an online daily newspaper with Facebook. At this point, the “Facebook paper” option is not highly recommended for small business owners. Although it allows you to customize the title and language of your online daily newspaper, as well as, provides you with the ability to control the “Paper Focus” through a Facebook search query, it searches ALL FACEBOOK POSTS every 24 hours to find your “newspaper stories”. You cannot customize WHO to pull links from, like you can with the Twitter Lists and Custom options. Facebook has it’s advantages, but for small business owners we prefer the hyper-relevant custom newspaper to a “Facebook paper”.

What paper.li Option Will You Use?

Hopefully this article has helped you learn how to create an online daily newspaper using paper.li. With that said, there are a number of options for you to choose from when it comes to how you’re going to setup your online newspaper. From the list above, what do you think makes the most sense for your small business?

7 Comments

  1. This is a very nice and thorough guide. I have a couple of followers that feature me in their paper.li each week and I always click over to check it out. I’ve set one up for my own account too, and it’s a nice break from looking at the normal tweet stream. Thanks for sharing this guide.

  2. Brad – Thanks so much for the comment. I’m glad that you found the post helpful. I think more and more small business owners will begin using paper.li to help provide valuable information to their customers and prospects. It’s a really fun and valuable new tool.

    Best,

    @RyanTaft (twitter)

  3. Great post. Sounds like a great tool, but small businesses will need to outsource to a specialists to keep up on content – a good online daily takes work.

  4. Jim -

    Thanks so much for the comment. Paper.li definitely has a lot of potential. Actually, there isn’t much work that needs to be done on a daily basis (except for promotion of the paper), as when you set up the paper, you can choose where to pull content from, so it’s all automated. It’s pretty incredible.

    Best,

    Ryan Taft

  5. All this not worth a penny if i can not point my domain to the newspaper. i dont want to raise the paper.li website .i wish to point my own domain there.

  6. Jack – I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Paper.li is a free tool. Also, you cannot point your domain to it. You can link to your paper.li site from your website, but to my knowledge you cannot point your domain to it. If it’s not a good tool for you and your business, that’s understandable. That said, it’s a great FREE tool for a lot of people.

    Thanks for taking time to leave your feedback.

    Best,

    Ryan Taft

  7. I too wanted to make a newspaper on a subdomain of my website. Not successful yet. Please do guide me if you have a free strategy!
    Thanks.

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