Pitching journalists: 5 things your competitors aren’t doing

Pitch email writer's block

I got to see a lot of pitches when I was working full-time as a tech journalist. Every morning, my inbox would be filled with a new batch of people wanting my attention — everyone from major PR companies to sole entrepreneurs launching their first product (and I’m not the only one!).

More often than not, the pitch emails would be absolutely terrible. It wasn’t just the novices that were making mistakes — even major marketing companies would churn out terrible press releases. I often wished I could reach through the computer, grab them by the shoulders, and yell, “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!”

Instead, all I could do was hit the Archive button. And archive I did.

But all this incompetence is great news for you: with just a little bit of work, your pitch emails will be better than 95 percent of the competition.

If you want to drastically increase the effectiveness of your press emails, here are five things you should be doing. Continue reading

The time I was almost drawn into a Futurama episode

Dann Berg's Futurama Head in a Jar Tattoo

What do you do when you cross a borderline unhealthy relationship with Futurama and  a free trial of LinkedIn premium?

You get inches away from being drawn into a Futurama episode.

My love affair with Futurama started long after the show was off the air (for the first time). I never really watched the show during the original six-season stint, even though I remember gathering around the living room TV to watch the premiere episode. Continue reading

8 tips to grow your audience by teaching with Skillshare

Skillshare is one of my favorite startups to emerge from the recent innovation boom in the education field. Simply put, Skillshare is a platform that allows anyone to teach a class or take a class. After taking a couple of fantastic Skillshare classes, I decided to develop my own, based upon my experience getting two iPhone apps into the App Store with no prior coding experience.

I’ve been teaching a local class in New York City, The Non-Programmer’s Guide to Getting an App in the App Store, for eight months now. Class growth and student sign ups were slow at times, but I’ve stuck with the class long enough to have a generated a lot of positive feedback.

It’s been an amazing and educational experience for me. If you teach a class, or plan on teaching a class, here are some tips to help you make the most out of your class. Continue reading

5 things to learn before starting a personal blog

I was browsing my blog archives the other day and realized that I was nearing my two year anniversary of starting this website. As of March 10th, 2012, IAmDann.com will be two years old. I’ve got enough content to no longer feel like I’m just “faking it,” so to speak. It’s awesome. For anyone who doesn’t have a blog: start one. It’s extremely easy and it will teach you a lot about the internet and how it all works. Plus, you’ll have a place to post your thoughts and pictures that allows you to retain the rights—much better than turning those rights over to some social networking site.

Here are a five tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the past two years. Understand these and you’ll not only have your own blog but it’ll be better than most other websites out there.

Update: Check out my free video course for help setting getting a domain and hosting, and installing WordPress! Continue reading