The Tin Shingle Blog


Money Monday: Resolution Accomplished! Removed PMI From Mortgage

Now in its second year, the practice of making and keeping New Years Resolutions here at Tin Shingle falls into a category of doing something specific. Some call this goal oriented. I call this - just more fun. For instance, a resolution do not take the form of: "I will get rich!" Rather, it takes the form of "Refinance House And Eliminate PMI" (PMI is that mortgage insurance that some people need when purchasing a home, and for our family, has been an extra $150/month for a number of years). It's more effective focusing on one item that actually does take a while to accomplish, that helps that larger goal of "I will get rich!" because you are saving money or plugging a hole.

Earlier in 2017, my resolutions were declared on Tin Shingle in our Diaries of Small Business Owner series, the exclusive series that members of Tin Shingle can contribute to at any time. Throughout the year, I edit the article with updates. As of today, I have made updates to all declared resolutions, and thank goodness I did because A. I'd forgotten about a few of them, and B. Had actually made progress on accomplishing some of them!

Update on Money Saving Resolution

Today's Money Monday installment is dedicated to the resolution that was realized: the elimination of our PMI to save $150/month. Upon revisiting that resolution, it was in fact was two-part: refinance and eliminate PMI. Turns out, I had no intention of refinancing at all, but had connected that activity to PMI, when they are totally unrelated. Part of the PMI puzzle, I thought, was improving credit. While improving credit scores is always important, it has proved difficult this year as we had to finance another car in order to fit the upcoming baby. I almost gave up on this goal, but then...

Taking matters into my own hands, I called Quicken Loans to initiate the PMI droppage, which only required that our house reach a certain number in the realtor appraisal. Our neighborhood is a "hot market" right now, so I had a hunch that our house would generously appraise, which it did. The photo illustrating this article is a letter from Quicken Loans, approving our PMI to leave our lives. We can now apply that amount to the principle of the loan, which is what I intend to do in order to pay the mortgage off sooner.

Tune In With Us To Realize Your Own Resolutions

Tune in with Finance Expert Galia Gichon of Down to Earth Finance and Manifestation Expert Christine Agro on May 24th for our live TuneUp dedicated to Resolutions Revisited, where we visit your New Year's Resolutions from January to see how you are doing with them! Galia will give us actionable pointers we can use now, and Christine will help us break through the clutter to manifest what we know can happen. The live broadcast of this TuneUp is free, so register here and join in later! This TuneUp is also listed in Facebook Events, so you can share it with a friend who would love it.

Submit Your Own!

What have been some Money Monday inspirations or goals realized for you? Submit them by emailing, and you may see your story here on Tin Shingle's blog! Be sure to leave your contact information so that we can be in touch with you.


Member Update: Tin Shingle Getting a Mini (but Major) Makeover

It's happening...changes to Tin Shingle main architecture that helps you do two major things:

Quickly access all of your member benefits.

Promote your brand.

At long last, Tin Shingle's membership benefits are going to take over the main navigation of the website. Call it a "navigation takeover." The Tin Shingle website as you know it is going to be known as the Training & Promotion Center.

You should notice the changes within the next few days, and when that happens, we want to know your feedback, to make sure you're able to find everything as we intend.

Be sure your business is listed in the Business Directory! And that the personal profile of the owner of the company is filled out! Find this in the "Edit My Personal Profile" area, and same for the Business Profile.

Potential clients and customers do scour the Business Directory, Shopping Guides, Press Portfolios, and more, as do reporters and producers, so be sure to list some of your best or most favorite products and services there!

Always feel free to email us your questions on how to use or find something. The best way to reach us is by emailing

It's easy and you're going to get hooked into a buzz-buliding community who thinks big just like you do. Plus you'll get loads of cool resources, like Media Contacts and Editorial Calendars. Find out more about membership here.

The Last of Our Editorial Calendars Are Trickling In!

Do you guys know that Tin Shingle has over one thousand different opportunities for members to get press just in glossy print magazines?!  As they come in, they are uploaded into Tin Shingle's Editorial Calendar Database - which means more ways to build buzz for your business. Obviously you are not going to utilize all of them because that will definitely just make you overwhelmed! Just think out of the box, start with the areas your business is interested in, and most importantly don't give up.  

The brilliant thing about Editorial Calendars is not only do they provide you with a direction, or hook for your pitch, but they also provide you with a time table. No more feeling guilty because you missed the train on your favorite Holiday Gift Guide. Every Editorial Calendar entry provides a deadline of when each story idea needs to be complete and sent. Use Tin Shingle's Editorial Calendar Database along with our PR & Media Outreach Tracking Template (free for All Access Members or available for individual purchase) to stay organized and on top of your successful DIY Campaign. 

After you write your pitch, or story idea to your target audience, don't forget to submit it into Tin Shingle's very own members only Pitch Whisperer Workshop before sending. You will not only get awesome feedback from other TS members who are deep into their own PR campaigns but, also advice from TS's own staff. I can't wait to read what you all think up! 

A sneak peak of this round of opportunities:

BizBash - December Issue - The 2018 BizBash Best. The definitive guide to the top new venues for meetings and events in North America.


Fashion Magazine

Teen Vogue - December Issue - #Goals


Beauty Store Magazine

Brides - August/September - The Style Issue. Discover the coolest accessories for your wedding day look. Reception details that will kick your wedding up a notch.


#MoneyMonday: How To Get A New Filing Cabinet For Free

Today's Monday Monday is brought to you by your filing cabinet. The one that you hopefully have in the corner that you treated yourself with from Pottery Barn or West Elm or even Target - some place that officially says:

"I am organized. I care about my things. I will stay on top of these money matters. And I will kick butt.'

Get A Filing Cabinet

For my 32nd birthday, I asked for a filing cabinet from Pottery Barn, and vowed to eventually have a total of four matching ones. That never happened, and I still have the one, but boy does it contain a lot of important information. Orbiting the filing cabinet are mini standing folders that you can find at Target, that hold themes of very important things. One held my husband's bills before and shortly after we married (before I allowed his bills to be accepted and folded into my life - even after our marriage), and one for the house (mortgage bills, city and school tax totals, property tax appraisals, receipts and warranties of appliances).

Both the filing cabinet and the orbiting file boxes maxed out a long time ago, but continued to be stuffed into. Until Tax Season 2017, when I snapped out of the routine of filing around the stuffed folders, and actually looked inside.

Look Inside - Throw Away - Voila, You Have a New Filing Cabinet

Inside of the filing cabinet were three years of Verizon bills from seven years ago. We haven't been with Verizon for seven years. Why are they still filed and not recycled by now? Exactly. Thrown away. Same applied to several other sets of bills that just had no relevance anymore. The result? New space in the existing filing cabinet.

This is your job for Tax Season 2017. While you're in the thick of it, preparing your taxes for the April 15th deadline (maybe you are already done!!), take the time to get a fresh take on your filing cabinet, and you will have new brain space for new growth, new purchases, and new security.



Special Opportunity: Press Kit Examples - Submit Yours or Your Client's Best Press Kits

Tin Shingle is preparing a special TuneUp webinar dedicated to Press Kits, to show small business owners and marketers what they should look like. We will be showing examples of good looking press kits that hit the mark in terms of design, presentation, content and copy. We want to feature yours! Your business name, website and contact information will be featured along with any Press Kits that are selected.

  • PR Agency: Are you a PR professional or agency who has a collection of client Press Kits that are awesome? Submit your best ones.
  • Designer: Are you a designer who can design a Press Kit in your sleep? Submit your best work.
  • Business Owner: Are you a business owner or marketer who is particularly proud of your Press Kit and the good response it has gotten from the media or clients? Send it to us.

Send to:

Attachments? Attachments are OK. You can send via email.

Deadline: April 21, 2017

This is not a call for paper Press Kits. Digital only.

Looking forward to seeing submissions. Thanks!


It's All About Who You Know

We all want to see buzz about our bizz in our favorite glossy magazine or on the national morning news show. How we get there is another story, a seemingly daunting one. Not for Tin Shingle's members! Whether you are just starting your PR campaign or are a seasoned pro, everyone needs to know, it's all about who you know. The more relationships you build and the more people you tell about your business, the more people will know how amazing your business really is. 

Tin Shingle's unique members only Media Contact Database, supplies you with the contacts you need to accomplish your goals. It is not uncommon for people to move around in the media business. One month a writer is with one magazine and a few months later they could move to a different magazine. Thus, Tin Shingle is constantly updating the database so you can reach the right person, at the right place, to get the word out about your biz.

The database is organized into four main categories: Magazines, TV, Blogs and Websites, and On Air Experts. Beyond that Tin Shingle has designed the database to be able to search by title or name,  as well as "areas of interest". That means you can access the contacts of specific individuals who cover the stories about your industry (ie Beauty, Holiday Gift Guides, Money, Pets etc). Find even more tips and advice on how to connect with the right contact in our TuneUp: Its All About The Contacts Baby, always free for members, and available for download to listen to over and over. 

We recently added more outlets and wanted to give you a sneak peak here in our blog . As always, if you are looking for a specific magazine, producer, or expert, send us an email at and we will help you out! 

Newly Added and Updated: 

Allure Magazine

Rolling Stone Magazine

Bloomberg Magazine

Esquire Magazine

Fox and Friends

The Ellen Degenerous Show




Is A Picture Really Worth A Thousands Words?

Most of us are avid instagramers, posting and scrolling through thousands of pictures a week! If you are not, and are a small business owner, you are missing out on a great, easy, and free way to get the word out about what you do. Head on over to this webinar class, free for Tin Shingle members, and learn how to start!

But will a picture really be worth a thousand words if it's never seen?! Instagram started streaming pictures by popularity and not by chronological order late last year. What does that mean? Your picture could actually get lost in the "instaworld" and never reach your target audience, let alone all your followers. The solution? Hashtags! Hashtags are a way to organize posts by topic. In essence, it links your picture with viewers who are looking for content on that topic. Some popular ones now, especially if you live in the north, are #noreaster or #winterbegone. And, don't forget that today is national #PiDay (Get it, 3/14!) Simply put, if you use hashtags, your Instagram posts will get more views.  However, there are even more tips to get the most amount of views from the people you want to see them.

Tin Shingle provides a members only tool, The Instagram Hashtag Sheet, that continues to unclutter the many hashtags, teaching you which are popular and have the most success. We recently updated and added to our list to provide the best tools for your buzz building skills.  If you don't see a topic or category you like in the sheet, email me at

Happy posting!

Other new hashtags added:

#HowISummer - promoted in bon appétit upcoming June edition of their print magazine

#DoAnything - videos for things that don't come with manuals





Another Roundup of Editorial Calendars!

I stumbled on this thought while looking for a dinner recipe on Pinterest. And you know what my friends, I think it is gold. Steve Hartman happens to be that man, who in an interview with Marketplace, shared for over a year he p the pool toy with almost no success. If Anyone ever tells you your dreams are silly remember there's a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle Despite his slow start, through persistence and hard work, Hartman grew to sell between 6 and 8 million pool noodles a year! That is a lot of pool toys! 

Take a lesson from Steve, and many others, who don't give up on their dreams and really good ideas. This new batch of Editorial Calendars, for Tin Shingle members, will give you new ideas on how you can get the word out about your business. If you are not a member, our Editorial Calendar Database gives you the inside scoop of what each national print magazine is going to cover and when. That means you get the heads up of when to pitch story ideas that are perfect for your business. Helping you have more opportunities to get more press! 

I invite you to sit down today and write down you dreams-small and large. Then go for them! Don't let someone tell you can't do your own PR campaign. Don't get discouraged by a few turn downs from your beloved glossy magazine. Keep up the hard work, use Tin Shingle's tools, and stay persistent. 

Some Magazines and their direction for 2017 in this upload:

Glamour- August: Transformations Issue. Entire issue made shoppable via partner with Amazon!

bon appétit

Essence - November: Innovation & Ideas Issue

Golf Digest

Gear & Gun

Forbes - June: Self-made Women

Star Magazine

Cooking Light - December: Holiday Survival Guide

#MoneyMonday: Just Donate!

Monday's around here at Tin Shingle are filled with motivation. Sometimes we channel that motivation into the theme of getting money things done - like pitching a new client or advertiser, or designing a financial class with money experts who specialize in working with entrepreneurs and artists (yes, look for that signup opportunity!) It could even mean sending out invoices, paying invoices, or signing on with a new ecommerce tools at your website (yes, that's going on over here!) We call it #MoneyMondays.

Last Monday, we used the theme to focus on donating money. We share an office with our sister company,  A Little Beacon Blog, which is a local online newspaper in New York. Months ago, they hosted an event that was both a kid's haircut day, as well as a chance to donate to the local elementary schools via a facepainting table. It was a success, and A Little Beacon Blog matched what was raised by parents who opted to have their childrens' faces painted to bring the total to $130. Last Monday, the check was written and put into the mail, with the intention of hosting more events with a dedicated fundraising jar to collect for the other schools in our local district.

Do you have a donating plan with your business? Tell us about it in the Comments below.


New Editorial Calendars: Get Them While They Are Hot!

That's right...don't let them get cold on you and miss your opportunity of scoring some pretty cool press. If you are not using Tin Shingle's Editorial Calendar Database, for members only, you really need to be. Or, you might be saying, "Meh, I checked them last week, I'll skip it this time." Bad move.

Editorial calendars, along with Tin Shingle's Media Contact Database, provide you with the general direction each magazine has plotted for the month, so that you have an idea of what direction a magazine is headed in, and you have a chance of submitting an idea in a timely manner. Thus, helping you get your business' product/profile/service/tips in to the printed publication. Believe us, editors are busy. They have lots of work and deadlines flying from their desks, as well as large amounts of people asking for media coverage.

Don't forget, you don't always have to pitch only your product. This entrepreneur, Making Care Easier (a service based care giving company), got press in a technology article on CNET. Not because it fit their business profile, but because they were determined to think outside the box. Founder of Making Care Easier, Julie Fry, provided her expertise in the email pitch, keeping her tips general and applicable, giving her business exposure at the same time. Can you do the same?

If you still feel like your not getting press, don't give up! Peek through these new opportunities, gather some ideas, and follow these tips to help boost your success.

Here are some of the magazine, with a few select highlights for you to see, that we added this week to Tin Shingle's Editorial Calendar database that you can skim now:

Esquire- Featuring an issue on Maverick Ideas & Innovations.

Louisiana Cooking 


Men's Fitness- Still time to get in the Spring/Summer Active Outdoor Guide.

Poets & Writers

Family Circle- Holiday Gift Guides Galore! 

Southern Lady

Taste of the South

OK! Magazine

Tea Time

The Cottage Journal

Food & Wine Magazine- The June issue devoted to #HowISummer



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