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Entries in Blogging (15)

Friday
Sep042015

5 Proven, Actionable Tips to Make Your Blog Stand Out from the Crowd Right Away

By Prerna Malik

So, you’ve taken the plunge and set up a blog.

Woohoo!

However, how are you going to make that blog stand out in the millions and zillions of blogs out there in the blogosphere?

How will you make readers return and refer your blog to their friends and family members?

How will you hold the attention span of a reader online who probably has a gazillion windows open and people around him asking questions as well?

Ooh and what about getting readers who do land on your blog to take action to either stay connected with you by signing up to your list or adding to your revenue by buying from you?

Yeah… I know… Sorry to be the party pooper at your “I-now-have-a- blog” party but someone’s gotta tell you that the setting up is actually the easy part. It’s the getting readers and engagement bit that needs you to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

On that note, here are 5 of my best and highly effective, known-to-work tips to amp up the power of your business blog:

  1. Have A Design to Delight

Yes, we live in a content-driven world where visual appeal rocks. Think, Pinterest and Instagram.

So, start by ensuring that your blog design reflects your branding but is clean and clutter-free. Get rid of any ugly badges that don’t tell a reader about you or what you do. Remove unnecessary widgets from the sidebar.

Tone down the colors and use a coordinated palette.

Design is key so unless, your superpower is web designing, I’d recommend getting your blog designed by a professional so that it looks awesome and invites readers to stop awhile and read what you have to say.

2. Stir Up A Sizzling Strategy

Design is important but really, content is what sets you apart.

Your blog, like your business itself, must have a strategy in place.

Create an editorial calendar {grab a free one here!} and draft a content strategy that ties in with your other online marketing efforts.

Create content that your readers are looking for and for that it is vital that you know your them inside out. What are their challenges, hopes, dreams, desires? Tailor your content around these themes and then, most importantly, remember point #3.

3. Stand Out by Being Awesomely Authentic

While it may be tempting to follow the A-listers and the influencers, remember that being fake will NEVER get you anywhere.

Readers, even online, can spot pretense a mile away and will never want to return to your blog.

Instead, learn from the pros but always, always be YOU.

Let your blogging voice reflect your vision, your ideals and values. Make your blog brilliant by letting your genuine desire to help your readers shine through in all your posts.

4. Create a Community

Right from day 1, treat your blog like a community.

A community of readers who’re eager to learn about you, what you do and how you’ll be helping them.

Respond to comments, engage in discussions, connect with readers on other social networking platforms.

Blogs often fall by the wayside because of a lack of engagement.

Bottomline: Readers don’t want to be talked at, they want to talk ‘with’ you.

5. Add Value to Your Readers’ Lives

Finally, and most importantly, the best way to make your blog really stand out from the crowd of blogs out there is by adding immense VALUE to your readers’ lives.

Each time you write a post or create your monthly content calendar, review your strategy and see if you’re helping to improve the lives of your readers.

Your blog must aim to make life easier, better, simpler, saner, happier, nicer for your readers. 

Prerna Malik is the gourmet content and community management chef at Content Bistro. Along with her team, she serves up sizzling hot social media, SEO and copywriting solutions to time-starved entrepreneurs. Dig into her FREE social media strategy guide to get a taste of what’s in store for you!

Thursday
Dec202012

Media, Bloggers + Getting Coverage 

The Top 10 Things to Remember

  • Public Relations is a critical marketing tool that can be utilized for free. Do not underestimate the power of editorial content when exploring advertising options. Oftentimes, articles, news stories and blog posts can be much more effective at driving attendance and sales.
  • Traditional journalists and bloggers operate differently. News reporters have more stringent deadlines and are often more formal than bloggers. On the other hand, bloggers are more casual and often cover more of a niche audience.
  •  The term blogger is loosely defined. All media outlets now have blogs, some people blog professionally, and some blogs are written by the mom down the street. The amount of educational training rarely determines a bloggers success.
  • News reporters do not accept payment for publishing editorial content. Bloggers do. It is common practice for bloggers to publish sponsored, advertorial posts simply because of payment.
  • Press releases and pitches can both be effective methods to get coverage for your event. Releases are more formal, formatted in a certain way, one page long and contain specific elements. Pitches on the other hand, are more conversational and shorter. Pitches can be done over the phone or via e-mail.
  •  Journalists and bloggers alike will be more gracious and likely to respond to your requests if you’re good at giving them what they want. It’s better to provide too much than not enough. Make sure they have every link, photo, keyword and resource that they might need to write the content desired.
  • Concentrate on what sets you apart. Journalists and bloggers do not want the same cookie-cutter story week after week. Show them why you are unique; show them why you are different. Be creative and consistently work to incorporate new ideas into your events and your pitches and press releases.
  • Research the publications you’re targeting and be sure that you’re approaching the right people. Lifestyle reporters, business writers, community calendar organizers all may be great contacts. However, at different publications things may vary. Pay attention to who writes what and when.
  • Timing is always important. Be sure to solicit coverage in a timely manner before an event and be sure to follow up on the initial contact whether or not you’ve gotten a response. If you receive coverage, be sure to also follow up with a thank you shortly after the event.
  •  Always be aware of the necessity of relationship building. The goal is to build rapport with the bloggers and journalists. When you have an existing relationship it is much easier to approach them for favors in the future. And, when they feel like you are a reliable source they are more likely to cover your events.

Good luck!

Thursday
Apr122012

The Ultimate Party Post:: 2012

*This giveaway is now closed. The winning comments were: #10 - Market Mommy advertising, #21 Kidzies gift certificate and #3 LaBarrie Littles shirt.

Hello! A big, warm welcome to everyone who is joining us from the awesome 2012 UBP at 5 Minutes for Mom!! We're SO glad you're here!

First, if you haven't yet, register for the humungous prize pool! There are thousands of dollars worth of prizes up for grabs! And, we're happy to be offering a great ad package valued at $370! Don't miss your chance to win! And, be sure to read the rest of this post because we have more prizes to give away!

Please bear with me, this post may get a little long ..... but I want to tell you as much as I can about Market Mommy while you're here .... and give you the chance to win some great party swag :}

Here's a little about our site and what we have to offer mom business owners::

Founded in June of 2009, Market Mommy® is an online marketing resource for mom business owners that shows them how and where to market their businesses.  Market Mommy® offers a variety of low-cost {and free!} services to help moms on a budget.

Market Mommy® provides links to great advertising opportunities, offers free marketing advice and tips via this blog and the e-newsletter, advertises mom-owned businesses for free on the blog and in their directory and much more.

This is me, Dawn, and my beautiful daughter!Some of the site’s servicesinclude marketing consultation, copywriting, graphic design, printing of marketing materials and much more. They also offer affordable advertising opportunities, which start as low as $5 per month. Everything that we provide to our customers is low-cost and practical.

There is also a free business directory and interactive forum where mom business owners can advertise for free.  Market Mommy® can be found online asand on well as on Facebook and Twitter!

That's us in a nutshell ;) Be sure to visit our current specials page. We have some great deals on custom Facebook Timeline images going on and we're looking for a few great moms to help us expand and grow Market Mommy. More info here.

Now, on to the party :}

This post and the giveaways we've provided are made possible by these awesome mom business owner sponsors. Please visit them, show them some love, and tell them that we sent you!

LaBarrie Littles: Personalized embroidery & applique tees!

 

 

 

 

Kidzies:: Chic, Clever & Affordable!

 

 

 

 

It Works! Cecilia Fleischer Independent Distributor

 

 

 

Beads-N-Style:: Save 15% on anything in the store with code BLOGHOP15 until May 15!

 

 

 

Mama Mahoney Creations:: Simple Beautiful You!

 

 

 

 

 

            Rock Paper Scissors:: Personalized Paper & Gifts!

And, what you're all here for, some free stuff!

We're providing 3 {three} prizes during the UBP that ends on the 20th. These prizes are different than those listed on 5 Minutes for Mom. To register for these, simply follow the rules below!

1. Winner's choice of one onesie or shirt from LaBarrie Littles {Value:: $22-$28}

2. A $25 Gift Certificate from Kidzies

3. One month web button ad {125x125 pixel} on ALL pages of MarketMommy.com {Value:: $50}

Good luck, here are the official rules::

There will be 3 {three} winners of this giveaway, one for each prize. The giveaway will officially end on Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen by random.org.

To enter, please leave a comment on this post and tell us a couple of things! First, tell us which prize{s} you'd like to win and why. And then introduce yourself! Tell us about your blog, business, family, whatever! After you comment here, you can earn extra entries! {Please leave a separate comment for each, including contact information!}

1. Like Market Mommy on Facebook

2. Follow Market Mommy on Twitter

3. Sign up for the Market Mommy rss feed

4. Sign up for the Market Mommy free e-newsletter

5. Tweet about the giveaway & be sure to tag @MarketMommy and use #UBP12

Good luck & nice to meet you! I hope you stick around!

 

Friday
Apr012011

UBP 2011 From 5 Minutes for Mom!

We're thrilled to be sponsoring a prize for this year's Ultimate Blog Party at 5 Minutes for Mom. The party really is unlike anything else online. If you're a blogger, or even if you're not, I suggest you go over and browse around. Not only can you win great prizes, there are tons of great bloggers that you can network with. Many of these bloggers focus on product reviews, so there is lots of opportunity for you to get exposure for your brand.

Welcome to all of you new visitors here because of the party, we're glad to 'meet' you! Market Mommy has a ton of great resources for mom business owners. Please, take a moment to browse around our site and see what we have to offer. We have a free directory where you can list your business, and we're gearing up for a party of our own. In June, we'll turn two and are looking for sponsors for our big 2nd Birthday Extravaganza.

One reason I love the UBP is that there's blogs listed on just about every topic, no matter what you're interests. Trust me, once you start reading it will be hard to stop! And, did I mention there are some great extra giveaways goin on at a lot of the blogs? {“GirlGoneMom.com is giving away a $25 SUBWAY gift card and I have entered to win it.  Check out her UBP11 post here.”}

And, of course, be sure to register for the prizes. You can indicate your top choices, so make sure the gift certificate from Market Mommy is listed among your favs! The party runs through the 8th, so there's plenty of time to browse the prize list. But, if you want some free link expsosure for your blog, head over and join in now!

If you're new here, I'd love for you to leave a comment so we can get to know each other!

Happy Friday!

Monday
Sep132010

Mommy Monday:: Simply Stacie

Simpy Stacie
Stacie Vaughan has been blogging since December, 2008. Her blog, Simply Stacie, features reviews and giveaways for women’s products, books and family items. She also frequently shares blogging tips and resources that she finds.

Vaughan said she has had quite a bit of success with her blog and that is one reason a schedule is so important for her. “My blog has turned into my full-time job,” she said.  “I get up really early and work throughout the day and normally stop around 4 p.m.”

She said she enjoys it, but keeping up with her blog could literally keep her busy from daybreak to sunset. “Sticking to a schedule helps quite a bit because it can be something that I could do all day,” she said.

Vaughan encourages other new bloggers to keep up their hard work. “Building a blog takes time, so don’t give up,” she said. “Just keep working at it and you will get there.”

In addition to her blog, Simply Stacie can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Blog Frog. Reach out to her if you are interested in having your products reviewed or if you'd like to sponosr a giveaway!