Blogging

Two Free Passes to MRUShift Digital Marketing Conference – Calgary!

Posted on Jun 9, 2011 in Blogging, Events & Training | 0 comments

Have you heard of MRUShift (Mount Royal University Social Media Shift) ? It is the first of it’s kind in Calgary. Put on by Mount Royal University, the one day conference that is focused on online marketing is likely to be one of the best to hit Calgary.

Watch for a blog post coming soon on speakers and why you should attend.

But right now I am trying to give away some free passes!!!!

I have two to give away:

  1. One pass to anyone that works or volunteers in a non-profit organization – cause you guys rock and you are changing the world !
  2. And one pass to ANYONE else that wants to rock this conference – cause you are likely awesome too

All you have to do to enter is scribble #MRUShift somewhere – on your cheek (face cheek!), fridge, food, wall, floor etc. Then snap a picture of it, and Tweet it (make sure to use the #MRUShift hashtag and tag me @sbkelsick), Facebook it (be sure to tag me: Shannon Bowen-Kelsick) or email it to me and I will share it.

Sound like fun?! Contest ends June 17th. Winners announced June 18th on this blog.

Enter as many times as you like!

Thank you to Mount Royal for the passes.

PS – please don’t harm our enviro, your body, or any innocent animals in the response to this context LOL!

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Why Blog? Merry’s Answer: Meeting People

Posted on May 31, 2011 in Blogging | 0 comments

I asked the blogging community – Why Blog? Here is what Merry Kuchle of Merry with Children had to say.

Merry lives in Calgary, Alberta. She blogs about family life, and she includes some really beautiful pictures in her posts, as well as GREAT ideas for parents – like taking nice pictures of your kids artwork instead of keeping it all.  Enjoy.

What kind of a blog do you have?

Merry With Children is a personal blog about my family, my daily life and family friendly cooking.  When I first started out I posted tons of pictures along with anecdotes about my new life in Canada with my husband and step children.  I have moved away from talking about them as much because they are getting older and I would never want to embarrass them.  My four year old, Evan, is still fair game though!  I also post the occasional product review but reviews are definitely not the focus of my blog.

How long have you been blogging for?

I started blogging in January of 2006.  Back in the early days I was a very sporadic blogger and I mostly posted for the benefit of my family and friends that live in the United States.  Since then I have tried to become a more consistent blogger and I have readers outside of my “in real life” social circle.

How often do you think one should blog?

It really depends on what your goals are.  I think that bloggers who blog consistently are more successful than sporadic bloggers.  If your readers check back and see that you haven’t blogged in a week or two, they often won’t check back as frequently after that.  If you blog every day or every other day, readers develop a routine around checking your blog.

What have been the rewards of blogging?

The single biggest reward has been the people I have met through blogging and social media.  After blogging for a few years, I started using Twitter as well.  Through these two platforms I have met many wonderful, like minded people that I would probably have never met otherwise.  It has definitely been a big help in developing friendships in Calgary since I moved here 7 years ago.

Why might you recommend blogging to someone?

For businesses, I often recommend blogging as a way to put a personal “face” on your corporation.  As a consumer, I love to be able to see the humanity behind the brand.  For individuals, I recommend blogging as a “virtual scrapbook”.  Though I realize that blogs as scrapbooks are sometimes not that interesting to readers, they rarely stay that way for long.  Bloggers get used to blogging and find their voice.  Usually the rest is history.

Do think that blogs can be beneficial for developing business?

Yes, definitely.  As long as you have a strong writer and blog about relevant, relatable items, I think it can be definitely beneficial.

What blogging platform(s) do you use and would you recommend (WordPress, Blogger, etc. Do you use free or premium templates or design your own?

I started out my blog on Blogger.  I would recommend it for beginner bloggers that aren’t really sure about blogging long term.  It is easy to learn and investment is low.  I moved to self hosted WordPress a few months ago and I have been very happy with it so far.  The cost of self hosting and increased complexity definitely make WordPress a more investment intensive option.  Since I also work full time in Sales, I did not have time to deal with all the complexities of moving my blog from blogger to WordPress.  I hired someone to handle the move and design a new blog template and banner for me.  There are a few technical things that I still need to fix but overall I am very happy with my current platform and template.

Where do you see your blog going in the future or what goals do you hope to achieve with your blog in the future?

I would love to increase my readership going forward.  I think that tweaks I have made in my blogging frequency and content are helping me move towards that goal.  Since my blog is not a full time venture, I try to stay realistic with my goals.  Goals regarding blog monetization require much more time than I currently have to devote to my blog.  Overall, I am happy with my little blog and I am true to myself and my family and in the end that is what is most important to me.

Thank you to Merry for taking the time – she is an uber busy lady, with a beautiful blog: www.merrywithchildren.com and check out Merry on Twitter @merry120.

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Just Click Publish! Stop Over Proofing Your Blog Posts

Posted on Mar 13, 2011 in Blogging, Tools and Technology | 0 comments

This blog post was inspired by Mitch Joel’s podcast #241 with Valeria Maltoni (who writes a fabulous marketing blog called Conversation Agent).

Mitch and Valeria both blog 6-7 times a week consistently. Mitch explains that many people believe that blogging is really, really hard and that it’s difficult to come up with topics every single day, “but when you are living and breathing in something that you love, I am actually really challenged ….to decide what I am going to blog about.” Mitch talks about the fast speed in which he writes, that he “pounds it out” and “thats how I feel”.

So many bloggers or potential bloggers I spend time with seem to struggle hitting the publish button on their blogs. Many bloggers I know spend so much time perfecting their post, that their blog suffers. The time and effort that goes into writing and pushing that publish button is overwhelming and practically holds them hostage.

I joke with new bloggers that they shouldn’t spend endless hours perfecting their first posts because it is likely that a new blogger’s posts are not going to get very many views! I believe that a new blogger’s first 5-10 posts should be well written and thought provoking, but they should be quick, and it is more important to get used to hitting that publish button than it is to write an eloquent post.

It reminds me of writing an important email that is going to a large group of people. We often write it, proof it, reread it, reproof it, get a peer to read it, then finally when we hit that send button it is a relief, but how much time did we waste in the hesitation of clicking send? Sure the email may be perfectly written, but did it still convey the exact same message as the first draft did? Could we have sent it out after proofing the email twice instead of eleven times?

Hitting the publish button on your blog can be very liberating and we should all feel a sense of accomplishment everytime we publish a piece of content, it’s a big deal. To help you actually hit that publish button more often you can set some writing guidlines that can help in the writing process.

For example a guideline could be that once you write a draft post you will publish it within one day, or that you will write AND publish a post in one sitting. There should be some passion and hopefully some speed or urgency behind your writing, as Mitch Joel of Six Pixels often talks about, “punch it out”.

Yes I believe in proofing your posts, but not so much that it inhibits the writing and publishing process. Proof your article, but have fun clicking that publish button (maybe a bit earlier than you would normally). Then move onto your next article!

And heck, you can always go and edit the article if you made any major mistakes…happy publishing!

 

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My Five Favorite Digital Marketing Blog Posts (from Feb 2011)

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 in Blogging, Tools and Technology | 0 comments

Here are some of my fav blog posts from the past few weeks, hope you enjoy them too:

  1. Thought provoking: Could Your Small Business Benefit From Two Websites by The GlueEd Marketing Blog
  2. Nice video post, nice clear message: Engagement Over Reach (Death to Traditional Media!) by Ernest Barbaric
  3. Love the analytic and measurable results: Email Links Are Meaningless by Mike McCready
  4. I like the message in this post, I agree that successful blogs can have opinions (‘mean’ or not) blended with facts, I personally find them more interesting: Is Mean Blogging the Writing of the Future? by Liz Strauss
  5. And to lighten up and have some laughs, oh – and also because I didn’t really know what a social media douchebag was, this helped clarify LOL: A Quick But Important Primer on Becoming  a Douchebag by Julien Smith

Like the mug? Of course… it’s for sale.

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Content Marketing – Start a Blog?

Posted on Feb 3, 2011 in Blogging | 2 comments

I was inspired to write this article while I was listening to a Copyblogger podcast with Robert Bruce and Copyblogger founder Brian Clark (weekly podcasts can be found for free on iTunes) – highly suggested!

Copyblogger is a website (podcast etc.) that teaches us how content marketing works. Something Brian said that is very simple but summarizes content marketing is “Give away valuable content and sell something related.”

As my readers know I am very passionate about blogging. I am a walking blogging billboard. I need to start keeping track of my ‘conversion rate’ – the statistics of my friends and family that were not bloggers, and now are! My friends that are setting up blogs are either understanding the rewards of blogging, or just sick of me talking about blogs so they set one up to shush me. Either way I am happy with the outcome.

Create a coffee bean blog and sell travel mugs. Create a music blog and sell rock band tshirts. Create a photo blog and sell frames. If you pick something that you are passionate about you can make it work.

The market is not saturated. I am a prime example – there are soooo many marketing bloggers, but yet I have carved out my niche and am benefitting greatly because of my blog. Telling me that you won’t start your blog on politics because there are so many out there already is like saying “why learn – there are already enough smart people out there”. The potential of blogging, and establishing yourself as an online resource is very exciting and has such huge (and proven!) success.

I recommend signing up for Copybloggers newsletter – http://www.copyblogger.com/ (enter your email address in top right hand corner).

Get inspired to blog today!

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Presentation Notes – Why Blog?

Posted on Jan 27, 2011 in Blogging | 2 comments

Here is a summary of resources and highlights from my presentation to the Calgary SEO Meetingup group on January 27th :

Extra info added on Jan 28th:

  • @zoomjer - Edmonton Real Estate Agent with a love for bacon (re: personal branding success)
  • www.sxc.hu – a resource for free pictures for your blog
  • Flickr Creative Commons – more free pictures for your blog

Mitch Joel’sBlogging and Podcasting as  Business Model”   blog post. Mitch talks about:

  1. Paid content (direct). The content is valuable and people are willing to pay for it. Examples:
  2. Advertising supported (direct). The content is freely distributed, but it is packaged with advertising.
  3. Thought leadership (indirect). There is no advertising or “sales pitch” in the content, but the hopes are that the content creates the desire to want to work with the content producer.

Chris Brogan’s $10 month subscription for weekly Blog Topics and writing tips.

Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists Blog

Blogger Story – Susanna Lau of Style Bubble

Blogging Resources:

Examples of successful bloggers:

  • Satoralist – photo blogger – wildly sucessful
  • Dooce – Heather Armstrong – she earns  an$40K / month from her blog
    • From Wikipedia: In 2002, Armstrong ignited a fierce debate about privacy issues when she was allegedly fired from her job as a web designer and graphic artist because she had written satirical accounts of her experiences at a dot-com startup on her personal blog, dooce.com.[5] She did not challenge her termination and has refrained from identifying her place of employment in interviews.
    • Armstrong warns her fellow bloggers: I started this website in February 2001. A year later I was fired from my job for this website because I had written stories that included people in my workplace. My advice to you is BE YE NOT SO STUPID.
  • Miss604 - Rebecca Bollwit – blogging since 2004 and podcasting since 2005, in 2008 she started Sixty4media a social media consulting firm where she develops wordpress website

Sites that have Apps that could inspire blogging content:

  • Instapaper – Save interesting web pages for reading later
  • Mashable – social media news and web tips

Books:

How to connect with me:

Why Blog Worksheet:

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