Category Archives: Blogging, Social Media and Online Marketing

4 Smart Ways To Promote Your Online Shop Locally

Diy felt soap class chicago

Diy felt soap class chicago

Whether you run a small online jewelry shop or a local web based woodcrafts store – you’re always on the lookout for ways to market your shop. Right?

Without customers you don’t have a business – there’s no way around this one. Customers are your lifeblood. And unless you run completely on repeat customers (should you be so lucky! right?) you have to keep looking for more.

We have a few ideas for you that should help with finding new patrons for your awesome online shop. And locally.

See them below.

1. Dabble Event – have you heard of Dabble? Basically this is an event platform – for teaching and hosting events. Yes! even events that help promote your online shop. What I see people doing through Dabble is creating events that tie into their business. Lets say you sell soap online which you just happen to make as well – you’re PERFECT for Dabble. Because not only do they offer you the opportunity to create, manage and market a local event; you can also teach an event. So what you could do is come up with a fun, smart event idea that on its own will also inadvertently promote your shop. Lets keep going with the online soap store category, the type of events you could host or teach include: soap making 101, easy DIY soap at home, felted soap (this is a real class taught by a local Chicago soap lady), eco soap how to, etc. Everything is handled through the Dabble site – event creation, event management and event promo. Give it a try yourself and see how it works for you.

Links: Felted soap lady – https://dabble.co/chicago/felting-wet-and-dry/classes/soaping-101-hand-felted-soap-with-patty-heinze

2. Expo Event – this is similar to our idea mentioned above but the costs might be higher. Usually to host a booth in an expo the fees go anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. But depending on the type and size of expo event, you could potentially net a nice return on those dollars. It all depends on your goals and strategy. Another thing to keep in mind is to (browse local smaller expos) in your area that won’t be as expensive; but if picked right – could also garner you leads and or sales. At the very least, expo events are a fantastic way to collect emails for follow up marketing

3. Chamber of Commerce Event – the thing with Chamber of Commerce events is that they’re usually highly promoted by the Chamber and attended mostly by locals. A great opportunity for you to get the word out about your online shop locally. I believe there are a variety of ways you could become part of the event; such as by sponsoring the event itself or sponsoring a specific activity, hosting a booth or table, volunteering as your company (meaning be sure to wear a t-shirt and hat that has your business name or logo front and center).

4. Facebook Buy/Sell Groups – have you heard of or been to the many buy and sell groups on Facebook. You name the product and I bet there’s a group out there for it. Search for your niche group, join and become an active member. Many of these groups allow promotion only on certain days, others everyday and others not at all – but have a files or members profiles section where you can describe yourself and your online shop. Take advantage of these awesome and very active groups; as they are all FREE to join.

Hope this article has provided a few good ideas to market your online shop further and grow, grow, grow that business!!! 🙂

We ❤ online entrepreneurs and as such; are always on the lookout for tips, tricks and tools that help you. Feel free to reach out to me if you happen to know of something awesome out there for me to share.

 

 

 

Ride Sharing and Ride Share Industry Link Round Up – #1

If you run a ride share or ride sharing blog and want to be part of the 1st ever ride share posts link round up, this is YOUR chance. 🙂

Join our first round up, by linking up your best ride share blog post with us. As long as your blog or post is on topic, well written and from 2017 – you’re in.

Deadline to submit your article is: Feb 20th by midnight for inclusion. The round up is meant to introduce our readers and visitors on this *hot* and in demand topic.

According to a recent article from (Ride Share Apps) the ride share industry is only going to grow in 2017 and over the next few years. And lots of consumers are curious about what this ride share stuff is all about. That’s where this unique link round up comes in.

Also a few days ago when I was doing some research on LYFT, I ran into a mother load of blogs dedicated entirely to the industry. I had no idea. Till now.

@The Ride Share Guy
@Ride Share Report
@Ridester
@Rideshare.com
@Ride Share Connection
@Ride Share Apps
and more…

Well to make a long story short, that’s how this ride sharing blog post round up was born. Please join in! 🙂

Submit your post today. Deadline is this Monday 2/20 at midnight.

Thanks!

NEW! Web Content Service: Blog Posts and Articles (Various Niches)

fiverr web content banner

As a blogger and writer for hire, I know the tremendous demand for web content and how some blog owners sometimes need help with keeping their blogs updated. I know at times I do. As such, I decided to create a service for blog and site owners.

Let me write or update your blog for you.

I created the service on Fiverr because it’s a great and easy platform for services and everything can be handled through their interface.

fiverr web content banner

On Fiverr – I have a few gigs, one of which is for web content. Through this gig, I will write original web content such as blog posts and articles for the standard Fiverr price. Should you need the content sooner, I can do it for an additional fee. The articles will be written by me and not anyone else, 100% original, in a niche I’m familiar with, have prior experience in – and up to 600 words.

As mentioned in my gig, please do contact me first BEFORE placing an order to discuss your needs or the order will be cancelled. I just would like to learn more about what your article needs are to see whether I can accommodate or not.

Some of the niches I can write a blog post or article in are:

  • green and eco friendly living
  • basic personal finance (not accounting, stocks, etc)
  • fitness
  • apps
  • blogging/social media/Wordpress
  • fashion
  • travel
  • deals and discounts
  • blogging, social media, WordPress
  • online marketing

Go to Fiverr here.

Please check out my blog posts and article gig and if you need my services – hit the contact button on Fiverr. The turnaround time for articles is 2 days but should you need them sooner, I can do so for an additional fee through the (gig extras) section. Convo me first BEFORE placing an order and let me help you out with your web content needs. 🙂

4 Ways To Stay Current On Blogging News…

blogging industry news

blogging industry news

If there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to the blogging world is…change. From social media to content marketing and SEO to blogging design, changes are part of the program.

But what makes blogging challenging is what also makes it fun and interesting.

If it never changed, blogging as we know it would be extinct, and something else would have taken over by now.

One part of blogging – for example social media is a never ending sea of changes – especially Facebook. They’re constantly tweaking and tweaking the site and its many functionalities. So much so, it has changed leaps and bounds from when it first began and was only open to college students. Remember that? Yep! there was a time Facebook was only open to college students and one needed a student email address to sign up. You didn’t have one, you couldn’t sign up.

Lots has changed since then and as long as Mark Zuckerberg is behind the wheel – I imagine it will continue to. This is both good and bad; good in the sense that it’s basically always finding new ways to stay ahead of the curve and be innovative; bad in the sense that we as publishers and bloggers need to constantly keep up with these myriad of changes and that can certainly be quite the challenge. In fact, really it has become a full time task; that’s why we now have social media managers and community managers and such to keep up with what us bloggers sometimes cannot.

However there are several good blogs dedicated to these changes; and that’s where this articles comes into play. Not just social media, but blogging and online marketing in general.

1. Blogging, Alltop.com –

Alltop is a content curator in different topics and one of those topics is blogging, it’s a page with the latest news all about blogging from different sites around the web. From blog marketing to blog security and blog content ideas to WordPress changes; Alltop is a great one stop shop for blogging industry news.

2. Social Media Examiner –

This is the go to resource for all things social media and the one place I always refer anyone who wants info or simply the latest on the major social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. From how to tutorials to the latest apps and tools and the many changes the networks put out, Social Media Examiner is your go to resource. One day they might discuss the new Facebook image cover designs and the next day its all about how Pinterest users can create a public or private group in their accounts. And they discuss the changes in depth with info, exclusive tips, screenshots and many times step-by-step tutorials.

3. Problogger –

Darren Rowse has a category called blog news and its great reading for when you want to catch up on the topic and have the time to do so; your commute to and from work, waiting at the docs office, or maybe make it part of your nightly bedtime reading ritual. He sets it up as a round up series of blogging news and recaps and covers a bit of everything blogging related.

4. Entrepreneur.com Blogging –

The Entrepreneur.com Blogging section is great at gathering news and the latest on tools and apps for bloggers. We see everything from blog success stories to blog trends and lots of helpful blog content ideas.

(Bonus #5) Latina Bloggers Connect Weekly News Round Ups –

We had to add this one to our list as well, as Tracy Lopez does a great job of covering blog news with her LBC weekly blogging round ups which have (recent) blogging tips, trends, news, events, and more which any blogger (Latina or not) can benefit from. We love her content curation and think you will too – have a look and feel free to share any of her tips and or blogging news links with your networks.

It can be difficult to keep up with the many changes blogging has in store for us, but reading and following those who cover the topic exclusively or even occasionally is a great way to stay in touch. The sites mentioned above all do this and are quite helpful in this regard. Follow them via RSS, Facebook or whatever your preference is for reading blog articles and we hope this keeps you abreast of the ever changing awesomeness that is blogging.

***How do you stay current with blogging? Tell me on my Facebook page please.

Chicago Bloggers Local Link Up – 9/10/2015 #MidwestBloggers

chicago bloggers local link up

chicago bloggers local link up

I am borrowing this idea from the Virginia Bloggers blog and membership site. They’re a city blog that promotes local bloggers with a weekly local link up. I love the idea and wish to do the same here, just need to get the word out and let others know. If you happen to come on by and see this and are a Chicago blogger, please spread the word. I plan to do this link up weekly, depending on participation and at the very least, could also just do it bi weekly.

YOU tell me. YOU let me know. YOU decide.

It’s easy, simply drop your latest post below via the (InLinkz) link. A pic along with a link to your post will appear on the weekly link up. Sharing is appreciated, spreading the word on your Twitter and Facebook will get us ALL more traction. Use hashtag: #MFClinkup

1. October is looking like a great time to visit one of our fine museums, since we’re having our very first dedicated “Museum Week”. Madeline Wolfson from Time Out Chicago has all the deets on the museums participating, the free or discounted days and the many special events. Plan now, for a great family outing in October.

2. Looking for some good restaurant and meal ideas for this week? Here are a few awesome ones from Chicago Magazine’s website. Honey Butter Fried Chicken restaurant (on Elston Avenue) sounds like a hot spot!

3. I just ran into Midwest Bloggers on Facebook, and as their name suggests – they’re a network of bloggers from the Midwest such as Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. We’re happy to have found them, as the site is run by a couple of local gals who each also run fabulous blogs, so do give this network a look if you’re a Chicago blogger.

Leave your link below – remember to leave the title of your blog post in the (name) field.

Techie Friday: Your Blogging, WordPress & Social Media Questions Answered

techie friday banner

techie friday banner

We’ve decided to make Fridays here – Techie Friday. So get your blogging, WordPress and social media questions lined up and we will do our best to get you an answer. Anything from how to install a WordPress widget to how to automate your blog posts to social media; including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. There’s a lot to blogging from initial set up to design and content to managing the back end software and of course growing and keeping a readership. So much to manage, learn and keep up with.

We might not have an answer to your question, and if so – we will do our best to direct you to a good resource.

But if we have the answer, we will answer it here on this very post (*as an update) or below in the comments section.

Go!

Possible techie questions:

Content ideas?

How to place ads on blog?

Where to find a design for my blog?

Best way to promote on Facebook?

We look forward to your techie questions as it relates to blogging.

2 Smart Web Tools Bloggers Should Take A Look At

sumo me email list builder app

sumo me email list builder app

If you spend a good deal of time online blogging, there are a ton of web apps and tools that make browsing, researching or sourcing – easier and faster. We found a few such tools and wanted to share them with you. See them below.

1. Pocket –

Pocket is a free and cool web and smartphone app that allows for easy and quick storing of articles, videos, memes, photos, etc to view and access later. Great for when you’re short on time, but REALLY want to read that article or watch that video later. Which is exactly what I do and how I use Pocket and you can too. It’s free, you can download it on all your various devices such as a tablet, phone and laptop. It syncs from all devices and you can access what you save via any of them. It has a neat and simple interface; not too mention Pocket is just plain fun to use.

As a blogger, it’s great for sourcing material for future articles. For example, you can save an article today that is about a topic you know you plan to write about next week; Pocket saves it in its entirety and you can then view it later when you’re ready to write your blog post.

Try it here: Get Pocket

2. Sumo Me –

Sumo Me is pretty neat and it’s more like a bundle of tools than one item. Sumo Me has the following products which any blogger can use for free and possibly increase website traffic with. My favorite features of Sumo Me is the email list builder and the scroll box for email sign ups. I haven’t yielded many sign ups yet, but that’s because I haven’t promoted the blog at all and there aren’t too many articles on here yet. With time, more content and some promo; the email list builder tool should do well. We shall see.

How about you? Do you see any tools that look like something that could help you increase traffic, readers and or email sign ups? Let me know what you think about this very cool suite of blogger tools – Sumo Me.

  • Email List Builder
  • Heatmaps
  • Social Sharing Tools
  • Content Analytics
  • Image Sharer
  • Smart Bar
  • Highlighter
  • Scroll Box (for email sign ups)

Try it here: Sumo Me

I found these two apps online by accident, most likely on Facebook. But quite happy with both of them and ever since I found them both, I use them for blogging and or simply for my web work tasks.

If you have any web apps which help in your blogging; feel free to let me know on Facebook; let me know what they are and how they’ve helped you.

I’m always happy to hear of new awesome tools and apps that help with blogging. 🙂

Niche Website Creation Service Update

groovy chicago blog

If you have noticed or come across my online marketing and support page here on the blog, then you know I help others with creating web assets. Be it a website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter profile, Instagram page, Google Plus page, Pinterest, etc. I wanted to discuss in more detail the niche website creation service I offer. So see more below.

groovy chicago blog

Niche Website Creation Service

Essentially we can tailor a website for any of the following niches, and if you happen to fall in any of them; do reach out and let’s chat.

  • Cell Phone Repair Shop
  • Cell Phone Repair Mobile Service
  • Food Trucks
  • Dog Walkers and or General Pet Service Providers
  • Mortgage brokers
  • Leasing Consultants
  • At home bakeries, cleaning service, music teachers, massage therapists, personal caterers, etc
  • and more…

Do you run one of these services? If so, let’s chat and discuss your website or online presence needs. I can create the following as mentioned above.

  • website
  • blog
  • Facebook business page
  • Twitter
  • Google +
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • any other similar web asset or property

Cost varies upon scope of work. But generally speaking since I’m not a NOT developer or designer by trade – I have a budget friendly rate sheet. I’m simply someone who has created a number of sites and blogs both for myself and for clients in many different niches and would like to help you get online as well. I use WordPress as my site creation software of choice and I do so; because it’s simple to use, scalable, versatile and free. WordPress simply rocks for ANY TYPE of site. Even shops.

The process is simple. See it below.

PROCESS TO WEBSITE CREATION SERVICE

  1. Fill out the form below
  2. I will reply and we will both discuss your needs in detail
  3. You will choose from a pre-made design/template
  4. You will provide me with any photos, logo, web copy, etc to add to the site
  5. You will receive a rough draft
  6. Then approve, or make edits as needed
  7. Site will be CREATED and ready for business
  8. You will be happy!!!!

Fill out the form below – to get started.

Get online today! Your customers are waiting to do business with you now and at their convenience. Whether through their PC, phone or tablet.

They can’t find you, if you’re not online. Let’s do it – fill out the form below.
*If you don’t see the form, click this link for the live form on the web.

Monday WordPress Plugins for Week of March 2nd, 2015

header and footer plugin for wordpress

header and footer plugin for wordpress

Since we have a blogging, social media and online marketing sub category as part of the parent Chicago working category on this site, we will from time to time profile tools, apps and plugins that appeal to users of the CMS platform of WordPress.

Every week we will mention, feature or simply discuss a cool new tool (or tools) we think you as a blogger will appreciate and or find useful. This week we notate three such awesome finds, please let me know if you also think they’re awesome and as usual if you approve; (PLEASE!) spread the good word (and thank you!)

1. Instagram Feed –

Instagram Feed is good for displaying your photos in a nicely formatted widget in your blogs sidebar. Take a look at my sidebar and you’ll see the Instagram Feed widget in action. It shows several of your photos from your IG account and you can set it to display in a number of rows and columns, you can customize its size, color and more. It looks neat and clutter-free and is a great way to remind readers and visitors to follow you on Instagram while on your site.

2. Header and Footer

Header and Footer is a plugin that lets you add items to your header and or footer such as the code for Google Webmaster Tools, a banner ad, an affiliate ad, or anything else you wish to place there without having to manipulate the HTML editor code within the back end of your WordPress. You can also add items in the blog post area; before and after the post area – without having to touch any code. This free plugin can be found in the WordPress repository as are the two plugins mentioned below. Give this one a try if you want to add a header banner ad to your site easily and quickly; or want to add something special to the footer section of your blog.

3. Sumo Me –

SumoMe is a great newish plugin that allows you to easily and for free capture email addresses on your blog. I have it on my blog and if you stay on it for about another few seconds or so and or browse around, you will trigger the pop up email capture form. It can be color coded to match the color on your site and it’s super simple to install and use. We love this little plugin and only just recently found it, can’t remember where we heard about it, but I think someone mentioned it on Facebook. If you want a FREE and SIMPLE email capture plugin, this is it. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a more robust option such as Aweber, but does it what it means to do which is easily and quickly capture email addresses from your blog. Try it and let us know what you think?

These are all super neat WordPress plugins and each one is relatively simple to install and use. However if you’re reading this, and need help – let me know. Reach out to me via my Facebook page anytime. Send me a private message if you wish to keep it private. I would be happy to help you with the installation and or use of any of the plugins mentioned on my current and upcoming lists, as I also use them.

***I want to give a shout out to the following bloggers, who always keep me on my toes and continuously provide excellent blogging, social media and online marketing tips. Kim Garst of Social Boom and Lynn Terry of Clicknewz. I have them on my Facebook feed and can always count on them for great tips, tools and informative articles. Hello ladies! 🙂