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February 2011

17 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Blogrolls and Link Love


Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. I usually post on Thursdays, but given all the exciting announcements yesterday with BlogWorld East in NYC and opening speaker proposal submissions I decided to post a day later this week so Brilliant Bloggers wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle! Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge link of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts here.

Want to be a BlogWorld Brilliant Blogger? Scroll to the end to find out how to submit your post for an upcoming edition!

This Week’s Topic: Blogrolls and Link Love

Are blogrolls a thing of the past? Maybe, but I think they can work for some people, and in any case, showing your favorite bloggers some link love is important. How you go about doing that depends on the style of your blog and your niche. I thought this was an appropriate topic, since Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago and that holiday is all about showing some love to people you care about! Let’s take a look at what some brilliant bloggers have to say about this topic.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

Blogroll or Links Page? by timetheif

This post is a great comprehensive look at the “to blogroll or not to blogroll” question. Another thing I love about it – there are tons of links throughout the entire piece where you can go to learn a lot more. Talk about link love! Remember to follow the author on Twitter after reading @timethief.

Using Linkbait to Gain Dozens of Targeted Links to Your Site by Ryan Schmitz

This guest post on Daily Blog Tips from Ryan Schmitz of Planting Dollars is great because it gives you an example of how you can compile an awesome link love post and turn that into free links back to your blog – even if you have no mailing list. Check out the post and follow Ryan on Twitter @plantingdollars.

The Benefits of Linking for the Linker by Deb Ng

Y’all probably already know that out very own Deb Ng is a brilliant blogger, but just in case you needed a reminder, check out this post on linking from her social media blog, Kommein. We often think of linking in terms of “how can I get others to link to me?” but in this post, Deb shares some of the benefits to being the one doing the linking. Don’t forget to follow Deb on Twitter @debng.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Next Week’s Topic: Klout

Want your post included? Simple email me at allison@abcontentonline.com with “Brilliant Blogger Link” in the subject line. Remember, only posts about this topic will be accepted. If you have another brilliant post, save it for a topic that better fits the post! Submissions will be accepted until February 23, 2011 at noon. Deadline pass already? Head the most recent Brilliant Bloggers post to see this week’s topic.

Knock, Knock. Who’s There? We’re Not Really Sure. Might Not Be Toyota.


… by Lucretia Pruitt

The masthead at the top of the page reads Dear Crissy: Momhood Captured

A classy and pretty blog that takes you through the days and experiences of one mom – Crissy.  Her picture and her family’s hang to the upper right of the page serving as both guardians and a reminder that you are here on her site. Someplace that there are adults, kids, possibly animals, lessons to learn, things to be reflected back on. From the design of the site? You know you’re on a bona fide Mommy Blog here.

Do you want to know about Crissy? Click on the About link – she’s pretty open. You think you’re here for ADS & PR? Open that link right up – it’s clearly visible on the page.

Dear Crissy is a PR-friendly blog, and while I am happy to accept all pitches, I am more likely to respond if you address me by my name (brownie points if you spell it right), and demonstrate that you have taken a moment to familiarize yourself with my blog. That said, let’s talk! dearcrissy@gmail.com.

Well now, that makes sense.  If I were a PR or AD gal, or even a brand representative, looking to know if we could work with her? There it is in a nutshell.

You know what it doesn’t say though?

It doesn’t say what sets Crissy off. Namely: being treated by a would-be client as if she’s cheap, unskilled labor – simply there to be taken advantage of by anyone clever enough to make it sound like they’re doing her a favor. Worse if they think she’s too stupid to know that she’s being used.

It actually sets anyone off. But, if you’re a professional blogger? You lose count of the number of times you have to explain to someone that ‘no, you don’t work for free‘, and ‘no, not for “exposure” but for actual money, although you might be willing to consider a product to review and keep if it were something you’d consider buying anyways‘  and that you are smart enough to know the FTC regulations that pertain to your industry, and you will be disclosing it, and you won’t have words put in your mouth.

You move from patiently treating folks as if they just need a little education on the subject, to frustratedly realizing that if you have to be educating them on those very basic concepts? They shouldn’t be working in blogger outreach.

So recently, when Crissy Page opened up yet another email pitch (she gets many of those, daily – because she’s a good blogger with a large audience that is fairly engaged) she was perhaps not surprised, but truly offended to read the ‘pitch’ that was inside.  In her own words:

Toyota wants to give me a $10 Amazon gift card to post some of their recent “positive news” on my blog, Tweet it to my 32,000 Twitter followers, and give a whole slew of their videos an endorsement on YouTube. Seriously, Toyota? I mean, seriously?

It appeared to Crissy – and a lot of people who later read the contents of the email pitch she received posted in its entirety – that Toyota was offering to pay mom bloggers $10 a piece to bury recent bad press.

So then the blogging began – which is what bloggers do. They write about stuff they think is relevant to their readers.

Crissy’s post about it here not only included the email, but her reactions, and a link to a blog post from fellow mom blogger, Amanda Henson, over at High Impact Mom who had pointed out that a recent television ad by Toyota which had the line “we don’t make cars for magazines, or road tests, or bloggers – we make them for you…” was less than friendly to bloggers. Crissy said that she had nothing against the woman from MommyNetworks.org who had sent her the bad pitch but stated “I have no idea how much she was compensated by Toyota to recruit mom bloggers in this scenario. I can only assume it was more than a $10 Amazon gift card.

News of Crissy’s post started spreading quickly. Other blogs started picking up the story and the Twitter hashtag #ToyotaFail began showing up in Tweets about the incident with links back to her post.  Toyota’s social media team was paying attention though, and put up a tweet quickly using the hashtag to make sure it showed up on the “Twitter Channel” folks were listening to that read “Have found no contracted affiliation w/ mommynetworks. We don’t support this type of outreach. Getting to the bottom of this.^SD #toyotafail”

At around the same time Samantha Snyder, the owner of Mommy Networks, contacted Crissy by email stating that she had no professional affiliation with Toyota, but had initiated this program on her own, because she was both a loyal Toyota fan and because she thought she could use it as a ‘case study’ for Mommy Networks to attract new customers.

Some skepticism at this idea naturally arose in the comments section of Crissy’s post (which was updated to reflect new information as it came flying in.) The question as to where the money for the $10 Amazon Gift cards was coming from has yet to be answered.  But Samantha’s presence in the Comments section defending her actions brought a new question into focus: if Samantha had no relationship with Toyota – how was a blogger supposed to know if the pitch coming her way was legitimate?

Christy, who blogs at ShakeTheSalt.com, commented that “Between this and the Lansinoh thing, I’m thinking companies need to figure out who they are and are not working with.

Wait, what? Lansinoh? What Lansinoh thing?

A little digging on Google brought to light another such blogger/brand incident that occured recently over Lansinoh® breast pumps.  It appears that Jennifer McKinney (also known as @mckmama) had posted a giveaway on her blog of 4 Lansinoh® Affinity® Double Electric Breast Pumps.  From what can be ascertained by reading Lansinoh’s official response to the incident here and on Ms. McKinney’s post about the incident here – it seems clear that a PR agency had given Ms. McKinney the pumps to give away. Lansinoh claims it was done without their knowledge or approval. Ms. McKinney claims she has emails to the contrary. No one seems willing to name the mysterious PR agency/3rd party that acted on behalf of Lansinoh to offer Ms. McKinney the 4 pumps (valued at around $600.) What is not discernable is why Lansinoh felt that it needed to say “Lansinoh does not support or endorse the blog My Charming Kids or @MckMama” while admitting that their agency did in fact supply her with them.

A little more digging brings up a site that seems to be dedicated solely to exposing issues with Ms. McKinney, and from their own post on the matter here? They seem to have had a hand in bringing about Lansinoh’s awareness, the initial tweeted responses that Lansinoh was not affiliated with Ms. McKinney, her site, or the giveaway, and in part, the final statement that it was a “3rd party” who was responsible.

Let’s talk just a moment here about agency, shall we?

We social media types throw the word agency around a lot when we’re talking about who does what, and what kind of company is responsible for what kind of work.  But the term “agency” has a very specific, legal meaning in the U.S. The wikipedia entry for agency reads:

The law of agency is an area of commercial law dealing with a contractual or quasi-contractual, or non-contractual set of relationships when an agent is authorized to act on behalf of another (called the Principal) to create a legal relationship with a Third Party. Succinctly, it may be referred to as the relationship between a principal and an agent whereby the principal, expressly or impliedly, authorizes the agent to work under his control and on his behalf. The agent is, thus, required to negotiate on behalf of the principal or bring him and third parties into contractual relationship. This branch of law separates and regulates the relationships between:

* Agents and Principals;
* Agents and the Third Parties with whom they deal on their Principals’ behalf; and
* Principals and the Third Parties when the Agents purport to deal on their behalf.

Unless you’re a lawyer or just dig legalease, that sounds a little complex. So I’m going to put it in lay terms:

When a brand hires any “agency” whether it’s a PR agency, a Digital agency, or Social Media agency, the brand representatives sign papers with that agency that let them negotiate or contract with other people on the brand’s behalf.

This means that when a blogger is working with Bob’s PR Agency on a campaign for Susie’s Widgets, Bob is working as an agent for Susie to hire the blogger.

You see, too many bloggers have absolutely no background in business.  They are writers and community builders and dang good ones.  But that doesn’t mean that they automatically know that an “agent” has specific legal powers and responsibilities.

When the whole #ToyotaFail event came to the attention of Scott DeYager (@ScottDeYager) of Toyota’s social media team, the first thing he did was try to contact the folks at MommyNetworks to find out who she was working with. “@mommynetworks Hi there. Wondering if you could DM me who (if anyone) at Toyota contracted you to seed the Toyota news. Thanks.

One of the first things the folks at Lansinoh did was try to track down who, if anyone, was working with Ms. McKinney.

The reason for this is that if an agency contracted someone to work on your behalf? You can end up legally responsible for whatever they say or do in your name. Because, signing a contract with an agency giving them the power to create agreements with bloggers is the same as if you hired them yourself when it comes to legal stuff.

So who is responsible for what then?

Well, usually in cases like this if there are damages (another legally specific term), the lawyers and the courts start getting involved. And then it comes up to them to determine what the damage was, who was responsible, and whether or not the problem can be fixed (remedied) or can only be punished (punitive damages) in order to discourage people from doing it again.

In the instance of Jennifer McKinney and Lansinoh? According to her post, it looks like Jennifer is not taking any further actions. Lansinoh hasn’t said anything other than they’re “looking into their approval processes” which likely means that next contract with the PR agency they hired is likely to read a little differently.

On the Toyota-MommyNetworks front, as of the writing of this, Ms. Snyder had replaced her MommyNetworks.org site with an apology of sorts. A letter to Crissy & Toyota that reads a little bit like an admission, and a still a bit like an accusation that somehow this is Crissy’s fault.

She expresses the hope that everyone will just leave her alone now. And while it’s a nice idea to think that you can just say “oops, I’m sorry, I’ll stop. Go away now” – that depends entirely on what Toyota’s legal department will have to decide (and also that of Care.com’s – who on a sidenote was dragged into the mess due to a copyright in the footer of mommynetworks.org. One that Ms. Snyder said was ‘there when she bought the template from her designer.’)  The negative PR that arose from this incident may or may not be overlooked by the companies it hurt.  Since they were apparently the unwitting victim of this ill-conceived idea, they may not be so willing to let Ms. Snyder off the hook lest other bloggers think that they can do the same without consequences.

The fallout from the whole thing has yet to be felt.

As a result of things like this? There’s the question in blogger’s minds about who they can and can’t trust.  If a pitch comes from an agency, will the brand back it up?  Lansinoh didn’t back up Ms. McKinney.  If the pitch comes from someone who not only isn’t an agency, but also has no relationship with the brand – how will a blogger know it’s not legit?  Should their FTC mandated disclosures include the PR agency that hired the blogger on behalf of the brand?

And over on the brand side — How are you to protect yourself from well-meaning bloggers? Toyota did nothing in this case yet was the focus of a flurry of negative PR.  Do the brands know who the agencies are contracting with on their behalf? Are they included in the conversations and emails of the agencies and bloggers?  How much more work is it going to cause if they have to micromanage the agencies they hired so that they didn’t have to do this themselves?  What about the bloggers who need to verify if someone is working on their behalf – is there an obvious point of contact for them within the brand?

Christy over at ShakeTheSalt.com says “I do not think it falls on the blogger to fact check a PR reps claims that they represent XYZ brand. The chance of false claims from a PR rep about who they represent is slim to none.  Campaigns are not cheaply run and the product has to come from somewhere when product is involved.”

Kelby Carr who runs her own blogger network at TypeAParent.com commented on Crissy’s post “This is very scary…One, it is really disturbing that someone can slap up a site and start pretending to represent major corporations, and ask mom bloggers to do ethically questionable things for $10 gift cards. Two, I think there is a lesson in here for companies. Toyota is smart and clearly monitors the discussion about their company in social media. What about a company that doesn’t? That isn’t on Twitter and pays no attention to blogs? The truth might have never come out.

There will be a period of mistrust on both sides of the fence after episodes like these.  Which is sad, because they really need to be working together to make things work well.  The question of who should bear the burden? Well, I guess that depends on who stands the most to lose. At the moment, that pretty much looks like everybody.

Looking to Speak at BlogWorld East? BlogWorld West? Gather Round…


By now you are aware that there will be (w00t!) two BlogWorld events. BlogWorld East, which will co-locate with Book Expo in New York City and will take place from May 24th through 26th, and BlogWorld West which will take place in…well you’ll just have to wait until Tuesday for THAT announcement.

Honestly, haven’t you had enough excitement for one day?

Since making the announcement, the email floodgates have opened, and most of those have to do with speaking opportunities. Hopefully, this post will answer your questions and simplify the process for you.

As some of you have mentioned, May is right around the corner and this means we’re looking for speakers NOW. As some of you have also noticed, there’s no speaker proposal form on the website. There is a long sad story as to why this is so, but we don’t have time to overshare today. Suffice it to say, that I will accept proposals via email just this once – and just until we have the online form up and working.

A Few Things You Should Know

  • We’re accepting proposals for both “East” and “West” at the same time. If you would prefer to speak at one over the other, please state this in your email. And yes, you can submit different proposals for both, but if that’s the case please wait for the online form to become available before submitting for BlogWorld WEST.
  • Usually when we use a form, we request specific information. The more info you share with us, the less we’ll bug you for more info later. So if you can include a name, bio, where you work, where you blog, your Twitter handle,  a proposal and the intended takeaways, we’d be forever grateful. Also, please know that if you do submit an email proposal, we will be after you before you speak to fill in any blanks and to sign your speaker agreement. We don’t want to be pests, but it’s a compromise we all have to make if we’re to start accepting speaker proposals right away. When the form is up and running,this info will be included.
  • Just because a proposal isn’t a good fit for our “East” event, doesn’t mean we won’t want it for our “West” event. If we don’t accept your proposal for “East,” we may be in touch with you to ask if we can keep it in the running for “West.”
  • We will do our best to keep you posted here, on the Facebook page, on the @BlogWorld and @BlogWorld Expo Twitter accounts and even via email so you know how the proposal process is going.
  • Feel free to include links to videos of past speaking gigs so we can see you rock it in person. And, also, we’re open to video proposals if you want to send one in – just be sure we receive the above mentioned info as well.
  • We will not accept huge, convoluted panels this year. The max is three panelists and one moderator. We know plenty of excellent moderators, so if you need for us to suggest one, we’re happy to help. Please don’t make up a panel of friends simply because you all want to get into BlogWorld for free. Make sure all panelists are a good fit.
  • Please don’t submit a panel proposal unless all panelists have absolutely, positively, 100% agreed to be on said panel.
  • If your proposal is a sales pitch in disguise it’s going to be rejected outright. Please don’t waste both our time. The exhibit floor is for selling. The conference rooms are for learning.

Have I missed anything?

BlogWorld East v. BlogWorld West: Is there a difference?

There will be some slight differences between the two conferences. Both will include the quality content and speakers you’ve come to expect from BlogWorld. However, as BlogWorld East will be located with Book Expo, we’re hoping to have more publishing and media oriented sessions. We’ll also have different smaller community tracks at each event. I’m working out a schedule as we speak and we’ll have an idea of which events will host which tracks in another week or so.

Please be patient…

As soon as the announcement was made today my email in box became inundated with queries, proposals and good wishes. I’m not complaining and I will respond to them all. I’m just asking for your patience as there are so many to go through – in addition to handling other aspects of this frickin’ awesome job.

If you would like to submit a proposal or have any questions or suggestions, feel free to send them to me at deb@blogworldexpo.com.

Thanks – 2011 is going to be the best year ever!!!

– Deb Ng
Conference Director
BlogWorld & New Media Expo
Follow me on Twitter for updates at @blogworldexpo.com

BlogWorld & New Media Expo Comes To New York City!


About a week ago I sent out a tweet “ARGHHHHH. We are all freaking busting at the seems over here to tell you guys some big news…….   “.

This is what we have been dying to share. BlogWorld & New Media Expo will host it’s first east coast event at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City this May 24 – 26! But wait there’s more. “BlogWorld East” will be co-located with Book Expo America!

Scott Stratten's Epic Opening Keynote at BlogWorld 2010 in Las Vegas

Why are we doing this?

Because you asked for it. We have seen the numerous tweets, blog posts,  and emails asking for an event “like BlogWorld” on the east coast. We heard you.

Does this mean there won’t be a BlogWorld West?

We will be announcing the dates and venue for BlogWorld west next Tuesday right here on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc so stay tuned….

Why New York City and Why co-locate with Book Expo?

Two year’s ago at BlogWorld Leo Laporte said during his talk “We are not new media anymore. Now we are just THE MEDIA”. While we all believe that to be true, many in the traditional media are not convinced yet. Since our inception we have had a couple of Big Hairy Audacious Goals. One of them is to foster and accelerate the convergence of traditional and new media.  We can’t think of a single better opportunity to help us accomplish that goal. New York City is the center of the traditional media universe. For four days Book Expo America is the center of the traditional publishing universe.  By locating BlogWorld and Book Expo side by side we are bringing the best and brightest from both communities together for the first time anywhere.  By the way the folks at Book Expo are just as excited about this as we are.

We only have three short months until the event so news will be coming fast and furious. If you want to exhibit or sponsor the event, please contact Patti@blogworldexpo.com right away.

If you would like to speak, you can contact our Conference Director Deb Ng on twitter @blogworldexpo or via email Deb@BlogWorldexpo.com.

For those that want to attend, Registration will be live in a few days.

You can see more details about BlogWorld & New Media Expo NYC here.

I will be checking this post for all of our questions and comments so please fire away.

Ask the Notables: Does Your Blog Design Match Your Personality?


This week’s Ask the Notable question …

Is there anything about your blog design that matches your personality (fonts, colors, header) and why?

Don’t forget – we consider YOUR answers to be notable too – so jump on in and answer the question with a comment below!

The responses (and not everyone responded to every question – so you may see some different people next week!) in alphabetical order are:

C.C. Chapman
C.C. Chapman

Well I just had it redone about a month ago so I hope it captures a lot of that. We wanted it to showcase the professional and personal side of me equally. Also, since I love photography we went with really big images on each section to showcase photos. I also love how my Twitter updates are integrated at the top of each page in that each time the page loads a different photo of me comes up. Some are funnier than others.

Chris Garrett

Yes my blog design (right now) is more about utility than aesthetics (like me), and I chose the grey and white with spots of orange because I think of it as positive, upbeat colour without being too in-your-face 🙂

Jason Falls
Social Media Explorer

Everything has a black background. I refuse to have anything different. My head shot is in a black shirt with a black back drop. I usually wear all black other than jeans when I speak. I’m either mysterious and sinister or wish I were African-American. Not sure which.

Jay Baer
Convince & Convert

The official color for my last three companies has been orange, so that’s definitely part of my personality

Maggie Fox
Social Media Group

Our blog is really a corporate blog, so it reflects Social Media Group rather than any one personality. Overall, I think the look of our site is smart, well-designed, professional and innovative, which is right on brand for SMG.

Zac Johnson

I’m all about having a custom, unique and killer blog design. My blog design is more built around me, then not. I have a personal toon of myself for the blog (which is great for branding), while also focusing on the royalty themes and colors on the blog setup. You may even find some fun spiderman pictures around the site as well!

Next Week: If you could buy a second (or third or fourth) home anywhere – where would it be and why?

How Big Businesses Are Achieving Blogging Success

How Big Businesses Use Blogging

Yesterday our very own Rick Calvert moderated a session at the Blogging Success Summit 11 (it’s not too late to sign up!) that covered How Big Businesses Are Achieving Blogging Success. The panel featured Sukhjit Ghag (from Sony), Deanna Govoni (from Cisco), and Scott Monty (from Ford). Here are some take-aways from the presentation …

How Big Businesses Are Achieving Blogging Success Sony:
Sony uses their blog to engage with enthusiasts and customers. They use several multimedia elements including photos, video blogging. Sukhjit says that it’s really important to have a visual side to a blog update – and even on Facebook. She also revealed it’s important to put yourself out there – as long as you have solidified and support your message.

Sony also put together some case studies, and saw some amazing results by showcasing exclusive content for their readers and sneak peeks to new products. A key aspect to their blog strategy is responding to their comments. “It’s not about being the expert in everything, its about knowing what experts use to connect with the community.”

Cisco uses their blog as the social media hub – which reaches out to their Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Flickr accounts. But their goal with those external products is to always push back to the Cisco home and brand. The main blog is also a hub for their 28 separate blogs with teams focused on different products! Their goal is to showcase thought leadership, engage a community and gather valuable feedback from customers, partners and stakeholders.

Cisco believes that “participation is the currency of the new economy” by engaging with the audience, listening to the conversation, and changing business practices if necessary.

Ford evolved their blogging platform into The Ford Story. It didn’t really start out as a blog – but was launched in 2008 as a political action site to provide readers with a humanized way of telling their story and provide documentation of the execution of the Ford plan. They saw great results but realized they needed to turn it into a blog for further updates and to interact with their readers to make their content “embeddable, spreadable, and shareable.

The blog is designed around the community of Ford fans – showcase their comments via blog posts and Facebook – and allowing them to share their stories via text, images, and videos.

Want to hear more of these business strategies? sign up and check out the archives!

Apple Subscriptions or Google One Pass?


The past two days have seen a variety of changes and choices for subscription-based content providers – mostly in the Apple Subscriptions and Google One Pass.

Apple vs Google

Apple announced yesterday how its subscription service would work:

  • If you offer content subscriptions, you must offer them through your app as well (not just on your website).
  • Renewals and cancellations will take place through iTunes.
  • Apple takes 30% of the subscription cost (for handling payment and backend logistics).
  • You cannot change your subscription price once it’s been implemented.

Google One Pass announced today that publishers can offer a subscription service tied to a Google account:

  • Publishers have various options for how they charge for content and they’re allowed to experiment with different price models.
  • One Pass operates across any site with the functionality enabled. Content can be managed online and in mobile apps.
  • One Pass takes 10% of the subscription cost.

So how can a content provider meld the two? Publishers can only use One Pass in an app if the mobile operating system’s guidelines allow it. But Google DOES allow apps to redirect customers to a mobile Web browser to make a purchase, where publishers can use Google One Pass and keep 90 percent of the revenue. It’s a possible workaround for Apple’s requirements.

Another perk to Google One Pass, as pointed out by TechCrunch, is that publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers.customer information collected by Google will be shared with publishers unless the user opts-out. In Apple’s system, user data can only be shared if the user explicitly chooses to do so. That’s a big difference.

More Resources:

My Cat, The Monetization Master


My cat, Godiva, is a monetization master.

Kitty sez: "I haz no free ebook to dowload. You pet me nao?"

Ok, so she doesn’t actually make money, but only because that isn’t her goal. Her goal is attention and food – and she gets both of those things in abundance. If you have a cat, I bet yours does too. We should all count our lucky stars that cats can’t type, or they’d be the top bloggers in every niche, I’m sure of it.

So what does my cat do that we can implement on our blogs?

  • She is consistent.

Godiva wants her breakfast every morning as soon as I step out of my bedroom. If I’m not home, she meows outside of my roommate’s door until he wakes up and feeds her (since he usually sleeps later than I do). She gets freaked out by changes in the house, like moving furniture, and she has certain spots where she likes to sleep. And because she’s in a routine, so am I. The first thing I do when I wake up is trudge out to the kitche and put food in her dish.

Are you as consistent as my cat? You don’t have to blog every day. You don’t even have to blog on a schedule. But if you’re super sporadic about your posts, sometimes posting every single day and other times going weeks between posts, it is unsettling to readers. This goes beyond post frequency. Do you use Twitter and Facebook consistently? Do you email your list consistently? If you want your readers to consistently pull out their wallets, you have to be at least somewhat consistent as well.

  • She is a friend no matter what.

Even if I stopped petting my cat, she would always be there for me with some kitty love. She doesn’t understand the concept of “paying” for something. Pets have this uncanny sense when we need them, and if I’m having a crappy day, Godiva is my shadow. She wants to make me feel better, whether I gave her a treat that morning or not.

As bloggers, we sometimes get caught up in only caring about our readers if they are going to give us money in some way. Yes, you have to make a living, and you might even be blogging solely for money, but if your readers get the sense that you’re only being nice to them because you want something from them, you’re not really going to build much loyalty. Sure, they might buy something if they find it useful, but they’re less likely to rave about you to their friends, trust you for projects they’re unsure about, or otherwise offer support. Be useful and friendly without expecting anything in return, because that’s how you’ll actually end up seeing the most return. Look at the big picture.

  • She gives me options.

Godiva isn’t good at taking no for an answer. When she wants attention, she wants attention. Now. But she’s willing to give me options. If I shoo her away when she tries to sit on my lap, she rubs against my foot. If I move her off of my stomach when she tries to snuggle as I’m going to sleep, she curls up beside my head. If she wants to play but I don’t grab her peacock feathers (her favorite toy, which I have to keep on the high shelf or she’ll tear them apart), she’ll bring me one of her mouse toys.

Do you give your readers options? Not everyone can afford to buy your $500 product. Do you have a “light” option that’s a little less expensive? Or provide a payment plan? If one of your products isn’t relevant to your readers, do you have another product that they might like? You don’t want to overload your readers with options, but give them a few choices so your products are as convenient as possible.

Do you have pets? What can they teach us about monetization?

Everloop Social Media Site For Tweens, But Will They Use It?


Everloop, a new social network that aims to be a Facebook alternative for tweens, is launching today with schools, brands and investors already on board. The question is, will kids use it?

They might – considering Everloop is COPPA compliant and can be used in the school systems (unlike the more well-known Facebook). But they might not, considering their friends may already be on Facebook – and then who needs another social media site anyway!! I think it will take some serious nudging by parents and teachers alike to make them consider and make the switch. Or maybe just some cool games – considering that’s all my 9-year-old does with Facebook anyway!

Everloop does require parental verification and allows for parent supervision. And unlike Facebook, where a tween can just lie about their birthday and get an account, Everloop goes through an authentication process for the parent account (by a $1 charge on your credit card, or verifying your social security number). Once signed up, parents can choose to restrict certain features, and they can also choose which notifications they’d like to receive. In April, a partnership with Internet safety education program i-Safe will bring the Everloop network into about 56,000 schools.

The site does not allow kids to post information that could identify them to strangers, and prevents bullying and inappropriate behavior. According to the press release, Everloop’s unique, age-appropriate social media experience created by intertwined micro-networks called “loops” is unlike any other social platform on the market today. Loops featured on Everloop include communities of common interest (art, science, culture, reading, sports, current affairs etc.), creative applications for the creation of digital art, music, social games, videos, photos, animation, premium content e-storefront, user-generated content, and other integrated online learning experiences.

I just signed my tween up to test it out – and then we can get a first-hand review of whether or not it’s something she’ll continue to use!

Sometimes You May Want to Change Your Permalink


You know you’ve done it – hit “Publish” on your blog post and then said “whoops, I misspelled something in the title.” You pop back in, change the text, update your post, and go on your merry way.

But did you know the URL stays the same? If your title was included in the URL, the misspelling will remain there unless you choose to edit the permalink – which is feasible in most blogging platforms. The question is – do you want to? Should you?

Why You Shouldn’t Change Your Permalink:
You shouldn’t change your permalink if it’s not that big of a mistake. Because once you change it – all of the RSS feeds that have already pulled in your post will now link to an error page. Not very good for your readers or SEO.

Why You Should Change Your Permalink:
If you had something way off in your title – something that people could misinterpret or it could reflect badly on your site if caught – you should consider changing the permalink. Perhaps like this from FOX:

From the permalink you can gather that the original title read Drunk CBS Reporter Speaks Utter Gibberish at Grammys. The new title is Did CBS Reporter Speaking Gibberish at Grammys Have a Stroke? but they kept the permalink the same. This is a case where they might’ve wanted to change the permalink!

What do you think?

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