My Toolkit for Effective Blogging

laptopHey, everyone! I’m doing something different today. Most of you don’t know this, but I also run a book blog. I’m hosting a month-long challenge over on that blog, and one of the topics fit perfectly with what I usually write about over here. So, I decided to repurpose it!

The prompt that this post answered was, “What’s in your blogging toolkit?”

Not all of these are specifically blogging tools, they range from WordPress plugins to productivity tools. But I wouldn’t be an effective blogger without them, and they deserve credit for that.

(P.S. I’m kind of nervous linking to my book blog here, since I’m somewhat embarrassed by my reading tastes. Don’t judge me!)

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September in Writing

Hey there! So I’m going to try out something new. You come here, you see that I haven’t updated in a month, and think I haven’t been writing. But I write a lot, just not always here. But how are you supposed to know that?

I thought that to give you something to read, without writing a brand new post here, I’ll start letting you know about some of my other stuff.

So, here you go, here’s what I wrote in September (and the end of August):

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Your Content Marketing Quarterback

content marketing quarterbackLast Sunday, surrounded my purple-clad family, I was watching the Ravens season opener when something clicked. The sportscaster said something that made me yell, “football is just like content marketing!”

I needed to leave five minutes ago in order to avoid getting caught in the “game’s over” traffic in Baltimore on my way back to Delaware, but I figured I’d remember the idea. So I came back to my apartment, opened up WordPress, and…blankness.

How many times has that happened to you?

All week, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure it out. I knew I wanted to relate content marketing and football, but I couldn’t remember where I was going to go with that. But a few hours ago I was reading the BoostSuite blog and came across this post, and it all came back to me! What’s funny is that there are only four words in that post about my idea, but that was enough to trigger the memory to come back. Thanks, Ryan!

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The Best Email Marketing Providers for Bloggers

email marketing for bloggers

RSS is great. It will always be some people’s preferred method of reading content. It also makes a lot of awesome things possible. I mean, just look at how many Zapier zaps use RSS.

But from a marketing standpoint, RSS ain’t so hot. We’re in an age where tracking and analytics are going crazy, but the data available for RSS subscribers is stuck in the past.

Email marketing isn’t just for businesses promoting themselves anymore. We’re all obsessed with our inboxes, and anyone in it is at an advantage. Email marketing is for bloggers, too.

It doesn’t matter what kind of blog you have – personal, professional, or otherwise. It doesn’t matter if you’re blogging on behalf of a company or not. If you have marketing metrics to track, email is more useful to you than RSS.

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HelloFlo Gets Periods – And Marketing – Right

helloflo marketing winHow often does a marketing video make you laugh out loud? How often do you watch it several times in a row because you laughed through some of the jokes the first few times around? For me, who can laugh at almost anything, it’s still not often.

But that’s just what happened with HelloFlo‘s latest viral video. And that humor extends throughout their entire marketing strategy. I. Love. It.

You may have seen their two videos that have gone viral – one last summer, and one a few days ago. But have you taken the time to really check them out? I did, and their branding matches the tone of the videos. I have to say that it’s perfect, especially when you consider what they’re selling.

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I Demanded Success. It Was Awesome. (Part 3)

avinash demand success quotePhew. Part 1 and Part 2: done. More work than I thought they would be. Demand Success withdrawals are here in full force and today’s Vocus webinar didn’t help as much as I needed it to.

So this post will hopefully knock out two things: finish my series on my time at Vocus’s Demand Success PR and marketing conference (you got me, it will definitely do that), and fulfill some of my “I miss Vocus” sadness. Ready, set, go!

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I Demanded Success. It Was Awesome. (Part 2)

Randi Zuckerberg Demand Success QuoteLike I said Saturday, I recently returned from Vocus’s Demand Success conference. It was a pretty big moment for me career-wise (read my little reflection thingie here), but it was also really, really fun.

Yes, it was exhausting. Yes, the hotel mattress would have been comfortable if I hadn’t had a hip injury and been skipping physical therapy to be there.

But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Some of the key highlights of Demand Success:

  • Finally meeting in person people who I’ve been talking to online for years (I’m looking at you Ben, Stacey, Bree, and Brindisi!)
  • Going to see Phillies play the Nationals with other VIP attendees – it was the first time I witnessed a grand slam in person! And look at this view!
  • Meeting Chris Brogan and getting my book signed by him – if I get a big ego, blame him!
  • Making new friends! I couldn’t possibly list all of the wonderful people I met, but some deserve a shout out. Like the people I feel I spent the most time with: Katherine, Jason, my co-presenters, Abby and David, and my amazing speaking coach, Diane Court.
  • Adrian. Grenier. I’ve had a crush on him for literally 15 years. Not exaggerating.
  • Goofing around on the National Harbor with new friends at the reception. Once again, look at that view.

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I Demanded Success. It Was Awesome. (Part 1)

demand success from yourselfSo, where to begin? Maybe with Friday afternoon. Around 6, I crawled into bed for a quick nap to recharge for University of Delaware’s Alumni Weekend. I woke up at 11…a.m.

That’s right, I slept for about 17 hours. Anytime I sleep for more than 12 hours in a row, I consider whatever came before the semi-coma to be a big success.

So what was I doing before this epic nap Sleeping Beauty would be jealous of? I was at Vocus’s PR and marketing conference, Demand Success. It will always be one of the highlights of my career, for many reasons.

Most importantly, I was a speaker at the conference. That’s right, a freaking speaker. Wanna know who else was a speaker? Randi Zuckerberg (if you haven’t heard of her, maybe you know her brother, Mark). Judy Smith, the inspiration for the (amazeballs) TV show Scandal. Chris friggin Brogan, whom I’ve looked up to as a blogger since I first started reading Problogger years and years ago. And finally, Adrian Grenier, who stole my preteen heart when he was the awkward and adorable bad boy in Drive Me Crazy way back in 1999.

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10 Engaging Ways B2B Marketers Can Use Instagram

B2B Instagram marketingThere are 55 million photos shared each day on Instagram. Believe it or not, not all of these are #throwbacks, #CatsOfInstagram, and foodie pics with “nom nom nom” in the caption. This is good news for me, and not just because I was a really awkward kid and am more of a dog person. I’m also a B2B marketer, and B2B companies and Instagram are better suited for each other than you may think.

But as I’m sure you’ve heard before, people do business with people, not businesses. Developing a B2B Instagram presence can help you stand out on a network that not enough brands are utilizing to its fullest power, and give your company a little bit more of a human touch. Here are a few ideas to fuel your new Instagram strategy:

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