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Blog Tip: Instagram Your Way Up

When it comes to visually promoting your brand and catching your audience’s attention, Instagram is the way to go. With the right images, you’re prone to engage with your current followers while subtly encouraging them to secure new ones for you. We have a few tips that might help you increase your social proof while revealing your brand’s identity.

 

Blog Tip: Instagram Your Way Up

 

Instagram Tip #1: Befriend Industry Peers

Sometimes you have to pull up your boot straps and enter unknown territory alone. Many times, you just need to know someone in that territory to make an impact. Follow people you know and/or admire in your industry to get a feel for how they use Instagram, without plagarizing their process. What about them makes you follow them? Is it the way they engage with their audience? How authentic or transparent they are? Do they use beautiful visuals?

Keep these things in mind when it is time to develop your own Instagram strategy.

 

Instagram Tip #2: Research Different Strategies

Now that you know some of what engages people in your industry or community, research ways to formulate a strategy designed for your brand. Here’s some reading material:

 

Related: Promote Your Social Media

 

Instagram Tip #3: Share Good Content Consistently

One thing that has more advantages than a well put together feed is one with good, useful content. Your strategy should include posting resourceful content that reveals your brand’s personality. You should also take time to ensure that your content is authentic, as this will resonate with your followers, too.

 

Instagram Tip #4: Use Better Hashtags

Seriously, diversify those hashtags! Test one image at a time by replacing 3 of your most used hashtags with new ones (that make sense for your brand). Track how many new comments and/or followers you gain from this. This will take time, but continue to test this method until you’ve reached your goal.

 

Instagram Tip #5: Cross Promote Your Platforms

Every platform may not work for your brand. However, if you want to increase your Instagram profile, consider asking your followers on Facebook, Twitter or your blog to follow you there. Sweeten the pot with a welcoming giveaway or contest, as this may help you convert existing followers and create new ones.

How do you Instagram your way up?

 

Blog Tip: Instagram Your Way Up | Be Blogalicious

6 Bloggers Ask Hard Questions About Small Business
2-3-16 - Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

Today’s bloggers aspire to own and operate a small business that fulfills them, pays their bills and creates an avenue of wealth for their families. They want to feel good about quitting their jobs to create content and products their audience will love and hopefully share with their friends. Many bloggers reach this aspirational level of business ownership, but still wonder what’s next for their business. They’re in the unique position of sustaining a livable income while trying to understand and navigate hard things like retirement plans, business credit and paying taxes.

Bloggers-turned-small-business-owners are critical thinkers and the brains behind some of our favorite brands, which means that it is important that they’re educated on how to properly run their businesses. At our fifth annual Blogalicious conference, our long standing sponsor Wells Fargo was put to the test by 6 bloggers who had tough questions about small business. They wanted to know how they could attract traditional lending, modify business models, and best, the basics of growing a creative business.

Small Business Strategist Sean Mabey shared with them no-nonsense steps on how to establish financial success at any level in their entrepreneurial journey. Take a look.

 

Small Business Question: How Can Small Businesses Develop Credit?

Arsha Jones — serial entrepreneur: Tees in the Trap, Shop Capital City, Brand Build Sell.

Social: @teesinthetrap, @capitalcityco

 

Small Business Question: How Can I Attract Traditional Lending?

Shameeka Ayers —  Producer of curated events, blogger, author.

Social: @brokesocialite

 

Small Business Question: How Do I Modify My Business Model?

Stacey Ferguson — co-founder of Be Blogalicious, entrepreneur, event producer, speaker, coach.

Social: @justicefergie, @beblogalicious

 

Small Business Question: How Do I Plan for Retirement as a SBO?

Joyce Brewer — Emmy award-winning TV Journalist, Atlanta mom blogger and parenting talk show host.

Social: @mommytalkshow

 

Small Business Question: How Much Should I Save For Taxes as a Creative-preneur?

Robin O’Bryant — Best selling-author and blogger.

Social: @robinobryant

 

Small Business Question: What Are the Basics of Growing My Business?

Christine St. Vil — FLY Mom Coach of Moms ‘N Charge, author, writer, speaker, entrepreneur.

Social: @MomsNCharge

 

This is why we do it — to bring the gap between our community and industry experts and professionals! Since the interview, we’ve watched these women continue to bloom individually and as entrepreneurs. We’re thankful to Sean Mabey and Wells Fargo for being a key player at our annual Blogalicious conferences, as well as Christine, Arsha, Stacey, Robin, Shameeka and Joyce for courageously seeking expert advice. Jot these kind of experiences down as another reason to register for Blogalicious Weekend 2016!

(Early bird specials will end on May 2, 2016, so get your tickets now.)

 

If you had the opportunity, what would you ask a small business strategist about operating your business? Are you interested in knowing what these bloggers learned about business ownership since their interview?

 

6 Bloggers Ask Hard Questions About Small Business | Be Blogalicious

#WeeklyRoundUp — Girl Bosses & b-Link

Girl bosses and bLink members, this week’s round up is for you! We searched around the Blogalicious community and found three inspiring sources to share with you. Take a look and give us feedback.

2-3-16 - Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

bLink Members: Complete your TapInfluence Profile

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Hey bLinkers! Help us help you generate income. After all, that’s what we’re here for. In order for us to do that, we need you to do your part by completely filling out your TapInfluence profile. Your incentive is: we can hire you for paid campaigns!

The more information we get from you means the better our chances of matching you to mutually beneficial campaigns. We want you to be engaged and excited about what you’re doing, so please do us a solid and complete your profiles today! 

 

Dude Mom Shares How to Make $1,000+ A Month From Blogging

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Dude Mom cooks, crafts and makes thousands of dollars from her humor and parenting blog, Dude Mom! In this post blog, rightfully titled How to Make Money Blogging, she shared five easy steps on how anyone can make money from their blog, based on her experience as a professional blogger.

1. Hone your craft.

2. Be intentional about your partnerships.

3. Build your community.

4. Assess your expectations.

5. Do you.

These steps are golden! But there’s more. Visit DudeMom.com for an in-depth look at this blogger’s hustle and how you can apply those steps to your own.

 

Young Girl Boss On the Rise

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Mom.me

 

How would you handle not being represented in a capacity you love and use daily? If you’re anything like 11-year-old social activist and girl boss Marley Dias, you’d make a change and fast!

Dias loves to read, but was dismayed by the lack of inclusion in the books she read. Specifically, she “was sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” and wanted to read books where black girls were the main characters. She expressed concern to her mother, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, and was encouraged to start the movement we know as #1000BlackGirlBooks.

“The project #1000BlackGirlBooks is part of an annual social action effort from GrassROOTS called “Super Camp,” which focuses on socio-economically disadvantaged middle school girls. The program works to empower and improve the health of the girls it serves. Dr. Dias cofounded GrassROOTS with lead MC of The Roots Tariq Trotter (akaBlack Thought) seven years ago.”

We’ll say it for you: Marley is boss! Find out more about her project here.

 

To be considered for our weekly round up, email our Digital Content Manager at: ariel@beblogalicious.com.

Girl Bosses & bLink | Be Blogalicious

Blog Tip: Promote Your Social Media

Before you write your next blog post, take a moment to promote your social media. Coupled with resourceful blog content, effective social media promotion can help you connect with your target audience. When done correctly, it can also create fun and lucrative opportunities for your brand and business. Don’t believe us? Watch this 11 minute interview with Fusion and social media superstars King Keraun and Simone Shepherd, as they share the impact social media has on their now thriving careers.

This was great, but Keraun and Shepherd are actor-comedians. How can I apply any of this to my info-based business?

When we removed Keraun and Shepherd’s celebrity, we realized the moving vehicle to their success: starting small, or better, using tools they already owned. The couple literally built a social media empire with iPhones, ring lights and relatable personas. Onlinepreneurs, you already own a phone, social media profiles and an awesome personality. Put it to good use and seek the opportunities you want.

 

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FPB shares 10 benefits of using social media to promote your business and brand. For our favorite tip — networking opportunities — they said:

“Good contacts are key to successful businesses, and social media offers the opportunity to meet more potential contacts than you ever could in person. Plus, it integrates very well with traditional forms of networking. Use social media to find events to attend and forge relationships that you can then continue in face-to-face networking.”

We agree. And Daily Blog Tips has 5 easy ways to promote your social media and boost your followers.

1. Include trending hashtags

2. Tag people

3. Interact by liking and commenting

4. Make sure to include a location

5. Promote your account as much as you

Read the full article for details on how to implement each tip.

Give us your why and how. Why will you promote your social media this week? How do you plan on doing it?

Blog Tip: Promote Your Social Media | Be Blogalicious

#WeeklyRoundUp — Snow & Entrepreneurship

So we’ll say it: snow days can suck! But after reading this week’s round up, you’ll see that they don’t have to. We searched online and found ways you can revitalize your business while being snowed in and cut off from society. From beauty startups to house work, take notice of what you can accomplish on your winter staycation.

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Sephora Loves Lady Entrepreneurs

XXX at Sephora, Westfield on December 5, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. This is the first Sephora store to open in Australia.

XXX at Sephora, Westfield on December 5, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. This is the first Sephora store to open in Australia.

Sephora will directly impact beauty-related companies in a big way with their new annual program, Accelerate. The program will support these companies, founded by women, in the beginning stages of their business — to thrive, connect and sell.

Sephora Accelerate is dedicated to building a community of innovative female founders in beauty. The program begins with a one week bootcamp where founders acquire the necessary skills to create a successful business. Together, they learn from beauty mentors and seasoned entrepreneurs, and prepare for a final demo day in the fall.”

While the invitation to apply has expired — we’re just over it’s December 2015 threshold — founders of beauty startups have an amazing resource to look forward to, considering Sephora rolls out this program next year.

The program’s website answers questions about when candidates can apply for the next cohort, eligibility requirements, selection criteria and much more. For more information on how you can be chosen, as well as Sephora’s dedication to social impact, visit http://www.sephorastands.com/accelerate/.

 

Ryan Leslie Crushes Entrepreneurship. Daily.

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Photo: Ryan Leslie.

There’s a running joke throughout the blogging community that if Facebook and Twitter exploded and died, we’d have no way to interact with our audience. For many bloggers and onlinepreneurs this is isn’t a joke; it’s very real and scary considering many of our businesses depend on third party platforms to succeed and thrive. But without laughing, ask yourself: How would I engage with my following if social media wasn’t an option?

Smart entrepreneurs know the value of and utilize newsletters as a direct communication and marketing tool. (Seriously, if you don’t have a newsletter, stop reading this and create one now. Mailchimp offers a free plan; use it. Then, read this and learn email marketing). Ryan Leslie — recording artist, producer, and serial entrepreneur — created the SuperPhone, a mobile-responsive app that supercedes the newsletter by leaps and bounds. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a newsletter; by all means, you must! But knowing that there’s something out there to further personalize communication with your audience is…awesome!

From Forbes:

“SuperPhone is a bidirectional mobile communications system that enables creators to deliver smart, scalable SMS messaging to millions of supporters worldwide. The app is mobile-responsive, with each user assigned an active mobile number that can also be used for bidirectional calling. Leslie’s mobile product is built on relationship equity, turning contacts into currency by way of a direct-to-consumer approach that taps into the true value of forging genuine personal connections with your loyal supporters. SuperPhone empowers creators to take ownership of their audience and influence, bypassing the perceived need for a major label or third party distribution platform to increase an artist’s global footprint and create opportunities for true revenue generation. In addition to providing an easily managed and well organized contact list, creators have direct access to real-time data, receiving an in-depth analysis of who each supporter is, the depth of that relationship, along with the amount of time and money they’ve invested into the relationship.”

Julian Mitchell interviewed Leslie about SuperPhone, which is owned by his tech company Disruptive Multimedia, and it is pure gold. Take a moment to read it on Forbes, then let us know your 3 most important takeaways.

 

Snow doesn’t Stop Entrepreneurship or Self-Care

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Thanks to #Blizzard2016, several members of our community have been snowed in for the past week (hi Stacey!). If you’ve had moments where you wanted to break down, pull your hair out, or brave 15+ inches of snow for your sanity, it’s okay; we understand. That’s why we compiled a list of over 60 things you can do while you’re snowed in, including house work, self-care and organizing your business.

 

Snow & Entrepreneurship | Blogalicious

Blog Tip: Create a Posting Schedule

Blogging groups across cyber space echo one important element of blogging and that is to create a posting schedule. Bloggers at large encourage their peers to do this as it gives our audiences something to look forward to. (The fact that our readers might know that its Monday because of today’s Blog Tip is a wonderful feeling!) As noble (and true) as this is — creating a posting schedule for the benefit of readers — the other side of that truth is that it will keep you sane and on schedule, too.

Blog Tip- Create A Posting Schedule

 

Well, I need a schedule that will cover blog *and* social media posts? How can I create a posting schedule that will integrate both things?

It is quite simple, but we’ll break it down into categories that reflect our findings and what works for Team Blogalicious.

Tips on Creating a Social Media Posting Schedule

Constant Contact shared doable tips on how to create a social media posting schedule. The post is filled with infographics and tips that will help you proverbially get your life! We won’t rehash it all, but will share their recap with you:

  • Find the networks that are right for your business.
  • Learn the type of content that works well on each network.
  • Start with your most important social networks, and add others over time.
  • Find the tools you need to improve social media productivity.
  • Track your results and make adjustments when needed.

And most importantly, stick with it! (Read the full article.)

Okay, that covers my social media posting schedule. What do I do about my blog posting schedule?

Don’t make it harder than it has to be!

Tips on creating a blog posting schedule

1. Open Google Sheets (or Excel) on your computer and choose a monthly calendar.

2. Pre-fill your blogging days with blog titles and pitches. (Do you blog on Mondays and Wednesdays? Tuesdays and Thursdays? Saturdays and Sundays? Choose days that make sense to you!) Include the times you will publish each post.

3. Publish those drafts on the right day and time!

Creating a posting schedule is for your blog is that simple! However, it is much easier to do this if your blogging goals and commitment to those goals are already defined. Nathan Ellering at CoSchedule wrote a post explaining the importance of defining your blogging goals + how to define them + how to achieve growth at a 10x rate. It is info-filled goodness that deserves your click, but Nathan’s best advice for planning your blog schedule is to start slow; track the success of your first published posts; and plan improvements based on that success for every post. (Read the full article here.)

What does your posting schedule look like now?

Blog Tip: Create a Posting Schedule | Blogalicious

Community Spotlight: Amy Mascott Authors ‘Raising A Rock-Star Reader’

A win for the members of our community is a win for us all.

Last November, Amy Mascott of Teach Mama reveled in an epic win: releasing her book titled Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips to Help Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love of Reading with co-author Allison McDonald. Written with struggling readers in mind, #RaiseAReader includes reading strategies, tips for developing reading skills, and reading activities for children of all ages. Parents will also find book recommendations and additional ways to support reading for their children inside this book.

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#RaiseAReader will give you and your child a peace of mind while navigating through those uncomfortable teaching-and-learning moments. Several parents and caregivers have already began singing this book’s praises.

‘Raising a Rockstar Reader’ Reviews

What a great resource for parents! My son has struggled with reading and I can’t wait to do some of these activities with him. I can’t wait to help give him confidence. Thanks. — Rasilla

As an educator, I’ve had many parents ask what they can do to help their child learn to read. THIS is the book that would hand to them! It’s practical, hands-on, simple, and gets to the root of what builds real literacy in young children. It’s not gimmicks or fads, it’s the experiences that help wire the brain for meaningful literacy. LOVE this book! It’s a goldmine for parents and teachers alike! — Amanda

What an accessible and fun book full of amazing tips. I love how the authors’ personalities come through — they’ve made the subject fun and make everything seem really doable. The structure makes it easy to pick up and read in bursts when you’ve got some spare free time. Also the book list recommendations have been amazing!!! — Craig Louis Citro 

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5 Useful Tips to Make Your Child a Better Reader (From #RaiseAReader)

Tip #24: Have your child teach you how a book works.

Tip #28: Practice one-to-one correspondence.

Tip #64: Write more than just stories.

Tip #71: Ask questions during reading to keep kids interested and engaged.

Tip #73: Be intentional with technology.


The intent and reviews on this book are enough to make any willing parent, teacher or caregiver purchase and use it. Yes, do this! But let us tell you more about Amy Mascott (@TeachMama) first.

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Amy Mascott is the creator of teachmama.com, where since 2008, she has shared tools and resources parents can use to become the best teachers they can be for their children.

A Reading Specialist, writer, and literacy consultant, Amy’s work has been featured on dozens of online and print publications, including Scholastic Parents, PBS Parents, readwritethink.org, PBS Digital Studios, and more.

Amy is a former high school English teacher who has truly expanded the walls of classroom, sharing her expertise at local and national events and publishing her first book with Scholastic, Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips for Helping Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading in 2015.

Married to an elementary school principal, Amy resides in the DC Metro with her three crazy-cool kids (11, 10, and 8 years old), a dog, two birds, and one fish.


#RaiseAReader is an intentional and quality piece of content written by educators and mothers who understand reading literacy from both sides. We’re proud of Amy and Allison for producing a book that will give children the gift of reading for years to come. Raising a Rock-Star Reader can be purchased on Amazon, Scholastic, Barnes & Noble and Target.

#WeeklyRoundUp — Water, Badges & Influence

This week, Flint’s water crisis, tapping into our influence and badges have captured our attention. See what we learned about the happenings in Michigan, how to be influential in your position, and why badges are so important to us and you.

weekly-round-up-water-badges-influence-blogalicious

 

Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Uber.

Uber.

Because of the heinousness that created it, we wish the #WaterForFlint hashtag didn’t exist. Flint, Michigan’s water crisis is one that could have been prevented, but due to lack of financial planning, residents have been subjected to a poisonous water supply that could potentially cause brain damage.

Mayor Karen Weaver and Governor Rick Snyder have both declared states of emergency, which fired up the National Guard to help deliver clean water to nearly 100,000 residents. In addition, social media has garnered the attention of celebrities and people around the world who are eager to donate funds, water or both. Albeit slow, change seems to be on it’s way to both Flint and Detroit. The question is: How did this mess get started in the first place?

CNN cites:

In charge of the city’s budget amid a financial emergency, the state decided to temporarily switch Flint’s water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure until a new supply line to Lake Huron was ready. The river had a reputation for nastiness, and after the April 2014 switch, residents complained their water looked, smelled and tasted funny.

Virginia Tech researchers found the water was highly corrosive. A class-action lawsuit alleges the state Department of Environmental Quality didn’t treat the water for corrosion, in accordance with federal law, and because so many service lines to Flint are made of lead, the noxious element leached into the water of the city’s homes.

We spent a few hours researching where the rest of us could send water, financial or emotional support and we inundated with several avenues. Here are a few ways you can donate to Flint, Michigan during this unprecedented water crisis:

  • Local outreach, visit: http://www.wzzm13.com/flint for drop off locations.
  • Local residents, Uber your water in October. Visit: HERE.
  • For the Flint Water Fund of United Way.
  • Donate to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund as the funds will support “public health, medical and community-based services” to address the impact of the water crisis on Flint families.
  • The Catholic Charities of Genesee County are also accepting cases of water, filter kits, cash or checks at the Center for Hope, 517 E. Fifth Ave., Flint, MI 48503. They distribute the clean water to families and individuals in need, as supplies allow.
  • Sign this petition, demanding that Governor Synder stop making Flint residents pay for contaminated water.
  • Flintkids.org (Credit from blogger Yulunda Gladney)

 

Become an Influential Person

We love it when Entrepreneur gives us homework! Today’s homework is about becoming an influential person, which can be applied to your career, business, community and even your family. They shared 7 natural skills that you can develop to achieve such status. Here are our favorite 3:

1. Develop your critical decision-making skills

2. Think like a leader

3. Hone your speaking skills

Share your experience about your road to becoming influential.

 

#Blogalicious8 Conference Badges

B8 Badge

 

In case you missed it, Blogalicious 2016 badges are here! Grab one for your blog and social media profiles to let your friends and family know that you’re reuniting with us this year in Atlanta! We’re ready.

 

Water, Badges & Influence | Blogalicious

#blogalicious8 Site Badges

They’re here! They’re here! Aren’t they pretty? We love that the colors of our site badges remind us of sorbet – sweeeet! After all – our unofficial conference mascot is a Georgia peach. Once you’ve registered and booked your room, make sure to say that you’re Blogalicious and you’re proud by displaying a badge on your site.

[NOTE: if the HTML is giving you an issue, try deleting and re-typing the quotes]

 

B8 Badge

<a href=”http://conference.beblogalicious.com” target=”_blank”><img  src=”http://beblogalicious.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/B8-Badge.jpg”></a>

 

B8 Im Speaking Badge

<a href=”http://conference.beblogalicious.com” target=”_blank”><img  src=”http://beblogalicious.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/B8-Im-Speaking-Badge.jpg”></a>

 

B8 Im Going Badge

<a href=”http://conference.beblogalicious.com” target=”_blank”><img  src=”http://beblogalicious.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/B8-Im-Going-Badge.jpg”></a>

Blog Tip: Create A Blog Business Model

Would you agree that knowing you can turn your blog into a business is empowering? Many would argue that a blog is not a business plan. The truth is that it is not. However, creating a sensible blog business model will put your blog on the monetization path.

We searched the internet to find a myriad of blog business models to share with you. One of the easiest resources we found was Pro Blogger’s Five Blog Business Models That’ll Make You Money. In this post about the ins and outs of blog business models that work, Pro Blogger shares the experiences and results of expert bloggers who use them. Surely, these blog business models will grow your blog business in social proof, credibility, and income.

Generate Income With These 5 Blog Business Models

 

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Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. 

Sell training & courses 

Have your non-blogging peers ever inquired about starting a blog? If they have, ask them what’s held them from starting their own blog. With the questions that you’re able to answer, develop them into a quick training or blog course geared towards people wanting to start a blog. Do you see how easy it is to sell a course or train someone with skills you already have?

Public speaking

The process or act of performing a presentation (a speech) focused around an individual directly speaking to a live audience in a structured, public speaking can prove to be a very lucrative and rewarding stream of income. Seek opportunities to speak or create them when they’re not available. 

eProducts

Refer back to the training or course we created a minute ago. Think of the syllabus (or notes) you penned to ensure its success and revamp it for eBook purposes. With the right plugin, you can sell it directly from your blog to those who’d prefer eBooks instead of trainings or classes. 

Print books & products

A quick Google search will reveal how easy it is to print books and products for your brand. Once you choose your preferred revenue, use the content you have as a template for an actual book. 

Blog Tip: Create A Blog Business Model | Be Blogalicious

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