Be Blogalicious October 2013 - Be Blogalicious

October 2013 Archive

Love Should Never Hurt: Guest Post by @MariaRSmith

 

{October is Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We invited members of our Blogalicious Community to share their stories on these topics representing an array of perspectives. Today Maria Smith shares her story publicly for the first time.} 

 

But he didn’t hit me.  Until he did.

He didn’t hit me right away.  He shoved me a little too hard at first.  He humiliated me in front of his friends later on.  He threatened me with a pulled back fist and then laughed when I instinctively cowered after that.  No, his abuse didn’t start with the busted lip.  It started when he sweet-talked his way into my dorm room and grabbed my arm roughly when I turned away.  I should have stopped it then.  But I didn’t.

My college boyfriend’s abuse built up over time until I became a shadow of the girl I once was.  I felt ashamed a man controlled me.  I felt guilty for “making” him so mad. I felt small and insignificant and alone.  When a hard kick to my thigh left an ugly bruise one day, he seemed to relish his power even more.  More bruises followed from pinches, pushes and even bites.  But I kept saying to myself, “but he didn’t hit me”.

And then he did. He let himself into my apartment late one night with a key I didn’t know he had.  He had been drinking and was angry, sure that I was cheating on him.  He calmly let me know his gun was in the car if I fought back.  And then he slapped me.  The open-handed hit let something loose inside him and all his pent up rage came pouring out on me.  I saw his face contort and I thought I was going to die that night.  When I tried to call the police he beat me with the phone.  He punched me, kicked me, bit me, slapped me, choked me, threatened me with his gun, and did things too unspeakable to even write…all night long.

As soon as he fell asleep early the next morning, exhausted by his atrocities, I stole out of my house with only my purse. I ran in the shadows to the bus station where I bought a ticket to my grandmother’s house.  She took one look at the injuries I couldn’t hide…my fat lip, black eye, and bruises on my neck…and I knew my secret was out.  I knew I couldn’t go back to this man ever again. I pressed charges, got a restraining order, and changed my locks.  He would never hurt me again, though it would take years for me to work through the pain of that relationship.

I’m sharing my story now to help any woman who’s in that lonely place.  Please know you are stronger than you think.  You are smart and resourceful and can find a way to leave.  I want that sad, beaten down girl, cowering in the corner, to know life doesn’t have to be this way.  Be brave! Live! Love should never hurt.

 

maria smithMaria Smith (@mariarsmith) is a freelance writer, blogger, and married mother of four.  Currently living in Atlanta, she covers family travel, food, fashion, and finds for moms on MamaliciousMaria.com and for outside clients.  She is a survivor.

Breast Cancer Awareness Guest Post by @EmpowerMochaPt

{October is Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We invited members of our Blogalicious community to share their stories on these topics representing an array of perspectives.  Today Meredith Hurston shares the importance on being proactive about your breast health.}

 

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October is breast cancer awareness month. It’s a pretty big deal because 1 in 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.  Many families have been impacted by this devastating disease and I want to make sure we don’t close out this month without taking some action to help knock-out breast cancer. Here’s what you can do:

  • Don’t keep your head in the sand, learn a few facts about breast cancer and assess your own risk. Talk to your doctor about which screening tests and tools are appropriate for your age and history. Early detection is key and can significantly improve the chance of successful treatment. I know I’m certainly looking forward to hearing more survivor stories.
  • Feel your boobies every month! (You can even make it fun by asking your spouse to help you.) Here are some tips on what to look for “When and how to perform a breast self-exam.” http://on.aol.com/video/when-and-how-to-perform-a-breast-self-exam-517493256.
  • Know your covered benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Mammograms are a preventive benefit covered for FREE for women over age 40, every 1-2 years.  (If you do not have health insurance, contact your local health department for more information about free mammogram services.)
  • Send a text, email or even pick up the phone to call 3 of the women closest to you and remind them to feel their boobies this month and ask if they have had or scheduled a mammogram this year.
  • Donate to a charity you trust. The following charitable organizations are highly rated by www.charitynavigator.org

In addition to these 5 things you can do, also increase your knowledge of triple negative breast cancer. It affects 1 in 5 breast cancer patients and occurs more often in African-Americans, Hispanic/Latinas and younger women. And finally, let’s not forget about our men. Breast cancer can develop in men, although it is much less common. Less than 1% of all new cases of breast cancer are male, but when detected, it is usually found in men 60 to 70 years of age.

At a minimum, promise me you will do at least 1 thing on this list. I’d be glad to hear about what you did, so share it in the comments.

 

hurston  During the day, I’m a quality assurance technologist and patient safety data coordinator. I am also the Founder and Editor of The Empowered Mocha Patient, a resource website for healthcare. Visit me at www.empoweredmochapatient.com . Find me on Twitter  @EmpowerMochaPt

Domestic Violence Month Guest Post: How Yoga Helps Victims of Domestic Violence by @RobynsHealthy

{October is Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We invited members of our Blogalicious community to share their stories on these very personal topics representing an array of perspectives.  Today Robyn Donaldson  shares how yoga can help with the healing process.}

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Whether or not people are aware of it, they probably know someone or have been in the presence of someone who has experienced domestic violence. One of the common conditions victims of domestic violence experience after abuse is Post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The practice of yoga is an excellent survival tool, which helps domestic violence victims heal through the pain, work through the effects of PTSD and find a new path towards self-love and self-care.

The effects of domestic violence often leads to anxiety, sleep disturbance, avoidant behavior and isolation. Yoga helps with the healing process. It teaches students how to connect to their body, become more in touch with their emotions and mindful of their thoughts. This is important for domestic violence victims to learn, especially if they have created a habit of detaching from their bodies or not honoring their feelings after years of abuse. Yoga provides a safe space and community for women to explore their bodies and inner spirit. It also teaches students how to relax through breath work, which will assist in releasing anxiety and calming the mind. These are effective tools for survival and healing.

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Pigeon Yoga Pose

Yoga is a practice that emphasizes the importance of  “listening to the body” when practicing different poses. This practice teaches self-care and respect for what one’s body is and is not able to do in a pose. These lessons in boundaries are very empowering for women who have experienced abuse. Yoga also helps students focus and strengthen the mind, an important skill to develop for domestic violence victims leaving unhealthy environments and making the choice to start a new way of life and being in the world.

Yoga assists the body in releasing trauma and keeping the energy flowing, since the human body holds onto stress. For instance, in yoga, the hip region is known to carry past traumas and emotions. However, when practicing various hip opening yoga poses, such as butterfly and pigeon, students learn how to use their breath, in order to release old energy connected to past traumas and intense emotions. Students practice breathing through discomfort and as a result, gain more control over their breath and awareness of their body.

Yoga has innate healing abilities that are helpful to anyone experiencing abuse, violence or stress. If you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence, consider recommending they begin a yoga practice, in addition to seeking professional help. Whether it is going to a yoga studio, watching a yoga session on YouTube or following a class via DVD, yoga is a promising journey towards self-discovery, spiritual awakening and self-love.

 

RobynDonaldsonHeadshotRobyn Donaldson is a certified yoga instructor, healthy living blogger and freelance writer. After Robyn graduated law school and worked in law, business and politics, she began to shift her focus towards holistic health, wellness, nutrition and fitness. Presently, Robyn resides in Atlanta, and is writing about her time teaching in SE Asia and studying yoga in Bali. Visit her website at Robynshealthyliving.com. 

Domestic Violence Month Guest Post: My Journey to Forgiveness by @dasixfoota6

{October is Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We invited members of our Blogalicious community to share their stories on these very personal topics representing an array of perspectives.  Today Ms. Lady Long Leggs shares her personal domestic violence experience and her journey towards forgiveness.}

 

Domestic violence hits close to home for me. I fell victim to a very horrifying situation. In August, 2005, I met the man of my dreams. He was tall, dark and handsome; a prince charming of sorts. After we met, we were stuck together like glue; very seldom did we spend a day apart.  I couldn’t remember a time of ever having been happier. I was totally and completely crazy in love! That kind of love that makes you so blind that even if there had been some warning signs, I wouldn’t have noticed.

Now and only now as I reflect, does the thought, “too good to be true” come to mind.  It had been a whole year of new couple bliss and then my prince turned into a man I didn’t even recognize. To say that I was in shock when the incident took place is an understatement. To make a long story short, we had a disagreement, but all new couples argue, right? To disagree, to me, is healthy? Needless to say, I was utterly and completely wrong. He grabbed me, threw me to the floor and commenced to bashing my face in. This single, isolated incident changed the dynamic of my entire life. And I racked my brain and my heart to understand why I couldn’t make the love stop!

Through the process of healing I began to understand why women go back. What that yearning desire is for a specific kind of love, one that no girlfriend or homeboy can replace.   I also learned that forgiveness isn’t weakness, it’s a strength!  First, I forgave myself for forgetting how beautiful and important I am.  Then, I forgave him for a moment of weakness.  It took me some time to believe in his apology but eventually I did…

 

six foota1Hair stylist, social butterfly, blogger and vlogger! Entertaining and making people laugh is definitely my pleasure and an innate talent. With God on my side, I love, laugh and live my life to the fullest from one moment to the next.  Visit her blog and follow her on Twitter

#Blogalicious5 Roundup

by Jazzy Jonez

 

Conference Collage

Another Blogalicious has come and gone!  It was a banner year for us. Not only did we celebrate our 5th birthday in the city where we first launched, but we had our highest attendance yet. We created a space for 400 bloggers and brands to connect and build lasting relationships.

By now you know that our theme this year was Create. Build. Fund. We hope that we have provided you with some resources and connections to support you in growing your brands and businesses.

There really was so much going on, if we were to highlight everything single awesome experience at BlogaliciousFIVE, this small post would become a novella. If you follow the still active #Blogalicious5 hashtag on twitter, you’ll find a bunch of links with Blogalicious highlights. Below are a few of our favorites.

In Your Words:

Javacia Harris of The Writeous Babe shares what it means to be Blogalicious.

Miss. Daja of No Boiz Allowed returned to Blogalicious for the 2nd year in a row and shared her favorite quotes.

Nae Carter-Staggs of  I Choose the Sun couldn’t pick just one. She listed her top 10 favorite Blogalicious moments.

If ten weren’t enough, Lorraine C. Ladish of Mamiverse shared four more conference highlights.

Diana Ramsey of Sisters with Beauty probably said it best: “You had to be there to feel it!”

Our event is made possible, thanks to our sponsors. Here’s what you had to say.

My Black is Beautiful brought their documentary, ‘Imagine A Future’ to BlogaliciousFIVE and attendees had an opportunity to have an intimate Q&A with Director Lisa Cortes. The film was relatable to Stacy Taylor of The Sistah Cafe who shared her thoughts on her blog.

McDonald’s returns every year to celebrate and they know how to throw a great party! This year they hosted the Freshest Jam Ever, complete with 80’s hip hop and a rap battle. TOY!! was crowned a winner of the battle and thanks for Stacy Taylor for capturing some of the fun on video.

Kia, our title sponsor not only planned an awesome closing party, complete with a southern grits and pasta bar, they also offered test drives on their latest models. Terrance Gaines of Brotha Tech took a bit of video footage. Terez Baskin said it best: She had a ‘Kialicious’ time testing driving and posing next to their model cars.

BlogaliciousFIVE premiered the same night as hit TV show: Scandal. Many of us are fans of the show and weren’t missing the premiere for the world. Comcast XFINITY CelebrateBlackTV.com pulled out all the stops to host a fabulous watch party. They brought in super bloggers Luvvie and Kailei to run the show. Gladiators came dressed in their best Olivia Pope outfits and Essence Magazine collected some of the best tweets from that night.

Wells Fargo hosted “The Perfect Pitch” contest. After receiving a host of really awesome submissions, three finalists were selected to present before a judging panel before a winner was selected. The Pitch Contest was a huge success and competition was fierce. At the end, Arsha Jones of Capital City Mumbo Sauce won the $5k grand prize. Wells Fargo didn’t stop there. During the conference, they offered complimentary headshots. The pictures have come back and conference attendees loved them! Erin, Founder of Bag Ladies Radio sang her praises.

23andMe joined the party for the first time and came armed with boxes of DNA kits to give away to conference attendees. Some attendees were lucky to sit with the 23andMe crew to a through education on just how useful the DNA testing kits are in terms of learning about family background and medical history. Jazzy Jonez was especially excited to win a kit and she shares why on her blog. Briana Myricks of My Own Shero sent her kit in right after the conference was over! {Psst: She’s giving one away!}

We had a treat on Day 3 of the conference when actress Adrienne Bailon stopped by for a candid Q&A about her life, career, aspirations and her role in “I’m In Love With A Church Girl” opening in theatres TODAY!  Weather Anchor Mama shares how she was inspired by Adrienne’s message and her journey.  She also shared just how much she learned from the speakers from PicMonkey!

The Social Squad Crushed It.

Our volunteers really do help make the conference experience amazing for everyone. You could easily spot them by the bright purple flower lapel they sported. Being a member of the Blogalicious Social Squad is a very serious job. The Social Squad shared Ten Commandments one needs to abide by should they become interested in joining rank next year.

Want more Blogalicious? Check out our YouTube page. Brotha Tech and Doug Lehman posted a few videos highlighting the conference experience. And view our Flickr photo set HERE.

Thanks to our community and sponsors for another great year!

See you at #Blogalicious6

 

 

#Blogalicious5 – Book Smarts: Everything You Wanted to Know About Marketing and Selling a Book

2013-10-04 12.27.54 HDRThe subject of this session is something near and dear to my heart. Some of you already know that I am already a published author. My book was published in 2007 and I haven’t’ done anything else since…except write lots and lots of stories. I’ve been on the fence on which publishing route to take for my works waiting in the wings. I was excited to attend “Book Smarts – Everything You Wanted to Know About Publishing and Marketing a Book.” to get some additional insight.

The discussion was lead by these great blogging authors:

  • Thien-Kim Lam, creator of the virtual book club, From Left to Write.
  • Tracy Beckerman, humor blogger and author of “Lost In Suburbia.”
  • Robin O’Bryant, humor blogger and best selling author of “Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves”

The discussion centered around the fundamental differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. How you decide which one is best for you and your book depends on what your goals are. Figuring out your goals begins with the answer to this one question… “Who Do You Want This Book To Reach?” Once you know that, you can determine the best course of action to publish your work.

Some shy away from the self-publishing idea because of the former negative stigma behind it… that your book isn’t “real” if you self-publish. Over time, and with the advances in technology and social media, that stigma has changed and self-published work has been embraced.

To truly know how to go about getting published, you need to know the difference between the two methods.

TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING
The traditional publishing method starts with getting a literary agent. Choose the right agent based upon the kind of book you plan to write. One of the best ways to find one is to look at the authors who write books similar to yours. Check the acknowledgements in one of their books to find a mention of their agent and research that person. Agents act as your advocate and pitch your work to the publishers for you. They do your book deal negotiations and manage your royalties. Beware of agents who ask for a fee up front. Agents don’t make money until your book sells.

If you are writing fiction, you will have to have a completed manuscript to submit to an agent. If your work is non-fiction, you do not have to have a completed manuscript but you will have to submit a book proposal. A proposal is an overview of what your book will be about. It is usually 30 to 60 pages long and contains the table of contents, sample chapters, and the proposed marketing plan for your book. Your agent will shop your manuscript or proposal to appropriate publishers.

Once a publisher accepts your book, they will assign you a publicist to manage the marketing of your book. They will generally be the one responsible for the direction of your marketing plan. One thing to understand is that they are mostly concerned with the “bottom line” and not your personal success.

Making money from your traditionally published book can be interesting. Sometimes your agent can negotiate a signing bonus for your project from the publishers. The amount depends on how marketable the publisher thinks your book is. Authors generally can expect to make about 10-15% of the sales from their books.

Traditional publishing can be a very long process. It can take anywhere from 18 months to 2 years… or more and that’s not counting the time it takes to find an agent.

SELF-PUBLISHING
Self-publishing pretty much is what its name implies. The author does all of the work. And it is a lot of work. Getting copyrights, ISBN numbers, researching and finding the best print option, marketing the book, selling the book, etc., etc. Along with the work involved, there are a lot of upfront costs associated with all of the steps to getting your book published. You can expect to spend anywhere between $600 and $3,000 to publish and market your book.

One of the reasons why self-publishing had such a negative stigma is because authors did too much of the above mentioned work themselves or they skip the necessary steps that a traditionally published author would take. Your book should be professionally edited and your cover professionally designed. Your book can be self-published but it doesn’t have to “look” self-published… if you catch my drift.

With self-publishing, you control all of the marketing and selling of your book. You can determine everything… the book price, how and when you launch, etc. Your entire marketing strategy is driven by you, your goals, your ideas, and your schedule.

The money from self-publishing can be quite rewarding provided you sell and market your book well. You can expect to make 45-100% of your book sales. Less the upfront costs, it’s quite profitable provided you market and sell your book well.

HYBRID PUBLISHING
“Hybrid” publishing is the best of both world. There are some small publishing houses that will do all the up-front work for you in terms of “creating” your book and then you will be responsible for all of the marketing efforts. Do your research and find the best fit for you and your work.

Based on this information, it may seem like traditional publishing is not very user-friendly. But don’t count it out just yet. Look at what you’ve got going for yourself. The size of your audience, online community, and your level of influence in your niche and subject matter can speak volumes to how marketable your book will be to a traditional publisher.

In either case, but especially self-publishing, you are strongly encouraged to think outside the box for the marketing of your book. As bloggers and social media influencers, we have the advantage of a built-in ready to go consumer base of people who will buy our books and also tell their networks to check it out as well. Whatever route you choose to take, tap into your networks because they will be your biggest source of advertisement and revenue.

Some suggested ways of using your networks to promote and sell your book are:

  • Being featured on book blogs
  • Hosting virtual book tours via blogs and social media
  • Hosting in-person signings at homes of friends, coffee shops, boutiques, and other venues.
  • Connect with subject/genre appropriate brands you work with to tie in promotions with the launch of your book.
  • Get authors, book bloggers, and other relevant peers to review your book so you have testimonials before the launch.
  • Set up author profiles on Good Reads and Amazon
  • Make good use of local resources and local media outlets. Partner with local establishments for cross-promotion.

For more information and resources on getting your book published, please see this list of resources on Robin’s blog: http://www.robinschicks.com/2009/05/frequently-asked-questions.html

All Star Blogger Panel at #Blogalicious5

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The awesomeness that is spewing from the stage at #Blogalicious5 is too much for me to handle. This all star blogger panel is comprised of a host bloggers with years of experience who have managed to expand their blogs into media empires.

Luvvie Ajayi, Shameeka Ayers, Maggie Mason, Denene Millner, Lamar Tyler and Patrice Yursik are blessing the Blogalicious 5 attendees with their acquired knowledge and expertise.

“My ultimate goal is to build a business and license my Sugar Coma assets. I’ve learned to go with my gut.” says Shameeka Ayers. Ayers, also known as The Broke Socialite, shares with us the process she’s gone through in order to grow her brand.

“I’m heading into a design direction that I’m really excited about,” Patrice Yursik tells us. Afrobella gives us insight into the future of her business empire. “Dream as big as possible,” she tells the crowd.

Luvvie Ajayi warns us to “stay true to yourself.”  She tells us that she could easily shift what she does in order to increase revenue. But she decided to remain true to her audience.

“Striving alone doesn’t lead to contentment or meaning. At some point you have to stop, look around and enjoy the view.” Maggie Mason tells us.

Denene Millner, of My Brown Baby, says she uses blogging to constantly “humanize” African American people in a world where their culture is devalued.

“The goal of Black and Married is to celebrate African American families,” Lamar Tyler articulates. This draws applause from the crowd.

The All Star Blogger Panel is a breathtaking session that has given the attendees so much insight into the business side of blogging. The afternoon sessions will soon be underway so check back shortly for updates.

7 Lessons for Living Your Life

photo (11)“You have no idea how I need the love from the group of women in this room”. This is the greeting we received from Amy Dubois-Barnett, editor in chief of Ebony Magazine, as she approached the podium.

Little does she know…this group of bloggers hold the same respect, admiration and love for her that she is sharing with us.

Dubois-Barnett tells us the tremendous challenge that was placed on her shoulders when joining Ebony as their editor-in-chief.

Her resume reads like a beautifully written novel…Brown University, Harper’s Bazaar, Essence, Columbia University, NAACP Image award, published author.

But behind all her accolades Dubois-Barnett is one of us….relatable, exceptionally intelligent, driven and head strong.

“I was stuck. I couldn’t get myself out of these situations. And then my mother died”. The speaker begins sharing her story with us and we all shake our heads with understanding and compassion.

“I realized that, in the midst of my problems, that my mom wasn’t coming to save me. I understood for the first time, in a very profound way, that no one can crawl into my skin and live my life for me. My happiness and my success was up to me and me alone.”

And this is where my hallelujah begins! Even though I have the responsibility of live blogging this event, I just have to stop for a moment, take my hands off of my keyboard and clap. I take a deep breathe and let what Dubois-Barnett just said sink into my head.

“Be true to yourself, realize and demand your value. Have integrity and do something meaningful every single day,” says the speaker.

Dubois-Barnett encouraged all of us to get the most out of our lives that we can. “Commit to your dreams. Realizing them will not be easy but the satisfaction you have in working towards something is as fulfilling as achieving it.”

While we all are assembled here today to hear an inspiring speech by an empowering women, Ms. Dubois-Barnett is taking us to church! We all sit, compelled by her words.. And as she speaks, it seem that a heaviness lifts from our spirits.

The editor ends her keynote with 5 lessons for getting what you deserve out of life:

1. Embrace fear as growth

2. Be true to yourself

3. Realize your value and demand the best at all times

4. Put into the universe what you want to get back

5. Have integrity

6. Stay independent

7. Do something meaningful every single day

This opening keynote is an amazing start to the second day of the Blogalicious 5 Conference. Be sure to check back here for more updates.

#Blogalicious5 – Growing and Managing an Active Social Media Community

2013-10-03 15.45.36Hey! It’s your girl, ChatterBox Christie, once again attending the awesome Blogalicious Conference in Atlanta. I’m excited to be a part of the “Live Blogging” team bringing you the highlights from the keynote, general, and breakout conference sessions.

The second general session on our first day was all about Growing and Managing an Active Social Media Community.  We had an amazing panel of women sharing their tips and personal stories about managing their professional and personal brands…

  • Allison Peters, a social media strategist that manages the online presence of many celebrities including Kerry Washington of Scandal.
  • Ericka Sanchez, creator and recipe developer for the latino food blog, Nibbles and Feasts.
  • Our moderator, Lauren Wesley Wilson, Founder and Chief Networking Officer of ColorComm, the only membership organization for executive women of color in communications.

The panel started with what a typical day for a social media community manager is like.  For Allison, her day starts with check client social sites, news, and blogs that mention her clients. Her schedule needs to be fluid when managing a celebrity’s online presence because you never know what will happen, what news will break, or what the celebrity will be asked to participate in last minute.

Ericka’s schedule is a bit different.  Her community management is more on a weekly basis rather than daily. Her daily activities are more involved with content management and marketing for her brands and partners.

When asked what is their strongest or favorite social media platform, Ericka’s choice is Facebook as it encompasses the majority of her audience.  Her second favorite is Pinterest. Since her blog is all about food, Pinterest is a logical choice to post recipes and photos.

Twitter is the platform of choice for Allison and her client, Kerry Washington.  Pinterest is also a favorite because of  because of the popularity of Olivia Pope’s wardrobe.  Allison’s goal is to be the first who tweet about what Kerry is doing or wearing before anyone else does.

How do these remarkable women grow their communities? For Ericka, Facebook ad work really well for her efforts to grow her community.  It also helps when she is working with brands and uses their content and promotions to attract readers and members.

Allison believes that engagement is the key to using Twitter to grow and online community. You have to talk… have conversations with your followers. Not just post. People want to feel connected to you.

Both believe that it’s also important to make face-to-face connections with your digital audience when you have the opportunity to do so.

What is the best social media platform when you’re trying to launch a new brand?

If it’s a brand, Ericka says Facebook is best for the content, photos, ads, etc. If it’s a personality, Twitter is best for the engagement.

Allison disagrees that Facebook is good for brands due to difficulties with new algorithm.  She believes Twitter is better. However it depends on what your brand is and what you do. Instagram or Pinterest may be your best solution. Audience are different in all platforms. It’s hard to be everywhere and manage it well. Pick the two that serve you best.

A difficult question for many of us in this blogging and social media game is how do you manage your personal brand while managing your professional communities?

Ericka likes to use Instagram to build her own personal brand. Work for both her professional and her personal brand takes lots of planning. She plans out for each brand a year in advance based on seasons, trips, and corporate promotions.

Allison admits that she’s much more diligent with client brands than her own.  Like many of us, she just doesn’t always have the time to manage personal brand.  She agrees she should follow her own proven methods that she uses on her clients.

How do these community managing powerhouses stay current on the latest trends?

Mostly by checking sites like social media today and maskable for general stuff but checking sites/blogs in your niche to stay on top of those trends as well. Allison adds that it is a good idea to create google alerts with key words to catch the trends and content that you may not readily search for.  Another great and final tip was to create relationships with people who do what you do… get into a community of professionals in your industry/niche.

The Seven Sins of Blogging

MH900014093….and so it begins! Blogalicious 5 is underway. For the fifth anniversary we are back in the city where it all began. HOTLANTA!! Our first general session is jam packed with information.

Seven amazing women, heavily entrenched in the social media world, are kicking off the first panel discussion: “The Ripple Effect of Blogger Professionalism: How and Why to Maintain Professionalism in Blogging That Extends Way Beyond Your Personal Blog”.

Leticia Barr (Tech Savvy Mama) moderates the discussion.

Danica Kombol, head of Be Everywhere, kicks things off by telling us the examples of “sloth” she sees daily in social media. Danica alerted us of the many times bloggers have agreed to fulfill duties with brands that go left undone. Laziness had no place in the blogasphere!

“Professionalism is a two way street” Stephania Pompey tells the crowd. ..“and bloggers must fulfill their duties“.

“Bloggers are content creators and they have a lot of power” says Adrianna Giuliuani. “…bloggers often times take on an editorial approach when creating content for their blogs”. This is an admirable quality that drives traffic and gets the attention of brands.

“Press Releases are considered the trash of content,” Kelby Carr tells the crowd. Bloggers must consistently create amazing content for their sites and their readers must not be alienated.

We also learned that press releases are terrible for SEO ranking. Cecily Kellogg told the crowd various ways we can get the attention of Google in order to secure a higher ranking.

“Don’t go on twitter and have a fit.” Cecily Kellogg warns us. She goes on to tell us other ways to control our wrath. “Don’t write a blog post telling how much you think a brand sucks”. These statements draw laughter from the crowd.

Adrianna Giuliuani follows up by telling us that these types of behaviors are the things that give brands pause and steers companies away from working with us.

This panel discussion is filled with useful information for bloggers and it is such a perfect way to begin Blogalicious Five!

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