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iBlog

TOP INSTAGRAM HASHTAG MISTAKES & WHAT TO DO INSTEAD | FACEBOOK LIVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON & BEYOND

The magazine for women influencers

Special Feature

The Reviewers HOW REVIEW INFLUENCERS DO IT FOR BRANDS & FANS

9WAYS TO GROW & SCALE YOUR BUSINESS WITH WEBINARS

BEST TWITTER CHATS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING

October 16

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CONTENTS 10 DOWNLOAD A FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO Use these clever tricks and tools to download live videos on Facebook

12 5 MONEYMAKING SECRETS Successful influencers follow these five pieces of advice

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#TBT INSTAGRAM STRATEGY Incorporate this popular hashtag into your marketing plans

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16 BEST TWITTER CHATS Use Twitter chats to connect with your audience across the globe

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1000% MORE BLOG POST SHARES

MOM INFLUENCERS Don't discount the influence of moms

Branding

Instagram

Virtual Reality

YOUR BRAND 22 Instagram Mistakes Top Instagram hashtag mistakes and what to do instead 4

iBlog magazine OCT 2016

44 Stay True to Your Brand Use authenticity to reach your audience on a more personal level

48 360-Degree Storytelling The latest updates on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality


The Reviewers >24

Hot Topics 48

360 Degree Storytelling The latest on virtual reality and augmented reality

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9 Ways To Use Webinars Grow and scale your business through the power of webinars

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Facebook Live This holiday season and beyond

The Review Influencers

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Tracey Bush - NutriMom & Allergy Phoods

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Beth Blair - The Vacation Gals

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Heidi Koffler - Pretty Proof

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Tessa Smith - Mama Smith's Review Blog

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Jen Powell - Ever After in the Woods

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Nancy Horn - The Mama Mavens

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MK Clinton - Barking from the Bayou

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Carolyn Scott - The Healthy Voyager

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Joyce Duboise - Women and Their Pretties

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Jaclyn Drieden - Bites Reviews You Can Use

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Michelle Miller - Instabloggermom

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Shanna Gebhard - Peyton’s Momma

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

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FRESHBOOKS THE BEST ONLINE ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE

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AFFILIATE GENERATING HOLIDAY AFFILIATE SALES

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iBlog magazine OCT

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The Reviewers Issue As we lead into the holiday season we thought it would be a great time to shine the spotlight on some of our favorite niche product reviewers that incorporate reviews into their blogs, video channels and social media platforms to grow their fan base and encourage national brands to seek them out for their product reviews and professional, honest opinions. We've also launched a new section called Hot Topics to keep you up to date on the latest social media, technology, industry trends and issues that affect your business growth.

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Look for this symbol to watch sample videos of our featured influencer's reviews.

iBlog magazine reaches over 200,000 women influencers in print and digital magazines. iBlog magazine is delivered to 1,000's of influencers at 30+ social media conferences annually. Contact us. Advertising inquiries:

Membership inquiries:

market@iBlogmagazine.com 813-551-0007

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iBlog magazine Corp. Office:

Writing & Editorial inquiries:

231 N. Tennessee Ave. Lakeland, FL 33801

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iBlog magazine OCT 2016

editor@iBlogmagazine.com


iBlog Advisory Committee Industry leaders committed to your success

Laura Mayes Co-founder, Mom 2.0 Summit, Camp Mighty, Go Mighty, Kirtsy

Ana Flores Founder, We All Grow Summit, #WeAllGrow Latina Network, Spanglish Baby

Stacey Ferguson

Kristin Hylek

Co-founder, Blogalicious Justice Fergie Lifestyle Media, Attorney

Manager, Alliances & Brands PR & Brand Engagement McDonald’s USA, LLC

Emily McKhann

Barbara Jones

Aliza Freud

Angela Sustaita-Ruiz

Co-Founder, The Motherhood The McKhann Media Group

Founder, one2one Network CEO, Blissful Media Group

Founder & CEO SheSpeaks & SocialSpeaks.com

Co-founder, Hispanicize Dime Media

Kim Garst

Danica Kombol

Jeannette Kaplun

Pat Flynn Founder, Smart Passive Income, iTunes Top Podcaster, Author, Blogger

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone Instructional Design Mgr. Enterprise Training at Marketing Profs

Co-founder, Boom! Social, Forbes Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers

Cecilia Mecca Co-founder of iRetreat conference & Double Duty Divas

CEO & Founder Everywhere Agency

Founder, Hispana Global, Author-Todobebe, TV Host Journalist, Spokesperson

Bridgette Duplantis

Jyl Johnson Pattee

Co-founder of iRetreat conference & Double Duty Divas

Laurie Schacht

Nadia Jones

MJ Tam

Co-publisher The Toy Insider, President The Toy Book

CEO Niche Parent Blogger Network, Social Media Strategist

Editor, Chicagonista Co-Founder, Women Driving excellence

Watch for iBlog's New & Improved Digital Magazine Coming Soon!

Founder, Mom It Forward, Family Forward Conference

Ronnie Tyler Co-founder, Black and Married With Kids, Tyler New Media

Do you support women influencers? iBlog magazine is seeking out new partnerships with national brand, agency and pr firm executives that would like to participate on the iBlog magazine Advisory committee. Join our industry leaders and partner with the largest business resource for women influencers online. Receive year-round exposure for your brand(s), benefit from our partnerships with leading influencer networks and conferences while discovering new opportunities to support and interact with influencers in the iBlog magazine community. For more information about iBlog’s Advisory committee please email us at: Advisors@ iBlogmagazine.com Printed in the USA, Copyright © 2016 by iTell Ventures, Inc. All rights reserved. iBlog magazine is published monthly except for combined July/August and December/January issues, by iTell Ventures, Inc. 231 N. Tennessee Ave., Lakeland, FL 33801. Subscriptions are by membership to iBlogmagazine.com website only. Address all membership correspondences to membership@iblogmagazine.com. To change address please visit your membership account at iBlogmagzine.com. Material in this publication must not be stored or reproduced in any form without permission.

ADVISORS


October 16 conferences and events

7 BlogHer Food ’16

4 M2Moms Conference

7 2:1 Conference

M2Moms® is the world’s premier conference on marketing to moms. Since its founding in 2005, the event has been attended by thousands of senior-level brand managers and marketing executives from Fortune 500 companies representing major consumer product and service categories.

The 2:1 Conference is a faith-based conference for homeschooling parents who blog (not just about homeschooling), or are active in social media. Offering knowledgeable speakers, our goal at 2:1 is to equip you with the tools and confidence needed to succeed in your blogging as well as homeschool-

7 TECHmunch Miami

7 Pinners Conference & Expo

12 Barkworld

BakeSpace.com’s TECHmunch is the traveling conference that helps food and lifestyle bloggers learn the skills they need to succeed and take their blogs to the next level. The day-long conference is a must-attend event for anyone serious about culinary content and brands that want to work with culinary content creators.

Pinners Conference is a consumer event for the public to create in real life their interests that they have pinned on Pinterest. 101 classes are taught during the event, largely by popular bloggers from around the nation. 225 shopping booths are also on site. It’s a fantastic way for bloggers to meet their fans and gain new friends in a face- to-face environment.

BarkWorld’s commitment to providing superior programming designed to educate, inspire, connect, and bring together the world’s leading pet-centric social media creators, brands and pet industry experts. Attendees will have the opportunity to drive brand awareness by creating authentic connections with both brands and other influencers.

Blog Con 15 NEPA Dunmore, PA

21 Food Bloggers of Canada

Parent East 27 Type-A Orlando, FL

Panels and sessions related to blogging, social media, marketing, Internet culture, creativity, technology, and more. Plenty of opportunities to network with other likeminded conference-goers. NEPA BlogCon draws students, educators, coaches, marketing pros, small business owners, non-profit multitaskers, creative types, and anyone else interested in learning how to communicate more effectively online.

Food Bloggers of Canada is Canada’s only national conference for food bloggers. It’s a fun, intimate event for bloggers, brands and speakers alike. We focus on providing professional development for our members and other interested bloggers, an intimate atmosphere to foster blogger-to-blogger and blogger-to-brand networking and, of course, an emphasis on great food!

Three+ days of top-notch sessions, workshops, and keynotes featuring some of the best and brightest speakers in the business. We will also include a special track dedicated to EXPLODING YOUR INCOME featuring sessions on passive income for bloggers, landing high-paying gigs with brands and agencies, selling your own digital content, getting published, and landing long-term paying contracts.

New York, NY

Miami, FL

NOVEMBER

Sandusky, OH

Scottsdale, AZ

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Austin, TX

This is the world’s largest conference for online food content creators, is open to anyone and everyone who considers themselves part of the social media and online content creator space. #BlogHerFood16 is focused on highlighting the skills and talents of women who are rising their voices and creating content online.

Atlanta, GA

3 Blogalicious

4 Pinners Conference & Expo

4 Food Allergy Bloggers Conf.

Discuss ways to create smarter creative content, impactful web-based marketing, as well as new programs, people, and platforms that engage your audience and build relationships. The yearly Blogalicious Experience - the first and only event of its kind - is THE go-to destination for influential multicultural women social media enthusiasts from all over the world.

Pinners Conference is a consumer event for the public to create in real life their interests that they have pinned on Pinterest. 101 classes are taught during the event, largely by popular bloggers from around the nation. 225 shopping booths are also on site. It’s a fantastic way for bloggers to meet their fans and gain new friends in a face- to-face environment.

This unique conference unites food allergy bloggers with the advocates, medical professionals, and the companies who support food allergy living and safety at one event. With dual tracks of panel discussions focused on disease management and blogging information attendees have chance to learn from experts and share with their readers and communities.

Atlanta, GA

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iBlog magazine OCT 2016

Salt Lake City, UT

Denver, CO

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Instagram

How to Download A FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO

The reason that so many want to download the video from Facebook is so they can repurpose that video in other ways and on other platforms. For some reason, Facebook doesn't make it easy to figure out how to download, so I am coming to the rescue with a step by step system and then a tool that does it for you. 10

iBlog magazine OCT 2016


STEP 1:

STEP 6:

Once you have located the video, click on the time stamp and the video will pop up. You will see the video, as well as the comments to the right.

Once the video is open and displayed as a mobile version, you simply right click on the video and select save video as.

Find the video in your profile or page feed

Right click on the video again

STEP 2:

Right-click on the video Right-click on the video and then click “Show video URL.”

STEP 7:

Choose the location to save it Choose where to save it on your computer and hit save. VIOLA!

SAVEFROM.NET STEP 3:

Copy the Video URL Click inside the box to highlight the URL. Right-click the URL to copy.

What if there was a little tool that would do all this for you quickly and easily? Savefrom.net is a nifty little website that allows you to download your Facebook Live videos by simply popping in the link to the video. Pretty slick, right? They even have a Google Chrome extension if you want to get fancy and always have the tool handy. That said you do have to have the video link which requires you to follow steps 1-3 above. Once you have the link copied you simply pop it into the “insert link” at the top of the Savefrom website and they will generate a download link for you. Super easy!

STEP 4:

Change the URL to a Mobile URL Place your mouse in the address bar and remove the www and replace it with an m. So instead of the URL looking like https://www.facebook. com/kimgarstboomsocial/videos/1201313266592501/ it would look like https://m.facebook.com/kimgarstboomsocial/videos/1201313266592501/.

Now you are all set! You can choose to use the Facebook platform to download your video or you can use Savefrom.net! Either way, you have options that work! So what do you think? Which one seems the easiest to you as a way to download a Facebook live video? Drop me a comment below.

STEP 5:

Use the Mobile URL to open up the video Once you have changed the URL in the address bar from www. to m. then you can simply hit enter OR you can copy and paste the corrected URL into a new browser. Whichever feels the most comfortable for you.

Kim Garst

www.kimgarst.com Instagram: kimgarst

INSTAGRAM


Business

5 of Successful Moneymaking Influencers

W

e all have an idea of what success looks like, but in the business world of making money and creating a stream of steady income, I’d like to focus on the money factor. How much money are you making as a blogger? Would you like to earn more and become more valued as an influencer by major brands? I have been doing affiliate and digital marketing for over 17 years. My first job in the industry in 1999 was to reach out to travel blogs and travel related websites for eBags.com in order to partner with them to sell more luggage and backpacks at eBags. Now I run Pollen-8 an influencer management platform as well as a blogger network called She Is Media. Many of the same principles that applied then, still apply now. The promotional channels and the technology have changed, but if you stick to these tips you will be able to command a much higher value for the hard work that you are putting into creating content online and staying relevant.

Create Relevant and Engaging Content Advertisers are looking to you as the Influencer to provide relevant content that they want their product to be associated with in order to reach their target audience. You can write content specifically related to the Advertiser, or you can write content that is related to the target demographic of the advertiser, but at the end of the day the content should be authentic and engaging. Readers know almost immediately if a blog post or a picture is not authentic. The content should be natural and should read as though you are speaking in the same voice as the rest of your social media. The more engaging the content is, the better chance that you have to intrigue the reader and cause the Advertiser to want to advertise with you again. Your job is to create content that engages the reader and that causes a positive association with the Advertiser’s product. 12

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“THERE IS A HUGE BRAND VALUE AND GOODWILL THAT YOU CREATE EARLY IN THE CONSUMER JOURNEY.” Be Responsive and Timely It is true that most of us are busy and that its difficult to answer every inquiry for partnership that come across our desk or our devices. However, if you make your living by blogging or social media, then you need to consider that your product is your content and that you are the salesperson or representative for that content. In other words, you will only make money if you answer the phone, email, or outreach by advertisers that want to spend money with you. Advertisers are trying to find good partners that will be responsive and timely with their communications to launch their campaigns quickly. The more responsive you are, the more an advertiser will approach you with their budget. You also will want to immediately send the URL to your post back to the Advertiser as proof of the post, and then request payment. Building this rapport will increase your pipeline of revenue as well as make the advertiser comfortable to spend more with you.

Know Your Audience Size and Reach Reach can mean many different things to different people, and it is important that you make the careful distinction to your audience size vs. the reach on your post. The audience size that you have are the number of unique visitors to your blog per month via your Google analytics or similar tracking, the number of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, or it is the number of people on your email list.


Be ready to provide those numbers to an Advertiser so that he or she can quickly determine the value of your influence and the opportunity for them. If you can develop metrics on your demographics of your followers using various softwares out there, you can command even more per post. Collect as much data about your followers and users as possible, and you will be worth much more to the advertisers. It isn’t enough any more to talk about “hits” or impressions. Those metrics are meaningless and provide very little value for an Advertiser. Do not be ashamed, however, of selling the Advertiser on the opportunity to brand their product as opposed to tracking everything to a sale. There is a huge brand value and goodwill that you create early in the consumer journey. Your post may not be the last click a user does, but surely your post has a lot of value early in the decision making process and you should price accordingly.

Be Realistic About Your Pricing You need to be realistic about the value of a post, a picture on Instagram, a video on YouTube, an email drop to your newsletter and any other placement. An Advertiser will quickly move on if your pricing is too high or not in line with industry standards. If you want to find out what your content and influence is really worth, work with an established agency that knows the value according to their experience with advertisers and other influencers, or do an assessment yourself. When you assess yourself, you will need to do research on what others charge in your vertical and you will need to look at similar rate cards. You know that you have found the right price when a large branded advertiser is willing to pay it and you receive payment at that price.

Understand the Advertiser’s Goals Every advertiser has a budget and goals related to that budget for influencer marketing. Do not hesitate to ask the advertiser for his/ her goals and metrics by which they are evaluating this campaign. By establishing a goal up front for the post that is realistic with the Advertiser, that will cause the Advertiser to trust that he/she can come back to you any time they have an influencer budget and want more traffic. Goals can include reach, leads, sales, downloads, or phone calls generated. Check in with the Advertiser after the article has been posted and ask how the goals are going. By participating this way, you will build a consultative relationship with the Advertiser causing them to spend more money with you in the future. Becoming a successful influencer goes beyond just creating content and getting followers. A successful influencer also is aware of the value that he or she creates in the ecommerce and digital marketing world and works to maximize that value. Cheers, and here’s to your success!

Matt Frary

CEO & Founder SmarterChaos.com Twitter: @SmarterChaos

BUSINESS


Twitter

FOLLOW THE VERY BEST

TWITTER CHATS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING

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T

witter chats are hands down my favorite way to connect with people all across the globe. In one short hour you get the opportunity to connect with a group of like-minded people surrounding an interesting topic. But how do you find chats? I have discovered a few directory listings but you have to wade through a lot of chats to find the

ones related to marketing and social media. So I set out on a journey to discover and compile a list of the very best Twitter chats for social media and marketing. This list will be kept updated with the most current information. If you discover a great chat that is not on this list, please DM me on Twitter @MadalynSklar or send me an email.

MONDAY

TUESDAY

1pm ET #BizGalz – hosted by @BizGalz – marketing for women

11am ET #ContentWritingChat – hosted by @ExpWriters – marketing

2pm ET #BizapaloozaChat – hosted by @Bizapalooza – small business

12pm ET #CMWorld – hosted by @CMIContent – marketing

3pm ET #ContentChat – hosted by @SFerika – content marketing

2pm ET #BizHeroes – hosted by @Paper_li – marketing

9pm ET #AtomicChat – hosted by @Atomic_Reach – marketing

2pm ET #GetRealChat – hosted by @PamMktgNut – social media

10pm ET #BlogElevated – hosted by @BlogElevated – blogging

3pm ET #SMXChat – hosted by @SMXChat – marketing 8pm ET #InfluencerChat – hosted by @InfluencerChat – social media 8pm ET #LinkedInChat – hosted by @LinkedInExpert – LinkedIn 9pm ET #SocialRoadTrip – hosted by @JoelRRenner – social media friends

WEDNESDAY 11am ET #BrandChat – hosted by @mariaduron – branding

THURSDAY

11am ET #SEMRushChat – hosted by @SEMrush – SEO 12pm ET #BufferChat – hosted by @buffer – social media & marketing 2pm ET #ChatSnap – hosted by @KrisGillentine – Snapchat

1pm ET #TwitterSmarter – hosted by @MadalynSklar – Twitter tips

2pm ET #WinnieSun – hosted by @SunGroupWP – marketing

1pm ET #SEOChat – hosted by @JohnBertino – SEO

3pm ET #LetsLiveStream – hosted by @Rachel_Really – social media

3pm ET #HootChat – hosted by @hootsuite – social media

3pm ET #SproutChat – hosted by @sprout_sarah – social media

10pm ET #MediaChat – hosted by @kilby76 – social media

9pm ET #MobileChat – hosted by @AnhTNguyen – marketing

FRIDAY

SUNDAY 9pm ET #BlogChat – hosted by @MackCollier – marketing

2pm ET #CMGRHangout (1st Friday) – hosted by @myCMGR – social media

Madalyn Sklar

www.MadalynSklar.com Twitter: @MadalynSklar

TWITTER


The Reviewe Influencer's voices shine through for brands who want to reach engaged followers that are inspired to purchase when their favorite influencer unveils a new review.

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Watch for this symbol to watch sample videos of our featured influencer's reviews.

iBlog magazine OCT 2016


wers


ALLERGY PHOODS

What has changed in the product review space? I truly feel that companies and products are realizing the value of relationships with both the blogger/social media community and their consumers. Product reviews are a great way to share honest thoughts, try a new product and to see exactly what you do and don’t like about it. I know that I want to hear about products from someone that has tried an item, tasted it, used it- everybody does. The key is to always be honest, even if it’s a product that you don’t necessarily care for.

What is trending now in reviews and what type of review do you like the best? Food has become a larger part of many trends but allergy-friendly foods have blasted into social media. Because I am a food allergy mother that cooks a lot and loves to help others, I am absolutely intrigued that a product review can turn into so many different things. Food is essential for everyone but allergy-friendly foods are extremely essential for so many people—I feel as if I have found my specific calling. I will review other foods if a company requests it and I feel their products are worth sharing (due to ingredients, how they are produced, Non-GMO, etc.) but my absolute favorite product reviews are those allergy-friendly products that people stick their noses up at—I take this as a challenge to show the naysayers just how they can use it and love it.

How did you get started in the product review space? My son has multiple food allergies. When he was diagnosed, I had to

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relearn my cooking skills as most people do when they are faced with a food allergy diagnosis to stay safe and nourished. What originally began as a blog to share with people has expanded into an ebook, a food allergy consulting business, multiple brand ambassadorships with allergy-friendly companies and expos and somehow, within all of this happy chaos, my brain thrives on product reviews and unique recipes. Has a brand ever provided you with negative feedback after providing an honest review with your own true opinions? I don’t believe I have ever had negative feedback other than a few minor comments about their products. I can say that I have turned down products for review as I feel very strongly that my word is what people rely on. If I evaluate a product and don’t feel their company standards are what I should share, then I don’t. If I review a product and it’s just not


“Not every company or product has tons of money to spend so I see what I can do to help them. In return, a new partnership is born and it also allows my extreme blogger brain to continue in blissful chaos.”

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Click here to visit and watch a Nutrimom Video on Youtube.com

times, like 3 AM I will wake up with a food photo in my head or a recipe idea. After I decide that I like the product, then I discuss what else I can offer in the way of sharing. I do not offer a general social media kit—I pride myself on working within anyone’s budget. Not every company or product has tons of money to spend so I see what I can do to help them. In return, a new partnership is born and it also allows my extreme blogger brain to continue in blissful chaos. It just works. I am happy to share that I offer just about any type of social media sharing and I feel that customized ideas bring a more personal touch to each product.

What type of post had the best ROI for you? my personal favorite, I include that in my review but stress that others should still take a peek at the product to see if the items are a better fit for their needs. Everyone’s allergies and tastes are different – I would never tell anyone to completely avoid a product. If I truly disliked a product enough to tell others to stay away from it, then I would refuse to review it to begin with.

Do you feel the compensation is fair for the work you do in a sponsored review? I have never been paid to review a product. The only compensation I require is product for taste-testing and photos for the review itself. I feel there is an unwritten code of ethic among bloggers that we feel you should not be paid to review a product as it may make you seem biased. As I stated before- I am true to my word and I feel very strongly that my followers rely on that so I stick to it. Again, I do not charge for a product review other than receiving products themselves. I want to try the product and decide if I like it before I even pursue a relationship with that company. One of my strange blogger brain traits is that I have moments that kind of jump into my brain with a recipe idea or a new use for the product. It can be at the strangest

This is difficult to pinpoint since I offer so many different avenues of work. For me, ROI could be anything—how many times something was reposted, specific people or companies that liked or shared that particular item or even something as simple as how good working on a particular project made me feel. This SunButter video was just downright fun to put together but this Éclair Bon Bons recipe was shared and reshared, featured on GoVeggie’s website and social media channels so how do I gauge what the best ROI is? I am just excited to be doing what I love to do best for these companies.

Tracy Bush

www.allergyphoods.com Twitter: @TracyBNutrimom

FEATURE


WOMEN AND THEIR PRETTIES

I

first started blogging as a way to distract me. I had just graduated college and quit a job at a place that, frankly, I hated. I needed a break in between school and beginning my new career. I found solace in writing. I began writing about what I loved the best – shopping. I started with written and video hauls/reviews. I was in a community of ladies who were just as passionate as I was about fashion, so my blog was basically a place for women to visit when they wanted to know about the best handbag or necklace. My blog name, Women and Their Pretties, originated from that group of women. We called our handbags and jewelry our pretties. The name stuck and so you have it – Women and Their Pretties. At some point I joined a blogger network that offered free products to review. I use the term “free products” very lightly because reviewing products is work. We are committing to offer our honest opinion to brands in exchange for their product as compensation. The keyword in that sentence is honest. At times, brands forget that the point of working with bloggers is to give their customers a true experience with their products. I must mention that I never have and never will bash a brand, product, or company. It’s not how I roll. If I have a bad experience, I explain it in a way that reminds readers that it’s my opinion – their experience could be totally different. If I were reading a review and the writer seemed hostile or pessimistic, I wouldn’t take them very seriously. Would you? Let’s talk about those bad experiences for a minute. Out of the hundreds of products I’ve reviewed in my 2 years of blogging, I’ve probably given 10-15 bad reviews – and by bad I mean not 5 star. There’s probably about 3 products that I completely hated. You see,

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I try to find the good in everything. For example, one function of a hair straightener may not be the best, but another function is superb. I take every factor into consideration when writing honest product reviews. That doesn’t stop a brand from asking me to remove the negative portion of my reviews, though. Not only have I had brands ask me to change my less-than-5-star experience, but I’ve literally been bribed to write a positive review or to completely remove my review all together (insert gasps here). Sadly, it’s not that uncommon to be asked something so ludicrous. I’ve never given in, though. I stand firmly by my reviews. Plus, I refuse to be bullied into removing something from my blog. My blog is my brand, my outlet, my pretty – you see what I did there? Maybe it’s the rebel


“My best advice for other bloggers is to stand by who you are. Never lose your voice, your truth, or your dignity. Your readers love you for a reason! The day you start changing who you are is the day that your readers will drop.”

in me, but I politely say, “I do what I want and post what I want.” Okay, I’d never say that to a brand, but it is how I feel. I didn’t get to where I am today by being told what or how to write. If a brand asks for my opinion on their products, it’s because they like my voice and they trust my judgment. I know how to talk to my readers and refuse to change because it isn’t 100% favorable to the brand. I stay true to myself and to my fans and that’s why I’m successful. So, how do you stay true to yourself and your audience? First of all, you need to find your voice. Find your niche. If you become giddy when you write about something, then go with it! Be real with your audience. If you’re sarcastic, let that shine through your writing. If you’re awkward – be awkward! The more consistent you are, the more loyal your fanbase will be. There’s always room for improvement and it may take a few tries to get it just right. There is absolutely no shame in that. When I decided to focus more on lifestyle and less on reviews, I mapped out the type of audience I wanted. To begin, I developed an ideal character for my blog: age, lifestyle, hobbies, relationship status, even her favorite show. I started writing as if I were writing specifically for this woman (her name is Naomi). If something comes along that wouldn’t be of interest to Naomi, then I pass on it. Yes,

that sometimes means turning down a paycheck. I don’t ever want to disappoint Naomi, so I don’t confuse her with content that isn’t relevant to my blog. I give her my honest opinion, tell her relatable stories, and keep her updated on the latest pop culture trends (she’s a huge pop culture junkie in NYC). I am loyal to my audience and they are just as loyal to me. My best advice for other bloggers is to stand by who you are. Never lose your voice, your truth, or your dignity. Your readers love you for a reason! The day you start changing who you are is the day that your readers will drop like flies. The moral of the story is that there isn’t a right or wrong way to blog. Your blog is a representation of who you are – be real, be passionate, and be you.

Joyce Duboise

www.womenandtheirpretties.net Twitter: @JoyceDuboise

FEATURE


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Hot Topics We're excited to introduce Hot Topics content in each issue of iBlog to ensure that you are receiving cutting edge news and tips from experts to help you determine the importance of new trends and technology to your business success. We sort through 1,000's of social media and content marketing articles to find article's we feel will contribute to your understanding of where the industry is trending, what effect will it have on your business and to help you watch for new opportunities to capitalize on. Hot Topics may provide insights to new technology, social platforms, changes in content marketing tactics, affiliate sales practices and more. If you have a "Hot Topic" that you would like to share with our readers, please let us know!

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360 Degree Storytelling The latest on virtual reality and augmented reality

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9 Ways To Use Webinars Grow and scale your business through the power of webinars

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Facebook Live This holiday season and beyond


Hot Topics

Facebook Live THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AND BEYOND

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ith Halloween still a few weeks away, brands and influencers are already thinking about their holiday content. Those looking for innovative ways to reach their audiences have already begun seeing the endless possibilities of incorporating Facebook Live into their content mix. Influencers are still experimenting with Facebook Live, and brands are cautiously optimistic about realizing a return on investment for this format. A lot of value exists in live interaction with an audience, and the authenticity of live video is compelling, especially since Facebook is where a lot of consumers live online and consume video already. Here are some strategies and tactics to make sure your Facebook Live campaigns, when working with brands, are a success. Those who are able to demonstrate results will be in higher demand in 2017.

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“A LOT OF VALUE EXISTS IN LIVE INTERACTION WITH AN AUDIENCE, AND THE AUTHENTICITY OF LIVE VIDEO IS COMPELLING.” Storyboard Your Facebook Live Experience in Advance Sure, unscripted and unrehearsed live video streaming gives an audience accessibility that feels real and authentic. However, it’s important to have in advance a plan for what you’re going to do and say. Determine the length of time you plan to run your video and then map story points to fit within the timeframe. Doing so will not only increase your confidence when the camera is rolling, it will also prevent awkward pauses while you think of the next thing to say. Every Facebook Live video should include the following components: • Welcome • Introduction of Product • Demonstration/Interaction • Q&A • Call to Action

Invite People Ahead of Time to Maximize Your Audience Even if you have a lot of people who like your Facebook page, you might not get a lot of live viewers if you don’t let people know about it ahead of time. And if you work with a brand, you’ll want to demonstrate your ability to engage a lot of real-time viewers. This also gives you more to add to your portfolio for even more Facebook Live opportunities. Consider creating an “Event” on your page one week ahead of time and invite your audience so that they can RSVP. Then, send a reminder an hour before show time. Creating an “Event” on your Facebook page is also a fantastic way to promote other campaign assets if it’s an integrated campaign for the holidays. If you work with the brand to promote coupon codes, special holiday shopping perks, or other assets, this is an incredible way to maximize the results. You can also increase your Facebook Live following by promoting the “Event” link across your other social channels.

Consider Enlisting a Moderator If you use Facebook Live to simply give people a candid glimpse into your life, then you won’t find a lot of moving parts to manage. However, if you’re being compensated by a brand to host a Facebook Live video, then there’s a lot more involved logistics-wise. Consider asking the brand or agency you’re working with if someone can help moderate the comments for you. Some will likely incorporate this and dedicate someone on their team to attend your Facebook Live event and provide support. Using a chat platform in another window, your moderator can flag questions to answer and if people are shy about asking questions, the moderator can help get things started. By doing this, you can focus on creating a compelling experience and not get flustered by managing the technology and your video presence at the same time.

Test and Rehearse Whenever a new platform starts to get traction, there’s always the chicken and the egg conundrum. Brands and agencies are looking for influencers with experience, and many influencers are looking for that first opportunity to give them that said experience. If you’ve never done a Facebook Live video and don’t really want the whole world to see you as you test the waters, use Facebook Live on your personal profile and change the private settings for your broadcast to “Only Me.” This is a great no-risk way to practice. If you end up loving one of your broadcasts enough to share it with your page, you can always upload it after the fact – it just won’t be live. Once you become comfortable broadcasting live, consider sharing a recipe or a seasonal experience to demonstrate your expertise. You can then send links to your Facebook Live video to the brands and agencies you already work with so they can reference for future campaign consideration.

Be Mindful of Who and What You Broadcast As more people embrace Facebook Live, it’s important not to forget best practices when it comes to video, in general. If you produce Facebook Live content for a brand, be sure that if you include other people outside of your family in the video that you have their explicit, and ideally written, permission. If you capture your experience instore, make sure no one recognizable appears in the background. The last thing you want to do is create an awesome live video experience only to have to take it down because someone discovered they’re in the video and takes exception to the fact. Make sure to ask the brand or agency you’re working with for any photo releases or rules of engagement beforehand. Brands will look for new and inventive ways to engage with audiences during the holiday season and beyond – and they will increasingly turn to Facebook Live. Influencers who can master this platform in an innovative and creative manner will see lots of opportunity for work. At Influence Central, we are working with our clients and influencer community to bring this to life.

Jessica Smith

Influence-Central.com Twitter: @InfluenceCentral

HOT TOPICS


Affiliate

GENERATING AFFILIATE SALES AT THE HOLIDAYS

“Now is the time to create the blog posts which can make all the difference in your results by doing what you do best: providing help.”

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“If you already have advertisers which are popular with your readers, reach out to the program’s affiliate managers and ask for recommendations.”

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egardless of your blog topic, Black Friday can be just as good for you as the retailers, provided you offer your readers ways to shop for the items they really need or want. The easier you make the holiday gift giving process for shoppers, the more you’ll succeed personally as well. Now is the time to create the blog posts which can make all the difference in your results by doing what you do best—providing help. Two of the biggest dilemmas at the holidays is “what to get the person who has everything” and “what to get for the person you don’t know well.” Having answers to both of those questions will make you a hero to your readers. The easiest way to share those ideas is via a gift guide. Pick the top 6-10 products that will fulfill a specific goal and share both why you love them and what their weaknesses might be. It’s okay if you don’t get to personally experience each one—you’re offering suggestions here, not recommendations. To fully take advantage of this strategy, create multiple guides—perhaps one for your girlfriends, one for kids, one for co-workers, one for gift exchanges—you get the idea! The first challenge, of course, is finding the products to include. Your family and friends could probably provide a long list of

suggestions, and so can Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. One other way to identify the latest hot products is via emails from various advertisers—Etsy offers some great ideas each week, and you’ll find other ideas from Living Social, Groupon, Fat Wallet, etc. Even if the specific product offered doesn’t fit the bill, wandering through the advertiser’s site most likely will reveal a wealth of other great ideas. Odds are that if the items are offered through any of those companies, there’s an affiliate program available as well. When creating the post, try to: 1. Deeplink to each product—nearly every advertiser permits deep linking. 2. Include an image of the product—good quality, approved images are usually available through the advertiser’s datafeed, which you can usually download as a csv file. 3. Summarize any ratings you’ve found on the product—“this handy device earned four stars from Consumer Reports.”

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Incorporate keywords into the description, but keep the copy friendly and just leave the hard-selling up to the advertiser.

If you already have advertisers which are popular with your readers, reach out to the program’s affiliate managers and ask for recommendations about popular season products, anything which tends to sell well as gifts, or hot new items they think will do well for the holidays. It is important to understand, however, that some advertisers won’t reveal that information until very close to Black Friday, so you may want to be prepared for a last minute “hot deal” addition to your post. During Black Friday, 2015, $7+MM in commissions were earned in one day. Make sure you are a part of that in 2016!

Jeannine Crooks AffiliateWindow.com @Jeannine_Crooks7

AFFILIATE


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iBlog magazine Oct 16 Sneak Preview  

The Reviewers Issue.

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