10 Work Wardrobe Essentials for Every Woman

Have you ever panicked trying to decide what to wear to work or to a business event? This guide has 10 Work Wardrobe Essentials you need to make getting dressed for work easier.

The inspiration for this post came from one of my all-time most popular pins on my Pinterest board. It’s been a favorite for many years now: Workwear Wednesday. It has been repinned thousands of times and features classic work pieces that are interchangeable and timeless.

work wardrobe where to buy

I’ve sourced the products, with sizes, colors and prices to simplify the process of building on these classic looks. These work wardrobe basics go well together and can be changed up with accessories like scarves and jewelry for a new look.

For once I feel a fashion blogger!

My biggest surprise creating this look is that ModCloth has work clothes. They have vintage style clothes, but they also have a lot of work professional clothes but with some hip detail. Add free exchanges and returns and it might just be my new favorite place to shop.

15% Off ALL Dresses When You Spend $100

All prices are full price at the time of this post. Some pieces have been on sale. Some of the brands vary and a couple of pieces were sold out but I found alternatives to each item. I tried to get as close to the clothes in the pin as possible. I looked for clothes that will mix and match, that wear well and that you’ll look great in.

I also looked for stores that you may not regularly shop at. My secret? I usually buy all of my shoes on Amazon because I can look at the sizes and reviews. With Amazon Prime I get free shipping. Once I find a brand (like FitFlop) I like I usually stick with it.

Enjoy my list of work wardrobe essentials!

What to Wear: 10 Work Wardrobe Essentials for Women

Work Clothing  Where to Buy 
Tailored DressFeatured image JCrew Factory –http://bit.ly/1HZMlRw Available in 3 Colors $84.50 Sizes 00-20ModCloth Work Dresses (many different styles and sizes)*Reiss – $340 black tailored dress. Also in grey. Sizes 0-10. Dry Clean. Fabric: 100% Polyester*
BlazerFeatured image Lands End – 2 button wool blazer (pictured)
Available in 2 Colors $165 Sizes 0-26W
My Habit black blazer $114. Fabric: 80% Polyester/16% Rayon/4% Spandex. Sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12*SOHO Girl –http://bit.ly/1Gx1svO
Available in 1 Color $24.99 Sizes S-XXXL
Ralph Lauren – $109.99 Linen. Sizes 6-16*
White Shirt
white buttoned down dress shirt

JCPenney –http://jcp.is/1JUo3FN
Available in 3 Colors $27 Sizes S-XL
The Deal Rack –http://bit.ly/1JdpUFB
Available in 4 Colors $17.62 Sizes Medium-2XL
Black Skinny Trousers
black-skinny-pants

Dynamite –http://bit.ly/1bhFN1V
$32.95 Sizes 00-12, several styles to choose from with high ratings.
Modcloth also has excellent choices.  Loved the Portfolio Panache Pants.*Nordstrom Rack –http://bit.ly/1Iu12LB
$55.30 Sizes 0-12
Black Pencil Skirt
black pencil skirt
Modcloth -(pictured) $39.99 Sizes xs-xl (might have larger sizes up to 3x) 75% Rayon, 21% Nylon, 4% Spandex.*

MyHabit (Three Dots) black pencil skirt. xs-l. Fabric: 69% Viscose/25% Polyamide/6% Spandex. Machine wash.*
Bloomingdales –http://bit.ly/1DOb98x
$180 Sizes 0-10
Black CardiganFeatured image
Logo Sportswear (pictured)
$23.99 Sizes XS-4XL*
Amazon
Available in 8 Colors $13.80
Sizes S-LG 55% cotton/43% acrylic*Eddie Bauer Christine Cardigan – $60. From petite to 3X. Machine wash. 55% cotton/45% nylon.
Wrap Dress
black and white wrap dress for work

Karina Dresses
$108 sizes 0-18 with an emphasis on fitting all body types.*
My Habit (Jones New York) Short sleeve, v-neck wrap dress. $49. Fabric: 96%. Polyester/4% Elastane. Machine wash. *
Beige Tote
Beige tote

MyHabit* (pictured)
$165 on sale (usually $400). Lambskin (leather), inner zipper and slip pockets, ships internationally. Free US shipping.


Amazon-http://bit.ly/1GCpRQD
$147.99 *
Black Heels
Aldo black pumps
Amazon – Aldo black pumps
listed at $70 sizes 6-9*
Modcloth slingback in black. $34.99. 3.5″ heel. Size 6-8 in stock. Smooth vegan faux-leather. *For a splurge: Footwear Etc. $348.95. Black giraffe print sandal. They come in champagne too. European sizes 5, 6, 7, 9, 10. * 
Beige Heels
beige heel for work
Modcloth Sharp Dressed Manager Heel *
Pretty Flats
women's slingback beige shoe
Footwear.com – (pictured) $149.95 beige flats, leather. Sizes 5.5-9.5 (European sizing)*Clarks –http://bit.ly/1HYuR6e $130 Sizes 5.5-11.5 For a splurge, these black flats are gorgeous!

If you want more of a custom fit, I recommend eShataki. It’s a little old school but you can change the legnth of the sleeves, hem line and other details to fit your body type. They take returns. I’ve had most of the items work out but I’ve also sent back a few.

What I Spend On: Shoes and Purses

When it comes to totes and shoes I don’t go cheap. I used to buy cheap purses until one day I bought a Michael Kors bag and it lasts so much longer and is so much more professional that I’ll never go back to $50 and under purses. Same with shoes. They have to be comfortable and pretty with leaning towards comfort.

For sleeveless or low necklines I like to wear Halftees underneath.

Another tip: the Men’s Warehouse near me has an alteration department that is very reasonably priced. If there’s one near you, check it out. If something doesn’t fit just right or you need to repair some clothing, it’s a good solution. I’ve even had my jeans fixed there when the zipper broke (for around $25).

I hope this has been helpful.  I’ve probably spent more time on this post than any other in all the years I’ve blogged. So if you like it, please show it. I’d love a pin, comment and/or share!

Where is your favorite store to buy clothes to wear to work?

Thank you for pinning!

*affiliate links marked

Work clothes for women

How I Made $40k My First Year Blogging Ebook Review

Are you a new blogger or a blogger who has blogged for a long time?If you want to learn how to make money on your blog, then keep reading How I Made $40k My First Year Blogging Ebook Review.

This ebook was written by Chelsea Lords. Chelsea is a food blogger who had already been blogging but wasn’t making money. After experimenting she started to learn what it takes to monetize a blog. She decided to start a new blog from zero to apply everything she learned. Her goal: to make money in one year and document every step of the way.

My favorite part of this ebook is that it has a lot of details about exactly where she gets her traffic and money. The second most important part is the organization of the book. It teaches you how to do giveaways, how to stage your photos, and a lot more. Keep reading for a sample of the table of contents and what you’ll get out of this book.

review-how-i-made-40k-blogging-ebook

How the book is organized

The book is divided up by month. The book starts  in January with a total income of $44.47 which isn’t a lot. You’ll see how quickly her income grew. In just 4 months she was making almost $700. She also includes the value of the free things she got (just a warning). The book ends with December with a total of $7,461.82.

This is how each chapter starts, with a month, the total income, her traffic and then she shows you what she did and how it worked. Even if you just want to grow your traffic and don’t care about making money, this is a great resource.

How I Made $40k my first year blogging ebook review
She shows you what she does for traffic. There are graphs and screenshots of analytics so you can see exactly where her traffic is coming from.

Traffic sources for food blogger

The section about Facebook marketing includes this screenshot. This is impressive for a year!

Facebook likes growth

Templates

The book has a few basic planners and monthly “to do” lists that you can use to plan out your own blog. This is part of her chapter about staying organized.

What if I’m not a Food Blogger?

Since Chelsea is a food blogger some people argue that if you’re not a food blogger, her advice doesn’t apply to you. I believe that any blogger can learn from this book. Perhaps the most valuable part is that you can create a plan each month using PRINCIPLES from her game plan.
For example, if you are a food blogger you’ll plan content around holidays that relates to recipes and food. If you’re not a food blogger, you still make a list of holidays you could focus on and plan related content that fits your niche.

Probably the part that wouldn’t be as interesting to others is the part about food photography. It’s so important to take good picture of your food but if you’re not a food blogger then it might not apply. You can always skip that step. She also talks about cameras and props. There is a little about editing photos. These could be ebooks themselves and if I were her I might recommend and link to more advanced products for further learning.

Does this Book Guarantee Success?

Also, every blogger has a unique blog with a unique audience. No one can tell you EXACTLY what to do to run a successful blog. She states:

There is no “right” answer to running a successful blog and while this book offers a lot of tips and advice, you are ultimately responsible for your own success. I have spoken to the approach I’ve taken and been successful with, but cannot promise this will also work for you. In business there is no guarantee of return or income, only principles and guidelines to aid in the strategy and decision making of the company.

Sample Table of Contents

I think it’s helpful to see the topics she covers. If I could recommend anything I would say that she should recommend Facebook groups to join. I’ve found them extremely helpful for answering questions and getting traffic. If you don’t have a mentor, as she recommends, it’s a great way to find one. Or, start your own small group to keep each other accountable.

Here’s a brief snapshot of the table of contents:

MY FIRST YEAR: INCOME
MY FIRST YEAR: PAGEVIEWS
SO YOU WANT TO BE A BLOGGER
THE IMPORTANCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
HOW TO SET UP YOUR BLOG

MONTH 1: $44.47
POSTING ON A SCHEDULE
SUBMITTING TO PHOTOGRAPHY SITES
DEALING WITH BEING OVERWHELMED
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING
IMPROVING THE SITE: PHOTOGRAPHY & WRITING

MONTH 2: DECEMBER $98.15
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR BLOG
MEASURING PERFORMANCE OF YOUR BLOG: GOOGLE ANALYTICS
LEVERAGING HOLIDAYS & ADAPTING POSTS
STUDYING: BOOKS & ARTICLES
WRITING “CATCHY” HEADLINES

MONTH 3: JANUARY
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN: $215.35
MAKING FRIENDS & CONNECTING WITH OTHER BLOGGERS
COMMENTING ON OTHER BLOGS
FINDING A MENTOR
SHARING CONTENT ON OTHER PEOPLE’S SITE
WHAT IS A GIVEAWAY?
PHOTO EDITING

MONTH 4: FEBRUARY
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN: $697.71
ACCOUNTING & TAXES
SEO TIPS & TRICKS
TRENDING CONTENT RATE
APPS YOU’LL WANT TO DOWNLOAD

MONTH 5: MARCH
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN: $2,081.72
WORKING FOR OTHER COMPANIES
LINK PARTIES
GROUP BOARDS ON PINTEREST.
PUTTING TOGETHER YOUR OWN GIVEAWAY

MONTH 6: APRIL
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN: $2,941.39
INCREASING FACEBOOK LIKES
SPONSORED POSTS: THE COMPANIES I RECOMMEND
GETTING ORGANIZED

MONTH 7: MAY
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN: $4,599.72
AN INTRODUCTION TO AHALOGY

MONTH 8: JUNE
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN: $4,507.72
CREATING BETTER BLOG CONTENT
TAKING FEEDBACK FROM OTHERS
MAKING MORE MONEY OFF YOUR ADS
DO YOUR READERS COME FIRST?

MONTH 9: JULY THE MONEY BREAKDOWN: $5,847.69
INVESTING MORE INTO YOUR BUSINESS
PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS
MAKE YOUR IMAGES “PINNABLE”

MONTH 10: AUGUST
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN: $6,172.93

MONTH 11: SEPTEMBER
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN: $7,574.81
SWOOP ADS
GETTING INVOLVED IN “ROUND-UPS”

Click the BUY NOW button to take you to the page where you can purchase “How I Made $40k My First Year Blogging”.

buy-blogging-ebook

Suggested Improvements

I thought it was a missed opportunity not to name some of her favorite blogging conferences. They are a very good way to meet potential sponsors and to find other bloggers to partner with for your blog.

Most important though is that I wanted more about sites like My Recipe Magic, Yummly, Foodgawker, or Buzzfeed that show up in her income reports. Even a list of places to submit content would be helpful. She could even create more ebooks about those sites or link to existing posts or ebooks about them. While you can see that in the screenshots, it’s not explained.

Also, Facebook is more challenging today. She could add more about engagement and making sure your posts are seen on Facebook.

Chelsea could also create another version of her ebook that is for all bloggers. Ebooks are a chance for everyone to link to other content (drive more traffic to your blog) and link to other products (earn an affiliate commission).

I’m a big fan of Chelsea’s ebook and recommend it to bloggers who want to grow their blogs.

Have you read How I Made $40k my First Year Blogging? What did you think?

This post contains affiliate links.

5 Rookie PR Mistakes I’ve Made

I’m not a professionally trained PR pro and like my entire career, I’m self taught. Along the way I’ve made mistakes and while sometimes embarrassing, they’ve taught me a lot. In fact, when I got a client on TV I had a lot of advice to share!

After you read mine, leave a comment with your own rookie mistakes (if you dare).

Rookie-pr-mistakesMistake #1: Getting my employer in the news but not finding a way to work them into the resulting conversation.

I was so nervous about the interview I didn’t even think about my employer. I was thinking about answering the question on live television. While I planned ways to get plenty of media mentions and social media coverage, I messed up the Fox 13 interview. Now I know that I could answer the question but preface it with something like, first I want to thank my employer [name of company] who sponsored this event.

Mistake #2: Believing a reporter who wanted to come to my house for an interview claiming, “it will only take a few minutes.”

He told me not to put on makeup or clean the house…famous last words. Always be ready and prepared because anything you say is fair game. He cast me as an internet addict on a daytime television show. I still cringe when I see how terrible I look. He taught me what it means to put someone in a bad light, he literally had me stand in bad lighting so it made me look even worse. Then he wanted me to share the story, which didn’t mention that being online is part of my career. Fortunately I can’t find the story anywhere online.

Mistake #3: Trying to be an expert on something I wasn’t an expert in.

If you’re not an expert, don’t try to be. Just be honest and say that you’re not an expert on the topic. Once I had a reporter call me to ask questions about dance moms. While I have a daughter and she’s in a class, I’m hardly the expert. Instead of realizing and admitting to that, I tried to answer. Not only that my toddler was screaming. So I was trying to answer while running around my house trying to escape her.

I also learned, get a babysitter for any interviews. Even if your child is usually an angel, they may embarrass you by demanding your attention at the worst possible time.

Mistake #4: Not getting to the point.

I got a call from a reporter, one of the first times I’d ever been called. Instead of getting to the point, I began rambling because I was nervous. As I like to say, land the plane! In hindsight I should have slowed down before answering and focus on just a few things instead of trying to cover every point.

Mistake #5: Not realizing my ‘off the cuff’ statements are still “on the record”

My best moment in the news is probably this story, except it got me in hot water with my sister who didn’t appreciate being mentioned. I was interviewed for over two hours and I was speaking a bit off the cuff about her family (and it’s on her public blog). Of course that’s what got covered. Instead I should’ve talked about my friend Scott‘s amazing life, he would’ve liked the publicity.
Also remember that you might say something that could get you in trouble with your employer or someone else.

“Good interviewers are always trying to get you to be more candid than you want to be.” – Brad Kincaid

Just remember the more you practice at PR, the better you get. I still prefer blogger over being on TV, but I’m glad I got the opportunities. My mistakes help me prepare clients and put me in their shoes. They helped me be a better at my job so I don’t regret them entirely, but they definitely make me cringe.

Please comment: What PR mistakes have you made and what did they teach you?

Book Review: The Burned-Out Blogger’s Guide to PR

Ever wonder why it’s so hard to get press for your tech startup? Jason Kincaid, author of The Burned -Out Blogger’s Guide to PR, can tell you. He’s been on both sides of the keyboard. He was part of the press as a blogger at TechCrunch where he lasted 4 years (until he couldn’t stand it any more), and a PR rep trying to get posts for his clients. I think I took most satisfaction in his experiences trying to get press because that’s the side I’m more often on.

If you’re a founder of a tech startup you should read this book, even if you have a PR firm. It’s just good to know how PR works so you can be a good judge of PR firms you may want to hire. You’ll also understand what’s reasonable to expect, and might even decide to pitch your own ideas.

This book has insider tips that I haven’t read anywhere else and most apply regardless of the industry you’re in.

The Burned -Out Blogger’s Guide to PR is available on Kindle for $7.99, and paperback for $9.99. It was written in 2014. Buy it here. This book is a quick and informative 158 page read. If you read it you’ll know more than most college grads in PR. In fact, I think it should be required reading for college level PR classes (mine was – and I feel like this is even more valuable).

Review BURNED-OUT BLOGGERS GUIDE TO PR

Here are some topics you will learn about in The Burned-Out Blogger’s Guide to PR:

  • Embargoes, what they are, when to use them and what not to do.
  • How to write a pitch email. What  I like most about the pitches is how conversational they are. They get to the point but give the necessary info. He shows you the exact pitch and the resulting post.
  • Planning a product launch with examples of how to plan and what to write to reporters, starting months before the launch.

What is Press Worthy and What should Be a Blog Post?
I get this question too. He said to blog about the press coverage you get and add details or additional background. Be sure to link to the article.

Blog about how customers are using your product, tell stories. I’d add to educate people on the product itself, introduce the team and generally give your startup an authentic voice.

You should use your blog to give updates or details about your company or product that reporters won’t care about but your impassioned followers will.

If you have several smaller updates you can combine them to create enough value to pitch to the media or bloggers. Whatever you pitch to a reporter that doesn’t get reported can be purposed and submitted to a site like Hacker News, Medium, or another site that takes submissions.

TIP: Put a link to press on your site and put screenshots, hi-res images of your logo, and contact info. I’d also link to stories you’ve placed and link to your press releases.

As far as press releases, Jason doesn’t like them and I agree for the world he’s in. There are times to use a press release though (more in a future post). Also when should you put your company name in the headline? When you have some recent press that uses your name. Besides that, and If the reporter has probably never heard of you, leave it out. I think that applies to blog post titles and press releases.

What to do When your Competitor Gets Media Coverage You Want
What is your competitor gets a big mention in the press? DO NOT email the reporter asking them to cover your company next, it’s been done before. Instead, give it some time and then email the reporter with “how you are better or different” type pitch. Don’t name the competitor specifically though (except to give context). Instead, talk about how you’re different than everyone else in your niche, not how you’re different from that particular competitor.

How to Newsjack Effectively
What about newsjacking, essentially taking a larger news story or one about a larger company (even if it’s not in your niche), and tying it into your company or product? You should center your pitch around a common theme.

For example, my client has a book about how to talk to your kids about sex. Josh Duggar of the reality show 19 and Counting, admitted to sexually abusing girls, including his own sisters. This is being talked about in the news. She could pitch stories to the press about how the scandal is a reminder about how parents of teens need to know the legal consequences of to perpetrators or victims of sex crime. Then she could talk about how you should already how to talk to your kids about sex and her book can help you do that.

Why you Must Build Relationships with Reporters
After a lot of practical advice there’s a few points that I believe are vital to understand. Relationships are important – it’ s tough to get a story when you don’t know anyone or have relationships with the media. If you don’t have them it’s going to be harder to get press.

Being likeable is important. While it won’t guarantee a story, it can help grease the wheels. “But reporters are human. The more we like you, the more likely we are to read you emails, to give you the benefit of the doubt when you need it. And,…we may like your product a bit better than we would have otherwise.” The opposite is true too.

If you don’t have relationships with reporters in your niche, I suggest subscribing to HARO because reporters will tell you what they are writing about. Read the tech section. Respond to pitches that are a good fit within the first 10 minutes of getting the email. If possible, the first three. Look at the type of stories people in your industry regularly cover and create a list of people you want to build relationships with.

PR’s Secret Weapon
You can’t learn everything about PR by reading a book, because after you know the practical side, a lot of your success depends on using your own creativity. I can give you examples but ultimately you have to think of your own campaigns and get the timing right. “If I’m a PR person, one of my knocks against this guide is that real PR can’t be captured in a book because it stems from opportunistic creativity.” This is the biggest secret of all. I can give someone tips, share my experiences, but whether created or a strong story, it’s all in the angle and using your creativity.

Rookie Mistakes
Jason points out mistakes PR people or founders make that can get them in trouble. Here are a few mistakes to avoid:

  • Letting the news get out before you pitch the story a reporter. “First, do not break your own news before a reporter does.” That includes on social media, on your blog or any other way.
  • Blogging about an article too soon after it’s been written. Give the media outlet the story first, then blog about it a few weeks later.
  • Lying to a reporter. Don’t do it. There are better options. Instead, “be vague, don’t respond, or decline to comment if you don’t have any other options.”

This reminds me of my own rookie mistakes.

Crisis on your hands?
Remember that creativity? While there are principles, there are times you just need a professional. If you want to read up on that I recommend reading Brad Phillips’ excellent book, The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need To Know Before Your Next Interview .

Interestingly Jason points out that there’s most likely going to be some sort of security breach, so you may as well be ready for it. Craft the response in advance. Know what to say about a layoff, consult the laws and prepare something for the press.

Be Honest about your Threats
Every product has issues and a good reporter are going to want to know about them. Don’t ignore them,  bring them up before the reporter asks, then put a good light. In other words, “point out the obvious obstacles you’ll need to overcome and how you’re going to do it.”

There’s a lot of practical advice packed into this short book. I’m looking forward to a part 2 with more from the PR pro’s perspective since that’s the side Jason is on now.

The Ultimate List of Facebook Groups for Bloggers in Every State

I love Facebook Groups for how easy they are to use and how much you can learn from them. The networking and sharing in a well-run group has made my job and career easier. I find them more powerful than LinkedIn groups, especially for bloggers and local groups.

facebook groups for bloggersI started Utah Bloggers Facebook group in 2010 and it has grown to over 850 members. Over the years I’ve hosted many blogger events for local businesses, restaurants and conferences. It’s one of my passions. I’m also the admin of several other groups and belong to many. I guess I’m somewhat of an addict. Since I started working for a blogger ad network I have gotten to know bloggers from all over and I recognize many faces in these groups.

If you’re a blogger, I highly recommend that you join a Facebook group for the state you live in. Then you can attend live events and collaborate with people in your area. To help out, I’ve assembled a list of Facebook groups in every state.

Before you join, make sure you read the rules because every group is different. Some are very strict, others let almost anything go. There are groups that share posts, groups that allow businesses to post and everything in between.

One more thing. I’m surprised by how many groups haven’t customized their URL. To do that you need to go into your group settings and set up an email. Whatever you use for the email will also be your URL. Instead of numbers it will be https://www.facebook.com/groups/customname

My only complaint about Facebook Groups is how hard it is to search for and find them! Use this URL but replace the search. I put blog in because I was looking for blogging related Facebook groups. https://www.facebook.com/search/str/blog/keywords_groups
To search more than one term, blog%20Massachusetts put a % between each, like a space.

Also, if you search and click enter you will see tabs and can select groups. So here it is:

The Ultimate List of Facebook Groups for Bloggers in Every State

Alabama Bloggers Facebook Group

“This will be a place for us to ask blogging related questions, cross promote our blogs and help build a community of both local readerships and global. We also encourage everyone to share information about local happenings and fun things going on around Alabama.” I noticed that many of the posts were sharing blog posts.

Membership: When I checked there were almost 400 members.
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/alabamabloggers

Alaska Bloggers Facebook Group

Alaska Bloggers is a place for online writers who live in Alaska to gather together to network and share region-specific opportunities.
Membership: 84
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/660041177368443

Arizona Bloggers Facebook Groups

“This is a fun place to connect and network with bloggers all over the state of Arizona! “
Membership: about 650
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/452700548079910/

Arizona Bloggers Meetup
“A place for AZ bloggers to connect and gather info on networking events and meetups.”
Membership: 360
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/azbloggermeetup/

Arkansas Bloggers Facebook Group

While I found pages for bloggers, I couldn’t find any public or closed Facebook groups for Arkansas.

California Bloggers Facebook Groups

Southern California Bloggers
“Only requirement of being in this group is to be a blogger in Southern California. Lets help each other and share! ”
Membership: almost 800
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/socalbloggers/

Southern California Lady Bloggers
Private Facebook group for Southern California women bloggers. You must be from SoCal and have an active blog (posts from within the last 3 months) to join. If we can’t verify your location or your blog name, you will not be approved. If you are from outside of the area, we’d be happy to help you find a local group to join.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SoCalLadyBloggers/

California Mom Bloggers
“Community of Mom Bloggers in California. Invite your friends. We encourage you and invite you to get listed on our website athttp://www.californiamomblogs.com/ (Are you a dad blogger? Not a mom or parent? Not a problem! You just need to blog or be learning to blog in California!)”
Members: 536
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/californiamombloggers/

Colorado Bloggers Facebook Groups

Colorado Blogger Club
No formal description but the chatter is sharing posts, asking for opinions and it is business-friendly. They have monthly blogger happy hour events.
Membership: 136 members
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/coloradobloggerclub

Denver/Colorado Bloggers
“A group for Denver & Colorado bloggers to keep in contact and build our local blogging community. Open to all Denver/Front Range/Colorado bloggers. Please add yourself and feel free to invite your friends!” This group is very similar to Colorado Blogger Club.
Membership: 137
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/285861218174139/

Connecticut Bloggers Facebook Groups

The private Facebook group for Connecticut Bloggers. Visit us at www.connecticutbloggers.com
Membership: 300
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/connecticutbloggers/

There is a Connecticut food bloggers group too.

Delaware Bloggers Facebook Group

I couldn’t find any groups for Delaware.

Florida Bloggers Group

Central Florida Bloggers
“This is a mutually beneficial blogging group open to anyone who blogs in Central Florida. The purpose of this group is to support local bloggers by promoting them on any social media platforms available (twitter, stumbleupon, facebook, digg, etc.)”
Membership: 400 members
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/221260031219079/

Georgia Bloggers Facebook Group

Georgia Social Media Moms – private group, ask in the other Georgia groups.

Georgia Teaching Bloggers
The biggest Facebook group in this state is for school teachers!
Membership: 100
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GATeachingBloggers/

Georgia Bloggers Group
No description given
Membership: 28
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/750478491635287/

Hawaii Blogger Facebook Groups

Hawaii Food Bloggers
“Do you blog about local restaurants, recipes, and food? Or are you just a fan of local food blogs that wants to join in the discussion? Then join our group and help us grow the ranks of the Hawaii Food Bloggers!

Group members feel free to post links to your new blog posts or any interesting links you’d like to share!” Check out our website for links to local food blogs: http://www.hawaiifoodbloggers.com/
Membership: 67
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hawaiifoodbloggers/

Idaho Blogger Facebook Groups

Idaho Mom Bloggers
“This group is all about supporting each other in our blogging adventures and building up our community. Please no sales posts unless you are asking for reviews/giveaways. While we want to help Idaho Moms build their blogs, we also want to be able to chat about our life as friends.”
Membership: 50
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/idmombloggers/

Illinois Blogger Facebook Group

Chicago Area Blogger Connection
“The purpose of this group is to give Chicago Area Bloggers a venue through which they can connect with one another – share posts, giveaways, news and concerns. We encourage all who ask to become members to actually BE bloggers.”
Membership: 368
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/214334608693159/

Indiana Blogger Facebook Group

Indiana Women Bloggers
No description given
Membership: 357
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/182741998433841/

Iowa Blogger Facebook Group

Iowa Bloggers
Connecting Iowa Bloggers to interact through online social media and network.
Membership: 149
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/477348652285399/

Kansas Blogger Facebook Group

Kansas City Mom Bloggers
No description given.
Membership: 24
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/168944119955755/

Kentucky Bloggers Facebook Groups

Kentucky Food Bloggers
“This is closed discussion group for Kentucky food bloggers! Members must have an active blog and must live in Kentucky or otherwise have some connection to our Commonwealth.”
Membership: 108
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KentuckyFoodBloggers/

Kentucky Bloggers Network
No description given.
Membership: 42
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/237814649735603/

Louisiana Bloggers Facebook Group

Lousiana Teacher Blog Meetup
Membership: 22
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/472904972860682/

Maine Bloggers Facebook Group

Maine Bloggers Media Group
“This is a place for Maine bloggers to help support one another and grow together as successful bloggers! We are more than just a group of bloggers looking to get ahead, we are a tight nit group of blogging friends that genuinely care.”
Membership: 19
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/580593368651564/

Maryland Bloggers Facebook Group

Maryland Bloggers
“This is a networking and support group specifically for bloggers that live in/around Maryland and are actively blogging.”
Membership: 174
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/marylandbloggers/

Massachusetts Bloggers Facebook Groups

Boston Bloggers
“Welcome to Boston Bloggers! Whether you live in downtown Boston or make your home in New Hampshire or Rhode Island, you’re welcome in this group.”
I loved their cover image because it’s easy to see the rules and very clear. It is inspiring me to make mine better!
Membership: 1,271
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bostonbloggers/

Boston-bloggers

Boston Parent Bloggers
“NOTE: Please visit http://bostonparentbloggers.com/join/ for access to the Facebook Group. Membership is free.

Boston Parent Bloggers is a group for folks in the Boston area who are interested in sharing ideas and resources. It’s a chance for new and seasoned bloggers to experience a sense of local community. It’s also an opportunity for us to leverage our collective influence in the blogging arena. The group is open to bloggers, vloggers and podcasters who are local to the Boston area (Would you drive to Boston for an event? If yes, you’re close enough!) and who focus on issues of importance to parents and families. It is not a venue to advertise services or for self-promotion.”

I like how they have a process for getting accepted because it’s a challenge group owners have. They created a website where you can join. Again, I’m stealing this idea.
Membership: 196
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/138650429506678/

Michigan Bloggers Facebook Group

Michigan Bloggers
“For bloggers who live in Michigan – I have a feeling most of us will be from the metro Detroit area but any and all Michiganders are welcome!”
Membership: 153
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/140797652727075/

Minnesota Bloggers Facebook Group

Minnesota Bloggers
Membership: 329
“This group was created as a way for Minnesota bloggers to meet, interact and get to know fellow bloggers who reside in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas of Minnesota.”
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/minnesotabloggers/

Mississippi Bloggers Facebook Group

Mississippi Writers & Bloggers
“The purpose of this group is to provide writers and bloggers a place to network. Work in PR, journalism, marketing, HR or any other field that includes writing, blogging or social media? Or, do you write as a hobby? Let’s highlight the current and future generations of Mississippi Writers!”
Membership: 31
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WriterBloggerMS/

Missouri Bloggers Facebook Group

No groups found.

Montana Bloggers Facebook Group

Montana Bloggers
“A group for bloggers in Montana to connect and network regardless of niche.”
Membership: 27
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/411797738971865/

Nebraska Bloggers Facebook Group

Nebraska Bloggers
“Groups make it easier than ever to share with friends, family and teammate.”
Membership: 27
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nebraskabloggers/

Nevada Bloggers Facebook Groups

Bloggers of Las Vegas
“Content publishers {aka BLOGGERS} who are local to Las Vegas who are wanting to grow their business through networking with others and through education.”
Membership: 210
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MomBloggersLasVegas/

Las Vegas Bloggers Network
“A social group for bloggers living in Nevada and Southern Utah to connect and socialize. Please add your blog information here:http://lvbloggersnetwork.com/join/
Membership: 97
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/794005567279669/

New Hampshire Bloggers Group

New England Bloggers
“Welcome to NE Bloggers – We’re a group of NE Bloggers looking to network together. You’ll find opportunities posted in the group for reviews and events.”
Membership: 91
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NewEnglandBloggers/

New Jersey Bloggers Groups

New Jersey Blogger Network
“The New Jersey Blogger Network is a group of professional bloggers in the greater New Jersey area.”
Membership: 231
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/393662137447989/

New Jersey Bloggers
“Group connecting New Jersey bloggers, writers and enthusiasts.”
Membership: 108
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NJBloggers/

New Mexico Bloggers Facebook Group

I couldn’t find any active groups.

New York Bloggers Facebook Groups

New York City Travel Writers
“This group is dedicated solely to New York City-based travel bloggers/writers as a centralized resource where we can share event invites, post local job openings, talk about interesting NYC-related topics, and organize social events here in NYC.”
Membership: 723
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NYCTravelWriters/

New York City Blogger Network
“This Group is for Lifestyle, Beauty, Fashion, Health, Fitness and Mommy bloggers to connect, share tips and info related to blogging. ”
They require you to add your name to their list or risk being removed. Smart.
Membership: 239
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NYCBloggers/

North Carolina Bloggers Facebook Group

North Carolina Bloggers
“This is a group for bloggers who live in North Carolina. It is a place to share and network.”
Membership: 162
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/138832296307874/

North Dakota Bloggers Facebook Group

North Dakota Bloggers
“Hey No Dak Bloggers!! Feel free to post questions, photos, topic ideas, anything you like! I am hoping this space can be for support and feedback. You could possibly connect with a guest blogger, get together for coffee or share blogger tips, you name it!”
Membership: 272
URL to join: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/341496719245327/

Ohio Bloggers Facebook Group

Ohio Bloggers
No description
Membership: 85 members
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/435183299864738/

Oklahoma Bloggers Facebook Group

Oklahoma Women Bloggers
“This closed group is only for registered members of Oklahoma Women Bloggers. If you would like to join the community, please visit www.OklahomaWomenBloggers.com for more information and join our Facebook page by searching for Oklahoma Women Bloggers.”
Membership: 124
URL to join:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/340675882735926/

Oregon Bloggers Facebook Groups

Portland Bloggers- Blog Post Feed
A place for Portland Bloggers to promote their blogs with other area writers and readers! Shareyour blog post LINK the day you post and COMMENT on as many other bloggers’ posts as you are able to!
Membership: 239
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/portlandbloggersblogposts

Portland Bloggers – Discussion Feed
“A feed for Portland Bloggers to ask questions or advice on all topics blogging. Get advice on design, monetization, social networking, content creation, and more through this feed. We encourage all types of blogging discussion!”
Membership: 186
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/portlandbloggersdiscussionfeed/

Pennsylvania Bloggers Facebook Group

“feel free to talk about anything this group is uncensored and the freedom of speech act is exercised.” This one wins the award for anything goes.
Membership: 140
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/201355509985129/

Rhode Island Bloggers Facebook Group

See New England Bloggers.

South Carolina Bloggers Facebook Group

Carolina Blogging
“This Group is for bloggers who blog/write and live in the Carolina’s. Where we come together to support each other and soon to be local events. Learn, Network and Grow with us at Carolina Blogging!”
Membership: 70
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bloggersofthecarolinas/

South Dakota Bloggers Facebook Group

I only found one group specific to South Dakota but it has had a post since 2013.  See North Dakota.

Tennessee Bloggers Facebook Group

No description given.
Membership: 57
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/282009148538894/

Tennessee Bloggers
Feel free to add other bloggers from TN! Be respectful and help one another!
Membership 14
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/478969542218133/

Texas Bloggers Facebook Groups

Texas Bloggers
“Open all bloggers in Texas not just limited to Texas area Women Bloggers. This is an educational group to help us figure out this crazy world of blogging. Feel free to ask questions or help others with all things blogging.”
Membership: 663
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/texasbloggers/

Houston Bloggers
“Houston Bloggers secret group where we can share, connect, and ask questions that can’t be asked anywhere else. This group is about HELPING and ENCOURAGING each other!” I like the element of mystery in this group.
Membership: 444
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/houston.bloggers/

Austin Bloggers
“Welcome to the Austin Bloggers group! We are a group of 340+ bloggers that are here to educate and encourage one another. We share online resources and opportunities, and enjoy socializing offline as well.

We have had the opportunity to work with many brands, including McDonald’s, Ford, The Texas Beef Council, Stoneyfield Farm, Vicks and many more.”
First group to mention sponsors by name.
Membership: 416
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/austinbloggers/

Utah Bloggers Facebook Group

Utah Bloggers (my group)
Started in 2010, the group is a place to share information, solve problems and network with other bloggers who live in Utah. We have events, meet at conferences and many of us have been friends for a long time. It’s an active group that allows share requests and individual posts every Wednesday. Utah has a lot of bloggers and we welcome them here.
Membership: 850
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/utahbloggers/

The Utah Bloggers
“This group is JUST for bloggers, not brands and is a safe place to ask pretty much ANYTHING (no need to be “on”)” They have daily share posts. If you don’t participate you will be removed from the group.” There is some overlap in members from Utah Bloggers but the two groups have their own styles and content. We’re friends.
Membership: 250
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/theutahbloggers/

Utah Chic Bloggers
“All kinds of trendy blogs are welcome. This group is for Utah Fashion Bloggers, Beauty Bloggers, Design Bloggers, Lifestyle Bloggers, Photography bloggers, and any other fun & trendy blog we can think of. At this time we are not accepting blogs that are personal, political, or religious.”
Membership: 290
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/utahfashionbloggers/

Vermont Bloggers Facebook Group

Can’t find one, see New England bloggers.

Virginia Bloggers Facebook Groups

Virginia Bloggers Networking
“The goal of this group is to provide a place for us to share blog posts, follow each other, and stay up to date on local meet ups!”
Membership: 90
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/337655729777667/

Virginia Bloggers Club
“The Virginia Bloggers Club is for serious bloggers looking to connect with opportunities and other people in Northern Virginia. We also accept bloggers close by in Maryland and DC.”
Membership: 160
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/200514116766442

Washington Bloggers Facebook Groups

Seattle Bloggers Unite
“Seattle Bloggers Unite is a meeting place for Seattle bloggers. This private Facebook group is a forum where bloggers can introduce themselves, ask questions, and share general news & events. Feel free to sign up for our newsletter at tinyurl.com/k4zavsd or follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@SBUmeetup). ALL SELF-PROMOTIONAL POSTS should be saved for Free-for-all-Fridays.”
Membership: 820
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/seattle.bloggers.unite/

Washington Bloggers
“Anything and everything… It’s a way for Washington Bloggers to connect.”
Membership: 40
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogWA/

West Virginia Bloggers Facebook Group

Charleston Blog Society
“The Charleston Blog Society aims to create a community for professional local bloggers. From supporting other local blogs over social media to social events and scheduled seminars. Current members are able to invite new members and admins can approve membership requests. Please note that members should be professional bloggers only (vs vendors who maintain a blog for their business).”
Membership: 94
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/584042125041944/

Wisconsin Facebook Bloggers Group

Wisconsin Bloggers
“This group is for Wisconsin Bloggers to collaborate, network, and learn from each other! If you are a WI blogger and would like to be added, please send a message to the admin (Kristy Smith) including your blog URL. :)”
Membership: 65
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/293605480708238/

Wyoming Facebook Bloggers Group

Wyoming Bloggers
No description
Membership: 21
URL to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/962696433748102/

If I missed any groups or if you have suggestions or changes, please comment below. The numbers were accurate when this post was written.

Use a Blog Organization Checklist + Time Sensitive Offer from Blogger Babes

This post is a part of a month-long Blogger Babes blog tour which began here. It was written by Ponn Sabra. To read this post in-context, we recommend starting at the beginning–then hop along with us for the full journey.

NOTE: Today is the LAST CHANCE to get the Blogger Babes Building Blocks Early Bird special. You can join Blogger Babes for $5/month (it will go up to $9 a month tomorrow) and get Heidi’s Pitch It eBook, worth $47, as a bonus. This offer expires at on Friday, May 1, 2015. 

The Pitch it eBook was written by the founder of Blogger Babes, Heidi Nazarudin. Heidi’s students regularly report that they are making several hundred dollars per month with sponsored posts as a result of her advice.

To lock in your $5 a month price and get the bonus, go to http://bloggerbabes.com/learning-library/monthly-trainers/
Use coupon code: kit48

Janet and I have known each other for nearly the decade I’ve been blogging. We were partners for half of those years and continue to find ways to work together as often as possible. I highly recommend you that you develop a core handful of trusted blogging confidantes, or at least 1, 2 or even 3. No matter how new or old you are to the blogging profession, there are always special situations in which having a blogging confidante is important. For example, only she knows exactly how hard, long and complex it is to actually make a solid living from the blogging profession. Then, there are always some things only a blogger can relate (like juggling a home office) too as well. 😉

Blog Organization

So, now to business…more blogging checklists. Enjoy these main points you should check off to assure your blog post is ready for publication!

Blog Organization Checklist

  • Brainstormed and selected a theme or blog topics for the month

  • Done keyword research for my selected theme or blog topics. What is trending? What are people talking about?

  • Carefully chose and then highlighted my best topic ideas.

  • Brainstorm title ideas for articles

  • Write engaging headline for every article

  • Researched my selected topics and made a list of relevant links, sources and further research.

Want to take your blog to the next level and grab your blogging checklist?

The above is an excerpt from our debut “How to Write Blog Posts Faster Blogging Checklist”, one of seven documents in our comprehensive Blogger Monthly Tutorials launching this Friday, May 1st. Each tutorial eKit comes with a tutorial, 21 tips sheet, worksheets, checklist, all our recommended tools, and much more!

Blogger Babes Blogging Kit

 

For the price of a lunch at Subway, you can should invest in yourself and your blog.

Click here to sign up for the Limited Time Only Early Bird special release of $5 per month!

Ponn Sabra is a best-selling author and homeschool mom of three tween and teen daughters, also bestselling authors and probloggers [http://PonnSabra.com]. The Managing Partner of Blogger Babes, Ponn is a lover of all kinds of checklists, not just for blogging. Her favorite checklist Android app is Wunderlist. Do you have a favorite checklist app?

This San Diego Donut Shop Gets Social Media!

I’ve eaten at restaurants all over the country and this one is the best example of social media marketing that I’ve ever seen. I almost didn’t see it. We were on a family vacation in San Diego, California. As we were walking back from breakfast, my husband suggested we take a different road back to the hotel.

It was probably about 10am when we walked by San Diego’s Donut Bar:

san-diego-donut-bar

I wondered what is going on, there was such a long line. I immediately stopped and we got in line.

Line at Donut Bar

I’m not sure why my daughter covered her face!

Social proof was everywhere. In the line of people, on their signs, the walls and the stairs. Everything was telling me to eat the world’s best donuts and telling my friends about it. I love how they had all their awards right on the storefront! And #bestdonutsintheworld

San Diego Donut Shop Storefront

On the street sign alone you knew that these donuts were ranked among the best in the nation.

San Diego Donut Bar

There were hashtags everywhere.

On the walls.

Hashtags-stairs On the stairs.

hashtag stairs The donut box had a stamp inviting me to like them on Facebook.

Donut Bar Box

Of course I had to capture everything about it.

Janet-taking-photo

Even the grocerybike for donut delivery:

Donut delivery bike

Is it working? Well San Diego Donut Bar has 17.5k followers on Instagram. Almost 19k on Facebook. If you search Twitter there are lots and lots of tweets.

Sorry I can’t share a donut with you! You will have to go there yourself. I took a bite but honestly, I’m a cruller woman all the way and they didn’t have them the day we visited. Still, I wasn’t there for the food. I was there for the story.

doughnuts from Donut Bar

If you have a restaurant what are you doing to encourage your customers to share pictures with their friends? San Diego’s Donut Bar is my hero and a great example of incredible marketing that everyone can learn from. Do you have a hair salon, a food truck, an ice cream shop, or any other type of business that has a lot of visual interest? Get hashtags, get stamps, get Instagram. Enter to win awards, when you win them, share the news with your customers every day!

These same principles work on your blog or website. If you’ve won awards or been featured on major media, be sure to let your readers know. What is fascinating to me is that this donut shop is not an establishment, it’s only been around since 2013.

Thanks for the great marketing example, San Diego’s Donut Bar!

Examining Slacktivism on the Anniversary of #BringBackOurGirls

This post was written by Dr. Brian Kinghorn, who teaches the Psychology of Social Media at BYU Hawaii. He examines digital activism and traditional outreach.  Unfortunately, the hashtag and social media campaign he references has not brought back the girls. 

#bringbackourgirls facts

This week, (April 14, 2015), is the one year anniversary of 273 school girls being kidnapped from the Chibok Government Secondary School by Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria. Today approximately 230 of them are still missing. Sadly, in a moment of self-reflection, I have to admit that I hadn’t really been thinking about the #BringBackOurGirls campaign until I sat down to write this article about slacktivism (a pejorative term for digital activism). I hurriedly searched Google because I honestly wasn’t sure if they’d been found or not. In a way I guess that makes me guilty of many of the inherent shortcomings of slacktivism. Perhaps guilty is too strong of a word. I guess that makes me complicit in many of the inherent shortcomings of slacktivism.

As an educated and concerned world citizen, it somewhat distresses me that I could be sucked into the false senses of security, purpose, and benefit to society that many people suggest slacktivism engenders. On the other hand, though, without social media and the slacktivism of others I may never have been made aware of the plight of these girls and their families halfway across the planet. And what I don’t know I can’t really care about or support, right? Yes, I jumped on the bandwagon with my index finger last spring (along with Michelle Obama and countless others) and rallied to the cause of these young girls and those desperate to bring them home. But even though my involvement was minimal and short-lived, was it at least better than doing nothing? Is slacktivism (in all its potential lacktivism) just a panacea for the masses so we can all feel better about not getting off our butts and doing something that is actually useful or helpful? Or can slacktivism be beneficial in its own right? Can slacktivism potentially lead people to engage in traditional activism? To take it a step further, can slacktivism actually improve traditional activism?

I must immediately concede that many of the perceived shortcomings of slacktivism can’t really be refuted at face value. But we must also recognize that perceptions are in the eyes of the beholder. Yes, slacktivism can be limited, short-term, and relatively effortless with a sometimes false sense of warm fuzzies at making a difference in the world with a mouse click or tap of a screen. But it can and should be so much more than that. In fact, in many instances it has become so much more than that.

In the wake of the Nigerian girls’ abductions and the subsequent #BringBackOurGirls campaign, Kay Solo defended slacktivism and #BringBackOurGirls in an article published by Allvoices. Although she acknowledged some “valid points” in the criticisms of slacktivism, she also pointed out that this particular digital campaign raised awareness that led to organized real-world protests in Nigeria and other locations. Although she acknowledged that “raising awareness of an issue doesn’t do much good if everyone is aware but no one is doing anything,” she also highlighted the positive power of slacktivism when that widespread awareness does lead to additional action. As she put it, “Viral campaigns and share-heavy activism… [are] far from useless. At the very least, it is often a better option than doing nothing…” She added, “The first step towards accomplishing something big is to spread the news and gain support. However little you feel clicking a share button may accomplish, the fact is that this issue has gained world-wide attention.”

I echo her sentiments. Digital activism (slacktivism) has immense power for getting the word out and organizing calls to action.  Although people in other parts of the world couldn’t join their Nigerians brothers and sisters on the streets of Abuja, they could show their support and solidarity through their online activism. The campaign also informed world leaders (especially the Nigerian government) that millions of people would not stand by and watch this atrocity swept under the rug. The world had come together in a call to action, even if the required action could only be carried out by a select few individuals in the world. In the coming weeks, that call to action will gain revitalized momentum as we approach the anniversary of the abductions. Even if it has not yet (and may never) yield all of the desired results, there is no doubt that the #BringBackOurGirls campaign was not a waste of time or energy. There is great power in people organized in support of a worthy cause.

But the question still remains: When is slacktivism good and when is it just plain lazy? I suggest that the scale of potential effectiveness for online activism is different for each individual and situation and correlates with that person’s realistic ability to facilitate change beyond their index finger. As Kay Solo put it “Not everyone can afford to have a direct impact such as volunteering or contributing financially, in which case sharing information is still valuable.” Additionally, not every situation lends itself to massive on-the-ground support. Not everyone can or should be on location to help after a natural disaster. If they did, chaos would most certainly increase rather than being alleviated. Instead, the general masses can show their support through providing information and motivation to established organizations that are in a position to provide effective relief. They may also donate money to support and facilitate those relief efforts.

#BringBackOurGirls has similar limitations. As noted above, there are only a select handful of individuals on the planet with the power and influence to negotiate with the Boko Haram terrorists or attempt to retrieve the girls by force, but there is a world full of concerned individuals who can continue to pressure them to keep trying until they succeed. Sometimes simply sharing on social media is enough to accomplish the purposes of the cause.

In contrast, if you live down the street from a homeless shelter and you are physically and/or financially able to provide assistance through participation in grassroots humanitarian activism, but choose instead to post a meme about fighting homelessness and call it good, you probably fall into the lacking part of slacktivism. Digital activism shouldn’t make you feel better about yourself for taking the altruistic path of least resistance when you could (and should) have done much more. Digital activism also shouldn’t be our excuse (like Bill Waterson’s Calvin) to make our lives easier by lowering everyone’s expectations of us. When the most we can do is promote a legitimate cause through sharing via social media, doing so is sufficient digital activism. At other times, when you are in a position to be a part of the change you are promoting, clicking the share button and collaborating online is only a first good step which then has great potential to facilitate traditional activism.

A classic example of this is chronicled in Wael Ghonim’s memoir Revolution 2.0  which highlights the role of digital activism via social media as an influencer, catalyzer, and facilitator of positive social change building up to and during Egypt’s 2011 revolution against “injustice, unemployment, corruption and torture.” In like manner, altruistic digital activism (or digital altruism) in the forms of crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, and cyberheroism can have similar (albeit less dramatic) influential, catalyzing, positive effects on social change.  For example, crowdsourcing via Twitter was influential in bringing the Boston Marathon bombers to justice; scores of adoptees have been reunited with their birth families as a result of photos shared on social media sites; and crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe.com allow people to donate money to causes they deem worthy. One of my favorite examples of what Dana Klisanin calls cyberheroism was the combined efforts of social media users (including President Obama) to help the Make-a-Wish Foundation grant young cancer survivor Miles Scott’s wish to become #Batkid for a day and “save” the city of San Francisco. Like Egypt’s revolution, this story is a classic example of the confluence of digital and traditional activism for the greater good.

In my Psychology of Social Media Course I emphasize that social media is a tool that can significantly magnify already existing prosocial or antisocial behaviors like altruism or the bystander effect, but the platform doesn’t cause these social behaviors. When used effectively and efficiently as a tool rather than a destination, slacktivism has great power and potential to magnify the prosocial behavior of altruism. If nothing else, we no longer have to waste precious time and resources “pounding the pavement” to rally support for social causes. Additionally, although there is evidence that an initial public show of token support for a cause is less likely to lead to additional meaningful support to a cause than an initial private show of token support, sometimes an initial public show of support is all a person can really do to promote a cause like #BringBackOurGirls. Plus, in most cases, doing something is usually better than doing nothing, even if that something is simply caring enough about an issue to forward a photo, tweet, post, article, or hashtag to our friends.

Whether you want to alleviate hunger, help the homeless, clean up a local park, or tackle a bigger issue like World peace, don’t limit yourself to either digital or traditional outlets for your altruistic yearnings. Find ways to use them both! If you are trying to increase awareness of social injustices, gather support for social change,  or persuade World leaders and policy makers to champion and facilitate your cause, millions shares and signatures from millions of people via sites like SumOfUs or change.org can potentially accomplish that goal quite effectively.

If you’re trying to organize a community service project (or want to know what kinds of service opportunities are already available in your community) you can gather support and establish a plan of action via sites like GetInvolved or JustServe. You could even join the Cyberhero League and work with others to tackle real global challenges with digital technology and your social networks.  And when it comes to opportunities to engage in what many would call pure slacktivism, click away! But also be open to the new opportunities for altruism that may be illuminated along the way. 

Austin Craig’s Tips for Going Viral on YouTube

Sometimes there’s a myth that if you produce incredible content (including video), it will spread naturally, on it’s own. I wish, because that would be easier. The reality is a video won’t go viral by itself. It takes work:

I did a ton of marketing, and it started long before the video was released. Going viral was not an accident—it was work. -Karen Chen

I asked my friend Austin Craig for a few tips. Austin is an expert in YouTube marketing and is super-connected in the YouTube world. It started with a tongue scraper called Orabrush (links to video about the story).

Here’s what Austin shared:
Austin Craig
If the question is about getting content to “go viral” specifically, there are a few pointers I’d pass along.

Get an Emotional Response

If people are going to share a video, they need to feel something. They can be amazed, brought to tears, humbled, or maybe the most commonly used, bowled over with laughter. If they feel nothing, then they aren’t likely to share it.

If you and your friends watch it, and nobody says “Wow”, you probably don’t have something people will share.

Be Original

If it’s an old trick, people won’t be impressed. Show me something new. Maybe this is just repeating my first point, but it’s important to note that one of the surest ways to get a “WOW!” out of somebody is to show them something they’ve never seen before.

Janet: You can do something that’s been done before but find a new angle or story line for it to make it unique. Example: Karen Cheng’s dance video. It show her incredible dance moves. That’s not all it is though. That’s been done before. Instead, she shows herself learning to dance in a year. She wasn’t very good at it at first. She let’s people see that it’s ok to be bad at something when you’re a beginner. Today the video has almost 6 million view and has inspired so many people to learn what they want to get better at.

Make a SHORT Video

People don’t often share things that are very long, simply because it takes a bigger investment (time) to consume it. Maybe 150 years ago, with a more literate society, longer media would go viral. It doesn’t happen much these days. From a few seconds to just a few minutes, keep content short. You’ll see in the link below from Karen, she kept shaving off seconds to get her video under 2 minutes.

Make Something People Can Identify With

When people are posting, pinning, or tweeting, they’re making a statement about themselves. Is this something that people want to personally identify with? Is this a banner they’re proud to wave? Just like walls in our homes or offices, we post things on our “wall” that tell people about us, who we are, where we’re from, what’s valuable to us, what we care about.

To be perfectly honest, a lot of my thinking has been around making videos anti-viral, or in other words, trying to make content that does well over a long period of time, and builds a sustained audience. 

One last tip: be sure to tell people what to do, include a call-to-action:

  • Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
  • Go to my website
  • Buy
  • Share
  • Like
  • Comment

This advice honestly applies across social media, not just video.

Note: more recently Austin produced, directed, and co-wrote a video for this Kickstarter, which in just 2.5 hours raised $140K. At last count it rasied over $500,000. Yes, video can sell!

Thank you Austin for sharing your pointers with us!

If you want to learn more about promoting your video on blogs and Reddit, including the title and other insider secrets, check out this post about making a viral video by Karen Chen. Her method for writing a title for your video also applies across social media.

If you have more examples or tips for producing or marketing a YouTube video, please share them in the comments.

How Utah Car Dealership Ken Garff Excels at Content Marketing

Utah’s Ken Garff Auto Group is showing how content marketing can work in any niche. The premise of their campaign called #ProjectListen is the ways that listening helps you win. That extends to listening to your customer and providing excellent customer service. Both content marketing and customer service are trendy and it looks like Ken Garff is driving both trends home effectively.

Ken Garff Content Marketing Campaign

I’ve seen their TV commercials and billboards, now they’re moving into online PR by going digital. They created a series of videos related to listening, and posted them on YouTube and on a microsite at ProjectListen.com. In addition, they’re working with bloggers like me (this post is sponsored by them) and other bloggers who promoted their videos on Facebook.

It’s working. In just two weeks, they’ve reached over 2 million views across different platforms. In a story in Utah Pulse, the numbers were broken down: “The grassroots effort, which featured real stories about how listening can improve the quality of life, resulted in close to 1 million impressions on Facebook and Twitter combined, and nearly 1 million impressions on YouTube.”

Website traffic is trending up since last year too:

Ken-Garff-traffic

On a personal note, buying a car is not usually a pleasant experience so this industry, along with homebuilders really need to focus on customer service. I don’t mean a nice show room with free popcorn either. The process of buying a car takes forever and you get the full court press the whole time. I bought my first new car last year from a competitor to Ken Garff. Let me tell you, I didn’t feel like I was listened to. I felt like, ok I was, talked at.

The salesman essentially started by saying I fit the typically customer profile for someone who would buy a Honda CR-V. It was sort of like, hello, you are our ideal customer, buy a car. The next few hours were a bit overwhelming. I’m happy with my new car but I especially appreciate when I feel like someone listens and responds to my needs rather than focusing on selling me. As he figured out, I was sold on the actual car, this was just a confirmation of that and talk about the numbers. Today’s customer is usually like me, visiting a dealership only after doing considerable research online.

I like Ken Garffs unique take on listening in their campaign – like in this video about snowboarding. I never thought about how much listening matters if you’re racing, but it makes sense:

on .

All this would be impressive but I’m a marketer and that means I’m skeptical. I remember what my sister says: the more a business touts something, the worse they probably are at it. In this case, Ken Garff appears to be walking their talk. I just saw a press release today that the Salt Lake dealership won the Honda President’s Award (for the 8th time).

They also won the Five Star Dealer Award from Edmunds.com.

“The dealership is one of 10 in Utah to be recognized by Edmunds.com for earning an average customer review rating of five stars on the site, with a minimum of 20 reviews, for the past two years.”

And on their Facebook page (I can especially appreciate that they washed and vacuumed the car):

Big SHOUT OUT to Ken Garff Honda in Orem, and their service manager, Scott. They drove all the way out to Mapleton this morning to deliver a loaner car to me–a very nice new Honda SUV–while they took care of some recall issue. My part was on back-order for quite awhile, and you know what they did? They took it out of another car, and put it into mine, so I could be done faster. Have you ever even heard of such a thing? Then they had a guy DELIVER my car to my house, and drive back the loaner SUV. Not only that–they washed and vacuumed MY car!!! Who DOES that these days? Ken Garff. They really DO listen to customers.
-Kjirstin Youngberg
This testimonial reminds me of Discount Tires’ TV commercials about how they impact their customer’s lives. I love them. Both Discount Tires and Ken Garff get that telling stories across media is the best way to be heard by your potential customers and that this kind of word of mouth isn’t bought, it’s earned.