Business Cards – Quick Tip Monday

business cardLet’s talk about business cards today.

Do you have one? Have you even thought about it?

If not, now’s the time to start thinking about it. A business card can be one of a blogger’s best assets:

  • It helps you spread the word about your blog locally. Unless you keep your blog anonymous, don’t rule out your local neighborhood, community and businesses as a way to gain visibility for your blog
  • It is the way people (other bloggers and brands) can remember you at conferences and other events
  • It conveys the impression that you are a professional blogger

If you don’t currently have a business card, here are some recommendations about how to approach getting yours done.

  • Make the card consistent with your brand image. Incorporate your blog header or blog button onto your card.
  • Decide what information to include. At a minimum, your card should include your name, your blog’s name, your email address, your blog URL and your Twitter handle. Great nice-to-haves include your Facebook fan page, Skype name, Linked In profile, and cell phone number.
  • Avoid weird sized cards. Some people may disagree with me on this one, and they’ll argue that an unusually-sized card stands out. But at conferences in particular, many bloggers keep the business cards they get from others inside their conference lanyard. Those lanyards often don’t easily accommodate unusually-sized cards. So I prefer to receive the standard 2×3 size.
  • Use high-res images. I know from personal experience that NOT using a high-res image can look REALLY bad on a business card.
  • Seek help if you need it. While VistaPrint and UPrint have great tools to make your card yourself, don’t be afraid to ask your blog designer (if you have one) to do your card for you. They’ve already designed your header, most likely, and will be able to easily design a card in keeping with your blog image. Most of the time, it’s very affordable to have this done.
  • Plan ahead. Make sure you allow for enough lead time to get cards designed, reviewed, printed and delivered. If you’re attending a conference, plan to have your cards ordered no later than 2 or 3 weeks before the event.
  • Don’t ignore the back! The back of your business card can be a great place to put additional information about yourself, or consider offering up the back of your card as part of a sponsorship pitch to a brand!

So tell me…do you have a business card?

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Victoria's Voice – Saturday Spotlight

Happy Saturday! Next up in the spotlight is…

Victoria’s Voice!

Vickie Cook is a former Air Force gal and a married full time working mom of two older young men, ages 21 and 17. Her blog provides honest reviews on products and companies so that her readers and followers are able to use her opinion to help make decisions on their purchases.

Vickie prides herself on blogging with integrity and making sure that her followers/readers are taken care of especially when they have entered one of her giveaways. Her readers are her “customers” and if it weren’t for them, Victoria’s Voice would not exist.  Her blog motto: “This Blog’s For You!”

Tell us how you started your blog and site. What was your inspiration?

I started my blog 7 months ago, and to tell you the truth I really had no clue as to which direction it would go. I kept asking myself “what do I have to offer that others would be interested in?” I started with just small posts and would find coupons or deals going on that I would post about or I would put up a recipe. With no followers to read the posts I just couldn’t find my niche. One day a co-worker and fellow blogger introduced me to product and and company reviews. That is all it took. This was something that I was already doing by commenting on company websites about their customer service or the products I was using. I was hooked and I started receiving followers and to my surprise people were actually reading my posts. Along with the giveaways and reviews I also try to make sure that I have a wide variety of content to appeal to all of my readers not just giveaways and reviews. What inspires me and keeps me going is when I receive a comment from someone telling me that they like my blog or just when they simply comment on a post.

What is the best resource you’ve found to locate giveaway and review opportunities?

That is simple – other bloggers! I find that most are very helpful and willing to share their contacts. Especially starting out, I did not have access to some of the other great sites such as Business 2 Blogger and Pitch it to me. Once my blog started picking up, other bloggers started steering me to sites such as Business 2 Blogger, Pitch it to me, Family Review Network, Mom Bloggers Club, and some other great sites that help bloggers and PR representatives connect. I also have learned to use the company websites themselves to cold pitch. Although this is much harder, it is truly rewarding when a company accepts my pitch to review a product.

Tell us one tech tool, application, or resource that is crucial to your success.

Social media by far is the best tool I have found to be crucial to my blog’s success. I receive a good bit of my traffic from Twitter. When I signed up for Twitter, I really didn’t expect it to take off the way it has and I have met lots of fantastic people and contacts through this source. Facebook is also a wonderful tool whereas it enables me to interact with my followers daily. Both resources help to get out the word on my giveaways and contests.

If you had $1000 to spend on your blog, what would you do with it?

$1,000 seems like a lot to spend on a blog, but if I had it to spend, I think the first thing I would like to do is to move over to my own domain and host. The rest would go towards a good WordPress setup with custom theme and logo.

Look into the future. Where/what do you hope your blog is a year from now?

Great question! Goodness, I haven’t looked beyond the day-to-day aspects of my blog. At times it is like a roller coaster ride. Some days you can almost hear the crickets chirping and other days it is traffic non-stop. I guess if I took a step back to look a year down the road, I would hope that Victoria’s Voice is a blog that has gained respect from not only my followers and readers, but the companies I deal with as well. I would love to be able to offer bigger contests to my readers and to possibly start a PR hosting network of my own.

You can catch up with Victoria by following her on Twitter at @vickcook01 or on her Victoria’s Voice Facebook page.

 

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Blogosphere Roundup, 5/20

Yay! It’s Friday again! After last weekend’s dizzying number of kid birthday parties, I’m ready to chillax a little…but first, the bloggy roundup!

Blogging Tips

What You Can Learn From The Blogger Outage. Blogworld lays it out for you. Even if you aren’t on Blogspot…there are words to the wise.

How Blogging Can Make You a Better Person. I love this – a focus on great reasons to blog.

Learning How To Market From Buddha. This article from Copyblogger sounds silly, but it’s actually quite interesting. And I just loved that they put Buddha and marketing together!

7 Ways Your Blog Can Impose On Your Visitors. Great read from Blogging Pro. Little things on your blog can make it hard for visitors to want to come back!

Social Media

Ways to Lose Fans on Facebook. Are you guilty of any of these? Fun and true article by SteitBlog.

Tweets Become Music. Really? From Bloggers Blog.

Find Your Old Facebook Status Updates. I’m not sure I want to do this. I went thru an “I’m Annoying on Facebook” phase. But if you want to see your old, old Facebook stuff…this is a handy tool!

Tips on Viral Marketing from Sh*t My Day Says. So true! This is social media at its most basic, but spot on!

Mom Blogging News

How To Ruin Your Chance of Landing A Blog Sponsor. Mom Blog Magazine tells us how brand relationships need time to develop.

Klout Perks. See those Klout Perks on Twitter? Get the skinny on ‘em from ShePosts.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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Video: Meet Gigi

I gotta get in on this video thing.

On Wednesday, I’m going to do a desktop screencast tutorial of a really cool Twitter tool you can use to clean up the followers and unfollowers in your Twitter account. Can’t wait to hear what you think!

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