Love Your Blog

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Every so often, as readers of all things Internet and eternal blog scanners, we are lucky enough to run into a blog wherein the creator of the blog is writing about something they truly love. This is a revolutionary concept, as many blogs read as if the poor soul behind the laptop had a gun pointed to the back of his head while a person in a mask barked orders like, “Blog about Michelle Bachmann or else!” The point is maybe blogging about what we love can translate to more readers, better conversations with our audiences and endless inspiration for blog topics.

A clear case of a blogger in love with what they blog about is Annie from Annie’s Eats. This happy homemaker truly loves baking yumminess in the forms of pies, cakes, and everything you can possibly shove into an oven. Her blog sings with inspiration. And the reader finds themselves saying “ooh… I want to make those cupcakes” even if they’ve never made a cupcake before. While not all of us get to blog about universally-loved things like cupcakes, every writer has the opportunity to infuse his or her work with the passion and zeal that they personally have for life. When that passion is in your blog, readers can tell. Love for your blogging topic can manifest all sorts of wonderful things, from more links to book deals and beyond. Also, by blogging about what we love, there is little risk we’ll run out of things to say. When there is a passions for what we’re blogging about, the topics and inspiration just seem to come with little or no struggle.

In the end, blogs are creative works which require love, passion, interest, fire and thought. Leaving those things out of the equation leaves readers in the cold. So if you’re passionate about massage and your business, then by all means — the world needs a good massage blog and you should be the person to do it. Otherwise, somebody who isn’t passionate about massage could wind up writing blandly on the topic you are in love with and that would just be wrong.

If you need help writing a blog that people will fall in love with, we can help with that too!

Locally-grown Viral Magic

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“Local” has become one of those nouveau hippy words that signifies both locally-grown and undeniable pretension. Yet you can’t truly argue with the concept of helping your community by buying goods produced in your neighborhood. With local chic being something city folk simultaneously embrace and snicker at, there is one local good that has become a beloved viral sensation: the local commercial. These corny (and sometimes downright strange) low-budget delights are the viral video age’s version of independent film — so much so that the Independent Film Channel now has an entire series devoted to local commercial icons Link and Rhett entitled “Commercial Kings.” So we wondered: What does it take to become a viral video local commercial legend?

What every popular local commercial has in common is its “what in the hell is this?” quality which makes viewers stop, re-watch and forward to friends. And speaking of friends, ours over at Make the Logo Bigger found this gem from Lipstick Bail Bonds which illustrates our point nicely. This ad is part Charlie’s Angles, part Dog the Bounty Hunter and part unintentional comedy gold, making it just the thing people will eat up with a spoon. The Credit Mac Daddy is another example of local genius, and one which illustrates the other key to viral success: humor. Whether it’s bad jokes or good jokes (or just so bad it’s hilarious), viral genius like Credit Mac Daddy makes viewers laugh and makes ads memorable. Another common ingredient in these spots, although not an essential one, is music. A sublimely silly song can elevate a local spot from bearable to booty-shaking brilliance.

While it is difficult to say if producing a campy commercial actually helps one’s business, it certainly can’t hurt. Millions of people are hearing about dinky mom and pop places which normally only locals would have known about. So, did viral marketing make local commercials hip or is it the other way around? Sound off in the comments section below, and include a link to one of your local greats.

Dial “S” for Shopping

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Mobile commerce is kind of like some sneaky dictator from an old movie who overthrows a country without the rest of the world knowing it. Seemingly overnight, we now buy things with our phones like it’s something we’ve always done. And speaking for myself, using my phone to shop makes me feel cool. I have literally been near my laptop, but chosen to use my smartphone to buy movie tickets instead because “it’s easier” (although I’m not sure how true that really is) and because it is so fun. A dieting friend of mine recently dumped the Papa John’s Pizza app on his phone because he knew within minutes he could fall off the wagon and into a vat of cheesy, saucy goodness before he knew what happened.

Since nearly everyone with a smartphone has been swept up into the mobile commerce tornado and marketers are moving fast to satisfy the need. We and tons of other marketing blogs have been keeping our eyes on this phenom for quite some time. Diana Adams at Bit Rebels, for example, has been covering the topic for a while (and might I add, doing a bang-up job of it). Also carefully monitoring the trend is Microsoft, which recently cooked up an infographic which tells us how and why mobile commerce works. While fascinating (and confirmation of our suspicion that nothing is real unless there is an infographic to go along with it), the real revolution happening here for marketers can’t be covered with a brightly-colored picture. Social media marketing, digital engagement and mobile marketing have all kind of melted into one giant engagement blob which requires marketers to think of all of the channels when creating a campaign. Taking into consideration whether our clients can get their products sold via smartphone is the next marketing compatibility test.

So, dear readers, let’s start the week with a little conversation. Is mobile commerce a good time or merely just another way to avoid human contact? Do you have a mobile marketing plan? And lastly, tell us your fave ways to spend coins with your smartphone.

Changing Minds, One Tweet at a Time

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“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” — William James

It isn’t uncommon to find a social revolution hot on the heels of a recent political revolution. In Egypt, where a Facebook-fueled uprising took down an oppressive regime, a new movement is brewing among the people of the nation, who have tapped into crowdsourcing to broadcast a strong message against sexual harassment.

On Monday, June 20, the Twitter hashtag #endSH was sprouting up all over the social media website. Tweets from all over Egypt, nearby countries and the world were buzzing about sexual harassment. It was all part of an online campaign to inspire Egyptians to talk about the growing problem using social media and blogging. HarassMap, a sexual harassment awareness group, joined forces with activists, bloggers and members of the media to designate June 20 as a day to openly address sexual harassment.

Egypt’s political changes ushered in a dangerous time for women on the streets of Egypt’s big cities. From catcalls and lewd invitations to assault and rape, Egyptian women are subjected to a hostile environment each time they leave their homes. Shockingly, sexual harassment isn’t a crime in Egypt, making the incidents nearly impossible to report and social change difficult to achieve.

But online on Monday, there was hope. Twitter activists and fed up Egyptians from all walks of life talked about the social disease openly in tweets. Even Egyptian men like Twitter user Mohameddiab678 are outraged and speaking up. “The most important reason for the Sexual harassment numbers to go higher in our part of the world is silence ….. SPEAK UP #EndSH” his tweet from Monday read.

What is inspiring about campaigns like this one is that Twitter and social media continue to be validated as ways of truly motivating people to get involved. Will a few thousand tweets and some good publicity end an Egyptian tradition of disrespecting women? Not hardly. But for Egypt — a country veiled in modesty and secrecy and violence — campaigns such as this one bring an issue out of the shadows and into the forefront. And, really, isn’t that how all revolutions begin?