11 Must Haves for Bloggers

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Most people think I’m extremely organized. But, I have a confession to make: I have a hard time maintaining my organization. When things get hectic, my house and office tend to show it. As does my brain. As a blogger, a single mom and a work-from-home awesome bringer, it’s imperative that I stay organized and keep it together to stay on top of my game. To that end, I’ve created an essentials list of things I think a blogger must have in their repertoire. [Read More]

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Why Pay An Influencer?

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10:21 p.m.

I log in and start to type this post. By the time I'm done I would've spent time and energy creating an image for it, writing enthusiastically in response to the question and maybe even doing some research online to support my thoughts.

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I am an influencer. And what I do takes time. I think that there's a big difference in how we position ourselves with our writing. Bloggers come and go but to me, influencers are forever. Indulge me if you will...

Before I had a blog, I'd tell everyone that would listen about a new product I tried, a new restaurant I went to, etc. People that know me make fun of me at times asking me if I know a {insert obscure profession or service here} so they can amuse others when I say oh yeah! Let me give you her contact info.

Don't you do that? Well, I do. Because I've always been an influencer. The first instance of this that I can remember was in college.  I wanted a tattoo but I didn't want to do it alone. So I...influenced a friend to get one with me. Ah yes, the power of persuasion. Now it's not that she didn't want to get her tattoo. It's that the story I weaved for her made her get off the fence about it.

Maybe I'd been doing it before then.  I'm not sure when it started but I know it was way before my first post made it to the interwebs in September of 2010. And I am pretty sure I will continue to do it even after my last post is ever written. Now, you can say that I have always done it for free so why get paid now?

Because things change while they stay the same. I have such a passion for social media that I have begun to build a business around it. I delve into the numbers, talk to people about engagement and try to absorb as much information as I can in order to make sure that I am doing what I should be doing ethically and ensuring that I am handling myself professionally. I'm in the process of getting my MBA with a concentration in social media. Because all this business intrigues this Jill of all trades.

Why should you pay me to write sponsored content? Because I'm not going to write content for a brand that I don't like. That I don't believe in. Because I take my job very seriously and treat it as I would any other project on my slate. Because I am providing my readers and followers with information that they might already be looking for.  And because Neilsen reports that 70% of social media users listen to others' experiences. So if you have a rapt audience that's all ears and I have a microphone in my hand, why not let me do what I'm good at and compensate me for it?

I haven't always written about products I love. Sometimes products hit my inbox and I think, hmmmm, I don't know about that.  But the interaction with the marketing or PR team has made a difference for me in many different instances. It's the reason I type this from an Asus laptop instead of my old Mac Book Pro. And that is a BIG feat coming from a techy girl used to working in a Mac shop. Brands should pay as much attention to who is talking to the influencers as they do to who they select to write for their brand.  There are many intricacies in this ever-growing market.

The bottom line though? This post will probably go up close to midnight. Because I will have to edit. I will have to schedule it and then I will have to work in order to make sure it reaches your audience. After that, my work is not done. I share more in the coming days and I engage my readers on the topic at hand. Sometimes it's a comment on the blog but more often it's a Tweet or a Facebook post. It can be anything from telling me they took their son to Disney after they read the story of my daughter's birthday bash at Animal Kingdom or how they found comforting words after reading the posts about my mother's battle with cancer and my subsequent battle with grief.

See, you can put up a sign that might cost less than what you pay me. But a sign can't personalize your product. It can't weave it into a story that people can identify with and relate to. That sign won't send virtual hugs to people or cheer them on and ask them to post pics when they go by your product.  I am an influencer and though part of my job is to write, the other part, the one you may not understand has to do with how I can bring your products & services to life by sharing my own.

You might find someone out there to write for free. I've done it. I still do sometimes. When I find a product I'm wild about. But, I have to feed and clothe my frog princess (and I need to go buy more gadgets! ;-) ).  So, why not trust me to share my experiences beyond that which happens with your product? Why not allow me to weave my story into yours, to humanize your brand with a face that my readers and followers trust.

Because I might write about a product or service but I will not write what's not in my heart.  And ultimately that is what makes me an influencer you should partner up with. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TapInfluence.  The opinions and text are all mine.

Ode to Silk

As you may know, April is National Poetry month. An even more obscure fact? I have actually published a poetry book that you have not purchased because you obviously don' t want me to feed and clothe my child. But, I digress. Where was I? Ah, yes...Poetry. I was asked to creatively chat with you about Silk. I could go and on and and on about it but in lieu of April, I give you a poem.

#TasteSilk

Oh Silk, oh Silk! I'm so glad I found you!

I remember it well when my boobs started to dry

I looked & I searched for a tasty replacement

but when she wouldn't take it, I sat down to cry.

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Then one day out the blue, Dom casually mentioned

that Very Vanilla would sure do the trick

Are you serious man? Would she drink this for real?

If not, I assure you I was sure to get sick.

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Off I went to the store, perusing the shelves

Then I found it and ran all the way home

While I was at work one spring morning it happened

Silvia decided to give the frog princess some.

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Oh Silk! Oh Silk! You saved my child's life

By replacing the breastmilk she exclusively knew

A man gave me advice & it was actually solid

I'm forever indebted & he's now part of my crew.

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I tell all who listen that I weaned with some Silk

Though lately I've found something special for me

Ice lattes in the fridge for this mami to drink

Oh Silk, oh Silk this is how it should be!

I'm not sure if this is awesome poetry. But I do know that Silk is awesome! I cannot tell you what a relief it was to have found Silk when I did. We had tried regular milk but the frog princess refused it. With the stress of my mom passing away, my anxiety grew that I would be unable to provide the milk that she needed. Though she was eating at the time, I still felt it was important for her to nurse. Silk gave me peace of mind and gave her a yummy bottle when the time came to wean. By the way, she weaned herself.  At 16 months. Don't get me started because I was heartbroken. Now that I think about it though, I wonder if she weaned because she preferred the Very Vanilla Silk over me! Travesty! Anywho, it's that good.

Also, now they have these yummy iced latte situations that I adore. I'm always running around with 32 different things going on at once. There are some days I don't want to have to go put coffee on (I'm old fashioned and use a percolator y'all!). Having Silk Iced Latte in the fridge (I'm loving the mocha flavor) makes my life easier when I need a yummy treat. PS: feel free to throw this in a blender with some ice and caramel for an extra delicious treat.

Have you had this yumminess? How do you drink your Silk?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.