Save The Date – Bold Fusion 2012

Organizers with Bold Fusion have announced the date and speaker line up for Bold Fusion – November 29th from 1:30-5pm – the annual young professionals summit that brings creative minds together to connect and discuss. Themed, The Power of Enchantment, this year’s speaker line up includes a keynote from author and former Apple Evangelist, Guy Kawasaki and presentations by Dhani Jones and  Ben Crawford. Details are below. Click over to register for Bold Fusion (FREE TO ATTEND).

If you can’t make it, you can follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #Boldfusion.

About Bold Fusion 2012: Enchantment (from event organizers):

Building a passionate following is necessary for any industry, whether you are marketing a product, service, or organization. But how do you do that in an authentic way? Join us at this year’s Bold Fusion to hear from Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds & Actions, as he shares his keys to building lasting and effective relationships to get the job done. Learn how the art of enchantment leads to big impact for you, your company and your community.

SXSW Comes to Cincinnati

Can’t be in Austin for the country’s biggest interactive conference? That’s OK, The New Press Club is bringing it to us!

This Monday, March 15, 2010 at the Main Stay Rock Bar, 5th and Plum streets in downtown Cincinnati the New Press Club invites you from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. to listen and ask questions of  some of the top thinkers and biggest influencers in the social media realm who are in attendance at SXSW.

The interactive discussion from Austin is the first event sponsored by the newly-formed New Press Club, which aims to bring Cincinnatians interested in new media the latest information and news on trends, gadgets, and ways to  monetize the Web, and seeks to connect our local new media community to top influencers in the online interactive field from around the world.

Monday’s event is free and open to the public.

You can find the New Press Club on Twitter @NewPressClub and on Facebook New Press Club. Stay tuned as the speakers will be announced over the weekend.

UPDATE: Thank you to Christina for the heads up that we forgot to include the time!

FTC Guidelines and Bloggers

If you talk to bloggers, particularly bloggers who work with brands, concerns about meeting FTC guidelines are bound to enter the conversation.  While the FTC Endorsement Guidelines document may seem overwhelming, essentially what the guidelines are asking of bloggers and brands is really quite simple.  It’s about disclosure, about letting readers know of relationships that exist between the two parties.

Here are two quick videos of Mary Engle, Associate Director for the Bureau of Consumer Protection addressing the guidelines and what they mean.

1) What do the Endorsement Guides mean for bloggers?

2) How do bloggers follow the Endorsement Guides?

~ Shannan

Ten Great Plugins for WordPress

One of the questions I often get from bloggers new to using WordPress is, “What plugins should I use?” Because it’s such a popular blog platform I thought I would share some of my favorites here on Cincinnati Women Bloggers.  Here are 10 great plugins for getting started with WordPress.

1)      Comment Luv ~ When readers leave a comment, a link to their most recent blog post is also displayed.  This is a great way for you to see what they’re talking about on their blog.

2)      Yet Another Related Posts ~ Displays a list of related blog posts at the end of each post.  A great way to expose readers to additional content on the same topic.

3)      Link Within ~ Similar to “Yet Another Related Posts” but more visual. The Link Within plugin displays related content along with images at the bottom of posts.

4)      All in one SEO pack ~ Easy to use plugin that allows you to optimize your blog posts.

5)      Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator for WordPress ~ Generate a special XML sitemap which helps search engines index your blog.

6)      Print Friendly ~ When installed, this plugin enables readers to print a “printer friendly” version of your blog post. Great plugin for those of you who share recipes, write “how to” posts, etc.

7)      Subscribe Remind ~ Adds a subtle reminder to readers to subscribe to your RSS feed at the end of blog posts.

8)      TweetMeme ~ Adds an icon to your blog posts that allows readers to Tweet it to their Twitter followers.

9)      Twitter for WordPress ~ Simple plugin for displaying your recent Tweets in your sidebar.

10)  Sociable ~ Allows you to add links to various social booking marking sites after blog posts. Having these at the end of your post increase the chances that someone might ‘Stumble’ or ‘digg’ your post.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg as far as great plugins that are out there.  What plugins are you using? Any you’d recommend? Any you think people should avoid?

~~ Shannan

PS. I would also recommend using the Akismet plugin for dealing with spam.  It does a great job and filtering out comments from bots.

CWB Meets Tomorrow

Just a quick reminder that Cincinnati Women Bloggers will be meeting tomorrow at Red Tree Gallery & Coffee Shop in Oakley. We hope you’ll join us at 10 a.m. to hear noted recruiter Jennifer McClure speak about using blogs and other social media tools in your job search. This is a great topic for job seekers of all kinds, whether it’s full-time employment you are seeking or freelance work.

A BIG thank you to MomCorps for sponsoring our event!

Directions to Red Tree Gallery

PS. Sorry if you received multiple emails. Feedblitz went crazy.

Wisdom Takeaways from Blissdom 2010: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Following is a guest post by blogger (and friend of CWB!) Jeanne Bernish.

I have to admit that when I decided to attend Blissdom 2010 I had pretty high expectations for a content rich share-fest common to Cincinnati Social Media meet-ups.   Blissdom 2010 was good – very good – and I did learn a great deal in the three days of jam-packed Conference offerings – new motivation to “Bring Fun and Passion” back into my work courtesy of the Opening Keynote by Kevin Carroll (@kckatalyst) and some really great tips and tools from the Wisdom Workshops which preceded the conference itself.

“SEO and Counting What Counts,” a dynamic 2 hour workshop presented by  Kelby Carr (@typeAmom) and Angela England (@AngEngland) was a fast-paced, information packed session which, for me at least, made the entire conference worthwhile.

Articles about how to blog abound – but a workshop centered on SEO is more about how to do it more visibly.  If you are trying to monetize your blog or raise the profile of the subject you are blogging about, what good is great content if no one is seeing it?

Once you have captured your tone and topic and are on your way to attracting and keeping the eyes of interested readers, how do you appeal to those elusive automated ones – the Search Engines?

The number one thing to focus on for good SEO are your Keywords.

A great way to sum up your headline?  When your partner or friend asks “what is your post about?” – the headline should closely reflect that answer.  Your headline may be cute and clever, but if it doesn’t carry essential keywords within it, you are missing a critical component of SEO.  TIP:  do a Google keyword search (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal) on your post topic before you write it – then use those keywords in your post title.  Or not.  Seriously, if you are writing a post on education you should know that the global monthly search volume for “education” is 45,500,000:  for “online high schools” it’s 5,400 – which one do you think you’d have a better chance vaulting near the top in?  So keyword searches can help you refine your topic and identify those keywords you will want to include in your post title.  And as for the titles – long ones are fine.  Google accommodates plurals and other word forms so go ahead and use them if they make sense – but try to keep the main phrase in the first part of the title (because really long titles do get cut off at some point).

Most of the tips revolve around Keyword Density:

Squeeze keywords into every square pixel you can find:

Photos should be renamed and are another great way to hide keywords.  Google image search drives a lot of traffic so if you are leaving “DSG_000123.jpg” as your photo name you are missing an opportunity to max out on SEO.

Permalinks (or “low hanging fruit”):  A Permalink is a URL automatically generated by your blogging platform (in this case, WordPress) to allow for a permanent archival “address” (it means “permanent link”).  In WordPress, Permalink options can be found under “Settings.”  The Default setting is the short form and looks like this:  http://racetothemiddle.com/?p=123 Do not use this form.  Instead, select “Date and Name” or “Month and Name”  so the URL looks more like this:  http://racetothemiddle.com/2010/02/flyover-journalism/ Permalinks are another place to maximize your keywords and if you use the short form (?p=123) the keywords are lost. If you have followed the earlier guidelines of using your Keywords in your title then *well how about that?!* there they are again in the Permalink!   Sweet!

Use the “Header” format in your posts rather than regular bolding.  Search engines treat subheads differently than they do text or bolded text.

Use Tags when you need to supplement a smaller title – but don’t bother with them if the title supplement isn’t searchable.

Use the descriptive keywords to hang the link on:  e.g. “Here are the basics of SEO” is the link.  Do NOT write “The basics of SEO are here

Once You’ve Nailed the Keywords:

Nobody searches “uncategorized” – so just go ahead and delete it from your Categories list.

Spend a day playing with Google Analytics.  There’s stuff there I didn’t know existed.  Google Analytics gives you an eye for what is working and if you are below 50% on Google traffic as a source, that is an indication that something may be wrong.

Lastly,  connect with other women bloggers!  Guest post or comment on another Cincinnati Women Bloggers Blog.  Add each other to Blog Rolls.  The gold in SEO is in people linking to you!

Jeanne Bernish (@JeanneBernish) is a communications specialist and writer who moved to Cincinnati in 1989 to open a newswire bureau and never left.  Currently the web and social media manager for a local non-profit, she Manages The World of Learning blog at http://www.knowledgeworks.org/worldoflearning/ and Tweets as @WorldofLearning for KnowledgeWorks.  Her personal blog is called Race To The Middle.

Cha-Cha-Changes

All great organizations evolve over time, and ours is no different. You’ll be seeing some changes at CWB starting this month.

In just a few short weeks Laura will be moving to Seattle to feed her coffee addiction and pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a ski bunny (maybe she’ll graduate to “blues” in 2010 – fingers crossed). She’ll also be peddling her PR wares on the west coast. She assures us she will think about us everyday, check in regularly, and come back to Cincinnati at least four times a year to harass us. Hopefully she’ll find a group of women bloggers to hang with in the Pacific Northwest. You can still connect with her on Twitter (@LMDeaton) her blog Laura’s Carbon Footprint or on LinkedIn (LMDeaton).

In addition to Laura’s departure from CWB, it is with great sadness that I also announce that after much consideration, Debba will also be leaving the leadership of CWB. Due to time constraints of building her site, Girlfriendology and working with her social media clients, Debba feels it best at this time to pass the leadership reins over to someone who can continue to grow this amazing community of women bloggers.  Debba will still be an active member of CWB and you will be sure to see her at meetings and social gatherings throughout the year! In addition to her blog you can find her on Twitter (@girlfriendology or @DebbaHaupert) and on LinkedIn (DebbaHaupert)

One of my favorite quotes about change comes from Pericles, and I believe it is fitting to this time when Laura & Debba are stepping down from CWB leadership: What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others. Debba and Laura have been amazing partners in crime and their efforts will be forever woven in to the history and the future efforts of CWB.  They are amazing women and I am blessed to be able to call them my friends.

—————————————–

Now, with both Debba and Laura stepping down, I asked the two of them to help identify who might “fill their shoes.”  I am pleased to announce that stepping in as my new partners in crime are Katy (Kate-the-Great) Crossen and Susan “Action” Jackson.

For those of you not familiar with these two amazing women, I asked them each to write up a little background on themselves, cause hey, who doesn’t love to write about themselves in 3rd person???

Katy Crossen – Katy spent her childhood years in Cincinnati and is pleased to have an answer when playing the Tri-State’s favorite game, Where’d you go to school?, despite moving to the East Coast as a teen. By day, Katy serves as a media relations specialist for a major non-profit organization. By night, Katy soaks up the area’s nightlife, culture and dining scenes and shares her insight, discoveries, opinions and other minutia on her blog, Kate’s Random Musings. It is in this space, and in the social media community, that she is better known by the overly inflated moniker, Kate-the-Great. Kate is quite willing to share (and sometimes over share) the nuances of her life on Twitter.

Susan Wenner Jackson – A native Cincinnatian, Susan is a writer, editor and blogger (Working Moms Against Guilt and Family Friendly Cincinnati) who thrives on flexibility in her professional and personal life. In 2009, Susan left the corporate life of “working for the man” to strike out on her own as a freelance copywriter and social media consultant. She is the mother of a preschooler daughter and infant son.

So there you have it folks.  I hope you will all join me in wishing Debba and Laura well in their endeavors and also help me welcome Katy & Susan to CWB leadership.

We’ve had a great beginning and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Sincerely,

Shannan Boyer
CWB Co-Founder