Finding Your Blogging Voice

enquirer-welcome-signIf you weren’t able to join us Saturday, attendees at CWB’s April meeting were treated to a presentation on developing rich content and finding your blogging voice by local bloggers Michelle of Write Technology and Julie of WineMeDineMe (in Cincinnati).

During the meeting, which was sponsored by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Michelle and Julie shared numerous tips and insights to help bloggers find, or further develop their blogging voice.  

Tips included:

  • Skim headlines related to your blog topic/niche to find news stories to share with your readers.
  • Set up Google Alerts for phrases or topics you cover.
  • Stay true to your voice. If you aren’t passionate about it, it will be hard to write about.
  • Expose your blog to new audiences, invite other bloggers to guest post on your blog. This is a great tool if you are wanting to provide content on your blog when out of town, under the weather or you just need a break.
  • Consistency is important. Michelle and Julie recommended blogging at least 3 times a week the first 6 months.
  • If you are approached by companies to write about their products or services, it’s OK. Just be sure to disclose the relationship.
  • If you find you need a break, let your readers know. They’ll understand. Don’t just disappear.
  • Julie and Michelle recommended posting to your blog in the morning.  Many individuals catch up on their blog reading during  their lunch hour.
  • Platforms like Blogger and WordPress are great blogging resources and they are free.
  • If you find yourself dealing with a comment Troll, ignore them.  No need to encourage bad behavior.
  • Your writing should reflect who you are. Be conversational. Engage with your readers.
  • It’s a good idea to include photos with posts. It breaks up the page and grabs your readers attention. Images also help tell the story.
  • Use spellcheck and then re-read post for errors.
  • Photo rights: Always get permission before using photos found online. Flickr is a great resource for Creative Commons photos.

In addition to their tips, Michelle and Julie shared with us the Church of England’s 10 Commandments of Blogging. Apparently, our blogging breatheren in England could not “keep it clean” so to speak so the Church stepped in to regulate their online behavior.

Ten commandments for bloggers:

  1. You shall not put your blog before your integrity
  2. You shall not make an idol of your blog
  3. You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog
  5. Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes
  6. You shall not murder someone else’s honour, reputation or feelings
  7. You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind
  8. You shall not steal another person’s content
  9. You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger
  10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s blog ranking. Be content with your own content

 

Finally, I wanted to take a moment to highlight our attendees who had blogs. If you attended and aren’t included below, please shoot me an email (Shannanb(at)gmail.com) and I’ll get it added.

 

 

A big thank you to Chris Graves and the Cincinnati Enquirer for sponsoring our meeting and to Julie and Michelle for presenting.   Stay tuned for details on our next meeting on Saturday, May 30; location TBD.

 

Shannan
www.mommybits.net

Blog of the Week: The New Frugal Mom

In this economy, we can all stand to save a few bucks here and there. That’s why we’ve chosen Marianne Thomas’ The New Frugal Mom as the CWB blog of the week. Whether you’re a parent or not, you can find great information to help you save money each week. Check out menu plans, the sales at the local grocery, freebies, and insights into Marianne’s everyday life. Here’s a little bit about the blog in Marianne’s own words

When it comes to money matters, I’m blessed to have been brought up by parents who instilled in me a strong work ethic and taught me about money management. 

That doesn’t mean I have all the answers; I don’t, and I would never presume to pretend I do. Nor would I presume to tell you just what to do with your money; consider this blog a toolkit. Use what works for you and leave the rest, m’kay?

I firmly believe that living more frugally and becoming a smarter money manager is a journey that we all travel at our own pace. Some of us are at the beginning, some of us are a bit further down the road. It’s good to remember that the only person against whom you should compete is yourself.

So, head over to The New Frugal Mom and explore this great Cincinnati blog.

Local Blogger News and Happenings

Blogger Tara Roark is hosting a Coupon Boot Camp. Coupon Boot Camps are basic training in couponing.  Each attendee will receive a comprehensive manual, which includes store policies, tips, tricks and resources.  

This one day event is Saturday, April 25th from 10 am – Noon at the Crowne Plaza, 5901 Pfeiffer Road, Cincinnati OH. Cost is $25. Pre-registration is required and space is limited!  

Cincinnati Women Bloggers who can’t attend the CWB meeting (smirk) who want to attend can get a discount, by clicking here.

 

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Blogger Julie Niesen was recently quoted in the Washington Post in an article on Cincinnati style Chili. Click here to read the article.


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In Control 2009

Web Design Workshop Conference, June 11-12th
Art Academy of Cincinnati
Learn from a diverse array of Web experts to use modern tools and techniques to refine your Web design craft now. Harness creative inspiration to unlock your potential, amplify innovation, and broaden your reach. Immerse yourself in two days of idea exchange with potential business partners who are as forward-thinking as you are.
Click here for a complete list of speakers and to see the conference schedule.

Planning on attending? Friends of CWB can use this code for a discount:  INCCiNC 

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In case you missed it, Erin with $5 Dinners was on Rachel Ray this week, sharing tips for saving at the grocery. Check it out here.

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Last but not least….. the April CWB Meetup is tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Cincinnati Enquirer (312 Elm Street downtown). Sponsored by Cincinnat.com, our speakers Michelle Lentz and Julie Niesen will be giving advice on the most important aspect of blogging — developing content.  Parking is available in the Enquirer’s garage (entrance is open on Elm Street side only on Saturdays). Chris Graves from the Enquirer will meet you in the lobby and validate parking. We’ll be in the 20th floor conference room. We’ll have coffee and danishes available.

 

 

Each week Cincinnati Women Bloggers shares news concerning tri-state bloggers. Have news you want to share? Send it to CincinnatiWomenBloggers(at)gmail.com

Meeting on Saturday!

The April CWB Meetup is at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Cincinnati Enquirer at 312 Elm Street downtown. Cincinnat.com has been wonderfully generous in sponsoring our April meeting. Our speakers Michelle Lentz and Julie Niesen will be giving advice on the most important aspect of blogging — developing content.  You can park in the Enquirer’s garage (entrance is open on Elm Street side only on Saturdays). Chris Graves from the Enquirer will meet you in the lobby and validate parking. We’ll be in the 20th floor conference room. We’ll have coffee and danishes available.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

About our speakers

Michelle Lentz (left) and Julie Niesen (right)

Michelle Lentz (left) and Julie Niesen (right)

 

Michelle Lentz is a social media consultant and instructional designer at her own company: Write Technology. Michelle has presented locally and nationally on social media and its use in marketing and in training. Through Write Technology, she offers several training classes, built with instructional principles in mind, on Web 2.0, Twitter, Blogging, and more.  Michelle recently served as Vice President of Technology for the Greater Cincinnati ASTD, is currently a co-leader of the Cincinnati AMA Interactive Special Interest Group, and functions as Technology and PR Chair for the Krystal Pepper Memorial Scholarship Fund. Michelle maintains four weblogs, including an award-winning blog on wine, and is over-connected in social media. She is a contributing writer for Brian Solis’s Bub.blicio.us social economy blog.

Julie Niesen is the blogger behind wine me, dine me (in Cincinnati), the top rated food blog in Cincinnati.  You can also find her culinary adventures in Cincy Chic Magazine and Eastsider Magazine, and she has been featured in Soapbox Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the Washington Post. Her background is in education, marketing and copywriting for small businesses and large corporations.  Though she’s not a trained culinarian, she has a love of food and a compulsion to learn everything she can about food (and Cincinnati).  Check her out at winemedinemecincinnati.com or @winemedineme on Twitter.

 

 

About our sponsor

Cincinnati.Com has been the region’s #1 Web site since it launched in 1996. Published by Enquirer Media, the Cincinnati.Com Network of Web sites is the most-updated, most-honored and most-used local Web site serving Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. “Powered by” content from 43 Enquirer Media brands, Cincinnati.Com is home on the web of The Enquirer, Community Press & Recorder newspapers and other daily, weekly, monthly and annual publications. The Cincinnati.Com Network of Web sites also includes 30 online-only brands. More than 200 neighborhood sites serve communities large and small with “hyper-local” information only found on Cincinnati.Com and NKY.com. The network includes more than 1,180 sections covering all aspects of life in Cincinnati. In 2008, the site delivered more than 436 million page views to more than 22 million unique visitors. According to Scarborough Research, Cincinnati.Com users are primarily college educated, married adults 25 to 44 years old with a household income of $75,000 or more. We publish continually updated breaking news, daily newscasts, SMS alerts, e-mail alerts, RSS, blogs, podcasts, vodcasts, chat, forums, user-created content and dozens of comprehensive searchable databases.

Cincinnati Women Bloggers Local Blogger Update

Lots going on in the blogosphere this week!

 

This is HUGE!  Frugal food blogger Erin from $5 Dinners will be featured on the Rachael Ray show, Tuesday, April 21st.  Check for your local listings at www.rachaelrayshow.com.

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Michelle from Write Technology will be keynoting the upcoming (April 30) VisionServe Alliance Conference, being held at the Hyatt on Social Media for the Blind.   

Michelle’s also leading a webinar on Twitter for Education for the eLearning Guild on April 24th. Check their Web site for costs.

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Cincinnati Social Media hosts their next Cincinnati Social Media Breakfast on Friday, April 24th from 7:30 am until 9:30 am at the Mercantile LibraryGraydon Head & Ritchey’s Jack Greiner will present on Intellectual Property Law. The event, sponsored by CincyTech, is already sold out but you can add yourself to the waiting list by emailing cincysocmed(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

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Cincinnati Imports bloggers Avani, Liz and Lauren want you to save the date for the Cincinnati Imports Westside Bar Crawl scheduled for Friday, May 15 at 7pm. Details for the evening are still being finalized so be sure to keep checking their blog for final info.

 

 

Each week Cincinnati Women Bloggers shares news concerning tri-state bloggers. Have news you want to share? Send it to CincinnatiWomenBloggers(at)gmail.com

Get in the Conversation!

twitter_iconEver heard about a party (a BIG one) that you weren’t invited to? Missed meeting people. Think about the conversations you missed out on. No fun, right?

Well, according to Nielsen, there’s a big – no make that HUGE – party going on online and it’s called Twitter. Twitter is growing at an amazing rate (1382% from Feb. 08 to Feb. 09). Here’s a couple facts on Twitter from a Nielsen article:

  • “Twitter.com continues to grow in popularity and importance in both the consumer and corporate worlds. No longer just a platform for friends to stay connected in real time, it has evolved into an important component of brand marketing. Unique visitors to Twitter increased 1,382 percent year-over-year, from 475,000 unique visitors in February 2008 to 7 million in February 2009, making it the fastest growing site in the Member Communities category for the month.”
  • Twitterers (a.k.a. Tweeters) are not primarily teens or college students as you might expect. In fact, in February the largest age group on Twitter was 35-49; with nearly 3 million unique visitors, comprising almost 42 percent of the site’s audience. We found that the majority of people visit Twitter.com while at work, with 62 percent of the combo unique audience accessing the site from work only versus 35 percent that accessed it from home only.
  • It will be interesting to watch the evolution of Twitter as it continues to gain momentum. In an unstable economy, it might prove to be an economical and important part of an employer’s marketing strategy that helps to keep consumers aware of and connected to their brand.

Join the party! Follow Cincinnati Women Bloggers on Twitter – then follow some of who they follow (like some of us in Cincinnati Women Bloggers). Check out the listing of Cincinnati Twitter Friends compiled by Cincinnati Women Bloggers and Cincinnati Social Media. (And see the featured article on this list on SoapboxMedia!)

Get in the conversation! Meet great Cincinnati Twitterati! Join the Party! And you might meet some great new people, grow your business and find out things to make your life better – 140 characters at a time!

By Debba / Girlfriendology (on Twitter!)

Blog of the Week:Life From Behind A Camera

The CWB Blog of the Week is Life From Behind A Camera, Barb Trimble’s personal and professional photography blog. 

Barb shares her photos of everything from nature to sports, while offering information that might even help you become a better photographer along the way. 

I enjoy looking through the various categories to check out all the unique and varied photos Barb has posted to her blog. If you’re a budding photographer, or if you just like looking at great photography, this is a blog you’ll enjoy. Check it out.