Vogue Puts Size 10 Prada Pump In Mouth with Profile of Syrian First Lady Tuesday, Mar 1 2011 

On Friday Vogue published an overindulgent online style icon profile of Syrian first lady, Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad; the profile is scheduled to also appear in the March print version of the magazine. To anyone who has been watching the news with any regularity lately that first statement is a bit hair raising.

I think what is most alarming is the timing. According to Max Fisher’s article for the Atlantic, Vogue Defends Profile of Syrian First Lady, this shoot was done towards the end of 2010, the profile certainly could have been held for a slightly better moment, one in which several countries in the region were not in the midst of grand-scale upheaval.

What was Anna Wintour thinking; did she have a momentary lapse of reason and judgment?

The Vogue piece went on to step its Prada-laden toes into foreign policy territory it didn’t belong in, stating , “Syria is known as the safest country in the Middle East…” Let’s leave that assertion to people who actually know what they’re talking about.

Perhaps Vogue is a corporation of Paris Hilton wannabees who only salute what glimmers, shines, and poses with a pretty face. I care about fashion as much as the next woman but there is a time for thoughtless odes to vanity and there is a time to show restraint. If Vogue was intent on printing the article they should at least have waited for things to die down in Africa.

Following printing the article Vogue really should have apologized and pulled it, even if only for the sake of tact, but instead they have gone on to defend the piece which will soon be available in print for posterity.

Check out the full piece, Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert, on Vogue’s website and Max Fisher’s article, Vogue Defends Profile of Syrian First Lady, for the Atlantic.

3 Free Online Courses for Blog Success Tuesday, Mar 1 2011 

If you’re looking to increase your blog’s visibility and ensure it’s success without spending a fortune on consulting fees, there are a few free online courses available by Denise Wakeman, Business Blogging and Online Marketing Advisor.

Check out this page and scroll down to the bottom for the Free E-Courses and Programs section, then just enter in your email addy and your on your way to some free insider tips.

As I collect more free online social media and blogging courses I’ll post them individually and then eventually they will all be collected into a catalog for you to browse and enjoy here.

Social Media 101 Refresher: Submit to Blog Directories Monday, Feb 28 2011 

Since I have been making the rounds lately submitting to new blog directory sites, I figured I would post a reminder on how important this one little task can be to the success of a blog or site.

Submitting your blog to directories can be an arduous process, I know; there are the sites that charge fees, the ones that take weeks to review your site, and the ones that just seem to incur a technical glitch when you have finally entered in all your information and dared to press the submit button. But if you are submitting to blog directories then you likely have already had the experience of  submitting your site to search directories (that’s kind of step one) so you’re probably somewhat familiar with the process, but it makes it no less time consuming.

However big a pain in the rear this process may be, it’s kind of like printing business cards; it’s social media 101 and must be done. As you’re entering in your blog description for the bajillionth time and lamenting the fact that you ever created a blog in the first place just think of all the new readers you’ll be reaching and the community of bloggers you’ll instantly be grouped with. That should give you the enthusiasm to keep going, besides keep it up and maybe one day you’ll be able to hire someone to do your blog directory submissions for you; one can always hope, right?

Here’s a wonderful catalog of blog directories from TopRank which I found via Junta42 Content Marketing. You might want to bookmark the catalog and keep it on-hand for your own site submissions.

Back to Basics: Social Media 101 Monday, Feb 28 2011 

Lately I’ve been going back to the drawing board trying to find which marketing strategies I can do away with and which provide the most bang for the buck since I will soon be returning to full-time work but keeping all my freelance gigs as well. It has been somewhat rejuvenating going back to these tried and true methods and I figured I would share them with you all in hopes that they will help to revive your marketing techniques as well.

Going back to the basics can be helpful when struggling to refresh your marketing agenda. Those beginner bread and butter tasks that always yield results no matter what can shed light on what’s working and what isn’t. While reading, 10 Blogging Tips for Beginners and Experts by Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 Content Marketing, I was reminded of two powerful blog marketing tools: guest blogging and top 10 lists of influential people.

Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging is worth its weight in gold, it gets you a wider audience instantly and establishes rapport with other bloggers (i.e. you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours). This can’t be undervalued because not only can guest blogging lead to media buying opportunities but it can also lead to future jobs, real life friendships, and more; I couldn’t agree more with Pulizzi’s statement that an opportunity to guest blog should never be turned down. Always keep at the forefront of your mind some of the top blogs in your genre and get busy contacting those bloggers with your post ideas.

I myself am currently guest blogging bi-weekly for How To Be A Redhead, you can read my posts here and be sure to check back for my next post on March 7, 2011.

Top 10 Lists of Influential People

Keep running tabs on top influencers within your topic/sphere, this helps you stay informed and aware of who is of note, but also affords the opportunity for linkbacks, cross marketing, and more. Social Media Salon itself began as a catalog of influential entrepreneurs and social media marketing business professionals and that will remain the focus of the site as it grows.

If you want to quickly and legitimately increase traffic to your site and network online, set up a blog post consisting of the top 10 or 20 influential people in your given genre, then notify each person on the list. Check out Pulizzi’s article for more specific tips on how to make a top 10 list work for you.

Young Entrepreneurs: How To Be A Redhead Sunday, Feb 27 2011 

One of my favorite new entrepreneur’s of note is actually a sister duo, Adrienne and Stephanie, together the two founded the blog and brand, How To Be A Redhead. The two sisters, redheads themselves, wanted to create a space where women with red hair could come for beauty and fashion advice since the fashion and beauty world at large grossly overlook the small redhead portion of the population, except for the occasional in-vogue red hair dying trend.

In just two short months since the blog began in January 2011 How To Be A Redhead has already garnered a tweet from Real Housewife of New York, Jill Zarin, has held their first redhead photo shoot, acquired two guest bloggers (I am one of the guest writers, couldn’t resist contacting them after seeing the site) and has consistently published daily updates. On top of all of the blog success they have created a few products featuring the How To Be A Redhead logo to get the brand out there, check out their Zazzle store. These two gals are sure to be a huge hit sooner rather than later.

What Stephanie and Adrienne Of How To Be A Redhead Are Doing Right As Far As Social Media Goes:

Keeping a professional and polished looking blog with daily, sometimes twice daily updates.

Creating a brand rather than just a blog.

Tweeting throughout the day on brand related topics and offering tie-ins to their blog.

Keeping a strong presence on other sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Staying in-the-know on all things relevant to redheads.

Offering much needed advice in an overlooked area (i.e. redheads).

Young Entrepreneurs, How To Be A Redhead: Here To Stay

These girls are the epitome of great entrepreneurs and they are using social media marketing to the fullest to make sure their brand forges a place in today’s culture and stays there. Cheers to you both!

These two ladies have been added to the Social Media Salon Fashion and Beauty pages, so be sure to check those two pages before leaving the Salon to find out how to connect with Adrienne and Stephanie.

WOM Marketing BzzAgent Campaign: Cover Girl Lip Perfection Saturday, Feb 26 2011 

There’s nothing more social media than word of mouth marketing, right? Well, I have been working on my first BzzAgent campaign for Covergirl Lip Perfection utilizing go-to online marketing tools such as: facebook, blogs, forums,etc. (all the standards) to get the word out about this awesome new lipstick. Anyway, how could I think of marketing this product without posting here on my very own blog. Stay tuned for more information about BzzAgent and its place in social media at a later time.

And please don’t fear readers, this is NOT going to become a beauty blog, but how could I not use the social media tools I talk about on this very blog to get the word out about BzzAgent as well as to market some products that I myself use and like.

Covergirl’s Lip Perfection lipstick is not just your standard lip color, Covergirl has infused natural moisturizers (emollient, white tea, butters complex, and silk protein) to improve dryness in seven days. Essentially, it is a deep moisturizing lip balm and lipstick in one. I received the product in two different shades for free in the mail yesterday as part of the BzzAgent campaign and began my seven day test of the product. You can read more about the campaign and see a before picture which will be updated with an after picture at the end of the seven day period, at Pennies for a Rainy Day.

So far, as of day two I can report that while the chapped fine lines that usually show on my lips have not disappeared with use of Covergirl’s Lip Perfection, the lipstick has surprisingly strong staying power and for the most part doesn’t smudge off on drinking glasses or disappear after eating – that’s a big time plus for me! Stay tuned for my final review post at the end of the seven day period and be sure to check Pennies for a Rainy Day for the after picture.

Wow, Has it Been a Month Already? Thursday, Aug 19 2010 

Time sure flies…I can’t believe it has been a month since I’ve last updated. Well, things have been pretty busy: my new site Pennies for a Rainy Day is up and I scored a new job doing catalogue copy for a prominent fashion company! Until I catch up my Social Media related posts have a look at Pennies for a Rainy Day – if you love a good deal and great savings, this site will be a fun read for you.

Sign the Petition to Restore the Gulf Wednesday, Jul 21 2010 

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via Sign the Petition to Restore the Gulf.

My Avon Website Is Now Up and Shoppable Tuesday, Jul 13 2010 

If you’re in need of a great gift or just love beauty products, please check out my new Avon website. My favorites are the Anew Rejuvenate facial skincare line, the original Skin So Soft Bath Oil, and the Vanilla or Cucumber Melon Hand Lotion.

Check out all these classic items as well as all the newest products here:
http://www.youravon.com/apecore

**Note, I am an independent representative of Avon and present here in this post only my personal opinions of the products from my own use.

Get to Know the People in Your Emails with Gist Gadget Monday, Jun 21 2010 

Sometimes getting an email can feel like reading the guest list for a party; half the names on there are ones you don’t know, never mind establishing whether or not each one is relevant to that one particular email. I’ve often thought it would be nice to know a little bit about the people whose names appear on my email, especially when it comes to job related emails.

In my daily Mashable reading I found that there is indeed a way to do that now. According to Howard Greenstein’s June 21st article for Mashable, Gist “tries to tie your social graph from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail together, and rank the people you communicate with the most.”

Hmm, interesting. 

Following reading Greenstein’s article, I hopped over to the Gist site to check it out. Gist is sort of like the technical app version of the most loud mouthed gossip-y person in a social circle. We’ve all met that woman who knows everything about anyone in a given town or city: place of work, romantic affiliations, and latest business ventures; thankfully that’s no longer needed, Gist does all of this research for you (minus the romantic affiliation question, of course). This handy little app researches anyone listed in your email “From” or “CC” fields and gives you all the pertinent information on them: business news, contact listings, etc. And all information generated by Gist is kept strictly between the Gist user and the email contact being researched.

Gist is offering this gadget for free right now but plans to begin charging for the application by the 4th quarter of the year.

Gist is compatible with the following programs:

Outlook

Lotus Notes

Gmail

To learn more about Gist, visit their website.

Sources:

All information obtained from Howard Greenstein’s June 21, 2010 Mashable article, entitled, “Why Feedback and Filters are Necessary in Social Media.”

and

The Gist site.

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