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.

New Social Media Salon Links Up + Check Out My New Associated Content Article Sunday, May 9 2010 

Hi All,

Check out the new links posted on the Visual Arts + Marketing & PR pages!

Also, have a peek at my new Associated Content (AC) article below:

Betty White Gives Saturday Night Live Its Largest Audience in 18 Months, Thanks to Facebook Users
In December 2009, Facebook user David Mathews, created a Facebook fan page entitled, Betty White to Host SNL (please?)! Last night, all 513,253 Facebook fans got their wish as Betty White hosted the May 8, 2010 Saturday Night Live show.
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Facebook’s Impact on E-Commerce Saturday, May 8 2010 

With Facebook’s recent domination over the internet, I can’t help but ponder yesterday’s Mashable article discussing Facebook’s Open Graph system and its impact on e-commerce.

What won’t Facebook impact in the coming decade? They’ve taken over Google’s territory, replacing the search and link systems with their clever like button, and now stand to possibly oust Amazon as the leader in e-commerce. Yes, the latter is just speculation at this point, but all signs seem to be pointing in that direction.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down on Facebook, more so just marveling at their ingenious marketing strategy over the last year or so.  It will be interesting to see how far Facebook’s personalization reach will extend to and how many other companies will mimic this marketing strategy.

For more information on this topic, please check out Mitchell Harper’s recent post on Mashable.

Let me know what your thoughts on this.