Guest Post on Art Camp for Women – Top 10 Reasons Every Artist Should Blog

I’ve got a fun new guest post up over at Art Camp for Women today! ACFW is a fabulous organization – you should absolutely check them out if you’re looking for incredibly fun camps in gorgeous Colorado. The owners of Art Camp for Women were one of my very first Blogging with Beth clients, and it’s been wonderful seeing them expand and grow their offerings and their wonderful website and blog.

The guest post is called The Top Ten Reasons Every Artist Should Blog.

Also, a HUGE congratulations to Lorri Flint and Lori Wostl, the co-owners of Art Camp for Women, for their mention in the February issue of Oprah magazine. They were included in a wonderful article in the magazine about self-expression. Congrats, ladies!

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Congrats to Andi O’Conor, Award-Winning Blogger!

Westword Award LogoCongratulations are officially in order for one of my recent clients, Andi O’Conor, who won the Westword Web Award for Best Personal Blog of 2010 for her blog, Burning Down the House. Andi lost her home in September’s Four Mile Fire in Boulder, Colorado. Nominations for the Web Awards were reviewed by a panel of judges as well as the Westword editorial staff. Click here for photos of the awards ceremony and a full list of winners.

In October, Andi and I worked together to create a beautiful WordPress blog for her so that she could publish her poignant, moving essays about loss, love and life. Andi’s blog has caught on quickly, because anyone who has been through a wrenching loss can relate to her experience, and her blog audience is growing larger and larger each month. Some of Andi’s blog posts quite literally take my breath away.

Here’s a review from the Westword judges:

“A touching, incredibly well-written blog by a woman whose house has burned down twice — once at the age of twelve and again in the Four Mile Canyon fire earlier this year. No persona, just enthralling entries from a rare perspective.”

Andi, I’m honored to have been a part of your incredible blogging journey. Thanks for letting me build you an online house to write in!

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A Smart Way to Get Blog Traffic Using Twitter

Many of you have probably heard that a wildfire ripped through the area outside Boulder, Colorado on Labor Day weekend, and that 160 homes were destroyed by the blaze. The damage to the surrounding landscape was devastating, and many old and majestic trees were also lost to the fire.

One of my clients, Boulder resident Priscilla Stuckey, wrote a beautiful, heartfelt blog post on her blog, This Lively Earth, about the loss of a particular Ponderosa Pine. Then something rather surprising happened.

Priscilla’s a smart blog marketer who uses her Twitter account to promote each new blog post, so she also tweeted about her new article. Here’s her original tweet:

Priscilla Stuckey Tweet

Did you notice the way she used a hashtag (#boulderfire) in her tweet? That ensures that people who are tracking the Twitter conversation about the fire and its aftermath will read her tweet and follow the link to her moving blog post.

People did indeed find her tweet (and read her post), and her update was retweeted by several people, each of whom also used the #boulderfire hashtag.

What happened next was even better – The Daily Camera, Boulder’s local newspaper, found Priscilla’s tweet and read her blog post. They called Priscilla for an interview about her moving story, and then they ran the interview online and in the print version of the Camera on October 14th. The Denver Post also picked up the story and ran it the following day (October 15th).

The result of this flurry of publicity for Priscilla and her story? An avalanche of traffic to her blog. She doubled her previous one-day record for visits to her site.

Since Priscilla has added an option for her new readers to subscribe to her blog via email, hopefully that flood of new traffic also converted to a bunch of new subscribers!

So what does Priscilla’s story teach us about blogging and Twitter? Here are the lessons we should take away from this story:

1. Write great content for your blog. Excellent blog posts will get attention and traffic, are more likely to be retweeted, and can translate into (FREE!) media coverage from traditional newspapers and magazines. Priscilla’s blog post is beautifully written and includes compelling images.

2. If you’re using Twitter, make sure to promote each of your blog posts by tweeting about it. Include the name of the post (or some other short description) and a shortened link back to the post.

3. Be open to interviews and publicity opportunity, both online and offline.  When the Daily Camera contacted Priscilla to do an interview, she said yes! The Camera actually did a video interview with her, which may have been somewhat daunting, and Priscilla agreed to do it. It paid off in spades! Have courage, bloggers!

Congrats again, Priscilla, on being a smart blogger, and for being willing to write such a personal blog post. Your readers clearly value your vulnerability and accessibility.  And while I’ve very sorry for the loss of your special tree, I’m extremely proud of how you put yourself out there in the online (and offline) worlds.

Keep up the good work!

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Blogging for Translators

Corinne McKay took my “Promoting Your Book Using Social Media” class last year, and it convinced her to start a blog to promote her book, How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator.  She subsequently launched a terrific blog called Thoughts on Translation.

She writes timely, relevant content for translators and other freelancers, and publishes approximately twice a week.  Her posts also spark terrific conversations, which you can read in the comment section of each post.  This article on Diversifying your Income Stream received 17 comments:

Corinne McKay Photo“Happily, most successful translators are good candidates for
branching out beyond translation. If you’re running a successful
freelance business, chances are that in addition to being fluent in at
least two languages, you’re a good or excellent writer in your target
language and you’re reasonably tech-savvy. All of these are good
starting points for a sideline venture.”

Corinne also says that starting her blog is the best thing she’s done for her business, and for promoting her book. She has now started a new podcast for translators called Speaking of Translation.

Great work, Corinne!

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New Website for “The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw”

In January, Outside magazine contributing editor Bruce Barcott took my basics of blogging class.  He already had a traditional HTML-based website, but he wanted a site that he could update himself without having to learn a complicated computer language. Later I provided a few hours of one-on-one coaching to help him implement his vision for the site using Typepad.com. 

I’m delighted to announce that Bruce’s site is now live and I think he’s done a tremendous job.  What’s more, Bruce’s new book "The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman’s Fight to Save the World’s Most Beautiful Bird" is available in stores today.  Brucebarcott.com features all of his upcoming speaking events and additional background info on his work!  You can subscribe to Bruce’s site to get updates about readings, seminars, Belize travel information, and more!

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