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November 2005
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January 2006

Scrapbooking Manufacturer Blog: Art Declassified

Another example of a manufacturer (?) using a blog to promote themselves: Art Declassified.  Just found this one via a sig link on a post at 2Ps.

A couple of interesting things to note:
She/They use graphics as their posts, instead of straight text.
The posts do a good job of creating interest and sparking curiousity -- what exactly WILL they be selling/creating??

Guess we'll just have to stay tuned, and hopefully they'll tell us!  ;)


Writers Online Workshops Gift Certificates

Did you know that Writers Online Workshops. offers gift certificates?  What a great way to offer someone the chance to take my Essentials of Scrapbook Journaling class (beginning Jan 12th)!

A great present for students, writing enthusiasts, or anyone else who'd love to improve their writing skills!

It's easy to give a gift certificate to WritersOnlineWorkshops.com! You choose the amount, the recipient chooses the workshop! You can give $5 or $500. . .it's up to you!

Plus! Order by December 31st, and you’ll receive a 10% discount on your order! (good only on workshops that begin in 2006)

Your order will be processed, and the Gift Certificate mailed to the recipient, within five business days. If you like, they'll add a personal message from you: Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy Writing…whatever you choose! They'll also tell the recipient how to easily redeem the WritersOnlineWorkshops.com Gift Certificate for the writing workshop of his or her choice. The Gift Certificate can be used toward any workshop and will be valid for one full year from date of purchase.

It couldn't be easier to help a friend or relative become a better writer! Order a WritersOnlineWorkshops.com Gift Certificate today!


Holiday Writing Activity from Inspired2Write

Susan Letham offers an excellent holiday letter writing activity in the most recent issue of the Inspired2Write Newsletter.

December rings in the holiday season, a season in which we focus most strongly on peace and goodwill. This seasonal writing activity can help you create that peace and restore some goodwill by thinking deeply about the people you love, by making the time to see them again, and by sharing your thoughts with them.

Use this activity to help you create a very personal letter or poem to show people close to you just how well you know them and how much you appreciate who and what they are.

She goes on to suggest prompts based on various themes, such as Appreciation, Emotion, Hope, Strength, and Zest.  It's a great jumpstart to get thoughts flowing for a heartfelt letter to someone you love -- give it as a holiday gift, or preserve it in a scrapbook!


Oriental Trading Company's Scrapbooking Blog

Finally, a scrapbooking manufacturer really gets it!

You may remember back in August I commented on the fact that few scrapbooking companies/manufacturers are making use of blogging to help promote their businesses. 

I found a great example of a manufacturer's blog today, via AdPulp.  It seems Oriental Trading Company has started a line of "quality scrapbooking products at value prices".  (You may more readily recognize OTC as the distributor of novelties, toys, and party supplies.)  Max Riffner reports that he is writing the Fun Expressions blog, with the help of OTC's scrapbooking team.

He says that he's "learned quite a bit about scrapbooking" in working on this product line, and developing the blog content -- I'd say he's right.  He's been posting since October, and has referenced Ali Edwards' blog several times, the 2Ps Layout Gallery, the Scrapbook-Sketches blog, the rec.crafts.scrapbook Usenet group, and Nancy's Inside Scrapbooking blog.  (He seems to be missing MY blogs, however....)

I'm impressed with the knowledge he displays in just two months' of blogging; he's chosen newsworthy blog topics, and provides links for follow-through.  He's also making excellent use of the Typepad Photo Albums feature to show off OTC's products -- Look at this cute Christmas Mini Album made with OTC's Christmas Variety Punch Pack.  He provides the link to the product on the company website -- making this photo album entry truly informative (providing the project idea) AND promotional (could lead to sales).

So bravo and kudos to Max and OTC for getting it right, and so soon after starting!  Now just link to my blogs, and hire me to help you blog, and you'll REALLY be on the right track!  ;)


Blogging Blitz -- Building Your Business with Blogs

I am very excited to announce I'm doing another teleseminar!  You may remember I did one on scrapbooking in August.  This one, coming up in January, is on Blogging.  A friend of mine, Julie Hood, emailed me back in October, asking if I'd like to participate in her series of teleseminars for writers and authors.  Subject: marketing a product or service with blogs.  "Cool!  Sign me up for that!"  I said. :)

Through a series of email and phone conversations, we got things all lined up, and I'm happy to announce that we've scheduled a two-session teleseminar package:

Who Needs a Website?  Just Get a Blog
Monday, January 19th, 8pm Eastern

This seminar will explain exactly what a blog is and how you can create one simply and easily.

Blogging Blitz: Blast Your Marketing Message with Blogs
Monday, January 23rd, 8pm Eastern

This seminar will show how to actually get value from your blog, including how to reach your customers and the best ways to sell your products and services.

Some of the topics we'll cover:

  • What is a blog?  How is it different from a regular newsletter?
  • Marketing Effects of a Blog (the point of using a blog)
  • How to set up a blog
  • Increasing Traffic & Participation
  • What to Blog About
  • Using a Blog to Promote Your Business -- specific practices that will help build your brand and position you as an expert in your niche.

I hope some of you will join us for this event.  It promises to be packed with content you can really use; I don't teach any other kind of class.  I've learned so much about using blogs as promotional tools in the last year -- I can't wait to share that information with you!  I've now written articles on blogging for two magazines, and am constantly looking for new venues where I can share my passion for blogging.

You may have read that I've started to do some marketing consulting.  These calls are a way to get some of my marketing expertise at a fraction of the cost of private consulting!

Would you like the link to learn more?  Visit BloggingBlitz.com for more information and to sign up!!

P.S.  Don't worry if you can't attend the calls at the scheduled times!  We will be recording the calls and will send the replay links to all registered guests within a week of the calls so you can listen on your computer or mp3 player!  Audio-on-demand -- gotta love it!


Seeking Feedback from Scrapbook Bloggers

I'm working on a short piece on blogging for a magazine, and need some input from YOU!

I'm looking to include a couple quotes from scrapbooker/bloggers, nothing super long or intense, basically why you blog and what you get from it (but a little deeper/more specific than "I love blogging because I get to reach out to other scrapbookers").

I'm interested in maybe some specific comments or anecdotes on how blogging has helped improve your scrapbooking, or how it has changed your perspective on everyday activities, or why you started blogging, or just a comment somehow tying scrapbooking and blogging together -- why are they the perfect match?

Like I said, this is a short piece, so your comments may be edited for length, but go ahead and speak your piece!  I'd love to (NEED TO) hear from you!  Email me!


New Year's Resoultion Worksheets (and Scrapbook!)

Via Lifehacker, Chatelaine.com offers some New Year's resolution worksheets to download as PDF's.  I like their explanation of resolutions:

New Year's resolutions are more than just tradition – it turns out they're also good for you. Tara O'Connell, Chatelaine's Ask an expert psychotherapist, says resolutions are an act of hope. "They remind you that you're in control of your destiny. Thinking about your future is inherently optimistic," she says.

They offer worksheets in five common themes: Fitness, Nutrition, Relationships, Work, and Money.  What makes these worksheets particularly useful is that they offer specific goals within each theme, then break each goal into five activities that can help you achieve those goals.  It's easy enough to say that your resolution is to lose weight in the New Year, or even more specifically to lose 10 pounds, but HOW?  If you don't define the how, it's much less likely to happen.  To combat that, the Fitness worksheet suggests that you "write down five cardio-boosting activities you'd like to try over the year, and why."  Then you make it a goal to research the activitity (where, how much, how often, etc), and make it a goal to start.  Specifics are the key to getting started, and sticking with it.

The information you note on these worksheets would make a great scrapbook project!  Define what you want for yourself, and how you plan to achieve it, then document the process.  Make this the Year of Me, and make it happen for yourself!


The ScrapBook Radio

Found an interesting site tonight: The ScrapBook Radio.

ScrapBook Radio brings you the latest and greatest scrapbooking and paper-craft techniques, tips, trends and innovations. It is a monthly, craft / scrapbook, talk radio show broadcast over the Internet. Our goal is to help you grow your scrapbook and paper-craft skills, decrease your personal costs, and increase your creativity, regardless of your resources. Each session contains interactive conversations and interviews, along with email questions from other scrapbookers, like you, facing similar challenges. . You listen live or whenever you want!

Every show is recorded and posted in an online audio archive. You listen at your leisure based on your schedule. This is the greatest advantage of web radio.

Apparently this site has been around for some time -- at least since July, though the articles on the site seem to date back to last year??  How can there be a scrapbooking radio show (other than Lynette's and Diva's), and I don't know about it??  Other than those two, this would be the ONLY other scrapbooking radio show/podcast.  Why aren't they marketing that fact?  Why don't they have a feed to syndicate their show?  Why aren't they listed on iTunes?  They offer some of the interviews as mp3 downloads...

Of course, if they're making sales of their idea book, and securing advertising, I'm off base.  I am very curious to know how well they're doing.  Anyone else heard of this show/site?  Or am I just sadly out of the loop on this one?  (I really can't imagine THAT'S the case...::smirk::)

EDITED: I realize now that in my surprise at finding a scrapbooking podcast I hadn't heard of (yet), that perhaps I typed a bit rashly.  I certainly didn't mean to come off as snappish or judgemental, if I did.  Al has a lot going for his site and concept; I can see him going far with it.  He's already secured some awesome interview subjects -- the interview he did with Heidi Swapp was really comprehensive.

Al and I have emailed a few times now, and all is good between us, I think.  I just didn't want this original post 'out there' unedited, with me coming off most poorly as judging Al's site and show prematurely.  Al and I are even hoping to work together on some future projects, which would be way cool.