Monday, July 6, 2009

Blogging - it's an art!

"Social Networking"... what does that mean? Apparently, it means a lot in today's world and if you aren't doing it, you could be missing out, especially in the wedding industry! Let me preface that this blog is going to be targeted mainly at business owners, but you brides can get something out of it as well! I know this is off-topic for the normal wedding info, but I took a social networking course 2 weeks ago and went in feeling very nervous, but my experience made me want to share with the world!


[Amy, from Photo Booth Nashville - looking like I felt when we started the course!]

First of all, how important is Social Networking? In the wedding industry alone, social networking is becoming a massive market. There are 50,800,000 search results returned for "wedding blogs" on Google. For brides, it is their biggest day and they have learned to use this method for exchanging information directly with each other and researching vendors without the pressure & time committment of one-on-one meetings and without the expense of paying someone to do the research for them. For wedding vendors, it is an invaluable tool to get your name out there with little to no expense. Who can pass that up?!

The thing for our company is that I wasn't sure if I needed to do more social networking since we have been paying a Search Engine Optimization company to get our name out there on the internet. What is that, you may ask? An SEO & "Social Networking" are closely related. Let me explain...

An SEO (Search Engine Optimization Company) is where many corporations turn to get their websites ranking towards the top of search engines. There are many different levels of SEO companies as well as many different plans with each company that you can purchase. The company we have been using is for small to medium-sized companies and they offer month-to-month levels of service. The level we paid for equaled $100 / hour. It's not a huge big expense IF IT'S WORTH IT, but this course lead me to believe it wasn't worht it. Upon investigating what they did for us each month, we found they mainly make blogs posts for us on other sites (i.e. They will go to a wedding blog and reply to someone's thread about wedding invitations and talk about us). In the end, this was just social networking, something we can do on our own... with the only cost being time.

Social Networking includes what our SEO has been doing for us, PLUS... Blogging; MySpace networking; Facebook networking; Twittering, etc. All of this has seemed very overwhelming to me and seemed like it would take too much of my all so valuable time... until I took that awesome course just 2 weeks ago! :) Now I know how to OPTIMIZE my time and my social networking to work for me!

Ashley (awesome, awesome Ashley) of Ashley's Bride Guide.com hosted this small social networking course and I jumped at one of the limited spots. I admit I had a few stomach knots going into it. This girl knows her stuff - if I was going to pay anyone to show me how to do it - she is the only one I would trust to pay for her knowledge. She has single-handedly mastered the art of social networking to turn her business (which is simply a social network) into a huge success over the past couple years. She has always stayed one step ahead of everyone else... which can make her seem intimidating. That is, until she shares all her secrets with you! :) I HIGHLY recommend taking her full course she is offering next month, called Bridal Blog Camp. There are 3 different sessions on 3 Sundays in August. IF you already have a blog and know enough to "get you by" like I did, then you may skip the intro course (suprisingly, I was advanced compared to some of the other attendees) but TRUST ME - there is a lot to be learned in this area! When your business counts on something, you are going to know a whole lot more about it than other people and Ashley truly does! You can learn more about the August Bridal Blog Camp by clicking here.



So - what did I learn? The coolest things I learned was how to REALLY use social networking in an efficient way. I learned how to set up these different areas of networking and then link them all (RSS feed for most) so that they are all working for me with simple singular posts. I learned how to surf networks to get my name out there (what my SEO was doing for me). I learned how to surf for new brides to get them information at the very beginning of their engagement process. I learned what areas to spend more time and what areas are really not worth the time. I learned how to schedule the time and your blogs so you are incorporating this part of business into your weekly business routines. I learned that "social networking" doesn't have to take a lot of time and energy as long as you have a good plan. I learned that in order to rank at the top, this is truly going to be the key!!

[Stephanie (me) from Relish on the right & Austin of Last Minute Planners on the left, towards the end of the class, when we were feeling much more confident!]

If you are ready to learn, CLICK HERE to register for the August Bridal Blog Camp. Take it from me, Ashley will have you learning with laughter and leaving with confidence! And if you're a bride, don't miss out on your social networking, starting with Ashley's Bride Guide! TRUST ME - You will RELISH IT! ;)

1 comment:

Homemade Mom said...

Hey Steph! Awesome post! Now you need to set up a Relish twitter account. For cute twitter buttons for your blog visit this site: http://www.twitterbuttons.com/ or http://twitbuttons.com/

Take care!

Heather