Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wordpress Platform - RSS/Email Feed Remain the Same :)

I have a new home! Thanks to the beauty of Feedburner, if you subscribe by email or RSS, you'll automatically be subscribed to my new feed and may not even notice a difference! I'm writing this post to let those of you who have bookmarked this blog via "Favorites" or by typing in the website URL that I'm moving to a new platform and home for this blog, MarketingWithLaura.com. Instead of simply redirecting the MarketingWithLaura URL to this Blogspot blog, I've made the switch to a self-hosted Wordpress space. 

After running multiple sites and blogs on Wordpress for the past several years, I was hesitant to move this blog over to the more robust platform even though I had that nagging feeling that it was what was best.  After moving my sweet friend Kelly's blog from Blogger to Wordpress just a few weeks ago, I was inspired.  It wasn't as complicated as it seemed a few years ago.  In fact, it could be done in a day!

Wordpress offers an almost infinite number of features and is far more flexible than Blogger.  In fact, it's been my go-to platform and top recommendation for my clients for years. 

I'm also dropping the "Strategic Online Marketing" name.  With so many "online marketers" in the mix, the name doesn't convey the nature of who I am and what I do.  So, I'm keeping it short and sweet with Marketing with Laura. Easy to remember and not a tongue twister!

Lastly, I've created a new Facebook page to reflect these changes in my life.  I hope you'll consider stopping by to show me some love.  Thanks in advance!

I hope you'll come visit me in my new space.  I'm excited!
Go to: MarketingWithLaura.com

Laura is a marketing professional and blogger who has been active in social media since 2005.  If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to this blog
via Email or  RSS. Laura can also be found on Twitter (@LauraCatherineO), Facebook, and LinkedIn.
 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Facebook's Year in Review: What Did Your 2012 Look Like?

As you look ahead to a successful 2013 with fresh, new goals and an inspired perspective, take a moment to look back on everything you accomplished in 2012! Thanks to a fabulous goal-setting sheet from Laura of the Mixonian Institute, I did just that (look back on 2012) on a sunny afternoon in December. 

One of the things I wrote down was 12 things I'd accomplished in 2012.  This prompted me to revisit the 50 goals I'd set in 2010. I was delighted to be able to cross 44 off the list!

Facebook has a helpful feature that can get you started in the exercise of recapping 2012 goals reached as you plan for 2013.  It's called their "year in review" feature, and you can access yours by visiting http://www.facebook.com/yearinreview. There, you'll find your 20 biggest Facebook moments from the year, including highlighted posts and popular stories. 



I'll be sharing my 2013 goals over on my personal blog, LauraCatherine.co and hope you'll stop by for a visit.

Laura is a marketing professional and blogger who has been active in social media since 2005.  If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to this blog
via Email or  RSS. Laura can also be found on Twitter (@LauraCatherineO), Facebook, and LinkedIn.
 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Discovering Recyclebank.com

On my personal blog I recently shared a few eco-loves of mine.  I discovered an eco website that I thought you would really enjoy called Recyclebank. I think you’re going to love the site…especially the perks they offer.

To put it quite simply, you get eco-educated in exchange for Recyclebank points that are easily redeemed for free products and services. Trust me, the freebies are worth it.  Great discounts at restaurants and stores, plus totally free products and services.  Think InStyle magazine and $15 off purchases of $30 at vine.com, to name a few.

The beauty of Recyclebank is that the eco-education you get (whether well-intended or simply to earn discounts) starts to have a measurable impact on your life and the choices you make.  Speaking for myself personally, Recyclebank has truly elevated how eco-conscious I am as I go about my routine.  I am delighted that the information I’ve read on the site is actually impacting my day-to-day activities and decisions.  At first, the shift was slight but present.  The more I explore (and the more points I’ve accumulated), the more eco-minded I’ve become.  I have a long way to go, for sure, but I’m excited to be making changes.

With the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to create an account! It’s completely free and you can start earning points right away. 

Here’s an example of one of their holiday games (below).  Each snowflake presents a points-earning and educational opportunity.  Read, interact and earn. 
 

There are times you’ll notice advertising on the site.  Personally, I don’t mind it.  I’d rather support a company for spending ad dollars on an eco-minded website than putting those dollars elsewhere.  I have also begun to recognize a few of the products I’ve seen on the site (like Meyer’s) and make more an effort to switch to those eco-friendly products when I come across them.  Seems like a solid ad/site strategy.

Happy Holidays!

Laura is a marketing professional and blogger who has been active in social media since 2005.  If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to this blog via Email or  RSS. Laura can also be found on Twitter (@LauraCatherineO), Facebook, and LinkedIn

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Featured App: iFontMaker (via Brit + Co)


I recently came across the Brit + Co and fell in love! If you haven't visited, here's a snippet from their "About" page regarding what to expect:

Started by Brit Morin, Brit + Co. is a lifestyle brand that provides the digital generation with savvy shortcuts for their online and offline lives.
The Brit + Co blog was an immediate add to my Feedly reader.  The screengrab below captures the fun over on her blog...everything from apps to gift wrap in one place. 



In today's post, I wanted to share an app with you that was just featured over at Brit + Co, just in case you aren't a reader over there yet. 

The font is called iFontMaker, and it allows you to turn your own handwriting into a font in a matter of minutes.  I've had a love-hate relationship with typography for years...recognizing the power it holds but not always being able to harness it well! In the past year, I've given myself permission to experiment with typography a bit more, and have even created a logo for my inspiration blog using my handwriting. 

Hop over to Brit's post to learn more about iFontMaker.  I'm sure you'll be a new subscriber to Brit + Co (also on Facebook here).

Laura is a marketing professional and blogger who has been active in social media since 2005.  If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to this blog
via Email or  RSS. Laura can also be found on Twitter (@LauraCatherineO), Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Favorite Wordpress Quiz Plugin: SlickQuiz

Quizzes are a great way to engage your audience and educate them on a topic without sharing a long list of pointers.  I recently found myself with the need to create a simple online quiz.  I started with Googling a “free quiz maker” and other similar phrases, only to find myself unhappy with the options.  Most of what I found was geared towards the educational field or appeared to be “free” but not without slapping ugly ads on my quiz.  I just needed a simple interactive quiz that allowed visitors to test their knowledge and immediately see if their responses were correct. 

Google Docs provided quiz capabilities, but no way to easily show the answers in real-time as a visitor moved through the quiz. I didn’t need to store results or generate reports based on the responses. I’d forgotten for a moment that I was working within Wordpress! One of my favorite things about Wordpress is the vast pool of plugins offered to enhance your website or blog.  Surely there were more than a few free quiz plugins available for Wordpress.

Enter the SlickQuiz Plugin in Wordpress. If you search the Wordpress plugin library, there are many quiz makers to choose from! I tested out four before settling into SlickQuiz.  The others I tried were too complicated or not sleek enough.  SlickQuiz fit the bill!

Here’s a screenshot of the basic fields you’ll need to fill in to create a quiz with SlickQuiz after you’ve downloaded and installed it on your Wordpress site.

Click on image above to expand

Super simple!

Here's a quick example (from their plugin page) of what your quiz will look like:




Other than what you see below, you just need to name your quiz and include a brief description.  You can add several questions and publishing your quiz is easy.  I like that you can “preview” your quiz as you go, and then publish when you’re happy with it all.  Embedding your quiz in a blogpost couldn’t be easier…it’s a simple strip of code that looks like this (at the time of this post): [slickquiz id=1].  Of course, you will change the quiz id based on the number your quiz is assigned. 

If you’re running a site on Wordpress, I hope you’ll give SlickQuiz a go! This is not a sponsored post; I’m just sharing my experience with you in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

Laura is a marketing professional and blogger who has been active in social media since 2005.  If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to this blog via Email or  RSS. Laura can also be found on Twitter (@LauraCatherineO), Facebook, on her personal inspiration blog and on LinkedIn.