July 21st, 2009

Can We Wrap This For You?

I guess I understand better than anyone, since I do a lot of online shopping, how convenient it is to offer a gift wrap option. Who doesn’t love ordering a gift and sending it nicely wrapped in one fell swoop. A recent meeting with my PR person, Kelly at www.klevergirlpr.com convinced me to get on board. She has been sending my samples to various magazines and mommy bloggers in this simple, yet beautiful presentation. We are researching some optional colors and sizes, and once we decide on the perfect one, it will be an option for a small fee. I realize this is nothing new, but when starting a business some things become priority and this sort of fell off the radar. Now the perfect gift will have a perfect presentation. I bet you can wrap your brain around that!

July 19th, 2009

Going Green

My children are the ones who remind me to recycle, to turn off the lights when leaving a room, and to turn off the water when brushing my teeth. They have gone green, now it is Hello World’s turn. Our next product, currently being researched for production (hopefully this year) is The Organic SmartZip™ Sleeper. Did I just hear a hooray? I am just as excited as you!

July 5th, 2009

The Blog

When my marketing team suggested that blogging should be in my future for the future of my business, I cringed. How would writing down my innermost thoughts help my business? My narrow understanding of a blog, was that it was simply an online journal. I could never understand why people wrote them and who they wrote them for. I obviously never read one. My marketing team sent me a list of their favorites, among them dooce.com and thepioneerwoman.com. (They are among my favorites now too.) I was amazed. Within days, I subscribed to numerous feeds of marketing blogs, “mommy blogs”, and business blogs. They became my morning ritual.

That crash course helped me to understand the blogging community. First of all, that one exists. Secondly, that it exists so we can make connections with people we might otherwise have never met. Bloggers are there to help, to educate, to share, to give advice, to network, to entertain, to promote others, to promote themselves, to make us feel like a part of a larger community than the one our neighborhoods and careers can provide us. They remind us we are not alone.

You might still be asking, how does this help my business? By blogging, people are driven to your site, which gives it more visits or “hits”. The higher number of hits, the more chances you have to be found through an online search engine. The trick is to keep them coming back to increase the hits. For some people their business is their blog. They make money by getting companies to pay for advertising on their blog site. If a blog has a huge following, the advertisement will reach all their followers. It’s a win-win situation.

So if you are starting a business, seriously consider blogging. Here is a list of my teams’ advice:

  • Everyone has a story.
  • Start a journal of your process, thoughts and ideas when starting your business. This allows you to create an archive so you can revisit them when writing the blog entries.
  • Write and publish entries as often as possible. This creates a following and drives traffic to your site.
  • Have others review your entries before you publish your post. Others might see things you miss.
  • Be consistent with your voice and stay true to your brand. This creates an online identity people can connect to.
  • Most importantly find your niche, be unique (don’t copy others), tell your story!

Successful marketing reaches the most people and blogging seems to be one of the best ways to achieve this. I am still not feeling too comfortable about putting my words out there. I am not competitive by nature, so I don’t plan on reaching for the stars with my writing. I don’t have a business or journalism degree. What I do have is a story about being a SAHM starting a business. So I have decided to embrace blogging as a way to help others in my same situation. My hope is that my experiential entries will allow you to learn from my big mistakes and gain insight from my little successes in business. And I might try my hand at entertaining you with some family and motherhood stories in between. Let me know what you think and keep coming back!

Oh, and check out some of my favorite blogs (in no particular order):

dooce®

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman

PENSIEVE

Should Be Folding Laundry

moosh in indy

Marketing Profs Daily Fix

Personal Branding Blog – Dan Schawbel

StartupNation Blog

advergirl