Many Hats Mommy

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Discover the Mary Poppins of #blog #planners! via


The Mary Poppins of Blog Planners

Learn about Well Planned Day's line of planners! via This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase Well Planned Day planners, I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support. Last fall I had the privilege of helping Rebecca Keliher of Well Planned Day planners create a blog planner. Between the two of us, we packed it full of features that will help bloggers be successful. I was a bit giddy when I opened it the other day. It’s beautiful. It’s extremely helpful and practical. There are so many great things jammed into this planner, I’ve dubbed it the “Mary Poppins” of blog planners because it is “practically perfect in every way.” If you are a blogger, you’ll love this planner!

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Team HEDUA at the 2:1 Conference


What I Learned at the 2:1 Blogging Conference

A little over a week ago I had the privilege of speaking at the 2:1 Conference. This year was a different perspective for me as I was a speaker and also with my two bosses. I saw things more through the eyes of a brand this year, and also as a leader of sorts since I was a speaker. Not saying I’m a big leader, just meaning that speakers are a kind of leader.

I learned and observed… Continue reading


It’s Early! Let the Giveaway Begin!

SURPRISE! Wit & Wisdom from the Parents of Special Needs Kids has made its Amazon debut early! That means it’s time to get this giveaway STARTED! WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!

You can now read a piece by yours truly that has never before been in print. And, no, I won’t be putting it up on the blog.

You can now laugh and cry as you read heartwarming stories from parents of children with autism spectrum children. Continue reading

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>Wednesday’s Woman–Nikki Stephan,PR Expert, Day Two

>Wasn’t Nikki’s first post fantastic? She gave us so much to think about and do! If you did not read her first post, it’s a must! Click here. Now let’s allow Nikki to finish her mini-workshop! Here she tells us what to do once we’ve compiled our list of bloggers we’d like to contact.

4. Outreach time! Email will be the preferred method for most bloggers. Never, and I repeat never, send the same template e-mail to multiple bloggers at once. Always customize your emails and address the blogger by name! A good way to start an email is to refer to a post or posts that are similar to the nature of why you’re reaching out. Examples: “I read your recent post about gardening tips for newbies and thought you would be interested in checking out my book that includes tips and tricks to turn never-before gardeners into pros.” Or, “I really enjoyed your last post about X. After commenting and reading the other comments, I wanted to see if you would be interested in a guest post from me that builds on your initial thoughts.” Keep your email concise and conversational.

5. Once you receive that company/product review or guest post, show your appreciation. Always send a follow-up thank you to the blogger. Help promote the post by sharing it on your personal and/or company’s social networks.

Two final things to keep in mind if you’re doing blogger outreach on behalf of your company or client:

• More and more bloggers are looking for some type of compensation or sponsorship, beyond the free product or service you provide for the review. This is a topic for a whole separate post, but be prepared for some bloggers to respond with wanting compensation in exchange for a review.

• I would hope most bloggers understand they need to follow the new FTC guidelines and disclose anything they receive in exchange for a review. But, it never hurts to include a reminder that you would like the blogger to disclose that he/she received your product/service free-of-charge, but opinions reflected are his/her own.

Now you have lots of ideas to improve your blog or business! Remember, you can reach out if you have any questions or if you would ever like to chat about PR and social strategy work. You can stay in touch by reading my blog, Essential Elements, and Identity’s blog, id tags, as well as connecting with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

From Jenny:
Now you can see why I recommended you grab a pen and paper! What is your favorite tip Nikki shared? I’m so thankful she shared her expertise with us!

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>Wednesday’s Woman–Nikki Stephan, PR Expert

>One of the things I enjoy as a jewelry lady is networking. I have met a lot of amazing people this way. You often meet someone that you refer to someone else. Such is the case with today’s Wednesday’s Woman. Greg was networking and sent this lady my way. I recommend you grab your favorite beverage, a paper, and a pen! She shares an incredible amount of valuable information. And now, here is Nikki Stephan in her own words…

I was first introduced to the Many Hats Mommy when Jenny’s husband, Greg, reached out to me on LinkedIn. We exchanged a few messages related to PR and marketing, and Greg suggested that I would be a good fit for the weekly Wednesday’s Woman feature. I checked out the feature and loved the idea of highlighting a woman each week who shares who they are/what they do and teaches readers something new. So, here I am!

I’m a native Michigander who is passionate about my community and doing what I can to help others. My day job is at Identity Marketing & Public Relations, a fully integrated public relations agency that helps clients with PR, marketing, digital/social media, graphic design and website service. As a social media strategist with a background in traditional public relations and marketing, I focus on integrating social strategy with traditional communications efforts to help companies build brand awareness, create new customer relationships, monitor relevant online dialogue and engage in direct conversation with online audiences. It’s a fun gig.

Aside from my role at Identity, I’m involved in various organizations, most of which relate to PR and social media in some capacity. I won’t bore you with all the details here, but you can check out the About Me page on my blog to learn more (and please reach out if you’d like to get involved with any of those organizations!).

You’re probably hoping that my life doesn’t only revolve around social media and PR…and it definitely doesn’t! I love playing tennis, singing karaoke (duets only – no solos!) and shopping. I’m currently planning a wedding, which definitely adds to the fun/stress of everyday life. My fiancé and I are getting married August 27, 2011 in Birmingham, and I couldn’t be more excited for the big day.

My newest adventure is participating in a Chevy-sponsored road trip challenge. On March 8, I will embark on a three-day journey from Michigan to Austin, TX for the South by Southwest Interactive conference. My three other teammates and I will have to complete missions and challenges and compete against another Detroit team and other teams around the country. Chevy started this initiative last year, and our Detroit team won, so the pressure is on to carry on the legacy! You can follow our shenanigans on our Team Motown SXSW website and Facebook page.

Now, on to the good part where I inject you with a dose of my expertise. I thought long and hard about what I could share that would be relevant and interesting to people who may not do the same type of PR and social strategy work that I do. Then I realized this: Most Many Hats Mommy readers are probably bloggers themselves. Blogger relations is one of the many services I provide to our clients, and I’ve learned quite a bit along the way on blogger outreach best practices. So, I thought I would share some insight with you on how best to reach out to and work with bloggers. Whether you want to reach out to bloggers on behalf of your business or in hopes of securing guest post opportunities, this advice will come in handy.

1. Do research to compile your initial list of bloggers. The size of your list will depend on your resources, but always think in terms of quality versus quantity (it’s better to connect with five very relevant bloggers than 50 somewhat relevant bloggers). Options available to help you build your list include Technorati (this is no longer considered the Holy Grail of blog tools, so don’t rely solely on this platform to find relevant blogs), Alltop, IceRocket, Google blog search and blogrolls. This is a paid service that recently launched, but BlogDash is creating a lot of buzz as the next big blogger research and engagement tool.

2. Once you compile your initial list, you have to qualify each blog to weed out the ones that aren’t relevant. You can create your own qualifying terms, but here are some suggestions:

• Use Compete to view traffic stats and history (traffic isn’t available for all blogs).
• Use Alexa to obtain more site statistics.
• Check out the blog’s authority on Technorati.
• Read at least the last 10 posts to make sure the content is relevant to your outreach goal.
• Determine how often the blogger posts.
• Find out if/where the blogger has a presence on social networks. If so, see which networks he/she uses to share blog content.
• See if blog posts include social sharing components that encourage readers to amplify the content.
• Review the number and quality of comments on the past 10-15 posts. Is anyone commenting? If so, are they saying something more than “Great post!” Determining activity of a blog’s community and readership is important.
• If you’re reaching out to a blogger to educate him/her on your company, product or service, use the blog’s search tool to see if the blogger has written previous posts about your industry and industry competitors. Also, check to see if he/she writes reviews and has established review guidelines.
• If you’re doing outreach for guest post opportunities, see if the blogger features guest posts and how often.
• Check out the blogger’s Klout score to get a sense of his/her influence. Influence is a highly debated concept. There is no one site or tool that will tell you how influential a person is, but Klout is a good starting point (and it’s free!).

3. Once you’ve culled your final list, consider starting to build a relationship with the bloggers before you ask for something (product review, guest post, etc.). It’s not realistic to expect you to develop strong relationships with every blogger before reaching out. I’ve had several successes with bloggers who I spent a lot of time researching and reading their content, but not actively engaging with them before I reached out. I had those successes because what I shared was relevant to them and their readers. That’s the important part! However, the engagement part will definitely help if you’re pursuing guest post opportunities. If the blogger recognizes you as someone who frequently comments, shares his/her posts on social networks or reaches out regularly on Twitter, you’ve got an advantage.

I hope this advice was helpful! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you would ever like to chat about PR and social strategy work. You can stay in touch by reading my blog, Essential Elements, and Identity’s blog, id tags, as well as connecting with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Stop by tomorrow (click here) for the rest of my tips!

A HUGE thank you to Jenny for the Wednesday’s Woman feature opportunity!

From Jenny:
Wasn’t that amazing? I know as a blogger I will return to this post to refresh my memory of what I need to improve! What are you going to do first?