Posts tagged ‘blogging for business’

October 7, 2013

Advertising the Best: There’s Something About Mary (& Jamie & Co.)

by Kate W. Hall

When she approached me at a party December 2008, there was something I just liked about her.

Her energy, infectious party-going style and sincerity were icing on the cake. Mary Fisk-Taylor, along with Jamie Hayes and the Hayes and Fisk Real Life Studios team became one of my first advertisers and true partners on Richmondmom.com.

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I decided to enter into an exclusive advertising relationship with Mary’s team. Not only because I felt it was the right thing to do for my readership & Mary (too many similar advertisers water down the vibrant flavor of just one) but because she believed in Richmondmom.com when few others even knew about it. Plus, their talent could reach our city limits and beyond.

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Mary and Jamie went on to photograph my headshots, my family, promotions we had on the blog and eventually our Richmond Chevy Road Trip Challenge Team in 2012. They also were the creative photo geniuses on my children’s books, Richmond Rocks and The Spooky Sequel. what fun to create and share part of Richmond’s history with children all over the city.

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Beyond their energy, talent and unique skills was a platform of true community spirit. We had a blast giving back to Richmond’s non-profits through our collaborative efforts throughout the years like the Richmond Real Cute Kids Contest, Supermom and other fun ventures.

One of the treasures I take with me after transitioning ownership of my blog is having built relationships with amazing, talented people like Mary, Jamie and team, who not only showed me what professionalism was, but sparked creativity all along.

September 26, 2013

Give ‘Em What They Never Knew . . .

by Kate W. Hall

In an early conversation with a friend in 2007, when I described my vision for Richmondmom.com, she somewhat-protectively said, “I think that’s already being done.”

But it really wasn’t, not the way I wanted to do it.

You see, I had to create what I felt passionate about–a blog that didn’t yet exist but that was something I thought readers would want.

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Selling my blog to one of my clients (who are carrying the torch well!) five years later with over 200,000 annual readers & dozens of advertisers was bittersweet but necessary for me personally. I’d fulfilled my mission & wanted to focus on my other creative bent, my Richmond Rocks children’s books and other pursuits.*

After all, I’d likely never had pursued publishing Richmond Rocks & The Spooky Sequel had I not built a platform that created the perfect birthplace for my books.

That desire to create is what fuels my flame, because most of us don’t even really know what it is that we want until someone brings it to us.

*Oh yes, I have a full-time job, three kids, two houses (we’re hoping to whittle that to one when the market swings back!) & one husband.

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June 18, 2012

Project Management has Helped us Reach over 1M Page Views

by Kate W. Hall

I had just received my Project Management Professional certification in June before my company (LandAmerica) befell massive layoffs and ultimately bankruptcy late 2011.

Richmondmom.com was a fun hobby and something to keep my head busy at night, but not a focus until that pink slip arrived.

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It was raining with no post-storm rainbow in site. Either way, it was a painfully emotional & financial time of my family. Losing half our income & having the bulk of savings tied up in a 401k plan did not make for a strong safety net.

One thing I’m extraordinarily grateful for is that project management training which helped me stay focused once the decision to launch Richmondmom.com as a business was made.

“Requirements” are the building block of any project; what was missing in the marketplace & how could we deliver? What tools did I need to make this happen? For starters, a professional web designer and social media education were paramount.

“Risks”: falling flat on my face, not growing our readership & advertisers, not seeing a return on my investment: not options.

To avoid all of these, I made a plan & remained über-focused in listening to what readers & advertisers wanted.

1) Readership: Capture our audience’s desires via Google Analytics & increase unique visitor growth 20%+ each year.

2) Advertising: Innovate & continue to offer options that aren’t readily available elsewhere.

How could I prevent any PM’s nightmare, “Scope Creep?” The site content had to grow, but we couldn’t be all things to all people. This has continued to be a challenge as our reach has expanded & requests to post information flood in.

“Team” is one aspect I couldn’t afford the luxury of early on, but as we grew, hiring smart, creative folks to manage various aspects o this growing blog has been a win-win.*

Admittedly I do not always follow the plan & tend to veer off for fun projects but for the most part, this PM stuff has served us well! The pot of gold at the end of our rainbow also includes over 1M page views in 4 years, .5 million visits and almost 300,000 readers we’re thrilled to have stop by.

*More on this soon.

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