Ask a Blogger: Negotiating a Contract

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Thanks to Madame Deals for this week’s Ask a Blogger article

You have written a killer pitch letter. You are now in the negotiation stage. What do you say? How do you get the person to go with your best deal. I actually ask them. What would make you select option A over B? I never change my price. I suggest you do not change your price either. That sends the message that what you do is not valuable. You can change your price if they go for a larger deal. I have a better rate on advertising for over 6 months than I do for one month.

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Ask a Blogger: Manual Posting Versus Auto Posting on Facebook

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One thing I have learned about blogging is that Social Media is important.  You need a way to interact with readers and have a way for new readers to find your web page.

We’ve talked about creating a Facebook welcome page and how to increase Facebook followers, but we haven’t talked about posting on Facebook.  I like the instant interaction Facebook provides.  I can post a statement or question on Facebook and get a response from my fans.  Readers can also post on my page and get an immediate response from me or fellow fans can jump in on the discussion.  It’s a fantastic tool to share your posts, thoughts and ideas.

It’s also a great way to get people to visit your website.  You share a new blog post and you’re followers can click right into your website to read more.

But how do you have time to research and write posts, answer emails, and take care of your family all while spending time with Social Media?

I always thought that auto-posting was the answer.  I was able to get my post onto Facebook, and I didn’t have to do a thing.  I am a fan of easy.

I have personally used 2 Facebook Apps to auto-post to my website:

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Ask a Blogger: Writing Pitch Letters

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This weeks Ask a Blogger post is from Amee with Madame Deals

How do you write a pitch letter? This question comes up often. Why? I have a lot of bloggers that want to know how did you get that? Why did they respond to you and not me? It is true I am not prettier or smarter nor do I have a better site then you do. What I do have is a little more Chutzpah. I also have a formula for success. I tried to simplify my letter so you could actually use the information right now and write a pitch letter that yields a result. I encourage you to link to work samples from your site so they can see what you do.






Personal- Do not send a letter that is addressed to Dear Madame or Sir. You need to do your research and find a name. I do not care if you call the company and ask who is in charge of their web based advertising and promotions. I think finding a person’s name means you are willing to go above and beyond to get the job done. It is all about the first impression.

Imagination- You have one sentence to sell them. This sentence should be used in your subject line and repeated in your letter. What can you say that will get their attention? It is just like writing an article you have ten words before someone clicks through or moves on.

Thoughtful- You need to do your research. How does this company advertise normally. What groups are they targeting what is their lead product in most of their campaigns. What tools are they currently using? How do you compare? How do you excel? How could you represent them and increase their market share and revenue?

Change- When you have determined their normal advertising methodology what changes can you make that would impact their bottom line?You need to state this clearly I would mention your research and I would mention why your methodology would benefit them.

Hook- This is it the last line in your letter you need to hook them and reel them in. You need to make them want to work with you or at the very least contact you.

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Ask a Blogger: Linking to Updates in Facebook & Twitter

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We’ve been getting into more detail about the in-depth aspects of blogging such as Permalinks and SEO.  This week I wanted to step back and write about something so simple, I’m embarrassed it took me a long time to learn.  I had been blogging for over 6 months before I learned how to link to specific status updates in Facebook and Twitter.  Yes, some of you are chuckling.  Other’s have no idea what I’m talking about.

Why do you need to be able to link to a specific post or status update?

  1. Giveaways: If you’re entering giveaways, most bloggers want to see that you actually posted about their giveaway on Facebook or Twitter.  Just linking up to your pages doesn’t help because within a day or two, those updates have been buried.
  2. Posts: Occasionally, a program or coupon will be listed as an update on Facebook or Twitter. When posting to your blog, you could just link directly to the Facebook page, but then readers will be required to search the page to find the information you are writing about.  If you link to the specific update, your readers can quickly find the coupon you’re referencing & it could save a few emails.
  3. Paid Opportunities: If you are writing a sponsored post or have been commissioned to post on Facebook or Tweet about a company or product; you need proof that you fulfilled the requirements.  I recently had an opportunity to write a blog post and include a Facebook and Twitter mention.  In order to be paid, I had to provide the link to my post, Facebook post and Tweet.

Now that you know a few reasons why you need a direct link, how do you get it?

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Ask a Blogger: Determine Ad Value

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This weeks informative post is courtesy of Madame Deals!

I have to admit I had no idea how to answer this question until I started receiving offers. Then I had to decide. The first thing you need to do is visualize your site. You have to determine where you would like to place ads and why?I have seen sites that look like a train wreck . I mean they have so many ads I can’t find the content. I use my ads to pay for my content. I try to find ads for products I use and like or services that I think my readers would be interested in. I also try to pair my ads with my content. If I am talking about how to have cheap dates . I put in my links for the sites I can get a referral credit for that offer cheap food and experiences. I may not make actual money but I do then get a discount on my next date if someone signs up. The other thing you will notice on my cheap date post is a link for an advertiser. I asked the advertiser if they wanted to sponsor my post. They said sure. I get a gift card when I post their link that I use for giveaways or gifts.

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Ask a Blogger: Changing Permalinks

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We are always looking for ways to improve our blogs.  Experimenting with design, testing out new content, and looking for ways to get more visitors.  And lets face it, we need people to find our sites.  This week, we’re talking about Permalinks. 

What is a permalink?
A permalink is the unique and permanent URL to your individual blog posts.  The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change — hence the term permalink.

So why are permalinks important?
The permalinks on your blog are the links that will be used by other bloggers (or yourself) to establish a link to a post. Permalinks can ensure that the link for each blog post doesn’t change even when the post gets archived. If you don’t have a permalink, it will be difficult to access older entries.

Types of Permalinks:

  • The default permalink is:  where “N” represents your post ID number.  This type of permalink is called an “ugly” permalink because it doesn’t look as nice and more importantly, you’re also not being told anything about the post from the permalink.
  • An example of a “pretty” permalink is:  This can be done using mod_rewrite.  These “pretty” permalinks provide more detailed information about the post and it actually looks more appealing than the default permalink.

WordPress users can go into settings -> permalinks and use one of the preselected common settings or create a custom structure.  An advisable custom structure would be in the format /%postname%/.  Why? You want your post name to be part of your permalink to help the search engine crawl your posts and thus drive more search engine traffic to your website.  Remember to use keywords in your post name or title to help google draw attention to your posts.

**If you are changing your permalinks structure you must be cautious!   If you already have live posts, you can create a 404 error code on past posts.  To fix this, use the Permalink-Finder plug-in.  It detects when WordPress cannot find a permalink, and before it generates the 404 error it tries to locate any posts with similar words.  Then, rather than issuing a 404 error, it sends back a redirect to the correct page.

Remember that SEO is imperative to your website.  You need search engines to find your site and direct readers to relevant posts.

If you are using wordpress, you can find out more information on changing your permalink structure here.

You can search all of our articles by typing in Ask A Blogger.


Ask A Blogger: Tips for a First Blogging Conference

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Thanks to Madame Deals for this weeks Ask a Blogger post.

You are excited; you have signed up for your first conference. You have organized the 1 million things in your personal life you need to do before going. It is now time to start thinking like a business person. The number one thing you want to do at these conferences is to build your brand. The next thing you want to do is gather as much knowledge as possible. Lastly,  you want to create action items for yourself.

The first thing I would suggest is get business cards. Tiny Prints has wonderful ones.  I would write notes on the back of the ones you receive to remind you about what you need to follow up with that person about. I would write, “I think this person could teach me about blog design”. I would make sure your cards stand out. All the other attendees with be handing out their business cards as well.  The cards I have are in full color and have price matching on the back. I think I am going to get new ones with my picture on them. I know, bold move but I am my brand.  I also say give out your card to anyone breathing, you never know who will promote you.

The next thing you need to do is obtain as much information as possible. I would write down the top three things you want to learn. I would then attend the conference on those topics and seek out the leaders in the areas you are interested in. I had the pleasure to meet several frugal bloggers. I asked the bloggers that I admired questions. I actually learned more about blogging from the actual bloggers than the course work.

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Ask A Blogger: Facebook Welcome Page

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Do you want more fans, followers, and customers? Have you entered our contest to promote you for a month? You should, it is a super deal! If you win you receive FREE advertising on Madame Deals and The Coupon Challenge worth over $150.00. Here is the link to the contest.

Do your fans come to your Facebook page and get a good impression of who you are?  The reason I am asking is you need to give them a reason to stick around. I worked very hard on my welcome page. I watched several you tube videos and spent a lot of time tweaking it. I wanted to define my piece of facebook and make it unique. Here is the link to my welcome screen. If you click on the word click it will produce a video on how to use my site. I need to update it a little, but you will get the idea. I think it is very important when creating a space to make an area that requires action on the part of your user. I want you all to be involved in my site. I am in the process of updating my fan page to have one for those of you that are new and those of you that are faithful followers.

Here are links for creating a Welcome Page on Facebook.

*In the article is a link to the Madame Deals Facebook Page, you can also see The Coupon Challenge Welcome Page here

You can search all of our articles by typing in Ask A Blogger.

Below are referral links, I will get paid a small amount if you sign up. I have tried and tested these sites and I recommend them!

Social Spark | My Savings | Escalate Media | | We Use Coupons | My LikesLogical Media | Commission Junction | Linkshare | Ebates | Shop at Home | Swagbucks | Living Social | Groupon | Eversave | Mamapedia | Jasmere | Buy with Me | Cellfire | Host Gator | SmartSource | Sponsored Reviews | Sponsored Tweets | Deal On

If you need hosting, we both use Host Gator and Love them.


Ask a Blogger: How to Increase Facebook Followers

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We’ve talked about a variety of blogging tips over the past few months. We’ve discussed connecting with other bloggers, how to make money blogging & even provided some of our favorite WordPress plug-ins. Now, it’s time to talk Social Media.

Using Social Media is a fantastic way to promote your site and gain new readers. One of my favorite Social Media platforms is Facebook. You can connect with thousands of users just by having a Facebook Fan Page for your website. There are more than 500 million active Facebook users according to the Facebook Press Room.

Reach out to these 500 million Facebook users by posting your blog articles on Facebook, getingt feedback and engaging readers in easy conversation. You will get readers to your website where they will hopefully keep coming back for more.

To make the most out of Facebook, you need “Fans”. Well, how do you get people to “Like” you on Facebook?

1) Set an obtainable goal: Set goals to increase your Facebook presence. Set monthly and yearly goals then work diligently to meet those goals. For instance, my personal goal is 10,000 Facebook Fans by the end of 2011.

2) Determine your sphere of influence: Who you can get to help you reach your goal? Who do you want to market yourself to?

3) Select three people to help: Select 3 influential bloggers to help promote your site. Be willing to help promote their Facebook Page as well. Trade shout outs with other blogs (pick sites that are NOT like yours to gain new fans) & offer entries on contests for shoutouts.

4) Think of a reason to have people follow you: Why would people be willing to “Like” you on Facebook? What do you have to offer? Great content? A unique voice? Great giveaway prizes? Give people a reason to “Like” your page and you’ll see an increase in followers.

5) Come up with a gimmick or contest: As with #4, determine a way to make readers WANT to follow along on Facebook. You can hold an exclusive Facebook giveaway or add “Liking” your Facebook Page as an extra entry into a contest.

6) Post on your site your goals and enlist your followers to help: Be sincere and tell them why you want more fans. ie Amee is honest that she can approach companies and ask for larger giveaways because of my fan base numbers. She is also able to secure payments for posts based on her numbers in social media.

Now, we what to help you get more Followers!

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Ask a Blogger Promote Me Contest

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We are holding a contest for a month of FREE advertising! Here is what you get to help promote your site:

  • Post highlight of your site on The Coupon Challenge & Madame Deals
  • Your site button on TCC & MD for one Month
  • Once a week shout out on facebook for one month from TCC & MD
  • Once a week shout out on twitter for one month from TCC & MD

Retail Value over $150.00

You can enter Two times DAILY

Entry Methods are:

1) Facebook shout out about the contest tagged “@The Coupon Challenge and @Madame Deals I want you to promote me

2) Tweeted about the contest and tagged @CouponChallenge and @MadameDealsI want to win your Promote Me contest

3) Blog about the contest

4) You can come up with a creative way to spread the word

You MUST fill out the form below.

Fill it out once for each of the entry methods 1-4 above.

**Comments left on this post will NOT count as an entry. You must complete the Entry Form HERE or below to be eligible to win

Note: Your site must be family friendly. You must be 18 years or older.
Contest ends June 1st at 10:00 PM the winner will be selected using