Saturday, January 25, 2014

The CraftStar Social Media BootCamp Week 3: BLOGGING

The CraftStar Social Media BootCamp 


(Below Is A Basic Transcript of the Show)

Guests:  Mike Alton, Wade Harman
January 21, 2014
5pm PST / 8pm EST

Welcome to The CraftStar Social Media BootCamp – Week 3 …. Focusing on BLOGGING … with special guests Mike Alton and Wade Harman – both blogging pros!

If you’ve missed our first two bootcamps, you can catch them on our YouTube channel:

Week 1 was about the basics of social media… what IS it?  How best to use it.

Week 2 was focused on Pinterest and Instagram … and our guests, Anna Bennett and Jenn Herman were FANTASTIC!

So, what is The CraftStar Social Media BootCamp?  Six weeks of delving deeper into various forms of social media to grow YOUR small business.  We’re aiming these sessions at creative small businesses on The CraftStar. 

As a small business owner … social media isn’t a “I wish I had time for it” kind of thing, it’s a MUST.  There is so much competition out there in the e:commerce world … that you need to get people’s attention with YOUR items.  BUT … there’s a right way to use social media and there are wrong ways.  Last week certainly showed us that!

Tonight, we’re talking about BLOGGING.  We’ve all heard the word, we see people doing it … but WHAT IS IT?

Blog - a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis.

The word “blog” is short for “weblog”

Some basic statistics on BLOGGING:  60% of bloggers are female, 40% male.

There are 4 main categories of BLOGGERS:  hobbyists, self-employed (YOU!), part-time and corporate.

With that down … let’s meet our guests.

Mike Alton:

Social Media Manager

I love to help small businesses and organizations that are interested in using the Internet more effectively. I provide a comprehensive set of consulting services, which include Social Media Management, Blog Coaching and Writing, HootSuite Training, Website Development, SEO and Internet Marketing.

Suggested Circles
  • Social Media News
  • Content Marketing Information
  • Blogging Tips
  • Technology Discussion


I started my own website design firm in 2007 when I moved to St. Louis. Though I had been designing websites for years, it was always side jobs and part time gigs until I started my own firm. I now provide professional social media management and Internet consulting full time.
I am the editor at The Social Media Hat ( where I regularly share articles discussing Social Media, SEO, Blogging, Writing, Internet Marketing and Business Technology. I started The Social Media Hat mid-2012 as a vehicle for not only providing consulting, but also to provide news and information about the topics I am passionate about, in a news-style format.

Project Workflow for New Business Consulting Clients

We start by identifying goals and needs and assets. We discuss your unique business, who your target clients and influencers are, what other specific goals you want to achieve, and what pieces we already have in place to get there. Do you have a website that can support blogging and content marketing and lead generation? Do you have social media profiles on some of the major networks already? How does your staff and expertise and available time fit into an ongoing blogging and social media marketing strategy? What are your strengths?

Once we have these elements determined, I then outline for you the process by which you are going to increase traffic to your website, generate leads, nurture those leads through your sales funnel, convert those leads into sales and then measure the results. I can tell you exactly what you need to do, train you how to do it, or just do it for you, depending on how involved you wish to be.

My goal is to ensure that businesses are able to leverage the power and connectivity of the Internet to promote and grow their business. How can I help you with your own business today? - 

HootSuite Solution Provider

With HootSuite, larger businesses, organizations and enterprises can set up social media dashboards used for not only promoting content, but also social listening, customer service, prospecting, and internal team communication. I am a Certified HootSuite Professional and can help businesses set up their HootSuite accounts and train staff on how to create a Social Media Command Center.
More casual and individual HootSuite users are encouraged to review my #HootSuiteSeries for HootSuite tips, guides and best practices.

Bragging rights

I sold swimming pools and hot tubs in 2006 and 2007, and became a top salesman within the entire organization within my first year.

And our other very special guest is Wade Harman … and PERFECT timing for Wade to be on our show about blogging as HIS blog has been voted into final nominations from social media examiner for top ten social media blogs of 2014. 

That’s a pretty good validation that he knows BLOGGING!

Wade Harman:

Relationship Expert, G+ Nerd, Blogger

Hey my name is Wade and I'm a full time blogger!  I have a Psychology degree and I use it to help people create action from their updates on social media.  I love helping newbie's at my social media marketing website.  I have also recently started another blog that I will share more of the relationship marketing and Google Plus side of things.

My blogs are dedicated to helping people succeed with social media through techniques such as creating a social presence, building relationships, and driving traffic!  

I use Psychology to prompt action from the reader and I can help you to do the same.  You see emotion plays a big part in what we see on social media.  Learning how to pull an emotion that creates action out of the reader can be a pretty powerful thing to do! Most of my posts relate to the tips on how to build interaction with your updates on social media and the power of relationships and what you can do to build them on Google Plus.  I also have a weekly Hangout on Air calledRelationship Marketing where I have different guests appear each week to show you how to build your marketing from this aspect. Let me show you how this is done to create profits, build readership, and a bigger following online!

The Best Tips I Can Give You on Blogging:

Bragging rights

I used to be a coal miner, and I have a hick accent :)

Bethan to Mike:  Why is blogging so important for SMALL BUSINESSES?

Bethan to Wade:  What’s your take on blogging in general? 

A bit of history about Blogging …..

- The modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people would keep a running account of their personal lives. Most such writers called themselves diarists, journalists, or journalers. Justin Hall, who began personal blogging in 1994 while a student at Swarthmore College, is generally recognized as one of the earlier bloggers.
- The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog", was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999. 

62% of businesses now own and run a blog

The number of blogs in the world today is huge. Tumblr and WordPress alone have over 157 million blogs!

BETHAN:  That’s a great place to start … blogging platforms.

BETHAN TO MIKE:  What’s the difference between blogging platforms like Tumblr and Wordpress? 

Bethan to Wade:  As a small business owner, where would you START in the blogging world?

Bethan:  One of the great things about this world we live in, is there are so many platforms to engage in to boost your small business … and you certainly don’t have to cover them all!  That’s part of why we’re doing this BootCamp … so you can decide which ones work best for you.

If you’re more of a picture person – then you’re probably better off to focus on Pinterest, Instagram ….

If you’re a word person … then BLOGGING is perfect for you.

Whichever source you use … what I keep saying about sellers on The CraftStar … is they ALL have a story.  EVERY item has a story … whether it’s a handmade item, a vintage item … there’s a story behind them all.  How did you make this?  Where did you find this? 

Bethan to MIKE:  So, MIKE … if a seller is a WORD person … how OFTEN should they blog?

Bethan to Wade:  How often do YOU blog?  What is it about YOUR blog that has got so much attention?

Bethan to Mike:  what should a blog consist of?  How many elements to a successful blog post?

Bethan to Wade:  what are the do’s and don’ts of blogging?
With SOOO many blogs out there … how do you get attention for YOURS?

Bethan to Wade:  how did you build your following?  How would a newbie blogger start to build a following?

Bethan to Mike and Wade:  what blogs would you recommend for new bloggers to learn from?

Where to find Mike:

Where to find Wade:

Wade Harman links:


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