Friday, August 29, 2014

One Piece: 4 Ways | Maverick Hill Tees

If there's one thing that we love about blogging it's the empowering feeling it gives you. It's a space for you to be your own boss- a place for you to write about whatever you're passionate about, create whatever content strikes your fancy, and let your creativity shine. Whether it's a fun hobby for you, or a full time job- let's celebrate being our own #blogbosses!
 
The Midwest Bloggers founders, Katelyn, Samantha, Lauren & Maya are all wearing these empowering tees from Wisconsin based, Maverick Hill! Check out how they've each styled their inspirational tees.
 

[One Piece: 4 Ways]: Maverick Hill T-Shirts
 
MaverickHill™ was created to empower and encourage young women to be leaders, motivators and history makers. If you're a thinker, dreamer AND a doer, you will love this line. (Sorry men of Midwest Bloggers, we love what you're doing too- but excited to have a line just for us women!).
 
We hope you have a wonderful long weekend full of big dreams & move makin'!

FRIDAY FAVORITES LINK UP, V26



I am a shoe-a-holic engineer by day and a style blogger by hobby. Getting ready for work everyday keeps me motivated to dress for success and to dress the part. I write my blog as an outlet for my day to day work wear and to help inspire working women to be able to recycle what they own and still come up with outfits that are interesting, elegant and classy. I love colors and thus my outfits are usually always more colorful than a kids candy jar, but that is where I challenge myself to mix and match colors that complement and work well with each other. I journal my outfits at Willfully Elegant

The Adored Life: Alissa has the most heartwarming smile. What I love most about her blog is that it seems to be a true reflection of herself and her adored life. I absolutely enjoy reading her blog and relive my school years vicariously through her.

Le Stylo Rouge: Ashley is a rockstar for me. Gorgeous, stylish and always a source of inspiration. She says it as she sees it and that is what I love about her and her blog. 

The Newlywed Notebook: I have been reading Lindsay's blog for a while now. She is the most adorable newlywed I have ever virtually read about. Love reading through her daily chronicles and her newly wedded life.

Katelyn Now: A fellow MIlwaukee based blogger who is not only  very down to earth and endearing but is also on her way to achieve great things, having started her own business. I love that at such a young age, she knows what she wants and goes after it. Women like her keep me motivated and thus I love reading through her blog.


Make sure sure to link-up below!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Vacation Almost Free Using Blogs And Social Media


We're excited to have Nathanael Madden of Arcadia Coves share his tips on vacationing almost free from your blog or social media! We hope this helps you the next time you plan a vacation! 



A free vacation might be right under your nose. Here’s how to vacation almost free using blogs and social media followings. This isn’t just an article; this is what I’ve actually done! I actually have been on 4 vacations this year and almost $7,000 of it has been free! I’ve been a blogger and run large social media pages with 500 – 1,000,000 followers. I’ve worked with Google and have been in the travel and marketing industry ever since I graduated. Currently, I work in the tourist town of Branson Missouri, home to 7,000 residents and 7,000,000 tourists. Maybe you’ve spent hours writing articles on your blog about what you love, or you’ve spent years building up a large social media following. Well, it’s time to take a vacation by using your work. A lot of vacationers browse the web looking for vacation getaway deals, discounts, or even coupons for hotels and flights. Here’s a list of ways you can utilize your following to land you vacation perks, but first, some background.

Blogs and Social Media

Valuing Your Work
The average blogger thinks they spend about 15 hours a week blogging.
The same average blogger with a serious blog actually spends 30 hours a week blogging.

That’s almost a full time job!
Marketers in a marketing company who work 40 hours a week are actually very similar to you. They pursue their passion, and you pursue your passion. However, they promote someone else’s business; you don’t promote anyone’s business. What’s the difference? The difference comes down to valuing your work, and about $35,000.

US average entry level marketing position at a marketing firm makes $35,000.

However, the great news, marketers have to go pay for ads with television, radio, billboard, magazine, website and newspaper companies. The reason is they need to reach people through an outlet that has an audience. Great news for you, you already have an audience. You are the media company!

Why Companies Love Blogs and Social Media
Sometimes you’ll have to verbalize your value to a company. Vacation companies won’t always know immediately the value of blogs and social media. They think they do, but they don’t. If I could pick a newspaper ad that 1,000 people read or a blog article that 1,000 people read I would pick the blog. A newspaper ad is a commercial, and there is a low trust factor with consumers. A blog or social media blast from someone you like doesn’t feel like an ad, it’s just information. Consumers wait for television ads to end, but they wait to see the programming. Traditional advertising is like that television ad, your blog or social media post is like the programming.  

What Vacation Companies Spend Marketing
If every vacation company could offer products and services instead of money as payment to advertisers they would. Unfortunately, $1,000 YouTube ad with 5,000 views can’t be bought with hotel vouchers. Hilton Hotels can’t write a check for “50 Free Nightly Stays” to ABC Television to pay for television ads. Check this theoretical example out:

Hotel Stay: $100 Price
Hotel Actual Cost: $70
Hotel Profit: $30
This means if the vacation company paid for advertising in product or services it’d actually be cheaper to them. How does this relate?
You’ll be trading posts, articles, blasts and so on for products and services, not cash. It’s a win/win, and you actually help them save on their marketing budget. So, let’s do this.

Trading Posts For Vacations

If you try and sell your posts to companies it will take you twice as long, with half the results. You’ll basically be using your blog and social media following to trade for your vacation. Trading posts for vacations is basically just cashing in on all your hard work. There are a million ways to apply this concept, but here’s how it pertains to vacationing.

How To Use Your Blog Or Social Media
Here are the guidelines on how to use your blog or social media following for trading posts for vacations.

Types of Vacations:



Future Clients
Several businesses you trade a post with will be interested in the future to trade again or pay you. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door with future clients. The better results they see, the more likely they’ll want you back.

What Can You Trade
Here’s a list of items showing what you can trade.
  • A Blog Link
  • A Blog Review
  • An Online Review(s)
  • Tweet
  • Facebook Post
  • Instagram Post
  • Email Blast
  • Giveaway

Who Will Trade
Let’s use the tourist city of Branson Missouri as an example for who will trade. Trading posts for vacations all depends on the size of your following and viewership and how much you’ll post for them. It also depends on the value of the item you’d like and how many items you want. If you’re on vacation with family, a tweet from a popular Twitter handle might not cut it for four $60 Silver Dollar City passes. However, it might get you 50% off, or it might even get you four $60 passes plus food. The main rule in trading is being fair. You’ll always get a few “No’s” for every “Yes.”

Small Posts
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Spas
  • Salon
  • Attractions
  • Activities
  • Retail Stores
Medium Posts
  • Attractions
  • Activities
  • Hotels
  • Resorts
Large Posts
  • Cruise
  • Car Rentals
Very Large Posts
  • Airlines
Make It Personal
Don’t make your post sound like a cold sales pitch. You’ll lose credibility, and your readers don’t like to be “sold” things. Make it personal and unique. Keep it to interesting facts and what sets it apart.

Corporate vs. Private
The most important fact in how to use your blog or social media is knowing whether the company is corporate vs. private. Big corporations with lots of red tape will always take longer than mom and pop operations to get a “thumbs up” for trading posts.

Levels
  • Private (Easy)
  • Franchisee (Medium)
  • Corporate (Hard)
Talk to the Decision Maker
Sometimes the gal at the counter can make the decision, or sometimes you’ll need to see a manager or owner. Every business is different, but always talk to the decision maker or else you’re wasting time.
HINT: You’ll actually waste time talking to the owner, if the staff makes the decisions.

Decision Makers
  • Staff
  • Manager
  • Owner
Size of the Following
If you have 50,000 Facebook Fans and 50,000 email subscribers don’t sell yourself short! If the size of the following is a few readers and 1,000 Twitter followers don’t get frustrated landing an all-inclusive vacation getaway to Cancun. Use common sense.

When to Contact
Example 1: Obviously going to the airline ticket counter and asking for a free flight in exchange for a post won’t work. Even if you were CNN they couldn’t make that decision on the spot. Example 2: However, emailing a Muffin Boutique three weeks in advance of stopping by is overkill.

Relevance
Are you a food blog blogging blogging about a restaurant, or a food blog blogging about a roller coaster ride? Figure out relevance! Find a way to tie in with your audience. Otherwise, it seems forced.

Tips:
1) Work your shoutout into another story.
A story on a food tour of dessert shops in LA can end with your day at the amusement park.

2) Post on social media instead of blogging.
Maybe a whole blog post on roller coasters doesn’t make sense, but your daily Facebook post does.

3) Tie the story into regional relevance.

4) Tie it into what’s going on in life or news.

Put Their Shoes On
You’ll get way better at landing free vacation perks using blogs and social media once you look at it from the business owner’s perspective. Put their shoes on and think, “How it will benefit them?”

Now you know how to vacation almost free using blogs and social media. Always remember your value, remember there are always more “No’s” than “Yes’s,” and if you’re giving them a fair deal you have nothing to be ashamed of. After your 1st “Yes” it’s smooth travels, and asking will be second nature.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Showcase: Statement Pieces


It sure doesn't feel like fall is on its way, but with only one week left of August it won't be long before the warm summer suns are replaced by cool breezes. As if this wasn't depressing enough, it's always a bit difficult to be creative with your closet at the end of any season. You've paired all your summer pieces and you know all your favorite looks. 

Instead of falling into routine, make the most of these last few weeks by refreshing your summer outfits with some bold accessories. Check out how Midwest Bloggers stood out this summer with their own statement pieces and don't be afraid to try something knew before summer's done!


Friday, August 22, 2014

FRIDAY FAVORITES LINK UP, V25


Happy Friday everyone! I'm thrilled to host Friday's Link Up. My name is Audrey and I blog at Audrey Salutes. I'm a true Midwest girl who grew up in Iowa, went to college (a long time ago) in Minnesota and am now living in Wisconsin with my husband, two children and our dog. I love to blog about creating everyday, effortless style. I'm a firm believer that age is just a frame of mind and we all posess the ability to be stylish even in jeans and a t-shirt.  I like to throw some MondayMusings, recipes and inspirational posts in my blog mix too. Hope you can stop by.

It's with great pleasure to feature these four fabulous bloggers below and invite you to stop by their sites also!
1. Ginny at My New Favorite Outfit has a wonderful blog full of great outfit ideas. However, she posted a wonderful lettuce wrap recipe that had my mouth watering.

2. Cate and Tammy from Wild Ruffle are simply adorable. They both create outfits with the latest trends but make it easy to wear. Love how they support charities with their pop-up shops too.

3.  Laura from I Do Declaire is down to earth and believes in effortless style. I love how she paired her boyfriend jeans for a casual yet chic look.

4. Kayla at love lucy girl has the cutest dog named Lucy and Kayla has great style. Check out how she paired a sweater over this dress. What a fabulous idea for fall.

Make sure to link up below!



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Social Saturday 8/16/14



August 21st- Fashion Group International presentation and networking event at the brand new Threshing Bee Boutique in Kansas City. Threshing Bee is a new concept in shopping with six separate boutiques and designers all in one stop shop! $5.00 at the door. RSVP and more info here!

September 4th-11th- New York Fashion Week

October 11thGo Blog Social Chicago Pop-Up. Early Bird tickets are only available for a limited time, get yours while you can! #GBSxCHI. More info here.

February 22ndGo Blog Social - GBS "Workshop"! This event will take place February 22, 2015 at River Market Event Place! Save the date and stay tuned for more details.

Have an event you'd like us to share? Email us with the subject Social Saturday

Friday, August 15, 2014

FRIDAY FAVORITES LINK UP, V24



Hi there!  It’s so great to meet all of you.  I’m Holly Jirovsky and I blog at Style from the Sticks which is a fashion blog for busy moms on a shoestring budget.

A little about me- I live in Iowa with my husband and I’m a stay-at-home mom for three, almost four kids.  I have an eight –year-old, a seven-year-old, a four-year-old and a new baby due in December.  I have a background in the publishing and advertising industries and I love combining my two passions, fashion and writing.

While my blog is mainly fashion-related, I also dabble in home decor, lifestyle and parenting.  I really enjoy being a part of Midwest Bloggers and having a network of local fabulous gals that I can go to ask questions and get together to learn more about blogging- in person.

As a busy mom, I know how easy it is to get stuck in the yoga pant rut.   I create quick outfits for real life.  I strive for affordability (keeping costs to less than $100), accessibility (these looks can be found your local mall, online or a thrift shop) and Photoshop free pictures. Thanks for letting me be a part of your weekend!

I’d love for you to follow me at: Facebook - Pinterest - Google + - Twitter - Instagram 


House of Turquoise- I have to admit that I’m just as obsessed with the color turquoise as she is. And Erin and I share a love of white as well.  Everything she pins on Pinterest is what I aspire my house to be.

Chic Street StyleI love the elegance of her outfits and the European flare she brings to the Midwest!

Urban Farmgirl- She had me at “hello” on her Pinterest board with a separate board just for old trucks.  Someday I will get a chance to visit her shop.

Being Zhenya- I love thrifting and putting together outfits on a small budget.  She inspires me to think out of the box.

 Link up below!