Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

24 06 2012

Life is all about ups and downs. And as my wise aunt says ‘you can’t appreciate the ups unless you have the downs.’ In the last two years, I’ve had way too many downs for one person to handle. I’ve lost my mom, my dog, my friend and my marriage. Needless to say, it’s been a rough couple of years for me.

I think what has gotten me through is my friends who seemed to have always been there when I needed them most. Take for example this picture below. This is a picture my friend texted me as I was going through my divorce. The thought of him taking the time to create a smily face with acorns put a smile on my face and a smile in my heart. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make the biggest difference.

SEO Content Developer

This post is a part of WordPress’ weekly inspirational Post a Day and the theme is create. What does create mean to you?

Daily Photo Challenge: Mom’s Moon Unfocused

6 05 2012

This week’s photo challenge is called Unfocused. Yes, this is a picture of the moon, unfocused. But to me it’s not just an ordinary picture of an unfocused moon.

This is a picture of the moon the very evening my mom passed away last year on June 15, 2011. I have not been able to look at this at this photo or talk about it since then, for reasons of which you can probably imagine. But given that Mother’s Day is coming up next week and last night was the brightest full moon of the year, I figured it was time to share. This photo was taken during a period of my life where everything was unfocused, not just the moon.

I remember this night vividly. My mom passed at 2am. I remember waking up fully out of a comfortable sleep and losing my breath for one brief moment. I felt her pass. A few minutes a later I got a call from my sister telling me what I dreaded was true. For some strange reason I grabbed my camera and ran outside to take a picture of the moon.

Perhaps I just didn’t know what to do so I snapped some photos. Or perhaps, I instinctively knew to take this to forever remind me that as long as the moon shines, my mother will be watching over me.

To all of you who still have the joy of being here with your mother, please give her an extra big hug this Mother’s Day and remember to always appreciate the person who brought you into this world.

I miss you Mom!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

1 05 2012

The fiddle, carefully crafted out of maple and spruce and perfectly shaped into an hourglass figure does not actually make a sound.

The bow, precisely carved, strewn with horsehair also does not make a sound.

Together they become the instrument. And only together do they make music.

This post is a part of WordPress’ weekly inspirational Post a Day and the theme is together. What does together mean to you?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

23 04 2012

My favorite time of day is dusk. When the sun starts to settle in for the day and the sky darkens to give us the night.

This photo was taken on a hot summer night on Lake Champlain. What I love most about this photo other than the colors is how the moon sits in the corner waiting patiently for the sun to drop.

This post is part of a weekly photo challenge by WordPress, where each week they provide a theme for inspiration. We write on it. It’s that simple.

Product placement, does it work?

2 01 2012

Does product placement really work?

Last night I went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I couldn’t help but notice the strategic product placement from various companies (and bands) strewn throughout the movie.

The bad-ass, tech-savvy computer hacker used her Macbook Pro to help solve the murder mystery. The writer in charge of finding the killer printed high quality photos throughout his research using his Epson printer. Even Nine Inch Nails made an appearance both on screen and on the T-shirt of one of the characters.

And this doesn’t just happen in the movies. Reality shows like Top Chef use product placement in their programming and don’t do it inconspicuously.

During most of the cooking contests on Top Chef, the chefs are seen picking out their food at Whole Foods and driving there in whatever car is being featured on that episode. And of course the $100,000 they win at the end is always “furnished by”…

But as we are inundated with commercials, brands and the next best thing you should buy, does product placement really help us to make decisions when purchasing our next computer, car, or picking out which grocery store to go to?

Some say product placement has minimal impact of viewers. Research from YouGov suggests that 70% of respondents interviewed said their perceptions of a brand would not change if they saw it on a TV show or film.

Though I can’t argue with numbers, I can say that as I watched this film last night sitting next to my friend who is a PC person, it took all I had not to elbow him and say “see, she’s using a Mac.”

Though it is difficult to track the sale of a product back to a product placement in a film or TV show, it is another way to connect with your consumer, promote your brand and keep your business top of mind.

As annoying as you might think it to be, I do think it can help bridge the gap between consumer and brand. The fact that this strong, tech-savvy woman was using a Mac computer to find missing pieces of a murder makes a certain implication about Mac computers and the people who use them, don’t you think?

By using product placement it also gives a business the opportunity to show its consumers what their product does instead of telling them what it does. Epson can tell you their printers print great quality photos but doesn’t it make more of an impact when you see it for yourself?

Though some believe it has minimal impact on the buying cycle of a consumer, I tend to lean towards the fact that product placement can help a business promote their brand. As much as we don’t want to admit it, we are influenced by what our peers, and the people we look up to, do. And when we see them using certain products, we can’t help but be intrigued and want to try these products ourselves.

What do you think? Does product placement have an impact on you?

8 Reasons to Write Your Own Blog Posts

21 11 2011

I know, I know. You’re not a writer. You’re busy. You just don’t have the time. It’s easier and more efficient to hire a freelance writer to write blog posts for your business.

Look, we all have busy lives. If your inbox looks anything like mine it is inundated with emails of things that needed to be done yesterday. And each time you complete a task two more come in. I get it. You’re busy.

Studies show that a blog increases website traffic and lead flow. This could be one of the most important pages on your website. So my question to you is: why trust anyone else with it?

Here are 8 reasons you should take the time to write your own blog posts:

  1. No one knows your business better than you. You live, eat and breathe your business. There is just no one outside your company that knows your brand, knows your product or knows your business better than you. So who better to write about it?
  2. It saves money. By writing your own posts, you save money on hiring a freelance writer (said the freelance writer – doh).
  3. It saves time. I know that sounds counter intuitive seeing as most business owners or managers claim they “don’t have time” to be writing blog posts. But your posts don’t have to be long. They shouldn’t take you more than ½ hour or so to write. Which is the time it might take to walk to Starbucks for a latte on a busy morning. And if you’re writing them yourself, you’re saving time in iterations going back and forth with someone else.
  4. It’s fun. Once you start, I think you’ll find that it’s a great creative outlet for you and can be fun to explore. Plus its a great place to offer your opinions and share insights with your peers.
  5. You don’t actually even have to write. It’s as easy as using your iPhone to take a video of yourself, or someone from your business, speaking about a certain topic or discussion. C’mon you know you want to.
  6. You might learn something. Writing inspires inquiry.
  7. Your visitors are savvy. People know when they are being fooled. They know what is authentic and what isn’t. If you know your business and industry as well as I think you do, no one can talk about it better than you and your visitors will read that.
  8. Your competitors are doing it. Need I say more?

Here are some great sites to help start the creative juices flowing:

Copyblogger – blogging tips
The Daily Post – blog post ideas

The SEO Pyramid

18 11 2011

A couple of years ago I posted the SEO Pyramid infographic in a post called Is your business using the SEO Pyramid?. As many of us are finishing up our marketing plans for 2012, I thought it would be prudent to post the updated SEO Pyramid to help you hone in on your SEO strategy for the upcoming year.

seo pyramid orange
The SEO Pyramid, an Infographic by Linchpin SEO

Click for more information.


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