I created Linemen Rock, an apparel company for power linemen and their families, in late 2011 and launched in January 2012. Linemen Rock allows me to create apparel for a trade for which I have so much passion. Linemen Rock offers a wide variety of clothing items, ranging from the super trendy to the basic tee. What started as a lineman shirt company has recently been called “The mall of the line industry.” in terms of our offering trendy items on our store. Check out Linemen Rock here.
Are you looking for a little inspiration for your Elf on The Shelf this year? Here’s my first blog about Elf on the Shelf ideas. I’ll post again in the next week with enough ideas to finish the month off. Roasting Marshmallows by Jen McKen (Jen McKen is an amazing Photog and is well known for refusing to photograph Seniors she considered bullies.) The Kissing Booth by Living Locurto The Reindeer Team by LMents Photography The Elf Artist by Beatrice Killam (Tip: Use a dry erase marker so you can undo the “damage” when the fun is over.) Reindeer Poop (Original creator couldn’t be found.) Elf In A Hammock by Rae of Light Photography Boating Elves The Updating Elf by Clean and Scentsible Coloring Elf by Elf on The Shelf on Flickr Elf Makes a Menu – Source Elf rides a dinosaur. Source The Elf is Surrounded – By Holly at Nap TimeSwing Elf by A Small Snippet Movie Day! By Source
Is your little angel on the naughty list? Use your Elf on the Shelf to deliver the message. Use the blank spaces to list the offenses and help get your kiddo back on the nice list. After all, the list will be checked twice. Click Here to download a full printable sheet with two notices. If you’re kiddo is still on the nice list, here’s my free nice printable.
If you haven’t seen your FB feed littered with something that looks surprisingly like your friends yet oddly like Someecards, you’re missing out. The hottest trend with mobile app fun is Bitstrips, which allows you to create a custom avatar, eyelashes, blush and all, tailored to your own look and then create cute and comical cards to share across various social networks. When you connect Bitstrips to your Facebook account, as an example, you can then create Bitstrips with friends too. It’s Someecards on protein shakes. Anywho. If you haven’t created your Bitstrip avatar and checked it out, it’s definitely a cute (and creative) way to update your social status while incorporating a visual.
There’s so much to talk about, but I wanted to start with something simple. La Boulangerie. This little gym was literally tossed upon our doorstep by one of our new neighbors to welcome us to the neighborhood. The family owns the only grocery store in town, in addition to the gym and boxing centers. They delivered this amazing fruit cake with almond slices just a few days after we moved into the house. Every bite was beyond amazing. I dare to say the taste was more amazing than it looked, if that’s possible. Thank you to our neighbors for introducing us to one of many of our new favorites around Fresno. If you’re looking for this awesomeness, you’ll find it here: La Boulangerie 730 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA
I drafted this post when we were waiting for the moving company to show up to pack up our house and begin moving it across the country. Little did I know that in less than an hour I wouldn’t have internet to finish it via the computer. I had no idea that our entire house and every belonging would be in boxes by noon. We were told we should have our luggage and anything we did’nt want packed in the car the night before the were due to arrive. They weren’t joking. I took our luggage out to the car Sunday night thinking I would laugh it off in the morning when I had a ton of time to finish loading the car, but I met the moving truck in the driveway as I was taking the boys to school. When I returned just 15 minutes later I rushed to grab my laptop, iPad and the boys’ toys for the plane ride. Most of the toys weren’t in their designated “ride to Cali in a backpack” location. By time I realized most of them had been taken from the backpack to play with on Sunday night, they were packed in […]
So here I was trucking along and getting all kinds of traffic to my blog and then… BAM! I noticed my traffic was decreasing dramatically. I went from 6,000 or so hits per day down to just a few hundred a day in just a few months. There were a few notable changes that could have caused the dramatic decrease, including: 1. Change of topic of most of my posts. 2. Lack of time to post (although I felt like I was posting more). 3. Change of theme. I started to weed through all of the changes trying to figure out what caused the dramatic slide. Was it 1 or 2 of the changes that caused my 3 million Alexa to plummet to the 8 figures or was it just one single change? After spending a little time trying to figure out exactly where the problem was, I decided to look at timing. The chart said it all. At the exact time of my plunge I made a drastic change to my theme. In November I wrote an article that went viral, collected over 7,000 likes on Facebook and crashed my server 3 times because of all of the people […]
This question came to me from a personal message on Facebook and I decided it was worthy of a blog post. “Krista, I read your post the other day about a mom who was selling an ebook on Pinterest, but she’d only been pinning for a year. I was wondering if there are really moms making money from Pinterest. How? It makes no sense to me. - All Pinned Up (of course, I had to change their name to something more appropriate). First, allow me to tell you that no one makes money from Pinterest except Pinterest. No one receives a pay check from Pinterest. There are no Pinterest affiliate accounts. With that out of the way, there are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people making money USING Pinterest as a tool. I am one of them. Backstepping a little, allow me to explain her statement about my post about a mom selling a Pinterest Ebook. This mom joined Pinterest last July and has said that her husband knew she was onto something. I don’t know about you, but joining in mid 2012, to me anyway, means you were late to the game. Me and so many of my […]
The simple answer to this question is: YES. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have all shown their value and ROI (whether it be time or monetary) in various industries, but some outliers are still holding back from using all of these tools, especially Instagram and Pinterest. The truth is that most young adults think that Facebook is so yesterday. Honestly, I felt that way about MySpace when Facebook came along and look what happened to them. But, because Facebook owns Instagram and allows people to easily connect the two, the use of Instagram didn’t take long to take hold among Facebook users. Every photographer, pizza shop, website designer, graphic designer… actually, let’s just leave it at EVERY business owner. period. needs to have an Instagram profile and use it actively. HOW TO USE IT FOR YOUR BUSINESS Have a new product? Want to show a sneak peek of something coming? Did you make a delicious looking pizza and want to make your local customers drool? Instagram it. Are you going to an exclusive event? Give your fans and followers the inside track by Instagraming from the event. Did you just finish a drool-worthy shoot of an amazing Senior near you? […]
I have been watching the drama unfold between The Honest Company and The Honest Toddler for the last few weeks. Why? Because I love Bunmi, the voice behind The Honest Toddler. We met in 2006 and have been hovering around each other ever since. She was the gal I was talking to on Skype when I was in active labor with our third child. We bounced business ideas off of each other on a regular basis and spent hours on the phone talking about crazy ideas for iPhone apps. She is the sole reason why I was introduced to and worked with Pregnancy Awareness Month for three years. They were her contract and she handed them to me. You see, Bunmi was successful before Honest Toddler. If you browsed the social media accounts of popular baby and toddler brands in the last 4-ish years, you were listening to her genius daily. You just didn’t know it. If you were into satirical parenting blogs, you probably read Bunmi’s articles on Huffington Post. Her articles on If Disney Princesses Had Mom’s were among the most popular. Pssstt… You need Bunmi. If you were a company with a product or were launching a […]
Okay, so let me admit that I never really ditched my passion, I just kind of ran along beside it for a while. The truth is that there are few people who can quickly respond to you when you ask them what they are passionate about. It’s the first question I ask people when they want to talk about building a business for themselves and it’s been something I have struggled with for years to identify. So, here it goes. I would like for you to ask yourself these questions: 1. What am I passionate about? What would I do if I could get paid to do it? What do I find myself doing every chance I can because I love it so much? 2. Do you frequently involve other people in something or notice that people ask you about your passion a lot? If people are asking you, they’ve noticed and will be the first to jump on board when you decide to go for it. 3. Do you have the courage and stamina to stick with it even if you aren’t making money? Are you SO passionate about it that making money or not making money doing it […]
The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California is perhaps one of the most amazing museums in the world. Even if you never step foot inside to see it’s amazing collections, you cannot help but marvel at the architecture, white stone, water sculptures and more. When driving around LA you can see it perched on top of the hill. As you approach the museum it’s hard to tell how you’ll even get to it. Surprisingly, the museum is only accessible via a shuttle train that goes up and down the side of the mountain. As you ascend you can see the hills topped with homes and smoggy downtown LA in the distance. Once you exit the shuttle you can’t help but be amazed. The white stone, water, sculptures, gardens and view of LA are breathtaking. Literally. There were families sitting on the lawns having picnic lunches, individuals like me who were completely captivated by the architecture and star struck admirers who were completely overwhelmed by the collections inside the museum. The collections of art in the museum, are no doubt, priceless. Everything from sculptures and paintings to photography and books. LUNCH AT THE GETTY I opted for lunch at the cafe […]
Let’s face it. Anyone who has ever hired a freelance social media manager has most likely interviewed or even hired one who just didn’t get it. Since 2008 I have worked as a SMM for clients all over the world and have had the, um, pleasure of working with many SMMs who didn’t get it and many who did. (Might I also add that I have dealt with many clients who also didn’t get it.) If your community isn’t growing, if your page is a flop, if your twitter account isn’t effective, if your Instagram account has 4 followers, if your Pinterest isn’t driving traffic to your website…. that social media manager isn’t for you. So, how can you tell if a social media manager is for you BEFORE you hire them? It’s simple. Check out my top 10 reasons you should pass on the offer or let your SMM go. 1. They have absolutely no marketing background. Let’s face it. Communicating with a community of people doesn’t require a marketing degree. Millions of people do that every day via social media. What it DOES require is an understanding of what your audience is, why, how they found you, […]
Since 2011 I have been communicating on behalf of an especially amazing company called Pregnancy Awareness Month. Through Tweets and Facebook posts, guest blog posts and Twitter parties I have come to love this community of people who work so diligently to bring so much to pregnancy, birth, education, nutrition and more. I have come to love this community and the people in it, especially Alisa Donner, who so lovingly devotes her days to Pregnancy Awareness Month and brings so much to so many. This year I will be flying to LA for the Signature LA event which occurs the first Sunday of May. Watch as I tweet live from the event in LA on Sunday, May 5th. Follow along on Twitter @PregAwareness on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PregnancyAwareness and on Instagram at @PregnancyAwareness You can also follow my trip to LA, Hollywood and Newport Beach on Instagram @KristaConway, Twitter @TheKristaConway and fb /TheKristaConway. I will be tweeting and posting live from the event on Sunday from Bergamot Station in Los Angeles. Hope to see you there either in person or virtually.
Ethan, my little 7-year-old soft-hearted blondie was practically born at a race track. During the 2005 race season, my husband was racing flat track and I spent the entire Summer huge and propped up by the race track. Now, it’s Ethan’s turn. I have to admit that I wasn’t able to sleep last night. I know that Jarod has spent a lot of time helping him understand a quad, how to lean just right, where to put his weight, how to safely go up and come down huge hills, but as a mom, you never want to see your child even remotely close to a dangerous situation and it takes every ounce of me to get that big red danger flag out of my thoughts when it comes to my fragile child being out in the woods with other children on vehicles that could hurt them. And then, I was amazed. Watching Ethan out there was something different for me to day. As a wife, I have spent many days of my life traveling to races and sitting by a track as my husband, brother-in-law and friends raced harescrambles, motocross and flat track. The most fear I had was watching […]
I am still trying to fall in love with Shopify. You can read my blog post about all of that here. Part of trying to fall in love involves using the apps as much as I can. Although, I have to admit that I also complained about the fees associated with the apps that are required in order to gain features with Shopify that come standard with BigCommerce. Anyway, I digress. For those of you who use BigCommerce, Shappify: Product Options isn’t a necessity because the feature is built in (actually, it’s not even available), but for those of you using Shopify, you’ll need this app. The app is a prop up to the Shopify system which makes the ability to add customization to products like custom name, etc rather difficult, if not an impossibility. What I like most about Shappify is that, just like BigCommerce’s tool, it allows you to form “Relationships” and create “Options” that you can then use for other products. So, if you want to create an option for crew neck shirts for men, women and kids, you can then create an option for colors, etc and use it for various products like I did on […]
We started with WordPress… When I opened my t-shirt company in January of 2012 I originally attempted to use WordPress with an ecommerce plugin. I attempted it because I have used WordPress for years and am extremely comfortable with it. I felt that the tools it offered would do what I needed it to do. Just 12 or so orders in, I realized that WordPress would not be the tool for me. It was somewhat difficult to deal with the shipping and ordering system. Something I am extremely thankful I gave up. There is no way we could handle the volume we are handling now, which has reached as many as 250 orders in a 24 hour period, with a WordPress/ecommerce website. I honestly believe our time in the back end of the site printing packing slips and marking orders as shipped, etc. would require three or four times the amount of time we currently dedicate to this task. There are other issues there, but let’s get to the topic at hand. We moved on… I quickly started searching for an Ecommerce system that would work for the plans I had. I needed something that would grow with me. I […]
In an age when we DVR past commercials, most brands understand that a Super Bowl commercial spot will be watched by millions. It’s their chance to be clever, capture attention, gain brand recognition, get people talking and boost post-holiday sales. Why? The Super Bowl has become nearly as much (if not more) about the ads than about the game itself. People like me, complete marketing geeks, people who want to see what XYZ has come up with next, people who want to see advertising mastery at it’s finest, fast forward through the butt slapping and hit play only FOR the commercials. So, it’s no surprise that this years commercials didn’t leave us wanting for much. For the first time in years the commercials that came out on top were those that were more modest than ridiculous. Dodge and Budweiser proved that this year while GoDaddy was being booed. Twitter was a buzz about the commercials and Youtube copies posted by companies just hours ago have over 6 million views and growing. Tied for first place, the Budweiser and Dodge commercials, both pull at the heart strings. Their creativity has allowed for their videos to go viral in an hurry. For […]
I have been following a “mom blogger” out of curiosity for quite some time. I couldn’t figure out why her blog, Twitter and Facebook pages were seemingly so popular. Then, she opened a secondary blog which launched and then soared to a <150k Alexa almost instantly. Impossible, right? I guess not. So, looking at the numbers, her lack of what appeared to be any real content on her blog (although she posts daily, it’s so-so content), a newly launched site that mysteriously went from zero to hero and her mysterious jumps in social media followers, well, let’s just say curiosity got the better of me and I started to dig. You see, I am an internet marketing guru. I have been paid well over the years to boost website rankings, but I have always done it the “clean” way which takes a lot of time. With that in mind, I was determined to learn what she was doing to get her sites to rank so well. By “what she was doing” … I mean literally WHAT in the world was she doing to promote her sites. After having discovered the golden ticket to her success, I have decided to give […]
The Ohio Home and Garden Show will be February 23rd through March 3rd at the Ohio Expo Center. The annual event, held in Columbus, Ohio, is a great way to start the planting and home rejuvenation season and features gardening, landscaping and home improvement vendors from all over the United States. My favorite part about the show is the beautiful landscapes created by amazingly talented landscapers. Edible flower beds, unique ways to create sidewalks, beautiful and rare trees and flowers and the flower gardens we all dream of are built and available for your viewing throughout the event. If you are planning on making any home or garden improvements this year, I highly recommend the Ohio Home and Garden Show. I will report on the event this year and plan on blogging about it, with photos.
Have you ever made a New Years Resolution only to break it before February? Surely not, right? Even if you are the worlds most-likely-not-to-break-a-resolution queen (or king), chances are you are thinking about something to resolute-to-do right this moment. For me, it’s chocolate. I totally need to eat more of it. Once I eat enough chocolate to satisfy me, I want to continue to build on 2012 and maintain the momentum we gained by making simple month-to-month goals. For me, I have a very specific overall income total that I want to reach in 2013. In 2012 I met my yearly goal in just 9 months. But, I couldn’t have made it without having a monthly goal and that is why monthly goals are key. KNOW YOUR OVERALL GOAL, BUT MAKE IT COUNT EACH MONTH I knew what I wanted my New Year’s resolution to be last year on January 1st, but I looked at it like it was a couch to marathon race challenge. You see, the goal with New Years Resolutions and goals is to accomplish something and to me, grabbing Billy Bob off of the couch and telling him to run 26 miles would be like putting […]
Dear People Magazine, I loved your recent article about heroes emerging after Sandy turned superstorm hit the East coast. I completely agree with your article and understand that there will always be a time when heroes emerge due to these unforeseen events. But I wanted to point out another hero that People and seemingly every other news organization (not to mention the general public) fails to recognize during these major events. They are called linemen. Have you ever heard of them? Maybe they haven’t officially made “hero” status to you? Maybe it’s because you don’t pay them out of your annual tax budget. Maybe it’s because you hate having an electric bill. Maybe it’s because they don’t run out in the middle of the night to save the day. Maybe it’s because you never use your electric, but you like to have it when you need it. Maybe? As I write this blog post my lineman is out on his THIRD call AFTER his normal work day. Someone lost their power, maybe some idiot hit a pole while drinking and driving and the firemen can’t get him out until MY LINEMAN gets there to kill the power. In any case, someone […]
So this is totally cool. I stumbled onto the Rebel Mouse today when I was stalking Gary Vaynerchuk. He announced a website update and I immediately noticed that someone suggested it looked “just like Rebel Mouse” .. so naturally I had to check it out for myself. Knowing that Gary is running on WordPress (okay, maybe this is an educated guess) I decided to dig around in the WordPress Plugins to see if the little jewel I was looking for was out there. Voila! Within minutes I found the RebelMouse Plugin and went over to www.RebelMouse.com to sign up. In literally two minutes I had my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram connected to Rebel Mouse and my own website url. I then came back to my wordpress website and connected my plugin to my Rebel Mouse username. I simply created a page, told the plugin which page to use, made the page full width and voila … a Pinterest style website made up of my Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest profiles. Check out mine here on my website at www.KristaConway.com/Socially If you have a wordpress site, all you need is a basic theme (pre-installed themes free from WordPress will do) and a […]
I will keep this answer short and sweet…. YES! According to Wikipedia’s Industrial Revolution article… “The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in human history; almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. Most notably, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth.” Freelancing and using the internet to work from home will undoubtedly eventually affect every aspect of American life. People who have lost their income due to the downfall of the industrial revolution will be looking for something else to replace their factory incomes. Executives and skilled (and valuable) former employees ranging from administrative assistants to CEOs have found themselves without work after the great American recession (and possibly depression) claimed their lifestyles and income. In speaking with some of these people, the sentiment seems to be the same. People are tired of working for companies and risking their livelihoods working for someone else. There’s also another revolution brewing. Women, afraid their husbands will come home with a pink slip, have started to contribute to the family while staying home. They have been working during naps and after bed time (trust me, I have been one of these wives since 2004). While […]
Did you know that you can censor your businesses Facebook page? Oh yes. You can. It’s important in a world where kids and adults collide. Where spammers have no issue with posting “I make $4,o00 a month from home.” ads and where people with, shall we say, a limited vocabulary, use words that may not be positive for your business. When you censor words or phrases on Facebook, the post will momentarily go live on your page, but as Facebook takes a breath and reads what was posted, it will SPAM the comment and hide it. You’ll be able to unhide it simply by clicking on the three little dots where the comment is being hidden and then by clicking “Not Spam.” Sometimes comments that aren’t meant as spam end up in the filter. You won’t catch every one of them, but that’s okay. Make sure your readers have an awareness of what you do and do not allow on your page. Here’s a step by step guide on how to censor your Facebook page to prevent those pesky comments or wall posts from causing issues. Step 2. Step 3. Type in the names, words or other items […]
The short answer is YES. Yes, Y.E.S., YES, Yes! It’s not enough to have a profile on a freelancing job board. Not. Enough. People might find you there but what if you want to spread your details across a few job boards? Are you going to spend the time it takes to continually update your profile, upload new items into your portfolio and promote your profile page outside of that website? The short answer for that one is… no. When you are bidding on jobs on Elance and other websites people are going to search you out. You may even have your URL posted on your profile. Where are you going to send them? Why not send them to one location where you can consistantly update your portfolio, write about your experiences and update your resume? This one location needs to be a website that you own, preverably your namesake domain like mine where you are reading this. In my case, my skills, portfolio and other details have been watered down by posts like this where I try to help people who are trying to freelance, but I still have at least one client look through my website each week […]
According to TechCrunch, Ebay has started beta testing a new Elance rival in the UK called Secret Guru. Add Secret Guru to the ever growing list of Ebay properties the likes of Paypal, the former Kijiji, StubHub (all aquired by Ebay after they were created) and others and it’s just another step in the popular services direction. Elance, the site I believe Ebay will most likely aim to rival, has seen tremendous growth in an economy that has forced so many to find work for themselves. At first glance, Secret Guru seems to be a very clean, less complicated, perhaps over simplified version of Elance. I don’t see job listings and confusing guru profiles popping up just yet. But, looking at the existing clean profiles complete with a large “About” section, photos and more I am encouraged that the battle between the impending US version of the website and Elance may leave American Freelancers with more options. Then again, we already have websites like ProBlogger, FreelanceSwitch, Freelancer and others to go to for work. The real question here is whether or not you trust ebay properties enough to become one of their gurus. I, for one, haven’t shopped on ebay for years but use […]
Just like most wedding photographers, I like to know a little about the seniors in front of my camera. As you can see here, we started out in a place that was green and pretty and ended up at an industrial park. It was all part of capturing who this kid was. His name is Michael, btw. ; ) Anywho. This is part of my reblogging of past photo sessions since deciding that I deserve to have my name on ALL of my work. Afterall, Jasmine Star told me I should. So, here it is… Michael, the Newark Ohio Senior who made it difficult to photograph him because I had to try to stop laughing between shots.
When I started managing social media accounts in 2008 I could see it growing to what it is today (trust me, this is only the beginning). I tackled it like a traditional marketing campaign back then, using many of the rules of engagement with social media as I did with print, billboard and radio. Today there are so many statistics and “insights” that can be used to tell us when to post, when not to post, how often to post and so much more. I have showed some of these charts and graphics to clients over the years and the reaction is the same: “Say what?!” In the end, the marketer or social media manager is the one that should be determining timing of posts, regularity and more. BUT, there are some things every business owner and social media manager should know about social media as a whole with or without statistics, charts and expert opinions. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes companies can make when it comes to social media. 1. Inconsistency. Just like with traditional media (print, radio, billboard, direct), consistency is key. I recently had a consulting client tell me that she didn’t understand why her social […]
Raising kiddos in an iPhone world means most of our memories are on a mobile device. This weekend I decided to start carrying my Canon 60D to my kiddos games so I could get some shots that would be hi-res keepsakes. I can’t zoom in half way across a field with my iphone and get these kinds of photos, afterall. These are not raw off of the camera, but I didn’t spend more then 3 minutes editing each one. Yes with an iPhone you can instagram and Facebook the pics before you ever leave the field, but the print quality is iffy and losing your iPhone means you’re memories are lost (unless you download often or use the cloud). I put down my iPhone and picked up my Canon and as you can see, it was worth the little bit of extra effort. In action. Ian is really determined to kick this half way across the field. He took a minute to stop and pose. Good game, good name. YAY! We worked as a team!