Category Archives: Tips and Advice

Huggies

HUGGIES Mommy Center | Tips and Advice for New Moms

This post brought to you by HUGGIES. All opinions are 100% mine.

As new moms, there is always this sense of excitement and nervousness. Moms want the best for their kids. They want everything that touches her new baby to be soft and gentle. And so we seek advice and input from moms and other respected sources. HUGGIES® Mommy Center on Walmart.com is THE Place for new moms!

And don’t forget all your baby essentials, including HUGGIES® Little Snugglers Diapers, HUGGIES® Pure & Natural Diapers and HUGGIES NATURAL CARE® Wipes are available at Walmart.

Along with HUGGIES®, the Mommy Center helps moms to navigate those first few months with tips and advice from those who have been their before.

If you could go back to those first days, what would you want to know? Share those Mommy Moments, whether they are embarrassing, disastrous or turned out just fine.

I have a Mommy Moment to share.  This one particular day in those first few weeks sticks out the most…actually, it’s the only thing about that sleep-deprived blur of the first 8 weeks or so that really sticks out at all.  :)

We had had a tough night and a rough day.  It was almost 2:00 and I hadn’t eaten anything ALL DAY.  My son was inconsolable if he wasn’t being held.  If he fell asleep and I tried to put him down, he would wake up and cry.  But I discovered if I laid him on his tummy he wouldn’t wake up and he wouldn’t cry.  Of course, I had heard the horror stories of letting your newborn baby sleep on their stomach but I just wanted 5 minutes of no crying so I could make a sandwich and eat it.

So I laid him on a blanket in the floor on his tummy and dashed to the kitchen.  I made a sandwich and poured a glass of tea and then I sat in the floor right beside him while I ate my lunch.  He was resting so peacefully but I couldn’t shake the fear of “don’t let your baby sleep on their tummy!” and I wanted to make sure he didn’t stop breathing.  So there we were in the living room floor, me watching him like a hawk and in the end, he got a nap, I got to eat, and no one cried anymore the rest of the day.  :)

What I learned that day is that babies cry.  And as long as their immediate physical needs are met, sometimes you just have to put them down in a safe place, let them cry and take a minute to take care of yourself.

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facebook-offers-scam

Why You Should Avoid Clicking Facebook Offers

One of my favorite little ladies, Leandrea, from Coupons Are Great did a wonderful write-up about the onslaught of Facebook Offers lately. I wanted to share this with you as well as provide my own insight. This post is a mix of her thoughts and my own so you can learn why you should avoid clicking Facebook Offers from bloggers.

I’m an honest gal. It’s something that my Dad instilled in me at a very young age. I do not lie — ever — and I teach my children the same values. Since 2008, Freebie Spot has been bringing you honest and legitimate freebies and deals. You will never find any scams or “participation required” offers here. I provide full disclosure, even when a free item requires shipping. Trust me, I hate spam deals just as much as you!

I use Facebook, just like you, to follow friends, company pages, and other bloggers. Lately, my Facebook feed is blowing up with friends claiming Facebook Offers. Why the sudden outburst of Facebook Offers? On September 21st Facebook announced that bloggers could try Facebook Offers for free one time. When a lot of bloggers see the word free, they jump on the opportunity to bring in more site traffic.

facebook-offers-scam

Freebie Spot will not be participating in the Facebook Offers bandwagon. Why? Most of the bloggers doing this are using deceptive tactics and false advertising methods.

Posting a Facebook Offer for a “FREE 8×10 canvas” or a “FREE photo calendar” is misleading because these items are not actually free — you must pay shipping on these items. Others are posting that you can get a “Free $10 Target/Home Depot/Barnes and Noble” gift card. Again, this is not true and is deceptive advertising. In order to receive the gift card, you will need to sign up for Ebates, make a $25 purchase within 30 days, and then you will receive your $10 gift card.

introducing-facebook-offers

Don’t get me wrong. I like free offers just as much as you and I definitely like when you view my blog and appreciate the offers I post. But I will never trick you in to getting a “free” offer that’s not truly free. I will always flat out tell you if there are any strings attached (like shipping charges). I prefer quality readers who come back because they like what they see. I don’t want you to become a fan because you were tricked into liking my page.

And if you’re interested, you can get all of the offers mentioned in this post through the following links (which are affiliate links and are not free):

Have you clicked any “free” Facebook offers that aren’t really free? I’d love to hear about them! Just leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

how to blog

How to Maintain Momentum in a Startup Business.. and Blogs Too!

This post was written by a friend of mine. It provides extremely useful information for new businesses however this advice can also be applied to bloggers as well. Running a blog is like a business, so read this over, follow her advice, and see where it takes you.

Ok you have your product and you’re making sales, now what?

how to blogJust creating your product alone can be laborious and take a great deal of energy, but creating your product only accounts for 20% of your success as a startup business. The other 80% you can account for marketing and informative decisions to further the growth and longevity of your company.

Customers are talking, are you listening?

When a customer provides feedback on your products or developments make sure you are taking this serious. Not everyone likes a complainer, however be grateful that the customer cared enough about your product to want to help you strive and make improvements. This is time and effort donated for your benefit.

Evolve your product to meet your customer’s needs. Opinions do count and have relevance especially if you begin to see patterns in the feedback that you are receiving. Use customer feedback as a catalyst for new products, ideas, and developments.

Creating a business or creating a habit?

Do you want a one time sale? Or do you want return customers? When you design your product you also want to think about the staging of the customer experience. Can they count on you for answers? Have you established trust and credibility? Does your product meet their needs so that they will continue to use your services or products?

Establish a habit for your customers and be consistent so they know what they can expect from you and your products.

Are you maintaining your goals and vision?

It’s easy to get side tracked and to lose focus on the vision that created your product. If you feel you are off the beaten path that started your success, then take a moment to refocus. Remember that sometimes the most complex situations can have simple solutions. Once you have reestablished your vision communicate this to your team so that everyone is on the same page and headed in a direction that benefits the business as a whole.

Remember momentum isn’t always about how quickly we get from Point A to Point B, instead it is about a steady movement going forward.

World-renowned Personal Development Author Meilena Hauslendale has been providing life guidance and insights for over 11 years. She began her career in writing by publishing self-help articles for various international magazines and support groups.

facebook

Never Miss a Coupon or Deal from Freebie Spot

facebookDid you know that I frequently post coupons, freebies, or deals exclusively on the Freebie Spot Facebook page? I do this for several reasons, like if a sample or coupon has a limited number (i.e. for the first 5,000) or if a deal is limited time (i.e. lasts for 2 hours).

To make sure you don’t miss anything important, you should become a fan of Freebie Spot on Facebook! After you’re a fan, I recommend the following Facebook settings (so Facebook doesn’t control what news you see!):

  1. When you’re on the Facebook home page, click the little arrow that will display above the first post shown on your news feed.
  2. Select “Recent Stories First”. This will make sure that you are seeing the most recent news on your wall instead of what Facebook considers a “highlighted story”. And guess what.. every time Facebook changes their layout, you have to do this AGAIN (ugh!).

If you have any questions, just let me know! Thanks for being a fan and reading my blog. :)

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how to blog

Blogging Tip: Optimize Images for SEO

how to blogEvery blogger wants to know how to get more traffic and image SEO is just one of many fishies in the pool. If you’re a blogger, I invite you to head on over to my design blog, Simple Mama, to learn how to optimize your WordPress images for search engine optimization (SEO).

Optimizing images for SEO in WordPress is super simple. It doesn’t even require a plugin! Just a couple minor changes to your daily routine and you’ll be climbing Google’s image ranking in no time!

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google-dont-be-evil

WordPress Bloggers: Say Goodbye to GFC

google-dont-be-evilIf you’re a WordPress blogger, you may be shocked to find out that as of March 1, 2012, you’re no longer important enough to Google to keep your GFC (Google Friend Connect). The Official Google Blog posted today stating:

“Friend Connect allows webmasters to add social features to their sites by embedding a few snippets of code. We’re retiring the service for all non-Blogger sites on March 1, 2012. We encourage affected sites to create a Google+ page and place a Google+ badge on their site so they can bring their community of followers to Google+ and use new features like Circles and Hangouts to keep in touch.”

This is bad news for WordPress bloggers. Google+ pages are not blogger friendly. In case you forget to update your Google+ page, there are no ways to auto-post your blog posts. Also, no WordPress plugins exist for Google+ pages yet. We’re left with another horrible social networking service that is against bloggers.

Facebook isn’t any better. Their new “Insights” page is a joke. Freebie Spot Facebook posts are being shown to around 10% of my fans. How’s that for an insight?

Good luck creating your Google+ page; they certainly don’t make it easy. My page is created. I have 1 connection—myself. Nice!

I am removing all references to GFC on my blog now. I feel so alienated. Excuse me, Google, for choosing a blogging platform that allows me to be more creative. Way to go.

Jenny

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how to blog

Cold Pitching Works. Don’t Be Scared!

how to blogI was really nervous about cold pitching. Extremely nervous. Mainly because I did not want to just pitch a random company about a random product. I figured they would just turn me down. Why would they want to promote a product that has been successful for years?

Then I read something somewhere about PRnewswire. I dug around the site (which is extremely confusing) and set myself up with daily emails for new and future products hitting the market. I also composed a standardized “pitch” template in my email client specifically for PRnewswire pitches which I can simply change the company name or product and adjust the email as needed.

I started pitching companies whose products were of interest to me. And the responses poured in. I have actually had to schedule giveaways now so I don’t have too many posted at one time (I am not a giveaway-only blog). I’ve received a lot of great products from cold pitching, especially a lot of food items, video games, and movies. As an example, I had a review and giveaway for a Playstation game which I received 1 copy to review and 5 copies to give away. That’s approximately $360 worth of products! And they pitched me in the same email for another product.

If a press release has a PR company listed at the bottom, send them a pitch. If it has the email of someone from the company at the bottom, use your best judgment (i.e. do you think they’ll respond?). All they can do is ignore your request or say no. But many say yes! PR companies have the highest “yes” rates for me.

So don’t be afraid. Write your pitch email. Include your page rank, page views, monthly uniques, use proper spelling and grammar, be professional, and specifically state that you are wanting to promote their product by hosting a review and giveaway on your blog (I suggest using that wording exactly). You don’t want to beat around the bush; just flat out say what you want in your pitch. Often times, you’ll get it.

I hope this has helped some of you. Maybe if you are nervous about cold pitching like I was, you’ll give it a shot. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose!

Jenny

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wordpress security

Has Your WordPress Blog Been Hacked? Here’s Help!

wordpress securityI love to help my fellow bloggers learn how their blogs work, but sometimes bad things happen to our blogs and we don’t even know it. I wrote a post over on my design blog about a new hack going around which affects some WordPress blogs. The hack affects users visiting from a search engine and redirects those users to another website — ouch. That’s a big time loss.. well.. reroute of traffic.

If your blog has been affected by this hack or if you want to know what to look out for, please read my post titled “WordPress Blog Hacked? This May Help.” over at my design blog, Simple Mama. I have already helped one fellow Mom blogger remove this hack from her site. Don’t let your blog be next!

Jenny

seo

Confused About Meta Keywords? Google Says Skip ‘Em.

seoIf you’re a blogger, getting high search engine rankings is something that should be of importance to you. But do you know how to get high rankings in Google and other search engines? The first thing most people will say is meta keywords. But those people would be incorrect.

I invite you to check out my latest post over at Simple Mama where I discuss why meta keywords aren’t needed and what you should be focusing on instead. Enjoy!

Jenny

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how to blog

The Best Websites to List Your Blog Giveaways

how to blogEdit: Updated to reflect May and June 2011 traffic sources.

Whether you’re a company wondering how much exposure your product will receive from hosting a giveaway on Freebie Spot or if you’re a blogger looking to promote your giveaways, the following is a complete list of resources of where Freebie Spot giveaways are promoted.

I do not list my giveaways on every linky or giveaway directory on the internet. Why? Because most of these linkys provide little to no return traffic. It is not worth the time required to list giveaways there. I am constantly testing new sources for traffic so it is possible that this list will change over time. If you have a linky or giveaway directory you would like me to try and potentially be added to this list, please contact me.

The following traffic-tested list is ordered from highest traffic to lowest traffic, but even the lowest traffic site listed still produces great traffic numbers since this is an exclusive list.

Freebie Spot approved traffic-tested list:

Currently testing (not approved yet):

No longer using due to low traffic numbers: I deleted some before making this post. I will add names as I remember them.

  • Contest for Moms (www.contestformoms.com) little to no traffic
  • Mom Audience (www.momaudience.com) little to no traffic
  • MyWeeView linky (www.myweeview.com/category/linkup/) little to no traffic
  • Mom Giveaways (www.momgiveaways.com) (1 May; 0 June) Late in posting giveaways; little to no traffic
  • Prize-a-tron (www.prizeatron.com) (0 May; 2 June) They pick and choose what to post and from who; little to no traffic

Jenny

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