Business on the Web – Link Roundup

As we move into a new week, I want to share a few articles and blog posts I found interesting this past week or so.

On the SEO front, Search Engine Land confirmed that Google released Panda 3.2 For those out of the loop, “Panda” is Google’s attempt to lower the rankings of low-quality websites that was first implemented in early 2011. If you’ve seen a change for the better or worse in your search engine ranking this past month Panda may be the reason.

Speaking of Google, they released More Options for Google+ Badges. I haven’t put up a Google+ badge on any of my sites yet but it’s on my huge list of little tasks to eventually do. In the meantime, you can find my somewhat neglected Google+ page here.

At the same time, Jason Cormier of Search Engine Watch explains Why Your Business Needs to Be on Google+ Now. Perhaps it’s time to give Google+ a little more priority after all.

Shelley AKA @TheIQMom asks, Are Corporations Killing Mom Bloggers? She explores the evolution of “mom blogs” (but I’d argue blog culture in general) and ultimately suggests that companies AND bloggers to look beyond the numbers.

What does this mean exactly? Well to me it means, whether you are a blogger or a business, don’t get too caught up in just the numbers chase. Businesses need to look for QUALITY as well (duh?)

Think Traffic provides us with a case study of How Sarai Mitnick Attracts 380k Pageviews a Month and Built a Business Around a Sewing Blog. Now that’s a great example of a blog that is the total package, providing quality content and high traffic.

As bloggers we need to ask ourselves, how do we rise above the millions of other blogs and websites out and become stars in our own niches? And businesses need to figure out how to find and judge the rising stars that reach their target demographics.

Author, Terri Giuliano, truly understands the power of bloggers though. After being told by an agent she’d be lucky to sell even 500 copies of In Leah’s Wake, book bloggers buoyed her sales to almost 80,000 in just 7 months! How inspiring!

Finally, Pinterest is the new darling of social media. Joey Fortman of Real Mom Media and BEN-FM in Philly gives tips to traditional media to leverage the power of Pinterest. Whether you are in traditional media, social media, or run a business you’ll find her tips give you some food-for-thought.

Rafflercopter Needs a Mascot Name: Win an Ipad2

I’ve read mixed reviews on Rafflecopter the past few months. I’ve even heard some people declare they won’t even enter a giveaway administered by the Rafflecopter widget. I personally don’t get why but to each their own.

But having run giveaways WITH AND WITHOUT Rafflecopter I can honestly say using Rafflecopter has made my life so much easier. It’s such an easy process to create, run, and finalize a giveaway with the Rafflecopter software.

On the other hand, as a person who enters giveaways from time-to-time, I’m much more inclined to complete giveaway entries when the blog is using Rafflecopter. One reason is that too many bloggers make it hard for you to find their twitter name, facebook page, etc. but when they use Rafflecopter this information is always just a click away.

So anyway, after lots of testing, Rafflecopter is celebrating it’s “birth” and you can join in! Try the system out below by entering to win an iPad 2. Tell them NicholeAnn.com referred you (that way if YOU win, I win too!) and then do any of the optional entries, like submitting a creative name for their mascot.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

No I wasn’t paid to write this but I do get an entry in their giveaway for sharing this contest.

263 Marketplace in Warminster, PA

I was delighted to have the opportunity to organize and invite a group of local bloggers and their families to the 263 Marketplace the other week.

The 263 Marketplace is located at 700 York Rd in Warminster, PA. It’s a growing indoor shopper’s village that opened just last November. You can find a little bit of everything there including: antiques, apparel, children’s boutique items, hand-made jewelry, and local wine.

While the parents gathered and caught up with one another the kids had fun making ornament crafts provided by my shop, Lambkins Children’s Boutique.

After everyone arrived we were given a tour by Sven from 263 Lock & Key who introduced us to all the vendors within the marketplace as well as told us about upcoming events. Everyone happily tweeted their way thru the tour and you can see some of the highlights of our twitter tour here.

The Marketplace then treated bloggers to lunch and some of the family-run business within theGorgeous Gift Bags from the 263 Marketplace Vendors market contributed to gorgeous gift-bags that were given to each blogger. Other shops provided fun prizes that were raffled off. A random tweet was chosen to win a $25 gift certificate valid at any of the small businesses within the market. Congrats, Karla!

Best of all, the market arranged a surprise visit from Santa. You should have seen the kid’s faces when he came rolling around the corner on roller skates during our tour of the market! The 263 Marketplace Santa is extremely generous; not only can you take free pictures with him but he also gives out stockings full of gifts (while supplies last) to any child who visits.

And speaking of generosity, some of the bloggers who came brought board books or purchased them with at special discount from Just Children’s Books for an amazing local charity called Team Abby. Team Abby provides care packages to families experiencing long term stays at local area pediatric and neonatal intensive care units. Each package includes essentials as well as a board book.  When touching isn’t allowed for health reasons, parents can spend time bonding and connecting with their babies via reading.

Big thanks to the marketplace and the following vendors for making this event possible:  Uncle Joe Dautcher’s Farm Market, 263 Lock & Key, Hina’s Eyebrow Threading, Crabby Jean’s, Philly Apparel Company, CoolRays Tees, Joyful Teirs, Beautiful Baths, Carpet Buying Services, JMT Awnings, Unique Peddler, Bennick & Co, Malinda’s Eyewear, and Rina’s Rocks for helping to make this a successful and fun event!

See writeup at the Philly Social Media Moms blog too.

Google Adwords + new CC = pee pee

Ah, the haggard life of a WAHM! I just added a new credit card to my Google Adwords account. 5 minutes later my credit cards anti-fraud department calls. While trying to listen to the automated message the pseudo-twins start yelling.

Specifically, Thing 2, starts screaming and pointing that Thing 1 peed on the floor which resulted in me pushing the wrong button and my credit card being temporarily deactivated.

It all turned out well in the end. I just had to wait for a live rep to get on the line while changing Thing 1 and yelling at Thing 2 to not go near the pee-pee on the floor.

These small moments throughout the day sure can raise your blood pressure though!

The pseudo-twins the other day out shopping