So years ago, when I first started my blog, I had no idea that there was more to blogging than just writing a little intro story and then typing in your recipe. Yep, that's all that I did for almost 4 years! And then I went to my first blogging conference and, man oh man, was that ever an eye opener.
Wait, you're suppose to write your recipe in a recipe plugin that's programmed so google knows it's a recipe?
And there's a minimum number of words to write for your intro so google will notice you?
And there are H tags?
And a meta description?
And Pinterest images?
And pitching to brands?
Oh, and alt text too?
Holy moly, did I ever have a lot to learn. I returned home from that conference with my head spinning in all directions. I've gone to more conferences and retreats since that first conference and have not only learned how to do this blogging thing, I've also made friendships along the way.
Thank goodness I've met lovely ladies who are successful bloggers who share their knowledge. So now I have learned from the best of the best. I've learned so much from these ladies and I want to share them with you.
Let me introduce you to my friends and I hope they will become your friends too and I hope you take in all they have to offer. They're lovely ladies and, trust me, they know their stuff.
Pitching To Brands and More with Jenny Melrose
Jenny Melrose is the queen of pitching to brands. Jenny has perfected skipping the middle man and going directly to a brand to pitch her talents. Owner of successful blog The Melrose Family, Jenny also runs a membership site for bloggers, that I belong to, of course, that is filled with so much knowledge.....how to design a media kit, how to get a brand's "golden ticket", the best way to use Instagram and Instagram stories, writing proposals and so much more. Jenny has live webinars where she gives the latest updates on all things blogging, interviews expert guests and even has a podcast, Influencer Entrepreneurs with Jenny Melrose, that I'm always listening to in the car. It's like having a girlfriend with me when I'm driving, and yes, sometimes I even talk out loud to her!
Jenny Melrose has been able to make a full time income from her lifestyle site which has been run for over 9 years as well as her B2B business helping women entrepreneurs achieve their business goals. Jenny's students call her encouraging, empowering,
and knowledgeable about all things online business as well as transformative when it comes to helping others grow.
Just click on my affiliate links and check out all that Jenny has to offer!
Influencer Entrepreneurs Academy brings women bloggers together to strategically grow and scale their businesses. This 2 day event in Charlotte, NC focuses on topics delivered by experts in their industry so that attendees can then put the strategies into practice through hands on mastermind sessions and trainings.
After IEA, participants will not only leave with connections, ideas, and inspiration, but by completing the workbook throughout the event, they will leave with a personalized guide with actionable steps to take their business to the next level.
For a limited time, until October 31st, there's a special promotional offer for Jenny's 2020 Influencer Entrepreneurs Academy conference with my code 50off ! I'm already all signed up to go again in 2020. In fact, this year's conference was so amazing that I signed up for next year's conference before I even left! And you will want to go too!
The 2020 Influences Entrepreneurs Academy Conference will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, from March 31st-April 2nd. Jenny runs a fabulous conference, has an amazing lineup of speakers and provides an experience that you don't want to miss! Click here to purchase your conference ticket and be sure to use my 50off code for your discounted rate available until October 31st!
Check out Mastering Your Influence, Jenny's subscription membership group and the ultimate growth resource for your business success, with a 14 day free trial. Membership includes an exclusive, engaging
community, trainings to move your blog to the next level, and one on one coaching to give your business a personalized path to success.You can join at one of three levels of membership. The camaraderie in this group is amazing.
What is included:
● Access to over 90 trainings
● Access to private Facebook group with weekly live trainings hosted by Jenny
● Monthly trainings with an industry expert
● Monthly group QA call
● Everything in the Silver membership
● 2 15 minute one on one coaching calls with Jenny each month
Trainings everyone talks about:
● SEO training with Marye Audet-White
● Mindset and Productivity trainings to revolutionize your business beliefs
● Email Marketing Strategies including how to create a re-engagement sequence, email
list growth strategies, and how to nurture your list into buyers.
● All things Affiliate with Tasha Agruso
● Building relationships with readers AND brands via IG stories
● .. and so much more
Pitch Perfect Pro is the best path for reaching your highest blogging income and the only course you'll ever need to learn how to work confidently with brands.
Pitch Perfect Live is a free 5 day online training event to increase your blogging influence without selling out.
Take Jenny's Master Class and learn what sponsors really want to hear to sign you on the spot.
Launch Pro is the most comprehensive resource to launch your product or service.
Learn how to create a sales funnel that keeps on converting with Jenny's Product Guide, a how to create your own product that sells starter guide.
SEO Training with Marye Audet-White
Next up is my friend Marye. Marye and I bonded over cocktails in a jazz bar at a blogging conference in New Orleans and she is a hoot. I just love this blogging life!
Marye Audet-White is an SEO expert and has been a blogger for over 10 years. She currently has two food blogs, Restless Chipotle and Lowcarb-ology, reaching over 750,000 readers and fans. The author of over 10 cookbooks including one that spent a week on the NYTimes Best Seller list, Marye is also the Food Editor for Texas Living Magazine, and has over 900 keywords on the first page of Google search. Whew! That's quite a resume!
I've learned so much about SEO and Google Analytics by taking Marye's courses and joining her Own It Darling Membership Group and Facebook Group where she does live webinars, answers your questions and shares her wealth of knowledge. I've found my home in Marye's membership group that's filled with like-minded entrepreneurial women.
Marye offers several courses focusing on SEO, keywords and a deep dive into google analytics. Mary asks "Are you ready to finally own SEO and push your website through the glass ceiling like Charlie and Mr. Wonka smashed through the factory roof? Of course you are! Learn SEO in short, understandable lessons AND have fun doing it - I promise."
Click though my affiliate link and check out Marye's courses. Trust me, you'll be happy you did!
Best Ever Backdrops
Are you looking for surfaces that will make your photos gorgeous? Surfaces that are high-quality, affordable, lightweight and 100% waterproof?
Then look no further because my friend Barbara, creator of Best Ever Backdrops, has you covered with backdrops that are all that....and more!
And I have a coupon code for 15% off your purchase just for you! Simply add the coupon code SWIRLS15 when you place your order over at Best Ever Backdrops.
Best Ever Backdrops are:
- 100% waterproof
- amazingly lightweight
- completely stain resistant
- durable and long-lasting
- easy to clean
- high quality
- made of 1/8" thick rigid substrate
- virtually indestructible
Are you sometimes on the go too? These backdrops are so lightweight that you can carry carry them and shoot anywhere. How convenient is that?
Best Ever Backdrops are proudly Made in the USA.
All of the products on their web site include FREE SHIPPING (amazing, right?) within the 48 contiguous states and ship within 24-48 hours.
And even better, nothing is ever out of stock and nothing is ever out of style.
So hop on over to Best Ever Backdrops for the most amazing, life-changing backdrops. Don't forget to use SWIRLS15 as your coupon code for 15% off!
Tailwind for Pinterest Scheduling
Life became so much easier and I saved so much time once I signed up for my Tailwind account! I just schedule my pins for Pinterest through Tailwind. What a game changer!
I created board lists and schedule the pins to go out in intervals so the same pin isn't going out to several boards at the same time. You have no idea how this has cut down on the time I used to spend doing all of this manually. And there are so many other features that you will love about Tailwind.
PicMonkey for Creating Graphics and Editing Images
PicMonkey, an online photo editing and design service, is my go-to when creating collages, editing images and designing graphics.
You too can easily create beautiful photos, logos, social media graphics and even Facebook covers with the graphic design and photo editing software available to you in PicMonkey!
Just click on my affiliate link and subscribe for up to $20 off your subscription! I know you'll love it as much as I do!
FloDesk Email Discount
So, you don't own your Facebook followers list.
You don't own your Instagram followers list.
You don't own your Twitter followers list.
And did you know that if any social platforms shut down you won't have access to any of those followers again?
And that is why you need to grow your very own email list! Because you own your email list!
And what better way to do that than with FloDesk at the same monthly rate no matter how many people are on your list! Say what? That's right! You can have an unlimited list of email addresses all for the same price. And FloDesk has beautiful templates to design your emails and newsletters. Sign up with my FloDesk affiliate link and get 50% off!
Peak Source Hosting
If you are looking for an all in one platform to use for your Blog, look no further than Peak Source Hosting! They offer flat-rate, affordable hosting packages. No up-sells and no surprise rate increases! They cater to bloggers and the blogging industry.
In addition to cloud hosting packages, they also offer top of line technical services for site optimizations, image optimizations, Malware removal and so much more!
Peak Source Hosting offers site design, logo design, and graphic design for that perfectly customized site you always wanted!
When it came time to give Swirls of Flavor a face lift, Peak Source Hosting did a fabulous job. Kristin at Peak Source first helped me to select complimentary colors for the look I wanted to achieve. She then changed over my colors and font and also redesigned my logo with a new tag line and colors. She offered amazing suggestions and input into my new design and implemented all that I asked for. Kristin is a pleasure to work with, talented, knowledgeable and creative. I couldn't be happier with the results and I wholeheartedly recommend Peak Source Hosting for all your blogging design needs.
Their team offers one on one Blog Coaching, Branding, Blog Project Management and Marketing Project Management. Do you need help building or managing your Social Media presence? They do that too! They are truly your one-stop shop for all of your Blogging needs.
Blogging Planner with Brandi Jordan
Brandi is the creator and designer of the Blogging Brain Book Planner that I just love using to keep me organized and on track with my blogging schedule.
The Blogging Brain Book Planner includes 675 pages of planner goodness. It features everything you need to plan your blogging editorial calendar for an entire year.
Plan yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily to optimize your time and make sure you're reaching the goals you have for your blogging business this year.
With Brandi's Blogging Brain Book Planner you can:
- keep track of affiliates with the Affiliate Tracking Sheet
- plan out your monthly posts
- have a plan from idea to publish for each blog post with the Blog Post Planning Pages
- keep track of your social media and blog statistics month-by-month and over the course of the year
- plan out videos with the Video Planning Sheets and Video Script Template
- create daily productivity plans to stay on track
- find ideas for writing when you feel stuck
- and so much more!
Food Styling with Denise Vivaldo
Denise Vivaldo has been a food stylist, author and culinary producer for 30 years and is well known in the industry as a top expert in the field. Denise has worked with so many famous people that I can't even begin to name everyone but can I mention Michael Douglas, Suzanne Somers, Muriel Hemingway and Ellen DeGeneres, just to name drop a few!
Denise's latest book, The Food Stylist's Handbook, that she co-authored with Cindie Flannigan, is my go-to reference book for all food styling tips, tricks and secrets of the trade. If you want to be a master food stylist and showcase your recipes on your blog, then The Food Stylist's Handbook is essential! I actually gave a food styling presentation at a blogging retreat recently and my copy of The Food Stylist's Handbook was a major part of my presentation with it's invaluable illustrations, photography and wealth of information. I was so happy to have Denise and Cindie "with me" for my demonstration.
A classically trained chef, Denise founded Food Fanatics in 1988, a catering, recipe-development, and food-styling firm based in Los Angeles, California. In 2012 Denise rebranded her company as the Denise Vivaldo Group.
As a consultant, food stylist, and culinary producer, Denise has helped with numerous television productions, infomercials, food manufacturers, grocery stores chains, restaurants, publishers, authors and celebrities with their projects and products.
Denise is a popular contributing blogger to the Huffington Post as well as her own blog, Denise Vivaldo Blogs. She also teaches food styling, catering and cooking classes and workshops in a multitude of locations across the country and internationally. She has been a featured guest expert on many television shows ans now has a food podcast with Diane Worthington called Women Beyond A Certain Age and it's a hoot!