Author: Erika Madden

The 5 Reasons You’re Being Ignored On HARO

  |   Business Tips, PR   |   28 Comments

The 5 big reasons your publicity efforts are being ignored by Help A Reporter Out, + how to fix that.

When people first hear about Help A Reporter Out (HARO), they freak.

"You mean I can get quoted in The Huffington Post or CNN with no PR firm or marketing budget? Where has this BEEN all my life?!"

Shortly thereafter they usually embark on a binge emailing session, cranking out response after response to the dozens of journalists' queries landing in their inbox (in full -- yet deeply misguided -- expectation that by the next day they'll be #BreakingTheInternet along with Kim Kardashian).

But after about a month of this, a new reality sets in. And it sounds wayyy different than the first:

"Why are none of my responses being published? Why are reporters not contacting me?! Is this HARO thing a scam or what???"

The problem, of course, is not with Help A Reporter Out.

The problem is with the way people approach the reporters.

So with that, here are the top 5 reasons why people are not getting published on HARO.

Whip out your fanciest pen, my friends; it's time to take some PR 101 notes!
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November Blog Traffic And Income Report: $92.44

  |   Blog Income Report   |   39 Comments

The inaugural Olyvia blog income report for November 2014: $92.44. Watch and learn how to monetize your blog from the beginning!

Be honest. How many times have you asked yourself, "How in the world do I make money with this here blog?!"

All. the. time., right?

In my early years of blogging I was head-over-high-heels enamored with the concept of making money online. The concept seemed so alluring. Just write about whatever and watch the cash pour in?

Sign me UP!

Yet, while there seemed to be a lot of talk of "blog monetization," not many people were openly sharing how they made that money (or how much they actually made).

The only advice people tended to give out was to install Google Adsense ads. Somehow it would bring in hundreds, even thousands, of dollars!

So, I tried it on this little -- and I mean teeny -- personal hobby blog I had.

I made a pitiful 15 cents.

Not surprisingly, I quickly came to the conclusion that making decent money with a blog was outright ridiculous.

But as the blogging community grew and a few more people began to open up their monetization successes and failures, I began to understand the fuller picture of what making an income off a blog really entailed.

I learned that:

1.  nobody begins by making $1,000, $2,000, or $10,000 dollars

2. you need people coming to your blog in order to make any money

3. just relying on one thing usually won't pay the bills (+ daddy said not to put all your eggs in one basket)

4. while it may become easy, passive income eventually, it does take A LOT of work up front



When I started Olyvia, I decided that once I got to the point where I could begin monetizing, I would share the process openly with my readers.

Because A) I want you to learn how to do it for yourself, B) I want you to see a blog income report that starts at the very beginning, not after it's already bringing in thousands of dollars, and C) because I know the accountability will make me work harder. :)

So with that, here is my very...

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Olyvia Works: An Interview with Kirsten Thompson of Sweet Tea And Saving Grace

  |   Olyvia Works   |   22 Comments

Olyvia Works: An interview with Kirsten Thompson of http://sweetteaandsavinggraceblog.com/

Every time I see Kirsten Thompson of Sweet Tea And Saving Grace pop up in my email or on my social media accounts, I am left in the best. mood. ever.

Her combination of southern charm, humility, and plain ole hard work is seriously irresistible!

And that's why it was a no-brainer that I had to feature her on Olyvia Works. :)

Kirsten holds down a full-time job while also working as a Virtual Assistant, running her successful blog, and being wife + mom. (You're already in awe of her, aren't you? I know I am!) In today's interview she shares:

  • Why she walked away from her blog for 6 months
  • What it was like to completely rebrand + tips to make it easier
  • How to avoid (or bounce back from) burnout
  • Tips on monetizing your blog
  • Her best blog organization strategy
  • 3 must-have blog + biz tools


Her stuff is GOOD, so I'm going to stop talking and let her take it away!
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7 Minutes To An Irresistible Opt-In Box

  |   Business Tips, Email Marketing, Olyvia TV, Website Design   |   41 Comments

How to get more email subscribers in 7 minutes or less (a smart video tutorial for bloggers + entrepreneurs)

Today I have one simple question for you.

Do you have an email opt-in box in your sidebar that nobody seems to notice?

Trying to encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter can feel a lot like trying to herd cats, even if you have an excellent free opt-in gift (aka: "lead magnet") that you've spent weeks carefully crafting and designing.

(You hear me, right? I mean, let's be really, completely, 100% honest here. At times growing our email lists can be excrrrrruciating.)

But WHY? What's going on that makes sidebar opt-in forms so notorious for blah performance?

1. First of all, everybody has those little boxes in the sidebar of their website. They’re easy to ignore because they're nearly all the same. Common layout elements condition people to be "opt-in blind."



2. In an effort to be pretty, too many people try to blend the opt-in box into the rest of their theme by choosing neutral colors and making it diminutive. As a result, the opt-in area doesn't compete for anybody's attention. Rather than saying, "Look over here!" it says, "Oh, don't mind me...

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A Guide To Getting Noticed On Pinterest With the Smart Feed + Promoted Pins

  |   Business Tips, Classy Marketing, Olyvia TV, Social Media Marketing   |   43 Comments

How to get noticed on Pinterest: the 411 on the smart feed + promoted pins, and what to put in place to help your blog + business.

We've always considered Pinterest a pretty reliable social network as far as what it takes to get our Pins seen, right?

If you have a good image, write a description with a few keywords + sprinkle of enthusiasm, and post it within a few hours of the mad after-dinner onslaught of your followers coming online while their hubbies turn on EveryNight Football, you're set.

Well, most of the time anyhow!

So, I suspect this is why the recent change in Pinterest's home feed is unsettling to a lot of people.

Oh don't think I haven't heard you grumbling on Twitter. :)

What happened is that -- in a nutshell -- Pinterest decided, "Hey, we think that when people spend time looking at their feed, they want to see the best Pins + the Pins that are most interesting to them! Not just the 62 Pins of beanie hats and miniature porcelain dogs one of their followers put up last night."

You have to admit. They had a point.

And that's why they switched up a whole bunch of things and called it something new: The Smart Feed.

Pinterest's announcement of it was, shall we say, a bit cerebral. (Still love you, Pinterest!) So in today's video I'll lay out the details for you in simple terms. Plus I'm going to show you exactly how you'll need to Pin going forward.

You'll also learn about Promoted Pins and how they can be an added boost to your blog -- and even build your email list! -- all for literally just a few cents.

(Hint: if most of your traffic comes from Pinterest, I think you're really going to lovvvve this part.)

The "official" Table of Contents:

#1 - The new Pinterest Smart Feed and how it affects who sees your pins

#2 - How you should start writing your Pinterest descriptions

#3 - What you need to stop doing with hashtags!

#4 - A full insider’s walkthrough on how to set up a Promoted Pin

WATCH NOW:


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Olyvia Works: An Interview with Regina Anaejionu of ByRegina.com

  |   Olyvia Works   |   68 Comments

Olyvia Works: Regina Anaejionu of byRegina.com

Today's post features the kind + stunning + hilarious Regina Anaejionu, the creative and whip-smart force behind byRegina.com.

In honor of her, I cannot go on without first sharing a short story of how we "met." You'll see why when I'm done.

A couple months before my website even LAUNCHED -- it was nothing more than a humble "coming soon" page -- I was pinning my first things to the Olyvia Pinterest account.

Naturally, like every blogger/business owner on Pinterest, I pinned some of Regina's stuff.

(Because who can resist, right?)

The next thing I know, not only does Regina comment on one of those pins with a delightful thank you, she tells me:

"I love your sweet logo on your website + your great cover photo on Twitter (not a stalker, I promise, just love good design). Can't wait to see the site after it launches."

Here I was with nothing going for me but a few pins, a few tweets, and one lonely website page -- and this woman treated me like I was super cool!

Mind. blown.

I should have known then to expect a lot more out of Regina than I did, but at the time do you think I really expected her to notice my site after it launched?

Nooooo.

But you can guess what happened by now, right?

She did notice.

And not only did she notice, she started telling her followers to check me out.

You and I both know: that's rare. The average person? Well. They just don't do that.

But Regina is not the average person. Not even close.

From that day forward, I knew one thing for sure. She would always have a loyal fan, colleague, and friend in me.

Thank you, Regina, for your extraordinary class, hard work, and generosity. I am proud to share this space with a woman such as yourself.

And now, the interview:
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