Listening To My Market & Launching a New Membership Site

We’ve heard a lot of buzz about membership sites over the last year.  For awhile it was ‘the’ topic in the internet marketing world, but that’s not why I’m talking about it.  I’m not a ”latest thing’ marketer. Actually, I’ve been running membership sites for over five years now.  social-blogger

Today, I’m pleased to launch a new one.

Blog Internship was developed as a direct response to my readers, listeners and mailing list subscribers who have been keenly interested in how I work with my blogging interns at Mom’s Talk Network.

In my internship, I take brand new bloggers and teach them the basics of social networking and successful blogging.  Week by week they learn new habits and strategies and put them into practice on my blog network. They get feedback and constructive critique on their writing and blog formatting. They learn how to make relevant, natural affiliate recommendations that help to monetize the content. They give me ten hours a week and in return I give them coaching and access to my learning resources.  Basically, it’s a super sized barter agreement.  We both give, we both get. [Read more…]

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From the Interns: Sherra’s Favorite Sparkplugging Posts

Just three favorite Sparkplugging posts? I knew Kelly’s request would be tough since I had been bookmarking favorites in my Google Reader for well over a year.

I saw a distinct pattern in the almost two dozen I had starred (bookmarked). I love the list compilation posts because I have enjoyed and trusted Wendy Piersall’s opinions, advice and hard work for well over a year.

As a work-at-home mom, I especially love when someone has done the legwork and research and put it all in one place. These three posts gave me loads of great information and places to read and connect and learn even more…

  1. Top 10 internet business ideas you can start and run in your underwear
  2. 15 niche affiliate programs perfect for mom and dad bloggers
  3. 18 amazing articles to help you work at home

Sparkplugging often feels like a virtual assistant – they do the work for us and hand us great ideas and resources right when we need them most. Thanks Wendy and Kelly for pointing us in the right direction with so much great content!

Follow Sherra on Twitter: @SherraLife

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10 Influential Mom Bloggers

There are many influential mom bloggers in the blogosphere, which made narrowing my list down to ten, a tremendous challenge. I decided to focus on bloggers that inspire and encourage me to hold steady no matter how rough the waters get. I hope they inspire you as well.

Jennifer James
www.mommytoomag.com
If you are mom blogger than you probably know Jennifer from the largest directory for mom bloggers, mombloggersclub.com. In fact signing up for her website opened up a lot of doors for me. I found most of my blogging friends through mombloggersclub.com. She is an amazing multi-tasker. Not only does she operate mombloggersclub.com, but she also created TheMomSalon.com, MommyToo.com and NAAHA.com.  She has been featured and quoted in a variety of magazines and newspapers. Looking at what she has achieved motivates me to stay the course and continue with my goals.

Maria T Bailey
www.mariabailey.com
You may know Maria from her most recent ventures Newbaby.com and MomTV.com, however she is also the host of Mom Talk Radio, founder of BlueSuitMom.com, CEO of BSM Media, and a National TV Talk Show Host on Lifetime. Maria has over a decade of experience studying the behaviors of moms and being a mom of four further validates her expertise. She has written several books on marketing to moms, her most recent book Mom 3.0 is a valuable resource for anyone interested in marketing to moms.

Beth Feldman
www.rolemommy.com
Beth is the president of Roll Mommy and overseas all of the online content from reviews to interviews. Her mission for Role Mommy is inspiring – helping your children realize their hopes and dreams doesn’t mean you have to give up your own. As a mother of two children I was quickly wrapped up into the role of “mommy” and lost myself in the process. However as I started blog and meet other influential moms the “me” started to uncoil and I began to set goals and plans for myself.

Allison Worthington
www.mrsfussypants.com
Another great influential mom blogger who makes multi-tasking look easy. She maintains her own blog mrsfussypants.com and is also the founder of Blissfully Domestic, co-host of the Blissdom Conference and founder of Worthington Wire. Did I mention she is also a mom to 5 boys? Need I say more?

Tiffany Washko
www.tiffanywashko.com
Tiffany is an avid environmentalist, a freelance writer, newspaper journalist, internet marketer and mother. Her primary focus is on natural lifestyle and green living. She also owns Bento Lunch Box a site I love to look at while imagining to prepare my own lunch before grabbing something at the closest food chain. Like me, she is always thinking of new ways to bring multiple streams of income into the family. It’s great to see someone else achieving the goals I’m striving for.

Jen Singer
www.mommasaid.net
Her website MommaSaid.net launched in 2003 and is now a virtual community bringing in thousands of faithful visitors around the world. Her goal was to create a community for moms on the brink of desperation can go to laugh and linger.  She has been quoted in a variety of newspapers and magazines and has appeared on several television shows. In 2005, MamaSaid.net received the Forbes Best of the Web designation for Parenting Blogs.  If you are looking for parenting advice MommaSaid.net is a great resource. Look for MomaSaid parenting books this fall.

Cindy Rushton
www.cindyrushton.com
An influential Christian blogger who provides information on marriage, mothering, or homeschooling. Her goal is to encourage and inspire moms to follow their calling in life.

Jessica Smith
www.jessicaknows.com
Who hasn’t heard of JessicaKnows.com? While she doesn’t promote herself as a mom blogger she influences and inspires me every day. I hope to build a recognizable brand for myself like she has done with JessicaKnows.com. Last year I participated in her Rock Your Blog coaching and learned so much during those sessions and still talk to many of the participants today.

Tara Crooks
www.taracrooks.com
Most known for her blog Army Wife Network and Army Wife Talk Radio show has motivated and influenced others to follow their dreams and reach their goals. You will often find her speaking and writing about military life.

Kelly Mccausey
www.kellymccausey.com
It only seems fitting to include Kelly in my list of influential mom bloggers, after all I wouldn’t be writing this post if it wasn’t for her. In the five weeks I’ve been interning at Sparkplugging.com I’ve learned to explore controversial topics, balance my time, and investigate other business opportunities.

While it is impossible for me to include EVERY blog that has influenced me. I would love to know what mom blogger influenced you today.

My name is Stephanie Elie and I am a transitional entrepreneur and mother of two children under the age of four. I am the editor of BizzieMommy.com and was recently listed in the Power Moms 50 list by Neilson Online.

Follow Stephanie on Twitter: @BizzieMommy

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Does Popularity Equal Powerful Influence?

influencepicI have to admit when Kelly asked me to write this post I was a bit uneasy and nervous about discussing such a sensitive topic. I must have written the article a dozen times before getting to this draft.

I feel obligated to say that I was never the “popular” girl in school, my blog does not bring in thousands of visitors a day and my Twitter and Facebook numbers are not the highest around. However a couple of weeks ago my blog showed up on Nielson’s Power 50 Mom Influencer List and I was floored and excited until I started to hear the negative comments about the list.

Some people were saying they just picked the most popular moms, the moms with the highest twitter followers or the moms that post every day on their blogs.

I was shocked to read a post by one blogger, “It makes me crazy when I see mediocre writers who get more time in the spotlight then they deserve because they know a lot of SEO tricks or market themselves incessantly while fabulous writers are dismissed as lacking influence.”

She even went so far to say that race was a factor in the decision making. [Read more…]

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FREE Word Press Training For Building Your New Website.

Discover how easy it is to build your own website using Word Press. We will show you how to set it up, upload it to the server, change the design, add new pages, change the post and so much more…. FREE!

Watch the FREE demonstration video below. Then, complete the form under the video so we can send you an email to attend our next live training! Don’t worry, if you can’t make it because of your schedule or time zone. We will send you the recorded webinar for you to watch when you have time. -Thanks Gene Culver – Sparkplugging.com




<a href="https://secure.blueoctane.net//forms/XU7L5JGDND9Z">Click Here To Load This Formexperts.com Form</a>

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Sometimes it’s All About Mommies

There’s lots of great mom links I wanted to share with you today ::

For the latest on the Steak ‘n Shake fiasco with them refusing service to DeafMom, here’s Karen’s report on her meeting with them, which started out with them saying, “We believe in admitting when we make mistakes and learning from them.” Still no apology from the CEO, but a great start.

Joe over at Working at Home on the Internet shot me a note about a work at home eBay selling mom who has gotten into some serious trouble with her local authorities – to the tune of ten. million. dollars. I am hoping along with Joe that Mary Jo Pletz gets in touch with him to offer her side of the story.

And if you are feeling lonely and want to get MORE of your Mommy fix, please check out Char’s updated Where the Moms are Online and this recent list of the best mom social networking sites. NICE.

And lastly, this has nothing to do with moms, dads, or parenting, but it’s dang cool. A group of SEOs have put some leverage into place to meet their new years resolutions of dropping some pounds. It’s a fight to the death to the skinny jeans and all proceeds are going to charity!

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The 10 Most Influential Dads in the Blogosphere

In the last few months, some excellent lists of women bloggers have been published. There’s The W List, David Peralty’s 15 Amazing Women in Blogging, Pat Doyle’s A Short List of Fantastic Women Bloggers, and the Mother’s Day Central list of the Top 100 Mom Blogs.

One of the things I have also seen each time are people questioning why these women’s lists exist in the first place – and isn’t it discriminatory? Honestly, I don’t believe that it is – just as it isn’t really discriminatory to not be named to the Top 10 Blogs in Midwest Region if you live in Alabama, or getting left off the Top 10 CEO Blogs when you aren’t a CEO.

At the same time, I do believe there is a shortage of excellent lists featuring great men. I mean a list that highlights great guys doing great things – period. So here is my list of the most accomplished and influential blogging eDads, in no particular order:

Mark Frauenfelder :: BoingBoing

Mark co-founded BoingBoing.net back in 2000 as an extension the print magazine bOING bOING that he published with his wife in 1988. The success and influence of BoingBoing.net speaks for itself, being in the top 5 blogs on the internet for a very, very long time. But Mark’s extra-cool fatherly accomplishments include being an extremely talented illustrator and the author of a science experiment book for kids called The Mad Professor.

Scobleizer as Dad - Image Credit Thomas HawkRobert Scoble :: Scobleizer

Robert’s first well-known influential blog was written when he blogged for Microsoft from 2003-2006. One of his notable contributions to the blogging medium was the transparency with which he wrote, including criticizing Microsoft and at times praising their competitors Apple and Google. He’s also been vocal as an activist, or I should say, “non-vocal” as he took a week off of writing to support Kathy Sierra when she quit blogging due to the death threats made against her. He is currently VP of Media Development with the startup PodTech, though soon to be leaving to join FastCompany.

Guy Kawasaki :: How to Change the World

Guy is the legendary Apple Evangelist turned VC hero. He’s written 8 books, has 4 children, and is the current Managing Director of Garage Technologies, a venture capital firm and that makes direct investments in early-stage technology companies. He’s also funny, humble, competitive, and a great speaker – which I was able to witness first hand when I met him at Elite Retreat earlier this year.

Darren Rowse - Dad & ProBloggerDarren Rowse :: ProBlogger

Darren is one of the most visible individuals in the blogosphere, and it’s not surprising why. His blog ProBlogger is the most read & authoritative resource for making money from blogging. He’s also one of the co-founders of the b5media blog network, one of the largest blog networks in existence. Read a recent interview with him on balancing work and family life in a home office on Dad Balance.

Brian Clark :: CopyBlogger

Brian is arguably one of the most talented writers in the blogosphere, period. It could be because he used to be an attorney, or perhaps he’s just plain good – but his blog CopyBlogger skyrocketed to success in just a few months’ time and it’s only gotten more successful since then. He recently rolled out his own training program called Teaching Sells. CopyBlogger was also recently named the #1 blog for writers for the second year in a row.

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga & Aristotle Markos Moulitsas Zúniga :: DailyKos

Markos, or “Kos“, founded Daily Kos as a reaction to the beginning of the Iraq War in 2002. Whether or not you agree with his activist views, his influence as a political blogger is huge, with Jimmy Carter, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi all posting diaries to his site. He’s also been named to the top 100 Most Influential Hispanics and his blog has been now spun off into a yearly political convention called Netroots Nation.

Frank Warren :: PostSecret

Frank started PostSecret as a community art project – people sent in anonymous postcard secrets and confessions to be published online and in a book format. Little did he realize that this artistic endeavor would change lives, save lives, and become four books. But most importantly, the PostSecret project also received a special award from the National Mental Health Association for raising awareness and funds for suicide prevention.

Leo Babauta :: Zen Habits

Leo is living proof that any parent can achieve anything. With 6 kids, in the last 3 years he has quit smoking, become a marathon runner, began waking early, got organized, became a vegan, doubled his income, wrote a novel, nearly eliminated his debt, lost 30 pounds, keeps his inbox empty and his desk clean (o.m.g.), and keeps his house clean all of the time (got any brothers for our wannabe eMoms, Leo?!). He says that some readers ask about his ‘qualifications’ to write Zen Habits. With a ‘resume’ like this, I can only say to them, “Qualifications, SCHMALIFICATIONS!”. :)

The Shoemoney FamilyJeremy Schoemaker :: Shoemoney

Jeremy acts as inspiration to hundreds of thousands of visitors every month – not just with his big $132,994 AdSense checks, but also with his occasional personal posts about being thankful for his family, his experience with Duodenal Switch weight loss surgery, and with his rags to riches story. Shoemoney is the real deal, even offering an eMoms reader free consulting when I ran a contest earlier this year to celebrate my one-year blog anniversary. Jeremy leads by example and it shows.

Jeffrey Zeldman :: A List Apart

Jeffrey was one of the pioneers of web design, publishing online tutorials as early as 1995. In 1998 he co-founded the Web Standards Project as well as started his flagship blog A List Apart. Today he still runs his web design firm HappyCog and has taken to the road running An Event Apart, a traveling road show teaching web design around the U.S. The event is billed as “Not your father’s web conference”… but I’ll have to beg to differ, because being on a list of completely cool dads like this, who wouldn’t want to learn from these fathers?!

If you liked this post, you might also like The Top Ten Hottest Moms in Search Engine Marketing.

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