Monday, April 26, 2010

The Love Powered Economy

Last week was the 140 Characters Conference on Twitter which I wasn't able to attend, however I did catch big chunks of it live on In keeping with Twitter's concept of brevity, the 2-day event played host to an ongoing string of Twitterers, some more well-known than others, who had up to ten minutes to tell their story (see schedule here).

We heard from celebrities like Ivanka Trump, MC Hammer and Anne Curry, as well as 8th graders, dating experts and ex-convicts. It was at times moving, insightful, educational, surprising and funny, but mostly it was, well, a big, fat love fest. There was lots of hugging and plugging of each other. Jeff Pulver, the organizer of the twitfest, titled the event "The Power of Now" but I would rename it to the "Power of Love". So much of what goes on in the Twittersphere has to do with people giving -  their time, their expertise, and giving thanks and recognition to others - often without expecting anything in return.

Jeff spread the love by inviting the Twitterati to speak about how they're making the most out of the tool, and then opening it up for the whole world to see it live online for free on - plus now it's also available for playback on demand. In doing so, he's reaching many more social media fans and giving them very valuable information, while at the same time getting wider exposure for his conference. According to Pulver, there were 1000 people attended in person, but the live broadcast on Ustream added a worldwide audience of 77,728 unique viewers / 128,664 total viewers, and on Twitter, they were also one of the top 10 trending topics of the week.

For those that couldn't be watching it live, you could also follow it on Twitter by entering the hashtag "#140conf" in the search box. That's where attendees like Amy Vernon (@amyvernon) gave us a play-by-play of the whole event, listing all the screen names of the participants and adding interesting quotes as they spoke. More giving! But that's probably why she has almost 20,000 followers.

One of the speakers, Jessica Gottlieb (@jessicagottlieb), ended her speech by prompting people to "give a little bit more than you take to help keep this a magical place", which got me thinking.

Small business owners, myself included, often say - how will I find time to tweet or update my status? In this age of instant gratification, we can't see how the time we spend on social sites will amount to business. If we don't see results right away, then why bother? But actually, when you give, that's when the magical part kicks in. 

Last week I met someone that was graciously offering to introduce me to potential prospects and wanting to do all sorts of things for me, without asking me for anything in return. First I was a little suspect, as any good New Yorker would be, but as we continued our conversations I felt flattered by her kind gestures because it's not often that strangers are so gracious. Secondly it made me want to give back by doing something for her: the "magical" part.

Also taking place last week was Kimora Lee Simmons' 2-hour talk hosted by the Learning Annex here in NY. When an audience member asked her how to get widespread exposure for a line of clothing, Kimora recommended giving products away for free. And the media mogul did the same - everyone in the audience received a free bottle of her latest perfume, Dare Me, which I actually kind of like (it smells a little like Angel by Thierry Mugler). By rewarding her fans - who already love her - with a small gift, they're going to appreciate it that much more and tell others about it, like I'm doing right now.

So for all you small business owners that are still on the fence about giving - whether it's putting in time on the social nets, or giving away free products or services - take a leap of faith. Power up your business with some L-O-V-E. Trust that what you give out will reap rewards. But be smart about it - give strategically.

How good are you at giving? Please share!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

DIY IT: How to Upgrade RAM on Your Desktop

Don't you love it when things sometimes work out? I'm very proud to say that even though I'm not that skilled in IT, I was able to upgrade my desktop's RAM - ALL BY MYSELF. Yes, you heard it right. Little 'ole me took out the scary-looking old memory modules and inserted the scary-looking new ones. But I have to make one admission: although I did do it alone, I had the help of a video tutorial that I found on YouTube, which is below.

My Dell Dimension 3000 desktop has been sloooow as molasses for some time now, and that's after regularly running anti-virus and anti-spyware scans, as well as doing a disc clean. When I bought my computer in 2005 (I know, it's a dinosaur) it came with 512MB of RAM, or memory in it, so I decided that maybe it was time to add a little more to that to speed things up. I started out by calling Dell, who wanted to charge me for the installation. Before plunking down any money I like to check other options so I went to the forums on the website where users were saying how easy it was to do it yourself and how glad they were about upgrading. [Finding things on the Dell site isn't easy, so to save you some time here's what I did: once on the site I entered "dell dimension 3000 ram upgrade" on the search box, which took me to a results page where I clicked on "forums" on the sidebar. There were over 1000 comments which I found very helpful and encouraging.]

After some comparison shopping I found that Dell offered a better deal on memory upgrades than anywhere else, so I placed my order and received it about a week later (that would be today). Looking for some installation guidance I emailed my friend who's an IT wiz, but not hearing back from him (and being the impatient diva that I am) I decided to do a search to see if there were any good "how-to" videos. Well guess what? They're not perfect but I found a couple. Below is the one I liked the best.

Expert Mike Heck goes through it step by step, but here's some additional comments I would add:

  • Opening the side panel - he makes it look simple but I had trouble because the side panel was stuck and wouldn't slide over, so I used a flat screwdriver and a hammer to dislodge it.
  • Inserting the modules - make sure the notch in the middle aligns to the middle notch on the slot, and then push down hard until it clicks into place by itself. I had to do this twice because the first time I closed the clips myself and it didn't work. When I plugged in the power outlet it started beeping and the computer wouldn't start. So I went back and tried again and this time I pushed in harder (they say you have to use 20-30 pounds of force) and it finally clicked on its own. When I plugged in the power outlet there were no beeps and it started beautifully.

That was it! One thing I miss about working for a corporation is being able to call tech support and having someone come over immediately. Now that I have to figure things out for myself I was really jazzed about getting over my fears and successfully upgrading my computer's memory so it can run faster. With the help of a video I mustered up the courage and learned I could do this myself, which is reward in and of I'll be looking for my next D-I-Y IT project!

Do you have any IT projects you feel proud of? Please share!

Related posts:
Are you Protected? Tips on adding anti-virus and backing up your files
Selecting an External Drive

If you liked this post please share it on Facebook, or Twitter or your favorite social sharing tool by clicking below!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Social Media and Back to School

Ah the pleasures of summer...shorts and tank tops, free outdoor concerts, bare feet on dewy grass, lemonade, ice cream and...sales! In August we usually see retailers make their big push for "back to school", but what's different this year is their use of social media in addition to traditional print, TV and online advertising campaigns. Mo Krochmal, journalism professor at Hofstra University and I, inspired by this article, traveled to Herald Square, site of the brand new JCPenney flagship store - its first ever in Manhattan - to cover the story. We wanted to see first hand how big box retailers JCPenney, Staples and OfficeMax are using social media. Facebook fan pages, Twitter and YouTube are big.

Will they be successful? Time will tell, but so far:

JCP Teen on Facebook has doubled its fan size to 17,000 since July 25th, and they're doing a a great job of cross marketing the fan page with a dedicated website where you can actually buy the products, plus they're also running other campaigns linked to concerts and skateboarding.

Staples has a back to school tab on its Facebook page which also links to a matching landing page for shopping. They have a 3 campaigns centered around giving to students in need. The fan base grew by about 4,000 members in the same period but it's hard to tell whether it's all from back to school or just supplies in general because it's all together. I took a quick scan of the latest comments but didn't see any posts from teens, like you see in the JCPenney page.

OfficeMax has no mention of the viral penny prank videos on their website and their Twitter account hasn't been updated frequently, although they do have over 500 followers.

Some points to consider when deciding whether your business should launch a social media campaign:

-Where is your audience? Do they spend time on social networks?

-How can you tie in your other web assets, like your website or blog to the campaign?

-Who will be managing content and moderating the conversations?

-How will you measure success? Is it traffic, sales, engagement?

How are you using social media for your business? Please share!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Future of Media Discussed at NYU Panel

Internet Week is in full swing here in New York this week. There's tons of great events going on, including today's excellent panel on the Future of Media at NYU. Jack Dorsey, Co-founder and Chairman of Twitter (that's him in the suit in the right), was the first to be asked about whether its success is sustainable.

Jack: "Twitter is a success when people use it as a utility, a part of communication, like email, SMS and the telephone. We've seen phases of usage since it was launched. The product is being driven by users and developers. As for making money from it, by creating Twitter we made it possible for people to come up with different ways of using it and building applications for it, so we're treating the business model in the same way - by establishing patterns in usage, and seeing which ones can be monetized."

Patrick Phillips, Founder of I Want Media, moderated the forum, and then asked Jack if Twitter will be a rival to Google in search.

Jack: "There's room for both. It's a discovery engine. Twitter is more for vanity searches (for people to find out about themselves, their company). But it's also about discovering new content, people and things they didn't know about. News trends up on Twitter. The technology makes it very easy to be anywhere and report about it. It's good for "man on the street" accounts. What's missing is the editorial part - a cohesive narrative around the report. We need to bring journalistic integrity to the mass of messages."

Jack says that for news he checks what's trending up on Twitter first then he goes and reads the full story in the New York Times online.

When asked about social media policy, Alan Murray, Deputy Managing Editor at the Wall Street Journal referred to the recent memo that was circulated to employees regarding social networking do's and dont's. "Business and pleasure should not be mixed on Facebook and Twitter, don't talk about sources, but mostly the basic message is don't be stupid."

Bonnie Fuller (above), who resigned last year as EVP and editorial director at American Media and is now launching Bonnie Fuller Media, stayed mum about what her new company will be about. She was also coy about telling the audience how many followers she has on Twitter (4200+). But she felt strongly about there being enough room for multiple sources of news. To illustrate she pointed out that women 24-47 comprise a huge portion of the population and have varying tastes and habits so there's plenty of room for PerezHilton, People or The Enquirer or others (looks like she eyeing this demo, doesn't it?).

The conversation then moved to the future, and Alan said that in 10 years we'll have large Kindles or other electronic devices to deliver the news. Wow, that really sounds like the end of newspapers. I discussed this with fellow blogger and socialista Nichelle Stephens, who I bumped into on my way out. I think it would be great for trees, and of course that means no more inky fingers, but it's a concept that takes a little getting used to. We're kind of already there though. I use my HTC Touch to get news when I'm out and have time to kill. But I have to be somewhere where I can get internet access, so no reading on the subway. And the screen is tiny which makes it hard to read long articles. I guess that's what they'll address with the larger devices, but at home I probably would prefer to flip through the pages of a magazine or newspaper, not sure if I'd use a gadget for that, but ya never know. In the end it's all about changing with the times.

Those were some of the things I found interesting today but if you have about an hour to spare and want to watch the video click here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Samples of My Online Videos for Business

I've talked about the power of online videos before (see "Related Posts" below) and I recently put my money where my mouth is by creating a video for El Museo del Barrio, a museum dedicated to fostering Latin American art. Artists Ruben and Isabel Toledo (he's a talented illustrator and she's designed dresses for the First Lady) offered to teach a class of 10th graders how to paint portraits, and the fruits of their labor were to be auctioned off at El Museo's Gala Benefit last week. I jumped on the bandwagon with my trusted Flip HD Mino videocam and this is what I came up with. All the editing was done with MovieMaker, which is part of the MS Office bundle. It was tons of fun shooting and editing the clip, which is now also featured on El Museo's Facebook page, as well as on YouTube. Take a look and catch the master illustrator in action!

Here's another clip for my client Jennifer Bradford Davis, a fabulous interior designer who created a marvelous table setting for the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Spring Gala at Sotheby's. The tricky part with this shoot was editing with music in the background, but somehow it all worked out. Jennifer looks absolutely beautiful and the table just sparkles.

If you'd like information on how to shoot & edit an online video, or would like me to create one for you, please contact me.

Related posts:

Oct 13, 2008
I recently had the opportunity to speak to Shoba Purushothaman, the CEO of The NewsMarket, a site makes video press releases available to news organizations as well as bloggers to download for free. So say you're writing a post about ...

Quicks way to add video to your website
Feb 22, 2008
They started producing short "how to" videos of models applying make-up, cooking, putting together outfits and doing other things that gorgeous, thin creatures do with their spare time, and it's caught on like wild fire with young girls ...

May 25, 2008
There may be a lot of jewelry stores in New York City, but I recently encountered one that's breaking out of the staid, conservative mold that the industry is known for and testing out new media tools. Located in New York's financial ...

Aug 04, 2008
In this entry on combination exercises they added 5 of Sheryl's videos to go along with the topic of the post. Once you click on the image, a window will pop up with the video. To monetize it further Sheryl is using Google Adsense to ...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Social Media Tools Add Zing to Bling

The Fashion Institute of Technology was buzzing earlier this month when about 100 ladies from the Women's Jewelry Association gathered there for their annual "Women in the Know" Conference. Jane Seymour was the keynote speaker, looking as gorgeous as ever. She was promoting her new Open Hearts collection for Kay Jewelers, but if she could bottle whatever it is she's doing to look so good she'd make millions more than she already has.

I was there to give a presentation on Web 2.0 Tools for Jewelers and talked about how some sites are making the most of social media. (I've added my powerpoint Presentation below). Tiffany & Co. does all its social networking on their Facebook page, which has over 800 fans. Zales and Blue Nile have taken a cue from Amazon and allow customer reviews, while Ross-Simons has 85 product videos on their site, as well as some on their YouTube channel. They're quite pretty but need a little more of a personal touch to make them less "HSN".

Adding a presence on social networking sites is a great way to put your products in front of a whole new audience of people that would not have found you otherwise. Jewelry is a category that's well suited for social engagement and discussion and reviews. However, most companies in the space haven't embraced "new media" quite yet. Individual designers on the other hand, are plentiful on the blogosphere, which makes a lot of sense since blogging does wonders for search engine optimization.

During lunch I chatted with Andzia Chmil, owner of who has a blog where she regularly updates her readers on specials, product information and giveaways. She shared with me the recent success she's had with mommy bloggers.

"We gave away $100 gift certificate. To win people had to go to our site and choose a piece they liked and then go to and write about it. It gave us 700 more unique visitors a day. Our traffic on a slow day is like 500 so when you increase it by 700 more people it's huge for us. Through Google Analytics we saw how many direct buys were coming from the mommy site - people that were so tempted they had to buy something right away. This was over Valentine's Day weekend and it went so well that we're doing another one with Mommy Goggles, which showcases a product a week. They were featuring ladybug jewelry so they showed our pendant & bracelet. It works the same way - people select they piece they like on our site and then write about it on the mommy site."

Holly, Andzia's daughter, added that through BloggyGiveaways, they reached December-level traffic for four days during a time of year that's usually flat for them. For the promotion they paid a nominal fee, plus the products. They also received terrific feedback through comments people left about various designs they carry and the way their website is presented. With the MommyGoggle's contest they just sent the product. They shopped around and reviewed various other blog giveaways, and found these to be the best. "It was very fun, we got our brand and the idea of amber itself out to fresh people we don't normally connect with", says Holly.

Another social media tool Andzia likes is the "Tell a friend" button. "About 10-20% of the people who visit us use it and it's great because you have women pick out things and tell a friend or a relative what to get their girlfriend or wife and you get to see the one they choose. We see what they said to them and then 5-10 minutes later the order comes in, and it's from a different IP address so you know it's working," explains the jewelry designer.

Additional resources:
Here's a press release with more coverage of the event.

Here's other jewelry related posts I've written:
Using Video to Advertise Your Business
Making Sales with Facebook and Flickr

Like this post? Please digg it, or stumble it or send it to your favorite social networking site by clicking the bookmarking link below.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Honoring Female Photographers on Int'l Women's Day

I'm a huge photography buff. With all the running around I do it's hard to make time to notice the little things, but when I'm confronted with a powerful image, it almost demands that I stop and take a moment to contemplate it for a while, and when I do it brings my mind down from 100 mph to maybe 20. Like taking a relaxing bath. In real life it's impolite to stare at someone, but pictures want us to gaze at them, at our leisure, unhurriedly. Taking a long, hard look and noticing the details that make it special. And that's why I quickly signed up for the panel & slideshow entitled Women In Photography hosted by B&H Photo this past Sunday. It was in honor of the little known (at least here in the US) International Woman's Day, which is March 10th.

There were five fantastic women of all ages presenting their 'best of the best' portfolios. Barbara Bordnick started out as one of the only women fashion photographers in the industry and then went on to do portraits (she did an amazing series of women in jazz which you can find in her site), and nudes, and then - the flowers, which came about as a happy accident when she had to find something to photograph quickly. Wow. Georgia O'Keefe taken to the upteenth level. Heavenly.

Then came Arlene Collins, who contrary to Barbara, does her work outside the studio, in the outdoors, or on location. She showed us some early shots she took of boxers in the Bronx, rodeos in New Jersey (see right - cowboys in the Garden State - who knew?), and later the Middle East and New Guinea.

She was followed by Jill Enfield, who specializes in hand coloring photographs (like the one on the left), and Scout Tufankjian, who followed Barak Obama on the campaign trail and was able to document all the different ways that people responded to the candidate.

Kate Engelbrecht came last. She started out shooting weddings and then moved on to family documentaries, or still photo essays that tell "a day in the life" of a family. Looking to move into a new direction, she recently created The Girl Project, to chronicle what it's like to be a young women in today's world. Her goal is to get 5,000 girls to participate so that she can compile a book and then do a traveling show. At first she sent out emails to her friends and family asking them if they knew and teenage girls for the project. Sadly she only got back two replies. But then she created a Facebook page and it went viral. (I have to include at least one element of social media in my posts, and here it is!).

Kate sends out disposable cameras to whoever signs up and then she uploads them onto the TGP site. Some of the girls also get interviewed on the TGP blog and the pictures also get posted on the TGP Flikr page. The images really tell a story. They give us an inside peek at how teenage girls see themselves, and Kate says she was surprised to find that they're more innocent than they seem. Right now she's bankrolling this all herself, but I can see how this could be a perfect fit for a sponsor. Dove, are you listening?

Kuddos to B&H for setting up such an inspiring event (for free!) , but it's very smart of them to provide photography fans with another way to feed their passion, to learn something and interact with each other, while at the same time visiting the store (and perhaps buying something).

How are you celebrating National Women's Day?

If you like this post please digg it, or stumble it, or Facebook it by clicking the button below.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Art Gets Social with Brooklyn Museum's "tweets of art"

What makes New York City such a creative place to be these days is people extending their online social networks into the offline world. I've never seen so much enthusiasm in the air. Whether it's through Meetup, where so many groups are thriving, or through events like Social Media Week, which was conceived a short 3 weeks ago by Toby Daniels and has turned out to be phenomenal.

The first panel at SMW was all about two of my favorite topics: art & social media. Will Cary, Membership Manager at the Brooklyn Museum talked about how he is testing the social media waters by offering a Twitter feed where followers get "tweets of art" - and organizing events around that. It's part of what they're calling the "first-of-its-kind socially networked membership", and charging $20 a year for it. So far they have about 100 followers.

The museum had noticed there were a lot of people attending their monthly "First Saturday" events, where they allow free entrance from 5-11pm. A lot of visitors would come and view the art but they wouldn't join as members. They also had a huge following through their Facebook page and through Twitter - but those weren't joining either. The question was, "how do we get these people that have an interest in us to want to be more involved?"

The museum's mission is community based, so they tried to set up communities online, like "members only" groups on Facebook and Flickr, but that didn't work. Then a month and a half ago they came up with 1st fans, where if you sign up you get a Twitter "art feed" that features a different contemporary artist every month, exclusively for them. The artists tweet everyday for one month, then on 'First Saturday' they'll show all the art they tweeted, plus a lecture for '1stfans'. An Xiao was the first artist to participate, and she tweeted in morse code (see her video preview here). About 100 supporters have signed up so far.

Through '1stfans' the museum interacts with people that they would otherwise have no access to but who are big supporters of their art. "It's a way to enlist them and offer them a way to have a closer relationship with the museum", explains Will. "We first addressed it through our blog to show them that we're not trying to trick them. It's just something cool we're offering. For those that enjoy what the museum does, this is the next level of involvement. It's what can we do to address their needs", he adds. Which is smart because it's getting to them early in the process and letting them know that they're valued even though they're not full members.

"Artists go through a heavy vetting process. They have to submit a proposal to be considered for this program. They must be consistent with what the museum stands for. Once we review the proposals we then discuss it with the curators and other departments," says Will. '1stfans' don't have a say in picking the artists.

'1stfans' are very active Twitterers and this requires that someone be engaged with them all the time, which basically means Will has no life. But he was the one that came up with the idea so he's passionate about it. The '1stfan' initiative is a philosophy that's carried across all the departments, whether it's technology, membership, or any others - they'll are engaged.

How do you approach a museum's board to get them on board? "It's trust between the museum and the trustees, and the museum and the members. Even though we have no idea of how it will turn out, it's no different from walking into a museum and taking the leap of faith that you will find the art worthwhile. '1stfans' get access to the museum in a new way - we get back to them and answer their questions and comments. Listening to what people have to say is like having checks and balances", Will points out.

For those that are already members, the Twitter art feed is an added benefit. '1stfans' however, don't receive the regular benefits that full members get, like free admission anytime and invites to special exhibits, and store discounts. "It's good we're growing slowly so we get to know the people and let them get to know each other. People don't think of the Twitter feed as a membership. The second '1stfan' event was last weekend and 30 people came. We make the extra effort to educate them about the museum. We want to be sure they know we believe in growing the community and offering them a variety of experiences online and offline", he adds.

Organizations have a tremendous asset: employees that are passionate about what they do. People like Will, who spends nights and weekends answering tweets, and caring about people that right now may only afford $20 but tomorrow might become members or even one day, who knows, platinum donors? He's spreading Brooklyn Museum love to those on the fringes, and making them feel good about being part of the community, which is something advertising can never do. And they're even making a little money from it.

How are you engaging with your community? Blogging and Twitter are some of my favorite ways, so please, connect with me!
Twitter: @mogulette

Monday, February 2, 2009

More tips on How to Blog More Often

I received a great comment from one of my readers in response to my last post on blogging more often, and it had so many useful tips I decided it would be better viewed as a post than as a comment, so here it is...

Great topic, Carmina. I suppose I'm on one extreme of the spectrum; I've made the time to publish 3-5 articles a day while working a full-time job, but at the sacrifice of sleep! Most days I wake up at 4am (sometimes 3:00) and work on my site over several cups of much-needed coffee until I get ready for my "real" job at 7am to be to work by 8:00. After work I usually spend 6:00pm - 11:00pm working on the site, and then am back up at 3 or 4 the next morning.

I just launched - a marketing and advertising blog - at the beginning of January and it's been doing very well, but I'm not sure how much longer my body will survive on 4-5 hours of sleep a night! I'm blessed with an incredibly supportive and understanding girlfriend, but the time I dedicate to the site is most certainly unfair to our relationship.

In my case, I think there are four things that will help restore a little sanity in my life...

1. I've given up blogging on weekends. As much as I'd like to post content 7 days a week, I've found I need weekends to handle site maintenance (advertising, design, etc.) That, and I think my girlfriend would kill me if I didn't have at least some downtime.

2. I've started an editorial calendar, which is basically broken down by date and article categories (marketing, advertising, news, etc.) I use my weekends to spec-out my article ideas for the upcoming week. Sure, things pop up on a daily basis and I tend to modify the schedule on a daily basis, but having a schedule down on paper (er, Excel) helps me stay organized and focused.

3. I can't do it alone. My site is The Daily Anchor; I can't exactly get away with posting weekly or sporadically! I have big goals and high hopes for the site, so I've enlisted a few friends and colleagues of mine to help develop content. I'm still developing 80% of the content myself, but even if 1 out of 4 articles a day is by a contributing editor, that's a HUGE help and a huge time-saver. I have 4 contributing editors right now, and hope to grow this to 10 within the next month.

4. I've scaled back my expectations. Even though I knew it from the start, quality matters more than quantity, and I'd rather post 2 GREAT articles a day than bust my hump to produce

5. Last night I took a rare break from the blog to go out to dinner and a show with my girlfriend and her mom, and fell asleep as soon as we got home. I woke up at 4:00 per usual, but instead of racing to publish 4 stories I decided to write just 1, and am darn happy with how it turned out.

I'm still cutting my teeth on this blogging thing, and have yet to set a schedule that properly balances productivity, health, and "real life," but I'm learning as I go. Thanks for another great post.

All the best,


Thanks Andrew, and keep up the good work!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Get On A Daily Schedule To Blog More Often

Do you wish you could "up" your blogging frequency? Unfortunately writing daily is not an easy habit to put in place for many of us (including, ah-hem, yours truly). “How do I find the time?” is the main complaint I hear from people that attend my blogging workshops.

My client, Moira Collins, seems to have figured it out. She publishes a post every other day on her blog, Kiddie Star Signs. She says it has really helped to bring traffic to her main website, where she offers astrological charts for children. So I was curious to find out how she does it.

Moira says she was initially inspired by her close friend, cartoonist Nicole Hollander, who has to have a cartoon ready every day for her syndicated comic strip, Sylvia. "Even if she goes on vacation she always has a backlog of cartoons ready, so that's the model I followed", explains Moira.

Every morning while sipping coffee Moira checks Google news and other entertainment sources, like celebrity baby blogs and People Magazine, to get ideas on what to write about. Once she decides on a topic she gathers all the elements she'll need later on. "I'm often writing two posts at once - one for the next day and one for 2 days from now. I do the initial work on the astrological chart I will make reference to, and then decide what pages on my website to link to," she adds.

If, for example, she reads that Nicole Richie and Joel Madden are getting married on their daughter's birthday, she makes sure to have Harlow's chart and a link to an earlier post she wrote about her ready so she can easily include it in her new post. Then when the news actually breaks she has the post ready to go. “Forbes did a list of top celebrity babies so I have all those charts and the charts of their parents on file for when I need them.” She also takes notes on the sources for the quotes and photos she will use and get related links, then she decides on labels & titles

Moira says that since she's had the blog, traffic on has grown tremendously, and visitors stay longer. "Once they get to the website people spend a lot more time there because there's more content to browse through", she adds.

By posting regularly Moira was picked up by Astrodispatch, a big astrology clearinghouse. Then Molly Hall at, who has written about a couple of times in the past, put the Kiddie Star Signs blog on her "best astrology blogs" list and linked to one of the posts on Ethan Hawke's baby.

“If bigger sites hadn't referenced me I wouldn't be encouraged to continue writing as often because I’m very busy. You continue writing because you realize that's what your peers read,” Moira points out.

Here's Moira's blogging schedule:

  • She publishes a post every other day but writes everyday so she has posts in the pipeline. If something bigger comes up she’ll put aside what she's prepared in advance and features the breaking news first.

  • She dedicates between 1/2 hour to 45 min. on average per day to her blog. If it’s a tricky post she'll spend an hour on it.

  • She spends an extra hour a week researching.

  • She tends to write short posts.

  • She publishes her posts in the morning. To stay on track she'll do research for the 2nd post before publishing the one for that day.

  • If there's nothing going on or she doesn't feel creative, she won't write. It's more interesting to give it a break or wait for inspiration to come the next day.

My friend and fellow social media enthusiast BL Ochman just wrote an entry on her blog interviewing marketing guru Seth Godin about why he decided to start posting daily. Check it out.

What are your challenges when it comes to blogging more often? Please share!

PS - Above is a slideshow of Moira's adorable astrologically-themed designs. They've just been selected for the new Flip HD & Mino. Congrats Moira!