StumbleUpon for Beginners

One of the most frequent questions that we get asked is: how do I generate traffic?

We believe so strongly in community, so our number one is response is to build your social community and focus on SEO (search engine optimization), and watch your traffic grow. SEO  should always be your #1 traffic source. But, utilizing ALL the resources available to you is super important, and this is where StumbleUpon comes in.

If you are not familiar, StumbleUpon is a content discovery platform that allows users to discover content based on category, and is a huge traffic generator for content that is highly ranked – or “thumbs uped.” There are millions of users just waiting to get their hands on new content, which could be yours.

Basic Steps to Effectively Use StumbleUpon

1. Create your StumbleUpon profile, add categories that relate to your blog, and start following other users. The more followers you have, the more powerful your stumbles become.

Stumble Upon

2. Download the StumbleUpon toolbar and start discovering new content with it, as well as your own. It’s great to have StumbleUpon share buttons on your blog as well, but they don’t always work properly, so using the toolbar is always your best option.

3. Invest time. Make sure that each day your are stumbling the web for new content, as well as going to your blog and adding new posts. (Using the Stumble toolbar, you can simply add a new post by clicking on the “thumbs up” button, which will allow you to index the post properly. Always choose a relevant category, add at least 3 tags, and a 1 sentence comment.)

4. Share only evergreen content. If you have a giveaway going on, that’s great – but StumbleUpon isn’t the place to share it. Content that has an expiration date will result in people giving your page a thumbs down, which will dramatically hurt your traffic.

5. Share using the StumbleUpon URL shortener. I know we are so used to using and Hoostsuite for shortening links, but check out their version and share using that from time to time – it will give you more stumble power.

6. If you have a little bit of money to invest, check out their Paid Discovery platform. It’s a great resource for yourself, even if you only have $20 to invest because it brings your content up for users to find on a regular basis and then also provides you with a detailed report of how many thumbs up or thumbs down a specific blog post got. This lets you know what readers enjoy reading the most, so you can create more of it!

7. Join StumbleUpon groups. If you search Facebook, there are many StumbleUpon groups that exist where everyone helps each other stumble new content each day, increasing your chances of getting discovered much, much higher. Keep in mind that most of these groups won’t allow you in unless you have at least 50 followers on this platform, so work on building that number up first.

8. On a personal note, I have found that beauty and recipes tend to do best on this platform.

Happy stumbling!

signature allison


5 Ways to Rock Your About Me Page

A couple of months ago, I had my blog design completely re-done and decided to spring for the customized “about me” page with my designer. I was all of a sudden faced with the questions: what makes for the perfect about page? I know how crucial this is and how brands and PR reps really do click on this tab to learn more. How was I going to market myself to the world, while still be an authentic voice for my readers?

Let’s face it, writing an about me page is tough work, so I turned to my favorite blogging groups to find my answers and quickly realized that no one had them. So, I did the research myself, and here is what I found:

1. Share your story.

Use this opportunity to share your real self with the world and let your personality shine through. Outside of your blog posts, this is where readers and brands alike will first turn when looking for make a connection with you, so think of that with every word that you type. But, keep in mind to be concise, you don’t want an about me page that goes on and on, people will get board. Share just enough, the rest they will click over to your blog posts to learn.

2. Tell people what sets you apart.

There are more blogs in existence than one could sit and count, so use this as an opportunity to include a paragraph telling everyone what makes you different. Are there really cool cooking challenges that you run regularly? Were you the first to accomplish something? Whatever it is, yell it from the rooftops and make sure its included in your about me page!


3. Include links to posts that tell more.

You can’t include every little detail in your about me page, as it needs to be concise content, but I’m sure that you have blog posts that explain in detail more information on certain things you are sharing. Use this as a place to link to those posts so that readers and brands can view information or posts that they might otherwise overlook – all while learning more about YOU!

4. Name drop!

Including some of the major brands you have worked with or major things that you have done are important to both readers and brands alike. It gives readers a bit of a background on the types of products you might be writing about and brands will be interested to measure the brands you have worked with against themselves or their clients. It also lets people know to take you seriously, because you’re a big deal! All jokes aside, there is nothing wrong with doing a little bit of bragging and including a paragraph about your blogging accolades or listing major outlets your writing can be found published on.

5. End with a call to action.

Always, always, always end with a call to action! Whether it be a link to your contact page, sharing your email, or linking to a super important campaign you are running, make sure this is included.

As an added bonus, make sure that your about me page is always updated and in it’s most current state.

We would LOVE to see a link to your “About Me” page and learn a little bit more about you! Head over to our INTRO NYC Facebook Page, give us a like and share you link!

signature allison

Is Blogging Dead? Things Are Changing And So Should You!

Yikes! This is certainly a scary question to even need to entertain, but nonetheless it’s a topic running rampant this week and we wanna jump right in!

First, how could we not all be a little bit scared whenever there have been hushed whispers of this among blogging groups everywhere. Then, Dooce, the original “Mommy Blogger” announced that she’s moving onward an upward onto other things. Gulp.

Fear not our bloggy friends, today I’m here to set the record straight – blogging is NOT dead. Blogging is NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Though, blogging IS EVOLVING. First things first, the blogging market truly is saturated right now. There are new blogs being started each day and the competition is higher. The mysterious “blogging in dying” whispers are stemming from the fact that more blogs exist, less people are subscribing, and conversations that been moved from the comments section of a blog post to social media.

is blogging dead

While this can sound devastating, the exciting part is that there are more readers of blogs now than ever. People are turning to blogs just as much as they turn to major news and media sources. Readers trust our opinions, experiences, and what we have to say – and they want more of it. Here are a few key ways to take advantage of the blogging evolution and emerge on top.

1. Think of yourself as a CEO.

It’s time to be strategic about how you are operating your blog. Since your blog is a business, this makes you the CEO and you need to start thinking like one. A huge change that we are seeing in blogging is that many bloggers are working more creatively with brands and essentially taking on Creative Director type roles as they plan out campaigns to help with growth and exposure. There are so many ways to get involved with brands beyond just writing sponsored content and sounding like an ever-playing commercial.

2. Take advantage of those social media conversations.

Let your readers take the lead. If they want to take their chatter about a blog post of yours to twitter – let them. And while they are chatting, get in there and converse with them. Don’t be afraid that since comments aren’t happening on your blog that brands won’t see them. Brands are watching you everywhere!

3. Get creative!

a beautiful mess

Thank outside the box. For example, what once started as a simple DIY blog, A Beautiful Mess is now one of the most popular apps for adding filters and doodles to pictures. They would have NEVER gotten to where they are today without being creative and listening to what their audience was yearning for. Don’t be afraid to try something new with your audience, you never know how widely it will be accepted.

signature allison

5 Tips For Building an Authentic Community

To be completely honest, one of my personal blogging goals for 2015 has been to build a more authentic community. I entered “the blogesphere” the same way as most of you and read everything that I could get my hands on that showed me how to grow my community  – because it’s all about those big numbers right? WRONG! I did all of those follow threads that helps my social community grow, jumped on the giveaway bandwagon, and then started to panic mid 2014 whenever I started seeing stagnet numbers and no engagement.

Truthfully, we are living in the age of blogging, where there are many blogs that are great and consistently updating and delivering fresh content to their readers. They are our competition. With so many competing blogs, brands are paying much more attention to the levels of engagement that you have, which comes from having a truly authentic community. I have been on a journey since mid-2014 to change this for myself, and here are some tips that will help you do the same.

building a community

1. Find your authentic voice.

Being 100% authentic with your voice is the very first place to start. Think about portraying yourself just as you on the pages of your blog and in your social media posts, not someone else. I think that in many cases, people tend to blog how they hope people will see them and their life, instead of being real and showing their readers who they actually are. Lastly, if you have a team of contributors, an editor, etc, make sure everyone is on the same page and understands how this voice must be consistent and shared.

2. Think about giveaways differently.

Giveaways are obviously a great way to grow our community, but are you actually reaching your community through the giveaways you host? For instance, if you are giving away cold, hard cash, we all know it’s something that everyone loves and will enter to win. You will probably get a huge spike in traffic and they will follow you on all your social media channels, but what happens when the giveaway is over? Will they all unfollow you? Will they ever return to your blog? Probably, if you give away more cash.

If you consistently run giveaways to help build your community, as most of us do, make sure to give away prizes that are aligned with what you blog about and what your audiences comes to you for on a regular basis. Otherwise, these new community members are just dead weight and doing nothing besides bringing your Facebook organic reach down even further.

3. Remember, people are nosy!

I probably don’t need me to remind you of this, but its a fact! People follow you and read your blog because they are interested in what is going on in your life and what you are writing about. If you stop posting personal pictures, only write sponsored content about brands, and write about off topic subjects – you will lose what your readers came to you for. People are nosy and want to know about your life, so give it to them!

4. Show interest in them.

Don’t just make it all about you. Make sure that you create an authentic balance between sharing and reaching out for information about what is going on in their lives. People like to know they matter, and if they are taking time out of their day to read what you are saying, take value in reaching back out to them. I promise that something as simple as asking their opinions or to share a similar experience with you will help turn them into loyal readers.

5. Respond when people comment.

This seems so simple, yet so many bloggers overlook it. We yearn more comments on our blog, facebook posts, and now tweets – so whenever it happens, take that opportunity to engage.

My last tid bit of advice – do what works best for YOU! If you have found a certain blogging method that is working, keep at it! Don’t ever change things just because someone told you to. Everyone grows their audience differently and at various rates.

signature allison

2015 Design Trends in Blogging

Whenever we first begin blogging, our first order of business is to get quality content out to the world, of course. But, it is highly important to learn to develop an artistic eye to put together a blog design that will keep people interested, reading, and clicking allover the place! Each year, there are new design trends that start to become very apparent as we scroll through numerous blog, and it’s important to stay up to date and on trend.

Unique Fonts

Stepping up our typography skills in the INTRO NYC blog!

Stepping up our typography skills in the INTRO NYC blog!

The bloggers who are drawing in the biggest audiences and returning visitors are stepping up their typography skills in 2015! We have all seen the beautiful images on Pinterest that combine different, more unique fonts together as well as different sizing and colors – this is what we should all be doing! It takes some practice, and I promise that I haven’t perfected it either. My suggestion is to spend some time on Pinterest and book mark images you are most drawn to, and try to recreate them for your posts. It will take some extra time, don’t get me wrong – but the reward is great!

Beautiful, Large Images


We all know that photos should be a huge part of your blog posts, it’s what sucks everyone in! We have talked in the past about 5 Ways Photographs Will Make or Break Your Blog, so keep that in mind as your new blogging daily mantra! You can easily use a mixture of personal photos and stock photos, but make sure they are well thought out, and help you tell your story.

Background Video

If you are anything like me, you hear the word “video” and cringe! It’s been a learning curve for me, but I’m trying to make use of the stagnant YouTube Channel that has been sitting around since December of 2014. You just need to take the plunge and dive right in! The trend with video on blogs this year is background video, placed behind stationary text. A great example of this can be found on the airbnb website.

Content Experiences


A blog is obviously a place to share your thoughts with the world, but the trend this year is to visually create content experiences. This is something that is becoming really popular among brands as a way to get their message across and hit people in the heart, but it can easily be done with your blog. How are bloggers creating content experiences? In addition to adding beautiful, huge images to your blog posts, add a simple message to them with text that adds further depth to the image. Hint, hint: these will also translate into highly pinnable images.

signature allison

5 Tips For The Perfect Pitch

What is one thing that you think about everyday whenever you log into you blog? Creating opportunity, of course! We are always looking for ways to take our blogs to the next level, but achieving that is different for everyone. If one of your goals for yourself and your blog is to work with new brands, then you need to have an amazing pitch email ready to go at all times! After all, you never know when a creative moment will strike, and you want to be ready to approach the brand of your dreams at any given moment.

1. Be prepared.

My biggest tip is to make sure that once you have put together a general, yet stellar pitch letter, save it somewhere accessible to you whether you are at home or on the go. You never know when you will need it! Make sure that it is easily editable, so that you are able to update it to flow with the different types of pitches that you are making, but leave room for personalization.

2. Don’t just outline who you are, but what you can do for them.

Let’s face it – there are millions of bloggers on this planet. Whenever you are pitching to a company, give them a very precise few sentences that describes you and your blog, then let a bulk of the email be dedicated to what you can do for them. Brands are ALWAYS looking for new and innovative ideas to present their brand to their demographic, and if you happen to pitch them an offer they can’t refuse, you are golden!

A girl holds a softball on the infield diamond.

3. Showcase your accomplishments.

Take a sentence in your pitch letter to share some of your biggest blogging accomplishments. This is a great opportunity to outline a few of the major brands you have worked with, a major speaking engagement, or how you helped a brand double their twitter following in a month. No matter what it is, sell it!

4. Attach your media kit.

I can’t preach enough the importance of having a media kit that you can attach everywhere, especially when you are pitching to brands. If you are a little lost whenever it comes to media kits and need some guidance, we are hosting a webinar tonight – Creating a Killer Media Kit & Tips For Successful and Organized Bloggers, join us!

Why attach your media kit everywhere? Simply because you never know whenever the brand or PR rep you are pitching to will come back to you, presenting another opportunity. There is always a chance that they will pass on what you are pitching them, but if you make an impact on them through the process, they will come back to you.

5. Always end with a call to action.

Give yourself a sentence to recap what you are seeking from the brand you are pitching, and let them know that you are looking forward to hearing their feedback. If there is a certain date that you need a response by, share that information at this time. This closing detail will help them just as much as it helps you – promise!

Meet the Blogger: Betsy V

Meet Betsy V – the blogger behind her self-named blog, Betsy-V. Betsy started blogging in 2012 soon after her daughter was born in order to keep some sort of sanity and share the conversations in her head with anyone and everyone! With a passion for acting, vlogging was a natural next step, her YouTube channel is thatsBETSYV. Betsy V shares product and movie reviews, easy recipes, fashion tips, and life advice along with priceless family moments!

Betsy V

What inspired you to start blogging?

I got tired of talking to myself and my newborn baby two years ago.

Do you blog full time or part time?

Full time.

What makes your blog unique?

I blog about parenting, beauty/fashion, relationships, news and even food. I also have a YouTube channel where I get more personal.

What has been the most successful way to engage with your community?


What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram. It’s visual and easy to skim through.

What is your favorite brand to work with and why?


What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written. Why is it your favorite?

Fave recent post –

I love when I can share life and family.

Link to your most popular post.

My favorite place to blog is…

In my couch!

My goal for blogging is…

To continue and share the thoughts that run through my head and inspire others.

My advice for new bloggers is…

Consistency and be honest to yourself.

Follow Betsy V on social media!


Twitter: @Thatsbetsyv

Instagram: @Thatsbetsyv


Meet the Blogger: Valerie Pierre of Mommy R+R

Meet Valerie Pierre – the founder and editor of Mommy R+R. As a 30-something married stay at home mother of 2 toddlers, Valerie fully understands the need for “me time”. As a former corporate event planner, she’s taken her expertise and love of event planning to a whole new level by coordinating fabulous events to provide moms with some much needed R+R!

Mommy RandR Valerie Pierre

What inspired you to start blogging?

My website is a little different from the average mom blog. The primary purpose behind it is to host events for moms that provide them with some much needed ‘me time’. I host wine tastings, work outs and private shopping tours etc. The blog section of Mommy R+R is to promote and bring awareness to businesses that are geared towards mom and families. My inspiration to start Mommy R+R came from my inability to find a women’s group that actively hosted events in my borough. There were plenty of mom and baby groups, that hardly ever met up without their children. I was looking to meet women that I could connect with and forge new friendships and when I didn’t find that I started Mommy R+R.

Do you blog full time or part time?

Currently, I’m part time but I’d like to make it full time. I currently post new content every Wednesday but I would like to get it to the point where I have new content posted at least three times a week.

What makes your blog unique?

What makes my blog unique is that I specialize in coordinating events that are aimed at helping moms feel rejuvenated and recharged. Where other mom blogs may seldom meet up, if at all, my readers know that there will be an event every month.

What has been the most successful way to engage with your community?

Instagram is what joins us! I will post a photo and it gets funny comments or it might lead to a new business connection. It also works in the reverse as well, I love looking through my followers photos. It allows us to virtually be a part of a moment in time in another persons life.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

I love Instagram! Which is quite a change from 2 years ago when I refused to sign up. I love the simplicity of it. It’s allowed me to forge some wonderful personal and business relationships. My least favorite is Pintrest. I can’t quite figure it out, which is crazy because its just like Instagram. I don’t know, its just weird to me. I need to work on it more.

What is your favorite brand to work with and why?

My favorite brand to work with is Jean Alerte. He’s a local speaker, writer and business owner. He owns Brooklyn Swirl (among other successful businesses) in Brooklyn Heights. I hosted an event there with MomCave TV over the summer and he’s just great…and the froyo is fantastic! Jean’s main focus is helping those around him to pursue their dreams. He’s an inspiration. When you meet him you’ll instantly like him and know that he’s the most genuine person that you will ever meet.

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written. Why is it your favorite?

My favorite post is ‘Holiday Traditions’. I’m big on traditions. I love doing the same things with my kids that I used to do as child with my mom. Out of all the traditions the holiday ones are what really make me weepy eyed. It’s a feeling that I can’t explain to see my children get excited at the same things that I used to, from listening to holiday music, to baking cookies and decorating our front door. I also can’t wait to start our own traditions that will add on to what my kids can pass on to their families.

Link to your most popular post.

My most popular post was actually a Kid’s Flea Market event that I hosted back in October. It was an event that allowed families to purge their homes to sell off their kids outgrown and unused clothing, toys, gear etc. It received over a 700 views and was featured in on several websites, including DNAinfo NY. It was such a popular event that I gave it its own website I’ll be hosting 2 more flea markets in 2015.

My favorite place to blog is…

My favorite place is on the train. I’m not blogging per se, but it’s where I gather my thoughts. Despite the noise and commotion around me my thoughts are clear and I can see everything that I need to do within the span of 2 or 3 stops. I use a notepad and a post it app on my phone to keep things organized.

My goal for blogging is…

Because my blog is very new I’m still trying to find my voice and where I want to go with it. But, I know my goal for 2015 is to provide more helpful tips that moms can use to carve out ‘me time’. It’s great that I host events that provide ‘me time’ but now I need to teach moms how to implement it in their everyday lives.

My advice for new bloggers is…

My advice to a new blogger is don’t feel like you have to post every single day as a way to keep up with other bloggers. Don’t insult your readers by publishing rushed posts that don’t really have any depth or meaning behind them. If you have good content and only post twice a month then that’s great! Also, stick to your own voice. Copying others won’t work because people can tell. Be yourself as it will show in your work.

Follow Lauren on social media!


Twitter: @MommyRandR

Instagram: @MommyRandR


Meet the Blogger: Lauren Deneroff of mama{love}

Meet Lauren Deneroff – the founder and editor of mama{love}. She’s a teacher, consultant and city mom of two. Her site is a mix of parenting reviews and New York City recommendations for families. Beyond mama{love}, Lauren does freelance social media consulting and contributes weekly local & national articles to several online publications.


What inspired you to start blogging?

I started mama{love} NYC in April 2013, with the hopes of creating a site where moms can find not only useful parenting information, but also follow me as I chronicle my own journey. The site has evolved from a personal blog to a resource for anything from reviews of the latest products on the baby market to weekly lists of mama must-haves to listings of my favorite places in NYC for families.

Do you blog full time or part time?

Part time. I have been a teacher for a decade, and I continue to love what I do. I work on my blog after the kids go to bed and on weekends.

What makes your blog unique?

I think I combine my personal life along with helpful lists and must-haves so you get a little bit of everything, from kid style to product reviews and giveaways.

When it comes to parenting, I LOVE writing about it all: from pregnancy to preschool. As my own children grow, so does my site, and if it weren’t for them, none of this would exist. You will find photos of my children: Brody, 4 .5 and Harper, 2.5 in every review I post. I write about products from the mom’s perspective, honestly and organically, and everything is “tested” on my little ones in order to do so. I only endorse products I believe in and ones I would purchase for my own family.

What has been the most successful way to engage with your community?

Probably Facebook since it really portrays what my post is about and provides an easy way to get to the blog with links and previews.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

I love Instagram. It is so easy to stay engaged with your readers and partners. The ability to tag companies and brands starts a conversation. I love promoting my posts, while also sharing moments with my children and glimpses into my life as a mom.

What is your favorite brand to work with and why?

I think with every new partnership comes a unique opportunity. I have done several posts in partnership with Aden & Anais, which is one of my favorite baby brands and they are great collaborators. Recently, I worked with Appaman and I loved sharing their looks on my children and got great feedback from the brand, which makes it all worth it to know that I was able to capture their style in my review.

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written. Why is it your favorite?

This past summer, I revamped my kids’ room and this post showed everything that went into it, along with a photo shoot and I love the way it turned out.

Link to your most popular post.

My Google Analytics always has this piece at the top every month, probably because it is such popular search:

For my personal blogs, this one was very well-received about being away from my children:

My favorite place to blog is…

Sitting with my laptop on my couch with a cup of coffee and some great music on while my kids play.

My goal for blogging is…

To just keep putting quality content out there as often as possible without it taking over my life. I enjoy it tremendously, but if it ever began to take too much time away from my family, I would have to pull back. I have seen amazing opportunities come from my commitment to my site and look forward to seeing where it all takes me. Regardless, it is a documentation of my life that I will always have and I am so grateful for that.

My advice for new bloggers is…

Realize that success (whatever that means to you: followers, monetizing, press) comes with lots of time and dedication. You have to work for every single fan, follower and partnership. If you are passionate, people will recognize that and want to share in that.

Follow Lauren on social media!


Twitter: @mamaloveny

Instagram: @mamalovenyc


Meet the Blogger: Jenn Powell of Ever After in the Woods

Meet Jenn Powell – the blogger behind Ever After in the Woods! As her blog says, she’s a city girl living in the middle of the woods trying to remain creative, stylish and frugal for her family!


What inspired you to start blogging?

I was inspired to start blogging because we live in the middle of the woods, literally. There is no traffic light in our town and the nearest malls are 45 minutes away. I love crafts and making recipes and am a stylish city girl and I wanted to remain that way even though I am surrounded by woods. I enjoy sharing my stories, tips and recipes so that others can create the things that I love.

Do you blog full time or part time?

I am a full time art teacher so I guess I blog part time, although it feels like 2 full time jobs!

What makes your blog unique?

My blog is unique because it varies from day to day. I post every day, sometimes it’s beauty and fashion others it’s recipes and DIY. I also blog about fun products that you can find online or traveling with the kids, you never know what you are going to get but know that it is sincere.

What has been the most successful way to engage with your community?

I love running giveaways that use comments as entries. I love to hear what my readers have to say, it usually makes me laugh and smile.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Pinterest is definitely my favorite social media platform. I am a visual person and I love to look at pretty things. Even before I started blogging I would spend hours on weekends perusing Pinterest to look for things that inspire me.

What is your favorite brand to work with and why?

I don’t have a favorite brand to work with yet. But I love creating recipes with products that are sent to me that I can photograph.

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written. Why is it your favorite?

I love this post because I am very proud of how the photos turned out: Vibe Beach Club on Norwegian Breakaway

Link to your most popular post.

The Amazing Zhus Magical Meet-Up – this Season’s New Hot Toy!

My favorite place to blog is…

Sitting in front of my fireplace wrapped in a blanket.

My goal for blogging is…

To continue to learn as much as I can.

My advice for new bloggers is…

Always ask questions, I am astonished by how many people will want to help you.

Follow Jenn on social media!


Twitter: @inthewoodsjenn

Instagram: @everafterinthewoods