Category Archives: Tips + Resources

the blog critique | 11 | The Native New Yawker

The Blog Critique #11: Brand & Engagement Building

It’s been weeks since I critiqued a blog — once again.. my bad, ya’ll. This 2014 Blog Planner, on top of crazy freelance work, has consumed all my time lately. I have quite a few projects & businesses launching for 2014 that I can’t wait to share with you all, including ebooks, webinars and consultation. I’m really trying to turn it up next year and slowly make my way back over into the freelancing lane. I miss working from the privacy of my own apartment in my PJs.

I will tell you all this.. for 2014 I’m working on one-on-one blog critique sessions that will take place over Skype or Google Hangout. I’d do a live critique of your site showing you how a new user navigates your site, pinpoint problem areas and what you can do to fix them, as well as touch on any specific concerns you may have such as getting more engagement from your readers, or how to properly go about monetizing your blog. So stay tuned for that. Make sure you’re subscribe to the blog as I’ll be sending emails out for signs up a few days early. Moving right along.. let’s jump into today’s critique.
Lifestyle Blog

Ariel started her blog as a place where she was ‘testing the water’, voicing her opinions on topics, such as the latest celebrity news. But that got old real fast and she realized she actually can’t stand celebrities. So nowadays her blog focuses more on ‘girl talk’ where she offers the realness with an inspirational twist. She now wants to start using her blog as a platform to offer her services and products and figured her blog could use a critique. Her major concerns dealing with her blog are that it’s not only not visually appealing, but she’s unsure if her brand message is clear.. or if there’s even a brand at all. And, of course she’d like to improve the engagement factor with her audience. She lives for conversations and engagement and just wants to know if there’s anything she can do to turn it up. Well, Ariel.. you’ve come to the right place.

The Good

Despite not being aesthetically stimulated when first arriving on your page, you got all your vital information about the fold. You have all your social networks listed, including G+ (you go, girl!), making it easier for people to follow you. When I actually went to click they links though, it took me to the main pages of the social networks rather than your actual profiles. I can check out your YouTube videos, follow you on Bloglovin’ or find specific articles I want to read from your navigation section. When it comes to the basics of what’s need for a blog, you’ve definitely got that covered so as I say, kudos.

The biggest challenge you’re facing with your blog is the aesthetics, but before I give you some suggestions.. let’s talk about some of your other concerns.

The Concerns

I’m not sure if my brand message is clear.. or if there’s a brand at all.

When it comes to branding, I’ve noticed a common misconception. People think that once they have a site, a name & a logo, they instantly have a brand. Sure, visuals can play a large part in your branding, but that alone doesn’t make a brand–you just have an identity.

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how to increase facebook likes with one simple step

how to increase facebook likes | The Native New Yawker

If you follow me on Twitter, occasionally you’ll see my mini rants about being fed up with Facebook and their constantly-changing algorithms. I had started a Page for The Native New Yawker on Facebook back in June hadn’t had much growth since then. For months, my number of likes remained within the 80’s. Now the low numbers are mostly, if not all.. because of me.

The goal of the Facebook Page is to share design articles, products + useful tidbits, as well as the latest happenings in New York, with my readers. Sometimes I come across awesome things & don’t want to write a full post to share the info. But I wasn’t posting frequently, nor was I promoting the actual page.

Not ready to divorce Facebook just yet, I decided to try a slight change that ended up bumping up my Facebook Likes 17% last week. Finally hit that 100 Like milestone on my Page that was taking me months to achieve. How did I do this? I said, screw design for a second and used the actual Facebook Like Box Social Plugin.

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site share / docracy

Docracy |

Whether you’re a freelance designer, entrepreneur, or blogger, there will come a point in time where you’ll need to provide someone with some type of legal documentation whether it be a contract for a service or a model release form. I used to constantly scour the Internet looking for good contract templates to use. Sometimes I’d get some really good legal documents, sometimes I wouldn’t. Then one day I came across Docracy and having legal documents became the least of my worries.

Docracy is a home for contracts and other legal documents, socially curated by the communities that use them. Their mission is to make these documents freely available for everyone, while in the process making them easier to customize and use. No more shady templates behind a paywall where you click download and just hope for the best. Instead they offer reputable, transparent sources and social proof to help you find something as close as possible to the perfect document.

Free Blog Content Printable Planner

Free Blog Content Printable Planner | The Native New Yawker

Happy Monday, everyone!

I’m extra excited this week as it’s only a three-day work week before my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving! Love gathering with good people over good food sharing good laughs & convos. I wasn’t successful at preparing the house in time to host the dinner this year, but I have been successful at making my life a bit more organized for the New Year approaching.

I have a lot of projects going on and need to be as organized as possible, especially running two blogs. I’m working on a 2014 Blog Planner to keep me a little more on track with my content and I will plan to share that for digital download with you all in the next few weeks. In celebration of a three-day weekend I figured I’d share a free printable blog content planner that you can use to help you with organizing your content. Print as many as you’ll need, get you a binder and you got yourself your own personal Blog Content Planner.

Please note: Some printers, will print black borders on the edges as in PDF — others will print as a black border like shown in above.

Blog Content Planner Download | The Native New Yawker

UPDATE: The 2016 Blog Action Planner is now available for purchase in either digital or hard copy. Order your copy of the 2016 Blog Action Planner today.

What ASOS Can Teach You About Social Media Marketing

What ASOS Can Teach You About Social Media Marketing | The Native New Yawker

Aside from identity design and branding, I’ve started really getting into content marketing and brand strategies, especially on the digital platform. I like studying successful brands and really breaking down their social media strategies and campaigns. By doing this I’m able to better see how I can not only market my businesses, but my clients as well. From time to time I will be doing case studies on some of my favorite successful brands in which I’ll break down some of their brand marketing strategies. What may work for one industry, may not work for the other so I will try to do case studies on a wide variety of brands.

Case Study: ASOS

Today, we’re going to look at one of the most popular UK retail brands, ASOS. ASOS launched as an online retailer in 2000 by entrepreneur duo Nick Robertson & Quentin Griffths. Originally known as ‘As Seen on Screen’, ASOS has grown to become one of the most powerful online fashion & beauty retailers in the world. With over 50,000 products both design and own label, it’s no wonder ASOS is the number one most visited fashion website in the world with some 3.7 million active customers shopping online from 160 countries.

One of the ingredients behind the success of the brand is their powerful use of social media for digital marketing. Social media is at the heart of ASOS, so content is based around their customers’ wants and needs. All their social channels have a clear direction and personality that is consistent across the board. Your message needs to be aimed at your target audience but still reflect your brand image. ASOS, get’s this. Let’s examine the ways ASOS uses social media to their advantage. If you own some form of a stop, you may want to take notes.

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