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Facebook Advertising 101: Ad Formats & Placements

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Words of Advice | No Comments

When it comes to running Facebook ads, it’s important to choose the best type of ad for your campaign’s specific goals. In Part 2 of my series on Facebook Advertising, I’ll go into the different types of ad formats and placements available for your advertising campaign. Check out Part 1 for a recap on the different types of Facebook ad objectives.

Ad Formats

A Facebook ad format is the way your ad is presented creatively. Each ad objective has different ad formats you can choose from, and not all ad formats are available for all ad objectives.

Different Types of Ad Formats

  • Video Ads– Best used for awareness and consideration ads; videos uploaded natively to Facebook receive 30% more views!
  • Photo Ads- Ads used with photos of your product or company; always use high-res images
  • Slideshow Ads– Upload your own or use photos to create one- you can also add music and text overlay- make sure the first photo in the slideshow is the best to capture your audience’s attention
  • Carousel Ads– Format that shows a number of “cards,” each with a different image and the ability to link to a different destination
  • Canvas AdsFacebook calls canvas ads a “full-screen ad experiences built for bringing brands and products to life on mobile.” They are interactive, fully-immersive ads that eliminate the need to go off the app for information by combining photos, videos, GIFs, text, and CTA buttons, it delivers what some call a “microsite-like experience” that allows people to click, scroll, swipe, and tap to engage with brands right on the Facebook platform.
  • Dynamic Product Ads- Connected to a site’s product catalog, they automatically promote products to people who have expressed interest on your website, in your app or elsewhere on the internet. You upload your product catalog and set up your campaign once, and it continues finding the right people for the right product for as long as you want. (only available in Product Catalog Sales objective)

Ad Placements

Types: Mobile and Desktop News Feed, Right Column, Instagram, and Audience Network (third party mobile app and mobile websites

Recommendations: When running an ad, use all ad placements (unless image or copy isn’t optimized for Instagram) and monitor the performance of each ad placement

 

2 years as a Genie

Being a Genie Just Got 2x Sweeter

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, Words of Advice | No Comments

Time flies when you’re having fun! As cliché as it sounds, this is genuinely how I feel about my time at Gossip Genie. As of this month, I have now been here for two (yep, count ‘em!) whole years. Two offices, two job titles, two annual Cubs games, two (beautiful) Libermans, and ‘two’ many Happy Hours to remember later, I have experienced so much good during my Genie days.

Anybody who knows me well (even people who don’t know me well, honestly – I’m talking high school acquaintances and friends of friends) is well aware of the fact that I love my job. I talk about it constantly in-person and online because I’m fortunate enough to enjoy what I do day in and day out. Over the years, I’ve picked up quite a few life lessons that are going to stick with me for the long haul.

Practice What You Preach

2 years as a Genie

Social media builds your brand. Social media keeps you connected. Social media is a game-changer.

These are all things I tell my clients, and all things I truly believe. During my two years, I’ve seen what social media is capable of. For big and small goals alike, social is a roadmap to achieving them successfully.

Because I know how powerful of a tool it is, I take my personal social seriously. I started building my reputation on LinkedIn by sharing valuable content and making meaningful connections (you yourself are a brand too, you know!), and I’m dabbling with the idea of starting a blog of my own as a creative outlet. I stay up-to-date on the exciting happenings in the lives of my friends and family on Facebook and constantly check Twitter for the day’s trending news stories (pro tip: find the latest Chicago news, national news, and social media news in my Lists – @kristinaknap).

Never Stop Learning

Ahhh, I cannot express how much I have learned to roll with the punches over the past two years!

Social media is the most wonderfully and infuriatingly dynamic industry there is. Right when I really know how to work a platform’s algorithm or rock a blog post, guidelines and rules change at the drop of a hat. While this sounds exhausting, it’s also one of my very favorite parts of my job. It means I constantly have new things to learn, new puzzles to crack, and new hacks to figure out – so long boredom!

As Gossip Genie grows, so does our list of services. Since I’ve been here, we’ve added four more snazzy options to our bag of tricks: photography, videography, blogger outreach, and social media audits. I LOVE having not only the opportunity but the encouragement to be involved in this. It keeps me on my toes!

Your Coworkers Can Be Your Best Friends

2 years as a Genie

The Gossip Genie team is such a stone-cold pack of weirdos, and I could not be more proud (a Bridesmaids quote in this post was inevitable)!

No, on a very serious note, the people I have the honor of working with every day are a major, major reason that I love my job so much. We are constantly building each other up and pushing each other to reach our full potential. We never stop laughing and make time to hang out outside of the office. All of these factors make for one kickass and unique work environment! I can’t express how refreshing it is to work with people who just.. get it. They understand work-life balance and are always ready to pick you up when you’re down.

Adventure Is Out There

2 years as a Genie

New experiences are the spice of life and at GG, I always have plenty of them! Whether it’s flying off to New York to live cover an event or volunteering with Chicago Cares, GG has provided me with countless opportunities to immerse myself into a brand new adventure.

This holds true in my everyday life too. Sometimes the answer to life’s biggest challenges is just to dive in and take them head on! This past year has been a huge year for me. I got engaged to the most wonderful person in the world, moved out of my childhood home, crossed adopting a shelter dog off my bucket list, invested in a little, blue car, and am becoming a very proud aunt and godmother this month! While navigating all of these major life changes at once is pretty scary, I feel much more comfortable knowing I have such a wonderful support system – in and out of the office.

Be The Best Version of Yourself

2 years as a Genie

Potentially the most important thing I’ve learned from Gossip Genie is to never settle.

Professionally, dreams don’t work unless you do – this is something I’ve taken to heart. It reminds me to keep striving for more and to never cap the ceiling on what I can accomplish with ambition, elbow grease, and a little help from my coworkers. Personally, a motto that always sticks with me is ‘I will live my life sincerely.’ In order to live a life you’re proud of requires becoming a person you’re proud of so never stop working on you.

4 Technology Tips for Long Distance Lovers

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Snapchat, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, What's Trending, Words of Advice | One Comment

55 days, 15 hours, 32 minutes and 20 seconds – that’s the amount of time I have to wait until I can (physically) see my boyfriend again. When you’re in a long distance relationship, time in between visits can pass slower than a three-toed sloth but thanks to technology, there are plenty of ways to stay connected. Being that my boyfriend is from Ireland, standard texting wasn’t an option for us, so I had to do some “research” to find the best methods of communication available. Some were more obvious than others; Facebook messenger, Skype and so on – but there were others, like the Kissenger, that were just downright creepy. After weeding through the muck, there were few apps (some more practical than others) that stood out the most – check out the ones that have worked best for me below. Are there any you’ve used that you would add to this list?

FaceTime/Skype

These two video-sharing services are the most obvious choices of the bunch. Texting is great and all, but nothing compares to seeing your SO’s face when you’re thousands of miles apart. While Skype offers text, voice and video, FaceTime only offers the video capability – but both are great for different reasons. If you’re constantly on the go and would rather use your phone to video chat, FaceTime may be more up your alley. If you want to grab your laptop, sit back and chat, Skype is the app for you. Skype is also available on mobile but if you’re like me and don’t want to clog up your phone space, you can leave it on your desktop. Another cool Skype feature that I’ve recently discovered is that if you need to surf the web or do a little work while you chat, the video stream won’t disappear into the background. Multi-tasking at its finest.

Snapchat

Everyone on God’s green earth knows what Snapchat is – I mean, even my dad has it. Most people use Snapchat to send silly snaps to their friends (all hail the dog filter) or to show everyone what they’re up to. When you’re in a LDR, Snapchat can be super useful to send your boo little snippets of your day that may not be text-worthy. I like to send my boyfriend quick snaps when our dog is being a dingus or when grabbing our favorite take-out (Glaze Teriyaki – try it). Feeling chatty? Users also have the ability to send messages and live video chat.

WhatsApp

If you’re in a trans-Atlantic LDR, pay attention to this one – it’s been my life-saver over the past 2 years. WhatsApp Messenger is a mobile messaging app that allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS, you just need data! WhatsApp also allows you to send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages. Bonus: as long as you have data, you also have the ability to make phone calls through the app. My boyfriend used this many times to call his parents while he was living in Chicago.

PillowTalk

Let me start by saying that I have never, and will never, use this one but I thought that it was interesting enough to give it a shout-out. If you’ve lived with your SO for a while, you know that being apart can affect your sleep schedule. PillowTalk was invented for this exact reason. According to Cool Gadgets, the pillow uses sensors built into elastic bands that are then worn around the chest. The sensors record the wearer’s heartbeat and sends it wirelessly to the partner’s pillow in real time. Doesn’t sound like the most peaceful night of sleep to me but to each their own, right?

“And love is love is love is love.”

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, What's Trending | No Comments

During the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, an unfathomable tragedy occurred in Orlando, Florida. In a senseless act of hatred and violence, a gunman entered popular gay nightclub, Pulse, and opened fire on hundreds of unsuspecting patrons, leaving 49 dead and over 50 critically injured. I, along with others across the world, have been grappling with how to put my feelings into the proper words – anger, sadness, sympathy – how can we even begin to describe the level of astonishment, anguish and sadness that we feel for our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community?

Having friends with so many different beliefs would normally lead me to stay off of social media during a time like this. The pointless, and often severely uneducated, arguments on Facebook and Twitter about gun control, religious beliefs and political beliefs tend to be angry, tacky and overwhelming and are not things I want to see when something so tragic and heartbreaking occurs. I expected to see plenty of this on social media after the devastation that took place at Pulse Nightclub, however, I was surprised and pleased to see nothing but love filling my newsfeed.

Companies, celebrities and regular people have all been using the power of social media to spread positivity during an incredibly dark time. People everywhere have been touched by this tragedy, so I wanted to share a few examples of how social media users across the world are coming together to support members of the LGBT community.

Facebook Profile Picture Frame

As we’ve seen during other significant events, Facebook activated a special frame for users to add to their current profile picture. The phrase ‘We Are Orlando’ with the LGBT flag can be added to any Facebook user’s profile photo to show public support and love for our LGBT family.

Orlando Profile Photo

GoFundMe for Pulse Victims

As word of the situation in Orlando spread, Equality Florida (the largest LGBT rights group in the state), created a GoFundMe fundraiser to support the victims and their families. This fundraiser has been shared hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of times across all social media platforms. The group’s initial fund raising goal of $100,000 was quickly met and surpassed and is now at 3.6 million dollars and rising by the minute. Anyone who wishes to donate can do so here.

Orlando GoFundMe

BuzzFeed posts video showing support from around the world

Countries around the world mourned with Orlando after the violent attack took place on Sunday. From Seoul to Rome to Dallas, people have come together to cry, to sing, to hug and to show the victims that they are not alone. This video has over 3 million views and has been shared over 50,000 times.

PAris

In the wake of devastation and despair, we’ve been able to see a massive outpour of love and support for the victims of this tragedy and for members of the LGBT community through social media. My hope is that this love continues to shine strong and prevail and that it can help provide even a small inkling of hope, love and support to all those who were affected by this unbelievably unfortunate tragedy. My heart is with you all. #WeAreOrlando

“And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.” -Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Potato Pranks & Other Mail-Order Gag Gifts

By | Funny Photos, Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, What's Trending | No Comments

Did you know that you can send someone a potato in the mail? Yeah, like… an actual potato. If you’re a normal human being, there are probably a million questions going through your head right now – the most important being, “Why would you ever send anyone a potato?!” One inside joke later and a long story short – I asked my brother what he wanted for his birthday and in turn, received this weird potato meme. What do you do with that kind of sarcastic response? You open Safari and search, “send someone a potato.” Thanks to Google and Potato Parcel, I was able to have a prank potato in the mail about 5 minutes after receiving my brother’s text (see below).

IMG_3147

To answer your second question – yes, I was just as surprised as you are that you can actually mail someone a potato. Could I have gotten a potato from the store and mailed it myself? Sure, but these people have got it down to a science, so why bother? My little potato prank got me thinking about other prank (or revenge) items that companies will send in the mail for you. Check out some of the hilarious, bizarre and even gross things I found below.

Ship Your Enemies Glitter

shipglitter

Photo via shipyourenemiesglitter.com.

When I saw this my initial thought was, “I could definitely think of worse things to send to an enemy.” I wanted to know how the glitter sending process works, so I watched this YouTube video. Although this company sends self-described “glitter bombs,” the product hardly lives up to the hype. Sure glitter is annoying because it sticks to literally EVERYTHING, but you’re essentially spending $9.99 for a bunch of glitter (that you could’ve paid $3 for at the craft store) to fall out of a piece of paper. On another note; they also sell “farm made horse manure, sprinkled in glitter,” posed as a cupcake and surrounded with toilet paper. I know… what?! Warning: the custom cupcake is NOT edible.

WTF Candles

12654467_959476670814441_7901072678709977252_n

For those with a lighter sense of humor and less hate in your heart, WTF candles are the mail-order gag gift for you. With the appearance of a lovely gift, these candles are actually more of a ticking time bomb. The first few times they’re lit, your victim won’t notice anything unusual. Then one day – BAM! Sweaty gym sock smell all up in your living room. Ranging from “dirty fart” to “stank breath,” these anonymous candles are the gift that keeps on giving. Seriously, they have a 30 hour burn time.

Poop Senders

poopsenders

I’m still having a hard time believing that I just typed that. Poop Senders, the name almost leaves no need for an explanation. Almost. According to their website, this company, “will (anonymously) send your friend or enemy a healthy helping of some of the nastiest, stinkiest, fresh poop packages you have ever seen.” You can even choose from cow, elephant or gorilla poo – lucky you! It appears that this service is in high demand, Poopsenders.com has over 10,000 Facebook fans. Uhm, what?! I guess if you really want to get even with someone, this is your chance.

Note from the editor: What goes around, comes around. Right, JT?

My Top 5 ‘Making a Murderer’ Memes

By | Funny Photos, Gossip Genie Blog, Reality TV, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, What's Trending | No Comments

It’s been exactly one month since Netflix documentary Making a Murderer has aired and I’ve been dying (no pun intended) to write about it since I finished the last episode.* It took me awhile to figure out what angle I wanted to take; Would I talk about the case itself? Focus on the Manitowoc Police Department? Pick apart the verdict? If you wait 8 days, you might find the key to my decision (see what I did there?).

If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, there’s a good chance that talk of this series has been blowing up your newsfeed for the past month. Helloooo, spoiler city! People haven’t been able to wrap their heads around, or talk about, anything else – Seth Meyers created a parody video, Mindy Kaling and Chrissy Teigen were tweeting each other about it, a petition received so many signatures that the White House had to release a statement – this documentary is HUGE right now.

Ultimately, I decided to take the lighthearted route that everyone (with a sense of humor) can enjoy. Regardless of whether you believe that Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are guilty or innocent, I think most people would agree that 97% of the investigation was questionable (coughLieutenantLenkcough). Thanks to some info learned in the documentary, shady characters and the internet, we now have a wonderful variety of Making a Murderer memes to enjoy. From cookies decorated with defense attorneys Dean Strang and Jerry Buting to a Powerball ticket being turned into a funny photo, I’m sharing my 5 favorite Making a Murder memes* below.

1. Probably the most popular meme on my timeline and I still laugh every time I see it.

keys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Regina George vs. the Manitowoc Police Department – GO! (I included two MG memes, you’re welcome).

Mean girls

secrets

3. I feel you, Pauly D.

pauly d

4. Move aside, T.Swift & Co.

squad

5. The definition of an emotional rollercoaster.

progression

*If you haven’t finished (or started) watching the series, I suggest exiting this blog post now. You probably won’t understand it anyway.

*I take no credit for the artistic creation of these awesome memes.

5 Common Misconceptions about Working from Home

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, What's Trending, Words of Advice | No Comments

I have to admit, before I had the ability to work from home two days per week, I scoffed at the idea of it. When I thought of working from home, I thought of people who were, well, essentially lazy – laid around in pajamas, watched TV and napped on and off all day long. A new job and 8 months later, the tables have turned and I’ve realized that my ideas about telecommuting couldn’t have been any more wrong.

Now that I’ve fully embraced the WFH* lifestyle, I occasionally hear comments from family and friends that I used to make. “I forgot you don’t work tomorrow,” or, “You should watch this show while you’re working from home!” and, “It must be nice to not do anything two days a week.” As annoying as these comments are, I try to remember that I was a skeptic once too. Working remotely can seem like a slacker’s paradise if you haven’t gotten the chance to experience it for yourself, but if you ask anyone who telecommutes, they’ll kindly disagree. Check out 5 of the most common misconceptions I’ve experienced when it comes to working from home.

Myth: You get to catch up on your favorite TV shows

Truth: It may seem like telecommuting means plenty of time for TV, movies and video games but the routine at home hardly differs from the one in the office if you want to keep your job. It’s a nice thought, but there is no TV time between the hours of 9 and 5.  

Myth: Working from home is pretty much the same thing as having a day off

Truth: ERRRRRRPPPP! Sorry Jenny, the price is wrong. I have heard this so many times that it’s not even funny. Although you may think that the “working” part of working from home is only implied, I actually tend to get even more work done when I’m telecommuting than I do in the office. I think many other telecommuters would agree.

Myth: You lay in your bed all day with your computer on your stomach and hand in a bag of chips

Truth: While this might work for a few, uhm, select people, I can assure you that this is not the norm. Everyone here at Gossip Genie has a space at home that’s dedicated to our Tuesdays and Thursdays. Having a defined working area helps keep you focused and stay on track with your daily duties.

Untitled design (19)

Myth: You can hang out with your friends all day long

Truth: I love my friends, I really do, but when I’m working the last thing I want to do is be distracted. Before you know it, one hour chatting can turn into three and your work day is shot. Unless your bestie is willing to put you up on their couch when you lose your job because you were too busy socializing, I suggest keeping your friend hang time for after work and the weekends.

Myth: You can cook full meals and have the time to clean the whole house, too!

Truth: If I didn’t prep my lunches on Sunday, I wouldn’t eat at all when I WFH. Time gets away from you which can lead to eating your lunch later than normal and believe me, there’s isn’t time (or energy) to whip up a 5-star meal when you’re in the zone. Cleaning? Forget about it. I’ve literally sat in the same spot all day, only moving a few times to relieve myself.

WARNING: Working from home is not for those who are easily distracted, lazy or love to sleep. Please consult your employer before attempting this approach.

*WFH = working from home

Win Big with Social Media Contests

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, What's Trending, Words of Advice | No Comments

The internet is a beautiful thing, it really is. I mean, did you know that radio stations aren’t the only way that you can win cool contests anymore?! Okay, you probably knew that. If you’re active on social media, you’ve probably seen your friends commenting on, reposting or retweeting, desperately trying to win some kind of contest. Those kind of posts used to drive me INSANE. I always thought, “What’s the point of that?! There’s NO way you’re going to win, a million people are trying to enter!” As soon as I started working for a social media agency, I changed my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I have the worst luck in the world and I STILL haven’t won anything (coughChooseChicagocough), but I decided to let my free flag fly and enter contests out the wazoo. Is it because my friends and coworkers seem to win all of the social media contests ever and I’m jealous? Maybe it is.

I think a lot of companies truly overlook what kind of positive impact running a contest can have for their business. People LOVE free stuff. No one actually knows that they want a Segway tour of Chicago until there’s one at the tip of your fingers, for free! Coffee from iHOP for a year? Didn’t know I wanted it until I could potentially have it, for free! Whether you’re trying to get your audience excited about an upcoming event or just spread general awareness of your product and/or services, contests are the perfect way to do it. Not only do they keep your current fan base engaged but they give you the potential to expand your reach and ultimately grow your fan base. Check out two of my favorite companies who run killer contests in the Chicagoland area (and beyond!):

Choose Chicago: Choose Chicago works hard to show people visiting Chicago the economic benefit of the city and the community. Not only do they help you plan your trip and get around town, but they provide you with maps of the city and show you special deals and events going on around the time of your visit. If you’re wondering, no, I’m not incredibly jealous of the night my friend spent “Sippin’ in the City” courtesy of Choose Chicago, City Winery and Seadog Navy Pier. Keep an eye on their Twitter and Facebook pages for some awesome contests featuring some of the hottest companies in Chicago.

choose

Oberweis/That Burger Joint: Raise your hand if you don’t like ice cream or juicy burgers stacked with cheese, bacon and every other tasty thing you can imagine. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Oberweis and That Burger Joint (TBJ) are both brain children of the Oberweis family and although Oberweis has standalone stores, TBJ only exists in cohabitation with Oberweis stores. Oberweis frequently runs ice cream, milk and other delicious dairy giveaways on their Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram. Most of the time all you have to do is comment with your favorite flavor of ice cream or milk, it’s genius. The same goes for TBJ, sometimes winning a free burger is as easy as clicking retweet.

TBJ contest

If you’re feeling lucky, I suggest checking out the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts of your favorite companies to see if they’re running any cool contests. Who knows, maybe your good fortune is better than mine!

SoulCycling into Social Media

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized, Words of Advice | No Comments

Everyone appreciates good customer service (take notes, Comcast), but what about companies that go above and beyond? I’m talking outstanding customer service before you’re even a customer, customer service. I could only be referring to the wonderful company that cycled its way straight into my heart, SoulCycle.

SoulCycle is a religion, cult, out-of-body experience part dance party, part workout, part therapy and part communal high. It consists of 45 minutes of indoor cycling mixed with full-body workouts and choreography to work your core. There are currently around 46 studios across the country with more to come. Much of the strength of SoulCycle’s brand comes from the personality and magnetism of the instructors and before I even stepped foot into the studio, I found this to be true.

I originally heard about SoulCycle from Stuart (one of my BFFs), who couldn’t stop raving about it after just a few classes. He asked me to go with him and after some passive aggressive attempts, I agreed. I tried a spin class once in college at the local Y, so let’s just say I was less than excited for my ride with SoulCycle (no, I didn’t fall off the bike). I’m not the kind of person who normally buys into the whole positivity mantra stuff so obviously I had my eye roll perfected and ready to go.

I wanted to check out the SC Facebook and Twitter accounts before I booked anything and as soon as I did, I was sold. When the first thing you see is that an instructor’s holding a Lady Gaga or Beyoncé themed ride, it’s kind of hard not to be. SoulCycle’s Twitter account is incredibly informative in a way that gets your attention, making sure to announce which instructor will be doing what ride and including the instructor’s personal handles in each tweet. They’re also constantly interacting with SC fans and customers, answering questions and offering words of encouragement.  The SC Facebook isn’t lacking in this aspect either, they fit all the standard info into a post plus everything else that doesn’t fit into 140 characters. Endless photos of happy SC riders, interactions with instructors, workout inspiration and videos that link to their YouTube channel… You want it? They’ve got it. There are over 91,000 SoulCycle hashtags on Instagram alone.

SAF

It’s 2015 which means that obviously I had to document that I might be riding with SoulCycle, so I took to Twitter and let my fingers fly. Next thing I knew, my friend was retweeting me and @mentioning our soon-to-be instructor, Devin. If I hadn’t been convinced that I wanted to ride already, Devin was the deciding factor. When I expressed my concerns/excitement, Devin immediately replied to me with a few words of encouragement and a *favorite*. Did I mention that I hadn’t even met him at this point?! I wanted to book another ride before I even had my first, there’s nothing better than someone cheering you on before you even take to a task.

Not only is something like this a great move on Devin’s part as an instructor (and human being), but on SoulCycle’s part as a whole. Their employees are incredibly tapped into everything social media, so much so that there’s even a section on their website dedicated to the SC community – featuring blogs about members and instructors, health, music and even fashion. This makes it easy for current and future SoulCyclers to become, and stay, involved in the SC culture. Take a look at any of their social media platforms and you’ll see that SoulCycle is hitting the social media nail right on the head and it sure doesn’t hurt to have employees who absolutely live, breathe and love what they do. Cycle on, SoulCycle – I’ll be seeing you again soon.

Will Blog for $$

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized, What's Trending, Words of Advice | No Comments

I have to admit, before I started working for Gossip Genie, I wasn’t big on blogs. When I say that, I mean that the LiveJournal era is the last time I even attempted to “blog” anything. Don’t get me wrong, I always dreamed of starting my own blog that would eventually take off and obviously make me “famous,” but I was always too lazy to put my thoughts down on cyber paper. It wasn’t until I became professionally immersed in the social media realm that I realized how much of an impact bloggers can have on a product/company. From food to style to travel to architecture, if you can name it, there’s probably a blog dedicated to it.

Most bloggers probably started out blogging because they want to share their knowledge on a subject that they’re passionate about. Isn’t being paid to do what you love everyone’s dream? If you can put your passion into words/photos/creative content and gain an engaged and loyal audience (bigger isn’t always better), companies will see your blog as the perfect platform to promote their product or service. Cue sponsored blog posts. This means that you’re paid to publish a post on your blog, which can either be written by you or by the advertisers. If you’re a super great blogger (which you probably are), the company will give you free reign over what you write – within reason. You can usually tell which posts are sponsored if they include, “This blog post was sponsored by (Name Brand Here).” or hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored. Since bloggers usually have large followings on their other social media platforms, they’ll also share creative photos or posts displaying the product in a cool way. I personally don’t follow many blogs, however, I do follow tons of bloggers on Instagram and Twitter. This is a great way for businesses to extend their reach without constantly shoving heavily branded content down our throats.

Check out two of my favorite Chicago bloggers below and see how they’re doing sponsored posts the right way:

Chicago Food Girl: The word food in this blogger’s name should tell you everything you need to know. Mina Im, the creator of this foodie mastermind, has beautifully crafted one of Chicago’s top food blogs. From cocktails, to taco joints to Noodles & Co., her blog hits all the hot spots around town and she often collaborates with local restaurants to host giveaways. Her sponsored posts are engaging and subtle. I mean honestly, who can say no to an awesome picture of food?!

ChiCityFashion: The perfect mix between fab fashion shots taken in our own beautiful city and well, pretty much all things fashion, Jena Gambaccini has knocked this one out of the park. Scrolling through the home page of this blog, you’ll find tons of enticing content that will leave you clicking through to each post without hesitation. She even provides the direct link to the clothes she models so you don’t have to go searching around the internet and end up with some knockoff that looks like a paper bag.

If blogging is something that’s always been in the back of your mind, it’s not too late to jump on the blogwagon. I’m not promising that you’ll become rich or famous, but sometimes just sharing your passion with others is reward enough. Happy blogging!