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May 29, 2009

Connecting with WBO Bloggers

Why are women business owners adding blogging to their workloads? Well, we're always looking for ways to connect with people. Here are three blogging WBOs who are members of the Central Iowa Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-CI) and insights on how they use blogging to benefit their businesses and lives.

6a00d83453ad4169e200e55006e56d8834-150wi Kathy Towner of Win Communications in Des Moines was excited to see me blogging, something she's been doing since late in 2005. She's inspired to add links on her Web site to the blogs of other women business owners. So don't be shy about coming forward; comment here to promote your blog or post links to the WBO blogs you read. We can share a lot of "been there, done that" business knowledge this way. 

Kathy started blogging to establish herself as an expert in Internet marketing and permission-based e-mail publishing. One impressive result of her efforts: Kathy has improved her search results on Google. Her blog is purely professional and serves as a resource center for tips and ideas on e-mail marketing programs. When she's making a presentation to get new business, Kathy frequently responds to potential customer questions by simply pulling up her blog and showing them the answers. She lets her work (not just her verbal sell strategies) speak to the depth of her knowledge. And when someone e-mails her a question, she can frequently save the time it takes to craft a meaningful response by simply referring them to a specific blog post. Kathy's favorite recent post is a strategy for social media marketing.  

Pic_cindy When Cindy Helgason, owner of ten-year-old Soapourri Natural Bath & Body, LLC, isn't handcrafting glycerin soaps, her hands might be found on the keyboard. Cindy has been blogging for two years and says it's a "good way to communicate with my customers and others about my products, my life, my city and more." She's run contests and polls on her blog. 

Last November 17 she got tired of fearful media reports and depressing conversations about the economy. So Cindy wrote a "good news" blog, asking readers to post something positive going on in their lives. She rewarded them with a low priced "economic stimulus/good news soap" in a sugar and spice fragrance. She's posted a few times about personalized soaps she's made (one with a picture of five hearts, each topped with "I love you" in a different language). A picture was worth a thousand words: that post resulted in a lot of orders from people who came across her blog post while searching for personalized soaps. 

Sandy062007 Sandy Renshaw, Purple Wren, started blogging in mid-2006 after attending a blogging conference. Her Web site and static pages grew from her blog. She uses blogging to express herself and finds that she's not only expanding her thinking, but her world. Sandy's attended SOBCon (Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference -- tagline: Biz School for Bloggers) to learn as well as meet bloggers in person. Sandy blogged on arounddesmoines.com and then purchased the site. She's collaborated on two books with other bloggers and has also designed book covers, logos, and Powerpoint presentations for other bloggers. 

Sandy, who also does live blogs from local events, is big on using visuals and has urged me to add more photos (so I did and maybe one of these days you'll find videos -- talk about a demanding learning curve). Her Wordless Wednesday posts are photos she finds to share. One of her favorite posts--with words--is about creating a treasure map of your goals


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