I’ve bought my first DSLR camera

2014.01 Canon P1080033I finally made the plunge and bought a DSLR camera. In fact, I bought a kit with a lot of accessories and pretty much everything I am going to need to get started. I opted for the Canon Rebel T5i. I have heard good things and it’s considered to be a good entry-level DSLR.

Now all I have to do is learn everything I can about it.

Coincidentally, the Digital Photography School’s website has Your First DSLR – now what?! in their current articles. That’s good timing.

Their tips include:

  • Get off Auto as a soon as possible and start shooting on Manual mode
  • Understand the terms ISO, shutter speed and aperture and how to use them
  • your camera manual is your second best friend

They do emphasize that you have to take your camera everywhere, practice a lot and not be afraid of making mistakes. I anticipate I’ll be doing that a lot… at least I hope I will.

You are warned that I’m probably going to start posting a lot more info on photography and cameras.

Even though I’ve upgraded to a DSLR camera, I do believe that I’m keeping my point and shoot camera. It fits very nicely in my purse and I like the convenience of it.


Marketing Tools: 29 Powerful Tools for a Social Media Marketer (infographic)

Courtesy of: RazorSocial





Having trouble viewing this infographic? Check out the original!


When to send your email

2013.11 email-256-blackWant to know what the best times are to send your email campaign? According to Vertical Response:

Unique open rates averaged 21.7% from 8pm to 11:59pm and 17.6% for 12am to 4am. Moreover, this late night group was more likely to click through, with open rates of 4.2% and 3.2%.

In addition,

…emails sent on Mondays had the highest ROI, but emails sent on Friday had a higher click through rate…

You need to read the article. It includes some good insights into the need to test your email and the move to mobile.

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Source: The Surprisingly Best Times to Send Your Email Marketing Campaigns || Vertical Response



Pinterest Contest Guidelines

2013.11 pinterest-256-blackPinterest has updated its contest guidelines. For those of you who use this social network, Donna DeClemente has a great post on Lipsticking detailing what the changes are. Of particular interest:

As always if you do use Pinterest as part of a contest or sweepstakes, you are responsible for making sure it complies with all legal requirements. This includes writing the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements, etc. This is where we can assist many of our clients to make sure they are in compliance.

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Resource: Pinterest Updates its Contest Guidelines || Lipsticking


Instagram Direct

Instagram unveiled Instagram Direct, a new function that lets you send photos and videos privately to one person or a group of up to 15 people. This is similar to Facebook’s Messages in that it allows everyone in the group to see each others messages and responses.

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Suggested Resource: The Readability Test Tool

Want to see if your writing is readable? Check out the Readability Test Tool. It…

…provides a quick and easy way to test the readability of your work. It is the most flexible readability software for assessing readability formulas.

You can test all, or part of a web page, or simply type in your text. Link directly from your page – it will compute the results for the referring page.

You can use it at


Clean your blog for the new year

2013.11 wordpress-256-blackThe end of the year is a good time to look at your blog and make a few changes, “winter cleaning,” to improve the experience for your readers. Tanea recommends these six things to do:

  • Deactivate and uninstall any WordPress plugins that you’re not using.
  • Remove unnecessary items from your sidebar.
  • Stay consistent with your use of colors, fonts, elements and picture sizes.
  • Narrow down your post categories.
  • Try to clean up the content of your blog.
  • And, of course, you can always have your blog redesigned.

Most of these are easy fixes, and at least two of them made my personal list for this site (and others).

Do you have any others to recommend?

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Source: 6 ways to freshen up your blog | tanea



wordpress-256-blackDo you host your blog with WordPress has a great online resource with instructions on how to set up your blog, set up a theme and even how to go mobile. Get started with “Get Started.”

Of particular interest is the part about setting up your public profile and gravatar. This is how you can determine the photo that shows up next to your name when you comment on others’ blogs.

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RESOURCE: Learn || Get Started


Create a Social Media Marketing Plan

Need to create a social media marketing plan? Here are two articles with steps and tips to help you out.

Your Social Media Marketing Plan in 5 Easy Steps || ClickZ

  1. Create Your Executive Overview Business Plan.
  2. Define Your Specific Social Media Goals.
  3. Find Your SMM Voice.
  4. Choosing Your Social Tools Appropriately.
  5. Plan & Execute Content & Delivery.

Five Tips to Reshape your Social Media Plan || David Lee King

  1. Focus on Conversations.
  2. Focus on the Visual.
  3. Focus on Video.
  4. Focus on Next Steps.
  5. Focus on your Customers!

The most important thing mentioned? GOALS! If you don’t have goals in your plan, then it’s worthless. And they need to be SMART goals:

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  • Assignable – specify who will do it.
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related — specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Teens prefer Twitter

twitter-256-blackTeens are leaving Facebook in droves, or so I keep reading. Where are they going? Twitter, apparently. After being absent from the social network for the first years of its meteoric rise to the top tier of social media, Teens are now embracing it:

Twitter is the new king of teens, with 26% naming it as their “most important” social site. Only 23% said Facebook was most important, down from a high of 42%.

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