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Get Grammarly

9 Feb

Affiliate links ahoy!

Do you want to talk real good like your teachers learned you? Well with Grammarly, you can.

Grammarly Logo

Grammarly is your online writing coach, and with free and paid versions, there’s one that’s perfect just for you. You just upload your copy and Grammarly will check for errors and point out corrections. It’s obviously a valuable service for writers and bloggers, but I think everyone should have a free account to keep handy. You never know when you’ll have an important email or note that you want to double check!

So what’s the difference between the free and paid versions? I’m so glad you asked.

In the free version, you’ll get access to Grammarly Editor, Grammarly browser extension, and Grammarly for desktop. They will each check for spelling mistakes and contextual errors, as well as 150 types of grammatical mistakes. They will also help you identify wordiness and vocabulary mistakes.

With a Premium subscription, you’ll get all of that, plus Grammarly for MS Office, vocabulary improvement, plagiarism detection, and more than 250 types of grammatical mistakes identified and corrected.

Plans start at $11.66 per month, and can be billed monthly, quarterly, or annually. So you can pick the term that works for you! You’ll also get a seven day money-back guarantee on all Premium subscriptions, so you can test out the new features before you commit.

I would suggest starting with a free plan so you can see what your needs are, how you use the service, and whether or not you need the Premium services.

Grammarly also has a fantastic library of writing resources for any project you’re working on, large or small. Be sure to bookmark that, because they’re always adding new things!

Get Started With Pinterest Ads!

12 Jan

Last weekend I was in Vegas to lead a Type-A Vegas Mastermind Bootcamp roundtable on Pinterest ads. I always loving participating in Type-A events because they really draw amazing bloggers. And of course I love speaking, about anything really, but especially about Pinterest ads.

You see, Pinterest ads have become a bit of a passion point of mine. I feel like I’m always extolling their virtues and value. Seriously, they are the best value and deliver better ROI than any other social ads.

Why are they so effective? Because when you choose to optimize for clicks to your website, you only pay for clicks to your website. That means that if people repin your content, you don’t pay! Repinned content lives on Pinterest forever and is discoverable in search, by the person who repinned, and all of their followers. Your pin will continue to be discovered – and clicked – long after your paid ad campaign ends.

For the first campaign that I did, I promoted one pin and optimized for traffic to my site. In a one week period I spent $3.96, got 17,384 impressions, 18 repins, and 51 clicks to my site. From those clicks I earned $19.21 in Amazon affiliate sales. That’s a 385% ROI!!!

But instead of listening to me, you can see for yourself.

Pinterest Ads 1-2-3

A lot of people told me that they didn’t know Pinterest had ads, or that they didn’t know where to start. So here’s where you start. I put together two printable worksheets for you. In Pinterest Ads 1-2-3 you’ll get a step by step guide to setting up Pinterest ads, complete with screenshots. It will help you decide which post you should promote, craft the right pin and description, and of course, walk you through the process of setting up an ad campaign.

I also created the Pinterest Ads Checklist, a free download that’s exactly what it sounds like, a checklist to help you from ideation to final tracking to make sure that you get the most out of your Pinterest ads campaign.

Make sure your Pinterest Ads campaign is set up for success from start to finish!


Learn everything you need to get started with Pinterest ads TODAY! This is great for bloggers, small business owners, or anyone looking to maximize their success on Pinterest!


My hope with both of these documents is that they inspire you to try Pinterest ads. Throw $5 at a test campaign to see what happens! I really think that once you try them, they’ll become an integral part of your marketing mix.

And just for the record, I make $0 from the fine folks at Pinterest for saying this. They don’t even have an affiliate program that I could use to sign you up for ads. I just really really love them.

And a note: I’m using a new plugin to offer these downloads and I don’t know if I’ve got all the kinks worked out. If you have any trouble, please shoot me an email at Thank you!

#CallMeCaitlyn in Real Time

2 Jun

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, and probably even then, you’ve seen the Vanity Fair cover featuring Caitlyn Jenner.

I saw the cover this morning, and watched the news break across social media. It was an interesting look at how news spreads in real time. Here’s what I experienced watching my personal feeds.

9:15am – The cover hit Twitter, and Twitter lost its collective mind. Caitlyn Jenner was immediately trending
9:45am – The peak of Twitter conversation, she was the only topic in my stream
10am – Started seeing some posts on Facebook, mostly shares of the same Vanity Fair article. Caitlyn wasn’t trending yet
12:30pm – My Twitter stream back to normal, with a few lingering tweets about Caitlyn mixed in with the usual chatter. Facebook was back to showing me yesterday’s posts about Game of Thrones and the other usual stuff.
5:30pm – (Yes, I know that’s a big gap. I was at work, after all.) I was still seeing trickling tweets and commentary in my Twitter stream, but nada on Facebook, though Caitlyn Jenner was the top trending topic on both platforms.

A few other things I noticed:

Instagram was strong all day, with showing more than 30,000 posts with the #CallMeCaitlyn hashtag as of 8:45pm.

Caitlyn’s Twitter account was verified by 9:15am, and she got 1 million followers in 4 hours. I was watching the growth in the morning – coworkers kept shouting, “How many does she have now?” as we all refreshed – and it was like nothing I’ve seen before. Every time I hit refresh she had another 100,000 followers.

Variety has a nice piece that shows some other growth stats for Caitlyn Jenner’s social profiles.

So why should anyone care? Well, because it’s an interesting look at how new breaks, and it reiterated a lot of what I already knew to be true. So where should you (and your brand) be when news breaks? Twitter.

Twitter is for news, trending topics, and conversation in and about the NOW. Even if you’re not participating, it’s crucial to listen so you know what’s breaking in the immediate. Where did the Boston Marathon bombing news first hit? Twitter. Being there and keeping an ear to the ground for breaking news can help you avoid seeming tone deaf or out of touch.

Facebook is for evergreen content that will be relevant in 20 hours when it shows up in your friends’ feeds. We’ve all seen brands (and Facebook itself) try to use Facebook as a real time platform, and it just doesn’t work. I think we’ll be seeing a lot about Caitlyn on Facebook as the week unfolds, but it’s not the platform for breaking news.

Instagram is a bit of an odd duck, in that I wouldn’t turn there for conversation, but it’s an important platform (especially with a younger demographic) where people turn to show their support. In other breaking news situations it would be more relevant – think developing “on the ground” stories like natural disasters, revolutions, and other cases where people closest to the story would have unique or exclusive visual access.

And while I’ve got you all here, lemme just grab my soapbox right quick. Because I’ve seen some people asking if we should be talking about how hot Caitlyn Jenner is. And I think we absolutely should be.

In April, we all cried watching Bruce Jenner on 20/20. We cheered his bravery and honesty. We had important conversations about acceptance and living your truth.

Today, we celebrate with Caitlyn. We cheer her (amazing) new figure, admire her hair, and talk about her dresses. Welcome to womanhood, Caitlyn.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to focus on her looks. Because she’s still the same brave, honest, athletic, compassionate person we’ve always known. Her outsides have changed, so we’re going to talk about that and celebrate that. And I hope she gets to wear all the chipped nail polish she wants.

Weekly Round Up – 2/27/15

27 Feb

Well we’ve made it through another week, another month, and we’re one step closer to summer! Here’s some cool stuff I found this week:


Women writers, mark your calendars for March 28 and 29 at UCLA because BinderCon is coming to LA! If you’re a woman writer, join this symposium get tools, connections, and strategies to advance your career.

Cute or Not

Is your pet cute? Of course. Is your pet as cute as Teddy? Debatable. But if you like cute pets, you’re gonna love BuzzFeed’s new app, Cute or Not. Download, swipe left or right, and rate some pets! (Teddy is racking up the cute points all over the place. I’m very proud.)

Constance Wu

If you’re not watching Fresh Off the Boat you’re missing one of the best comedic performances on television. Wu’s Jessica comes really close to making up for ABC cancelling Trophy Wife and taking Diane away from me. Jessica is amazing; she’s straight baller.


Shiny object! I haven’t really had a chance to play with Tweepi yet, but it looks promising. It lets you see which inactive accounts you’re following, who you follow and doesn’t follow you, who follows you and you’re not following, and find new people to follow. If you’ve used it, let me know how you like it!

Scary Mommy Thanksgiving

3 Nov

Every year at this time I participate in one of my favorite charity drives – Scary Mommy Thanksgiving.

This project started in 2011, when Jill noticed that people in the Scary Mommy Confessional weren’t able to provide Thanksgiving for their families. She did some research and found that the average Thanksgiving meal costs $50, so she asked readers to send $25 grocery gift cards, and she would match two readers to each family in need. I was thrilled to participate, and I don’t think anyone could have foreseen the enormity of what we were able to accomplish as a community. In the three years that Jill has been running Scary Mommy Thanksgiving, more than 4,500 families have been helped.

It is my honor to provide a Thanksgiving meal for at least one family every year. This year alone an additional 1,095 families have been helped.

But there are still more than 1,000 families on the wait list. They’re waiting for you.

A $50 donation will buy Thanksgiving for one family. You can give more to help multiple families, or less and be grouped with other donations to help. Every dollar counts. Donate here, and if that link doesn’t work, you can follow the PayPal link on Scary Mommy.

You can also read my Very Scary Thanksgiving post from last year, where I talk about why I love the gift card aspect of this project.

And if you’re feeling socially inclined, Jill has created some great graphics for you to share on Facebook, Pinterest, your blog, whatever. You can grab the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving buttons from Jill’s site.

Every year, the Thanksgiving project has helped more families than the previous year. Let’s keep that trend going.