Thanks Sugar Jones for inspiring this post.

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Nothing beats a great story that cracks a long lasting smile and opens the floodgates of warm and fuzzy feelings. Emotionally move your audience and you’ll gain access to a very special place in peoples hearts and minds. You’ll be talked about and thought about for days or months. It’s a reward traditionally only film makers and amateurs have been privy too.

Brands are waking up to the fact that to join the conversation in an authentic way – considering people spend hours online, they have to become magical story tellers. A big shift from a century of being clever sales people.

Here are two great brands who’ve mastered the art of emotional story telling:

Nokia’s Honey Story

Hong Kong is a hive city home to more than 7 million people. It’s here among the high rise apartments that product designer Michael Leung has created his own space bringing nature back into the metropolis one box at a time.

Nike Make It Count

A film shot in 10 days by a couple of ad guys who were commissioned by Nike to make a commercial and instead they spent the budget on this epic adventure.

We all know the power of moms and their ability to change the world we live in on a day-to-day basis, but did you know moms are now changing the world through social media?

A recent survey conducted by Burst Media sought to uncover deeper insights regarding audience interaction and uses with social media, as well as how blogs and bloggers can influence the purchasing decisions made by their readers.  The survey found that not only are moms highly active with social media; they also have the largest presence throughout the social web.

Three out of five moms visit their favorite social media sites at least a few times throughout any given day.  Moms are now engaging with family and friends through social media more than ever.

When it comes to “liking” or following their favorite content on social media, the survey showed that moms are the heaviest users of this feature with 70.6% frequently or occasionally liking a brand or product. So, what is the reason for such high numbers? Moms use this feature to gather and share content with their family and friends. They also want to be heard by the brand; therefore 33.3% say they follow brands on social media to share their opinions or comments towards the content.

With such strong statistics showing mom interaction with social media, it should come as no surprise to you that 3 out of 4 moms, or 74.4%, of moms who follow blogs say the mention or promotion of a brand within the context of a blog influences their purchasing decisions.

Moms and their opinions are now more valuable than ever to any given brand. This survey brings a new meaning to the saying, “Mom approved”.

After absolutely falling in love with blogging for a year and realizing it’s a lot of work, Dinah now calls herself a work from home mom instead of a stay at home mom. She originally decided to stay at home to ensure she didn’t miss those first special moments in her baby girl’s life. While being at home, Dinah decided to blog and share her love of creating, repurposing and decorating. She makes it clear that she is a self-proclaimed cheapskate and not a professional designer, decorator, or writer; but you definitely cannot tell from the creative, wonderful projects she puts together.

What inspired you to start your community?

Deciding that I would stay at home with our daughter was a big decision for my husband and me.  I had spent the last decade as a career woman and the switch was difficult, but rewarding.  The DIY Inspired community was simply an outlet for me to express my creativity.  It gave me the structure, control, and adult social interaction, that I craved being a former business owner and educator.

Why is your community meaningful for you?

DIY Inspired is meaningful to me in several different ways.  It’s a passion and now a brand in which I can completely take full ownership.  The validity of followership and new visitors is enough to keep me going.  I enjoy the emails and comments, the “likes” and shares.  I love that I can promote my beliefs in recycling and reuse in a creative way.  I love that I have the power to “publish” the creative genius of my friends, family, and other people whom I believe in.

What do your members value?

I think, and I am completely speculating, that my members appreciate the brand.  They know that they can visit DIY Inspired as truly a one-stop resource for crafts, party ideas, and DIY tutorials.  I think the emphasis on reuse and recycling is a bonus too.  Repurposing is not a new concept by any means, however the competition is low on the web. Also, my members can always rely on me to reply to comments and emails and answer their questions in a timely manner.

What has been your experience engaging with brands in the past? 

I honestly have had nothing but positive experiences engaging with brands.  If I don’t believe in the product, or if the product does not fit my brand, than I don’t accept it.

What are your future goals for your community? 

I am focused on continuing to publish original and useful content. Now that I have spent the last year on building the community, I’d like to “monetize mommy” without compromising the DIY Inspired brand.  Perhaps an eBook is in my future!

How do you feel Linqia can serve your needs? 

Linqia can definitely aide in the future goals I just mentioned.  That’s honestly why I love being a part of Linqia.  It is a fantastic way for me to earn money, by promoting brands I support in my own light.  The platform allows me to be rewarded for expressing my creativity. How much more could you want?

*You can learn more about Dinah on her DIY Inspired blog.

About the Opportunity for Communities:

At Linqia we are on a mission to increase the visibility of quality communities like yours among brands. Through Linqia brands engage with your community by providing you valuable content that’s appealing to your community members. We then recognize and reward you for doing so. If you’d like to register your community to the Linqia platform please fill out this simple form.

Amanda spends her days playing with cars and blocks, changing dirty diapers, kissing boo boos and somewhere and somehow she finds time to shower, get a bite to eat and run her thriving community, Mommy of Two Little Monkeys. She is a loving best friend and wife to her husband and a busy mom to two little children Andrew, age 4 and 20 month old Andrea. Mommy of Two Little Monkey’s is Amanda’s outlet to share both the joys and frustrations of being a parent and to connect with other moms who blog to support each other in the journeys of parenting.

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What inspired you to start your community?

Mommy of Two Little Monkeys was created in 2010 shortly after the birth of our little girl, Andrea. There were a lot of challenges to becoming a mom of two children and my blog was a way for me to connect with other moms, to share my experiences, and to document those special moments of life with my two little ones. After connecting with other mom bloggers, I was introduced to the world of blog hops and product reviews. This new venture grew Mommy of Two Little Monkeys into something I never expected.

Why is your community meaningful for you?

The brands that I have developed relationships with are names that have been used in my house for years, and some are new that I have quickly grown to love. My blog has grown a readership that I have connected very closely with. It’s important to me that I can share honest reviews of products that can help make another family’s life easier and more fulfilling.

What do your members value?

My readers are moms, just like me. They know that they can come to my blog and read my reviews of products that I can stand behind.

What has been your experience engaging with brands in the past?

I have been developing relationships with brands since 2010. I have worked with reps by phone and email on a daily basis, we connect to talk about product review ideas, twitter parties, company contests, and more.

What are your future goals for your community?

I never realized that Mommy of Two Little Monkeys would be what it is today. I’m so excited to have a voice that other moms look to when trying to decide on the best products for their family. I plan to continue building my readership and keep sharing product reviews. Giveaways will always be an addition too, they are great to help widen the awareness of a brand and they give my readers an opportunity to try it in their own home before deciding to purchase.

How do you feel Linqia can serve your needs?

Linqia has become a valuable resource that connects me with brands I trust. The content that is shared with my readers is engaging and has helped create a new level of communication with my readers. I appreciate that Linqia recognizes my community efforts and rewards me for engaging with my readers.

*You can learn more about Amanda on her site at Mommy of Two Little Monkeys.

About the Opportunity for Communities:

At Linqia we are on a mission to increase the visibility of quality communities like yours among brands. Through Linqia brands engage with your community by providing you valuable content that’s appealing to your community members. We then recognize and reward you for doing so. If you’d like to register your community to the Linqia platform please fill out this simple form.

There’s much to love about Heather the creator of Our Kids Mom. Heather met her husband as a 16 year old while working at the local mall’s burger joint. Her husband flipped burgers and Heather worked the cash register. The two are still happily married 24 years later. On her blog at OurKidsMom Heather provides engaging stories about her life in western Missouri. She is 3rd grade teacher turned stay at home mom with four children: Ethan (three years old) Emma (four years old), Joshua (fourteen years old) and Kaytlin (nineteen years old). She spends her free time (aka nap time) blogging about her children, sharing an occasional deal and writing about great products she’s had a chance to try. In this community spotlight we hear from Heather about how it makes her day to open an email from a reader who just won a product that they normally could not afford, and much more.

What inspired you to start your community?

I originally started OurKidsMom so that I had a place to post pictures and little tidbits about the kids for our extended family on the west coast. I didn’t start review blogging for nearly six months. One day I stumbled on a Facebook post from one of my favorite bloggers asking for a few more blogs to join a child themed giveaway hop. I answered her via private message and although I had never done anything like it, they graciously invited me to join them. That group of women encouraged me and gave me a few important pieces of advice that helped launch my relationship with brands.

Why is your community meaningful for you?

I have always been a word of mouth opinion sharer. Having the blog to post my opinion as well as photos to substantiate my thoughts has been an enjoyable experience for me. My readers have come to know that I can be brutally honest when need be but I always try to find the good points in everything as well.

What do your members value?

My members value detailed honesty. I do not and will not promote a product or company I cannot stand behind. My members also know that they can find me on a daily basis to chat on OurKidsMom’s Facebook wall.

What has been your experience engaging with brands in the past?

I have been communicating with brands and their reps on a daily basis for the past (almost) two years. I have been very aware of the storytelling I’ve done with Linqia and enjoy sharing the content.

What are your future goals for your community?

I intend to continue with sharing my thoughts through product reviews and sharing the love with giveaways. It truly makes my day to open an email from a reader who just won a product that they normally could not afford, but will genuinely enjoy. I used to enter giveaways on a daily basis and I clearly remember the excitement of a winning email and love that I can do that for my readers.

How do you feel Linqia can serve your needs?

Linqia allows me to share information about brands I believe in with a little kickback for my efforts. To date, my favorites have been Green Works and Dasani because of their efforts to clean and be green.

*You can learn more about Heather on her Facebook Page.

About the Opportunity for Communities:

At Linqia we are on a mission to increase the visibility of quality communities like yours among brands. Through Linqia brands engage with your community by providing you valuable content that’s appealing to your community members. We then recognize and reward you for doing so. If you’d like to register your community to the Linqia platform please fill out this simple form.



Because of the growth of the “link buying economy,” where companies’ entire business models are based on paid links that affect search engine rankings, Google launched “no-follow” back in 2005. While “no-follow” is not a new phenomenon it’s still important for sites like Pinterest who adhere to no-follow walking down the path of sites like Flickr and Wikipedia.

Here’s what it looks like:

The opposite of a no-follow blog is a “do-follow” blog that allows any link-backs in the comments section of the blog. The benefit of having a do-follow blog is you may get more comments from other bloggers looking to increase their page rank says blogger Jaspreet Chahal. He says that bloggers often seek out these blogs in particular and there are lists of strictly do-follow blogs. If you have a do-follow blog you will attract more comments–but possibly from commenters only interested in increasing their SEO rank. If you decide to leverage do-follow, while it will attract bloggers looking for some time in the sun, your blog could be attacked by spam. You could harm your blog by leveraging do-follow “flowing PageRank to potentially spammy/inappropriate sites.” This would be destructive to your Google page rank, according to blogger Lisa Irby.

Google did this in reaction to [according to Google]”  …some SEOs and webmasters [who] engage in the practice of buying and selling links that pass PageRank, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.”


Google interprets the no-follow to mean that the linked site isn’t necessarily relevant to the page that it links to.

Google says: “Not all paid links violate our guidelines. Buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web when done for advertising purposes, and not for manipulation of search results. Links purchased for advertising should be designated as such. This can be done in several ways, such as:

  • Adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute to the <a> tag
  • Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file”

Here at Linqia we believe that while SEO is important, authentic content that inspires, entertains, educates or informs remains a priority. And it looks like Google feels the same way as Google informally announced at SXSW plans to level the playing field with sites that are “overly optimized” to sites that focus more on content. Solid authentic engagement is equally important, arguably much more so, than SEO.

No matter what you decide to do on your blog (no-follow versus do-follow), content should always be king, context queen. Continuity of posts and compliance with Google’s guidelines will help you ensure your continued success.