Tag Archives: Interview

Lauren Greutman Interview – Coupons & Budgeting

This is something special. I’ve been connected with Lauren Greutman of Lauren Greutman (she used to be “I Am That Lady”) for some years now but actually only met her a couple of times in person. She’s a lovely person and very talented and definitely knows how to make her money work for her.

Lauren Greutman

She co-hosted a local Syracuse TV show for a couple of years called Bridge Street, and still does financial segments for them but she’s literally everywhere. From hanging out with Rachel Ray to Koda and Kathie Lee, she’s literally become the frugal living authority on a national level with her mantra “Take back control of your money, and create a simpler, happier life!” She has two books out, one called The Recovering Spender and the other titled How to Coupon Effectively. Neither of those are affiliate links, so check them out at your leisure.
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Interview With Lisa Sicard Of Inspire To Thrive

Lisa Sicard of Inspire To Thrive is a long time participant on this blog, almost 7 years now. In that time she’s switched from working at a newspaper to becoming self employed months ago. She wrote a book titled How To Tweet And Thrive On Twitter in 2017, which I wrote a review about.

Lisa Sicard Inspire To Thrive

Lisa Sicard
Since becoming self employed, she’s started writing more often on her site. Topics include blogging, social media, and business tips. I’m sure after you learn a bit more about her you’re going to check her business and blog out. Let’s get into the interview:

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Interview – Scott Gardner, Agilé Marketing Services

I’ve known Scott Gardner since 2003 when we were both on a committee for the Syracuse Chamber. Back then he gave me a brief lesson on how real branding works; of course I didn’t use any of what he told me. He graduated with a BS in Marketing from the State University of New York at Oswego, has an associates degree in advertising art, and he’s been the sole proprietor of Agilé Marketing Services since 2003. I hope you enjoy his responses to my questions about marketing and branding.

1. What’s the difference between marketing you learned in college and marketing in the real world?

Scott Gardner Agil­é Marketing

Scott Gardner

I had a different college experience. As I was taking classes in cinematography (making feature films), I needed a job, so I took one with an international cutting and precision tool company. I got a promotion in a few months, and the next thing I knew I was flying across the country to work a trade show.
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Is It Ever Good To Take Content From Another Blog? Maybe…

Did that title get you to come or were you coming over anyway? Either way, this will be an interesting post as I justify when it might be legit for you to take content that was previously online and use it on your blog. And, in my opinion, it’s not stealing.

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mike5150 via Compfight

Just to get this out of the way, in my opinion stealing is bad; don’t do that! However, I don’t think it’s stealing when it involves you and there’s no one else getting benefit out of it that maybe you can. Now, explanations.

First, I’ve written a lot of guest posts. Those I’ve written I was asked to write and contribute to those blogs. What I’ve found here and there is that sometimes those blogs go away; actually, it seems to happen more often than one might imagine, and we’re not talking blogs that have no visitors or traffic either.

Occasionally I’ll do a search on my name, which isn’t easy because of Jimi Hendrix’ former drummer. So I’ll use the name of a blog or a particular topic to help me drill down to mostly it being me.

Thus, there are a few articles on this blog over the past couple of years that I actually wrote for someone else that disappeared… kind of. I’ll get back to that later.

Anyway, the blog is gone and I know the article was pretty good. How do I know that? Because I follow my own rules for guest posting and try to write something so epic that people will wonder who this guy is who wrote that post and want to come over here to see more. Of course that doesn’t happen in real life but it’s what I strive for.

So I’ve posted those articles here. If I told you which articles they were you’d go on Google, look them up, and probably not find them; yeah, I’m that good. 🙂 Where are they, and how did I find them? More on that later…

Something else I’ve found is where someone has interviewed me on their blog and then shut their blog down. In this one particular case the blog was shut down for a couple of years, it back now but all old content was removed so it’s like the person is starting from scratch.

Once again, I’ve found a couple of these, and in a minute I’m going to share a portion of that interview without telling you where I got it from. Of course this time around you might get lucky to find it… or not… but it doesn’t matter. Since it involves me and I was happy with it at the time (it’s not overly deep but publicity is publicity), and now that it’s not out there I’d like to get it back into the mainstream… so to speak…

Now the big reveal; where did I get these things?

There’s a website called the Internet Archive Wayback Machine (think techie Mr. Peabody) that pretty much saves copies of old content, whether it’s still live or not. If you ever have your blog eliminated and you didn’t save your content you can probably find it here; thank goodness for that!

Me Adrianna

It’s here that I found the text of the interview I did, and to segregate it from everything else I’m putting it in blockquote format. I’ll finish my initial thought before doing that by asking you if you think my logic is sound, or if you think that once something’s in another place, even if you originally wrote it or were the subject of it, that it should remain with the other entity. Go ahead and give me your opinion… after reading a portion of this interview:

Mitch Mitchell is an incredible blogger. He’s the blogger who promises never to be dull, deliver SEO and marketing advice & be honest in the process.

You can find his blog over at I’m Just Sharing. What I love about Mitch is his candid, honest way of writing. When visiting his blog I know it will be all Mitch – 100%.

Who do you look up to?

It’s kind of an odd question so I’m going to give kind of an odd answer; no one. There are some people I respect as far as blogging goes, but in an odd way I find it hard to say I look up to anyone I’m older than.

In what ways do you build traffic to your blog?

I work on building traffic in many ways.

Every blog post goes to Twitter from all four of my blogs. I also use some RSS coding to highlight at least one of my other blogs on each blog site. One of my blogs automatically posts to LinkedIn while another automatically posts to Facebook. Overall, my biggest traffic building comes from the blogging community, as I comment on a lot of blogs and build up a repertoire with many of them.

What are some of your passions?

Blogging is actually a passion of mine, along with writing in general. I love poker and playing chess as well. I also like watching certain movies over and over, along with certain TV shows that involve anything Trek or X-Files.

Why do you enjoy blogging?

As long as you’re honest and fair you build trust in people whether they agree with you or not.

Blogging is a great way to express yourself to others and see if your opinions matter to anyone else. It’s great when you make connections with others, and it’s interesting when you find some people who disagree with you. As long as you’re honest and fair you build trust in people whether they agree with you or not.

What do you wish you would have known sooner regarding internet marketing?

Goodness, there’s things I wish I knew even now! Overall, I wish I’d known sooner that just building a website and putting products on it doesn’t mean people will visit and/or buy. Many people are sold a bill of goods on that one, and it just doesn’t work that way. It’s called “marketing” for a reason.

What can a blogger do to be better?

I tend to think that most bloggers find reasons they can’t just write as much as they want to and thus end up beating themselves up to write posts. I average more than 5 posts a week and often go weeks writing a post a day. I always have something to say and something to write about and I think other people would if they viewed their lives as a story worth telling rather than not seeing themselves as something special. Everyone’s special; gotta believe that.

How do you find happiness?

Now that’s a good question.

Actually, I find most happiness in the simplest things.

Laughter really is great medicine; I hope everyone takes some many times a day.

I can enjoy seeing pictures of babies and baby animals. I get enjoyment out of listening to some of my favorite music. I get enjoyment out of chocolate and peanut butter, not necessarily always in that order.

I get enjoyment out of blogging and writing and talking to all my online friends. And of course I get enjoyment spending time with my wife, since we have the same sense of humor.

Laughter really is great medicine; I hope everyone takes some many times a day.

 

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An Interview With Roger Madison, Founder Of iZania

Last year I did a series on black individuals and businesses online called Black Web Friday. In the second post of the series I highlighted a site called Izania, which is a black business networking website created by Roger Madison, whom I originally met on Ryze. Last week was the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and I had hoped to have this post ready by that date but it didn’t work out. So, one week later, I’m proud to share this interview with Roger that I hope you read because I think it’s important; at least it is to me.

1. Tell us a little bit about your site.

Black on Black-6

iZania.com was envisioned to be an online community to connect Black entrepreneurs, professionals, and consumers and help us to act in our self-interests and descendants of Africa.

2. What was your motivation for creating this site, where did the name come from, and how has it changed over time?

The motivation was inspired by the three years we spent living in South Africa from 1995 to 1998 – immediately following the transition to a democratic government. Nelson Mandela was a great inspiration in his expression of the “Spirit of Ubuntu.” Based in the South African philosophy of Ubuntu, (“I am what I am because of who we all are“) and the idea of consensus building, the concept perceives society as a community to which all individuals belong and is built on close relationships and group interactions. The community is held together by a feeling of mutual security and harmony. In this way, we hold to the traditional African values.

The word “iZania” is derived from a combination of Internet and Azania, which means the people of Africa. So, iZania means connecting the people of Africa via the Internet.

3. Do you get the same type and volume of activity that you did when you first started?

Our online activity has changed with the evolution of access to the Internet. We now derive our traffic from a number of sources – Our weekly newsletter, social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), and our online group marketing initiative at iZania Market (www.izaniamarket.com). Initially, all of our traffic was based on visits to our main site. We have grown to more than 9,000 subscribers.

4. Last year I did a series called Black Web Friday because I was of the opinion that black Americans are not only under-represented online but that most people, including each other, don’t know about them. What’s your thought on my perception?

Black people are definitely laggards in adopting online engagement. This has a lot to do with income and access. The rapid expansion of smart devices has changed that a lot. Some studies indicate that Blacks are more active users of smart devices as their primary access to the Internet. By definition, this defines the type of activity – texting, FB updates, YouTube videos, Pinterest, Instagram. These types of activities are reactive, shallow, impulsive. Black businesses don’t use many of the online business tools to leverage their success – marketing analytics, financial management, customer retention and acquisition, supplier management. Additionally, they need to use the same channels to reach consumers that the consumers are using. This will help them to become better known.

5. Do you think your site prospers or is held back somewhat by the niche you’ve created?

We have chosen to focus specifically on helping Black-owned businesses succeed – first by connecting them to Black consumers, and leveraging their success to compete in the mainstream marketplace. However, by defining our niche – not a supporter of minority business, but Black-owned businesses – we realize that we are self-limiting. In spite of this, we are committed to helping our people because we need more help. We believe we can succeed by helping other Black-owned businesses succeed. We have had only modest success in ten years as an online community.

6. Do you see a lot of engagement on your site? Do a lot of people find ways to end up working with each other?

We really don’t see much engagement at our site. However, the most active and fruitful engagement that we have participated in with members of our community happens away from the site. The online connection serves primarily as a means of introduction. The hard work of producing results comes in activity out of the public view.

7. I’ve never had the opportunity to go, but have you ever been to the Blogging While Brown conference? If so, what did you think, and do you believe conferences like this are important?

I have never attended this conference. Any conference can be important if it provides value for those who attend. Whenever people of like-minded interests can provide value for one another, it is a good thing.

8. What more do you think has to be done to highlight black Americans online so that, when people and organizations like CNN are putting together lists of top bloggers, more black people are included on them?

Major news outlets and cable stations serve the larger mainstream market, and occasionally capture stories of special interest from various interest groups. Bloggers who can cross all boundaries in generating content of interest to a wider audience will be more successful. Black bloggers must earn their way up to the top of those lists by focusing on what their audience is focusing on.

9. I wrote one of the first articles on iZania many years ago; how many articles do you think your site now has, as well as how many blogs do you think people have and actually write on your site?

There have been thousands of articles over our ten year history. Our challenge is quality. We chose not to monitor and filter except for gross violations of the interests of our members. We now have a problem where some “bloggers” simply post content they have copied from somewhere else. We don’t get as much original content and valuable input from serious thinkers. We are beginning to do some selective filtering and deleting content that is clearly not authored by the poster.

10. Take some time to tell us what you see coming for Izania.

We are planning a major revision of our website to include converting all of our content to a “responsive web page” so that our content is more easily viewed on mobile devices. We will also do a major revision of our content – eliminating content that is no longer relevant. We have conducted regular surveys of our members to gain insights into what is most important. We want to become a more effective virtual facilitator for transforming the efforts of Black people – economically, socially, educationally, politically – to affect positive outcomes in our communities.
 

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