Archives for May 2010

10 Facebook, Twitter & Social Media T-Shirts for Kids & Adults

We love a good top ten post here at NP, and as we’ve recently found a fab social media t-shirt for Baby O (see if you can guess which one it is!) were inspired to bring you:

10 Facebook, Twitter & Social Media Tshirts for Kids & Adults

1) I’m not a blogger, I just Tweet a lot

Perfect to make a point – not everyone is a blogger, of course. Available from Twitter’s Threadless page



2) They’re not my parents, we met on Facebook

A great statement for kids, can we have another that says ‘They’re not my kids, I found them on eBay’ please? 😉 Available in ages 4-9 from Little Sunflowers



3) You ‘Like’ this

Using the Facebook thumbs up to promote an air of narcissism – nice… Found over at NerdyShirts



4) 140 is the new 420

Subtle – we like this one – either people will get it or they won’t, but it won’t be ‘in your face’. Another one from the Twitter Threadless store.



5) Digg & Reddit & Stumbleupon & Delicious

Perfect for all you Social Bookmarking addicts out there. Another one from Nerdy Shirts.


6) Twittering blue bird for kids

A variation on the Twitter bird, this can be customised to include a Twitter name. Found over at Spreadshirt


7) There’s a Facebook group for people like you

The ultimate insult from Facebook tshirts?


8) Connect with me … Linkedin

Even Linked in are jumping on the apparel bandwagon – quite subtle though! Available direct from Linkedin


9) YouTwittFace

Maybe this says it all?!? From CafePress



10) Social Networking Killed My Social Life

I know how the designer of this one feels 🙂 Another Cafepress find.


So there you have it, ten Facebook, Twitter and Social Media T-shiorts for kids and adults alike – if you’ve found any other Social Media tshirts, let me know in the comments below!

Social Media Marketing in 2010 – an Infographic

If you've spoken to me recently about giving out information in an easy to read format you'll know that I'm hooked on infographics at the moment – and this one really is fab!

Produced by CMOS at the beginning of the year it lays out info about each Social Media Marketing platform and their uses. Fantastic. Feel free to share this around, but remember that the image is copyright of

Click on the image to see a larger version.

social media marketing inforgraphic

Social media conversion rates not as good as email marketing?

Sometimes I think that in all of the 'Social Media is cool' and 'It's about the relationship' (both comments I feel are true), it's easy to forget what really matters at the end of the day – conversion and ROI.

Yes, it's lovely to have 10,000 followers on Twitter, thousands of people reading your blogs, a million 'likes' on Facebook etc – but if you're about to go bankrupt that's not a lot of consolation, is it?

I speak to people every day who are getting good ROI on Social Media, so it surprised me to read that, according to this article:

Email marketing is twice as effective as social media when it comes to conversion rates

I was ready to wade in vehemently, but then read the rest of the article:

Mary Spio, partner at Gen2Media, which works with a number of high-profile music artists, suggested that many marketers at the company see double and triple the conversion rates with direct email compared to social media activity.

Speaking to Marketing Vox, she referred to two hypothetical artists, commenting: "One, let's call him/her Artist A, is a Latin musician with 20 million views on YouTube but little inclination to pursue direct contact with fans via email. The other, Artist B, has said from the beginning it was all about data collection and wanted direct access to the fans."

Well of course they're getting a better conversion rate from email marketing that Social Media if Artist A has no-one speaking to her fans via Social Media (and I presume the 'no email rule' also means no Twitter or Facebook interaction) and Artist B is only using email marketing. It's not a like for like comparison for a start, and let's face it, Artist A isn't exactly using Social Media well, eh?

What Artist A and B both need to realise is that marketing in 2010 is about a number of different channels, not just relying on one. I'd suggest that if Artist A started speaking to her fans (or had someone to do that for her) and did some direct email campaigns, and Artist B dipped a toe into Social Media, both of them would see sales rise. What do you think?

So you thought you were everywhere in Social Media?

I bet you're not ;)


Thanks to for the heads up on this fab infographic, from their article 50 Informative and well designed infographics, and thanks to sergeesteves for designing it! How many places have YOU heard of /listed on? Bear in mind that this is the German version. Click on the graphic to see a bigger version.

(This is not a post to say 'get listed on everything', it's just to give kudos to a great infographic)

299 Steps – what happened, an apology and a refund…

I've got nothing.Oh it was all going so well – the ebook was nearly finished, the ebook software chosen, and nothing could go wrong, right?


Ignoring all of the advice I drum into my clients, I kept only one work in progress copy fo the ebook, and you've guessed it, didn't back it up. A power cut here in our village wiped out my PC completely, including the book. I have been able to restore some of it, but not enough to get it back into a state to be published.

I've been working on it for over a month so you can imagine how angry I was,, mainly with myself.

Leigh is now off on a course and I'm training Shaun to help out with more of my tasks, but I won't have time to complete the book in the very near future.

Therefore if you've preordered, I'll be returning your money via Paypal over the next couple of days.

299 Steps to Blogging Heaven WILL happen, but right now it would be misleading of me to give you a timescale as things are very much up in the air with staff changes, a new(ish) baby and a whole raft of new clients.

HUGE apologies to anyone waiting – but you WILL get a preferential price when the book is finished (and yes you can send me emails telling me what an idiot I am for not listening to my own back up advice!)

I will obviously be emailing everyone individually as I do refunds, but in the interests of being honest and open I wanted this blog post to update you all.


Creative Commons License photo credit: OUCHcharley

Custom welcome tabs back on Facebook

After a lot of negative feedback, Facebook have given us back our custom welcome tabs – yay!

Don't know what I'm talking about? Facebook had made a decision that Business Pages couldn't have a custom landing tab (eg a welcome page) unless they either had 10K fans / likes OR were spending $10k per month on advertising.

See the following for more info on this:

Do you need content for your blog? Try a Guest Blog from a guest author!

InvitationIt's not always easy finding the time or the ideas for new blog posts, and that's where Guest Bloggers come in. A guest blogger will write a post for your blog that is of interest to your readers, but also promotes them or their services. Usually this means that your guest author would have services or products that are complementary to yours, rather than competitive – after all who wants to openly promote their competitors?

With this in mind, I have a number of guest authors available for blogging opportunities – please drop me a line to if you are interested in guest posts from any of the following:

Skin & Beauty Specialist

For blogs about:

  • skin care
  • skin problems
  • non invasive cosmetic solutions (Botox, Dermaroller etc)
  • beauty
  • aging

Children's Clothes Retailer

For blogs about:

  • children
  • celebrity kids
  • babies
  • children health protection (eyes, ears, from the sun etc)
  • organic clothing
  • niche kids' brands

Telemarketing Expert

For blogs about:

  • telemarketing
  • appointment making
  • lead generation
  • TPS (Telephone Preference Service)
  • data issues

Email Marketing Expert

For blogs about:

  • email marketing
  • follow up marketing
  • email newsletters

In addition, I'm occasionally available for the odd guest post about SEO or Social Media, and can usually fit in with most industries. If you'd like a "Top Ten Ways for [insert your industry here] to use Twitter / Facebook / Blogging (delete as appropriate)" then let me know 🙂

If you have a blog, and you'd like to talk to me about one of the guest bloggers above, please feel free to email me. If you're not sure that one of the above bloggers would fit into your niche, but would like to explore the possibility of guest bloggers, drop me a line, I may have other clients who are a better fit.

Remember, having someone guest post on your blog opens you up to a whole new audience, gives you extra content you don't have to produce yourself, and may even give you ideas of your own for blogging – so what are you waiting for?


Creative Commons License photo credit: Tracy Hunter

You're not blogging for YOU, you're blogging for THEM!

268/365 - Default StateIt's a common mistake, and a common question:

Nikki, I find it really hard to blog – I'm running out of things to say about my business!

When you start a blog you're usually all gung-ho – you'll blog every couple of days, there's loads to say about your accountancy services / nappy website / building company etc etc. And at first it's easy. You blog about your great products and services, new clients, special offers and more. But then it gets a little harder – every blog seems to be the same, the readership has trailed off, comments have come to a halt and you wonder why you bother.

One morning you sit down in front of your blog to update it and your mind is blank – you have nothing left to say! It's all been said, so what can you do now?

You've fallen into the classic trap of blogging for YOU, not THEM. THEM being your audience, your readers, your market.

See, blogging isn't JUST about promoting yourself and saying how great you are. Really it's not. It's about engaging your audience, it's about attracting your target market, it's about attracting the right kind of people. No-one wants to read about how great you are, day in, day out (except maybe your mum, and I'm pretty sure even she's bored with your blog by now if that's all you've been doing!)

Think about your target market – what interests them? What things are they reading about, looking for, talking about, asking questions about? THAT'S what you should be blogging about. If you start doing that, you'll be promoting ourself by default – the difference is you'll have an audience to promote yourself TO.

So let's take the 3 examples I used above – the Accountant, tyhe Nappy website and the Building company.

Here are 3 example blog headlines for each one:


  • Can I claim entertainment expenses against my tax? Answer questions your clients are asking – give something away for nothing. These types of questions are always being asked, and the answers can be found on Google – make sure people are finding YOU, and the more good advice you give the more likely they are to come to you when they need an accountant.
  • Free Tax Year Calendar – again, give something that will help – brand it with your logo and contact details and offer it as a free download
  • The Budget in Plain English – use what's in the news to create blogs that people want to read. If the Budget is big news, write about it, if it's close to a tax deadline, write about that. Use what's going on around you to generate blog headlines.

Nappy Website

  • Congratulations to X, Y Z on their pregnancy / baby's birth – celebs are popping out babies all over the place – it's easy blog fodder and people like to read about it. (ahem.. apparently)
  • Our thoughts on … – read the online newspapers, there's always some 'expert' or another spouting off about the latest childcare fad / parenting skills / how it was different in the olden days – use it. Take an article that's in the news and write about it – give your thoughts and opinions, and publish them.
  • A review of … – review someone else's product – this obviously works better if it's either a glowingly fantastic review or a spectacularly negative review – find something that's related to your product and review it. In this case it could be baby clothes, a nappy sanitiser, baby bottles, whatever – review it and then let the product owner know you've reviewed it. If it's a good review they'll want to tell everyone!

Building Company

  • Be thankful your builders aren't like THIS – there are loads of cowboy builder stories and videos out ther e- use them
  • How to… (fix a wall that's falling down / plan an extension / etc) – free advice always goes down well. Turn it into a PDF, stick your branding on it and offer it as a download.
  • X Questions to ask your builder – again, free advice. Give people information and they'll love you for it – you could also take the opportunity to answer the questions, from your point of view, putting you ahead of anyone they're thinking of using. Take the work out of it for your potential customer and they just might use you.

So there you have it., Pretty generic, but I hope you've got the gist – stop blogging about you and for you, and start blogging about the things your audieence is interested in and looking for.

Let me know how you get on 🙂


Creative Commons License photo credit: helgasms!

Find out when a Twitter username becomes available

registerIt's pretty annoying when you register with Twitter and find out that the username you really want has gone. I'm lucky, there aren't many Nikki Pilkingtons around who want a Twitter account, but if your, or your company name is more common, then you may have had a problem getting the Twitter username you wanted.

Back in January Twitter let it be known that they would be releasing old unused names back into the wild as it were – so if someone had registered the name you wanted, but hadn't logged in for a certain amount of time, and the account was obviously unused, then it would be possible to clim the name – IF you were quick enough.

But what if you weren't quick enough? You could miss the name AGAIN, and how frustrating would that be?

The fantastic TwitterCounter have come to the rescue with a Username Alert – so all you have to do is register the Twitter name you would like, and your email address, and they'll let you know when it becomes available. The service is free, and they won't share your email details with anyone else.

Sounds like a great idea to us, as there are a few Twitter names we wished we'd registered, so we've signed up!

5 blog headlines from today's newspapers

News Paper Origami Dragon MonsterOne of the issues that a lot of people have when writing blogs is that they can't think of anything to write about. One way to stimulate the creative juices and come up with ideas is to scan through the news. Just reading a few news stories can give you something to write about, so let's see what headlines we can find for blog posts today, and what sort of blogs could be written:


  1. The Telegraph has: Gender disappointment – coping with the 'wrong' baby. If you run a children's type website, this would be great to write about and generate discussion. Similarly if you run a life coach or counselling blog, it's a controversial subject sure to get the comments flowing. Obviously it would be a good subject for a blog on a pregnancy website. Blog titles? How about: "Is there such a thing as the wrong baby?" Or "Did you wish your boy was a girl?" Or "How to cope with Gender Disappointment guilt'? Something about the biological reasons people want a certain sex child. Or maybe tie it into the Chinese situation where baby girls are often dumped because boys carry on the line.
  2. I'm too fat for fashion says size 8 Gemma Atherton is a headline on the Daily Mail website today. Again, a controversial subject that it's easy to write about. A women's site, food blog, weight loss site, life coach, and many more spring to mind when I think of this one. Blog titles such as "When the perfect 10 is weigh too big", "No wonder our kids are anorexic" or "Does size matter"? Something about how clothes sizes have changed in the last X years. How about something comparing men's sample sizes with women's sample sizes?
  3. The Sun and other papers are leading with the news that David Cameron has slashed Cabinet Ministers' pay by 5 percent. Again, great fodder for a number of blogs – recrutiment and jobs, accountancy, political, even just general business. How about "How cutting salaries can increase performance"? Or "Why 5% off your salary could mean X% more marketing"? Or "Why you don't have to be a government minister to make difficult financial decisions"? Maybe something about how to present a pay cut to your staff?
  4. The Guardian has an article about Wall Street banks being investigated over links to rating agencies. Perfect for a number of industries to write about – financial, property, investment, to name a few. Apart from writing about the story, think about other angles to it – how about a blog about whether the rating agencies are a good way to 'value' sub prime mortgages these days? Or an FAQ on sub prime mortgages? Or "What is a sub prime mortgage and what's all the fuss about ratings?" "Why you need a sub prime mortgage" I could go on forever on this one!
  5. For something a little different, the Times is reporting that lobsters should be worth more than £3. While this is obviously great blog fodder for a foodie or recipe site, it could lend itself to many other blogs too. Most bsuiness blogs could write about why spending a little more is often a good thing. "When the lowest price doesn't mean the best value". "You really do get what you pay for" "Don't be like the lobsters; cheap as chips' and many more headlines spring to mind. I write blogs for (among others) a building company, a telemarketing company, a kiddie's clothes company and a greetings card company – that one story allowed me to think of a blog for each of them – and many more!

So there you have it, off the top of my head, 5 stories that could lead to blog posts. So when you're short of ideas, grab a cup of coffee and trawl through the newspapers – you're sure to find soemthing that you can write about.

I can guarantee that whatever your industry, one of the papers has something in it today that you could turn into blog fodder. In fact, I'm so sure that if you post your blog address in the comments below, I'll find you a news story and give you a headline – how's that for being sure of myself?


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