Learn How to Guest Blog | June 7

June 6, 2017
Guest blogging tips for wedding pros

Guest blogging is one of the most overlooked ways to get publicity for your wedding business. I’ve always been a huge fan of guest blogging because it’s a great way to share your expertise and build your brand. That’s why I often write for other blogs and I make all my clients guest blog for major wedding sites like Inside Weddings, InStyle, Bridal Guide and others.

That’s why I’m excited to give you some tips on how to get guest blogging opportunities. Join me tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7, at 1PM EST on Twitter. I’ll be chatting with Julie Albaugh of Wedding Market News and spilling all the trade secrets.

Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, simply go on Twitter.com and search for #weddingmarket to find the live chat.

Guest blogging tips for wedding pros

You’ll learn:

  • How to find best fitting blogs
  • Best way to pitch your guest post idea
  • Types of articles blogs want
  • Writing tips to guarantee success
  • And much more!

You’ll also get to ask questions about your own experience with guest blogging and I’ll try to answer everyone I can. I hope to see you at 1PM EST on Twitter as I reveal my tips and tricks for landing great guest blogging opportunities.

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Meet the Press: Dobrina Zhekova of InStyle.com

May 24, 2017
Meet the Press Dobrina Zhekova InStyle

Dobrina Zhekova is a freelance writing/editor who covers all things weddings for InStyle.com. Originally from Bulgaria, Dobrina moved to New York City seven years ago to get a masters in journalism, and then started working at ELLE.com as a digital producer. After two years, she got exposed to the bridal world during a stint at Brides.com, but then moved to Washington DC where she currently covers weddings, travel, and style for several lifestyle publications, including InStyle.com where she pens weekly stories for its Weddings sections.

Dobrina Zhekova writer

How did you become a wedding journalist?

I consider myself more of a lifestyle journalist. I certainly write about weddings a lot, mainly for InStyle.com, but I also do a lot of fashion market stories, travel, style, and even home décor. I started about a year ago, when I helped launch the Weddings section on InStyle.com. At the time I covered a lot of pop culture and beauty for them. I’ve just been so lucky to be able to continue to contribute to the site daily.

What do you like about covering the wedding industry?

I love the fact that it’s changing. It’s no longer bound by traditions and etiquette rules. Couples are looking for alternative ways to celebrate their love and it’s so exciting to be a part of this process by writing about it. Brides no longer have to wear white down the aisle, you can have donuts instead of a heavily adorned multi-layered cake, you can hire a food truck, get married in a gallery a week after you’ve gotten engaged (check out pop-up weddings). Some of these things were unthinkable a decade or two ago. Now, it’s all about having fun. And I firmly believe weddings should be about fun and celebrating love, and not stressing out about the right shade of cocktail napkins.

Amen to that! What has been your favorite recent story?

Last year, I wrote about travel blogger Sonja Lishchynski’s engagement in Prague and it was the most amazing story ever. First of all, she waited for 18 months for a retired Hungarian jeweler to hand craft the ring that she proposed with. How cool is that?! She got engaged in Prague so you can imagine what their photos looked like—it’s just magical, and she was one of the most positive and funny people I’ve ever spoken to.

travel blogger Sonja Lishchynski Prague engagement

How do you usually find sources for your stories?

I do a lot of research—Instagram for photographers, venues, food, and anything visual you could think of. I also look at previous press coverage if there’s any but the main thing is the person or vendor’s website and social media so I can get an idea of their work and aesthetic. Of course, I also have good PR contacts so I reach out to them whenever I need a source for a story.

What’s the best way for a wedding pro to get your attention?

A polite email would be nice 🙂 That way you can (briefly) tell me about your business and what makes you different from everyone else. Also, include at least 3 photos so I can get an idea of what your work looks like (if relevant).

What one piece of advice would you give to wedding professionals looking to get featured?

Tell me what makes your work unique. It’s so refreshing when you see something different out there. Not every single wedding has to be Instagram-perfect. Be different. We’re always looking for that special element, and it really could be just a small detail that makes a wedding, a cake, a dress unique.

You can follow and connect with Dobrina on Twitter and Instagram @dobrinazhekova. 

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Matchology to Streamline Blog Submissions

May 11, 2017

Submitting your work to blogs can be notoriously time-consuming. That’s why I was so excited when I heard about Matchology! Launching in June, Matchology is a fast new way of submitting your work to more than 30 of the world’s top wedding blogs from the Aisle Society consortium. The platform features built-in matching technology to help connect your event to the publications that are the best fit. Matchology’s goal is to help wedding pros save time and get published more often. Sounds cool, right?matchology logo

Today, I sat down with Ami Price, CEO of Aisle Society and founder of Elizabeth Anne Designs, to learn more about Matchology.

Ami Price Aisle Society

What inspired you to create Matchology?

As editors, we’ve seen what a huge benefit publication is to a small wedding business, but we’ve also seen how frustrating the whole submission process can be. It takes so much time and energy: researching which blog would be a good fit for a particular wedding or event, finding each blog’s specific submission requirements, using different submission methods and software for each publication. That’s time and energy that could be spent connecting with couples. We challenged ourselves to come up with a better solution that would streamline the process for both wedding pros and editors, and Matchology is the result!matchology real wedding blog submission

What feature are you most excited about?

Matchology uses a unique matching technology – a little like a dating app for wedding submissions! Wedding pros provide a few key details such as category, style and setting, and Matchology suggests the most appropriate publications based on our custom-built algorithm. Since our 30 blogs cover a diverse set of styles, niches, and locations across the US and internationally, it’s important to find the best match for each event. Matchology saves so much time and guesswork – and it’s fun!Matchology screenshot

How is Matchology different from Two Bright Lights?

Our matching technology is the main feature which makes us unique, but the other key difference is that Matchology was created by blog editors who receive submissions every single day. We’re in the trenches! That’s why we also built in features that integrate easily into the workflow, like autofill vendor crediting, a universal questionnaire, status updates via email, and one step resubmission. And we’ll keep listening to our users and improving our software in line with their needs.

Tell us more about the upcoming “Submit with Success” event on May 17.

I’m so excited about this, especially because I’m so passionate about sharing knowledge with this community! Aisle Society is hosting an online educational event on May 17th that is free for Matchology subscribers. I and several of the other Aisle Society editors will be sharing all our top tips and insider secrets – and answering all the submissions questions wedding pros have. Everything from what makes a great submission to how to optimize publication, and track your success. It’s going to be an afternoon jam-packed with information!

How will pricing work for Matchology?

Full access to Matchology for a year costs $69.99, and in anticipation of our launch, wedding pros can also purchase a lifetime subscription for $399. To pre-order Matchology and get access to the FREE Submit with Success event, visit http://www.aislesociety.com/matchology.

matchology submit with success

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PR Course at Event Leadership Institute

April 6, 2017

Today, I’m excited to share that I am now an instructor at the esteemed Event Leadership Institute, which teaches business courses to event professionals around the U.S. and beyond.

I’m starting out with a short webinar course called Getting Publicity for Your Event Business, which launched this week. This is a 35-minute course available for free to ELI members (if you aren’t a member, it’s $25/year to join, so you should do yourself a favor and sign up). It can also be purchased by non-members, though it really makes a lot more sense to join and get a whole library of awesome courses.ELIcourse

My course on PR gives an overview of how to get media attention for your brand. It’s broken up into 3 main parts:

  1. Defining Your Goals – which teaches you to identify your marketing and business needs and target audience as it relates to the media
  2. Gathering Your Weapons – will explain how to create smart story ideas and images that the media will eat up
  3. Pitching the Media – the nitty-gritty of how to contact and get the attention of top editors

This course is a great primer for event professionals who have never dedicated special time for PR or who want to go beyond submitting real weddings. The ELI course is based on my book Marry the Media, which came out in 2016 and is a much more in-depth guide into DIY public relations.

You can check out my course here. Happy learning!

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Happy Women’s Day

March 8, 2017

Back in Moscow, where I grew up, every year on March 8, the boys in our school brought us girls yellow mimosa flowers, the earliest spring arrivals in the cold Russian climate. March 8 was Women’s Day and everyone, no matter what age, celebrated the special women in their lives – classmates, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters.

When my family and I moved to the U.S. in the 1990s, I discovered that most Americans didn’t know about Women’s Day. There was Mother’s Day, of course, but unless you were a mother, there was no special day celebrating the luck, the beauty, the joy and the burden of simply being a woman.

Today, more than 20 years later, I’m happy to see that America is waking up to the importance of recognizing all women, no matter their age, race, or status in life. Even though this wake-up call for women and their rights was driven by political strife, I see it as a positive outcome. In fact, to me, today is the most special Women’s Day I can remember.

Being able to meet and be surrounded by amazing women is why I consider myself lucky to work in our industry.

Wedding bloggers at Martha Stewart's Wedding Party in New York

Back in 2011, when I was starting I DO PR, I met a woman with an amazing story: she told me how when she was just a sophomore in college, she escaped from a dictator-run state to come to America. Then, she started playing around with a camera and now she is an internationally recognized, award-winning wedding photographer.

Years later, I continue to be inspired by the incredible women I meet. Just last month, in Milan, I met another strong woman who after going through a divorce, moved to Italy by herself without a job. She tried her hand at planning weddings and now runs one of the most successful planning companies in Italy.

In my years working in the wedding industry, I’ve met women who run huge national magazines, who design stunning dresses that thousands of brides wear on one of the most memorable days in their lives, women who raised millions of dollars to fund their companies. I’ve talked to hundreds of women who took their passion and talent and used it to become successful photographers, florists, planners, jewelers, blogger, and tech entrepreneurs.

Some say that takes balls. I say that takes one kick-ass woman.  So today, I want to celebrate these women. I want to celebrate you!

HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY!!!

Wish Upon a Wedding Bene-Fete with The Knot, How He Asked, I DO PR

 

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