Mind The Gap

No, I’m not talking about riding the London Tube when I say mind the gap.

It’s wedding award season so I’m talking about taking a serious look at how you display any of the “Best Of” awards you might receive.

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If you have ever walked into a restaurant and seen them proudly displaying a Best Of Award from 2010; you might have some idea what I’m talking about.

My brain automatically skips from whatever is in front of me in the restaurant to what have they done wrong in the last nine years that they have not won again. Not even once in nine years?

Wedding Professionals - Best Of Awards - branding your wedding business - marketing in the wedding industry - wedding blogger

Did they just stop displaying them? Do they have new owners? Has it really gone downhill? Do I really want to eat here?

Same thing with wedding businesses!

If you have won a wedding award in the past and have a gap of more than one year before receiving that award again; get rid of the old ones!

Start fresh!

That gap of two years or more may be enough to wipe out all of the positive juju your beautiful website, social media, and blogging have put in front of a couple.

Be proud that you have won the recent awards and move on from there!

 

 

All I Want For Christmas

The ONLY thing I want for Christmas this year is for wedding, event and catering professionals to learn how to set a table.

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Don’t get me wrong, a winning lottery ticket and world peace would both be nice, but I’m OK with manageable pieces.

As a blogger and content creator for the wedding industry, few things make me this crazy. Also, from what I’ve heard in some of the wedding groups I am part of I’m not alone.

I see hundreds of submission of styled shoots that have AMAZING tablescapes; breathtaking floral designs, luxurious linen, vintage or interesting china, unique flatware, and even fun glassware.

It is pretty apparent these professionals have painstakingly taken the time curate a tabletop design that fits with the overall theme of the shoot.

However, then there are glasses placed on the wrong side of the plate or the knife is on the left and the fork on the right. Ah-mazing!

As someone who is curating images for submission, this often means that I cannot use some of the best pictures you have submitted.

I have had to select images with the specific intention of not showing that setting. Too often that means that an awesome charger plate, custom menu card or napkin accent is not showcased.

Could I go ahead and use the image anyway? Yes, I absolutely could.

But the idea of a styled shoot is to showcase the creativity and expertise of a team of professionals. Is it fair to the rental company, linen company or stationery designer who lent their talent to this team?

It’s a pretty simple process, most weddings or events follow an Informal Dinner Place Setting.

Wedding Ghost - Ghost Blogger - Mark Kingsdorf - Master Wedding Planner - wedding blogger - curated content - freelance writer

We’ve taken liberties with napkin placement and folds and often add a champagne glass to the setting but nothing else in the setting changes.

So this Christmas, take a few minutes and share a little knowledge with your colleagues; and help grant my Christmas wish!

 

 

A Blog Is More Than Real Weddings

Wedding Ghost- Mark Kingsdorf - Mission Inn Resort - same sex wedding - rhodesstudio

Recently an article I wrote was featured on the Perfect Wedding Guide Wedding Professionals Blog.

Too many times wedding pros complain that they have nothing to blog about because they don’t have enough Real Weddings to feature. Truthfully, there are a lot of other options that will help brand you as a wedding expert in your market.

Having an FAQ blog post is a great way to answer all of the questions prospective clients constantly ask. You can share that link with potential new clients and not only save time answering their questions but encourage them to read other posts on your blog.

Check out the whole article HERE.

BTW, the photo above is me with my amazing husband Chuck on our wedding day at Mission Inn Resort. The photo is by the awesome Edmund Rhodes of Rhodes Studios

Count Your Blessings

I woke up this morning in a warm bed.

Our dog Kali was curled up, pressed against the small of my back and our cats Chip and Dale were sleeping at the foot of the bed.

Chuck was already stirring and got up to let the dog outside.

I got out of bed with a snap, crackle, and pop, but no worse for the wear. A childhood of springboard diving, years on my feet as a chef and countless hours of overseeing weddings have stiffened my hip and knee joints.

I started my day with fresh coffee as we talked about wanting to plan a trip to India in 2020, dinner plans for today with Chuck’s dad and weekend plans with amazing new friends.

I sip coffee as I look through hundreds of pictures of Chuck, his ‘Wheeling Warriors” teammates and nearly 500 cyclists who biked their way 165 miles from Miami to Key West to raise over a million dollars for Florida AIDS service organizations.

We’ll miss today’s Thanksgiving church service as we’ll already be on the road to see my father-in-law but will see our awesome church family on Sunday morning.

This might be the first Thanksgiving in ages that we aren’t cooking, but life is good.

I am blessed with good health, a fantastic husband, three fur babies, great family and friends and a desire for new experiences over material possessions.

Wedding Ghost is just a year old and has really taken off. Not only am I working with amazing people but it offers me the flexibility to spend more time with Chuck and the people we love, to travel, enjoy good food and enjoy life.

Life is truly good. Take a minute today to count your blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

give thanks

STOP IT, JUST STOP!

Stop turning business away with your website and your blog.

On a DAILY basis I look at someone’s blog post, and while I’m reading I come to a hyperlink, this is a good thing.

Hyperlinks connect your blog post to other entities on the internet. Things like the venues where the weddings were hosted {which is something couple’s are probably searching} or a fabulous wedding gown shown by a famous designer.

However, I see one major, MAJOR mistake.

When you click the “insert hyperlink’ button…

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You then add the URL to wherever you are linking…

But, you have to click the “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” tab…

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PLEASE If you do not click the tab a reader will click on that link in your blog post and be swept away to that site, it takes them away from you and your business.

The site you are sending them to could have multiple pages or another article or wedding gallery of interest and before you know it they have forgotten where they started.

SQUIRREL!

You are now completely out of their mind!

Stop sending your hard earned SEO juju away from your blog post!

Reporting Weather Where You Don’t Live

When doing research for an upcoming presentation, I always like to look at the list of attendees. I look to see how many are from large companies who might not have blogs, who blogs, how often people are blogging and who blogs well.

Those who set up a blog, write an introduction and never blog again rarely surprises me. I am also not surprised by people who toss up a bunch of images, add two sentences and nothing more.

However, the one thing that STUNS ME, are the people who blog consistently but do not blog about anything that ties back to their business.

One of the recent blogs I read talked about national data, and what I will call “DYI hazards” in their industry.  This provided the opportunity to discuss how their company could help mitigate these hazards or talk about their team and what sets them apart…and they did NOTHING!

If you are going to blog about ANYTHING, national data, trends, planning tips, ANYTHING… relate it back to your business, focus on how you and your team exceed the standard or products and services you offer that tie into the data.

Blogging for the sake of blogging and filling space is a waste of your time and energy. Prospective clients will stop coming back because the first thing they look at is ‘What’s In It For Me’?

If you are not relating the information back to your city or region, including search words to make people find you in the area you serve, it is a waste.

At a minimum, tie the article back into a call for action that brings in your location, the name of your business and a hyperlink to an email for more information or your phone number.

Email me today to talk about consultations to help you improve the way you blog and how to improve your SEO.

 

Investing Time and Doing It All Wrong!

True Confession:

Very little frustrates me as much as looking at someone’s blog, seeing that they have good content, a few links, good keywords and that they have invested time in renaming their images…

Only to open the images in a new tab and seeing that they have renamed them ALL WRONG!

No one, I repeat NO ONE is searching for Susie + John’s wedding except for Suzie and John, and they probably have seen the images already!

Very, very few people are searching the name of your company, most likely they have been on your site already OR are searching wedding photographer in Atlanta. or Central Florida.

Try adding items that couples are searching for. Start with the name of the city using Cleveland weddings, or Key West sunset wedding ceremony, or terms such as pink peony bouquet, and Groom in a blue suit.

Or, try renaming a photo of a bride using the gown designer, or the venue where the wedding was.

When was the last time you searched for John’s Plumbing and not a plumber in St Petersburg Florida?

Think outside the box when renaming your images. Look at how you search for something you’re looking for.

You would if you could…

…but you can’t, so you don’t.

Recently a lot of people are asking me exactly what I do and what makes it valuable. So, let’s start with the WHY and take it from there.

Why is hiring Wedding Ghost so valuable?

I don’t know anyone who would dispute the fact that every wedding, event or hospitality business has a website, and that your goal of having a website is to use it as a tool to sell your company 24/7.

Beyond that, you want people to find your website! People find your website when they go to a search engine and your page comes up! Simple as that!

The goal of a website should be to have well written text to attract search engines; and because people RARELY change the text on their website, having a blog where you update content on a consistent basis is a lightning rod for search engines.

Well written and consistent are the two important phrases! Well written means that there is text woven into your blog posts that includes the terms people are searching for in your industry. Also using descriptive terms that link you to other people, places and things that people are searching for adds to the value.

So, why aren’t people coming up on page one of search engines?

Because they aren’t writing consistently, they are not “feeding” the search engines and they typically aren’t using text that search engines are looking for.

What the Wedding Ghost does is write weekly blog posts for wedding, event and hospitality professionals. I have 30+ years in food and beverage, catering and wedding planning and events. I’ve worked in flower shops, bridal salons and spent time with dozens of event professionals learning about what they do and how they do it. I understand what makes good content and can write about what you do as well as tips and trends.

Weekly blogs are at least 300 words and include popular search terms for your industry, long tail key words (longer phrases people search). It should include backlinks wherever applicable (links to venues, colleagues and products) to help connect you when people search those businesses. I build a story around your Real Weddings / Events, write about your team, awards, client reviews, tips, trends to brand you as an expert in your field, in your market.

Then, I rename any photos included in the blog post to add terms search engines are looking for; I upload the blog posts and images to your blog platform, add hyperlinks and tags behind the scenes.

The typical blogger, in addition to coming up with content ideas, will spend 1 ½ – 3 hours writing, editing and posting blogs.   Quite often after this huge investment in time they still miss the mark by not using enough text, any words people are searching for, or rely on photos with no searchable information connected to it.

You would blog if you could invest the time, but you can’t, so you don’t blog and prospective clients can’t find you in their searches…

Wedding Ghost is looking to change this for you and blog for you, just like you would, with your voice if you had the time.