Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Defining Business Blogging Success

Defining Business Blogging Success

When talking with blog or M&O Account Teams about new clients, it is inevitable that I will ask if there is a blog involved. There are simply too many advantages to enabling a web site with fresh, themed content that is well structured for SEO benefits and that also offers a great platform for creative promotion, not to consider it in the online marketing mix. However, the mis-perceptions about what a blog is and is not abound, even with self-described “blogging experts”.

Despite that, I think it’s a perfectly reasonable question for a company to ask: “Why should we have a blog and what will it do for us?” Answering that question in the most effective way possible starts with understanding the business and marketing goals of the company. Too many SEOs and blogging consultants focus on the mechanical capabilities of a blog and not on the business goals that can be met.

Blogs are simply tools and are only as effective as the programs and people put in place to use them. The degree to which company goals can be met with the applications and current/future benefits of a blog are what we use to determine whether a business blog is appropriate or not.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Guest Post: Amish Quilts For Sale

Not just anyone can produce an Amish quilt. They are made by Amish people.

A book written by Bettina Havig "Amish Quiltmaker," says there is a difference among Amish quilts and Amish made quilts. Amish quilts are those truly used in Amish homes. Amish-made quilts are made by an Amish quilter and sold to help supplement the household's income.

The quilts used by the Amish in their homes are actually rather simple and utilitarian. They are not at all like the detailed quilts Amish quilters produce to sell.

Instead, the quilts used by the Amish in their homes use simple solid color fabrics and simple piecing designs. Treadle sewing machines are used by many quilt makers in Amish communities for their quilt projects. They typically use the treadle sewing machine to piece the quilt top. Then, the whole thing is hand quilted using a large floor frame to stretch it out.

You've probably noticed that you don't see a lot of applique in Amish or Amish made quilts?

There is a reason. Having explains that the Amish simply don't think it's frugal to layer fabric without need. They look at layering fabric as frivolous and not an good use of fabric.

Whether a home quilt has small prints in it or not often comes down to the community's acceptance. Some cautious communities will allow a small printed fabric to be used in home quilts. The church usually has vast input in the community's opinion. The fact that some Amish communities are a little less conservative explains why you might see an occasional print in an Amish home quilt.

Now that you know this background information, why can't you make an Amish quilt? Amish is a religious companionship. It's a Christian denomination known for its conservative, simple way of life. The church dates back to the late 1600s. It would be disrespectful to claim to have made an Amish quilt if you were not indeed Amish.

What you can do is create an Amish inspired quilt. Select your quilt block pattern that you will use. Insure it;s a simple quilt block, and that it's not too elaborate or it won't fit the trademark simplicity of the Amish.

Also select your colors accordingly. Keep the colors simple. The quilt should not be too bright or bold, although from time to time Amish quilters use jewel tones in their quilts to make them sparkle.

Colors like red or yellow aren't allowed to be used in sewing projects by some communities. Your Amish inspired quilt should not have many prints.

Most Amish quilts have borders...sometimes more than one border. Borders are included in Amish quilts because they are an effective, simple use of fabric. You definitely want to include a border on your Amish inspired quilt.

As you know by now, you will not see a lot of embellishing on Amish quilts. Your Amish inspired quilt, then, should also have no embellishment. It is rare to have buttons on articles of Amish clothing, they certainly have no place embellishing a quilt.

The Amish rely on hook and eye closures and snaps for most of their every day clothing. Trousers may have a button for security.

Amish quilts don't need a lot of embellishing or bright colors because the hand work of the quilters is what makes them truly beautiful and extraordinary. The muted colors and simple patterns allow the art of the quilted stitches to shine through. Elaborate quilting designs on a simple backdrop create quite a contrast!