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Courtney Velasquez Giftfully Simple Blogger An Interview
Courtney Velasquez knows social media. She blogs, vlogs, tweets, Whrrls and uses Facebook. She recognizes the value of bloggers, especially those who write product reviews as she does. Courtney works hard at what she does and her hard work is paying off. She also gives back to non-profits through her blogs and her social media work.
Tell me about your Blog –

I have 3 blogs, Giftfully Simple, The Digital Mommy and Detroit Mommies.  Giftfully Simple is my product review/giveaway blog.  This is the place I showcase trendy, new and really cool products that I have found or that have found me. I also have tips on gift giving and the etiquette associated with the art of giving.

What was your first blog?

My first blog was Giftfully Simple.  I started GS on February 16, 2009 after being a product reviewer for Peekaboo Picks and thinking, “I want my own blog…this is fun!”

How do you divide your time between your three blogs?

My main concerns are Giftfully Simple and Detroit Mommies.  I try to post to Giftfully Simple every day and Detroit Mommies every day with 3 posts.  The Digital Mommy gets posted to a lot less than the others.  I have 3 small children, so I try to write when they are sleeping, deep into a game of Barbies or at school.  Right now my oldest only goes to school for about 3 hours, so juggling is hard.  I’m always taking notes and jotting down ideas in the carpool line, in the doctors office, getting ready in the morning, ect.

What is the biggest tip you would give to product reviewers?

Go to Word and type up what you are going to say to a company that you want to pitch for a product review and use it as a template.  Then make sure you personalize the details to fit the product and the company so you don’t sound like you are using a pre-written pitch letter.  Most of all, tell the company why they should send your blog their product to review (promote your blog- Give them your Twitter followers count, Facebook friends, Google rank, readers, etc.)  Show them the numbers…works every time!

Are you contacted by advertisers or do you contact them or both?

I am contacted a lot, but I still search for product and contact companies when it’s a product that I think would be perfect for Giftfully Simple and it’s readers.

What is your favorite product that you have reviewed?

A bag from Go GaGa.  I’ve been using it from the first day I got it.  It can be a computer bag, diaper bag, gym bag, ect.  It fits all of my needs and I love it!

What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t/ do that you like?

I hate getting the generic email that has another bloggers name at the top of it.  If I am taking the time to personalize the emails I am sending when requesting a review, I think they need to take the time to do the same.

What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t/do that you like?

I like that more and more bloggers are requesting pay to do reviews and/or contests.  It takes time to review a product, write up a review, edit and post.  And, then to add a contest with entry requirements linking to various Twitter, Facebook, ect accounts and then choosing and notifying a winner is very time consuming.  Companies with products need to remember that if they submitted a product to a magazine it more than likely would not be in print for months, might not make the cut because a magazine has limited space when a blog has unlimited space and if they placed an ad in a magazine for their product it would cost them thousands of dollars for one month of placement, plus when that month is over, the magazine might get tossed.  The blog and it’s content it there FOREVER and search-able FOREVER.

What advertiser would you like to work with given a chance?

I’d like to work with Sony, Nikon, Keurig, Mercedes, Apple and the list goes on:)

Where do you see growth in the blogging field?

I see a huge potential for growth in Vlogging.  There are some that are doing it and doing it very well and readers like it because they are getting to know the blogger on a deeper level.

What’s your favorite book?

The Internet Mommy by Kimberley Clayton-Blaine

What are your contact details (email, company, blog, facebook, myspace, forums, etc)?

giftmommy@(nospam)gmail.com – Remove the no spam

Giftfully Simple

The Digital Mommy

Detroit Mommies

Twitter http://twitter.com/theappleofmyeye

Facebook Fan Page

What events do you attend?

As far as conferences, I attended BlogHer last year and it was the best move I made.  I’d like to attend Blissdom this year, but might have to only choose one and that would be BlogHer 10.  I go to a few social media meetups and some company invited events, but I have to pick and choose because I have 3 small children that need their mommy.

How do you prefer to communicate?

Email is the easiest and I like Skype as well (courtney.velasquez).

Who would you recommend, and why?

Jessica Smith –www.jessicaknows.com She knows a lot and indirectly got me where I am today.
Erica Mueller- www.ericasays.com site design and overall nicest person!
Katja Presnal- www.skimbacolifestyle.com Smart gal and well connected.  She shares the love!
John Andrews- He opens doors!
Jyl Johnson Pattee- www.momitforward.com Always there to help!
Lucretia M. Pruitt- www.geekmommy.net Hosts a wealth of info.
Danielle Smith- www.extraordinarymommy.com – Great video blogger and super sweet!
Darren Rowe- www.problogger.com Best blogging teacher I know.  New and old bloggers should start with ProBlogger.
Amy Lupold Bair- www.resourcefulmommy.com Want to throw a great Twitter party?  She invented the concept!
Kelly Phillips Erb- www.taxgirl.com Also known as Tax Girl.  She’s the go to gal for blogging and taxes!
John Andrews http://katadhin.blogspot.com/

What is one thing people can do for you?

Stay true, blog with integrety and don’t settle!


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