Posts By: Laura Christianson

Five Cool Tips from a Blog Mentoring Clinic

5 cool tips from a blog mentoring clinic

By Norma Nill
Guest Columnist

I signed up for Laura Christianson’s Blog Mentoring Clinic at the 2014 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference because I was falling behind in maintaining three blogs yet wanted share them with more people.

Laura opened the clinic by asking, “Why blog?”

Cool Tip #1

A blog is the number one way to build trust.

I didn’t know that. But I knew I wanted to reach readers, get to know them, and build relationships.

Laura challenged us to ask, “How can my blog help my readers? What problems do they have that my blog could help them solve?”

Writing Contest Prize: Full Tuition to Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference!


Earlier this year, I got to know Kathy Ide, a freelance editor, writing mentor, and author. During the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Kathy and I served on the critique team and co-hosted a lunch and dinner table.

One morning, we joined several other faculty members for a field trip to nearby Santa Cruz, CA, where we ogled a pod of sea lions and sampled chocolate-covered bacon.

As Kathy and I deepened our friendship, I learned that she is not only smart and fun-loving, but she is also kind and generous. Kathy is sponsoring a “Promising Beginnings” contest in which the prize is a FULL SCHOLARSHIP ($897 value) to the 2015 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, March 27–31, 2015.

Children’s Author Diane Stortz Gets Brand Refresh


Children’s author, Diane Stortz, decided it was time to upgrade her Blogger blog to a website that would feature her books and her editing services.

She wanted a “look” that would appeal to her primary audience of parents and grandparents of young children, and her secondary audience of publishers and writers looking to hire an experienced editor. She wanted her brand to be bright, fun, contemporary, personable, and professional. A tall order!

In this article, you’ll learn how the Blogging Bistro team worked with Diane to update her logo, website, business cards, and social media accounts.

7 Simple Steps to Create an Animoto Book Trailer Video

Animoto Pricing Plans

By Sherry Kyle
Guest Columnist

Did you know 30 seconds is enough time to capture someone’s attention? In fact, if you don’t grab them in the first 8 seconds, your viewer will move on to other things.

Here is the 30-second Animoto book trailer I created for my novel Watercolor Dreams, released today from HopeSprings Books.

Let me walk you through the seven-step process so you can make a book trailer of your own…

BriteVerify: An Inexpensive Tool for Shaping Up Your Email List

EmailList verification

If you’ve been collecting names and emails for your e-newsletter and are now ready to begin using them, it’s a good idea to verify that the emails are valid before you import them to your e-newsletter list.


Because most email marketing services (such as MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact) base their monthly fees on the total number of subscribers.

This article explains how BriteVerify works and includes examples of how two Blogging Bistro clients used the service to axe the deadwood from their email lists.

Re-Branding a Writers Conference One Step at a Time


When there’s a turnover in leadership, it’s not uncommon for a business to change its mission, its primary customer, its services and products – even its name.

During the last decade, I’ve coached many people who have expanded their brand or entirely reinvented it.

Since February 2014, I’ve served as part of a team that is re-branding a Christian writers conference.

Today, I’ll share the progress we’re making and invite you to adapt our strategies for your own business, should you be considering re-branding.

Drones: The New Video Marketing Rage

HD Estates Video

Wouldn’t it be cool to have your next Amazon order delivered by drone? Drone delivery is indeed in the works at Amazon [click to watch video].

The “little guys” have begun using drones, as well. Ryan Haslet, a real estate agent in my area, hires a photographer to fly a drone equipped with a high-definition camera over the properties he represents. Haslet incorporates the aerial footage into his marketing videos.

Here’s a link to one of his videos, which opens with a gorgeous aerial shot of a 7-acre property:

The videos are an effective tool for showing a listing to prospective buyers who live overseas or in other states. And even though I live less than five miles from this estate, I found the video pretty interesting, too!

An Introvert’s Conversion to Social Media

Sherri Sand Profile

By Sherri Sand
Guest Columnist

After several years away from fiction writing, I began delving into my stories again. Being an introvert, I had an aversion to all things social media and recognized that I was a tweet and an Instagram behind the times. I attempted to wade into those waters, but they were swift and over my head.

After several conversations with a writing friend in which I moaned and complained and she worked at convincing me of the value of online interaction, I lifted my dragging my heels and decided to hire a social media expert.

I’d met Laura Christianson at a writing conference and was taken with her approachability and kindness. My writing friend highly recommended her skills. So I made an appointment, even as I dreaded its approach. My heels were still dragging just a wee bit.

What Tomatoes, Potatoes, Hubby Haircuts, and the End of the World Have in Common (and How it Relates to Blogging)

Amy Nowak Home Page

During the past few weeks, I’ve been recovering from a broken rib. Propped up on pillows, snuggling with my ever-present ice pack, I’ve done zero blogging but a lot of reading.

I’m reading Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, by Carmine Gallo.

While this book is geared primarily for public speakers, it’s also perfect for bloggers, writers, and business professionals – anyone who wants to improve their communication skills.

In Chapter 1, Gallo asks:

“What makes your heart sing?”

Video Infographics: The New Wave in Infographic Design

This is your brain on visualization

We love infographics, those popular graphics that visually represent otherwise complex data and statistics. In fact, we feature over 1500 social media infographics on our Pinterest boards.

The main drawback of infographics is that they’re often long and unwieldy, and many of them squeeze in too much information.

Here’s a creative way of presenting an infographic that solves that problem: a video infographic! It’s clever, fun, and refreshing. And packed with information, of course.. Click to watch it now.