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Featured Member: Janine Nickel

janineJanine is author of the website, Twofer Mom, mother of twin girls and co-conspirator of the Buzz Cooperative with O2O project manager, Linda Sellers. We’re so pleased that Janine was able to take a few moments to answer our questions about blogging, brands and business!

1. What do you like most about interacting with brands?

I’ve always been a talker. If I like something, I talk about it…a lot. When I started blogging and was first approached by brands because I was talking about them I was shocked they were listening!

I think what I like best about directly working with brands is that I can see the impact I have. People let me know when one of my videos helped them decide on a product. And brands do listen when we provide constructive feedback in our reviews making not of what we like most and maybe what isn’t working.

2. What is one thing you do as a blogger than you feel contributes to the success of your blog?

Well, I don’t have crazy traffic but I have consistent traffic. I think what makes my blog most successful is regular postings, authenticity (have you seen some of my disclosures?), and the cross promotion I do across the web (including Facebook, Twitter, and even email) for my posts.

3. What has helped you grow the most as a blogger?

My first conference ever, Blissdom 2009, changed the way I looked at blogging. I was still getting my feet wet at that conference but left thinking of my blog as my own little business.

As a freelance marketer, I have the skills to promote myself but I realized I wasn’t being strategic about it. Now I try to have a strategy when it comes to what I write, and who I pitch if I am looking to partner with a brand on a series.

4. In what ways have social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook helped you as blogger? Have they hindered you at all?

Well, there’s the drama on Twitter that can really get your distracted and slow you down if you decide to engage in it.

Other than that both platforms have really been fantastic tools for research, connections, and most definitely friendships!

5. Who are the mentors in your life? And who has been a key guide for you as you’ve built your business?

Well, my dad was ALWAYS my hero. He was a savvy business man, and great at managing relationships. He passed away when my twins were just 3 weeks old but my brother and I bounce things off each other thinking of what Dad would say to do. So I guess my second mentor is my brother (@ideaware on Twitter).

My brother will give me pep talks when I need them, and help me flush out ideas. He’s also really great at balancing family time with work as he owns his own business.

6. As a mom and a businesswoman, we know you are hardworking and loving it. When you do get a chance to pamper yourself, what do you do first?

Read. I love to read and while I don’t read fast, I love getting lost in a book. I’m also good at scheduling time to meet with girl friends – even if that sometimes means bringing the kids so they entertain one another while we chat. What I’m not great at is scheduling date night so I want to work on that this year.

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