How to Create Videos for Your Blog

Over the past 4-5 years, I’ve created over 100 video for my websites. Today I want to share some strategies I use to create videos that other people will watch.

How to create videos for your blog: @BEECHRetreat

If I’m going to share tips about vlogging, I thought it would be best to create a vlog for you.

To summarize the strategies from the vlog above.

  1. Introduction
    Introduce yourself and your URL. I add an annotation to my video that includes my URL so a viewer can read my URL as well as hear it on the video. Some people are visual & others area auditory, so I include both in my videos.
    Remember that I did all my video editing on youtube.
  2. Props
    Use props or action to illustrate your points in the video. “Show” your viewers what you are trying to say.
  3. Call to Action
    All good marketing has a call to action. Tell your viewer exactly what you want them to do when the video ends. This may be click on the link, call & make an appointment or buy this product.

How do you use videos on your blog? I would love to hear your experiences or any tips you may want to share.


encourages moms with fun activities & homeschooling advice on How To Homeschool My Child. She wants to give you a free copy of her ebook, Everything You Want To Know About Homeschooling by clicking here. She also offers a free video, “Making Your First $1000 Online!” at her husband’s website:

You can connect with her on facebook,twitter, pinterest or youtube.

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Let’s Chat About The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

We are excited to announce a brand new chat topic for our Thursday nights on Twitter. Starting on April 18, 2013 and going through the summer, we invite you to join #BEECHrt for a discussion of the wisdom and inspiration in The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau.

The $100 Startup Twitter Chat @BEECHRetreat

Chris was kind enough to send the each of the creative team her own copy of this amazing book. Reading the book is not required for participation in the chats, but we encourage you to get your own copy. You will be motivated as you read his stories of ordinary people who created meaningful and profitable microbusinesses with very few resources.

Twitter Chat Schedule for $100 Startup

4/18 Pro  The microbusiness revolution — transforming your hobby or passion into a business model.
4/25 Ch 1  Unexpected entrepreneurs find where their passion/skill overlaps with what is useful to others.
5/2 Ch 2  Providing value by knowing what people really want.
5/9 Ch 3  The follow-your-passion business model.
5/16 p. 69  Becoming your own publisher.
5/23 Ch 5  Understanding your audience.
5/30 Ch 6  Explaining your business with a mission statement and getting to the first sale.
6/6 Ch 7  Creating an irresistable offer with real value.
6/13 Ch 8  Launching strategies and tactics.
6/20 Ch 9  How to promote your microbusiness and still have time to create.
6/27 Ch 10  Creating a profitable microbusiness with no or little start up money; tips for earning money.
7/4 na  Independence Day, USA chat cancelled
7/11 Ch 11  How to grow your business.
7/18 Ch 12  Hiring help, outsourcing, and forging partnerships.
7/25 Ch 13  Maintaining your microbusiness long-term; choosing to stay small or grow.
8/1 Ch 14  Facing our fears; taking risks; enjoying success.
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Social Media Tips for the Newbie Blogger

As a newbie blogger, the social media world was to me as unfathomable as the Atlantic Ocean—as mysterious as air that I can’t see, can’t hold, can’t make, but can’t live without.

A blogger really can’t make it without social media so, here we go!

social media tips

Facebook, I can do Facebook… I think. But what is Twitter? How do I put out enough interesting content in 140 characters at a time to get 272,598 followers?! And Pinterest? How do I get from pure delightful distraction to actually making it drive people to my blog? Google+? I think I’ve heard of it. How many types of social media are there?

If I have just described you as well, let me share with you four things that unlocked the mystery of social media for me and the tips that have helped me grow my blog so far.

  1. I attended the BEECH Retreat 2013. It filled my heart with new friends, my head with possibilities, my bag with resources and my notebook with more information than I thought possible!
  2. I read Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt, and joined Platform University.
  3. I read Pinteresting – Pinterest Strategies for Brands and Bloggers by Tabitha Philen.
  4. I read Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews(time management principles that apply to life AND social media).

The tips I gleaned from these experiences:

Branding – Get a good headshot (profile picture) and use the same one uniformly across all your social media. The same could be said for your blog header and background too. This helps with branding. Helps others recognize you as you, wherever you show up.

Promotion – Promote others 80% of the time and yourself 20% of the time. Don’t promote just so that others will promote you. Promote content in your niche (area of expertise), content that you like, use, approve of, etc. This applies to other people’s posts, to affiliates, reviews you do, where you guest post. Being niche conscious in your promotion helps you establish yourself as an authority in your niche and keeps you from looking like a spammer.

Time Management – Decide what is most important and make a plan to get it done. Scheduling social media posts keeps it from controlling your life. Use the Facebook activity log to set the date and time of posts to share. Use Hoot Suite or a similar application to schedule tweets throughout the day. Know your goal and set a timer. Determine what you want to accomplish on social media in this 10 minutes and set a timer to help you not to be distracted. When time is up, go on to the next goal or task.

Facebook – work to get interaction, ask questions and be conscious of your niche when posting or sharing.

Social media and blogging is not about you. It’s about the reader. If you are going to grow your blog you must see it from the readers eyes, interests, and point of view.

Twitter - follow people in your niche. When retweeting, always add a comment to increase the value of the information shared.

Pinterest – Have the mindset that Pinterest is not just about eye candy, it’s about business. Pin mainly those things that match your blog’s niche. Pin your own stuff, but observe the 80/20% rule. Pinning something once a day consistently is much better than pinning 80 pins all in one day per week.

Google+ – Learn it. Use it. Google is fast becoming the world’s most authoritative directory of everything and learning to rise with it is just wise. The more you author (even in places other than your blog) that is linked back to you on Google+, the higher you will rank in the Google world and quite possibly the entire world. Don’t underestimate or discount Google+.

Have I got it all figured out? No. But my blog is growing much faster since I started implementing these tips.

What advice would you give a newbie blogger? What do you wish you had known from the beginning?

Katie Hornor is an educator, writer, and speaker who blogs about marriage, motherhood and ministry at She is the author of Loving You Long Distance and of the Lemonhass Homeschool Curriculum for Spanish speakers. Connect with her on Facebook or Pinterest.


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Twitter Party with QBQ

Twitter party with @BEECHretreat and @QBQguy

You are invited to an hour of fun and encouragement with BEECH Retreat 2013 sponsor John Miller from QBQ, Inc.

Both John (@QBQguy) and Kristin Lindeen (@KristinLindeen) will be at the party to answer your questions about personal accountability and how it relates to parenting. If you desire to strengthen your own personal resolve as a leader, you need to understand the Question Behind the Question. If you want to develop character in your children, you also need to know about the Question Behind the Question.

Join us and learn how a new perspective can increase productivity and leadership in your life and the lives of your children.

How to prepare for the party

Follow @BEECHRetreat@QBQguy, and @KristinLindeen.

During the hour of the party, watch the hashtag #BEECHrt for all the dialogue and prizes. If you are a blogger, make sure you listen for how you can get a free copy Parenting the QBQ Way to review on your own site.

The fun lasts for one hour on Tuesday, March 26 at 7 PM PT/ 8 PM MT/ 9 PM CT /10 PM ET.

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Swagbucks Twitter Party

swagbucks twitter party #SB5Bday


You are invited to join BEECH Retreat for a Twitter party celebrating Swagbucks‘ birthday.

Happy Birthday, Swagbucks. Five years looks great on you!

Twitter Party Details

Sunday, February 24, 2013

7 PM Pacific / 8 PM Mountain / 9 PM Central / 10 PM Eastern

Use the special Swagbucks birthday hashtag #SB5Bday during the event to follow our hour-long celebration.

Be sure to follow @swagbucks and @BEECHRetreat so you don’t miss any of the action.

Twitter Party Prizes

The birthday site is giving us gifts in the form of Amazon gift certificates for$25, $50, and $100.

Who can’t use that? So don’t miss it!

You don’t have to be a Swaggernaut to join the fun, but we hope you will sign up and start earning prizes from Swagbucks.


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Five Ways to Decrease the SEO of Your Next Blog Post

For the most part, bloggers want their sites to be optimized so that they can get search engine traffic.

SEO means search engine optimization. Most bloggers desire search engine traffic from people looking for a solution to their problems. People who visit from search engines are more prone to buy than those coming from other avenues. And it is obvious that the potential for searchers landing on your page far outnumbers your band of loyal subscribers no matter how large that may be.

But if you are one of those in the minority who doesn’t care about SEO, go ahead and make these five blunders.

5 Ways to Decrease SEO:The Beech Retreat

1. Don’t Use Subheadings

Ignore the fact that search engines give preference to  what is inside <h2> and <h3> tags. Just make your posts how you want them to be. Forget subheadings altogether. Who needs ‘em? A waste of pixels.

Or if you like the look of them, just use bold to make words big. It looks the same as using <h3>, and that’s all you care about, right? As long as it looks nice to humans, it doesn’t matter how Google sees the post.

2. Don’t Edit the Alt Attribute of Images

You love using images on your blog, but it’s just too much trouble to edit the  alt attribute. Google should be able to see exactly what that image is. After all, you and your readers can see it!

But Google can’t “see” images. Search engines rely on the words written in the alt tag to determine what the photo contains.

Ah, who cares? You make your images for people, right? Not for search engines.

3. Leave Metadata Blank

Metadata? What is that? It sounds technical and scary. You might break your blog fooling with that kind of thing. Besides, it takes so much time to create a post and pinnable images that who has time for summarizing the post in a sentence or two inside that box below the editor?

Really! What a waste of time. Just let search engines pull whatever they want from your post to show in search results. After all, you don’t want to micromanage your blog by telling Google exactly what to show to potential readers. That’s so bossy and controlling. Ick.

4. Don’t Refine your URLs

Mile-long URLs are cool. The more words the merrier! Long links never get broken when people copy and share them.  And search engines should be able to decipher which words in the URL are most important.

It’s just too much trouble to click and edit a URL to make it short, memorable, and keyword rich. Yeah, forget about refining your URLs.

5. Don’t Link to Your Other Blog Posts

Linking to previous content in today’s post? Seriously? Are you supposed to remember what you wrote last year?  Who can keep track of that?  If your readers want more of your posts, just let them subscribe to your feed or use your search function. They should have to work a little for these posts. You work hard writing them; the readers can work hard finding all your valuable content, forgotten deep within the archives.

This post is obviously written with a healthy dose of sarcasm and humor. These five small tweaks really do take time in a busy blogger’s schedule. Even a couple of minutes for each task can add up over the course of the week. But these mistakes will weaken your efforts at getting search engine traffic.  Then again, if you aren’t blogging for SEO, then feel free to ignore all five actions in the list. Other bloggers will happy to optimize their posts and take the traffic that you could have had.


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What To Do After a Blogging Retreat

BEECH 2013 is over, and life is back to normal. We have traded our evening luaus on the beach for  reheated leftovers in the kitchen and chats among fellow entrepreneurs with little kid giggles. But that doesn’t mean that BEECH is over. There are plenty of things to do after the event itself is complete.

What to do at after a blogging retreat or conference

Organize Your Contacts

Pull out all the business cards you gathered during the retreat and act on each one. Subscribe to blogs and follow your new friends on social media platforms. Add emails to your contact list, making sure to notate details about each person and where you met.

Review Your Notes

Take time to read over all the notes you took during the retreat. Highlight or list the action steps you need to take based on what you learned. Maybe you need to do more research or hire some help. Write it all down.

If a certain word or phrase from the event really spoke to your heart, make a mini-poster and display it near your computer so you can focus on it all year long.

Prioritize Your To Do List

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you have a huge list of action points. Prioritize the steps you need to take, not worrying about the actions lower on the list until you get to them.

Get Accountability

Set personal deadlines for your action points. Divide them up into manageable chunks and start marking them off as you complete them. Better yet, involve another small business owner or blogger to hold your feet to the fire with your goals.

Nurture Connections

Be sure to stay in touch with your retreat buddies. Make a special Twitter list or Facebook interest list of your new contacts so that it is easy to keep in tune with their latest online ventures. Reach out and connect with them via blog comments or social media.

Generously promote your new contacts. Give and you will receive.

Did you promise anyone to send an email with the name of that favorite plug-in or book? Be sure to follow through with your promises. Go beyond expectations and people will remember you.

Start Budgeting for Next Year

Calculate your expenses for this year’s retreat and make a financial plan for next year’s event. Whether that includes saving or getting sponsors, don’t wait until the last minute to find the money to invest in your business and blog.

And while you are thinking about money, collect all your receipts from the event and start a spreadsheet so claiming the expenses will be easier at tax time.

Thank Speakers and Partners

Throughout the months following the event, be sure to thank the speakers and partners who made a difference. If a keynote inspired you, let him know with a shout-out on your favorite social media platform or by email. If you truly love a partner’s product, be sure to let your audience know too. Use the power of Instagram and Vine to create images that show the value of the swag you received at the retreat.

If you had personal sponsors for the event, go above and beyond to fulfill your end of the agreement. Foster the existing relationship  and be a positive example of what bloggers can do to harness social media influence.

A blogging event may span only a three day period, but the ripples from that short time radiate outward with impact for months to come. Make the most of your investment by following through on the experience.

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Join us for a Twitter Party with Real Refreshment Retreats

Real Refreshment Twitter party

BEECH Retreat is teaming up with partner Apologia to throw a special Twitter party for Real Refreshment Retreats.

Join us Tuesday, February 12, 2013 from 9-10 PM ET for the live Twitter party.


The Real Refreshment Retreats are weekend events specially designed to encourage Christian homeschool moms. At both locations, Baltimore (March 8-9) and Atlanta (March 22-23) , you will be blessed by the fellowship with like-minded moms and through insightful speakers including Rachael Carman, Zan Tyler, Debra Bell, Jeannie Fulbright, and Elizabeth Smith.


The retreat includes all includes five sessions and lunch on Saturday. The theme for this year’s retreats comes from Philippians 4:8.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Prizes and Discounts


At the Twitter party, we will be sharing a special discount code to make your Real Refreshment Retreat even more affordable. And of course we will have generous giveaways from Real Refreshment Retreats and Apologia:  books, thumb drives with audio recordings, and free registrations to a Real Refreshment Retreat in your choice of city!

How to Attend the Twitter Party with Real Refreshment Retreats


  • Be sure you are following both @BEECHRetreat and @RealRefreshment on Twitter.
  • Then follow the hashtag #RefreshMom between 9 and 10 PM on Tuesday, February 12.
  • We recommend HootSuite for following Twitter events. Set up a column for #RefreshMom to see all the tweets for the event. When you tweet during the party, always include the #RefreshMom hashtag so your tweets will show up in the party stream.
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A+ TutorSoft Math Curriculum Giveaway

Math may not be your favorite subject to teach. Maybe trying to explain the various steps of math problems leave both you and your child frustrated. Do you ever wish you had someone that could step in and help teach math for you?

A+ TutorSoft offers interactive math software, both on cd-rom and also online, that can be used for grades 1 through Algebra 1. The programs from A+ TutorSoft include comprehensive contents that meet and exceed both common core and state standards.

Lesson Features:

  • Multimedia Lessons that use all three learning modalities – Audio, Visuals and Text
  • Interactive Quiz after each lesson with automatic re-teaching.
  • Worksheets and Exams can be completed online
  • eBooks – Curriculum Book, Worksheets and Exams Solution Guides
  • Printable Worksheets and Exams
  • Weekly Certificate of Accomplishments

Parental Features:

  • Recommended Lesson Plan
  • Instant online grading
  • Parental controls allow parents to lock solution guides
  • Progress reports that identify areas of strength and weakness
  • Math Placement Test

A+ TutorSoft is generously giving ONE full year of their online math curriculum (retail $125) – you choose the level! To enter this giveaway, simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below – there are many ways to enter. If you are reading this on Facebook, please visit our website. The giveaway will be open until Tuesday, February 12th at 11:59 pm.

Thanks to for their partnering in bringing this giveaway to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to check out the demos and free trials of the A+TutorSoft on their website –

And “like” A+TutorSoft on Facebook:


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John Miller, Keynote at BEECH

John Miller, Keynote at BEECH

BEECH is excited to announce another fabulous morning keynote speaker John Miller.

John is the founder of QBQ, Inc., {the Question Behind the Question} an organizational development firm dedicated to making personal accountability a core value for organizations and individuals.

Through his writings, speaking, and a nationwide network of QBQ!-certified consultants, Miller has brought his message to countless organizations including Bausch & Lomb, Blockbuster, American Cancer Society, Wells Fargo, Verizon, WellPoint/Anthem, Boeing, Husqvarna, Wilson’s Leather, Merck, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

John will be blessing BEECH attendees with his wisdom and will present a powerful message on Personal Accountability. We are honored to have him as part of BEECH and know that you will be beyond blessed by his encouragement, motivating words, and outgoing personality.

To learn more about John Miller and his incredible vision and company, visit the QBQ! website.

Follow John on Facebook and Twitter.

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