Author Archives: Laura Christianson

8 Essential Online Marketing Practices that Get Results

I’ve been exchanging emails with Matthew Harris of Medium Well Inc. for several months. Turns out that the best practices he recommends to his clients mirror Blogging Bistro’s.

There’s no cookie-cutter approach everyone can follow to meet all the demands of using social media, online directories, paid advertising, and other tools. But there is a common series of considerations all businesses should address.

Matthew recommends eight practical marketing strategies that will help increase your online presence and authority.   read more >

Posted in Branding, Guest Articles, Marketing, Social Networking, WordPress Websites No Comments

How to Create Awesome Interactive Maps with ZeeMaps

People often ask me if Blogging Bistro works with clients all over the U.S. Thanks to the Internet, we do! We have clients in Canada, as well.

I created this map of some of our recent clients at It took me about 10 minutes.

Continue reading to see the embedded map and for illustrated, step-by-step instructions for how to create and share your own custom map.   read more >

Posted in Client Spotlight, Marketing No Comments

24 Terrific Places to Find Free and Low-Cost Stock Photos Online

When you visit a blog, what’s the first thing about a particular post that catches your attention?

Other than the article’s title, it’s probably the image (or images) that accompany the post.

Readers’ eyes are drawn to images, so it’s important to place a visual that illustrates your point into every blog post.

Readers are also creatures of habit, so place images in a consistent location, such as the upper left or upper right area of each post. Wrap text around the image to create a clean, packaged look.

This article includes links to at least 15 services where you can download free or low-cost stock images, illustrations, videos, or sounds.   read more >

Posted in Blogging, Featured, Google Tools, Marketing, Photos 10 Comments

How to Create LinkedIn Showcase Pages in Four Easy Steps

LinkedIn appears to copycatting Facebook’s abysmal management style. As of April 14, 2014, they’re removing the Products & Services tab from Company pages. Instead, they’re encouraging us to create Showcase Pages.

This article explains what’s happening to Products & Services info, and includes a step-by-step tutorial for creating Showcase Pages. We also suggest several practical uses for Showcase Pages.   read more >

Posted in Branding, LinkedIn, Marketing No Comments

Awesome Plugin Displays Bible References as Pop-Ups

Author Sherri Sand regularly includes scripture references in her devotional blog posts. She asked me whether there is a WordPress plugin that will automatically search her posts for scripture references and display the text of the Bible verses in a pop-up box.

Sure enough, there is! It’s called ESV CrossRef (or just CrossRef, once it’s installed on your site).

Read on to learn how it works and how it looks.   read more >

Posted in Blogging, WordPress Plugins, WordPress Websites No Comments

How to Embed Getty Images on Your Blog – for Free!

Great news, bloggers:

Getty Images, the granddaddy of all stock photo services, has made millions of its images free to embed on blogs. It’s easy to use, too!

This blog posts provides step-by-step instructions for how to embed Getty images, and includes Terms of Use you must follow.   read more >

Posted in Blogging, Photos 1 Comment

How Pinterest Can Inject New Life to Old Blog Posts

I’ve been teaching workshops at writers’ conferences on creative ways authors can use Pinterest. So I thought I’d follow my own advice and explore how to repurpose my blog posts on Pinterest.

I’ve been planning this idea for close to a year, and after considering several options, I decided to emulate what Joan Stewart, aka, The Publicity Hound, does on her Pinterest board, “50 Tips for Free Publicity.” If it works for Joan, why reinvent the wheel?

Read on to learn my 10-step strategy, and then try it for yourself.   read more >

Posted in Blogging, Pinterest No Comments

Building a New Website is a Team Effort (Guest Post by Grace Fox)

By Grace Fox
Guest Columnist

Technology isn’t exactly my bent. It’s no wonder, then, that it bends me out of shape when it doesn’t cooperate for me or when I don’t understand it.

Laura Christianson’s expertise is changing that. Thanks to Blogging Bistro, technology is losing its intimidation factor and becoming my friend.

When Laura and I began discussing plans for my new website, I knew what I wanted but not necessarily what I needed. She filled in those gaps for me.   read more >

Posted in Client Spotlight, Mobile Marketing, Responsive Design, WordPress Websites No Comments

Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting a Killer Blog Post [Infographic]

Everyone’s looking for the secret to writing blog posts that cause readers to swoon, to declare that your blog is the best thing since sliced bread, and any other cliches you can insert into this space.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no secret. Crafting excellent blog posts takes time, commitment, and an insatiable desire to learn — and to share what you’re learning with others.

Today’s infographic provides helpful tips about how to craft killer posts that’ll keep your readers coming back for more. First, a brief overview of the infographic…   read more >

Posted in Blogging, Infographics No Comments

Why You Should Hire Professionals to Design Your Website (Guest Column)

By Matt Neputin
Guest Columnist

As bloggers, we often want to do everything ourselves. Especially if we’re just starting out, the prospect of spending money on our projects is about as appealing as putting glass into our eyes.

So we try to do EVERYTHING ourselves. We install WordPress ourselves. We sign up to Twitter ourselves. We even install a website theme ourselves.

But then we come to the hard things – the things that require actual talent, such as customizing the theme we’ve paid for.   read more >

Posted in Guest Articles, WordPress Websites No Comments