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  • Social media marketing insider secrets, tips, and event promotions. Ready to get promoted? Send a message (marketing@theplayconnection.com) with the subject line: Social Media.

  • Quick SEO Tips for Beginners Easy Seo Checks (SEO 102) Are you doing it right? Are you doing it wrong? Does anyone really know for sure? I'm going to let you in on a ...
    Posted Aug 25, 2017, 5:40 AM by Lora Langston
  • How do you get Sponsored Posts on Instagram? Instagram Tips and Tricks How do you get sponsored posts on Instagram? The more you know, the better chance you’ll have of getting sponsored on Instagram. Use these Instagram ...
    Posted Aug 25, 2017, 3:26 AM by Lora Langston
  • Social Media Management Company: Are you Looking? The Play Connection is a full service social media management company. We offer services to drive traffic to your website, drive Amazon sales, build a community within your social media ...
    Posted Aug 19, 2017, 5:30 PM by Lora Langston
  • How to Start eCommerce Site, Store, or Business Online Here I am with some more unconventional, free advice on how to get started in eCommerce. Maybe you typed in the search bar, "how to start an eCommerce site or ...
    Posted Aug 19, 2017, 5:29 PM by Lora Langston
  • Social Media Advice for Beginner Business How long have we been in the business of Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Management? Since 2006, when I started blogging and sharing my posts in social media. In ...
    Posted Aug 19, 2017, 5:27 PM by Lora Langston
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 7. View more »




Quick SEO Tips for Beginners

posted Aug 25, 2017, 5:40 AM by Lora Langston

Easy Seo Checks (SEO 102)


Are you doing it right? Are you doing it wrong? Does anyone really know for sure? I'm going to let you in on a little SEO secret. Before I knew anything about easy SEO, Elance considered me an SEO expert. They let me in the elite SEO clubs. I haven't bothered to check in with Upwork's testing options. There's no need. I'm a top rated freelancer on Upwork. I know all I need to know about quick SEO tips for beginners. Most people naturally do well with SEO without even knowing a thing about it. Just in case, let's discuss some easy SEO checks you can do right now.

Quick SEO Tips for Beginners


First, lots of old school and new school SEOS disagree about they way things should go. These quick SEO tips for beginners are very basic for the newbie. If you use WordPress, you can add a plugin like Yoast (any SEO pack will do.) Don't fret if you don't always get the green light. Those SEO plugins are a little testy. But, Blogspot, Google Sites, and other website platforms don't make SEO as simple. You have to go it on your own, and if you don't have the the right tags turned on in settings- you're going to get very frustrated. Do you need to pay and SEO expert to help you? No way, you can totally do it on your own. Starting fresh is kind of fun! Editing old SEO errors and updating hundreds of website pages is a TOTAL DRAG. For this reason, I say, don't do it! 

What's that you say? Don't do it? You don't need to panic and update all of your old pages at once. Start small. It might not be necessary to do all of that work. I mean, I'm sure every single one of your pages is getting like a million hits a day, right? Not. The only reason you might want to update all pages on your site, is if you have product pages. Even then, I'd start with just a few. For those who don't, we're going to focus on your top 10 most popular posts/pages. How do you know what are the top 10 most popular pages? There are several ways to figure this out, but the best way is to add Google Analytics to your site. 

  • Sign in to Google Analytics
  • Go to Audience in left sidebar
  • Click on Overview
  • Click on the Date drop down on the right side of the screen
  • Click on Custom in the drop down
  • Go to the Calendar and click on the day you started your site or added Google Analytics
  • Then, click on Today's Date
  • Next, scroll down to Behavior in the left sidebar
  • Click on Site Content
  • Click on Landing Pages
  • Boom! Your top 10 posts of all time appear!

If you don't have Analytics, you'll have to find another way to discover your top 10 posts. Google Analytics is the most accurate way, and the results may surprise you.  A landing page is the first page people landed on when visiting your site - either through referral traffic, social media, etc. The same post may appear several times- to get the top 10, you may have to click through the list using the arrows at the bottom of the table. Once you've compiled your list, you're ready to update that SEO!

SEO for Blogpsot/Blogger Sites
If you read other pages about easy SEO tips or simple SEO for beginners and you have a blogspot blog, your mind might become boggled. That was my first experience. Every site told me to insert keywords into my meta tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, and title tags. I did a search to find out what the heck a meta tag and meta description was. I discovered that a meta description was simply a search description. Um, okay... I couldn't find that anywhere. When I asked other blogspot (Blogger) bloggers, they said- it's in your post. It's your post description. Still stumped. Know what I found out? Some Blogger templates don't have it turned on! You have to go into settings and turn it on. Here's how:

SEO for Blogger Blogspot

  • Go to Settings in you left sidebar - the first page that pops up has a site description. Fill that in, that's a tag for your site or a description for Google and other search engines. Use the keyword and phrases that describe your website. Mine is just a list of all the keyword phrases people search to find my blog. (Kids Creative Chaos)
  • Now, under settings click on SEARCH PREFERENCES. Here's your META TAG or where you enable your search descriptions. If not enabled, click to turn it on. Then, fill in the description with rich keywords and phrases that will make users want to click over to your site. Think of it like the blurb on the back of a book. 
  • When you go to write a post, you'll see 'labels' which on other website platforms is simply another word for 'tags.' Tags no longer help with SEO (that's so 1990's.) People were using them and stuffing keywords there. Tags/Labels can help with PAGEVIEWS. Use sparingly!
  • Now, (if you never saw a search description option on your posts before) you'll have the option to fill in a search description or a meta tag for the blog post page. Hooray, you weren't crazy, it wasn't there! Always fill this in with a few descriptive sentences with rich keywords but enticing for human readers.

META TAGS for SEO Blogger


Search Description Tip: Copy  and paste the portion of your opening paragraph that includes the H1 Title of your post. For me, that's usually the last two sentences of my first paragraph:

'I know all I need to know about quick SEO tips for beginners. Most people naturally do well with SEO without even knowing a thing about it. Just in case, let's discuss some easy SEO checks you can do right now.'


SEO For WordPress
Add an SEO pack plugin. Most of them are fine. Use it, it will walk you through the key tags needed for SEO. However, it's still a good idea to learn SEO basics.

Quick SEO Basic Tips for Everyone
Ready to roll? Do a quick check on your 10 top posts of all time and update them accordingly. From this day forward, use these basic SEO checks to ensure you're hitting all the right places for SEO site optimization.

Use HEADING TAGS appropriately.
  • The Post title (that you fill in) is almost always an H1 tag. Never add an H1 tag to other titles on your post or product page. 'Quick SEO Tips'
  • Add an H2 tag to the top of your post content. It doesn't have to be the same order of words, but should be similar keywords that drive traffic for that topic. 'Easy Tips to Improve your SEO'
  • Between Paragraphs, add additional tags, H3, H4, etc.  For Blogger/Blogspot these are titled Heading (H2), Subheading (H3), Minor Heading (H4). If you feel the need to add even more headings for additional paragraphs, be sure that they are listed in order from the top of the page to the bottom H1 to H10 (whatever your heart desires.) You'll likely have to go into the html to code these. Blogger/Blogspot click the html at the top left of your post editor. Heading tags look like this:  <h8>Quick SEO Tips</h8>  and appear like this (depending on your template code): 
Quick SEO Tips
How do you know what keywords to use? There are many technical, time consuming ways to find keywords for SEO. I hate complicated things, don't you? If it seems too complicated, I keep procrastinating and may never get it around to it. That's why I use this secret,  a simple keyword tool. Okay, it's not really a tool. It's my best friend. You've met her. Google! Google it. But, not all of it. Start typing the main word or the first few letters of the word you want to use as a keyword for your website. Don't complete the phrase! Also, if you've Googled the phrase a lot - it won't work for you unless you clear your history. You can also ask your human friends to Google it for you. 


Google Keyword Tool for SEO

  • Go to Google
  • Start typing the beginning of your word or phrase (I prefer keyword phrases also known as long-tail SEO) 'Seo t'
  • Look at the drop down list Google populates for you. Use these phrases. Try to sprinkle several of them into your body text or paragraph headings.
  • Booyah! You're almost an SEO expert.

SEO FOR SITE CONTENT (Body Text)

In your first paragraph, as early as possible, you should repeat your title verbatim (word for word.) The title that you Googled for SEO, 'Quick SEO Tips for Beginners.' The Title that is your H1 tag. I don't always do that. The Wordpress SEO packs get mad and don't give me a green light. It's the best practice, but as long as all of the words appear in the first 150 or so characters, (as close to the beginning as possible) the search bots will find them. Let the search engines know it's super important to you by making it bold - or even better hyperlinked (clickable.) Tip: If you're hyperlinking it - make sure it goes to another page on your site that uses those same keywords. Don't send people away in the first paragraph of your content, they won't come back!

Side note:  I sprinkled in lots of SEO phrases in my first paragraph.

IMAGES: Add ALT TAG and/or TITLE TAGS to at least one image in every page. I add them to all images and change them up based on the Heading tags that they are closest too. Meaning, I copy a heading tag, 'Easy SEO Checks' and paste it into the title tag or ALT tag on the image. On most website platforms, you'll click to edit the image and the tag boxes appear. For Blogger/Blogspot (it loves to be difficult) click on the image, click on properties and the boxes appear. This helps people find your images. I've noticed (especially in Yahoo) that these tags help my images rank top in image searches- often when the posts don't. Yeah, go do that!

Under another keyword phrase with a title tag, write about your topic and sprinkle in all of those suggestion that Google shared with you. Continue to write your content. At the end of your post content, write a brief summary using your title again. Ta da! That's it. Use the SEO quick check below to make sure you hit it out of the park. You can use this post as a template. Just don't confuse bold words or phrases as H tags. Use 'inspect element' to see where I placed my H tags. Highlight a title, hover, right click, scroll down and click 'inspect' on the box that pops up- bet you always wondered what that was, huh. It shows the html code. This is also how brands discover if you made a link no-follow or do-follow (more on that in another post.)


Easy SEO Tips



SEO QUICK CHECK OPTIMIZATION LIST  (Edit your 10 most popular posts and write posts this way starting today.)

  • Add at least three Heading tags in numerical order (H2, H3, H4) as headings before content. See this post as a reference guide.
  • Never use an H1 tag - it is probably already in use. Don't use more than one of each tag.
  • In your first few opening sentences, (150 or so characters) repeat the H1 Title tag. Sprinkle in other keyword phrases.
  • Use your best friend, Google, to find the most popular searched phrases for keyword optimization (long-tail keywords.)
  • Add tags to at least one image. Use your title/H1 keyword phrase for the first image, H2 for the second, and so on.
  • Sprinkle a mix of the keywords Google shared with you throughout the content of your post.
  • Don't confuse labels and site tags for Heading, Title, and ALT tags. Use site tags sparingly. They help your readers find similar content.
  • Add a search description to every post or product page. Make sure it utilizes your tags and is written for humans. Once Google indexes your page and enough people have visited, this description will appear under your post title in Google Search listings.
  • Make sure META tags and other site description tags are filled in with rich keyword phrases that describe your entire website.
  • Hyperlink to keyword phrases within your site that you want your site to appear for when searched. Open all links to your site within the same page and all links to other sites on a new page.

Final Note, this website isn't really a website at all. It's a product of Google Sites for Business. Basically, it is an SEO's worst nightmare, but I do what I can with it. My other site, Kids Creative Chaos, ranks on the first page of Google for many keyword phrases. Hopefully, this one will too. I've only recently started using it as a blog. 


Let us do it for you: SEO Optimization Marketing

How do you get Sponsored Posts on Instagram?

posted Aug 18, 2017, 4:33 PM by Lora Langston   [ updated Aug 25, 2017, 3:26 AM ]


Instagram Tips and Tricks


How do you get sponsored posts on Instagram? The more you know, the better chance you’ll have of getting sponsored on Instagram. Use these Instagram tips and tricks to make sure your profile is optimized for the best results. You don’t need to have thousands of followers. Sure, some companies won’t offer you sponsored posts unless you have 25,000 followers, but you don’t need them! While you're growing your Instagram, you can work with smaller brands and startups. Optimize your profile with these Instagram tips and then follow our Facebook Page for opportunities.


The posts might not pay as much, but they’ll make good material for your portfolio of work or media kit. And, you’re likely to get a lot more of these smaller posts. Most companies just want a quick shout out or a repost of something they’ve already posted. Easy Peasy!



This site contains affiliate links. When you click on the link and make a purchase, I may get a small commission.



How do you sponsored posts on Instagram?



Optimize Your Instagram Profile for Sponsored Posts


  • Add a description in your profile. Less bragging, more what you have to offer. For example, rather than saying: “Best-selling author, #1 Mom, loves to eat pizza,” say something like this, “Product Reviewer, Easy ways to stay motivated, Sharing the best pizza recipes for families.” This tells possible sponsors what you can do for them, not how awesome you are.They want your spotlight, you want their money. Win-win!



Instagram Tips and Tricks



  • Add a link to your website, but change it up when you post. Change it to your latest product review, Amazon listing, or a sponsor’s page.


  • Add a smiling photo of your happy face. A logo is nice, but Instagram is a close knit, friendly community. Share your face instead. This way, we know the real person behind the logo.


  • Create a Business Account. Some people complain about reach after switching. I didn’t have a problem. You’re going to get a bigger reach by utilizing as many relevant, real hashtags as possible. Current word is you can use up to 28. Do that, every time you post! You’ll pop in the most recent of all of those hashtags and if you’re lucky, you’ll pop up in the top posts too. For now, hashtags seem to work better than ads.


  • Post Frequency. Post once a day with great hashtags. No need to post more than that. No need to post the same image twice. You don’t want to repost images and text. They may compete with themselves in the Top Posts. Change it up.


  • Stay Active. I recommend posting only once a day, but you can and should be more active than that. Pop in a few times a day to like posts of others, comment, check your stories, and respond to comments on your posts. The more active you are, the more LIVE your homefeed becomes. (At least for now!)


  • Recent Posts. You can and SHOULD post more than once a day to your stories!! This keeps you up top of everyone’s feed and on their minds. For stories, post as much as you want! Beware though, others can hide your stories. So, keep it interesting and not spammy.


Get Sponsored by Big Brands


Instagram Stories


  • Links - Did you notice you can add links in your stories? You can! Just click on the link at the top of your phone, pop in a url, preview, (to make sure it works) and done!


  • Hashtags - You can add hashtags to stories. Click on the “Aa” at the top of your device. Start typing! #Influencer - choose from the most popular hashtags at the bottom of your screen.


  • Secret Hashtags - You can even hide them so that it doesn’t look spammy. Type them and cover them with stickers or text with a background.


  • Tags - Tag a brand or a friend, just like you would in a post. Go to the “Aa,” type @ and the name. @kidscreativechaos


  • Selfie Tags - Take a photo of yourself and make a sticker! Tap the sticker button at the top of your screen, choose the camera, smile into the tiny pop up circle, click your pic!


Click here for more Hidden Hacks for Stories.





Miscellaneous Instagram Tips


  • Upload Videos for more Impressions. I don’t get as much feedback (likes and comments) on videos, but I get way more post views.


  • Multiple images? Some say they get less reach with multiple images. I haven’t noticed that. I have noticed that most people don’t swipe right on Instagram. One image seems like enough.


  • Followers do matter and then again they don’t. 200 niche engaged followers is better than 200k fakes or random people who could care less- #dontusefollowforfollow #dontbuyfollowers


  • Build your followers organically. Find a great profile in your niche that is growing daily by more than 200. Follow their most recent 25 followers (the first time) and then check back every day and follow up to 200. As your account grows, you can follow more people each time you log in. Be careful! Follow too many at once or within a 24 hr. period and you’ll get blocked. Blocking can last 15 minutes to 72 hours. If you're really bad, it might last forever, go slow!


  • Beware of dead profiles. If you blindly follow people who are following a brand in your niche, you may be following inactive or fake accounts. They won’t follow you back. Also, most brands won’t follow you back.


  • Find active people to follow. Go to your home feed and follow people who have recently liked the posts of others.


  • Engage with others and be engaging! Build a profile with images that your audience will love or that benefits your audience in some way.


  • Find a tribe on Facebook and hook up on a follow thread or an Instagram Pod. I’m just learning about pods. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!


  • Don’t buy them on Fiverr. It’s no good, eventually, Instagram will do a sweep and remove all fake or inactive accounts. Don’t waste your time or money.



When working for new accounts, I often follow until blocked, wait an hour and then follow again. There’s a general consensus that says you can follow up to 200 profiles per hour. However, I’ve gotten blocked after following less than 25 people, and I’ve followed up to 1000 without getting blocked. It all seems to have something to do with the age of the account, how active it is, and how much other people engage with it.



Final Thoughts


For now, you can’t follow more than 7500 profiles at a time. Meaning, you won’t grow past 7500 with a follow for a follow. You’ll need to do some strategic following and unfollowing or be so super awesome that everyone knows you and can’t wait to follow you. Some people find it offensive to follow with the plan to unfollow. You decide. It's really difficult to grow very big otherwise- without cheating.


I use an Unfollowers app and unfollow people who don’t follow me back within a week. I whitelist everyone I want to keep following. The app allows you to add a star to profiles that you want to keep following. When unfollowing, it will skip over anyone with a star.


Occasionally, I get close to 7500 and have to unfollow some people I’d prefer to continue following. I have to focus on goals. I want real people. If they notice I unfollowed them and they unfollow me because they think it’s yuck, so be it. For this reason, I don’t follow all of my Facebook friends or family. We’ll keep in touch over there. Once you reach your goal, you can go follow them all back. What’s nasty, is that Instagram puts this limit on our accounts. We should be allowed to follow everyone who follow us!


Want to see what I’m up to? Follow me on Instagram or on my blog, Kids Creative Chaos. For more sponsored social media posts opportunities sign up for IZEA.



Check This Out:

Social Media for Dummies

Social Media Management Company: Are you Looking?

posted May 1, 2015, 8:25 AM by Lora Langston   [ updated Aug 19, 2017, 5:30 PM ]


The Play Connection is a full service social media management company. We offer services to drive traffic to your website, drive Amazon sales, build a community within your social media pages and more. 

socialmediamanagementmarketingbloggeroutreach


Our team of Mommy Bloggers are experienced social media marketers. TPC can introduce you to new platforms or direct you to the platform that is best for your business or blog.

Our full service, monthly social media marketing package will keep all the cogs and wheels of your social media running smoothly.  The full monthly package is $750-1000. This includes scheduled daily posts on Facebook, Twitter, and your choice of LinkedIN or G+, weekly pinning: commenting and optimization of your Pinterest profile (setup if needed), posting 3 times a week to Instagram: follower growth and engagement, blogger outreach: lining up bloggers to post on their social media about your products and arranging review posts in blogs, and your choice of  an additional social media platform (Polyvore, Quora, Amazon, etc.) Want blog posts for you site? We can do that too. Want SEO optimized on your site, yep, we do that too! 




Want to break it down and start small? Contact us for a la carte pricing. 

Want web design or coding? We can make recommendations. 

Newsletters, we can get you started. 

Consultation only: $25 per hr.

For an entire month, let The Play Connection manage (or set up and manage as needed) your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, G+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn accounts while you go out and play! We'll post fresh content every other day, check in daily to interact with your followers, grow your account, and target the right demographic for your niche. 

TPC will even write original blog posts or newsy articles for your product and share them across our social media outlets too.

Visit our UpWork Profile  or Lora's blog to see our social media stats.

Hire us: marketing@theplayconnection.com 
Subject Line: Social Media
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How to Start eCommerce Site, Store, or Business Online

posted Dec 28, 2014, 2:49 PM by Lora Langston   [ updated Aug 19, 2017, 5:29 PM ]


Here I am with some more unconventional, free advice on how to get started in eCommerce. Maybe you typed in the search bar, "how to start an eCommerce site or store or business online." Well, I have some advice you probably aren't going to like. Especially, if you've recently started a store or you have your heart set on starting an eCommerce site in the new year- because you are finally ready to get in on this rolling in the dough game. It's so easy, anyone can do it right?

how to start ecommerce online business


Wrong. Anyone can start a store. Anyone can pay "pros" a TON of money to set it up properly or amateurs too much money to do it wrong. What do I know about how to start an eCommerce business? Nothing or Everything, It depends on your perspective. I know enough to know that I don't want to set it up for you. Been there, done that. No thanks.

Have I ever owned my own eCommerce business? Not exactly. 

I did sell on eBay for years. I started long before I ever had a blog. I quit shortly after I started my blog, because eBay buyers can be very cruel. They don't see you as a person. They OFTEN lie about the merchandise the received or didn't. I quit after a woman won an auction for tons of Longaberger items and sent in a complaint that one of them had mold on it. What? Maybe. I cleaned it before mailing it. It might not have completely dried before I stuck it in the box to ship it- unlikely, but I won't rule it out. But... there were tons of other more valuable items. She didn't mention that in her complaint. She was awarded a FULL refund and  kept ALL of the items- including the "moldy' one. I lost a couple hundred bucks that day. That ended my eBay career. I don't have the skin for it.

What I do know is what NOT to do. What not to think. When to keep going and when to give up.

The truth of the matter is, if you decide to find some products (Alibaba?) or sell some of your own products with an eCommerce store without any other ADVANCED social media marketing and without money in the bank, you probably won't last 6 months. If you have an established brick and mortar business the startup is somewhat easier.

Forget what you've heard. Don't jump on the train. People are selling THEIR services. They want you to dive right in, fail, and seek their services. Even with their help, you'll probably still fail or run out of money and give up before you ever turn a profit. I've helped many an eCommerce biz. Some "established," some not so much, and several who had recently purchased the business. Sucker. Oh, that's not very nice... Nope, but it doesn't make it any less true.

They come to me when they realize it isn't working out. They need marketing to make some sales, but they've spent all of their money on setup, products, or professionals. They've got it all backward.

Think about what you would do. Would you buy a product from a rinky dink eCommerce site when you could buy something similar from Amazon, Target, or Walmart? Probably not. If you would, you probably shouldn't! It isn't safe. It is so easy to set up a fake website. 

Do you really want to give a stranger your credit card number or even worse, your bank account information? I sure don't. With that in mind, you've already lost a lion share of the market. You might attract a few people who are willing to take a risk for a really good deal or some really gullible people who buy without thinking. I guess that's where I come in. I'll help target and find those people in social media land and then bait them to your store. I can do that. I can't make them buy it though. That is your job. If you already have an established real world business this is less of an obstacle, because you already have loyal customers.

Well bummer, I just crushed your dreams. Nope. I'm still here to help, to consult, to advise. While I'm advising you, you'll get lots of messages from others who promise to help you down your original path. They make it seem so easy. They have your vision. They believe in you- unlike me. I'm too negative. Nope, I'm a realist. I want to see you succeed. I know the path to failure... I've seen it so many times.  

I'll do what you want, if you insist. It is your money after all, but every step of the way, I will make suggestions that will help you in the long run. The thing is, most people aren't in it for the long haul. They want or NEED results yesterday. They are getting deeper and deeper in the financial hole. They NEED to win the lottery. This idea they have- is going to make them millions... if only they could get the word out. Of course! I get it. I believe in you, but I hope you'll step back from the dreamy parts and be open to suggestions.

eCommerce and Online Store Marketing TIps


Here's a tip. If your product or idea is awesome, it will sell itself. Word of mouth will get around. When you go into share about it in social media, people will see it and remember it. They will want to know where they can get one. If it isn't spectacular, but something a lot of people could use or need... you need to start out differently. If you build it, they won't necessarily come.  If they come, you should build it. 

What does that mean? Here's my advice. Here are things that I can help you with, that will give you much better results than jumping in headfirst and sinking all of your cash into an online store.

The first thing I suggest to people who have a fledgling online store is to add a blog. Almost all of them doubt me. They don't see what a blog about something besides "buy my spectacular products" can help. They don't see how a recipe post or a post about diy tips is relevant to their vision. They don't want to waste time writing it, and they don't want to waste money paying someone else to do it. They do want to explain to me why that isn't what their business is about and why a blog isn't necessary...

If only they had started the blog posts first.

You should know by now that consumers don't want to be sold or pushed into buying something. The hard sell is dead. You need a soft sell. You know, like with edutainment and educational t.v. and games. We sneak learning into fun things kids like. The result, they learn without pressure or stress. This works with grown-ups too.  

So, to start an eCommerce store or online business, you should start with a soft sell. Start a blog. Use a platform that will allow you to set up a store and/or a shopping cart, but start the BLOG first. Build your platform. What do you stand for? What is your mission? How will your products help people? Focus on these concepts in your blog posts. If you can't write or don't have time to write, hire a blogger to write the posts for you. Do the same with Pinterest. Start pinning things people who will buy your products will like.  Then, you can bait and switch.

Blog Posts for Online Store and eCommerce Sites


We write posts on your blog for $35 each. They are written and optimized for SEO. However, for proper SEO, we need to load them into the site or train you on meta descriptions, tags, alt text, and the first 180 or so words in the paragraph. 

Gosh Darn it! You don't need 600 words in your text. This may have been something in the past, but it is no longer relevant. Shorter posts do better with humans. You want them to read all of it without getting bored, right? This post is too long! I should have divided it into two or even three posts. I might do that later. Why? Because, every pageview adds up. The more pageviews I get, the more pennies I get. 

If the post is properly optimized 250-400 words is just fine! 200 words or less can work too... People are looking for a quick read. I don't want to write 600 words posts! Neither do you. We'd get burn out fast. Truth. 

While I am ranting... PageRank is also dead., at least for now. Just ask Google. You'll have to care about pagerank to care about this statement. Pagerank is different than "get me to the top, number 1 spot on Google search." That's not dead. Just not realistic for everyone. Am I there? Yes, for some things for my website, Kids Creative Chaos.

Social Media for eCommerce Site and Online Business


Set up a Facebook page, a Pinterest profile, Instagram, and a Twitter account.
You've heard LinkedIn is good? Google Plus is fun? What about that Vine thing? Should you be on YouTube? Chill out. Focus on the most popular platforms while you build your brand. We'll add the others if they work for your brand... eventually.

Build real, organic followers. If you want to place an ad on the social media platform to get more followers, do that. The growth will be slow, but they will be people who chose to like you. 100 people who want to follow you is better than 5,000 who earn a penny for every page they follow. Right? Right. The only reason you would want to pay for 5,000 followers is to make your page look good or because a publisher won't sign you on a book deal until you have 5,000 or so followers on all of your social media sites. Eventually, those fake followers fall off or the social media platform bans their accounts. It isn't worth it. I promise. It might make you feel good, but when they disappear you'll wonder what you did wrong. Yes, yes, I can help with both things or I can consult with you, so you can do it yourself. Consulting fees are $25 per hr.  

How to Sell your Product Online


You have something to sell online? You are determined to sell it online? Start out on Amazon.com with your page and descriptions optimized for SEO. Write a blog post about your product and link back to Amazon. Become an Amazon affiliate and link to books or other similar products and earn a percentage on everything you sell. Yes, I can help with this too.

Once your blog is getting good traffic (about 2k pageviews per month minimum) opt for banner ads on your site. There are a lot of ad networks out there for every size website. It only takes one good clicker to bring in some revenue. What? You think 2000 pageviews per month is good? It is good enough to get the ball rolling. I promise. Remember, we are building it so more will come.

Ads for Websites and Blogs


Do you have money to toss around? Do a trial AdWords campaign. This will "get you on page one of Google" so to speak. That's what we all really want anyway, right? The idea is that once they come, they will come back and maybe the will also tell their friends to come. Word of Mouth.

NOW, we're talking! How long did this take? A good foundation takes about 3 months to build. It takes awhile for the search engines to come around and find all of your awesome targeted keywords. Yes, yes, even with a site map.  Note the keyword here: Foundation.

Do I Need a Site Map?


Do you need a site map? Not really. Your keywords and blog posts (when properly optimized) become your site map. Every time you write a new post be sure to use anchor text to link it to an older post and edit the older posts to include links to newer posts. What do I mean? This is good, keyword rich anchor text: Search Engine Optimization Tips for Beginners. The search bots will follow this link and say, hey! she talks about SEO on this site. That helps me rank for SEO tips. I must be serious about it, I have linked the keywords making them hyper important. Except, these are way down in my text. They'd do better with the bots in the first two paragraphs. Get it?

Great! You have a foundation. You have focus keywords. You have traffic. You've made some pennies. Your product is selling on Amazon. Your traffic is growing. Your Alexa rank is quite impressive. Now, you can consider starting an eCommerce store. If you already have a store, that's okay - just change your plan of attack.

First, consider this. Is your traffic just okay? Are your followers loyal? Do they trust you? Are they engaging with your posts in the blog and social media? Build a loyal following who loves you first. How do you make them love you? Give them something. A discount code for your Amazon product? An eBook? (That's a lot of work or money) A Free Printable that somehow relates to your product and mission? A free sample?

How do I get Blogger Reviews?


Free samples are great if you have an advertising budget. Offer a free sample (don't skimp) to bloggers in your niche. Yep, yep, yep, I can help you find them. I can contact them for you too. Offer them the product and some compensation for writing a review. Many bloggers will write a review that includes a free product for $25-75. Some will do it for free. Don't be tempted. Just pay them for their effort. Now, you have word of mouth. They will share in their social media circles, AND you will get a link in their website! Hooray for you! You're finally getting this. That link will show in Alexa as "sites linking in" - the more you have the better you rank. Go with established bloggers. Find them on UpWork not Craigslist. Fiverr is okay, but $5 isn't much of an incentive to leave the link in long term. I'd stay away from that.  The Play Connection Sponsored Social Media Network.

Don't make it your goal to have your store up and running in December, just in time for the holidays. You'll be disappointed. Shoot for the next holiday season. The one a year or more away. Don't do your push in November and December, start in July. Get your brand in their minds with social media. To set up a quality store that is properly optimized for SEO can take some time. Especially, if you hire the wrong people. Can I do that for you... yes. Will I? Probably not. It isn't a good time. It takes a long time and a lot of detailed work. I've done it several times now. Bleck. Maybe if the money is right. BUT, I can advise you on what you need and suggest someone who can do it for you, as well as, who you shouldn't hire. 

There are far easier ways to make money. See a theme here? You should consider what I am saying. If you think I am just a naysayer and full of poo.... well, do not hire me. I thank you for that ! :)

Social Media Marketing for eCommerce and Online Businesses

When your site is up and running and you need a little boost, I'm happy to help with that. If you did it backward, let's start at the top and give it at least 3 months. If your store is established and needs a lot of SEO and clean up, I can do that too. In this case, I'd prefer to do it while I am managing your social media - rather than you hiring someone else who tells you what you need to do - then you tell me what I should be doing. It ties my hands when you tell me what you've been doing. That isn't working. Let's try this.

If you want to start an eCommerce site or Online store without any help, follow the steps above and Google the "how tos"... How to set up a product on Amazon, How to start a blog, etc.... Feel free to Email me with simple questions if you get stuck. Good Luck!

Social Media Advice for Beginner Business

posted Nov 30, 2014, 9:02 PM by Lora Langston   [ updated Aug 19, 2017, 5:27 PM ]

How long have we been in the business of Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Management? Since 2006, when I started blogging and sharing my posts in social media. In 2009, I began marketing The Play Connection, Inc. online (at that time a special events venue for kids) through calendars, interacting in Mommy forums, and commenting on related websites. I had no idea I was working it for Search Engines or that I was acting as my own social media manager. I didn't even know that those things existed. From what I learned, I'll share some social media advice for beginner business.

After I shut the doors in 2012, I noticed a remarkable longevity to some of the calendar posts, Yelp Reviews, Yellow Page ads and interactions in the forums. I realized I was on to something. 

If only, I had known it at the time. I shut the doors due to lack of funding. My dream was bleeding me dry and then some. Then, my phone began to ring every day for birthday party room rentals, Easter programming, and summer camp registration- until I changed my number. I didn't understand what was happening. I frantically tried to locate all of those links and posts with my information in them as quickly as I could. It was depressing. No one was calling when I was sitting in a lonely building waiting for the fun to begin. Even though, I had carefully added my events to the calendars as much as a month in advance! 

Social Media Advice for Beginners
Want some free social media icons for your site? Visit Vecteezy.com.


Then, all of sudden the phone wouldn't stop ringing. I'm not going to lie, word of mouth played a role too, but those posts all over the internet were doing the bulk of the work. How do I know? I asked. "Where did you get this number?" "How did you hear about us?"

It took awhile for search engines to catch up with all the work I'd done. I was a failure, or so I thought. Most success stories are based on failures and the ability to bounce back or accept that their original idea wasn't the right idea. I think my original idea was the right idea, but I should have done more advanced planning. One of these days, when my kids are older, I plan to reopen those doors and keep my dream alive. 

Why do you care? Because I failed, so you don't have to!


SEO "Experts," professionals, who have some sort of official training in the area, don't seem to be what they claim. I wonder, where did these professionals get their experience? How did they learn what works and what doesn't? Do they have a successful blog or a website? Most of these guys, aren't really SEO experts, the majority are scam artists and the rest are usually just textbook experts. You know, tech guys who know how coding and such is supposed to work, what algorithms are and how they work, and how all of this knowledge should come together in theory. The problem is theories don't always work. Most SEO experts aren't Google Insiders- they have no idea how Google really works... nor do I. But, I know a few things about social media and how a few tweaks to a crappy Mommy blog, can make it a successful money making blog!

I do have one big reveal... If you came here to find someone who can manage your website for you- so you don't have to do anything and can sit back with your legs up while the money funnels into your bank account... you might not like it.  So, I'll save that big reveal until the end :)

You can find anything you need to know about SEO online for FREE. If you don't want to spend hours searching for the information- you can sign up for one of the thousands of webinars out there which offer the information, all in one place and neatly packaged for about $99. And then, you can do it yourself or at least know what you should be doing - so you don't get fleeced. People are getting fleeced every day. 

They are hungry. It's like, when you are starving and you are down to your last $10 bucks. What should you do? You probably should buy some rice or Ramen Noodles. Maybe buy some seeds to plant vegetables that will continue to feed you for weeks... something that can sustain you for a few days until you can earn more money for groceries, but instead, you go buy a Big Mac and Fries. Problem solved, you aren't hungry any more. When you get hungry again... well, you'll cross that bridge when you come to it. Right? Maybe you'll get lucky and find a dollar on the sidewalk.

You have money now or maybe you don't, but you think none of it will matter once you sink a little cash into your website. In no time, you'll be rolling in the dough. It'll be worth it. And, if you are paying someone to manage your SEO or social media accounts, you'll give them some incentive by letting them know- "if you do a good job, I'll be able to hire you for more hours at a higher rate." As you are saying this, you might be thinking- And if you don't, I won't have to pay you because you didn't do what you promised...

Let's be very clear, I don't make "promises." If I tell you I can do something for you, it is based on an evaluation of your site and what I THINK I can accomplish based on past experiences, but social media is fickle and there are no guarantees. The Play Connection team and I work very hard managing your accounts as if they were are own. We come to love our clients' websites and miss them when the contracts end. So much, that, when we see you out there in internet land, we often 'like' you with our latest client and comment, share and interact with our personal accounts- because we care!  

The Ugly

No. That's not you? You'd never do that. You know how business works. These are hardworking people who have dedicated themselves to becoming your voice and your face on social media. They put in several hours each week, posting, managing, sharing, tweeting, pinning- all the things you'd rather not be doing right now because, well, frankly, you have a life. Here's another secret, they do too. They are trying to do their best to please you- to be you. It can be difficult, not meeting in person, interacting with lengthy, long-winded phone calls, short texts, or long emails. 

When most people contract someone to do their social media, they contract for 1-20 hrs. per week. They don't factor in the emails, phone calls, marketing plans, and reports they expect to see. But, you have to... this is all part of the deal. Your social media manager has a life and other clients too. They can't make a living off your 3 hrs. per week. They have to work for others too. 

When you want to connect on your hour drive home from work or while you're in the middle of video conferencing with someone else and, "hold on, this will just take a minute" or you forgot your pre-scheduled call and call at dinnertime or bedtime...  yeah... there will be a charge for that. And, they probably won't answer the phone at dinner time or bedtime. No hard feelings - just be respectful of their time. 

We know you are king of XYZ and we should be honored to work with you, because one day you'll be an internet sensation but right now- you aren't. We want to help you reach your goal, but we AREN'T your Personal Assistant, VA, or Best Friend. Sorry. We also don't offer free couch sessions. The doctor is out. We just can't be those things. We focus on what we can do for you, and how we can HELP you do for yourself. That seems like an odd paragraph for search engine optimization tips and social media advice, but believe me there are a lot of people financially stressed who need a shoulder to cry on or people who NEED to feel important to hold on to their sanity. Yeppers, it takes all kinds. In fact, this paragraph may just be the best tip for beginners. If it resembles you, reevaluate. 

If you need to Skype everyday or check-in with a phone call to see what your SMM (Social Media Manager) needs to do to change things to see results yesterday, they are going to charge for that too... every. single. Skype. And then, you'll be upset because, "I am paying you for 3 hrs. a week and you've done nothing on my account this week!"  Notice those quotes? These things really happened. Happen. So many times, I had to write this post about it. 

So, I say... "Yes, Mr. XYZ, but it is Monday, and I haven't started working on your account this week, and we've already consulted for 4 hrs. this week." "What?" He says with astonishment in his voice. "You're charging me for nothing?" Well, yes, yes I am. You see, my brain is full of valuable information. My 'consulting only' fee is $25 per hour, (it really should be more) and you, sir, have a fantastic deal at $15 (or less) per hour. Oh. But, you didn't agree to consultations? I see. Well, my time is very valuable these days, I have several other clients. "Several other clients? You mean you aren't dedicating yourself to my cause?" Well... of course, Sir, I am very dedicated to managing your social media account and working toward your goals, but I cannot feed my family on 3 hrs. per week. Now, if you'd like to keep me on retainer, we can talk about a fee for that otherwise- less talking, more action.  ;) Just a word of advice - Retainers are a bad way to go for everyone. If you're starting a social media marketing business, beware of people offering retainers. Fixed price for agreed work is perfect. IMO Retainers are dangerous. 

If this happens repeatedly, we're probably going to offer some alternative ways for you to communicate or even recommend another social media manager for your account. As SMMs, we get that you want to chat up front or even in the first few days. Emails are great! They leave a written trail of evidence or memories in case either of us forgot something. Oh, yeah, I remember that now. Oh yeah, you didn't promise, it was a misunderstanding. 

Then, there was that guy, the guy, who even though the contract had ended refused to let us stop working on his account. He was a difficult client. Many times, I said, "I think we've done all we can do for you." We had achieved his original goal, completed the assigned tasks, and continued managing the accounts without a contract. BAD IDEA..

He decided he wanted more. More time, more effort, more traffic, more ROI, more, more, more. And, (since he'd paid me so much already) I was going to get it for him- just like I had "promised" or else. AND... he had a pretty nasty or else. Think slander, blackmail...

He wanted to talk about how we could do better. I wanted to end the work, we were no longer under contract, and we clearly had a personality clash. Every time we spoke, he asked what we could do to get better results. Every time, I told him (based on my experiences with my own blog and other client accounts) what we NEEDED to do to improve the results, and every time I made those suggestions, he told me why he felt that wouldn't work. 

I asked timidly. So, what do you want me to do? He guffawed. "You're supposed to be the expert!" Right... Threats or not, they didn't matter to me. I just didn't want to have an unhappy client. Remember, some people are never happy. I chose to let it go and off he went. Sometimes, I do still worry he'll do something crazy. You never know who you are dealing with in the World Wide Web.

One thing I CAN GUARANTEE... if my hands are tied, I cannot get results. We have a method. More hours isn't always the answer. You've heard the sayings, "blog smarter not harder" and "fake it until you make it"? There are a lot of people faking it out there, and a lot of people chasing them by blogging harder and wondering why they aren't making it. I won't tell you we need 10 hrs. per week when we only need 5 hrs. If you tell me you have 15 hrs. to spend, I'll let you know the actual time it will take to complete the tasks. NO fleecing here. I want to help you succeed. I want you to know it won't be easy. BUT, if you insist I work 15 hrs. a week pinning or tweeting... well, okay, I'll do it. After all, it is easy money. Just remember, I told you it wasn't necessary. 

Think of it like taking an aspirin, if two do a good job, then 200 must do a fantastic job... of killing you. More isn't always better. A lot of times, more will get you penalized by Google, frozen out by Facebook, or on probation with Twitter, and blocked by Instagram. Keep it simple. Slow and steady wins the race. It really does!!

No matter what you've heard, these things don't happen overnight. Sure, someone out there had tremendous luck and now their site has gone viral overnight. It is comparable to winning the lottery. Too many times, I've seen eCommerce sites or blogs throw in the towel right when everything was beginning to happen. They DELETE their sites.... and all that effort... and all that cash. 

If they would have asked me, I would have bought their domain for a small price. Likely, so would someone else- maybe for a large price! But, these people put a time limit on their goals. The goal didn't happen as quickly as they expected, so they just throw it all away. Nothing pays off better than time, resilience, and perseverance. 

Chaotic Confession: I had some of that luck. Pinterest shared my profile with new sign ups. A little luck, a little awesome sauce. New pinners didn't have to choose me as someone to follow, but one night they did- to the tune of 10k new followers overnight. I also have had a blog post or two go viral... luck? awesome sauce? perseverance? content my niche loves? Yes, to all- a perfect storm.

The Secret Sauce

Is your sauce good or bad? Sure, good marketers can sell even the nastiest sauce, but I don't want to. I don't want my name on nasty sauce, you know what I'm saying? The secret sauce is you- just ask Po. Po knows. 

If you are awesome sauce, the internet will love you and believe in you - so, let your personality come through in your branding. If you aren't awesome sauce, well, unfortunately, the internet can sense these things. Be awesome sauce! 

That's not to say your product or blog has to be exceptional, it just means that you have to have or present an awesome personality - whether people love to love you or they love to hate you, either way... love is good! 

So, the news you might not want to hear? Well, it has been my experience that those who are willing to put in their own work- interacting and engaging in social media at least a few times per week- are the most likely to succeed. Elbow Grease.

The Good

But... it really isn't all that difficult. What are your REALISTIC goals? What do you want to achieve with your website? We all have the same wishful thinking, but those aren't goals. Success isn't built on wishes. Keep the big picture in full view, but knock off the steps to get there with your feet firmly on the ground and your head screwed on tightly. Determination. You can do it with awesome sauce on top!

Traffic? What even is traffic anyway? 
Traffic is the daily amount of visitors to your site. The actual number of times people visit your site from wherever... Traffic and pageviews aren't the same thing. Depending on your goal, likely only one or the other will matter. 

For my blog, Kids Creative Chaos, I am more concerned with pageviews. Of course, more traffic leads to more pageviews, but if you get the right person to your blog, they can view many pages in one sitting. If you clicked the link, you just became traffic to my site which will show in my Google Analytics account as referral traffic from www.theplayconnection.com. Each time, you click a link to another post or tab, you give me a pageview. See. Super easy. Why does that matter to me? I want to get sponsored posts. The big brands want to know how many monthly pageviews I get. The more the better. 

Organic Search? Where does traffic come from? Traffic can come from Organic Search. In the description above, it describes referral traffic. Referral traffic usually requires a lot of effort on your part- unless some awesome sauce site shares a link to your site. It isn't the same as paid search engine traffic with AdWords. Organic Search is the most awesome of the awesome sauces. 

This is what you dream about when you start out. Someone types in some words or a question into the search engine bar and boom you appear as the #1 unpaid site for that topic, also known as keyword. This is what people are talking about when they say, "I want you to get me to number one on Google Search." Of course you do, but, um, let us be realistic first. If your keyword is-- oh I don't know-- "face book," (yes, I've really been tasked with that) you won't be listed #1 in Google Search for Facebook. I promise. 

This website draws organic search for "Elance 5 stars," (Now Upwork) "SEO Expert," and "Kids Creative Chaos." I didn't even try. I haven't done any SEO on this site. I barely look at it anymore, because, I am super busy working on the organic keyword search for my blog, KIDS CREATIVE CHAOS. If I were to optimize it, I would choose keyword phrases like "Social Media Manager" or "Search Engine Optimization Tips."

So... if you've been SEO shopping, you've probably heard one of two philosophies. Some SEOs will tell you 'if your SEO is telling you to go for short or longtail keyword phrases, they don't know how to do their job.' These SEOs insist that they can get you to the top of Google Organic Search with just one keyword. Maybe. It isn't impossible, but it is a long shot. It will probably require a series of SEO work on your site. More than you had initial thought required. 

Either way, if your site is established, updating SEO can be a daunting, time consuming task. Expect to pay for many hours of work. Newer sites don't require as much work. The keywords can be inserted in key places with little editing required. From that point forward, every post, article, or page text will need to plug in the keywords in the appropriate places. Beware, many SEOs don't plug them in the right places. They analyze your site, suggest the best keywords, and either use them in text or tell you to use them in text without knowledge of the key places the words and phrases need to be for PROPER SEO.

Long shots can happen. In fact, by sheer accident, my blog, Kids Creative Chaos, ranks extremely high for a set of PRIMO keywords. They bring tons of traffic to my site and advertisers PAY PREMIUM fees to get ads for those words. That was not AWESOME SAUCE. That was luck. I had no idea what I was doing, and I inadvertently placed some keywords in key places in a couple of posts I wrote in 2006. What are they? As if...  

As lucky and awesome as it sounds, I did not embrace it in the beginning. It was not what I wanted to blog about. These were not my chosen keywords for my niche. They have very little to do with my site in general. So... I kept blogging harder. Then one day, circa 2011, I decided if Google likes me enough for Page #1 ranking for those words, I'm going to embrace it. Thus, I began blogging smarter. 

Get creative. Know what your blog or site is really saying. How does Google see it? Don't force it. When you get into your Google Analytics and see unusual keywords driving traffic to your site- ask not what you can do to change it, ask what you can do to cash in on it. USE THOSE WORDS every chance you get - even if you don't see the connection. Google sees it. Spin it - you know, like I do on my blog, KIDS CREATIVE CHAOS.  

I'm not plugging the blog here. I am plugging the words that drive traffic to this site. They really don't do much for this site - unless a person knows, the blogger at Kids Creative Chaos is a social media manager and they want to look me up to manage their accounts. You know how they say, "I just love to sell cars?" I just love to play around with organic search traffic. I'm the guinea pig, so you can learn from my mistakes, happy accidents, and expert experience.

Know what else is AWESOME SAUCE? When organic traffic is coming to your site (referred) by the search of your name! Totally awesome sauce that this site and my blog, both get organic search engine traffic for 'Kids Creative Chaos.' Why? They ask for me by name. The know my name. Name recognition is the most awesome sauce ever.

Per Alexa, my blog has been ranked as low as 40k in the US, 1200 in the UK, and 89k in the World. At the time of this posting, it has fallen to 125k in the US. Pretty good. Not awesome sauce. The secret here is- I know how to make it rank even lower. I have the awesome sauce and the initiative, but the time evades me these days. Of course, I want to be #1, but I have a realistic goal of under 2ok. When I get there, I will reevaluate my goals. I like to break goals up into obtainable bits. This gives me lots of opportunities to celebrate.

I spend all of my extra time and then some building a solid, Upwork 5 Star rating and a business that can keep me financially afloat while I work toward my goal of residual retirement income. This business is one of my 5 streams of income funnels. Those entrepreneur experts all agree that several streams of revenue coming in all at once is the key to financial success. No resting on my laurels or loras as it were. 

Next time, we'll do social media marketing and search engine optimization tips 102: Things you MUST ask your SEO. We'll go more in depth on Pageviews too.

Remember, you CAN do it and we're here to help!

Don't like what I have to say? Completely disagree? Saying, duh! Then, don't hire us to help... please. Not sure what to think, because you've heard so many opposing points of view? I understand. It is hard to weed out the bad guys, the cons, and the amateurs. 

Let's be 100% honest, I'm probably best described as a professional amateur. I've learned through trial and error. I will only take on your task, if I think I can give it a boost. Like what I have to say? Drop me a note: lora@theplayconnection.com I am happy to consult with you, so you can do it yourself. You are your own awesome sauce!

Want to see our 5 Star Rating? Find us on Upwork

posted Dec 12, 2013, 11:21 AM by Lora Langston   [ updated Aug 19, 2017, 5:25 PM ]

We're on Upwork, the team is ready to work for you. Each member has a special talent, some are proficient in Pinterest Marketing to drive valuable traffic to your website. Others are creative who use photoshop, picmonkey, gimp, or micrografix to pimp your photos, make your memes, or highlight your motivational or silly quotes.

Social Media Marketing and Pinterest Management


Santa's Elves of Indy - Santa Reunion and Elf Picnic

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:16 PM by Lora Langston   [ updated Sep 4, 2013, 8:14 AM ]

Sept. 28, 2013 at Central Park in Heartland Crossing     12-3 p.m. 


Santa Family Reunion and Elf Picnic Camby, Indiana

Come join Santa & his elves for an afternoon of fun at the Santa Family Reunion & Elf Picnic! This community event is FREE to the public. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch and enjoy the festivities! Interact with members of the Santa family at our Santa Stations where children can listen to stories, build a toy, or write a letter to Santa and more!



Ask about Raffle Tickets $1 each.  Great prizes!


 

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