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Offbeat wedding market lessons #1: 43% of nontraditional couples pay for their own weddings

Huddle up close, wedding industry readers and anyone else who likes to nerd-out on market research. This week Liene Stevens of Think Splendid released her market research about the nontraditional wedding market, and there are some FASCINATING tidbits. This week, I'll be putting on my demographer's hat and highlighting five unique aspects of the nontraditional wedding market.

First, know this: about 20% of the wedding market identifies as "offbeat." This is a surprise to me, as I thought it was only about 10%. This makes it so that the offbeat wedding market is about as big as the destination wedding market — um, holy shit!? I had no idea.

6

My incredibly complex SEO strategy

Of Offbeat Bride's 500,000 unique monthly users ("unique users" being an analytics term, although my users ARE very unique in a more general sense), about come to the site from a search engine.

So the question then becomes, what incredibly brilliant SEO strategy did I use to get traffic like this?

Here's my answer…

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Tough love: are you making these marketing communication mistakes?

I LIKE MARKETING. Done correctly, I strongly believe that it can be helpful, useful information. Done poorly, it's irritating. Done really poorly? It's a form of assault.

My Empire work makes me a target for a lot of marketing campaigns from both small businesses and large corporations alike. Both make marketing mistakes. Here are a few that you can learn from…

4

The rapid growth of Pinterest as a referrer

The rise of Pinterest as top referrer has been pretty remarkable to watch. At this point, it's consistently one of the top 5 external referrals to Offbeat Bride on any given day. It still amounts for less than 1% of the site's traffic (it's hard to compete with Google, Facebook, and the mysterious magic of StumbleUpon), but Pinterest's quick ascent from "barely there" to "significant contender" has definitely caught my eye as a publisher.

3

One more reason why I don't do giveaways Empire blogs

We stopped doing giveaways on all the Empire blogs a couple years back because they were a huge pain in the ass to administer, they made my websites somehow liable for other people's products, they gummed up our commenting systems, and weren't really of any lasting value in terms of traffic or promotions. But I just learned there's another reason why I'm glad we don't do them…

7

Offbeat Bride featured in Huffington Post's new Weddings section

I was interviewed for an article about nontraditional weddings that the launch story of the Huffington Post's brand new Weddings section:

"I do think there has been a gradual shift over the last five years toward personalization that goes beyond monograms on the napkins or wedding colors," said Ariel Meadow Stallings, publisher of the blog Offbeat Bride, which dishes inspiration and advice for couples craving "authentic weddings full of intention and personality" and that, in turn, gets 2.2 million page views a month.