Recent Posts

476

Required reading of publishers, content marketers, and social media dorks

Every once and a while I'll share an article on the Offbeat Empire's Slack, and tell everyone that they need to read it. It's usually something about the future of publishing, or content marketing, or social media. I find all these things fascinating (if a little cynical-making, sometimes), and that in mind, I thought I'd re-share a few of the things I've made staffers read recently…

529

Our remote working team conflict resolution policy

The Offbeat Empire is staffed by a team of contractors who all work remotely. Sure we're based in Seattle — but I'm the only person who lives here. The rest of the staff is in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Michigan. We keep in close touch via Slack, and we're all nice people… but still: conflicts happen. This in mind, I thought I'd share the Offbeat Empire's official conflict resolution policy.

221

Psst, vendor friends: special invite for HoneyBook's tools for event planners & creative businesses

Every once in a while I hear about one of my colleagues offering something y'all are going to love. Today, it's a service for my event planner friends and other small biz folks.

Because, you know what's great? Your awesome creative job that you love. You know what sucks? The paperwork. Documents, deadlines, emails, clients… HoneyBook organizes them all in one place so you can focus on the fun parts of your biz.

2.0k

Things that could only happen while Ariel is on vacation…

Do you know what's bound to happen the moment I go on a date, editor Catherine goes to a movie, and our boss Ariel is on vacation with ZERO data on her phone and no internet connection? The post that went viral all day long — the one that had (miraculously) no drama for the amount of traffic it was bringing in, lulling us into a feeling of internet stranger security — will absolutely erupt in controversy.

Recent Publishing

476

Required reading of publishers, content marketers, and social media dorks

Every once and a while I'll share an article on the Offbeat Empire's Slack, and tell everyone that they need to read it. It's usually something about the future of publishing, or content marketing, or social media. I find all these things fascinating (if a little cynical-making, sometimes), and that in mind, I thought I'd re-share a few of the things I've made staffers read recently…

529

Our remote working team conflict resolution policy

The Offbeat Empire is staffed by a team of contractors who all work remotely. Sure we're based in Seattle — but I'm the only person who lives here. The rest of the staff is in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Michigan. We keep in close touch via Slack, and we're all nice people… but still: conflicts happen. This in mind, I thought I'd share the Offbeat Empire's official conflict resolution policy.

2.0k

Things that could only happen while Ariel is on vacation…

Do you know what's bound to happen the moment I go on a date, editor Catherine goes to a movie, and our boss Ariel is on vacation with ZERO data on her phone and no internet connection? The post that went viral all day long — the one that had (miraculously) no drama for the amount of traffic it was bringing in, lulling us into a feeling of internet stranger security — will absolutely erupt in controversy.

1.6k

Forums are dying

For the last four years, the Offbeat Bride Tribe's traffic has been in decline.
Across the web, forums are dying as we all increasingly default to social media like Facebook. What does this mean for the future of the Tribe?

705

Pinterest vs Facebook: how different algorithms encourage different publisher behavior

While both Facebook and Pinterest traffic are hugely important to me, I interact with the two networks very differently. As a publisher, Facebook has me trained like a dog: we post all day, every day on our Facebook page because we see an immediate, real-time traffic boost when our posts go out. Meanwhile, I have very little control over the traffic Pinterest sends, even though I also post there all day every day. So why do I keep pinning?

Recent Web development

232

Intrasite navigation added on mobile view

Rejoice, mobile readers of all the Offbeat Empire websites! The intrasite navigation has now been added as a persistent little nav bar above the header bar on your mobile phone! This means that from any of our sites, anywhere on the page, you can always click over to ANY of our other sites. Hallelujah!

800

Six month redesign post-mortem: navigation bar changes

Remember how when we did the redesign last winter, the biggest bone of contention was with intrasite navigation? Lots of you were like, "Wait, you made it hard for me to browse between the different Offbeat Empire sites!" and I was like "Ack, here I'll try this! No wait, this! No wait, how about this?!"

Well, six months later my stats made it clear that I fucked that shit right up.

891

How to submit the world's most perfect bug report

I have been taught the most magical method of submitting tech support requests that make it easy for developers (or anyone!) to understand what the problem is, so that they can hopefully fix it.

I'm slowly training my staff to use this method, and while it takes some getting used to… it's a game changer. Yes, it's helpful when you're trying to tell someone what's busted on a website, but it's also helpful when calling your ISP, or your cable provider, or the person who made your computer. It's basically the best way ever to get help from someone. Here's the template:

706

Ever have trouble reaching ALL the Offbeat Empire sites?

Sometimes our anti-spambot tools get confuse and misidentify legit readers as spambots, and dark them out. There's no error, no messaging… there's just NOTHING. You've been darked out. The pages just stop loading. There's no error, no messaging… there's just NOTHING. Here's what to do if you accidentally get darked out.

Recent Business development

1.4k

Terrifying moments in my company's growth

Offbeat Bride launched on January 1st, 2007 and over the past 8+ years, the Offbeat Empire has grown from a thing I did first as a side hobby, then as a job for me, and eventually as a small business that supports a part-time staff of seven contractors. Looking back, I can see where there were a few terrifying milestones that forced my hand on growth. I'mma offer these up for y'all to consider… because growing pains are terrifying but kind of awesome.

321

Offbeat Bride mentioned in Mobile Beat Magazine

Offbeat Bride was featured recently in Mobile Beat Magazine, an industry publication for DJs, VJs, and KJs. The post was written by a longtime Offbeat Bride vendor, Staci from Revolution Weddings. It's always so great to hear when our vendors have such a great experience with us that they want to share it with other folks in their industry!

Recent Community Management

1.6k

Forums are dying

For the last four years, the Offbeat Bride Tribe's traffic has been in decline.
Across the web, forums are dying as we all increasingly default to social media like Facebook. What does this mean for the future of the Tribe?

1.2k

How Offbeat Empire comment moderation has changed since 2012

Over the last couple years, however, things have shifted DRAMATICALLY with our comments. The shifts felt so natural to us behind the scenes that they felt kind of gradual, but when I look back I realized that it's been a huge change over a relatively short period of time, all leading up to a dramatic shift that readers may not be fully aware of. Here are a few of the things that have changed…

680

How to tell a publisher you're unhappy with their website (and actually get them to consider making changes)

Over the past eight years, I've dealt with thousands of complaints from readers… ranging from the completely baffling the to the hugely helpful. I've noticed a few patterns in what makes the difference between constructive and helpful feedback vs extremely frustrating feedback. The next time you're unhappy with a publisher, here are my suggestions for how to make sure your feedback is heard and acted upon:

852

In-image ads on Offbeat Home & Life

Normally the business side of running the Offbeat Empire blogs lives, well, here on the Offbeat Empire's behind-the-scenes blog. But today on Offbeat Home & Life, Megan did a post about her and my joint decision to ad in-image ads to the site. It felt important to do over there, since it's something we anticipated the reader community would have LOTS of opinions about. And they did… but not the ones I expected.

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