Mentoring Mondays with Jodi - Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
It's time for Mentoring Mondays! Todays featured mentor is Jodi of Magical Mouse Schoolhouse. Her amazing website is full of ideas for bringing some Disney Magic into your home schooling. Her advice here is nothing short of fantistic. Thanks for being a Monday Mentor Jodi!!
Here's her logo, I love it!
- Introduce yourself and describe your blog.
Hi, Donna Kay! Thanks for inviting me to your Mentoring Mondays! I am Jodi Whisenhunt, a writer, editor, wife and mom of 3 kids, living near Dallas, Texas. I own Magical Mouse Schoolhouse (MMS), where Disney IS school. My friend Carol Beth Scott of 3D Travel Company and I established MMS as a way to help homeschoolers stretch the boundaries of the home classroom. We uncover educational tidbits that hide in Disney movies, Disney theme parks, Disney story books, Disney art and more. At the end of each post, we provide ways to enhance lesson plans with the fun, exciting appeal of Walt Disney entertainment. Though we’re geared toward home educators, really anyone with kids can have fun learning while they play.
- What inspired you to start blogging?
I began blogging in 2008 as an extension of my freelance editing business. Magical Mouse Schoolhouse launched February 1, 2010, to offer homeschoolers more options. We didn’t want just a common, run-of-the-mill blog, though. That’s not the Disney way! The Walt Disney Company “plusses” everything they do; they take the standard and kick it up a notch. Likewise, with MMS we strive to plus not only the homeschool experience, but also the Disney experience.
- What do you think is the best way to attract new readers/followers?
Social media networking! No doubt about it. You cannot underestimate the power of that tool. It’s essentially the old word-of-mouth referral system, kicked up a notch—or plussed.
- What is the best/worst advice you have ever received?
Regarding blogging? Or life in general? LOL! Regarding blogging, I think the best advice has been to maintain my online presence and be professional but also be real. Can’t really think of any bad advice, because I try to seek out only what’s helpful. Now, regarding general life advice, I plead the 5th! That could just get me in trouble ;)
- What is the biggest mistake most new bloggers make?
They don’t post new material regularly. It’s very important to keep fresh material flowing on a regular basis or you’ll lose readers (or not gain them).
- How important is social networking (Twitter/Facebook) to blogging? Any advice on getting followers/likes?
Extremely! As I said above, you cannot underestimate the importance of social media networking. It is FREE marketing. You have access to potentially thousands of readers. You connect with people who share your personal and/or business interests who are more than willing to spread word about your site. (Of course, it’s common courtesy to return the favor.) It really is the best way to let people know your site exists, to find people you can learn from, and really to make some great friends.
The easiest way to increase your following is to follow. Look over people’s Twitter lists, like my list of Disney Tweeters. Follow those who interest you. Many but not all will follow you back.
Participate in #FF (Follow Friday) on Twitter. Recommend the people you enjoy and follow others who are recommended.
Very important: Interact with your followers! Converse with them. Build relationships with them. Not only will you find some great new friends, but they’ll learn more of what you’re about and will be better able to recommend you to their friends and followers.
Participate in blog hops. Host or guest host them on your site as well. I host Tiggerific Tuesday! Blog Hop…or Bounce! every Tuesday. Stop by and link up. Email me at jodi(at)magicalmouseschoolhouse(dot)com if you’d like to guest host.
Leave meaningful comments on others’ blogs. And don’t forget to leave your URL!
Guest post on others’ blogs and occasionally invite them to guest for you. You’ll bring in some of their readers.
Join social media sites. For Disney bloggers, join Dismarks, the Disboards, Mouselinked, etc. Join theme groups on sites like LinkedIn, and be an active participant.
Study the market and educate yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing that right now by reading this post!
- How important are labels, and do you have any advice on choosing labels for posts?
Labels are important, but you need to make sure your site is set up correctly so that the search engine bots can find you. If you, like me, are technologically-limited, seek out someone to help you. Have them check your meta tags and run analyses of your labels. Search Google’s key word rankings, and if they’re usable with your blog’s theme, include them in your labels to help drive traffic to your site.
- What is your favorite meal while visiting Disney?
Wow, that’s a tough question! We really enjoy O’hana at the Polynesian Resort for its delicious food and fun atmosphere. Another place we always stop when we visit Walt Disney World, even though it’s a franchise eatery, is Raglan Road at Downtown Disney. Honestly, I can’t think of any Disney food we don’t like!
- Do you have a Disney Vacation tip you would like to share with our readers?
Try to go during off-peak times, take advantage of Fast Pass, order your Disney Photo Pass CD in advance of your trip (save $) and definitely get the Disney Dining Plan.
- Anything you would like to add?
When you visit Walt Disney World or any other Disney Resort, pay attention. Don’t be so rushed you forget to notice the details. Don’t stress over long ride waits; look around and learn from the queue décor. Stop and talk to Cast Members, and thank them for making your trip so magical. When you get home blog all about it! And if you have any requests or suggestions of things you’d like to read about at Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, I’d love to hear from you at jodi(at)magicalmouseschoolhouse(dot)com.
Thank you so much for this opportunity! We are www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Magical.Mouse.Schoolhouse.
Oh! By the way, we host Giveaway Wednesday on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. Put your Disney knowledge to the test and you may win a Magical Mouse Schoolhouse T-shirt and/or other cool prizes!