Sub Sea Systems — Our World is a blog dedicated to the unique experiences of Sub Sea Systems — Immerse yourself in our incredible adventures, company culture, and innovative programs and products.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

How to Start a Blog for your Business




In  todays world of mass digital consumption the only way to reach target audiences is to offer content that people want to see/read. We all know that social media is an important aspect of marketing, but one of the best ways to offer content is to build a blog. Blog is short for web log. It is a place to tell a story, share a product, offer advice… pretty much anything you can imagine can be made into a blog post.

If you do not have a blog you are missing out on a really big opportunity to attract customers to your business. Writing about your business, sharing testimonials, posting photos and creating a personality behind your brand builds a ‘fan base’ that can be utilized in targeted marketing campaigns, emails, newsletters and more. We suggest you hesitate no longer. Start your blog today.


How to get started



Sign-up/ host your blog


The first thing you need to do is choose a blog hosting site. You can build your blog on your own website, on Wordpress, or many others. We chose Blogger. Blogger is a Google product and Google is the most used search engine; 72% of all internet searches use Google. We are not saying they rank their own products higher in searches — you still have to write quality content and follow SEO rules, but we like Blogger and it is pretty intuitive.

If you choose Blogger you will have to create (or sign in to) a Google account. Click here for instructions. Then proceed to www.blogger.com. Click the button that says New Blog. A pop up screen will ask you for the blog’s title, custom address (url), and offer choices for a template (don’t worry, other than the title, you can change these things later). Then click create blog.



Once your blog is created, click the orange pencil to write your first post. This can be an announcement that you are starting a blog. We just need to be able to see what it will look like so we can start designing the look of your blog. After you are done Click publish. A pop-up will ask you if you want to share on Google+ (this is a good idea) click share or cancel.

Design your blog



On the left you will see a menu. Explore the items to familiarize yourself with how Blogger works. Your blog is now live, but there are still many things you may want to do to make your blog look like it fits in with your business website. There are also many ‘gadgets’ that can add functionality, for example: social media links or sign-up forms that automatically email your blog to your subscribers (we like Mailchimp).

Go to your Template. Play around and see what you like. Once you decide, choose the template and then click customize. A new Menu will appear. This is where you can choose text color, background images and more. Your branding should be apparent. Logos, fonts and colors should all reflect your business’s style. There are many tutorials online that can help you to achieve your desired result. When you are satisfied click apply to blog. Then click View blog to see it live on the world wide web.

Setting up the blog is only a small part of what a blog requires. Now you have a place to post, but the most challenging/rewarding part of a blog is constantly coming up with fresh content that people want to see and that will bring people to your business. You have to be creative.

Create a marketing schedule

Gather ideas/ Plan ahead


First decide how often you want to post. For small businesses that cannot afford a team of content creators, I recommend at least once a week, and planning 3 months in advance. Choose which day of the week you want to post (it helps to post consistently, but it is not necessary), and here is the fun part… decide what you want to post.

Find inspiration in everything. Do you have a silly joke idea that is relevant to your business? How about a recipe that you love — can you tie it in to what your business represents? Think about the things you look at when you are online and replicate those in a creative way that reflects your brand’s personality.

An illustration from our blog

Testimonials, Holiday related posts, current events, viral videos — all these things are excellent treasure troves of content. Share the unique perspective that only you and your business can provide. You can also search for blog ideas online and manipulate the ideas to fit with your style.

Keep an ongoing list; write down any idea you have and then choose the ones you like the best. Every time you think of something add it to the list, then when you need to create the next 3-month schedule you already have something to pull from.

Now add your blog post ideas to your calendar. You can also use this calendar for other marketing strategies like Facebook posts or Pinterest boards. You can even theme each week around a specific topic so that all of your marketing centers around …say — Shark Week. Just make sure when you get to the end of the 3 months that you have another brainstorming session and plan for the next 3 months.

Write/Post


The length of your blog post depends on the subject, but a good goal to have in mind when writing is 300-500 words. Images are also extremely important. There are a lot of tutorials on how to do your own photo-shoot (no one wants to look at boring stock photos of a smiling lady on the phone). Get creative.


SHARE


Finally — share. Post your blog everywhere. On your website, on your Facebook. Pin it on Pinterest. Email it to your Mom. Get it out there for people to see.

Blogging is a lot of work (it is fun, too), and staying organized is key.

To recap:


  • Sign-up/host your blog 
  • Design the look
  • Gather Ideas/Plan Ahead
  • Write/Post
  • SHARE 


Good luck!

Did I miss anything? Add your thoughts in the comments below.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

An Under-the-Sea, Mermaid, Pool Party; Perfect for Any Summer Day




Summer celebrations generally revolve around good friends, backyard barbecues and swimming. What better way to combine these traditions than to throw a mermaid birthday party? Pinterest provided the most fantastic, fun, and whimsical party ideas—perfect for a ten year old girl’s summer birthday party — Well, actually, this party is perfect for girls from 1 to 100 (for any reason), and with a little adjustment to the theming (say… pirates), for boys, too.

The first thing to do was create a Pinterest board for party ideas and products that provide inspiration. DIY crafts, snack ideas and even mermaid tails and fish scale earrings filled our Mermaid Party board. Then it was time to go shopping and stockpile the things needed to make the vision a reality.


Decorating was a 2-day process that began the weekend before the big day. The display area set the scene. Teal tulle wrapped around fairy lights swirled in pearls and clear ornament “bubbles” created the backdrop. A beautiful candelabra with a bedazzled fork, spoon and knife was the center piece. (Can’t leave out the dingle-hopper — See the Little Mermaid.) Seashells, candles and starfish were dispersed around serving dishes (try this DIY ).



Aqua netting and starfish were draped near the ceiling; and goodie “bucket” party favors were made using full-size plastic buckets with shovels, blow-up beach balls, squirt guns, bubbles, little sea creatures, blue swirl lollipops and blue saltwater taffy. Seashell tags were cut with a Cricut and tied to the buckets with sisal. Tootsie pop “octopops” were crafted, and sea treat bags filled and displayed on a favor table.




On the day of the party little food labels were fashioned from colored paper cut with a Cricut and then hand drawn and decorated. The signs made the snacks fun! From “coral” (Cheetos) and “bait” (Goldfish crackers) to “oysters” (click here) and “flounders friends” (click here) the food arrangements were pure fantasy! Seaweed (spinach dip), a watermelon shark and more clever snacks filled the food table with whimsy and delight.





Green “seaweed” streamers twisted up the walls, and with the help of the Cricut, sea creatures, coral and mermaids populated the seaweed. Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting were adorned with aqua cupcake wrappers, rainbow sprinkles and candy sea creatures, and placed on a cupcake display (Pampered chef). The candle numbers (1 and 0) were decorated with glitter, pearls and sequins and placed on the two cupcakes at the top. A seashell punch bowl held mermaid punch (click here).



The backyard was decorated with fairy lights and little blowup fish dangling from the awning. Chests of cold drinks and seating areas with shady umbrellas kept the heat away for the non-swimmers. The kids spent most of the time in the pool swimming and splashing.


The best part of the party was the tails — wearable mermaid tails complete with flippers and beautiful colors and patterns. What little girl (or any girl) would not want a mermaid tail? The girls all shared three tails and took turns for pictures. The boys wore regular flippers and had races to see who was the fastest.

Of course Disney’s The Little Mermaid was playing in the background while everyone ate dinner and sang ‘Happy Birthday.’ The mermaid birthday party was a hit!!! Happy kids (and mermaids) and happy parents.

 Please see our Pinterest board for more Pinspiration, and feel free to share any other ideas with us. Throwing a mermaid or pirate themed party? What would be a better gift for the sea-lover in your life than a Sea TREK underwater walk? Check our locations page and book today. They will NEVER forget this gift.



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