10 Ways to Build a Killer Web Presence Without Social Networking

How to build your online reputation without social media networks or your own blog.

online reputation cartoonThis is a guest post by Danielle McGaw. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.

It is common knowledge today that employers are using the search engines to find out more about their potential employees than they could ever legally ask in an interview.

They can find out more about you than you might realize.

Ever posted something stupid on a forum?

Or how about posted pictures of your wild weekend in Mexico?

Or maybe you made a YouTube video ranting about the job you just got fired from.

Employers can find all of that and more and it is should be part of your job search strategy to make sure that your online reputation is a positive one.

You can influence your online reputation by keeping a career blog or using social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter, very beneficial if you do it right.

But what if you don’t want to do things? You might not have the incentive to blog regularly or you might not understand Twitter.

If you don’t like social media or you don’t want to be bothered with keeping up a blog, these are some of the other ways you can have a positive effect on your online presence:

1. Create an About.me page

About.me is a profile page and this should be your first step.

Write a summary about yourself and add links to places you want employers to find you online.

This is the place that you are going to point all of your other online efforts toward because you can include your email on this page and allow employers to contact you.

Since you'll use this page instead of a blog or web site, it needs to be perfect so here are a few tips:

  • DO include a picture. People feel more connected to you when they can see what you look like. Choose a clear and simple face shot. Make sure there is a little bit of color in it and make sure that you are not wearing something low cut or off the shoulder to avoid looking like you’re naked.
  • DON’T include links to any social networks if you are not using them professionally. In other words, if you swear even once in awhile or bash anyone, this is not a site you want to draw the employer’s attention to.
  • DO spend some time on crafting the perfect summary. Just like a resume or cover letter, the spelling and grammar need to be perfect. You need to choose the correct wording and sound like the professional that the employer wants to hire. Think of your summary as a sales pitch and you are the product!
  • DON’T use a cute background. Something simple will let the employer focus on what is important – you.

2. Article marketing

Online marketers use article marketing all the time to increase their presence online and to create valuable backlinks for their main site.

Create an article (500-1000 words is usually the optimal length) about the industry that you are involved in to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

You could write about newsworthy topics or topics that will always be relevant to the industry (also called evergreen topics), or you can write an opinion piece or an informational article.

Make sure that your name is attached to the article and that it points back to the main place online that you want employers go to – your About.me page.

Most article marketing sites allow you to place links either in the body of the article or in a resource box (and sometimes both). Optimize the resource box by writing two or three lines of text that peak the reader’s interest and encourage them to click through to your profile page.

One of my favorite sites for article marketing is InfoBarrel.com because they allow you to leave two links in the article, two links in your bio box, and you can create a profile page with as many links as you like. It is a growing site with a good reputation.

EzineArticles is another reputable site that allows you to create a profile page and leave links in the resource box.

When you’ve written a really great article, make sure to go back to your About.me page and include the link there.

3. Guest posting

Guest posting is when you write a blog post for someone else's blog.

When you find a blog that is in your area of expertise, contact the owner with a proposal for a guest post. You’ll be more likely to be invited to submit a guest post if you have a well thought out proposal for a post and if you have spent some time on the blog reading. Your guest post will not be accepted if you are suggesting a topic that they have recently covered.

AllTop.com is one of the best places to find industry related blogs. They have a category for almost every industry that you can think of and many of these blogs get great traffic, which means more exposure for you.

Some of the things you should look for in a blog that you are interested in guest posting on are age (don’t spend time on blogs that are less than 6 months old), amount of posts (if they only have 10 posts they are not likely a well read blog), and position in the search engines (blogs that show up in the first few pages are more likely to be well read).

4. Create a great email signature

If you send out emails at all, you should learn how to create a great email signature.

Whether you are using a free email service (like Gmail or Hotmail) or an email that is connected to your ISP, you should be able to create an email signature. If you are not sure how to do this, look for a Help link and search for “email signature” to find instructions.

Your email signature should be short and sweet and contain a link to your About.me page. Don’t just include the link though. A well-crafted sentence that encourages people to click on the link will get better results.

Make sure you include your email signature in all outgoing emails.

5. Do a podcast or be a guest on a podcast

A podcast is like an online radio show.

Putting one together can be complicated but if you are good with computers you will be able to figure it out pretty quickly. The best podcasts are informative and entertaining, but not too long.

About a half an hour in length is great for your purposes. You can discuss industry news or provide tips.

If creating your own podcast is too technical for you, you can search through podcast databases for podcasts that already exist. There is usually a messaging system that will allow you to contact the owner of the podcast. Reach out to them and ask if there is any way you could get involved.

6. Create a PowerPoint presentation and put it on SlideShare.net

SlideShare.net is a site that allows people to share their PowerPoint presentations and their knowledge. It gets fairly good results in the search engines because of its age.

If you know how to use PowerPoint (a skill that is sought out in many industries) you can create a presentation and share it on SlideShare.

Make sure to include a link to your About.me page at the end of your presentation and share your presentation on your About.me page.

7. Create a Squidoo Page

A Squidoo Page is like a mini-site about a specific topic.

Create a Squidoo Page about yourself! You can include your About.me page and create lists of articles that you have published online. Put up a mini-resume. Talk about those concrete examples that you would use in a cover letter.

The more information you put on it, the more value you will demonstrate for potential employers.

8. Participate in job search or industry-related forums

Some people consider forums to be very “old school” but they can still provide a lot of value. Not only can you learn from industry experts but you can also demonstrate your own knowledge and skills, participate in conversations and build up your online network.

Most forums allow you to create a signature that will be attached to every post you make so don’t forget to take advantage of this. The email signature you created earlier can be used here if you like.

If you are not aware of any forums do a search for the term “(your industry) forum” and you are likely to come up with at least a few good places.

Once you have joined a forum, spend some time reading before you start commenting. Get a feel for what is acceptable and what is not and learn the rules before you get started.

9. Write an informative free report

Reports can be anywhere from 5-20 pages long and contain focused material that is meant to inform.

Many bloggers use free reports as giveaways to thank people for joining their mailing list.

Your free report can be about any topic that is relevant to your industry. In your free report, you should include a link back to your About.me page in the footer of each page. You can also include a short bio at the end.

Your free report should be taken very seriously. Spend time doing research. Proofread it several times and then pass it on to a friend or two to get their input. Make sure it is attractive to look at and easy to read.

Now – what do you do with that free report? You can:

  • Put it on Scribd.com (a document sharing site).
  • Contact bloggers in your industry and ask them if they would like to give it away to their readers.
  • Contact web sites in your industry that have a mailing list and ask them if they would like to give it away to their subscribers as a free gift.
  • Contact internet marketers who work in your industry and ask them if they would like to include it as a bonus gift with their products.
  • Email it to the people in your network (online and offline) and ask them to share it with anyone that they think would be interested.

10. Social bookmarking

If you aren’t using social bookmarking sites, start now.

Most social bookmarking sites allow you to create a profile where you can share a link (to your About.me page).

What you share can be picked up by others that are interested in the same topics as you. You can share interesting articles and blog posts that are relevant to your industry and you can share links to the articles you are publishing online.

Social bookmarking can also provide valuable backlinks to your content that tells the search engines that your content is important. Some of the social bookmarking sites provide dofollow links, which are even more important for backlinking.

Some of the bookmarking sites you should look into include Delicious, Digg, Reddit, SheToldMe, and Xomba.

Bonus tip:

Do not be afraid to say that you are looking for employment and welcome contact from employers. How are they supposed to know that you are looking for a job if you don’t say so? A simple invitation to contact you can go a long way!

About the Author

danielle mcgraw portraitDanielle McGaw is a freelance writer living in a small town in the middle of Canada. She is currently the manager of the Robertson Reader – the blog for Robertson College. She considers herself to be a Social Freelance Writer and is passionate about helping people. If you'd like to learn more about her or would like to contact her, please visit her professional freelance writer site or connect with her on Twitter.

This article is part of the Over $4000 in Prizes: The 5th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest, which was made possible thanks in large part to our sponsors:

JOBlog Marcus Tandler’s JOBlog is Germany’s oldest blog about job search & careers.
Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg is an internationally acclaimed advisor to successful business owners, known for his small business ideas.
HireAHelper.com helps people compare and hire local movers in the USA.

If you want Danielle McGaw to win, share this article with your friends.

If you liked this article, you'll also enjoy Which is Best For You: About.me or Flavors.me?

Subscribe to JobMob via RSS or email and follow me on Twitter for more ideas on how to attract your next job.

About the Author Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

Leave a Comment:

59 comments
Jacob Share
Danielle McGaw says

I love About.me Mike – it is a handy little tool for those that don’t have a website yet.

And thanks for that info LIz. Do you know if that is just Canadian law? I think that it is important to remember though that even though they have to tell you, you won’t have time to change your online presence at that point. So it is better to have good stuff out there before they do a search, right?

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Danielle McGaw says

Thanks Phil – that just makes me so happy to hear that! 🙂

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C Page says

Thanks Phil – that just makes me so happy to hear that! 🙂

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Mike Tatum says

Great info here! I was not aware of About.me, sounds like something I could put to good use.

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Danielle McGaw says

Thanks C.Page and WriterMomma.

And thanks Pavan. Just FYI – for anyone that is interested in blogging contests, Pavan has a new site where bloggers can compete for prizes. Just go and click on his name!

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Liz Hover says

I attended a seminar given by a lawyer who specialises in online privacy. He told us that employers must state in job postings if they intend to carry out a search for you online. It’s illegal to do so without making it known to potential candidates.

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Jacob Share says

Liz- is this in the US? If so, is this state or federal law?

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Phil Turner says

This is the best guide to online profiles I have ever read. Fantastic ideas. Thanks

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WriterMomma says

Great points! Awesome article!

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Pavan says

Loved the post Danielle. Guest posting can and should be done by everyone.

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Howie says

This is a great article, Danielle. In a world where many seem to be obsessed with regurgitating information about how to use Facebook/Twitter for reputation development and brand marketing, it really is refreshing to read a comprehensive, and well-thought out article that details some of the more unconventional ways to develop a web presence. I’d encourage others to not disregard some of your tips and recommendations in formulating their overall online strategy.

Thankfully, I actually found this article after you had posted the link over on the InfoBarrel forum. I’ve loved using that site, for both hobby, as well as earning and reputation development. I see that your InfoBarrel referral ID isn’t attached to the clickable text link….if anyone here is interested in joining that site, I would encourage them to contact Danielle directly and request her referral link. (it’s the least we can do for the great article she just provided here….that’s karma in the social media space….). Thanks again, Danielle, and see you over on InfoBarrel!

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Danielle McGaw says

Thanks Dude88 and Blogger. 🙂

And thanks Howie. In InfoBarrel world you’re a hero so I’m thrilled that you came by. 🙂 And that is exactly what made me think of doing this article. Everywhere I went it was, “you need to use Facebook” and “Find jobs on Twitter” and really, social media is only one of the ways you can use the web. And I wanted people to know that sometimes it is just about thinking creatively and finding some actually really fun ways to utilize the Internet.

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Dude88 says

This is a very useful article which is useful to not only beginners but also the experienced individual. You have combined all the tips together in one article of how to increase your web presence.
You have mentioned the fact that prospective employers may do a search on yourselves before handing out a job. Therefore, it is very important that a postive image is created when the search is carried out. We must ensure that our names are not tarnisehd by the activities that we get upto online and therefore, must be very careful.

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Hajra says

Hey Danielle,

This is such an informative post! I love doing Guest Posts… people always come back to your blog and see what the fuss is all about! Also, a good online reputation requires leaving good comments..great comments actually. A good thoughtful comment will always have the author interested in your thoughts and the other readers might just get tempted to have you on their blogs… 🙂

Great post Danielle! 🙂

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Jack Tyson says

Great ideas, DM. Some of these are new to me, so thanks for the info!

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Arlene Knickerbocker says

Great blog. I learned marketing ideas I have never heard of before, and I’ve attended several seminars about marketing.

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Garry Anderson says

Danielle:

Great article! Perfect for the friend or relative who vents a little too much on facebook. When I see a radical posting, I think I will send them this info.

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Bo Kauffmann says

Great advice. With all the ‘new’ social networks out there, it is easy to loose sight of the fact that you can get a lot of business from just ‘being online’. About.me and the Article Marketing are a great way to get exposure and get links back to your own website as well.

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RoseMarie Peters says

Awesome article. Got a lot of take-aways from it.

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Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur says

Kudos and accolades to you, Danielle — this post rocks!

You’ve provided job hunters with the very BEST was to create a fabulous and effective presence online minus the social networking.

Love the resources you’ve included and links to helpful posts. Anxious to take a peek at “Info Barrel”. That’s an article directory site that’s new to me.

I just recently created an “About Me” page and it was super simple and fun to create. Going against your advice, I chose to select a ‘cute’ background. But there’s a motive to my madness (as always). I try to inject as much humor and wit into my work as possible so I wanted my page to reflect that. 🙂

Best of luck with the contest — you’ve got MY vote!

Melanie

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danmont says

Excellent information. I didn’t know about.me and SlideShare.net exist. Thanks for your sharing it with you.

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Pedro Cardoso says

This is actually a wonderful idea, but I must admit I kept chuckling while reading through. Why? It reminded me of an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” where Barney Stinson would create these glorifying websites about himself, as an elaborate pick-up move.

It did work, though! And I believe it IS even a better idea to used it to promote your name from a professional standpoint, too!

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AJ says

Amazing article – especially for me since I don’t like using social media. It’s refreshing to get some different perspectives given the current popularity of social media marketing.

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Judy Evans says

Great article. I sigh and switch articles when I see Twitter and Facebook come up as I don’t use either so it was great to be shown some other options that are potentially useful to me. Thanks for a very informative post.

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Liz Hover says

Yes, this is Canadian law. The seminar I attended was presented by Brian Bowman. This is his blog: http://brianbowman.ca/. Brian is a partner at http://www.pitblado.com/. I absolutely agree Danielle that it’s super important to have positive, correct information about yourself online from the beginning.

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Danielle McGaw says

Thanks so much for all of your support everyone! I’m glad you are all enjoying the post. 🙂

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Monna Ellithorpe says

Danielle,

So much great info in this post; some of which I had never really thought about.

Thanks for sharing. Hopefully lots of people will take your advice before they make some “internet” mistakes.

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Vic Richardson says

Great article – very in-depth with lots of tips. Once a person posts something anywhere on the internet it is a permanent searchable record – something many don’t consider.

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DebW07 says

This is a wonderful post with extremely useful information, thanks Danielle! I hadn’t heard of “About.me,” and they are now on my list of sites to look into. Also, like you, InfoBarrel.com is one of my favorite writing sites and I contribute there often (under the member name of “Introspective”). Thanks again!

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Tammi Kibler | Freelance Writer says

Great tips, Danielle. I had not heard of About.me and I never thought of using Squidoo for a job search. These tips are particularly useful for those who have active personal social media accounts and need a more professional presence for their job search.

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Missy says

EXCELLENT post, Danielle! I bookmarked it so that I can try out all of your tips when I get a chance. Thank you!

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Lynn Brown says

These are all great tips for marketing you, your business, products or services Danielle. It makes for a great checklist especially for those up-and-coming online business owners and entrepreneurs.

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Onora Oz says

That’s excellent info, Danielle. I’ve been keeping my eye on sites like about.me but I didn’t know about flavors.me … Extra thanks for this 😉

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lynsuz says

Very good. Excellent tips. I’d not heard of About.me. Will have to look into it.

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Danielle McGaw says

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Another one that hasn’t been mentioned is MyOnePage – not quite as fancy and pretty (more like a business card) but it has the added advantage that you can embed it on a site or a page. You can also create one with WordPress if you have your own hosting and set up. I’ll look it up and bring back the title of it…

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10 Ways to Build a Killer Web Presence Without Social Networking » US Hospital Careers – Hospital Career News & Information says

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Debra says

Hey Danielle, Great blog!!! The information is very useful to many people. I know I will be sharing it with all my friends and family. Thanks.

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Janis Bennett says

Great post, Danielle! I also have not heard of some of the places you’ve mentioned and will be checking them out in my free time. I think it’s a good idea to implement some of your suggestions, even if you are not looking for a new job, like having an About.me page. Thanks for pudtting this article together and sharing it with the word!

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Karla Campos says

Danielle great post especially since you mention guest blogging, my favorite! I like the idea of sharing a PowerPoint presentation on SlideShare because it definitely shows employers you know how to work the program like you mention.

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Diana Samalot says

This is a great post, so many useful ideas. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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The Cubicle Chick says

Danielle, great article. And thanks for pointing out the difference between U.S. and Canadian law. As a former HR manager, I routinely did internet searches before hiring any of my upper management team.

Which goes to mention, don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want an employer to see, period. Even protected pages can get through a search quey online.

Great post!

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Danielle McGaw says

Thanks to all of you latest commenters. Karla, guest posting is becoming one of my favorite things to do, too. It’s amazing what kind of results it can have.

And The Cubicle Chick – I think that is the point. Whether there is a law that says that they can’t use the Internet or not, it is going to happen. And just because they find something they don’t like doesn’t mean that they have to use that as the official reason.

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Michelle says

Thanks for all the great info! 🙂

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Sire says

Hey Danielle,

I actually utilise a lot of the methods you’ve outlined in this post and I’ve seen and heard of a lot of people who have lost jobs and failed to get them because of their actions while online.

What amazes me is how they don’t understand that what they’re doing could actually hurt them in the future. Sure it may seem cute to post your photos on FaceBook of some wild drunken party that you were at, but those very photos could cause a prospective employer to pass you by.

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Gail Gardner says

Excellent tips but I would definitely emphasize LinkedIn far more strongly. Instead of (or in addition to) about.me I would recommend creating an optimized profile on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is THE place that businesses, employers, headhunters and consultants look when they’re considering hiring someone.

There are tons of great tips on what to put on your LinkedIn profile and how to optimize it. It is also an excellent way o keep your resume current and visible without alarming your current employer and also for others to learn more about you professionally.

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Katherine Huether says

I love this advice. It’s not that I don’t like social networking. I do. But, I feel that it is too easy to forget that you can build your blog without it. Great advice!

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Andrea Parnell says

Great tips useful broadly even for those not in a job search. I’ll be incorporating a few.

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Danielle McGaw says

Just to add a note: I have just been informed that SheToldMe.com is now charging a fee to be able to post links. Hmmm. That’s a very interesting turn of events because NO ONE does that now. It could mean that the ads are going to be phased out which may make the site a great place to place links. Or it could just be a waste of money. So, just to let you all know I wasn’t knowingly sending you to a site that charges you to post stuff!

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Ten Ways to Build a Killer Web Presence — great article - AnnSolomonOnline.com says

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DadbintheAdmin says

Very informative article! Like other commenters, I was not aware of about.me and will check it out.

I compare potential empolyers to my mother. Before I post a pic, a link, etc., I think ‘If my mom saw this, how would she react?’ If I think it’s going to be a negative reaction (and subsequently a long phone call!), I don’t post it!

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James St. John says

Thanks, Dannielle, for such an informative guest post. As someone who makes every attempt to advise small business owners about how to position themselves on the web, without breaking the bank, I appreciate your suggestions. I will use some of them myself. A little more “web exposure” doesn’t hurt!

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Flashback Monday: August 22nd, 2011 says

[…] web presence without social […]

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Tai says

Wow this article is super helpful! I had no idea that these sites existed and these are some great suggestions to use when searching for a job. Thanks Danielle.

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Danielle McGaw says

Thanks greatlakesgirl! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

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greatlakesgirl says

Your comments on Chris Guthrie’s site made me curious about your background so I followed your link here — and was delighted to find the substantive advice you provide.
Much appreciated.

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