If you’re here, then you must be interested in me! Well I’m interested in what you have to say, so connect with me anytime: monaholmes (at) gmail (dot) com
Mona H.: writer, community builder/manager, gifted thinker
MY SUMMARY: I can certainly call myself a writer, I’ve enjoyed being one since 2001. But my specialty is ‘community management.’ Back in 2002, my business partner and I created an online community that became the largest community of female DJs, vocalists and producers: http://www.shejay.net. We created a social media site before the moniker ever existed. I developed and managed content for this very specific cultural audience with a core of volunteer contributors.
Community building is essential with current marketing. I can craft the perfect message, but this is not enough. Brands must take the steps to build a quality group of followers and engage them in ways that promote the business. I have helped businesses and brands build their online communities, shape their blog/website content so that it moves their brand forward, create Twitter, LinkedIN, Pinterest and Facebook messages, as well as writing press releases. I am passionate about bringing people’s message/brand/project/product to the world. I am overly obsessed with blogging trends and metrics.
I have also been writing about food since 2007. I’m also proud of my ten years of Los Angeles restaurant work, it taught me so many things about the experience of food. My five years of food writing has been some of the most rewarding since becoming a writer ten years ago. Restaurants provided me with a solid food background, and I keep things (mostly) healthy. I’ve started blogs, and have a supportive community of food bloggers, chefs and PR professionals.
MY SPECIALTIES: Building and engaging online communities, creating engagement amongst social media audiences, ghost blogging and copywriting for restaurants, creating messages, music industry and food, editing & social media.
Online community builder, social media influencer, food writer, content creator, 2003-present
The Green Goddess movie, Gig Daddy’s, Coal Harbour Eye Centre, Lawrence Moore & Associates (among others)
Los Angeles, California
I consult with a number of clients that require copywriting and those that want to market their businesses via social media. I craft strategic messages, bios, press releases, media alerts and web copy. The perfect complement to copywriting is my experience with social media. I also have a team of graphic designers, website developers, and a tech genius that assist me in developing online strategies with original and engaging content for various industries. I find web influencers, produce video content and develop SEO as well.
Owner, Editor, Strategist, 2001–present
Shejay: http://www.shejay.net – an online publication for female musicians and artists
Los Angeles, California
I conceptualized and launched this entire project with my London-based partner. Since our 2002 launch, the Shejay community grew from 40 to over 2,000 members while expanding our audience to over 10,000 unique viewers per month. I source and manage all creative content, develop copy for promotional areas of the site, recruit contributors, develop story ideas, and work closely with writers to ensure continuity and editorial standards. I also organize business and marketing/promotional strategies for the company, which have produced numerous sponsorships, events and partnerships to assist in expanding our reach. We built an online community long before Facebook or Twitter. This entire project has been one of the most fulfilling of my career.
Healthy Food Blogger/Columnist, 2009–present
Huffingtonpost.com, Examiner.com, Cook This…Get Laid
Los Angeles, California
I have been writing about healthy food on the Huffington Post since fall of 2010, and my emphasis is healthy cooking at home. In 2008, I was recruited to write about healthy eating, and my title is the Los Angeles Healthy Dining Examiner. With over ten years of restaurant experience, extensive knowledge of gourmet food and a healthy lifestyle, I believe that healthy food choices can also be delicious. This position also requires utilizing online social networks such as Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to increase the number of visitors and overall visibility of my writing. I also created a popular blog in summer of 2011 designed to help men cook healthy meals for women.
Healthy Food Ghost-blogger, August 2011–February 2012
Undisclosed Los Angeles Restaurant
Los Angeles, California
I am a ghost-blogger for a Los Angeles chef/restaurant owner. While I have agreed not to disclose the name if my client, my duties were: brainstorming, editing, revising and creating blog entries – which see over 20,000 visitors per week. The challenge was to craft each entry in the voice of the owner. We use a customized content management tool to work with the client, editor and other writers. My client was a Los Angeles tastemaker that has owned two restaurants for over 20 years.
Webmaster, Technical Writer, 2002 – 2004
American Immigration Lawyers Association – a bar association of immigration lawyers
Responsible for website management, maintenance and developing technical solutions on a daily basis, I was AILA’s in-house technical-writer and regular contributor to AILA’s bi-monthly magazine. I also developed strategies to integrate the public and private site within the goals of AILA’s marketing, membership, conferences and publications departments. I enhanced user-friendliness of the site by conducting technical Web-based training sessions, and developing written training materials for members and AILA staff.
Communications Associate, 2000 – 2002
National Health Council (NHC) – a nonprofit dedicated to advocacy of health issues
I was the publications manager, Webmaster and primary media contact, responsible for research, writing, editing and layout of the NHC’s newsletters, brochures, reports, press releases and advertisements. I assisted in preparing and disseminating public relations/promotional materials for membership organizations. As the primary media contact, I held a key role in expanding the NHC’s visibility and developing member programs, and organized media responses to related issues for the organization, and preparing written statements as needed.
Editorial Assistant, 1999 – 2000
National Public Radio (NPR) – A public/government-sponsored media outlet
Produced segments for Talk of the Nation, a live nationally syndicated talk program. I developed story ideas, researched topics, wrote show scripts and prepared host for live daily show. I also pitched story ideas to publicists, publishers and media, and maintained ongoing contact with various reporters, potential guests, publishers and authors.
Food Server, 1997 – 2007
Santa Monica, California • Owners: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger
Provided dining service for an upscale Mexican restaurant. Responsibilities included food service and training staff.
Production Assistant, 1997 – 1999
KPCC Radio Station – A locally supported radio station, affiliated with National Public Radio
Performed various production and administrative tasks for a local talk-radio program, Talk of the City. Various production tasks focused on local issues and politics, publicity, pledge-drive coordination and on-air announcements.
- A highly creative thinker.
- Online community builder
- Social media marketing and strategy.
- Project management and administrative.
- Identifies trends and insights.
- Strong ability to network and excellent people skills.
- Desktop publishing.
- Promotions and marketing background.
- Proficient in AP and Chicago style.
- Various writing styles, including technical.
- Journalism and broadcast experience.
- Expertise in food, music, film & culture.
- Website management and development.
- Food and dog obsessed.
COMPUTER AND SOFTWARE KNOWLEDGE:
Website, Social Media & Blog Management/Development: Word Press, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Dreamweaver, HTML, Content Management Systems, and developing clean written code.
Administrative: Microsoft Office, Windows and Mac proficient.
Graphic Design: Word Press, QuarkXpress, Adobe PhotoShop, PowerPoint.
Databases: Access, Excel.
EDUCATION: San Francisco State University – Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP, INTERESTS AND AFFILIATIONS
- Contributor to Gojee.com – a food, drink and fashion website.
- Social media workshop teacher. I host a monthly workshop for creatives in Los Angeles, to teach them how to utilize social media.