Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mentoring Mondays - Amanda with Disney Go To Girl

twitter: @disneygotogirl
Facebook: DisneyGoToGirl

This weeks' Mentoring Mondays featured Mentor is Amanda with Disney Go To Girl.  I love Amanda's philosphy that a Disney World is her "Lavish Laughing Place". She is also the girl to turn to if you are looking for eco-friendly products with her  "DGTG Eco-Approved Products."  I know you are going to enjoy her interview and her pictures, so meet Amanda Ficili - Disney Go To Girl.

1. Introduce yourself and describe your blog.

Hi Everybody! My name is Amanda Ficili and I am the creator and Author of The Disney Go To Girl Blog, a travel blog focusing on Disney World as a luxury vacation destination.
I am married to my best friend, Rich whom I met at Downtown Disney in 2000, and I’m mom to 4 year old Princess Bella. We own a restaurant and wine bar in NC and reside in Northern California in the off-season.
We are self-professed foodies and our bags are always packed in preparation for the next adventure! Speaking of adventures, we leave for Disney on Thursday to experience Star Tours 2! YAY!

Topics covered at Disney Go To Girl:
  • Disney Dining Reviews and Recipes to make at home
  • Fashion and Shopping (the hottest buys in and out of the parks)
  • Disney News and official Press Releases
  • Tips on being Eco-Friendly while traveling and Reviews of Eco-Friendly Travel Items
  • Lots of Fabulous Reviews and Giveaways
  • Wine Wednesdays: I explore Disney as a destination for Wine Enthusiasts
  • Splurges: tips on pulling out all the stops on your Disney Vacation
2. What inspired you to start blogging?

I have nicknamed Disney World my "Lavish Laughing Place" and have made it my goal to promote Disney as a luxury vacation destination to those who may not see past the Castle and the parks. The DGTG blog is designed to showcase all of the finer things Disney has to offer, recognizing it as a fabulous venue for families seeking the "magical little extras" that only Disney can offer.
Disney Go To Girl is the product of "One Girl’s Dream." After making it to the 3rd and Final Round of the Disney Moms Panel search last year, I discovered the value of my love and passion for Disney and decided to take my personal blog to a whole new level. I realized that even though I didn’t make the panel, I could still help others experience Disney through my shoes, and alas DGTG was born!

3. What do you think is the best way to attract new readers/followers?

I have several answers to this one:
  • Host Giveaways
  • Promote other Blogs
  • #FF-Follow Friday
  • Participate in Blog Hops
  • Guest Post on other Blogs
  • Attend a Blog Conference…or 2 or 3!
4. What is the best/worst advice you have ever received?

The Best advice came from Chris Brogan, social media guru, during his presentation at Disney Social Media Moms last March. His message deals with "putting yourself out there" and I’d love to share a few of his valuable quotes with you:
  • "Be everywhere. Use all the social network sites and use your site as just a home base"
  • "If you are not connecting every day you are not building your brand. ALWAYS be connecting"
  • P is for Presence. you want to be places. Be everywhere. That’s how people get noticed. If you blog 2x per day you double your traffic in no time at all
5. What is the biggest mistake most new bloggers make?

To quote two of my favorite Disney Films:
  • "Whooooo-Rrrrr-Uuuuu?" It’s very challenging to discover your niche when first starting out, but it’s imperative that you define yourself as a blogger. Who are you? Who is your audience?
  • "Beeee Yourself": After you define yourself, stay true to who you are! Be unique and give your readers what they want!
6. How important is social networking (Twitter/Facebook) to blogging? Any advice on getting followers/likes?

Your Social Media Footprint and the success of your blog are dependent upon one another! Your blog should literally be holding hands with Twitter and FB at all times. This may sound redundant, but you HAVE to put yourself out there! USE these platforms to promote your blog. Build your Social Media Empire by making yourself visible: If you build it they will come.
And as far as gaining followers/likes, a great pointer: you reap what you sow. While self-promotion is fine and dandy, be sure to promote other blogs and they will do the same
for you! Support fellow bloggers by leaving comments on their posts and by giving them shout outs on Twitter, for example! It’s nice, and it gives you more exposure!
7. How important are labels, and do you have any advice on choosing labels for posts?

Labeling your posts is extremely important and makes your blog accessible through the search engines! It also makes it easier for your readers to find specific posts on your blog! I believe it is impossible to have too many labels.

8. What is your favorite splurge while visiting Disney?

Some Amazing Splurges:
  • Dinner at Victoria and Albert’s
  • A Day at the Grand Floridian Spa
  • A Private Fireworks Cruise
  • Cabana rental at Grand Floridian or Polynesian
9. Do you have a Disney Vacation tip you would like to share with our readers?

Take advantage of the Deluxe Dining Plan at least once. Disney Signature Restaurants are amazing, but can be pricey. With the Deluxe Plan you can try an appetizer, entrée, and dessert without worrying about the price! It’s a great way to go all out and experience the culinary Magic of Disney! If you happened to book "Free Dining" this fall, I would recommend upgrading to Deluxe Dining.

10. Anything you would like to add?

Thanks to Donna Kay for inviting me to be a part Mentoring Mondays! It has been an honor!
Please be sure to visit me over at Disney Go To Girl for more tips on splurging at "My Lavish Laughing Place." You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook!

Disclosure:  Amanda, The Disney Go To Girl is not affiliated with Disney.  All opinions in this posting are her own and do not necessarily represent those of the Walt Disney Company or any of its entitities.  She just LOVES Disney and enjoys sharing her opinions with her readers.


  1. Thanks to Amanda for sharing her valuable insights with us! What great information and tips! And thanks again, Donna Kay, for hosting this wonderful series!

  2. This was awesome! :) Loved it! :D Thanks Donna Kay and to Amanda too!

  3. Awesome interview, Donna Kay! What great advice. I first met Amanda at the #DisneySMMoms after I won one of her giveaways. Very sweet and personable.

    I'll definitely be back! Have a super week.

  4. Hi Amanda! I've been following your rise to SM pro throughout the last 2 Moms Panel Searches (@PhysicalT104). I thoroughly enjoy your blog and your niche and still look forward to seeing you on the Panel someday soon!! Thanks for your tips, and to Donna, thanks again for the 411 :D

  5. Amanda, Thank you very much!! Your advice is great and I am thrilled to have had you as a featured Mentor!!

  6. These are some great tips! As someone just starting to really blog regularly, they are really helpful! Thanks!

  7. Great interview!! Always love getting Disney tips :)

  8. Donna this was a great interview, i love the tips and for someone who was looking for some more advice on blogs, it just right. Amanda, I love your blog and thanks for the advice, hope to hear more from both of you...

  9. PS-- I also posted on my blog too. :-)

  10. Thanks everyone for stopping by!! Amanda is amazing and so sweet! I learned lots from her interview. Don't forget to check out the past Mentoring Mondays if you haven't already and there are some great ones to come, next week will be Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse. :)

  11. Amanda, thanks for the tips! The interview was very helpful for someone who's starting a new blog.

  12. Great interview! Amanda, thanks for your helpful tips:


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