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Notes from Blogworld

June 1, 2011

Last week, I attended Blogworld East in New York City. My goal was to come up with new ideas for monetzing blogs, community building and social media. Unfortunately, I missed out on the Community Building session due to a technical difficulty with my pass, but I still received some valuable information. In this post, I will give an overview of each workshop I took and a brief review. Feel free to contact me if you would like my full notes.

How to Make real Money from your Blog
Janice Croze (5 Minutes for Mom) @JaniceCroze
Heather Solos @HeatherSolos
Jennifer James (Mom Bloggers Club) @MomBloggersClub
Wendy Piersall @eMom

Overview: Exploring different ways to make money from your blog from affiliates, ads, sponsorships, integrated ad campaigns, freelancing, eProducts and consulting.

Janice impressed me the most out of everyone on the panel. Check out her site for a great example of a media kit. From this workshop, I learned that all blogs should have one and my sites are lacking them. Using your entire reach when pitching a client is also key – I had been holding back on valuable information that can help me with clients.  Also, as a blogger, you need to be prepared for anything as any other PR professional might, including being on TV!

Ultimate WordPress Experience
Mitch Canter (WordPress Designer) @studionashvegas

Overview: Using WordPress to power your site.

I attended this session because though I use WordPress to power this site, I am still new at it.  I am also considering switching Raleigh Specials Tonight to WordPress, so I was happy to learn that they have a Blogger importer.  Here are some other takeaways from the session:

  • Google indexes content more than keywords.
  • You can submit your sitemap to Google (Google.com/webmaster/sitemap).
  • Don’t download a theme from Google (often contain malware).
  • WordPress has a Blogger importer.

Mitch was a great speaker and very entertaining.  I hope Blogworld invites him back!

Big Advertising Panel
David Prager (Revision3) @dlprager
Rob Walch (Podcast411) @podcast411

Overview: Thoughts on the “real world” practice of selling content to companies.

This was one of the weaker panels I attended. The people onthe panel were very successful and knew that they were talking about, however,  I needed advice on how to approach smaller business – I didn’t get that from this panel because they were already at a level much higher than myself most of the other attendees at Blogworld.  There were some takeaways from this panel though, namely advice for complying with FTC rules about advertising and the importance of including demographics in a media kit.

List Building for Bloggers
Phil Hollows (Feedbiz) @phollows

Overview: How to leverage email marketing for your blog.

Originally, I wasn’t planning on attending this session, but I had considered starting an email list for Raleigh Specials Tonight in the past.  Plus, I could always use email marketing advice in general. Phil did make me think of email in a new way – I had always considered it an “old” way of communicating. Here were the major takeaways from this session:

  • Customers who take the time to add themselves to an email list are the most valuable.
  • Traffic to your site can change any time Google makes changes, but they cannot touch your email list.
  • Email is still King – not everyone knows what an RSS feed is and not everyone is on Facebook.
  • Test in Gmail, test with images off. Gmail will wreak havoc with images and CSS. Use alt text to get your message across in the absence of images.

Brand Guide to Facebook’s New iFrame Tabs
Justin Kistner (WebTrends) @JustinKistner

Overview: How to use Facebook’s new iFrame tabs  as a marketing tool.

This was the most technical session I went to and  it was by far the most helpful.  I hope Blogworld invites Justin back because not only did he show us to create the tabs, he also gave awesome insight into using Facebook as a marketing tool. I could not even begin to recap everything I learned, but here are a few takeaways:

  • Creating Facebook landing pages in the new iFrames is much easier than I thought .
  • Contests and giveaways may get you a large fan base quickly, but they will not create good leads.
  • When using Facebook ads, fan targeting works much better than cold targeting.
  • Implementing a “Like” block on a tab will get you better fans since they had to “work” to get to your page, however, you need to give a good incentive.
  • Good Facebook optimization only lasts a few hours – you really just need to keep your page updated and roll with any changes.

Business Plan for Bloggers
Thursday Bram (CNET, Lifehacker)  @ThursdayB

Overview: Session covered groundwork that goes into monetizing blog.

This session only covered the very basics of creating a business plan. It was mostly about why you should and not really how. I wish Thursday had had some business plan examples or walked us through the process.

Rapid Fire Case Study Panel: New Media Grab Bag
Jason Falls (Social Media Explorer) @JasonFalls
Lisa Grimm (Mall of America) @lulugrimm
Shannon Paul (BCBS)
Matt Gentile (Century21) @mattgentile

Overview: This session consisted of successes and challenges in using social media for their brands.

This was another valuable session as it provided real examples of using social media for marketing.  I particularly enjoyed Lisa’s talk about the Big Secret Parking Party, in which she auctioned off prime parking spaces in front of the Mall of America through their Twitter account. Matt talked about how Century21 is using gamification as part of their marketing strategy, but I wish he had talked more about how real estate companies are teaming up with local bloggers and becoming ambassadors for the city they are selling. Rtown is a great example of this.  Two takeaways from this session:

  • Create events and support causes that will be picked up by other media outlets to increase word of mouth.
  • Real Estate brands should team up with local bloggers and position themselves as ambassadors for the city.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 9, 2011 4:02 am

    interesting insights you are sharing. I admire the way you are sharing it. Is there any way I could get updated for more?

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