Please join me in welcoming Dave Jackson as our new Director of Podcasting for New Media Expo #NMX. When we first started looking for a new Director of Podcasting earlier this year I went and asked some of our attendees, speakers and sponsors who they would recommend. There were lots of great candidates but one name kept coming up… David Jackson from SchoolofPodcasting.com.
Other than being a frequent NMX attendee and speaker Dave has spoken at multiple Podcamp events. He is the founder of School of Podcasting where he has over
800,000 1.1 Million downloads. He has more than 20 years of technical training experience. Dave has walked the walk. From his own successful podcast to personally coaching legions of other successful podcasters. Continue Reading
We are very proud to announce the 10th annual Podcast Awards Show will be held April 14th at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. This is the latest big day in a series of big days for all of us at New Media Expo.
Many of you know that we have produced the Podcast Awards Show at New Media Expo for the past two years. In 2013 Leo Laporte served as our host in a meeting room with about 300 people attending. It felt like a family reunion. Everyone knew all the inside jokes and everyone knew each other. Continue Reading
We have heard those questions so many times the last couple of months. I apologize for keeping you waiting so long to hear the answers.
Two hours ago I got an email I had been waiting on for eight years. Since I first had the idea to launch New Media Expo I knew that for new media content creators to get the recognition, respect, credibility and compensation they deserved they had to go into the lion’s den and stand shoulder to shoulder with traditional media broadcasters as equals.
I am extremely proud to share this news with you…..
You may have heard me call NMX the NAB Show of the future. Just in case you haven’t, let me explain. NAB stands for National Association of Broadcasters. This is the annual tradeshow and conference where TV and radio broadcasters, film makers and marketers who create audio and video come to every year. It is the place where the latest technologies, tools and strategies are shared. Last year 93,000 Continue Reading
There are often very good reasons people and companies must defend their patents. The Patent system protects inventors. When a patent is infringed on, the holder must take action or risk losing their patent. That is how it works when the system is being used properly. Patent Trolls are not using the system as it was designed.
Patent trolls are not in the business of defending their patents. They are in the business of extortion. They purchase broad general patents and then make claims about infringement. They send out letters claiming a patent infringement and asking for “licensing” fees. It is nearly always cheaper to pay the fee than to fight it in court. Often these patent infringement claims would not likely hold up in court but few businesses are able to fund the 1.5 + million it would take to survive a legal battle. Even Apple gave in and settled.
For us non legal folks, that’s known as a shake down.
In 2013 one of these trolls sent letters to several leading podcasters such as HowStuffWorks podcast (Discovery Channel), Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, Adam Carolla and more. They claim that a patent for their failed “Magazines on tape” Continue Reading
At NMX 2014, we were lucky to have Cora Harrington from The Lingerie Addict present a session about building your blog community. Cora sat down with me to discuss how she made that leap into blogging full time and what advice she has to new bloggers thinking about making this leap. Check out what she had to say about becoming a full-time blogger:
Allison: Thanks for the interview, Cora! How did you first become a blogger and what made you decide to start blogging about lingerie?
Cora: I started blogging about lingerie because I was dating this guy, and I wanted to buy some nice lingerie, but I had no idea how to shop for the stuff. I was also becoming more and more interested in lingerie just on my own, but my friends really didn’t want to hear about this cool new pair of stockings I found online.
While there were a few lingerie blogs around at the time I started, they mostly focused on sharing press releases and lookbooks, not on giving reviews or shopping advice. So I started just by posting reviews of things I bought and photos of items I was interested in buying. I never really expected anyone to read what I wrote; it was just a fun stress-reliever, especially since my day job was fairly intense (I used to work with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, physical assault, and family members of homicide victims).
Very, very slowly and over a long period of time, I built an organic readership based mostly on word of mouth. I’ve been blogging full-time for 2 years now and my blog is 5 years old. Unlike what a lot of people assume, I don’t actually come from a fashion, PR, marketing, or even writing background. And I don’t live in New York, the fashion capital of America. I went to school in sociology and I live in Seattle, and I definitely think of it as a privilege to be able to do something I love that’s so much fun everyday.
How did you decided to make the leap to become a full time blogger?
Honestly, there were several major developments that happened at once, both personally and professionally. A big one is that I started a serious relationship with my now-husband, and that meant I didn’t have much free time as before to spend on my blog. It’s one thing to work all night and everyday and on the weekends with your blog when you’re single and don’t have any dependents, but when I found myself in a relationship, some of my time needed to go into that as well.
My traffic and the visibility of my blog was also starting to increase dramatically. After 2 and a half years of almost no one reading me, I was abruptly getting thousands of readers per day (I’m sure it happened much more gradually than that, but looking back, it feels like no one read my blog and then all of a sudden, a LOT of people were reading my blog). That traffic increase also meant my blog took more time and energy; in short, it was becoming a very demanding hobby.
Finally, my blog started to make money. Once the revenue from my blog began to equal the take home pay from my day job (and we’re not talking an astronomical amount here, but it was enough to pay bills with), I began to seriously think about making the switch to blogging full-time.
Once you started blogging full time, did you do anything differently on your blog?
One of the biggest changes I noticed was that I started to treat my blog professionally, and I’m not necessarily talking about what I posted or how often I posted. Once I began blogging full-time, I registered as an LLC, filed for my business license, obtained my trademark, and purchased business insurance all within a few months. I also hired a team of writers, and began working with a virtual assistant. These were things that definitely could have and should have happened sooner, but it was hard to the find the time to do the legwork when my day job was taking up all of my daytime business hours. I also had more time to spend on writing content, promoting the site, and traveling to industry events (like Lingerie Market, for example, which happens in NYC twice per year).
What’s your best piece of advice for people who are considering quitting their jobs to blog full time?
I could say a lot here, but I think the most important thing is to make sure you’re surrounded with as much support from family and friends as possible. Self-employment has a lot of perks, but a definite downside is that it can be incredibly isolating. And that’s even more true when you’re self-employed as a full-time blogger. Not only is there the usual stuff like public criticism and personal insults, but a lot of people also won’t understand what you do or even think of what you do as a “real” job. And there will be times when things feel really lean and really tough, and when you’re genuinely not sure if you made the right decision or are heading in the right direction.
That’s when having a good support network is crucial. Having folks who believe in you and who believe in your ability to do this is so important, especially during those times of self-doubt. And those people also need to be honest with you when you’re heading in the wrong direction or perhaps need to come up with another solution. I’m very fortunate in that husband and my parents and my close circle of friends, even though none of them are quite sure of what goes into running The Lingerie Addict, are very supportive of it and of me. Be deliberate about surrounding yourself with people who are invested in and hopeful for your success.
Thanks, Cora, for an awesome interview and for speaking at NMX 2014. Check out our virtual ticket if you want to get a recording of Cora’s session about building a blog community.
You know your blog would take off if only Joe Schmoe the a-list blogger in your niche would have the good sense to read it and promote it. You just know it. It’s time to build that relationship. You’re going to be a rock star. You can feel it in your bones.
I hesitate to say that most people suck at building relationships online, but some days it sure feels like that, doesn’t it?
Building relationships is the key to blogging success, in my humble opinion, so if you don’t have this skill, you’re at a huge disadvantage. Let’s take a look at all the ways people are doing it wrong:
Mistake #1: Not Introducing Yourself
Several years ago, I wrote a post called, “Scott Stratten Doesn’t Know Who You Are,” which is filled with advice that I still stand behind today. The thesis was that you shouldn’t expect a-listers to just magically find your blog. If you want someone to know who you are, you have to say hello. You have to put in that work to build the initial relationship, and you have to be memorable.
Mistake #2: Playing the Tit for Tat Game
Just because you do something for someone doesn’t mean they are obligated to do something for you in return. When you do a favor for someone, like tweeting a link or giving a LinkedIn recommendation, you should do so because you want to, not because you think they’ll do the same for you.
Mistake #3: Disappearing
We’re building a great relationship with some funny banter on Twitter and then…poof…I don’t hear from you for three months. In that time, I won’t forget you, but our relationship certainly isn’t improving. I know it can be a challenge to keep up with everything and everyone, but I suggest making a list of 100 or so people and putting in the effort to continuously build your relationships with them on a weekly if not daily basis.
Mistake #4: False Flattery
There are few things worse than someone blowing smoke up your rear. Don’t flatter someone because you want to build a relationship. The best relationships are build on honesty and constructive comments. That doesn’t mean that the first contact you have with an a-lister out of the gate should be criticism (no matter how constructive), but gushing over someone’s work can come off as really fake.
Mistake #5: Building a Friendship of Convenience
Some people only contact me when they need help. It’s not even a tit-for-tat thing, which would almost be better, because at least I get something out of the deal! When you build a relationship with someone online, it’s okay to ask for help when you need it, but if you take, take, take without ever giving, people are not going to be inclined to help you.
Mistake #6: Thinking You’re a Bigger Deal than You Really Are
The “don’t you know who I am” mindset is really unattractive. No, I don’t know who you are, no matter how big your audience is. If you want to build a relationship with someone, be humble. Assume they’ve never heard of you, and if they have, it should be a pleasant surprise. Even if you are a big deal online, that kind of attitude makes it seem like you think you’re better than the other person. When building a relationship, always make the other person feel like the most important person in the room.
Mistake #7: Demanding Too Much Time
We’re all strapped for time. If you want to build a relationship with an a-lister, realize that they can’t spend three hours every day replying to your emails, tweets, Facebook messages, and phone calls. Be respectful of their time, and always say thank you for any advice or help they give you. Believe it or not, “thank you” is a phrase that never goes out of style (and is waaaaay too uncommon online).
What mistakes do you see people making when it comes to building relationships online?
Lists: Bloggers love them. Readers love them. Pinterest loves them. So why not write lists all the time, right? Well, not so fast. Before you go churning out one more top-10 list on your site, consider the following reasons why you shouldn’t:
1. They’re Overdone. Everybody writes top-10 posts. You can find top-10 posts about everything from Ask Men’s Top 10 Websites to Use in 2014 to the FedEx Blog’s 10 Best Posts in 2013. Why be like everybody else? When you join the top-10 crowd, you can get lost in the sea of similar content.
2. They’re Gimmicky. In an oversaturated blog world, top-10 posts can be rather lacking. They’re gimmicky. They’re link bait. They promise something valuable but often leave readers disappointed, feeling like you’re just trying to get them to click through your site.
3. They Come Across Phony. Why are your top 10 reasons your top 10 reasons? What’s the significance? Why are they the best? Most lists won’t say this, creating a phony significance that your readers will know isn’t real.
4. You Might Annoy Your Readers. Curated content is OK, but too much curated content can annoy your readers. So when you merely repackage past posts into “top 10s,” your readers could wind up feeling cheated — and cheated readers don’t stick around.
5. They Make You Seem Stale. Everybody knows lists are a go-to tool for writers stumped for ideas, so when you post a lot of lists, you tell your audience you’re out of things to say.
6. They Take Time. Despite how they may seem to readers, lists take time to create, even if you’re just sifting through blog archives to find which posts to use. If this time isn’t yielding results, it’s wasted — why not focus on drafting original content instead?
7. They Don’t Go In-Depth. By their very nature, top-10 lists tend to be quick, shallow articles that don’t explore a topic in depth.
8. Write 10 Posts Instead. That quick top-10 list could turn into 10 informative posts if you would break it apart and explore each point further. This not only generates more content for you, but it also gives more value to your audience.
9. You Run Out of Ideas and Fill Your List with Fluff. When you’re writing a “top 10,” you may feel pressure to come up with more ideas than you have — and those fluff ideas aren’t actually helpful to your readers. Top-10 lists put you into a box.
10. Care about What You’re Saying. Here’s one of the biggest reasons not to write a top-10 list: You don’t care about it. When you’re only writing a list to write a list, everybody will know it. So rather than writing about what you think you should write about, write about what you care about instead.
Do any of the above reasons ring true to you? Do you write top-10 lists? Do you read them? Why or why not?
Who among us doesn’t receive a mountain of spam on a daily basis? How would you like to turn those spam emails into cold, hard cash?
No, I’m not advocating that you reply to the Prince of Nigeria who wants to send you money. What I am suggesting, however, is that you can reply to some of those spam emails in a certain way in order to flip the sender from spammer to sponsor. Blog sponsorship sales can help you take your monetization efforts to another level, so this is an opportunity you should definitely consider, depending on your niche.
There are three main types of spam, in my experiences:
The third type of spam is what you can potentially turn into blog sponsorship sales.
Let’s say, for example, that you write a food blog. You might receive pitches every day from people who want you to promote their kitchen products, say a new type of spatula. Most reps don’t take the time to engage with bloggers and build relationships. Instead, they just “spray and pray”– in other words, they send emails to as many people as possible, asking them to promote their Spectacular Spatulas, and hope that even a small percentage of those people actually write a blog post or send out a tweet.
They’re spammers, but they have good intentions. They don’t mean to clog up your inbox. They just want to tell you about their product.
The good news for you? If you do a little work instead of deleting these emails, you might be able to make some money! Here’s the step-by-step process:
First, you have to make sure the product (or service) the “spammer” is promoting is actually something that fits your blog well. If you promote products just for the money, you’ll find yourself making readers angry. Do a little research. Make sure the Spectacular Spatulas you’re promoting are innovative, high-quality, and priced correctly, not expensive pieces of junk. Remember, even if you label something as an ad, anything you put on your blog is an endorsement.
If you accept advertising, have a page dedicated to listing your rates. Determine what kind of sponsorships you’ll sell. Popular options include:
- Sidebar banner ads
- End-of post banner ads
- Sponsored posts
- Sponsored podcasts and videos
- Text links
- Sponsored social updates
You can opt to not include prices or to only include very general price ranges, but remember that the more information you make public, the less time you’ll waste. Pricing is tricky, but if you’re fair and honest, you don’t have to worry about pricing yourself out of the market. It’s older, but I still love this post about how to set your prices.
I keep a form email on hand where I can “fill in the blanks” and use to reply to anyone who sends me the third type of spam. Here’s an example of what I might send if I were a food blogger who received an email about Spectacular Spatulas:
Dear John Doe,
Thanks for your email about Spectacular Spatulas! While I’m not able to promote every product people mention to me, I do think this would be a good fit for my readers. I have several options for sponsorships on my blog, which would allow you reach my audience.
You can find these options here: *link*
I would love to speak to you more about my traffic statistics, demographics, and editorial calendar so we can work together to promote Spectacular Spatulas. Let me know if you are interested.
Allison the Food Blogger
I get a response about 1% of the time, which might not sound like much, but when you think about the vast number of spam emails you get in a day, that number doesn’t look so bad! Not everyone who responds ends up purchasing a sponsorship, but about 25% of the ads I sell come from me responding to spam. It’s not a bad deal, and I highly encourage you to give it a try if you’re interested in selling blog sponsorships.
Image credit: Bigstock (altered)
In today’s digitally focused world, it can be hard to break through all of the clutter. This makes it increasingly important to stay on top of trends. As part of the Army Marketing and Research Group, we constantly think about how we can bring our target audience the information they seek, in the best possible way. As we look to where digital and social media will go in the next few years, one thing is for sure – visual storytelling is imperative for getting your message across online.
Below are five ways you can tell a visually compelling story online that will help you reach and engage with your audience:
1. Think Mobile First
For the first time in history, people are now using the internet more through their mobile devices than through their desktop computers (Business Insider). And with more than 61 percent of mobile phone users in the United States using smartphones (Nielsen), adapting your site(s) for mobile consumption ensures a seamless user experience regardless of device and allows for more interaction online.
2. Develop a Web Content Series
Web content series are a medium still growing in popularity and open to a broad array of multimedia. The Starting Strong program is an original content series that follows young men and women as they are immersed in the U.S. Army experience for three days, ultimately making the decision on whether or not to enlist. A fully integrated marketing approach is key to not only driving viewers to watch the content, but also to keep them engaged with your digital properties.
3. Multimedia Blogging
Now more than ever it is important to include video and photo elements in traditional text blog posts to keep your audience interested and engaged. More and more, photos, videos and GIFs are driving the bulk of online engagement as you look at sites that have achieved mass popularity. Consider embeddable videos, compelling photo visuals and other free tools to easily engage your audience online.
Data is important. But most times, data can be hard to digest. Infographics can add valuable context to existing stories by using visuals to represent numbers, relationships and facts that might otherwise be overlooked. For example, our signature Soldier blog, ArmyStrongStories.com, houses an incredible amount of information such as how many Soldiers contribute to the site, which countries they’ve posted blogs from and how many comments their blog posts receive. An easy way for the Army to package this information is through a robust infographic that tells our blogging story in a visually appealing way.
5. Include Paid Social to Support Your Content Syndication Program
This year, widely used social networks, namely Facebook and Twitter, made design and layout changes based on imagery. In addition, the fast adoption of Instagram, Pinterest and Vine shows just how important visual storytelling is in social media marketing strategies. Using quality visual content, as well as allocating spend to paid social, are growing in importance to reach your core audience.