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BlogWorld 2010

Protect Your Business: Visit CorpNet on the BlogWorld Show Floor

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The show floor is filled with awesome exhibitors, but one less-flashing booth that you need to stop by is CorpNet. I talked to the founder Nellie Akalp earlier today, and she talked a little about what her business does and why it is so important for bloggers and others who run online businesses.

We all make mistakes. As bloggers, it is impossible to be right all the time, and some companies or individuals will not hesitate to take legal action against you if you do get something wrong. Sure, 99% of the time a quick email apology will remedy the situation, but sometimes, even if you’re legally in the right, someone may choose to sue you.

Did you know that they can go after your personal assets? If you don’t have a business set up, someone who sues you for something you write on your blog can take your car or house or other personal assets. What CorpNet does is separate your business assets and personal assets so you don’t have to worry about a rouge post on your site costing you your personal possessions.

This is a tool you need, hands down. If you’re making money online (or trying to make money online), your blog is a business, even if you’re the only employee. Check out the CorpNet booth to learn more.

Networked non-profits: changing the world with Twitter

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I’ve learned that you can never go wrong by going to a Beth Kanter panel. The co-author of The Networked Nonprofit (I’m halfway through it on my iPad, and it’s terrific) has a gift for bringing out the audience’s shared wisdom and experience while keeping the panel conversation lively and valuable.

Not that panellists Danielle Brigida, social media outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, and Claire Williams, who leads social innovation at Twitter, needed any prodding. Each could have easily filled the hour with anecdotes, advice and recommendations. (Thanks to Williams, my new Twitter mantra is “WWKD: What Would Kanye Do?”)

Here are notes from Brigida’s and Williams’ presentations:

Graphic notes from Danielle Brigida's presentation at BlogWorld

Graphic notes from Danielle Brigida's presentation at BlogWorld

Monetization Super Panel: John Chow Ad-Free Blog But Still Make Money!

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In this two hour super-session, monetization experts offered the secrets of their success! Led by Jim Kukral, the speakers included Anita Campbell, Darren Rowse, Jeremy Schoemaker, and John Chow.

John Chow showed us how to have an ad-free blog but still make money!

He started off by giving us a glimpse at the Average Blog Business Model:

  • Produce content. Add Google AdSense
  • This business model doesn’t work
  • It requires too much traffic
  • The ad rates are too low

The main issue – when someone clicks on an ad, they leave your blog!

John’s Ultimate Blog Profit Model that he uses on JohnChow.com:

  • Capture the lead!  Get the email first and foremost (RSS, Twitter, Facebook are secondary).  Get leads with free incentives and start the list from day one.  John obtains leads by collecting newsletter subscribers and encouraging people to purchase his Free Ebook via a one-time Lightbox Popup and the Ultimate Footer Ad.
  • Build the relationship.  Have an automatic auto responder and then set up a series of emails to send out as a tie in to your free incentive.  Establish trust by building yourself as an authority.
  • Put the lead through a sales funnel.  Find targeted products to recommend (could be your own products or affiliate products) … but recommend … DON’T SELL!

Monetization Super Panel: Jeremy Schoemaker Shares His Strategies

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In this two hour super-session, monetization experts offered the secrets of their success! Led by Jim Kukral, the speakers included Anita Campbell, Darren Rowse, Jeremy Schoemaker, and John Chow.

Jeremy Schoemaker (ShoeMoney.com) provided us with details on how he began making money and grew his income to over a million dollars annually.

Getting Started:

  • Don’t Expect to Make Money!
  • What’s Your Passion?
  • Focus on Building Your Content!
  • You Don’t Need Google!
  • Don’t Kill Your Site Before it Starts!

John says that he thinks his success is due to his connection with his audience by being open about his personal life!

Ways to Monetize:

  • Contextual Ads: Use Adsense as a starting point
  • Donations: Many people ask for/accept donations for hosting, etc.
  • Subscriptions: He collects emails and provides premium content/videos
  • Physical Goods: Selling products, books, e-books, etc.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Jeremy uses Amazon for any book/video links and a variety of other affiliates depending on the topic or email.
  • Direct Ad Sales: How do you determine a price for your ads? Jeremy says to start off by just charging $1! Nobody wants to be the first advertiser. If a site already has advertising, others are more apt to join. If you know who your target advertiser should be – just grab their banner as an affiliate marketing link.
  • Text Links and Paid Posts

ShoeMoney.com Income:

  • 30% Direct Ad Sales
  • 50% Affiliate Commissions
  • 20% Misc

Jeremy’s blog income for 2010 (as of October 1st) 1,832,342.23!!

Recommendations:

  • Prepare a media kit
  • Make it easy for advertisers to contact you
  • Follow up with everyone who is interested in advertising
  • Provide as many sizes and pricing as you can handle!

Behind The Wristband with Doug Ulman and Rohit Bhargava

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It was an emotional and fascinating hour, starting with Rohit Bhargava‘s call for everyone in the audience whose lives had been touched by cancer to stand. Livestrong CEO Doug Ulman touched on how Twitter can sometimes be less daunting than blogging, how transparency and authenticity are transforming non-profits, when a logo can take away from an organization’s efforts, and why Livestrong focuses more on supporting families living with cancer than on research.

And it ended with the announcement that PayPal and Swagg are sponsoring a 5-cent-per-tag bounty for every use of the hashtag #beatcancer – plus a $1 contribution for every pledge to download Swagg’s free iPhone app when it’s released. See BeatCancerEverywhere.com for details.

Cartoon images from Doug Ulman and Rohit Bhargava's keynote at BlogWorld

Do Big Brands Really Get This Social Thing?

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… by Kay Madati, CNN Worldwide

A social media evangelist friend once told me, “big brands don’t incubate innovation, they covet it, so they buy it, then they try to ‘synergize’ and integrate it, all the while giving it a slow and eventual death by a thousand cuts!”

These were his unvarnished thoughts as I contemplated leaving a small but burgeoning social media company in New York, to join CNN Worldwide to help shepherd their forays into the social sphere.

Fast-forward 3 years, and here I am moderating a panel session at BlogWorld 2010 on a derivation of the exact same topic – namely, ‘Just how IS Corporate America leveraging the challenges and the opportunities that exist around the social web.’ And boy-o-boy what a meaty topic to take on! This year alone has seen the highest -highs and the lowest-lows of how brands have taken their social media leaps.

Would you have liked to have led PR at BP in the middle of this summer? I’m sure they have some new learnings about the power of the social web.

With that being said, we have assembled a strong cadre of some of the world’s biggest brands: Ford Motor Company, Kodak, Citibank, PepsiCo, J&J, and yours truly, CNN. Each of these companies has a compelling tale to tell of how social media is evolving their work product and their respective corporate cultures. Some things have worked, other things have not, and we are going to get into it all.

But ultimately, the goal here is to focus on the positive and prove my friend wrong by highlighting just how innovation and social media adoption has helped propel their evangelism of the changing media and communications landscape to the forefront of many of their companies’ marketing strategies and plans.

But don’t just take my word for it; join us live and in person at BlogWorld Expo, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Saturday, Oct. 16th. 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM, Conference Room Islander G Las Vegas, Nevada.

Panel Title: “Social Media & Corporate America – How America’s Companies are using Social Media to improve Audience and the Bottom Line.”

Panelists are:
Scott Monty – Ford Motor Co Global Digital and &Multimedia Communications Mgr. (@ScottMonty)
Jeff Hayzlett – Kodak, former CMO. Social media and marketing expert. (@JeffreyHayzlett)
Frank Eliason – Citibank VP of Social Media. Formally of Comcast (@FrankEliason)
Bonin Bough – Pepsico, Director of Social Media. (@BoughB)
Mark Monsteau, Johnson & Johnson, VP of Communications (@JNJComm)

Moderated by Kay Madati, Vice President of Audience Experience, CNN Worldwide. (@kmmnews)

LIVESTRONG: “It’s About People”

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Thursday’s closing keynote featured a topic that has affected nearly every single attendee (and all of you at home as well): Cancer. Rohit Bhargava sat down to chat with LIVESTRONG President and CEO and three-time cancer survivor Doug Ullman to learn more about the story behind the wristband – how this evolved from a cause to a movement.

Above all, one thing during the keynote stood out to me: “It’s about people.”

New media and blogging has become a way not only to promote LIVESTRONG and their message, but also a way for cancer survivors and family members affected by cancer to connect and tell their stories. At LIVESTRONG, they’ve used a new media to combine interaction and promotion with the personal side of this issue to create something much bigger than they thought it could ever be.

Something Doug said while talking about this really stuck with me:

“Where you’re an introvert or an extravert,  you can find your niche.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re blogging about cancer or blogging about a totally unrelated topic – this stands true. A lot of us, myself included, have felt like we didn’t have a voice. Especially for the introvert, it is hard to stand up and speak about something, even in a small group. At the same time, extraverts something have a hard time getting their message across to people who are not so outgoing. Online, with new media, you can find “your people” so to speak.

I hope you got to check out Doug and Rohit’s keynote, either live of streaming on Ustream. If not, consider picking up a virtual ticket to BlogWorld.

Oh, and if you’re at BlogWorld? Find @PRsarahevans today to do a #beatcancer video interview.

Mark Burnett and Brian Solis Chat about New Media and Taking Chances

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Image Source: Ken Yeung

You likely know Mark Burnett as the Emmy-winning mastermind behind Survivor, but his list of credits is about a mile long. During BlogWorld 2010, Mark sat down with new media guru Brian Solis to talk about the convergence of media and the future of unscripted drama on the web.

“The need to be certain causes paralysis.” – Mark Burnett

Mark is known for taking risks. Now, reality television and elimination game shows are everywhere, but Survivor was really the first. Although taking risks is scary, during the keynote, Mark emphsized how important it is to your business, and really, to your life. It is a lesson that applies to bloggers just as it applies to television products. You cant never truly be certain that an idea will work. You have to just believe in it and do it.

In fact, Mark went as far as to call the need to be certain a form of procrastination. If you are always worried about getting something perfect, it will never be ready to launch. Perfection is something that will never happen on a blog. Do not procrastinate using the excuse that your site/post/product/whatever isn’t perfect yet. Make it good, and then launch!

Mark’s entire keynote wasn’t about risks, of course. I hope you got to see it live in person or streaming on Ustream at home. If not, check out Rob’s cartoon recap of the event or get your virtual ticket to BlogWorld to have access to all of the keynotes and sessions that happened/will happen this week.

Oh, an something super special that Mark brought along? Never-before-seen footage of his new project, Sarah Palin’s Alaska which will be on TLC! He actually demonstrated the power of social media by posting this video on a random person’s YouTube page and asking everyone to give it a tweet. Check out the video yourself right now:

BlogWorld Day 1 Recap!

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The first day of BlogWorld 2010 provided a wealth of innovative ideas and conversations for attendees – and the weekend has much more in store.  It’s not too late to join us!  Here’s a sampling of yesterday’s activities:

Yesterday afternoon Mark Burnett participated in a keynote discussion with Brian Solis where they talked about the convergence of media and the future of unscripted drama on the web.

(cc) Kenneth Yeung – www.snapfoc.us

Our morning keynote speaker, Scott Stratten, brought humor and tips to all the Thursday attendees, then headed out for a round of book signings.

Attendees packed into each of Darren Rowse‘s sessions, even sitting on the floor or standing against the wall to hear his ProBlogger tips.  After, he took time to take a quick picture with @sebastienpage.

Over one thousand attendees converged on the Full Access Networking Luncheon to network and enjoy a catered lunch.

The Mandalay Bay venue is amazing – check out the layout of the keynote room.  But don’t forget to get there early on Saturday afternoon for our game-changing “New Media LIVE!” Talk Show keynote, kicking off at 5pm sharp! The house will be packed! Attendees file in for the UnMarketing Keynote on Thursday morning:

Join us today for more panels and visit the New Media Expo!

Click here to register Click here for schedule

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