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Five Questions with C.C. Chapman – Interview with Cliff Ravenscraft – BlogWorld TV

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C.C. Chapman will be at BlogWorld & New Media Expo signing his book, Content Rules.

Today, C.C. Chapman is our featured “Five Questions with” guest in the latest episode of BlogWorld TV. We’ll find out what C.C. is looking forward to at BlogWorld & New Media Expo New York (he’ll be signing his book, Content Rules, there!) and his plans to visit Book Expo America (BEA), which is co-located with BlogWorld.

Cliff Ravenscraft

Cliff Ravenscraft talks about putting together the Podcasting Track at BlogWorld & New Media Expo

In this installment of BlogWorld TV, Jeffrey also talks with Cliff Ravenscraft about his involvement in BlogWorld & New Media Expo, his revamp of the podcasting track, and the new podcast he is producing for BlogWorld, called The Podcast Report. Finally, we’ll hear from Rick Calvert (CEO, BlogWorld & New Media Expo) and Scott Monty (Head of Social Media for Ford). All within this BlogWorld TV episode.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klVWdjFcY0A[/youtube]

 

 

Three Must-Read New Media Interviews from 2011

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Interviews give you a unique view of a topic matter from a fresh perspective. I love reading interviews, interviewing other people, and being interviewed! Today, I wanted to share three links to top new media interviews from 2011 as part of the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series. Check them out and then add your own favorites with a comment below!

17 Digital Marketing Experts Share Their Top Tips, Tricks, and Tools by Tamar Weinberg (@tamar)

This is a fantastic post that I’ve highlighted before, but it’s definitely worth linking again! Tamar compiled advice from 17 different professionals in the digital marketing world. Some of the people who share advice in this post include Jason Falls, David Armano, Chris Brogan, and Kristi Hines, so you know you’re getting some good tips and tricks in this post! I’m a fiend for new secrets on using the best tools in social media and content creation, so I’ve bookmarked this post and I still go back to it to get some fresh ideas from time to time. If you’re looking for some new blogs to follow, this is also a great place to find 17 of them!

Expert Interviews by Michael Stelzner (@Mike_Stelzner)

Okay, I’ll admit it – this isn’t actually a single post; it’s an entire category on the Social Media Examiner site. He does awesome interviews with top players in the new media industry where you’ll learn about everything from content creation to building relationships online. Some of the most recent interviews he’s posted are with Marcus Sheridan, Cliff Ravenscraft, Jesse Stay, John Jantsch, and Dennis Yu, but I encourage you to browse through the archives – there’s a lot of gold there! I’ve linked you to the category page, so you can also bookmark this link if you’re interested in Michael’s interviews, since the newest content will always show up right at the top.

Interview with Waylon Lewis of Elephant Journal by Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan)

I like this interview because they cover a lot of topics, including branding, how to market to your audience, moving from an offline publication to online, and driving traffic with social media. It’s interesting to get the behind-the-scene posts of what’s going on with Elephant Journal – even if you’re not into that site specifically, they’re doing some pretty innovative things and Waylon has some great ideas. These two powerhouses pack a lot of info into just a short interview, so get ready to take notes fast and furiously on this one!

Now it’s your turn – what were some of your favorite new media related interviews from 2011?

Here are the other posts from this series:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List Building
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing
9 Vloggers Recording
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews (this post)
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

BlogWorld Exclusive: Interview with the Team Behind Business2Blogger

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One question on the minds of many bloggers just starting out is “How do I work with brands?“. They want to know how to contact them, what to ask for, how to work with them and a number of other questions enter their minds.

How can a blogger work with a brand? One of the easiest and possibly best ways when starting out, is by signing up with a business who connects bloggers and brands. I’ve worked with several of these types of businesess and I am excited to share one with you today.

It’s called Business2Blogger and the team behind it is phenomenal. They are fun, professional and know what they’re doing.

The other day they announced a new set-up for Business2Blogger called their “Job Board”. I contacted them to see if I could ask a few questions about their new job board, as well as what it’s been like working with bloggers and businesses, and they said “Sure!”.

The team consists of Jay CooneyShauna Callaghan and Holly Homer, who are not only close friends and live in the same Dallas, TX suburb, but are also business partners. You can find out more about them on their About page. Just hover over their pictures for a brief bio.

Julie: Give me a little background on why, when and how Business2Blogger was started.
Holly: I had been blogging for over a year and started to get some email requests from PR/businesses to write about them on my blog. My blog is a personal journal-type blog {yes, I write a mom blog} and so the majority of the offers were never anything I would normally write. If it was something I thought would fit on one of my friend’s blogs, I would pass it on. As I got more and more offers and I was sending them on to more and more people, I said, “Someone HAS to organize this!” and the idea for Business 2 Blogger was born. I was in an aisle at Target on the phone with Shauna when the domain name came to us and she went immediately and bought it. When we talked Jay into joining us, we hoped we were the people to do the organizing.

Julie: What are some of your goals when it comes to B2B? Goals for both businesses and bloggers.
Jay: We want Businesses to have the ability to find the right Bloggers to work with based on criteria that is important to them. And in the process, eliminate the need for Googling and cold-emailing Bloggers who may or may not even be a right fit for a certain Business. In addition, since many Businesses are new to social media promotion, we find ourselves routinely teaching Businesses how to work with Bloggers, and vice versa. Likewise for Bloggers, we want to create interesting and beneficial connections between Bloggers and Brands, and eliminate the frustrating process of courting companies to work with. Business 2 Blogger brings the two sides together effortlessly, saving time and money for both.

Julie: From the emails and blog posts I have read, you and the B2B team have quite the personalities. It seems like everyone has a lot of fun and loves what they do. Is that an important aspect when it comes to the success of B2B?
Shauna: “Quite the personalities” might be a bit of an understatement. We are a handful (especially Jay). I can say that because Jay & Holly are two of my closest friends. We have a ton of fun working together & trying to build an internet empire! We probably laugh more than we are productive most days, but some pretty amazing stuff seems to come out of the laughter.

Julie: B2B made an announcement about your new “Job Board”. Can you give me a little more information about this and why you are switching to this platform instead of sending emails to your bloggers?
Shauna: The job board provides a better platform for connecting business & blogger. We want this “matchmaking” process to be easy & affordable for businesses that are trying to find bloggers to work with. We will still be sending weekly emails to our list of 6500+ bloggers to notify them of our featured jobs & any news or updates! (So Jay’s email antics will not be going away)

Julie: Do you believe spreading the word through blogging is advertising dollars well spent for businesses? Have the businesses you worked with seen results? There’s the whole question of ROI when it comes to social media marketing.
Holly: I do think it is money well-spent…if it is well-spent. That is the problem. Because this is a new space and people are trying to figure out what works, there are some “experts” out there that are taking advantage of the ignorance. This does not have to be an expensive space. Much of it can be DIY! It doesn’t cost anything to tweet or start a FB page. There are hours and hours of social media education on YouTube for the taking. I can’t think of any other area of advertising where you can get so much exposure for FREE. We really had all this in mind when we built B2B. We wanted to be priced so using our services was a no-brainer and accessible to even the start-up businesses.

Julie: Some PR firms have complained about the difficulty in working with bloggers (they are demanding, don’t deliver on what they said they would, etc.). Has this been your experience or has it mostly been positive?
Jay: Our experience has been extremely positive with both sides. Although, we can see that for some, it only takes one frustrating experience with one Blogger (or Business) to leave a bad taste for social media in general. Holly, Shauna and I routinely say that we are matchmakers, and bringing a Blogger and a Brand together is much like starting a long-distance relationship. Both sides have to be realistic, and communicate their expectations and progress. Some will do it better than others, but overall we have found the vast majority of Bloggers and Businesses to be genuine, hard working, honest, and well-intended.

Julie: Are there any lessons you’ve learned along the way when it comes to running a business like B2B?
Jay: Oh, you bet. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to make sure you listen to your customers. We’ve tried to be as transparent as possible for the past two years, and we are the first people to admit when we’re coming up short. And each time we’ve listened to our customers, they have directed us in ways we didn’t know we should be headed. We learned very quickly to listen, and not be offended by criticism, and our customers have led us to a much more creative and productive place.

Julie: I know that some of the team are also bloggers themselves. Is that true for the entire B2B team?
Shauna: Yes, we are all either actively blogging or come from a blogging background. The 3 of us actually connected to through our blogs and surprisingly lived in the same small Dallas suburb. The phrase “it’s a small world” came to life in a big way. Our blogging “experience” is important because we have always have the Blogger’s best interest at heart & want to do right by both parties. It also helps us provide businesses with more insight into what Bloggers expect and want from them.

Julie: What advice would you give bloggers who are just starting out and are wanting to develop a successful blog?
Jay: Write honestly, and consistently. Respond to your commenters. I believe blogging to be about being yourself, and making connections with your readers. Write in your own voice, and from the heart. Holly is an extremely successful Blogger because her voice and her life come through loud and clear. Shauna has been successful in her blog design business because she makes a personal connection with her clients, and it shows in her writing and design. And me? Well, you’d have to ask both my followers what keeps them around. Most likely they can’t figure out how to delete me from their RSS feed. Whatever. They’re mine.

Holly: A “successful” blog has a different look to everyone. One of the things that can be very helpful is to sit down and figure out what YOUR successful blog looks like and then consciously work toward that goal with everything you write, tweet, and post to FB. When you thoughtfully work in this way, your voice becomes your brand and everything around your blog feels authentically you.

Julie: What advice would you give businesses when it comes to working with bloggers and social media in general?
Jay: Communicate. OVER-Communicate. Be very clear about what you are looking for, and when you need it accomplished. Have realistic expectations, and be open to what your Bloggers suggest. The majority of them live and breathe social media, and they are great sources of information regarding what will be most impactful within their circle of influence.

A special thank you to the Business2Blogger team for taking the time to answer my questions. Be sure and visit their site Business2Blogger.com. Here is where you can find their businesses and/or blogs:

Jay Cooney
Shauna Callaghan
Holly Homer

Halogen Media Group/Youcast Merger Will Hopefully Offer New Monetization to Bloggers

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Halogen Media Group, a media technology and services firm, today announced that they’ve merged with YouCast, a social advertising and technology firm.


YouCast previously worked to enable Fortune 500 companies to easily target, engage, track and rank influencers – as well as extend the conversation via social media. Whether the influence makers voiced their opinion on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, blogs, video/image sharing sites, or recommendation communities elsewhere, YouCast helped the brands connect and be an indispensable part of the conversation.

Together, YouCast and Halogen will work to expand and refine influencer media offerings across paid and earned media channels to help brands succeed in today’s influence-driven marketplace. It will also help bloggers better monetize their site.

Gregory Shove, Founder and CEO of Halogen tells BlogWorld, “We think that the current display media ad model does not always reward bloggers for their influence and quality of their audience, and nor does the IAB ad format provide for the level of integration that brands want with these audiences. We think that YouCast’s platform enables brands to integrate their content and messaging at a deeper level within blogs, in a more authentic way – and rewards the blogger with both paid and earned media value.

We intend to provide more resources to YouCast so they can build out the functionality of their platform and add more influential bloggers to their brand networks.

YouCast already has a stellar list of brands that they work with – including PepsiCo, GE, Turner Entertainment and the NBA – so it will be great for bloggers to have access to these Fortune 500 companies.

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