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Exposed: When Blogging Gets Too Personal

Author:

Session: Exposed: When Blogging Gets Too Personal
Speaker: Anissa Mayhew

“EXPOSED”

The panel I’m participating in is obviously about pole dancers.

It should be great.

The end.

In all reality it gets a little intimidating when you’re part of a conference that boasts a line-up like Darren Rowse (@Problogger), Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogran) and Lisa Stone (@LisaStone).

You may be thinking to yourself “WHAT CAN I BRING TO THE TABLE WHEN POWERHOUSES LIKE THESE ARE PRESENT?”

As a fellow presenter, an attendee and potential learner THESE people should be wondering what THEY can contribute to YOUR life to make it better.

Don’t be intimated by a person who obviously has better “numbers” than you.

They didn’t start with those statistics.

Don’t compare yourself to the “success” someone else has.

You don’t know what issue you may be dealing with that they have no hopes of handling.

I love to meet someone who considers them self “a big deal”.

As the mom of a cancer-survivor, three-time stroke survivor, a person who learned to type with her left hand so she could write this post I get to tell everyone that THEY ARE A BIG DEAL.

Part of what I’ll be talking about with Erin Koteki Vest (@QueenOfSpain) & Cecily Kellogg (@CecilyK) will be how we took issues that could have affected anyone and made the choice (hard as it can be) to make it public.

I hope that if you can, you’ll make time to be at our panel 3:00 PM to 3:45 PM – Fri. Nov. 4th “Exposed: When Blogging Gets Too Personal”

FYI, I have 45.000 less twitter followers than Cecily and 12,000 less than Erin.

Guess what? They still like me.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

Andrea Metcalf Talks Yoga & Lifestyle

Author:

Session: Finding a Better Fit
Speaker: Andrea Metcalf

Andrea Metcalf will be speaking at BlogWorld LA about fitness and lifestyle and how to transfer from traditional media to social media – and back.

This will be her second time attending BlogWorld and says the sessions are great, but the people you meet are even better!

Hear what else Andrea has to say:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki Team Up to Present Google+ Track Keynote

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Two of Google+’s biggest supporters are coming together to present a track keynote called “Google+ for Business.

Chris Brogan

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan will share the reasons why Google+ is their social network of choice as well as why they feel Google+ will become a force to be reckoned with over the next few months.

Do you want to get ahead of the game? Drop in to their track keynote on Thursday, November 3rd at 9:45 to learn how both bloggers and business owners can use Google+ to succeed in business.

Please visit BlogWorldExpo.com for a complete rundown of all our speakers, sessions, workings, networking events, track keynotes and keynotes.

 

Rich Brooks Shows You How to Sell Your Product on the Internet

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Session: Hey Bloggers! How to Package, Promote and Profit from Your Expertise
Speaker: Rich Brooks

Rich Brooks will be talking about how bloggers can package and monetize their expertise, especially targeted for people who are not web-marketers by trade.

Rich has never missed a BlogWorld and is very excited to go – says there is great networking and great learning.

Hear what else Rich has to say:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

Six Simple Ways to Market Your EBook – After the Launch

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Session: How to Write EBooks That Practically Sell Themselves
Speaker: Ali Luke

There’s tons of great advice out there about launching an eBook – and for good reason: you’ll get rapid sales in the first week or two. But unless your eBook is incredibly topical, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t keep on selling well, long after the launch is over.
And this isn’t just good for you … it’s also good for your audience. Chances are, new folks are stopping by your site (or following you on Twitter, or liking your page on Facebook) every day. Your new readers might love to get their hands on your eBook – but they need to know it exists.
I’ll start off with the easiest, quickest tips and work up to more time-consuming ones.

#1: Add a Link to Email/Forum Signatures

This will only take you a couple of minutes – and could get your eBook in front of hundreds of people. Just add a line to your email signature. It can be as simple as this:

Author of EBOOK TITLE, available from LINK

You might also want to include a brief quote from a testimonial, or a note about who the book is for.
If you use any forums, check whether it’s okay to link to your eBook sales page in your signature – different sites will have different rules about this. On private forums, such as the Third Tribe, you might want to include a custom discount code.

#2: Mention it on Your About Page

If you take a quick look at your blog’s analytics, then you’ll probably see that the most popular static page is the About page. New readers want to see who you are and what your blog is all about. The About page is a great place to mention any products or services – including eBooks.

Since you’ve got a lot more space on an About page than in an email signature, you’ll want to give enough information to draw readers in. Add your eBook’s cover image, plus a short description of key benefits (perhaps in bullet-point format). Encourage readers to “click here to find out more” rather than “click here to buy now” – it’s not such a big commitment.

#3: Send a Sample to Everyone on Your Email List

Your newsletter or mailing list is a great marketing tool – assuming you use it right. That means avoiding overloading your readers with offers and promotions … whilst ensuring that you’re not completely silent about your eBook.

One great way to promote your eBook is to provide an exclusive free sample to your email list. Your readers will be thrilled – and you may well make some new sales. Make your sample genuinely useful (perhaps a quarter to a third of your full eBook) and use the last page of it to tell readers how to get the full eBook.

If you don’t have an email list yet, or if your list is very small, a free sample of your eBook makes a great sign-up incentive.

#4: Guest Post on a Relevant Blog

Perhaps your own blog doesn’t have many readers yet – a few dozen, or a few hundred. You could keep promoting your eBook to them, but chances are, they’re going to get a bit bored of hearing about something they’ve already bought (or already dismissed).
Luckily, it’s not too hard to get your eBook in front of an audience of thousands – or ten of thousands – of readers. How? Write a guest post, and promote your eBook in the bio.

For maximum effect, look for a blog that:

  • Has readers who are used to buying eBooks (e.g. ProBlogger or Copyblogger).
  • Hasn’t done any large promotions recently.
  • Allows a link in the body of your post, as well as in the bio.
  • Is on-topic: you’ll want to write a guest post that’s related to your eBook.

You might even want to give a special discount code for that blog’s readers: this offers an extra incentive to buy, and also helps you track where sales are coming from.

#5: Hold an EBook Sale

We all love a bargain – so putting your eBook on sale for a week or two will help undecided buyers to make up their minds! Sales are more powerful if you don’t hold them too often, and if you offer a significant discount.

It’s a good idea to have a reason for a sale (and “I need to pay my taxes” isn’t ideal). You might try:

  • A charity sale: all or some of the money will go to a specific charity.
  • Your birthday, or your blog’s birthday.
  • A summer, Thanksgiving or January sale (though bear in mind that lots of other bloggers might be doing the same).
  • A “secret” sale for a specific group of people – e.g. your Facebook page, email list or Twitter followers.

A sale is a great time to revamp your promotional copy: do you have new testimonials to add to your eBook’s sales page, or case studies that you can include?

#6: Write a Related EBook

Writing a second eBook isn’t a short-term option – but it can be a hugely effective marketing technique (as well as a new source of revenue in itself).

If you’ve got two eBooks on related topics – for instance, “How to Get Started With Your Digital Camera” and “How to Take Great Portraits With Your Digital Camera” – then you can easily create an up-sell, or give a discount code to buyers so that they can get the other eBook. That way, the new eBook will boost sales of the first.

And you don’t have to stop at two. I’ve got three eBooks (so far!) in The Blogger’s Guide series, and this has meant that I can provide all three as a bundle, offering readers a significant discount. Plenty of other eBook authors use the same technique: check out Holly Lisle’s “writing clinics bundle” for another example.

So … if your eBook is gathering dust on the virtual shelves, pick two ideas from above (one shorter-term, one longer-term) to get sales going again. And if you’ve got a tip to add to the list, please share it with us in the comments below.

Hear what else Ali has to say:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

Ali Luke is speaking at BlogWorld on “How to Write EBooks That Practically Sell Themselves” (Saturday 5th Nov, 3.30pm). She’s also the author of The Blogger’s Guide to Irresistible EBooks, currently just $29, and blogs about writing at Aliventures.

Are Dad Bloggers Attacking Father Stereotypes or Windmills?

Author:

Session: How Dad Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes
Speaker: Ron Mattocks

Are Dad Bloggers Attacking Father Stereotypes or Windmills?

Remember Don Quixote, the middle-aged country gentlemen who lost touch with reality and charged off to fight what he thought were giants, but what were really windmills?  (Do schools even teach this anymore?)  Sometimes I wonder if us dad bloggers aren’t like Don Quixote when we get all up in arms about stereotyped fathers in the media. Are we mistaking a windmill for a giant?

Dopes Are Tropes

Am I implying the “dumb dad” shtick and other negative stereotypes don’t exists? Not at all. However, pointing to the demigod-like fathers of the 50’s as the gold standard for pop culture paternity is a poor argument for demanding a modern reboot. In a sense, these depictions of infallible fathers were  the least realistic of them all. Furthermore, to say that TV dads have only declined since is a faulty assumption too because for every bad dad shown over the ensuing decades, a good one can be found to counter it.  Even today, for every Tony Soprano and Peter Griffin, there’s a Don Draper and Homer Simpson (Gasp! That’s right, Draper and Simpson. Ask me why in LA.)

The truth of it is, the media doesn’t get motherhood right either. Michael Keaton’s Mr. Mom isn’t  any more accurate than Diane Keaton ’s supermom in Baby Boom. In those early years, behind every all-knowing dad stood a mom in heels and pearls mopping a floor; now behind every fat slob in a La-Z-Boy stands a disproportionally gorgeous wife and mother bringing him nachos before the big game. Yeah, that’s realistic.

Still, these inaccurate portrayals aren’t going to change, not as long as profits can be made from them. To network and ad execs, dumb dads and tolerant wives are merely tropes—story devices meant to contextualize whatever it is they’re hawking.  In ad campaigns marketers use mom and dad as tropes in several ways, for example:  1) The Empowered Woman and Impotent Man where a woman is told she doesn’t need a man to make a purchase decision when she can dupe him instead, and 2) The Oafish Man and Longsuffering Woman who accepts that she can’t change her bumbling man and endures aided by consumer products.

Wrong? Yes. But does that mean we mount a steed and follow Don Quixote into the fray?

Ragu: Giant or Giant Windmill?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Why did the spaghetti sauce cross the dad blogger? Give up? To get brand awareness. As a former VP of sales and marketing, I agree, the recent Ragu campaign slighting dads was both lame and ill-conceived. However, if the intent was to gain exposure among parent bloggers, when the numbers hit some ad exec’s desk, I guarantee he yelled, “Winning!” and then downed a pint of tiger’s blood.

The significance of Ragu-gate, though, is that it marks the first instance when a large portion of the dad blogger community responded in force. That’s a significant indicator of dad’s growing social media influence. However, despite both this and Ragu’s mistakes, some feel the situation was somewhat tarnished by the reaction itself.

One account rep remarked to me that they were “put off” by the backlash, not because the sentiment was wrong, but because the reactionary nature of some diatribes created the potential for current and future clients to be more hesitant about working with dad bloggers. Several veteran mom bloggers expressed a similar sentiment, likening it to the controversy over the varied reactions of the “Motrin Moms” back in the days when moms and brands were still feeling each other out.

In the end, though, Ragu got what it wanted. And dads? Ragu-gate’s widespread visibility may have given dad bloggers an added degree of credibility as influencers in the estimation of brands and advertisers. But the incident comes with a cautionary tale of how a right message can get lost in the wrong delivery, something moms and brands already know. But regardless of the outcome here, I have to ask, were we attacking a media misandry giant, or just another windmill.

When Did Giants Become Windmills?

For Don Quixote, his delusions stemmed from his getting too caught up in adventure books. Applying this to us dad and the fight against stereotypes, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and miss what’s really happening along the way. Are fathers still largely misrepresented? Yes. Do women still control household purchasing power? Yes (sort of). But is there a paradigm shift running counter to the above premises? The answer is also yes. Consider this:

That same WSJ article also pointed out that, although still a bit feeble, today’s sitcom dads are confident, family men who are okay with housework and proficient at child rearing. Dumb dads and mom-centered advertising may still exist, but even so, the mainstream media is starting to get it.

Real Giants: The Makers of “Mooks”

Unlike Don Quixote’s self-fabricated monsters, real giants that are more damaging to fathers, do exist. Despite their overall positive treatment, the new dads on shows like Man Up and Up All Night, are plagued by their struggle to define their own masculine identity. Are they  acting like men or are they still boys? Are they being too macho, or too feminine? Where did this male identity crisis come from? Three words: AXE Body Spray.

Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but AXE marketing campaigns are a prime example of the real problem. Commercials showing mobs of sex-crazed women ripping the clothes off a teenage boy seconds after he applies a little body spray sends unrealistic and confusing messages to young impressionable males. And these images are far more prevalent in pop-culture than the stupid dads. According to the book, Packaging Boyhood: Saving Our Sons From Superheroes, Slackers, and Other Media Stereotypes, marketers are overtly telling boys they are supposed to be everything from underachieving nobodies to win-at-all-cost super jocks.

Such messages are damaging to boys’ self-esteem, delaying their entry into emotional adulthood, and what’s worse is that media, marketing and ad execs and are creating a generation of “mooks,” a term coined during an episode of PBS’s Frontline (“The Merchants of Cool”) in reference to selfish, superficial, young males who act like morons—morons who will likely be fathers themselves. By comparison, how a spaghetti sauce portrays me seems silly when some stink spray wants to turn my three boys into characters from the Jersey Shore. (Coincidentally, both Ragu and AXE are owned by Unilever.)

Dad Bloggers are Not Don Quixote

Unlike, the farcical Don Quixote, dad bloggers have real issues to confront, and to be blunt, it’s not what the mainstream media thinks of us as fathers; it’s what the mainstream media is telling our sons about what it means to be a man. The good news, though, is that men as consumers arguably have more of a voice in shaping brand messages now, more than ever through the power of social media.

The days of traditional marketing campaigns are over, and  brands are having to accept that they no longer control the message. Some of that control is now within the grasp of dad bloggers, and as the industry continues to gauge our influence, brands are listening. What are we going to say, and which brands should we be talking to?

Personally, what the mainstream media says about me as a father isn’t as important as what my kids think of me as a parent. My job is to do what’s best for them, so if Ragu runs a two-for-one deal—guess what’s for dinner, kids? And if an auto maker advertises their “Dad is a Turd” Spring Sell-A-Thon, but yet they offer a quality-made, vehicle that’s right for my family, then let’s make a deal.

It’s not that I’m ambivalent. I’m not. But, being already secure with my masculine identity, as a father I have a greater responsibilities to protect my sons (and daughters) from harmful influences, than I do protecting my image. So go ahead, CEOs and Media Moguls, make all the money you want off this “stupid” dad. But try making e a buck from telling my sons they’re stupid, and well, we’re going to have words.

* * *

If you’d like to continue this discussion, I invite you to join the outstanding team of Kevin Metzger, Jim Lin, Bruce Sallan, and myself for the Type A Parent panel, How Dad Bloggers Can Bust the Father Stereotypes.

Jennifer Miner Talks SEO For Beginners

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Session: Collaboration: Building a Better Business, Community, World
Speaker: Jennifer Miner

Jennifer Miner will be covering two topics at BlogWorld LA – talking about SEO for beginners and travel blogging.

This is Jennifer’s first year attending and speaking at BlogWorld and she’s excited to attend because it’s in Los Angeles, where she lives.

Hear what else Jennifer has to say:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

Stephanie Quilao Helps You Find a Better Fit

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Session: Finding a Better Fit
Speaker: Stephanie Quilao

Stephanie Quilao will be talking about ‘Finding a Better Fit’ and building your personal brand in the Healthy Living space – working with brands and lessons learned over the years.

This is Stephanie’s first year attending and speaking at BlogWorld and is excited to meet her mentors. She thinks you should attend for the social part of social media.

Hear what else Stephanie has to say:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

Dave Fleet Says Content Is Top Quality at BlogWorld

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Session: How to Make the Most of Blogger/Agency Relationship
Speaker: Dave Fleet

Dave Fleet will be speaking at BlogWorld LA with Jeremy Wright about best practices when it comes to dealing with bloggers and dealing with online influencers – giving both blogger and agency perspectives.

This will be Dave’s fourth time speaking at BlogWorld. He says it’s probably one of the best conferences out there. “The content far exceeds the quality you see at any other conference.”

Hear what else Dave has to say:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

The Top 5 Reasons Why Bloggers Should Work with a Virtual Assistant

Author:
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Session: How to Work with Virtual Assistants to Help Build, Grow and Monetize Your Blog
Speaker: Chris Ducker

Blogging has come a long, long way since the days of ‘online journals’. It’s a completely different animal nowadays! And with more and more casual bloggers wanting to take their blogs and online brands to the next level, things can start to get a little more complicated and certainly more hectic for them, than ever before. This is where a little virtual help can become a lifesaver!

As someone that has been in the outsourcing business for over a decade, and currently has approximately 300 VA’s working for him, I can honestly say that I see the benefits of working with virtual staff every single day.

However, gone are the days when VA’s were just meant for busy executive types, and people that just needed ‘letters typed up’. New age entrepreneurs, Internet marketers, affiliate superstars and bloggers everywhere are enjoying the freedom factor that engaging the services of a VA, or even building a team of virtual staff. And the really good news is that you can, too.

So, today, as a quick intro to my upcoming session at BWELA, entitled “How to Work with Virtual Assistants to Help Build, Grow and Monetize Your Blog”, I’m happy to present a little teaser, in the form of the top five reasons why bloggers should be working with VA’s!

Buckle up, here we go…

1. Working with a ‘General VA’ will create massive amounts of additional time to work on other things.

Having someone doing the mundane blogging tasks such as online research, formatting posts in WordPress, searching for copyright free images, embedding video and audio files, creating and embedding SEO info, such as meta tags and descriptions will enable you to free up a ton of time to be able to work on other, more stimulating tasks. These hotshots can also help manage and build your social media presence, too – amongst other things.

2. Having an ‘SEO Specialist VA’ on your team will make sure that your blog gets ranked where it should be – at the top of the SERPs.

We all know what SEO is and how important it is as bloggers. However, we’re also told to produce content for our tribes, not for the search engines. Because of this, off-site SEO couldn’t be any more important. Utilizing SEO-savvy VA’s will enable you to get ranked for all your chosen keywords. Because of this, you’ll enjoy great amounts of regular and new traffic… daily. They will also make sure that your on-site SEO is fired up, to help in your overall SEO mission.

3. Video and Audio VA’s will help you take your brand to the next level.

If you’re a blogger and you’re not already enjoying the additional exposure and traffic that hosting a podcast, and recording great video content brings, then you’re behind the front-runners. Snap out of it! The thing is, a lot of really good bloggers don’t get involved in these additional mediums because they don’t have the skills needed to make them look and sound great. Relax. You don’t need to. There are tons of great VA’s out there that can help you edit your videos and podcast episodes. Try them out on a few simple things first and you’ll be pleasantly surprised, I assure you.

4. Hiring a ‘Web Developer VA’ will enable you to get your blog looking exactly the way you want it to.

Can you install WordPress on your own server? I can. Cool isn’t it!? I can even install and tweak themes, too. However, when it comes to really customizing the way my blog looks, I am a complete dullard. Embedding Google analytics and opt-in form code, adjusting image sizes, graphic design, including automatic thumbnails and excerpts. You name it. Sure, I could probably learn that stuff, too – but, I enjoy engulfing myself with number five on this list, way too much! Speaking of that…

5. Overall, working with Virtual Assistants means you can focus on what you should be focusing on, as an online publisher – creating awesome content!

I absolutely, without a doubt, whole-heartedly enjoy creating content for my online tribe. Don’t you?! Whether its written content, video clips or podcast episodes, putting together as much worthwhile, thought-provoking and helpful content is my focus, as a blogger, and it should be yours, too.

So, there you have it – the top five reasons why you should be working alongside virtual assistants, as a blogger wanting to take your game to the next level and enjoy the full-time blogging lifestyle that so many of us are already living.

If you’d like to learn more about these five areas, plus a whole lot more in regards to utilizing VA’s, I’d love to see you at my session in LA, “How to Work with Virtual Assistants to Help Build, Grow and Monetize Your Blog”, which is taking place at 1.30pm-2.30pm on Thursday 3rd, November. I’ll be going into a lot more detail, as well as exploring other important topics such as where to find quality VA’s, how much to pay them, as well as how to get the most out of them as employees.

See you in LA!

Hear what Chris has to say about his session and why you should attend BlogWorld LA:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

Chris C. Ducker is the Virtual CEO of the Live2Sell Group and Virtual Staff Finder, the number one provider of home-based Filipino virtual assistants online. When he’s not blogging at VirtualBusinessLifestyle.com, he can be found getting beaten up by his three children, or eating donuts!

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