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Chris Brogan’s Lessons About Blogging

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Yesterday’s BlogWorld & New Media Expo keynote, Chris Brogan, talked about lessons he’s learned as a blogger. If you missed the live stream, you can still catch this and other sessions with the BlogWorld Virtual Ticket. Here are some of the take-aways:

  • “Nobody has time.”

Blogging (and podcasting and web content creation) takes time. Stop writing “sorry I haven’t written” posts and instead just write. Chris mentioned that when he switched from posting every day to posting a few times a week, he saw a major drop in traffic. While you don’t necessarily need to post every day, stop complaining that you have “no time.” No one has time; we’re all busy. If you want to be successful, you have to do a lot of work.

  • If you want your blog to be a business, think about what kind of print magazine it would be.

Successful magazines don’t talk about everything. They also aren’t super niche-y. If you want to make money with you blog, think about your own content in this way too. Very few people are successful when they don’t have a niche, and if your niche is too small, you won’t be able to find enough readers. Think about how your blog can find this happy medium.

  • “Pride does not replace hard work…If you believe your praise, you become that jerkhead.”

We all know that person – the one whose head starts grow as they find success online. Whatever you do online, there will be people who vocally love what you do, as well as people who vocally hate what you do. The truth is somewhere in the middle, and it’s best to always remember that.

  • “The hard work isn’t writing the blog. The hard work is getting out there and connecting with people…That’s the trick of it all. Connect with people and talk about their stuff.”

Too many bloggers, especially when starting out, work too hard at promoting their own stuff and forget to promote what other people are doing instead. When you take notice of others, remember their names, and actually take an interest in whatever they are doing. When you don’t ask people for things, they actually want to do stuff for you. So be a giver, rather than a taker. Build those relationships and always think about how you can help the other person, rather than the reverse.

  • Be yourself online.

As Chris put it, if he can be successful online being himself, anyone can. You have to be brave sometimes, but it’s worth it. If you have a few haters, that’s okay, because it’s better to get an emotional reaction than for people to feel “meh” about you.

The BlogWorld Daily Wrap-up for Wednesday, June 6th

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Attending live events is kind of like attending a reunion every year. Each time you go, you get to see the people you’ve met in the past. But you also get to meet new people. Then the next year, you get to see all of those people again and meet a few MORE new people. Your networks and friendships grow like a snowball. I love it. There’s nothing like meeting folks from the virtual world in person.

So if you can go to live events like BlogWorld, you should go. But sometimes you can’t go to the actual live event, and that’s why BlogWorld has me working on their Virtual Ticket program, which brings the entirety of the conference’s content and a bunch of bonus footage to people who can’t be there in person.

So here I am, live from New York. Not on Saturday night, though.

Today, my Virtual Ticket partner Lisa and I caught up with a lot of cool folks. We hung out with Syed Balkhi, Jonathan Fields (who is trying to distract me from writing this post right now), Derek Halpern, Pat Flynn, and a ton of other folks. Oh, and I forgot to tell the world that yesterday, Jason Van Orden gave me his salad totally out of the blue. Thanks, Jason. I owe you a salad.

Here, as promised, are two more interviews we recorded for the Virtual Ticket, which we’re giving to you for free because we’re just that cool:

First, I talked to Syed Balkhi about growing your traffic. And yeah, I know… everyone talks about that and we all secretly think it’s impossible to actually do, right? But Syed had some actual, practical tips. Check out the audio file below:

NOTE: Last time I saw Syed in LA, he was wearing a necklace that said “AWESOME” on it. He wasn’t wearing it this time, but claims to still actually BE awesome. You be the judge. The audio is below:

Second, I talked to Mur Lafferty about distributing your books via free podcasts. I’m actually in the process of doing this myself for my book The Bialy Pimps, so this was an interview with a nefarious ulterior motive. But you’ll dig it anyway:

The only thing I’ll add as a P.S. is that today I talked to Peter Shankman about how he uses ADHD as an entrepreneurial superpower. And he mentioned that when he gets wound up, he’ll sometimes drop and do pushups to burn off steam — even if he’s on a plane. So I told him to drop and give me 10 and Peter and I did pushups in the conference hallway. Yes, we got it on video for the Virtual Ticket attendees.

Oh, yeah. I should mention that you can still get the Virtual Ticket if you haven’t already, or you can add the Virtual Ticket to your live conference registration by emailing us or stopping by the registration booth.

I’ll drop another wrap-up (and more interviews) tomorrow. Stay tuned!

#BWENY 2012 Registration Opens Now

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BlogWorld NY 2011 Keynote Hall

Opening registration is always exciting. It means the journey to the show is just beginning. Where we get to learn from new speakers, find amazing new tools and technology that can help us all create, distribute and monetize our content, and maybe most importantly we get to reconnect with our old friends as well as meet lots of new ones. We are all part of a hard-working community, helping one another grow in a challenging economy, and when we get together, simply great things happen.

Today we are particularly excited because all of those things are well underway. You can see the first round of speakers for BlogWorld New York announced on the home page here. But we have a few new important change this year. First of all you will see our lowest prices ever for content creators. If you register by February 22nd it is only $147 for bloggers, podcasters and Web TV producers. Here comes the cheesy infomercial part BUT Wait There’s More!

WE ADDED AN EXTRA DAY FOR THE BLOGGER / PODCASTER PASS!.. That’s right, 3 full days of conference content, networking and learning from the smartest content creators in the world for $147. That is half off our lowest price ever and over $300 less than our full price 2-Day pass last year.

Why did we lower the price for content creators? Because those of you who have been to  BlogWorld & New Media Expo before know this event is a dream come true for me. I was a blogger who wanted to meet my friends, peers and heroes in the blogosphere. I wanted to learn how to podcast, create and embed YouTube videos and last but certainly not least I wanted to learn how to make money with my content that I put so much passion and time into. (Little did I know the pros called that “monetization”, and as many of you know, we now have a popular Monetization track in the conference.) When I realized no event existed that covered all of these things, we created BlogWorld.

BlogWorld NY 2011 Keynote Hall

BlogWorld NY Keynote Hall

You can ask anyone who has been to the show before, read all the blog posts and tweets, watch the videos. The kind things our community says about their experiences at BlogWorld are truly humbling.  This event was built for you, and we want to share this experience with more content creators than ever. So we removed one of the biggest hurdles content creators have: the cost.

On top of that we have a couple of technical items that we are excited about. If you have attended the show in the past, you should have received an email yesterday with a unique link to the registration site. This link has all of your info from last year already populated so you don’t have to enter it all over again every year. YAY!

Lastly we are really excited about this and at the same time really mad that it took this long to make it happen:

Anyone can now log in to register with their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google + ID. You don’t have to create and remember a new user password and log in. Double YAY!

You have no idea how many registration companies we went through or talked to in order to make this happen. Something all of us take for granted and that seems so simple was so hard; but now we have it, and this will make getting your pass easier than ever.

On behalf of myself, Dave, Deb, Patti, Chris, Jen W, Jen H and the rest of the team I sincerely hope you decide to come join us in New York this June 5 – 7. Old friends and new will be waiting to see you.

Sincerely,

Rick

How Journalists Can Make the Most of Facebook

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… by Andrea Vahl

I had a wonderful time at BlogWorld NY. It was a bit of a whirlwind with meeting people I had known on Twitter for years as well as making new friends, attending great talks, and trying to see a few NY sites while learning the art of walking with nine blisters on my feet.

I also was honored to speak at BlogWorld on How Journalists Can Make the Most of Facebook.

Twitter has been a little more of the social media darling for journalists because of its open and very searchable format. But according to a recent Pew Research Center study, Facebook is becoming increasingly important for journalists. Many of the large news sites are getting a significant amount of their traffic from Facebook.

But how else can it be leveraged? In my session I covered the four C’s that journalists needed to give to their Facebook audience to make the most of it:

  1. Content. It needs to be relevant to the audience to encourage sharing and interaction.
  2. Conversation. You need to be there. People want to talk to people, not a news site. Let people know who is doing the posting. Have a signature with the post or tag the journalist’s page when they are presenting the information.
  3. Consistency. Make sure you show up regularly. Have a schedule of the types of posts or stories that will go up at certain times. Have a question of the day that appears regularly if you decide to incorporate that into your posting mix.
  4. Community. Make your Facebook Page a safe place to be. Moderate the posts so that people aren’t attacking each other within the threads. It’s ok for people to disagree, just have some rules of engagement. If people are attacked, they won’t participate again.

Those are the things your audience wants from you. But what do you get? If you use Facebook well, you also get four C’s:

  1. Connection. Facebook gives you the opportunity to appear in people’s News Feeds over and over. You get the opportunity to reach people where they are hanging out and remind them of your site. You also build a loyal following that will turn to you for the news rather than one of the many other places they can get it.
  2. Check your sources. You can search Facebook through www.Facebook.com/search or use http://www.fbinstant.net/. People will also share tips on your Page.
  3. Clicks. Yes, if you do Facebook right you will get traffic. But it’s not only a broadcast platform. You have to talk to people and get a conversation started to reap the rewards.
  4. Credibility. When you participate regularly and let people get to know you, you will receive the trust of your audience.

When you give your audience what they want, you will get what you want. But you have to give to receive. Facebook is a powerful force when it’s used right.

Andrea Vahl is a Social Media Coach, Speaker and Strategist. She is a co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies. She uses her improv comedy skills to blog as an entertaining character named Grandma Mary – Social Media Edutainer. She is also the Facebook Community Manager for Social Media Examiner, an online magazine with more than 45,000 Facebook Fans. You can find more information at http://www.AndreaVahl.com

Email Marketing: The KISS Rule Applies

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As Nathalie Lussier taught us at her BlogWorld New York 2011 session, the downside to new tech like Twitter and Foursquare and whatnot is that you lose sight of what works. Just because a technology is 50+ years old doesn’t mean you should abandon it if your readers respond well to it.

So what is this ancient technology that you can use to tap into your readers’ wallets? Email! Yes, email really is over 50 years old, and with the right emails, you can brand yourself and make money at the same time.

Nathalie covered a lot of points in her presentation, but what I wanted to focus on today were her tips for writing a great email. It’s all about the KISS rule (Keep It Simple Stupid). I’m going to go over them one by one and give you my own thoughts on these topics.

  • Make emails digestible.

Everyone out there likely gets several emails every day (or maybe even every hour if you’re like me). If you write long, text-heavy emails, they simply won’t get read by most of your subscribers, and some might even unsubscribe. Format your emails and keep them short and simple, reflecting what your readers want of course (some groups like longer emails than others). I personally like to write blog posts that I can link in my emails if I have a lot to say on a topic but don’t want to overwhelm readers.

  • Write for one person.

Obviously, you’re not actually going to write for one person (unless you’re brand new and the only person on your list is your mom). However, you have to make the email as personable as possible, reaching out to your dream reader with your email. This may mean that some readers don’t connect with your emails, but the ones that do will really connect. This actually seems to be a point that many readers drove home this year – be yourself and get 20% of your readers raving about you rather than being generic and having 100% of the people being “meh, he/she is okay” about you.

  • Stick to about 80% content and 20% pitch.

If you pitch too much, your readers will unsubscribe. Unless your readers specifically sign up for a pitch-based email (and really, very few people to that), Nathalie recommends you have 80% of your emails be valuable, free content. This could mean sending eight content-based emails for every two pitch emails or it could mean writing about 20% pitch within every email. I would actually go a step farther and say that you need to do what works for your readers. Some readers don’t like pitches that often. Do what works for you.

  • Make it doable for yourself.

This last tip is a big one, and I completely agree with Nathalie. You have to make your email commitment doable for your own schedule. If you don’t, you’ll struggle to send out the volume of email that you promise, and your readers won’t be as connected with you – they may even unsubscribe, since you aren’t delivering as promised. Make sure you don’t over-commit.

Thanks for speaking at BlogWorld New York 2011, Nathalie. Reaers, you can follow her on Twitter at @NathLussier and check out her various projects at her website.

#BWENY at #BEA11: Views from the Show Floor

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Between the awesome sessions at BlogWorld today, I got a change to check out the Book Expo America show floor. #BEA11 was packed, with tons of author signings, advanced reader copy giveaways, publisher booths, writer sessions, and more. Check out the views from the show floor:

If you’re at #BWENY this year, your BlogWorld pass gets you into the BEA show floor for free – so if you have some free time, check it out!

Just Announced: Got Wine? Wine Sisterhood at Blogworld’s Opening Reception

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The Wine Sisterhood, a digital community promoting wine conversations and engaging consumers in the enjoyment of wine, is proud to be the wine sponsor for Blogworld’s Opening Night Party on May 25th from 8:00 pm – 10:00pm at the Hudson Terrace (sponsored by Ford Motor Company, Social Fresh, #CMMeetup and Social Media Club.) Get ready to try some Purple Cowboy Tenacious Red, Middle Sister Rebel Red and Middle Sister Drama Queen (Pinot Grigio) and more!

The Wine Sisterhood welcomes Wine Sisters AND Wine Misters. You can learn more at WineSisterhood.com or head over to the Wine Sisterhood Facebook Page. You can also download the Drink-u-lator from iTunes or the Android Market to calculate how many bottles of wine, beer and spirits you should purchase for your next party or event based on the number of guests you’re hosting and their beverage preferences.

Want to know more about the Wine Sisterhood? Look for our Wine Sister Aliza Sherman who’ll be wearing a tiara and boa at the conference.
She’ll be happy to fill you in!

And remember to attend “Speak Up: Empowering Women to Find Their Voices,” a workshop presented by Aliza Sherman and Jill Foster about overcoming fear in public speaking and taking deliberate steps to crafting speaking proposals. This happens Thursday, May 26 at 9am.

Top 10 Things to Do at BWENY: 5 Places for Good Eats

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So you’re crazy busy getting packed and ready to hit BlogWorld (or maybe you’re already in NYC). Once you’re here you have to eat, right? Well we’ve got plenty of great restaurants with fantastic discounts on the Top 10 Things to Do at BlogWorld mobile site, so you can access it on the go while you’re walking in the city. Take a minute to look at http://bwetop10.mobi powered by Network Solutions and dotMobi.

44 ½ Hell’s Kitchen – Looking for a cocktail and delicious dinner close to the Javits Stop in at 44 ½ in Hell’s Kitchen. With their lively, yet intimate bar and extensive menu, 44 ½ is the perfect place to unwind. Show your Blog World Badge to receive a complimentary fallen chocolate soufflé with dinner or a blood orange margarita on the rocks for $10 (regular $14).

Lugo Caffe – Located right across from Penn Station, Lugo Caffé is the perfect place for socializing and sharing authentic Italian food and drink. Such specialties as grilled pizzas, homemade pastas, salumi and formaggi will refuel you for the evening after a fun day at BlogWorld. Receive 10% off your final purchase with your coupon from their mobile site.

Merilu Pizza – New York City’s Pizza is renowned, and you can’t leave without grabbing a slice. Merilu and her four children vowed to take pizza to a new level at Merilu Pizza. Their long, rectangular pies with to-die-for crust are a vehicle for only the freshest of ingredients. Don’t miss it, and check out their coupon for a number of specials that will leave you satiated.

Sullivan Street Bakery – Sullivan Street Bakery offers not just bread but also savory Roman-style pizzas, rustic Italian pastries and cookies. Jim Lahey’s simple, rustic bread has hit on something important: Bread is more than bread. It reaches all the way from the belly to the soul. Our coupon will earn you 25% off with your BlogWorld Badge.

Get Your Blog Ready for BlogWorld New York

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You’re probably going to this week’s BlogWorld NY to meet people, to forge new links for your business, to put yourself “on display”, or a mix of all the above. Before you head in to the Convention Center, you’ll probably check yourself out in the mirror, making sure you’re at your best.

Have you done the same for your online presence?

Just before you get on your flight to BlogWorld, take five minutes to look over what everyone else will check out once they’ve met you. The first impression in the real world counts, but so does the first impression in the online world. Are you making the best use of that first moment?

 

Let’s start with your blog. If it’s not frequently updated, now is the time to put up a fresh post. My own blog is more a map to my other activities around the web, but in advance of BlogWorld, I’ve put up a short post saying that I’ll be at the conference, the best way to get in touch with me while I’m at the conference, and what I’m looking for while in New York to start the ball rolling before I even land..

It also has a recent picture of me, so people who do want to find me know what to look out for. That might not be as important to me (after all, “look for the kilt” isn’t going to turn up too many false positives)

Next up is my Twitter account, and specifically the main web page. Is the background showing what I want to show, is my avatar reflecting what I want it to reflect, and will it match with what people see after they meet me? I think it does. And is the 140 character bio still suitable?

To a certain extent the same goes for Facebook. Depending on your privacy settings you might want to keep your timeline clear of any pictures from a late night in Dusseldorf with a Maltese pop star (ask me over a pint, I might tell you then). If you’re going to be hitting the social scene at BlogWorld, keep an eye out for the tagged photo that causes mayhem. One trick you might like to employ is to create a “banner image” at the top of your profile that uses all five images to create one image (how to do this? Shane Richmond has the details). Striking and discrete at the same time.

Finally, and the one that quite a few people forget about, is LinkedIn. This is much more business-like and always feels like a “living CV” to me, but it’s one of the largest social networks out there. I’ve always got a handful of projects going at any one time, and it’s always good to make sure everything is up to date in LinkedIn with those achievements.

An event like BlogWorld for me is about making initial meetings and starting relationships – it’s one of the big reasons that I don;t mind doing a four day transatlantic trip. I want to make an impression on all fronts, and to make sure that people who want to meet me, and perhaps work with me in the future, are getting the true story no matter where they turn.

So cast an eye over your online presence – even if it’s just in the departures lounge of the airport. There’s always room for improvement!

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