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10 Ways Online Content Creators are Being Ripped Off


Beware of content thieves

It’s a wonderful time to be an online content creator. Bloggers, podcasters, photographers and video producers are doing amazing things with their content, and achieving excellent results. As someone who has been blogging for well over a decade, seeing us all come to this point is truly rewarding.

However, for as many people who are creating content online, there are others who are taking a lazy or unethical approach to online (and offline) success, and they don’t care who they steal from in the process. In fact, I don’t know a single content creator who hasn’t been ripped off in some form or another.

Even if you’re not looking to earn money from your content, you’re still losing something when your content is stolen. This is your talent and your expertise. Don’t let someone else take that from you.

If you’re creating content online, here are some things to look for.

1. Someone can “transform” your photos

When you post to a social media platform such as Facebook or Instagram, you don’t own your content, the platform does. But wait, it gets worse – someone can take a photo you posted on the social platform, make a minor  change, and pass it off as his/her own. In fact, that person can even sell it at a profit like this “re-photographer” who used screenshots from Instagram without permission and sold them at an art gallery for $90,000 each. Yes, he’s ripping off the original photographer, and yes, it’s legal.

What can you do about it: Post your best work on your own platform where you own all rights. It wouldn’t hurt to watermark your images, either. If you see someone posting your content and profiting from it, don’t let them get away with it. Be loud and proud when it comes to your content.

2. Someone can rewrite your content

Most content creators will tell you that creating the blog post or the video or recording the podcast is the best part of the process. However, there are lazy people who care more about shortcuts and less about ethics. So if they can move a few words around on your blog post, just enough so it won’t pass a Copyscape test, well, that’s good enough for them. Unfortunately, may of these copycat, ripoff artists are passing themselves off as “influential” content creators now because they were able to market the content so that it did well for them. Will they give you credit? Of course not.

What you can do about it: Unfortunately, it’s hard to prove someone plagiarized your content when it’s not written word for word. If it happens often, you can make a case by publicly comparing your content to the other person’s content and showing how it’s no coincidence this person is posting the same thing as you. Also, if the content is close enough to yours that there’s a case for plagiarism, you can send a cease and desist, file a DMCA notice, and even contact the website host who can demand removal.

3. Someone can pass off your content as his/her own

Some content thieves are more blatant and lazy than others. In fact, there are those who will simply copy your content outright.Many times you might not even know it happens unless you link internally in your blog posts, in which case you will receive a pingback from the offending blog or receiving a Google alert.

What you can do about it: If you can prove the content originated at your site – which isn’t difficult to do with dated blog posts or other content updates – you can file a Cease and Desist and DMCA Takedown Notice. If the offending content thief doesn’t remove the content after you ask nicely and slap him or her with some paperwork, you can send a DMCA notice to that person’s web host who will request removal or the site will be shut down.

4. Someone can steal your profile photos

Even if you’re not a blogger, podcaster, or video producer, you’re still putting content online. For example, your image on Facebook? That’s your content. There are so many thieves stealing profile images from Facebook and passing themselves off as another person. Someone can even use your profile photo to pass themselves off as someone completely different so they can mislead others.

What you can do about it: If someone is using your profile photo without permission, request an immediate cease and desist -but don’t leave it at that. All of the social networks have ways to report identity theft. Use the “report” button to contact the social network so they can remove the copycat profile immediately. They may even investigate further to see if there are other stolen photos being used.

5. Someone can share your clever social media posts without giving attribution

Celebrities and radio stations love to share viral content on Facebook and Twitter, but does the content belong to them? This is an iffy one because in most cases the person or brand doing the sharing isn’t stealing the content, they’re just sharing it. However, if they’re not including your name in the share, and it goes viral with no credit to you, they’re the ones who are credited with the awesome share and now people associate them with the content.

Actor Tyrese Gibson took it even further when he took videos from Facebook uploading them to his own page without offering any kind of attribution.

 What you an do about it: Unless it’s a blatant steal like the Tyrese Gibson situation you can’t really do much about someone sharing your content. You can try asking the person doing the sharing to please make sure you’re attributed as the content creator, though. In most cases the brand or person sharing is happy to comply. If someone is passing your content off as his own, contact the social network and request a takedown.

6. Someone can download your TV show or movie rather than paying for service

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Streaming aren’t the only ways people are watching TV and movies online. They’re also downloading them via torrent sites or streaming them illegally. This means that everyone from the  content creators, producers, and actors are losing money.

What you can do about it: The networks are on it, but as soon as one site is shut down another pops up. A good recourse is to educate people about copyright laws, content theft, and theft of service. Most people who use an illegal service to download content see it more as saving money and don’t realize they’re ripping off many people in the process.

7. Someone can repackage, rewrite, or resell your ebook

Someone who is too lazy to create his/her own ebook but still wants to profit from ebook sales, probably has no craps to give about all the hard work you put into writing, editing, formatting and designing your ebook. People with no conscience or sense of right or wrong won’t think twice about taking your ebook, sticking a different title and cover on it, and selling it on their own. It’s not easy to find out if someone is plagiarizing your ebooks, either. Unlike online blog posts and articles, you can’t necessarily compare an ebook word for word unless you buy it, and the verbiage doesn’t always show up in a web search.

What you can do about it: This is a tough one. How do you know someone is repackaging your ebook and passing it off as your own if no one tells you or it doesn’t come up in a Google alert? You can monitor ebook sales in your niche, and also you can do periodic web searches for specific phrasing, blocks of text and unique terms that you will only find in your ebook. If your ebook is copyrighted, you can pursue legal action but, of course, you have to make sure it will be worth the expense to have that fight.

8. Someone can steal your title and headlines

The problem with coming up with a clever headline is that there’s a mad rush to click on something popular, everyone wants to do the same thing. I can’t tell you how many times someone took a title that was popular on another blog or ebook and used it to write his/her own original content. It’s frustrating, darn it, because you came up with it first. Can’t people find their own ideas?

What you can do about it: Nothing, really. You can’t prove plagiarism or content theft if someone used a title you created and used it for themselves but posted their own unique content underneath.  If you can prove there was a blatant ripoff (which is hard to do with just a title) you might have a case, but that type of theft is difficult to prove.

You can also try working on headlines that are so unique no one could justify stealing them. For example, John Smith couldn’t get away with sharing “Deb Ng’s Top 10 Tips for Not Allowing Smarmy Content Thieves to Rip You Off.”

9. Someone can share your design and logo ideas

There are numerous cases online of people who ripped off someone else’s logo and passed off the design to their clients as their own.It’s so disheartening because designers put their heart and soul into creating something unique and powerful for their clients only to have someone else steal it, do a minimum of tweaking and sell it to one of their clients.

What you can do about it: Fortunately this one is easy. If you find you’ve been ripped off contact the offending party and cease and desist his/her butt. Tell that person to use of the design has to stop immediately or you will contact their client who they sold the design to. Give him or her a week to rectify the situation. If the design isn’t pulled and/or you’re not given proper credit and payment, contact that designer’s client. Let them know their logo was ripped off from your design and share the proof. If it is an ethical business they’ll take the design down immediately and stop payment or request refund from the rip off artist.

10. Someone can steal your ideas

It happens all the time. You have a great idea for a website, startup, blog or other content. You share it with some friends in order to flesh it out. Then you learn someone else has been running with your idea and launched it first. Sometimes, many times, we can’t even trust people we think are our friends.

What you can do about it: Hopefully you documented every step of your process, including any emails and other communication to the rip off artist about this great idea you had. If you can prove this was your idea you can first ask the other person to offer you proper attribution and payment, including future profits or a lump sum. If the other party isn’t keen on sharing, you can take him or her to court.

Paper trails are important with content creation and sharing of ideas. You should always, always document your good ideas and only share them with people you truly trust. Confidentiality and non competes are especially good in these situations.

 Education Helps

As soon as you post something it’s your intellectual property.  The problem is, content thieves and blog scrapers don’t really care about things like intellectual property and copyright violations. Very few people know how to pursue content thieves or feel it will be a great expense to take them on.

Also, there are people who are under the mistaken impression that once something is online it falls under the public domain and anyone can use it. Most of the time when you confront that type of person they will take the content down because they didn’t know any better.

It helps to educate the world about content theft. What it is, how people steal content, and how it shouldn’t be supported. The more people who are vocal about and take action against content theft, the less likely it is to happen. Content theft is one of the few times I’ll advocate public shaming (if the content thief isn’t accommodating) and creating an uproar. This is our livelihood and we can’t let anyone mess with it.

How do you handle content theft?

The Blogger On a Budget’s Guide to Attending Conferences Without Breaking the Bank



Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 1.20.25 PM I love conferences. I am passionate about networking, look forward to learning, and nothing makes me happier than connecting with my old friends while making new friends. You know what I don’t love about conferences? The price!

In fact, I attend significantly fewer conferences than I used to because $3000 – $5000 to attend a conference simply doesn’t work for me.

Many conferences are priced in a way that appeals to businesses who are sending their employees, rather than independent contractors who can’t buy a $1700 badge.

I keep reading that if I’m not willing to put out the investment for an expensive conference, I’m not serious about my business. I’m calling b.s. on that nonsense. You can be serious about your business and budget conscious at the same time.

What follows are some ways content creators on a budget can attend conferences without heavy investment.

1. Take advantage of early bird pricing

All conferences offer different levels of pricing throughout a period of several months. If budget matters to you, take advantage of the earliest pricing offered – which is also the cheapest. Most conferences offer rates at upwards of 50% off full conference pricing.

2. Pass on redundant events

Have you noticed a lot of the same people speak at all the similar industry events? Have you noticed they give the same talk over and over? Rather than waste your money on conferences that don’t offer unique content or change up the speaker lineup, save your investment for events that provide something different.

3. Check out different area hotels

While official conference hotels usually offer a discount, there may be cheaper options. See what other nearby hotels are offering price-wise. It may be worth it to book at a hotel across the road or down the block, rather than the conference hotel itself. If you’re staying out in the boonies, don’t forget to factor in the price of gas or cabs though. It make no sense to save on a cheaper hotel if you’re putting out even more money on taxi cabs.

4. Don’t wait until the last minute to book flights

Check flights early. The later you book, they more likely you are to book at some of the highest pricing offered. Don’t be afraid to check on some of the airlines that offer low, low prices and have frequent sales. For example, Frontier Airlines often offers promotions where you can book a flight for $35.

5. Virtually Attend

Sometimes conferences offer “Virtual Tickets,” that is, a recordings of all the conference sessions at a lower rate than it costs to attend in person. If you can’t afford to physically attend a conference, look for early bird pricing on virtual tickets to see if that’s more cost effective.

Other considerations:

  • Roommates: Personally, I prefer to unwind alone sans roommate but budget-conscious conference attendees can save by rooming with one or two others.
  • Food: Look for cheaper local eateries that are off the beaten path, rather than hotels that cater to tourists or high-end diners. Check Groupon and local websites to see if there are any coupons available.
  • Conferences that aren’t so expensive: Maybe instead of trying to attend conferences you can’t afford, look to find the best ones that are priced within your budget.
  • Attend local conferences: Since travel and incidental costs add up, attending conferences locally means you cut out a significant expense.
  • Volunteer: Some conferences will allow you to attend for free if you volunteer to help out. Just remember that if you volunteer it could mean you’re spending the entire time behind a desk or minding a door and not really seeing much of the conference.
  • Speak: Most conferences offer speakers a complimentary pass in exchange for speaking.

So there are some of the ways a budget-minded content creator can save money on conferences. What do you do to save costs?

Speaking of saving money: Super early bird registration for NMX is now open. Register today and save 50% off the price of your ticket.

Call For Speakers Opens for NMX 2016!



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NMX is once again opening up our call for speakers. I could link to the form here and send you there now without explanation, but there are a few things we should go over first.

Every year we see proposals from people who seem to be confused about NMX, and aren’t sure who our attendees, or we are about.

First and foremost, our community is looking for passion, creativity, and speakers who will inspire them. They are not looking for people to tell them how to be, why they are, or why they should be influential.

In order for us to find speakers who are a good fit for our community, and so you don’t waste hours perfecting a proposal that won’t be accepted, we’re going to be very clear about who we are and what we’re looking for in ideal speakers for NMX 2016.

Important: I know this is a long post, but please read all before submitting a proposal.

NMX is a conference for content creators

Helping content creators has always been our vision, and we haven’t strayed from this message since day one.

Before we get into what NMX is, let’s talk about what it isn’t:

  • NMX IS NOT a social media conference – Our attendees are very social media savvy, but NMX isn’t a conference to teach social media skills.
  • NMX IS NOT a marketing conference – NMX attendees are always looking for new ways to share their content, but they’re not Internet marketers or social media marketers.
  • NMX IS NOT a tech conference: Our attendees, speakers, and exhibitors are all very tech oriented. In fact, technology is the reason content creators have the freedom to share their passion like never before. Some of our speakers might teach about the tools and technology content creators need to take their content to the next level, but technology is not our primary focus.
  • NMX IS NOT a business conference: This last one is a bit tricky. NMX attendees are first and foremost content creators. However, they are also small business owners, creating content for themselves or clients. Others are full or part time employees creating content for those businesses. So we definitely talk about best practices of growing your content focused business. We just aren’t a conference about business that includes content as one of your business tools.

NMX IS the first and only conference for ALL new media content creators

If you write, blog, podcast, produce videos, take photos or create any kind of content to share online, we are your conference.

The smart people who attend NMX are looking for new ways to hone their craft and become more successful creating content online. NMX attendees want to learn to create better, monetize better, and share better.

While NMx attendees are partly made up of professionals who are learning more about content creation to become better at what they do for their business, it’s important to know that most of the NMX community are in business for themselves or have that as their goal.

NMX attendees create content on their own platforms, first and foremost, but also blog, podcast, and produce video for clients.  It’s safe to say the average NMX attendee isn’t your typical 9 to 5-er.

 The NMX community is made up of peers, not “influencers”

NMX is an influencer-free zone. The NMX community doesn’t care about Klout scores or follower counts. If you want to speak at NMX so you can hang out with “influencers” we’re not the right conference for you.  NMX attendees check their egos at the door and are more impressed by creativity than people who are famous on the Internet.

Now, if you want to collaborate with or be inspired by an awesome community of creative and smart people, who know how to do amazing things online, come join us in Las Vegas.

Everyone is equal at NMX.

What are we looking for in our speakers?

One thing we pride ourselves on at NMX is introducing some new speakers to our attendees, so if you haven’t done this before, don’t be shy!  Some of today’s biggest names in content creation had their first experience on stage at NMX back in the day.  Don’t think about being “new” or “old.” It’s more important to be smart, articulate and inspirational.

We don’t ask that you speak at every conference on the circuit, only that you:

  1. Are smart: Our ideal speaker knows his or her stuff. Please don’t apply to speak if you plan on winging it or copying bullet points from someone else’s blog post. Please don’t crowdsource ideas for your session two days before NMX. We notice and so do our attendees.
  2. Are passionate: If you love to create content and it shows in what you do, you’re a good candidate for speaking at NMX. Our ideal speaker shares that passion with others.
  3. Will check your ego at the door: We’re not interested in numbers or divas, because numbers can’t teach and divas don’t reach. The NMX podium isn’t a place for you to talk about how awesome you are. Our ideal speaker cares more about sharing knowledge than sharing trophies. We know you are probably a big deal on the internet, but so are most of our attendees. You are among peers, not fawning fans who will be awed by your presence.
  4. Will make plans to spend time with NMX attendees: Our ideal speakers love our conference and want to be a part of our community. They enjoy spending time with attendees in the NMX Lounge and also visit the Expo floor, come to the parties, red carpet events and other sessions. If you’re speaking at NMX, you’re probably also a content creator who can come away learning as much as you teach. We’re not saying all speakers MUST be present for all that’s going on, but if you’re pressed for time and only plan on speaking and running, we’d rather give the opportunity to someone who really wants to be there.
  5. WON’T Sell: Sales pitches are for the expo floor, not the podium. We actively tell our attendees to heckle people pitching from the stage -and then tell us about it. Believe me, they do.

Our ideal speakers are as passionate about content creation and new media as we are:

 Our ideal NMX speakers are also NMX attendees and if they’re not selected to speak, they still want to attend.

Our ideal NMX speakers geek out about content and content creation all the time, and are passionate about their chosen platforms.

Our ideal speaker WANTS to be at NMX, not because he or she has something to sell, but because they can’t stand to be away and would like nothing more than to spend time with the online content creation community.

Because NMX attendees are mostly in business for themselves, they’re the ones putting out the investment to attend – not their bosses. Our ideal speaker understands this and plans on giving everyone serious bang for his or her buck.

NMX attendees don’t HAVE to come to our conference as part of their jobs. They WANT to come. Our ideal speakers make plans to attend parties, red carpet events, networking receptions and even visit other sessions because they know that it means a lot to attendees to spend time getting to know their favorite speakers.

If that sounds a little too kumbaya to you, and you don’t think you can muster up that kind of enthusiasm for our conference, we’re probably not a good fit for your needs.

 Our ideal speakers are proud to promote their NMX sessions

Our ideal speakers promote their sessions not only because they want a full room (because that’s important!) but also because they want others to come to NMX and see why it’s such a great event.

We do our best to promote each and every speaker at NMX on our newsletter, the blog, on Twitter, Facebook, Twitter chats and other channels. However, there’s only so much we can do. While we do our best to spread the word about you, our main job is to get people in the building. It’s also part of the speaker’s job is to help get them in the room.

Our ideal speakers should be as enthusiastic about speaking at NMX as we are to have them and, thus, they don’t mind promoting their sessions to other content creators.  We can promise you this, you won’t be the only great speaker talking at any given hour. You will be competing for attendees’ attention. The Hail Mary approach to session promotion  – not sharing your session details with others and hoping people show up – doesn’t always work. It’s never a good idea to assume people will show up because you are famous on the Internet,  that’s not what impresses NMX attendees.

 What we’re looking for in a speaker for NMX:

  • All sessions must be geared towards online content creators – Sessions must be of interest to bloggers, podcasters, and video creators.
  • Sessions that go beyond the usual “101:” NMX attendees are already creating content. Sessions shouldn’t tell us why we need to do it – they should tell us how to do it better, smarter, and more profitable.
  • Case studies, data, and trends as they relate to content creation: What are the things we need to know to be successful now and in the future? Share proof and statistics.
  • Tools, Tips, Techniques: How do content creators make the process easier, brighter, and clearer?
  • Monetization strategies and concepts – What are the different ways online content creators can monetize their own platforms for a full time income?
  • Self-publishing: The NMX community is made up of aspiring authors who want to succeed on their own platforms.
  • Something we don’t see anywhere else: We’ll give top consideration to sessions that are unique, and that we don’t see at every other conference. Teach us something new.

 More advanced content, please!

As content creators, the NMX community already knows why it’s important to blog, podcast, and produce video. They also know the importance of using social media. With that in mind, basic “why you need to blog” or “why podcasters should use Twitter” presentations aren’t helpful because our community is already there. What they really want to know how to do is to take their content to the next level. For example, photo, video and podcasting editing tips, advanced hacks for blogging, and ways all content creators can earn good money doing what they love most are welcome topics.

What we’re not looking for:

  • Sessions that aren’t geared towards online content creators: We’re not looking for sessions about how to drive Facebook engagement on a brand page, or how to up one’s Twitter follower count. That’s better geared towards a social media marketing conference, which we’re not.
  • Session featuring “secrets” that aren’t really secret If it comes up on a Google search, it’s not secret. If others have blogged about it, shared webinars about it, sold ebooks on it, and, well, know about it, it’s not a secret. If you’re promising secrets, or “surefire strategies” be sure to back them up in your proposal, because that’s something we’d really like to see. Sessions must deliver what they promise.
  • Sessions that are all jargon and no substance: Please don’t use exciting session titles that promise the world, or are riddled with marketing buzzwords and jargon. The NMX community doesn’t want to be pitched to – they want to advance their techniques as shared  by someone who does it well – in plain English.
  • Sessions that don’t match the session headline and description: Nothing frustrates the NMX community more than showing up for a session only to find out the presentation isn’t anything like what was promised in the session description.
  • Sessions that fizzle out after 15 minutes: Please be prepared to speak for 30 – 45 minutes depending on your session time, with 15 minutes left for Q&A.
  • Sales pitches: Pitching is for booths.
  • Sessions that tell us why we need to do something we’re already doing. NMX attendees are already online. They already know why they need to blog, podcast, produce video, tweet, or use Pinterest.
  • Sessions about you and your success that no one else can relate to: If you want to teach how you grew your podcast to 5 million listeners, you should teach exactly that. We’re not looking for a play by play of your highlight reel. If attendees can’t relate, you’ll lose them. Remember, the session isn’t about you – it’s to teach attendees how to get from point A to point B.
  • Sessions about growing follower counts or becoming influential: Just, no.
  • Sessions you see at every other conference:. The biggest consideration is given to those who present unique ideas. Please don’t submit a proposal for a session that you’ve presented at many other conferences.

I know this is a lot to think about. However, every year we receive hundreds of proposals. Many of them are amazing but due to time and space restraints we end up rejecting most of them. We have to make some very hard choices and review a ton of great ideas. When that process gets clogged up with people who obviously don’t get us, it makes it harder for everyone.

  NMX: Inspiring content creators since 2007

Our ideal NMX speakers aren’t gurus, mavens, rockstars, coaches, influencers, ninjas, or self-proclaimed experts. NMX speakers are passionate about content creation, people, and the conference itself. If this is you, we can’t wait to see your proposal. Deadline to accept proposals is August 31, 2015.

Think you’re a good fit for NMX? Click here to submit your proposal!



Registration for NMX 2016 is Now Open



Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 9.33.05 AM We are so pleased to announce that early bird registration is now open for NMX 2016. We’re especially excited because we’re planning our best conference for content creators yet, with brand new activities and events to be announced.

What can you look forward to for NMX 2016?

NMX is the first and only conference for ALL new media content creators. We want to make that focus clear for 2016. Here are some of the things you can expect for NMX 2016:

  • Sessions of interest to bloggers, podcasters, and video producers: Our focus for 2016 is clear – sessions designed to inspire content creators to take their content to a new level. Moving forward, NMX sessions are less business and “influencer” oriented, so we can commit to providing the best sessions on content creation, distribution, and monetization.
  • More networking: Whether it’s the hallways, Expo floor, New Media Lounge, parties, or red carpet events, we’ll have more opportunities for you to network in 2016.
  • Red carpet events for ALL content creators: Bloggers, podcasters, and web TV producers all have an opportunity to get out their creative formal attire for some very special events.
  • Introducing the 2016 Blogger Ball! We will share more details in the upcoming weeks, but the 2016 Blogger Ball promises to be a gala event.
  • VIP access: VIP ticket holders continue to receive priority seating at all keynotes and red carpet events as well as sessions and parties.
  • The New Media Lounge: In addition to hosting networking and meetups, the New Media Lounge is also a place for networking, working, and relaxing.
  • NMX Expo Floor: The NMX Expo floor will continue to showcase the very best tools, services, and technology of interest to all new media content creators.

You can help us to shape the content and events at NMX 2016. Read on…

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Help us to shape the programming for NMX 2016

We rely on feedback from NMX attendees so we can improve. Today, I’d like to invite you all to participate in a brief survey that will tell us more about who you are, why you attend NMX, and what you would most like to see at NMX 2016. Please click here to take the survey. We are so grateful for your feedback.

Call for speakers opening next week

Since announcing NMX 2016 we received many inquiries as to when we will open for speaker proposals. We’re happy to announce that we’re opening the call for speakers next week. If you want to get started early and think about topics to propose, please make sure they are geared towards all new media content creators, and not businesses, brands, or influencers.

Please don’t email me early with your proposal, we’ll have a form to share next week and we want to be fair and give all applicants the same consideration. Thanks!

Register for NMX 2016

Passes for NMX 2016 are currently offered at the lowest rate. However, they won’t stay at this rate for long. Register today to take advantage advantage of super low prices!

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Are you attending NMX? Click here to send us a tweet so we can give you a shout out!





10 Reasons Why It’s Essential to Host Content on Your Own Platform


Content creators should have their own platforms

Dear Content Creators,

I have something to discuss with you. Something important. I see so many talented content creators abandoning their own personal content platforms for other pastures, and I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you why I feel this is a mistake.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t use other platforms to share your content,   guest post on other blogs,  or use content platforms like Medium,  or LinkedIn to as part of a strategy create content, share expertise, and grow your business, because those platforms are important. But they’re better used as a secondary platform or as a platform for busy business owners who don’t have time or savvy to host  and maintain their own content.

Remember, there’s a difference between business people who are looking to share expertise, and content creators who need a continuous platform to showcase talent and attract clients. Business owners who aren’t content creators use the above referenced platforms, as well as different social media accounts to drive traffic to their websites. On the other hand, content creators need to have their own content platform because content IS their business.

It’s essential for full time content creators or people who want to be known as content creators to have their own personal space to highlight expertise and grow community.

My arguments for hosting content on your own platform are below:

10 Reasons Why It’s Essential to Host Content on Your Own Platform

1. All traffic comes to you

When you use another platform to host your content – whether it’s a publishing platform hosted by a brand like LinkedIn or Medium or a social network like Facebook – those platforms are getting the bulk of the traffic. Certainly they can send a good chunk of that traffic your way, but wouldn’t you like to have the benefit of ALL your traffic?

Instead of putting all your eggs in other peoples’ baskets, start your own basket. Use the other platforms as places to share your content or drive targeted traffic to your blog, podcast, website, or video channels.

2. Your blog, your rules

Let me preface this by saying I dislike the expression “My blog, my rules” because it takes away from the community spirit. If we’re not blogging with our community in mind, it’s just one big ego project, right?  So I do think other people’s opinions matter in that regard. However, there’s something to be said about having the freedom to handle your content as you like.

You control what kind of content you can post, your blog or website design, whether or not you want to bring in advertising, and the tone and voice of your content. You don’t have to sign contracts or terms of use and you have the freedom to post as often or as little as you like.

3. Hello, Myspace?

Platforms don’t last forever. People left MySpace in droves and Google+ doesn’t seem to be doing so well either. Even Medium is changing its perspective from a content creation platform to a social network. Remember b5Media? KnowMore Media? Creative Weblogging? They were promising blog platforms that don’t exist anymore. In some cases bloggers were able to keep their content, and other cases, all their content is gone.

By hosting content on your own platform, not only are you guaranteeing your own longevity, but you also own your own files. So you can take your content with you wherever you roam online.

4. Better search engine visibility

Yes, those other platforms do have the potential to send you a lot of traffic, which is why they’re a great secondary platform. However, as a content creator for hire, isn’t it more important to have your own pages indexed on the search engines so people who are searching for content creators come directly to you and not someone else on the same platform?

5. It’s your community – not someone else’s

People on the web are fickle and have short attention spans. When they’re on a platform when other writers and articles are featured prominently in the sidebar, they’ll move on to another content creator’s work. Which is fine, there’s nothing wrong with reading other people’s content. However, on your own blog you keep all the pageviews. If readers want to read more, they have YOUR content for their browsing pleasure – and not soemone else’s.

Moreover, people become regulars because their a fan of your content and you as a person as opposed to visiting a platform every day to consume random bits of content. This familiarity brings trust, and trust builds community.

6. You can monetize your own platform

You can use your content platform as the basis for many things. You can highlight your expertise, build your business as a content creator for hire, or find different ways to monetize via ads, sales of books, ebooks, webinars and courses, or other methods. The point is, you have the freedom to monetize …or not.

7. YOUR searchable archives

When I search for content on your web property I come up with YOUR content, not someone else’s. More pageviews, more established expertise, more personal brand recognition, and more showing me why you are a person I should work with.

8. Pride of ownership

Content creators who use their own platform are more to post on a regular basis. They’re also more likely to share their content and use the URL on business cards, online bios and profiles, and other promotional material. Content creators tend to be prouder of something they built and maintained on their own, and thus are more diligent about continuity, accuracy, design, and editing.

9. You can sell your web property one day

You may decide to retire one day and not wish to keep your blog or podcast going. However, if it’s a popular space, you can sell it. If you’re blogging on someone else’s platform, they keep the millions they earn in a sale and you’re stuck having to deal with new management and new rules.

10. You can still share on other platforms

Don’t confuse “own” with “only.” You can still share content elsewhere. Go ahead and guest blog for another blogger who will drive beneficial traffic to your own platform, or use  another content platform to showcase your expertise and drive traffic, to, again, your own interests. That’s all important and will help to establish your authority and grow your business as a content creator. Just make sure you’re not doing all the work while giving someone else all the benefits.

As a content creator it makes sense you have a place to share content as inspiration strikes, while serving as a home base and showcase for your creativity.

Why would you give that to someone else?

Thanks for listening,


Podcast Alley Schedule


Podcast Alley is the stage on the NMX floor where podcasters will be recording LIVE. The excitement of the floor, and having a live audience is exhilarating. Here is the current schedule

10:30- 11:30  Open
11:45 – 12:45 Over Coffee – Dot Cannon
1:00 – 2:00 The Waves of Tech – Steve Lee
2:15 – 3:15 Podcast Reporter – Fred Castaneda
3:30 – 4:30 The Audacity to Podcast- Daniel J. Lewis


10:30- 11:30 Libsyn Live – Rob Walch, Elsie Escobar
11:45 – 12:45 Aaron Peterson– The Hollywood Outsider
1:00 – 2:00 Podcasters Roundtable – Ray Ortega
2:15 – 3:15 Brunch With The Brits – Max Cox
3:30 – 4:30 Open


10:30- 11:30  Open
11:45 – 12:45 Open
1:00 – 2:00 Podcasters Group Therapy – Nick Seuberling & the Fabulous Finerans
2:15 – 3:15 Timelines of Success – Bill Conrad
3:30 – 4:30


10:30- 11:30  Open
11:45 – 12:45 The Crazy Marketing Ladies – Carole Sanek
1:00 – 2:00 Once Upon a Time Podcast – Daniel J. Lewis

If you would like to participate, contact the Director of Podcasting Dave Jackson and we can put you on the schedule (first come first serve).

360Heros Brings Virtual Reality to NMX


by Justin McLaughlin
Digital & Social Media Specialist

360Heros Bus

Interested in seeing the latest in virtual reality 360 video technology? Look no farther than 360Heros and booth N7213 at the 2015 New Media Expo. As an NMX sponsor, 360Heros will be sharing their complete VR 360 video production workflow including content capture hardware, workflow management software and their latest virtual reality demos.

360Heros Booth Festivities

The 360Heros booth will prove to be quite the spectacle as it includes the company’s 40-foot tour bus/ mobile 360 VR production center the “360RV“, a 1.5 meter immersive dome theater from Elumenati for viewing content, drones equipped for filming 360 video and a slew of cool VR tech and demos. Booth visitors will get to see 360Heros complete line of 360 Plug-n-Play™ content capture hardware, Samsung Gear VR demos, Oculus Rift demos and mobile VR demos.


Learn About VR

Attendees interested in learning more about VR/ 360 video will have the chance to catch 360Heros CEO, founder and inventor Michael Kintner during a number of speaking engagements. This includes Kintner serving on a panel titled “Why Content Creators Should Care About Virtual Reality”. Slated for Monday, April 13th at 10:30 a.m., Kintner will join fellow industry leaders Ted Schilowitz, Ikrima Elhassan and Cosmo Scharf in a discussion about the current importance and future of VR for content creators.

Kintner will also give two separate presentations focused on his goals to empower content creators and to share his workflow and technology. Attendees can see these presentations in the NMX Lounge at 2:00pm on Monday the 13th and 2:00pm on Tuesday the 14th.

Aside from the opportunity to check out the latest in VR tech, NMX attendees will have the chance to win free GoPros and enjoy free t-shirt giveaways at the 360Heros booth. For more info on VR/ 360 video the 360Heros check out 360Heros.com and feel free to pay them a visit at NMX!

Breaking It Down: What The Different NMX Passes Get You Into


NMX attendees have the option of registering for several different pass types: VIP Pass, Content Creator Pass, and Exhibits Only pass.

As we have a variety of events happening at NMX, I thought it would be a good idea to list the type of passes we offer and the events you can get into.

Here you go…

VIP Pass

If you want to take advantage of all NMX has to offer, the VIP pass is your best value. With your VIP ticket you have access too:

  • All sessions including NMX business sessions, super sessions, and keynotes.
  • The NMX Exhibit floor
  • All NMX parties including Sunday night’s speaker/sponsor/VIP party
  • The Podcast Awards and red carpet event and after party
  • The IAWTV Awards and red carpet event and after party

Content Creator Pass

  • All keynotes
  • All super sessions
  • All exhibits
  • All content creator sessions – This DOES NOT include NMX Business track sessions
  • All parties except IAWTV Awards after party
  • Podcast Awards and red carpet event  and after party.

Exhibits Only

  • NMX Exhibits
  • NMX Keynotes
  • The NMX opening party on Monday night, April 13th
  • The Podcast Awards

Important: Exhibits only pass holders don’t have access too super sessions, general sessions, the IAWTV Awards or after party.  All previously registered Exhibits only passholders received a special upgrade offer in their email last week in case you would like to participate in more activities and events at NMX .

Register Today!

NMX 2015 takes place April 13 – 16, 2015 at the Westgate Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Don’t have your ticket yet? Register today – and since I really want to see you there, use my code Social20 for an additional 20% off current pricing.

Telling More, With Less


by Donna Freedman – NMX Speaker


Donna Freedman

Want to keep people reading your site? Keep this old journalism adage in mind: “Show, don’t tell.”

Your job as a writer isn’t to force-feed facts so that readers will be sure to Get Your Point. Yesterday was the hottest day I can ever remember. My clothes were sticking to me and my hair was sweaty and I almost came down with heat stroke.

Overkill! Here’s how author Annie Dillard described a rough summer day: “It was hot, so hot that the mirror felt warm.” That is a great detail – and all she had to do was notice it.

Use too many descriptors and your narrative bogs down. The right details show rather than slow the story, turning even a run-of-the-mill topic into a memorable piece of writing.

Bloggers should aim to tell us more, with less. And yep, that can be very difficult at times. When I’m writing, I’m often reminded of a line from that song “Against the Wind”: What to leave in, what to leave out.
Leave in as much as you need to create vivid pictures. Leave out the ordinary stuff.

Suppose your topic is the day you proposed to your sweetheart, or the moment you realized that your current way of living was unsustainable. Forget details like “the sun was shining the day I asked my girlfriend to marry me.” So what? The sun shines a lot of the time. It’s memorable only if, say, you live in Seattle and were just coming off 58 cloudy days in a row.
But if at the moment of your proposal a street musician started playing “Smoke on the Water” on the tuba, you bet I’d put that in. Especially if the guy drowned out your dry-mouthed, “Will you marry me?”
Think back to the day you decided to get smarter about money. As you turned away from the ATM that wouldn’t let you withdraw any cash, you saw a bank poster exhorting you to save for your future. Both the poster and your reaction to it – Future? I can’t even pay my bills in the present! – are nice touches when describing a frugal epiphany.

Carefully chosen details help readers imagine a scene or situation they’ve never personally encountered. They provide color and texture – and an entry point for readers who’ve also heard “Smoke on the Water” played on the tuba. (I actually did hear this once, in Chicago. Cracked me up.)
Incidentally, “details” can also mean “research.” Which blogger do you take more seriously: The one who writes,“The average U.S. college student will graduate with an average debt load of $29,400, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.” Or the one who writes, “Students are taking out a lot of college loans these days.”

The same rule applies to facts as to other descriptors: Put in too many and your blog post will sink under the weight. Use only the most important facts.

Sometimes you’re lucky enough to have details come over and sit on your lap. Broken glass crunching under your feet as you walked to your first day on the new job in a dicey neighborhood. The hissing of the ventilator that kept your mother breathing after a massive stroke. The part-garbage-part-berry odor that let you know a grizzly was very close to the trail you were walking.

Most times, though, you’re going to have to pay attention – to your topic, your surroundings, your life. Annie Dillard noticed a mirror. What will you notice?

Choose the most evocative material you have to connote a scene, a mood, a memory. Liven up those green-vegetable pieces (the ones you do because they’re good for readers) with facts or statistics that provide perspective as well as color.

Remember: Show, don’t tell. A few carefully chosen details let readers draw their own pictures. Too many details slow the narrative. Ordinary details don’t belong in your posts, unless you explain why they were actually extraordinary.

(Donna Freedman’s NMX presentation, “Stop Calling It ‘Content’!,” will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 13. Donna has 31 years’ worth of professional writing experience, the last eight of them online. This guest post was based on an excerpt from her new online course, Write A Blog People Will Read. Use the coupon code NMX20 to get 20% off the course fee.)

NMX Speaker Spotlight: Shawn Collins





ShutterBug Headshots Austin TX

Shawn Collins

Today we’re profiling Shawn Collins. Shawn along with his Affiliate Summit partner, Missy Ward are presenting “Monetizing Your Blog Using Affiliate Marketing” at NMX on Monday, April 13 at 1:45 p.m. 

1. Without repeating your online bio word for word, tell the NMX community who you are and why you’re so good at what you do.

I’ve been an affiliate marketer since 1997. Some might call me a dinosaur, but I prefer to say that I am a veteran or early adopter. Back then, it was such uncharted territory, and there were no blogs, podcasts, videos, newsletters, or events. We had to make it up as we went along. After a few years of being an affiliate and an affiliate manager, as well as writing on affiliate marketing for ClickZ, I got a book deal to write how to manager an affiliate program. That book, “Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants” is way outdated now (it came out in 2001), but it was a chronicle of the ways I made up to start and manage an affiliate program. In 2003, I partnered up with Missy Ward to start the Affiliate Summit conference. It didn’t really make any sense, because we were both broke and clueless about events, but we made it happen with passion and patience. What started as a very small investment (the cost of the affiliatesummit.com domain) has grown to be the largest affiliate marketing tradeshow in the world.

2. What are you speaking about at NMX? Why is this an important topic?

Missy Ward and I will be discussing the best kind of affiliate programs for bloggers, how to figure out what their visitors want to buy, and the most effective implementation strategies. Then, we will do some live site reviews to give candid advice to bloggers in the audience. This session will be very timely, because there is a big shift of bloggers from the old sponsorship model to performance marketing, and it’s a topic that many bloggers are anxious to learn more about.

3. Who are you most looking forward to see speak at NMX and why?

So many of the breakouts look great, but I’m most excited about Dennis Miller. I’ve loved his stuff dating back to SNL and I saw him in concert in either the late 80s or early 90s when I was in college. I’ve enjoyed his work and brand of comedy ever since then.

4. Beyond work…what is your passion?

I really enjoy writing. I get to indulge that side of me to a degree with my work, but I prefer fiction writing. I am currently about 30,000 words in on the next “Great American Novel”. Before I got into marketing, and even before I had any sort of paying job, I really wanted to be a writer. I knocked on lots of doors in NYC in the 90s and the only paying gig I ever got was to write one piece for the New York Press, which was an alternative to the Village Voice back then. I earned $100, so I guess that makes me a professional writer. Well, I have written business books, too, and we just wrapped the 30th issue of our magazine, FeedFront. I’ve been writing for school newspapers, zines, ezines, magazines, websites, etc. since elementary school. Yeah, writing is my passion.

5. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

Back when current U.S. Senator Cory Booker ran for Mayor of Newark, NJ for the first time in 2002, I ran his website for him. We were introduced by a mutual friend, and I offered up the right combination of site design and marketing, as well as a low rate (free). The was the campaign featured in the Oscar nominated documentary, “Street Fight.” It was a fascinating experience that convinced me I’d never want to work in politics.

Don’t have your ticket? Register for a Content Creator or VIP ticket today as you can’t see Shawn and Missy’s session on an Exhibits Only pass.

Learn About NMX


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