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September 2010

Blogsvertise Returns to BlogWorld!


Many bloggers opt to monetize their blog. From placing banner links on their homepage to writing paid reviews, plenty of options exist for a blogger eager to earn money. Any of these can be great ways of making money.

For bloggers interested in earning revenue, Blogsvertise is an online service that helps bloggers get paid for writing reviews on their blog. Blogsvertise sends users assignments relevant to their site, and they then have the option of accepting or declining the ad.

We offer a variety of ad types for bloggers to choose from:

  • Paid reviews
  • Text links
  • Banner ads
  • Paid Per Click

We encourage bloggers that choose to write a paid entry to write their honest opinion of the product, service or site. Users also have the option to decline a task for any reason.

When it comes to writing paid posts, bloggers are required to disclose somewhere on their blog that they receive payment for their posts. We understand that it’s very important for readers to know this information.

As far as price goes, bloggers may set their own ad rates. They can choose a minimum payout rate, and they won’t receive any assignments lower than this. However, bloggers do not have to set their own rate if they are not sure what rate to choose. For those that don’t set their own rate, posts typically pay $10-20 on average.

Advertisers are looking for higher traffic blogs. These blogs appeal to our advertisers not only because they know more people will see their ads, but also because they know these blogs tend to have quality posts and grammar.

Bloggers with great content and good grammar can also become part of our blogger VIP Program. Bloggers in our VIP Program have a higher likelihood of receiving more tasks, higher payouts, and better assignments. Typically blogs with a lot of original content become part of our VIP Program. VIP Bloggers post frequently, respond to tasks regularly and often have more than one blog (though this is not required).

If you are interested in the VIP program, or just want to stop by and talk to us in general, please feel free to visit us at the Blog World Expo. You’ll be able to find us at booth number 512, and you can ask for me, Elizabeth. You can also join now using our blogger registration page.

We attended the show in 2007, and we can’t wait to be back! We’re looking forward to talking with bloggers, and we hope to see you there!

Elizabeth Frey is a team member at Blogsvertise and has been blogging for years. She is also an aspiring writer and recently started editing Blogging Hero, where she writes about how to make money blogging and provides other general tips for bloggers.

Improve Your Blog in One Easy Step


Thank goodness online polls are much easier!

I’ve been doing some free consulting on my own website, specifically for people interested in freelance writing. Although I started with the goal of helping people learn to work with clients, I’ve found that a lot of people have questions specifically about blogging. Mostly, it isn’t any one question…people just want me to look at their blogs and give them some pointers they can use to improve. Even outside of my consulting, it’s rare that someone approaches me with a specific question. People just send a URL and want a brain dump on how to improve as a blogger.

I’m not the smartest, best blogger in the world, but I can tell you right now how to improve your blog in a single step. Write this one down:

Ask your readers what they like and dislike.

I have a problem giving people advice sometimes, simply because I’m not their target market. I can give general blog pointers, but there’s no way I can give specific advice to someone writing a motorcycle blog, for example. I’ve never even been on a motorcycle, and I have no intentions of ever owning one. Asking me what your blog is missing or what you could do better isn’t going to end well. Or, at least not as well as it could.

You can go about asking your readers what they want in a number of ways. If you have a mailing list, I recommend that you start there, by emailing either a survey or a general question. You can also write a blog post asking people to leave comments or, if you’re struggling with a specific aspect, post a poll on your site, asking people to vote.

If you don’t have a huge readership yet, you can still look to your readers for advice. Connect with people on Twitter or Facebook and approach specific people who are vocal in your niche. Ask if you can pick their brains for a few minutes – most will agree – and meet on Skype for a half hour or so to talk about your blog. You can even meet with people one-on-one either over Skype or through email.

Don’t be afraid to approach people who aren’t gurus or experts in your niche. Let’s face it – they big names in any industry would love to help you, but they simply don’t have time to do a blog review for every reader. If they did, they wouldn’t have any time to actually blog! Plus…is that person really your target audience? They might be who you aspire to be as a blogger, but your average reader is going to be different in terms of knowledge and skill. You want your blog to be optimized for your readers, not for the experts in your field.

Be discerning when your readers give you advice. Remember, what is perfect design for one person looks horrible to another. The things that interest one person might bore another. You get the idea. Look for overall trends in what people are telling you. If 10 people in a row all say that your font is too small to read comfortably or that they want to read more about a specific subject, that’s probably advice you want to note.

The bottom line? Your readers are a great resource. Don’t be afraid to use their opinions to make your blog better for everyone.

How a Geek Gets Organized for BlogWorld Expo


Conferences can be very overwhelming if you are not organized. Having a good plan of action and easy access to your plan at anytime can make your conference experience a good one. I use Evernote to keep track of everything I need for any conference, but any note program that you can access on any of your devices will also work.

From the moment I first hear about a conference until I am done with writing thank you notes after the conference, I put it all in Evernote because I will have access from my iMac, MacBook, PC laptop, iPhone and iPad both online and offline.

Here are 13 examples of what I add for each conference I attend.

  1. Travel Arrangements. Forward copies of my hotel and transportation details including shuttle and/or taxi information.
  2. Conference Schedule. The official schedule put out by the conference and my own schedule of appointments I have set up during the conference.
  3. Speaker’s Session Notes. Many speakers will write detailed blog posts to promote their sessions. These are great to have handy at the conference when deciding which session to attend. I try to decide before I leave, but inevitably, I change my mind.
  4. Speaker Bios. I research the speakers of each session I am interested in attending. I will glance at those notes before I attend the session. When I go up to introduce myself to the speaker(s), I can talk to them about their specific blog or company. It shows that I did my homework.
  5. Brand or Company Bios. I also research the brands and companies that will be at the conference. When I head to the exhibit hall, I am fully prepared.
  6. Tweets. About a month before a conference, I begin to follow the conference’s hashtag in TweetDeck. As tweets come through that I want to remember on site, I email the Tweet to Evernote.
  7. My Session Notes. The notes I take during a session at the conference.
  8. In Person Meeting Notes. This isn’t always possible because often you meet on the run for a moment. But I try to take notes after I meet with someone especially if I promised to do something.
  9. Business Cards. I take a snapshot of the business card right after I receive it. If someone doesn’t have a business card available, I will ask to take a picture of their badge.
  10. Pictures. I upload all my pictures from the conference as a backup and to keep all conference materials in one place.
  11. Session Handouts. I take a picture with my iPhone and keep it with the session notes because Evernote can search for text within pictures.
  12. Maps and/or Directions. If I have parties or meetings to attend away from the main location, I will get a map and directions before I leave.
  13. Receipts. All the receipts I collect during the conference that I will need for my taxes. I take a picture of the receipt as soon as I get it. If I lose it, I have a backup copy.
  14. Bonus: Anything Else. All the other minor details and notes and bits of information that come through before a conference that I may need to know. I create a separate folder for each conference I attend and I tag all the notes with the conference’s hashtag (#bwe10 for BlogWorld Expo 2010). I could print out all this information, but having it available in Evernote, allows me to quickly search for any note. I download the conference file to each device I take with me so all the notes are available offline too.

How are you preparing for BlogWorld Expo?

Michele McGraw is a mom of 4 who blogs about technology, digital scrapbooking and fitness at Scraps of My Geek Life. She can be found socializing on Twitter, @ScrappinMichele.

Image Credit: Microsoft Image Gallery

The Halo Moment (Or, How I Learned To Get Over My Video Fears)


If you call yourself a geek in the slightest, chances are that you’ve been playing copious amounts of Halo:Reach over the last day or so. If you’re not a geek, allow me to explain. Halo:Reach is the final installment in one of the most popular video game franchises of all time. Oh, there may be more Halo games, but the developers have turned over the property, so this is the last game they’ll be doing, at least for a long time. For fans, it’s a big deal, and I’d be really surprised if this game doesn’t break all sorts of sales records.

To the point, Allison. Blogging tips, not video games!

Today, I wanted to talk a little about videos and how I used to be scared out of my mind to do them. (Still am, if we’re being honest.) Fear is a total buzzkill for bloggers, and although many say that they don’t do videos for any number of reasons (I don’t have a camera, I don’t know how to upload videos, I don’t have a good place to record them, etc, etc, bullcrap etc.), the real reason that most bloggers don’t do videos is that we’re scared of them.

It makes sense for bloggers to be uncomfortable at the prospect of recording videos. We spend most of our time behind a computer screen. Heck, there are some days that I don’t even put on pants (my apologies for any visual that notion has given you). People judge us by our thoughts and ideas, not by our looks, and that is extremely liberating. So, adding videos? Ugh.

Let me tell you a bit of a story, and the reason I started off this post talking about Halo.

Back when the Halo series was a lot younger, I used to play with three friends of mine. You can play Halo either online or locally, and we would just play locally because our Internet connection wasn’t really good enough for online play. It was a lot of fun, and since I was playing with friends, I felt comfortable and secure with my skills, even though they were all a lot better than me at the game.

Then, I started playing online a bit. I was able to get a connect that was good enough to play with people from around the world, and with my gender-neutral name and lack of girly customizations, I was just another one of the guys. Usually, I ended games middle of the pack – I wasn’t an outstanding player, but I also wasn’t a joke.

One weekend, my friends asked if I wanted to play with them in a tournament. My initial reaction was to say yes, but then I realized that I’d be meeting the other players face to face. That prospect intimidated me a little. Well…a lot. I was afraid that people would write me off as any kind of competition, just because I am female. I was afraid they’d laugh at me or roll their eyes every time I died. I knew then as I know now that I’m not, by far, the only female gamer in the world, but all the other girls seemed so good at Halo…and so pretty and so cool. I was self-conscious and afraid to take my gaming beyond the screen and into the real world. It was easier just to hide.

I ended up going to the tournament after all, and you know what? A few guys commented how it was nice to see a girl there (there were only two of us in the room I was playing in, out of 20-30 people total). Other than that, I was the same as I was behind the television screen – just another gamer. I’m guessing that some guys inwardly made fun of me or felt like I didn’t deserve to be there, but the general feeling I got from almost everyone was that we were just there to play the game.

And as I looked around, I realized that we all had things to be self-conscious about. While I was worried about being a girl, I’m sure other people in that room were feeling self-conscious about their weight or height or even skin color. We all have insecurities. So what? None of those things matter when playing a video game, and because we all showed up despite our insecurities, we had a total blast that day.

And for the record, I ended up middle of the pack again. So, that just went to show that people were playing with me in real life the same way they played with me online, where they probably assumed I was male.

I began to realize a few months ago that I was having a Halo Moment about posting videos on my various blogs. I’m self-conscious and insecure about my looks and voice, and I worry that readers will roll their eyes or not take me seriously. It’s easier to hide behind the computer screen and control what everyone sees by choosing what pictures of myself to post.

Do you need videos on your blog? No. Will they increase the value of your blog, help you find new readers, provide extra income opportunities, and just all-around show that you rock? Yes. Yes, they absolutely will. I was avoiding them for a long time, but the truth of the matter is that almost every blog out there could use a few videos.

So, a few weeks ago, I took the first step and ordered a Flip video camera. You all (well, most of you – I won’t speak for everyone) don’t care what I look like or what my voice sounds like. Neither do the readers of my other blogs. You care about my message.

I deleted the first video I made because I didn’t think I looked cool enough. That was a stupid Halo moment, because it was actually a decent video. It’s a process, learning to get over the fear of making videos for my blogs. I’ll get there, and hopefully have some videos to post in the coming months.

I hope you’ll take the first step with me by starting a fund today to buy the equipment you need to start making some videos. Or, if you already own even a crappy webcam, recording a few minutes to post on your blog.

At least track me down at BlogWorld and make a video with me. 🙂

Discount Pricing Ends Tomorrow! Don’t Miss Your Chance to Save Money & Register Today


Whether you can only fly in for a day, or you’re here all week, BlogWorld & New Media Expo offers several conference packages to help you maximize your time in Las Vegas. Our discount pricing ends TOMORROW. Learn more about the different packages and Register TODAY!

BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2010 Pricing:

Pass Types
Discount Price
(Purchase Before
midnight PST Sept 16th)
Standard Pricing
(Purchase After
Sept 16th)
Full Access Pass
$895 $1195
Weekend Pass $395 $495
Thursday Only Pass $395 $495

Exhibits Only Pass

$35 $50

Still wondering if you should attend? Check out some of these testimonials from past events:

“The panel I was on was filled with corporate blog rockstar talent from Dell, Facebook, Yahoo!, and LinkedIn. We enjoyed addressing the standing-room only venue and the feedback I got from the audience was that they left with some great new information to help their blogging and social media efforts.”
— Thomas Hoehn/Kodak

“I have been to every BlogWorld since they first started and they keep getting better. The level of expertise in the speakers and panels are at the highest level. Every time I attend the conference, I leave filled with new ideas, tactics and strategies that I take home and implement. The sponsors and exhibitors are phenomenal and extremely relevant to those who blog or engage on the social web.”
— Michael Brito/Edelman

“BlogWorld is seriously one of the best conferences I’ve been to in a long time. THANK YOU.”
— Ben Huh/Cheezburger Network

“BlogWorld is the show I look forward to all year!”
— Lisa Barone/Outspoken Media

Win a Weekend Pass to BlogWorld 2010!


Thanks to our friends at SXSW for helping put together this amazing chance for you to win a Weekend Pass to BlogWorld 2010!

Here are the details:

Write a song with lyrics that incorporate the event names “SXSW Interactive” and “BlogWorld”, record a video of yourself performing the song, and post it on YouTube. Email SXSW a link to the video by Sept 25, using the subject line “SXSW BlogWorld Song Contest 2010”.

Musical genre is not important, but creativity and showmanship are key. Most importantly, it should tell us in a fun way why you you are excited to attend BlogWorld 2010.

I’d love to showcase your videos here, so leave a link below if you’re entering the contest!

Building Meaningful Fan Relationships Through Social Media: “I’m Nothing Without My Fans”


Patrick O'Keefe

BlogWorld 2010 Speaker
Music and Entertainment Track
Room: Islander G
Saturday October 16, 2010

Time: 12:15PM to 1:15PM

My name is Patrick O’Keefe and, at BlogWorld 2010, I’ll be leading the “I’m Nothing Without My Fan” panel.

The premise of the panel is building meaningful fan relationships online with a focus on the music industry, but with lessons that anyone can learn from.

For over four and a half years, I have developed and authored Bad Boy Blog, the leading source of news and information about Bad Boy Entertainment; most prominently the Bad Boy Records label founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs.

This has led to me following a fair number of music artists and I have watched with interest how they have engaged in social media. There are many different strategies. None of them wrong, necessarily, just different.

It was this interest that led me to the development of this panel. We’ll explore how artists and performers can build meaningful relationships with their fans through social media. This includes the management of their stream, responding to fans and criticism, interacting with fan sites and using the power of fans for both bad and good purposes.

When I was building the lineup for this panel, I eventually decided that it would be great if we could have two social media veterans with deep experience in the space and then two artists who personally engaged in the space directly, interacted with fans and did it well.

Wayne Sutton and myself are the two social media people. I run the iFroggy Network, wrote the book “Managing Online Forums” and have managed online communities for 10 years. Wayne is a veteran social media strategist, the Business Development/Marketing Strategist for TriOut and Partner at OurHashtag.

The two artists are D.A. Wallach and Asher Roth. D.A. is the lead singer of the band Chester French (signed to Pharrell Williams’ Star Trak label, distributed by Interscope Records). They released their debut album, “Love the Future” in April of 2009, supported by the lead single “She Loves Everybody,” which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales chart and #2 on the Hot Singles Sales chart.

Asher Roth (School Boy/SRC/Universal) released his debut album “Asleep in the Bread Aisle” in April of 2009, achieving a top 5 debut and an RIAA certified Platinum single with “I Love College,” which peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and charted internationally.

If you’re interested in attending, please add the event to your SCHED profile. We look forward to seeing you there.

Patrick O’Keefe is the owner of the iFroggy Network and has been managing online communities since 2000. He wrote the book “Managing Online Forums,” a practical guide to managing online communities and blogs on the topic at ManagingCommunities.com. On Twitter, he’s @iFroggy.

Have Your Book Signing at BlogWorld!


Chris Brogan and Connie Benson at BlogWorld' 09 book signing. Image (cc) Kenneth Yeung

The BlogWorld community is diverse. Not only do we have some well known blogging and social media professionals among our ranks, but also quite a few published authors. In fact, we like to do whatever we can to help our authors promote their books. In addition to featuring them in our bookstore, we also hope all authors will take advantage of our book signing opportunities.

If you would like to arrange to have your book signing at BlogWorld, please send the Barnes and Noble link to your book to our Executive Assistant Extraordinaire, the intrepid Jennifer Holder at Jennifer(at)blogworldexpo(dot)com. Jenn will submit your details for consideration.

As we there are tons of authors headed to BlogWorld, and only so much time for book signings, we can’t guarantee everyone a spot. However, we’ll do whatever we can to get as many of you in there as possible.

Looking forward to seeing your book in October!

Ways to Save Money on Your BlogWorld Flight


Right now, I’m seeing an influx of people tweeting about buying their flights to BlogWorld (or saving up the money to do so). I don’t envy those of you flying in from Europe or anywhere else oversees. Las Vegas might be a city where you can get cheap flights, but yowsa, they are still expensive for someone on a budget.

I’m no expert, but I have done my fair share of traveling over the past decade. So, I’d like to share with you some tips for saving money on your flight. I hope you’ll add your own to the comments!

  • Fly on/out Tuesday on Wednesday.

Yes, this is travel 101, but it makes more sense now than ever before. When you fly mid-week, you’re taking flights that often have empty seats, so the airline is willing to drop the price a bit to entice passengers. Usually, it doesn’t make much difference for travelers, because what they make in flight price they lose in having to book a hotel for an extra night. At BlogWorld, you can’t really beat the special prices available to attendees, so even if you have to spend the money on the hotel room for the additional day, you’ll probably come out on top.

  • Fly super early in the morning.

The really early flights in the day are typically less expensive, but again, that’s a little Travel 101, right? Well, I’m recommending that you fly super early in the day for another reason – so you can stay behind if the flight is overbooked without missing anything in Vegas. This happens regularly at small airports and is even fairly common at large airports. You may have to spend your day at the airport, but most airlines will accommodate you with free food vouchers, and if you ask, they might even be able to hook you up with vouchers for free WiFi. Depending on how long you’re delayed, you’ll receive vouchers for anywhere from $50 to $400 or more that you can use for a future flight.

Pro tip: It’s up to the worker standing there to determine the offer amount, so be really, really friendly and flexible if you want a higher amount.

Pro tip #2: If you want some freebies, but don’t want to take a later flight, let other people offer first. If the flight is overbooked, listen for the worker at the gate to make a call for volunteers. He/she will probably do so a few times, but will stop doing so when it looks like they probably have enough people. When the announcements stop, go up and volunteer. They’ll put you on the list, even if they don’t need you, and when you go to board your flight, there’s a good chance that they’ll give you some free drink tickets. Of course, there’s always the chance that they could need you after all, so don’t use this trick to get free drinks if you aren’t ok with staying behind just in case!

  • Find others flying out of your airport now.

Use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks to connect with people flying out of your airport. Carpool or share a taxi and you’ll save money on parking. If you take some time to get to know one another, you can even save money on luggage if you have more stuff than will fit in a carry-on, but not enough to need an entire checked suitcase to yourself. If you each put your items inside a bag and then put the two (or even three) bags inside the suitcase, you can easily pull our your bag at the airport and go your separate ways. This definitely does require at least a low-level of trust for the other person, so meet up with people in your area now.

  • Buy split tickets.

Most people realize that it is typically cheaper to buy a flight with one or two layovers than it is to buy a direct flight. Did you know you could save even more money with a split ticket? Let’s say you’re traveling from Philadelphia to Vegas, with a layover in Chicago. When a system books your ticket, it typically looks for the flight in Chicago that leaves ASAP after you’ve landed, even though a later flight may actually be cheaper. So instead of booking it all together, look up prices for booking Philly to Chicago and separate prices for booking Chicago to Las Vegas. It doesn’t work every time, but it could for you, so it’s worth checking out. Remember to allow yourself enough time to get your second ticket at the layover airport, as this may require exiting and going through security again.

  • Connect with your airline through social networking.

If you follow your airline of choice on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, or even sign up for their newsletter, you could receive significant discount codes that you can use on your flight. It only takes a second to click the “like” button, so why not?

  • Book during a window.

Flight prices will fluctuate in most cases. Traditionally, there are low point windows at the 21-day mark, 14-day mark, and 7-day mark. Of course, at seven days, the prices will be the lowest because they want the flight to fill, but you might not want to wait that long, since the flight you want could be booked solid by then and you’ll pay out the nose to get to your destination. I recommend booking around the 21-day mark if you haven’t already purchased your flight – which means next week.

Ok – your turn. How can we all save money on flights?

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