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June 2012

How to be Taken More Seriously as a Blogger

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Oh, you’re a blogger.” or watched someone painfully attempt to avoid rolling their eyes when I talk about my job. Blogging still gets a bad rap, and perhaps rightfully so, unfortunately. For every well-written and thoughtful blog post out there, you can find dozens that are little more than reblogs of reblogs of reblogs of press releases. There’s something to be said for giving your readers the news of the day, but this process easily becomes a game of Telephone, with facts getting mixed up along the way.

It’s a disservice to your readers, and even worse, you’re helping to maintain this idea that bloggers aren’t as good or important as other media sources.

We do, however, have the power to change this and be taken more seriously as bloggers simply by thinking different about the news pieces we write. At BlogWorld New York 2012, Dave Copeland presented Reporting for Bloggers, and today, I wanted to share his 3-2-1 Formula that will make every post your write more credible.

3 Sources

Most bloggers realize that citing sources is important for an ethical standpoint, but in this formula, sources become even more important. Not all sources are created equally. If you’re reporting on something that happens, you need to verify that you’re using an original source. Even better, pick up the phone or shoot off an email to someone who can answer your questions directly. Dave showed several examples where he “busted” a story or presented an entirely new spin simply by talking to people. When you get too far from original sources, not only is your information more likely to be incorrect, but you’re only repeating information that can be found elsewhere online. So, when blogging about a news story, take the time to include at least three sources – interviews, quotes, original sources, etc.

2 Links

Many bloggers are already pretty good about include a few links with each post, but it’s important to choose your links wisely. If you’re going send people away from your site (or away from your page, even if you’re linking to your own site), make sure to verify the links. hey should be packed with more information about the topic so you’re really helping the reader. And if you’re not including links at all? Shame on you. Linking is what makes the Internet such an awesome source for news. (Zemanta is a great plugin that can help you save time with linking if you’re short on time, so check it out.)

1 Image

Lastly, use at least one image with your posts. Go beyond stock photography if you can and find a fair-use picture that really fits your post well. You might not have the budget for images that a magazine or newspaper has, but sites like Wikipedia and Flickr have Creative Commons that are often filled with great images to help your reader better understand the topic at hand.

If you want to catch the rest of Dave’s awesome session at BlogWorld New York 2012, check out our virtual ticket, which gives you access to this and other presentations you missed at the show. (If you were at BWENY and want to upgrade your ticket to include the virtual ticket, simply email registration@blogworldexpo.com.)

A BlogWorld Update: What You Need to Know

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Blogworld & New Media Expo 2010 - Day 2 BlogWorld New York is now one for the history books. This was our second year in The Big Apple and my first time at an East Coast social media event. Overall, I was humbled to be a part of something so powerful and, yet, so magical.

First off, kudos to the amazing speakers who flew in from all over the globe to present at BlogWorld. There were 240 of them to be exact and every single one of them make our community stronger. After every session, I saw speakers staying to chat with attendees, answering questions, and giving advice. There are some really popular people in our space, but the amazing thing about BlogWorld is that everyone checks their egos at the door. It’s all about helping attendees and enriching the community. Man, that rocks.

Thank you, as well, to all of you who came out in force! Our attendees are just some of the nicest people out there. Hands down. YOU are why BlogWorld exists and the reason why this community is so amazing. Thank you!

Logo Design Contest

For those of you who have inquired about the New Media Expo logo design contest, we’ll be releasing submission guidelines sometime this month. Stay tuned and start thinking of those ideas. The prize is pretty sweet. For the new kids in class, the winner gets $5,000, a LIFETIME pass to our conferences, an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas in January, and more! Worth playin’ for, right?

Speaker Submissions for Las Vegas

This week (probably tomorrow) we’ll be announcing details about speaker submissions for our next big show in Las Vegas. We’re all about finding the best speakers for our conferences, but that in no way means you have to be a “big name” to get on our speaker roster. There are some amazing up and comers in our space who have lots of great information to share, so everyone is welcome to submit a proposal. I mean, even the “big guys” started off as “little guys,” right? So in other words, if you have an idea, send in a proposal!

Send Us Your Posts for Brilliant Bloggers

If you’re writing a blog post about your BlogWorld New York experience, let us know. Just send it along to allison@blogworldexpo.com so we can include it in our special edition of Brilliant Bloggers this Friday, dedicated exclusively to BlogWorld New York (be sure to put “Brilliant Bloggers Submission” in the subject line). We’re all about giving you some link love!

Super Duper Early Bird

If you’re already excited for our next conference in Las Vegas, you’re not the only one! We can’t wait to start telling you about all the great stuff we have in store! If you act fast and buy your ticket now, we’ve got some killer deals for you! All our passes are on sale: The 3-Day Blogger, Podcaster, WebTV pass, our Social Media Business Summit, and the Virtual Ticket. Get in now before you get locked out of these deeply discounted deals. To get your Super Duper Early Bird Price, click here: I’m an Early Bird who’s gonna save lots of moola!

Virtual Ticket Discount Expires on June 23

If you couldn’t join us in New York, you can still get the Virtual Ticket which has the audio and the slides from our sessions (we had 175 presentations and barring any technical glitches, they’ll all be available). The price goes up on June 23, so get in before the price jumps. Click here to get one: I want a Virtual Ticket, baby!

And, if you were in New York with us but found you couldn’t be in twelve places at once, you can add on the Virtual Ticket for just $97. Email registration@blogworldexpo.com to get set up.

BlogWorld New York in a Nutshell

Missed out on BlogWorld NY? Here are some posts so you can catch up on a little of what you missed:

Tom Webster Talks About the State of Social Media
Using Your Podcast Content as a Gateway
BlogWorld New York 2012: Views from the Show, Day One [Video]
YouTube as a Community, Not Just a Platform
The Blogworld Daily Wrap-up for Tuesday, June 5th
Visit the BEA Show Floor While at BlogWorld New York 2012
The Future of Content: Social Over Advertising, Longform Content, CCOs, and More
The BlogWorld Daily Wrap-up for Wednesday, June 6th
BlogWorld New York 2012: Views from the Show, Day Two [Video]
BlogWorld Unveils New Name
Chris Brogan’s Lessons About Blogging
BlogWorld Daily Wrap-up for Thursday, June 7th
BlogWorld New York 2012: Views from the Show, Day Three [Video]
How to Choose Affiliate Products to Promote
How to be Taken More Seriously as a Blogger

Thank You

On behalf of everyone on the BlogWorld team, thank you to each and every one of you in this amazing community! We can’t wait to see you in Vegas for our next conference!

How to Choose Affiliate Products to Promote

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Missy Ward at BlogWorld Content creators talk often about the importance of being passionate about your niche…but what about the products you promote? This was one of the topics Missy Ward covered during her session BlogWorld & New Media Expo New York 2012. Missy is the Co-Founder & President of Affiliate Summit Inc., so she knows a thing or two about promoting products. But believe it or not, it still comes down to one tip: do what you love.

The Sacred Bond of Trust

When you don’t love what you’re promoting, it’s hard to create content around it. Your fans are smart; they will smell it if you’re being insincere or simply not that interested in the product you’re promoting. And when they do realize that you’re promoting something you don’t necessarily love yourself, that bond of trust with you will be broken. Those readers will be less likely to buy products you promote in the future…and they might even stop trusting the non-affiliate information you’re sharing.

People read your blog or listen to your podcasts or watch your videos, in most cases, because they like getting their information from you. Fans grow to know you, and if you prove to be deceiving them in any way (or they feel like you are), it can be hard to win back their love.

The Ethics of Choosing Affiliate Programs

Of course, when we’re talking about choosing affiliate programs, ethics also come into play. FTC regulations say that you have to disclose affiliations when you’re making money, and this includes when you’re given a free product to review, even if you weren’t actually paid. When you’re promoting affiliate products, you certainly must disclose this relationship. Being transparent isn’t just a matter of making sure you aren’t deceiving fans. It’s also about the law. Don’t get hit with a huge fine because you neglected disclosure rules.

Making Your Job Easier

Lastly, when choosing affiliate products to promote, remember that when you know and love a product, it automatically because easier for you to tell others about it. I don’t know about you, but my time is valuable and in short supply. When you actually use a product, you don’t have to do tons of additional research; you can simply write/speak from the heart.

Other factors may also come into play when choosing an affiliate product to promote, and of course, Missy talked about other aspects of product promotion as well during her BlogWorld & New Media Expo presentation. To hear the entire session, check out our virtual ticket (if you were at the conference but missed Missy’s session, you can add on a virtual ticket for a discounted price by emailing registration@blogworldexpo.com). But you have to hurry! Prices for the virtual ticket go up soon, so you don’t want to miss out on the current price!

BlogWorld Daily Wrap-up for Thursday, June 7th

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Today was the last day of BlogWorld & New Media Expo, so I’m closing out my job hosting the Virtual Ticket for this event. But really, after yesterday evening’s keynote announcement, I guess I should be calling it the “New Media Expo” because that’s BlogWorld’s new name. I like the name change. I thought I wouldn’t, but I do. The-Conference-Formerly-Known-As-BlogWorld isn’t just a blogging conference. It really is about all kinds of new media, with a particular focus on blogging, podcasting, and web TV.

So that was announced in yesterday evening’s keynote. It was more relevant (but less titillating) than what happened during Tuesday’s keynote, when someone in the audience stood up, took her top off, and ranted to the crowd.

This morning, I attended Corbett Barr’s session called “The Art of Writing Epic Sh*t” (The asterisk was actually in there. I’m not self-censoring.) I figured I was going to like the session, but he really blew me away. (This is really something you can learn, but it involves hard work. You have been warned.)

As I have over the past few days, I wanted to give you a couple of cool interviews we conducted on-site. So here we go:

First, I talked to Pat Flynn about how to implement passive income strategies without being sleazy. Pat is pretty much the opposite of sleazy. Check it out:

I also chatted with David Risley. David presented a session on monetization strategies, but what’s perhaps more important is that he’s the monetization track leader. Have a listen to get the goods:

Remember, these are only a small sample of the interviews we did, so if you want more of these — plus the entirety of BlogWorld’s conference session content — check out the Virtual Ticket. It goes way up in price after June 22, so sooner than later would probably be better.

So that was BlogWorld New York 2012. It was crazy fun and crazy informative. Awesome.

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.

BlogWorld Unveils New Name

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Big news came at the end of Day Two at BlogWorld New York today. At the keynote session, BlogWorld founders Rick Calvert and Dave Cynkin announced the new name for the conference. Going forward, the event will no longer be called BlogWorld & New Media Expo. Instead, it will be New Media Expo (NMX).

The reason for the change? Simply put, the name better represents the entire industry and community of bloggers, podcasters, and Web TV producers and is inclusive of all online content creators. “When we started BlogWorld in 2006 the new media industry hadn’t really formed yet,” says Rick. “Changing the name from BlogWorld to New Media Expo was always the plan, but the timing wasn’t right until now. The industry has clearly defined itself and the name ‘BlogWorld’ no longer represents everything our industry event embodies, which is blogging, podcasting, and Web TV.”

From the beginning, BlogWorld’s goal was to bring all new media content creators together at one comprehensive industry event, Rick told attendees prior to Chris Brogan’s keynote speech began in New York. ““We are, and always will be, married to the mission of the show, not the name.”

For those of you in our community who are designers, the name change brings with it a really cool opportunity. We want you to be involved as we evolve. The logo you see in the photo above is just a placeholder. We want YOU to submit designs for what our new NMX logo will look like! We’ll narrow down the submissions and then have our community vote on which one they like best.

You get cash and prizes if you’re the winner.

Here’s the dealio:

The chosen winner of the logo competition will receive:

  • $5,000 cash money (Or U.S. savings bonds if you prefer. We strongly suggest you take the cash.)
  • A LIFETIME PASS to New Media Expo
  • An all-expenses paid trip to NMX Las Vegas in January 2013 (including airfare and hotel)
  • And, he or she will be recognized on stage at NMX as the creator of the new NMX logo.

Pretty nifty, eh?

We’ll be telling you more about how to get involved soon, so stay tuned.

So, welcome to the next chapter of the new media revolution. NMX is here and we will continue to serve our community of podcasters, bloggers, and Web TV producers now and long into the future. We’re glad you’re here with us for the journey.

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!

The Future of Content: Social Over Advertising, Longform Content, CCOs, and More

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Today at BlogWorld & New Media Expo, Shane Snow from Contently co-presented Future of Content Creation – What’s Next? Shane talked about the past and present of content online, but most interestingly, he speculated about what the future holds for content online. Knowing what’s coming can help you stay on top of your game. So, what can you expect in the future? Here are Shane’s predictions:

  • Social Content Will Replace Advertising

Instead of banner ads, brands will be producing more and more sharable content related to their industry. Readers have “ad blindness” in many cases, and rarely share advertisements, but with related blog posts and other content, brands can build their following and increase awareness. We’re already seeing major companies like Pepsi move into creating more sharable content instead of focusing on information and advertising.

  • Longform Content Will Make a Comeback

Right now, we’re often focused on very “quick” content – content that can be easily digested. However, more and more, we’re seeing consumers open to the idea of reading longer content, especially since e-readers are now so popular. So while list posts and other quick pieces of content are great, don’t be afraid to do longer research pieces as well.

  • Brands Will Dominate Online Publishing

Right now, we’re finally seeing big brands get online. In the future, we may see them dominate online content. As brands begin to beef up their online presence, they’ll be hiring CCOs – Chief Content Officers and turning to a network of freelancers and other content creators to work for them.

Do you agree? And more importantly, do you want more predictions on what the future will hold for online content? Pick up a virtual ticket to get a recording of this session and other BlogWorld New York sessions.

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