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BlogWorld LA 2011

How to Get to Blogworld This Year Without Begging


… from Paul Cunningham

When Deb wrote her opinion about bloggers who were using donations and sponsorships to pay for their trip to Blogworld Expo she gave advice on how to get sponsorships the right way.

But some of you reading this might not have any likely sponsors to reach out to, or maybe you just don’t want to go down that road to begin with.

So if you are one of those people, then here are four ways you can afford to go to Blogworld Expo next year without begging.

Affiliate Marketing

Successful affiliate marketing means connecting your audience with products that are useful and valuable to them, and earning a commission from the seller for those referrals.

This doesn’t mean slapping some banner ads on your blog and hoping enough people click through and buy. The best affiliate promotions are those that don’t seem like an overt pitch to buy the product. Some of the techniques you can try include:

  • Product Reviews – write a thorough, honest review of a product and why you found it useful to use. Talk about the benefits that you received from using it rather than just reciting the features of the product.
  • Demonstrations – create a video that shows your audience how you use the product to achieve desirable outcomes. Visual demonstrations can be far more convincing to people than a written review.
  • Add Value – create an add-on product that can be given away free as an incentive for your audience to buy the product. For example if you want to earn a commission for every kitchen blender sold then offer a free booklet of six delicious fruit smoothie recipes to make with the blender.

Sell Products

Almost every blogger I speak to is ‘working on a product’, but very few of them actually get it done. Which is a shame because selling your own products is one of the most satisfying ways to make money from blogging.

The critical part of the product development cycle is ensuring that your product fills a need in the market. If there are no potential buyers for your product, no matter how good it is, you won’t make any sales.

Fortunately bloggers have an advantage here, because your blog is itself a form of market research. Look at your archives and you will quickly see which topics get the most traffic and comments, and which post types connect best with your visitors.

Ebooks are the easiest to create but some people think the market is getting a bit saturated. I personally think ebooks are a good place to start and you can work to stand out from the masses by adding a few pieces of extra content as well, such as a bonus video or audio interview.

A PDF ebook zipped up with some bonus audio and sold using E-junkie can turn into a strong earner for you if you then back it up with persistent marketing through your own blog and guest posting around your niche. Affiliates can also help promote your product if you offer a good commission rate and provide them with a few simple images or banners for them to use in their promotions.

Sell Services

Creating a product might not be the fastest way to start making money because of the up front development time involved. Selling services is something you can bring to market faster, because you are basically selling skills and expertise that you already have.

Selling consulting services can be as simple as offering coaching calls to your readers. All you need for this is a way to record Skype calls, a nice document template to create the written report afterward, and a mind-map of the various points you would normally cover off with a new client. Record the half hour conversation and provide it to the customer along with the report containing your advice to them.

If consulting isn’t a good fit for you then you could sell your raw skills instead. Lots of people need help setting up WordPress so offering low cost installation services or theme customization can quickly attract plenty of customers. Alternatively, write for other blogs as a freelance blogger to earn extra money using the blogging skills and knowledge that you already have.

Form a Partnership

If you’ve read this far and still can’t think of a way to make money to pay for your Blogworld trip next year then try thinking of friends that you could partner with in some way. Often times we chat on Twitter or Facebook every day with people but are completely unaware that they could use some help filling a gap in their business.

Two bloggers could trade editing time for each other’s ebooks so that they can get them finished instead of languishing forever as drafts on their hard drives. Or a web developer and graphic designer might trade referrals so that they can each take on more paying customers.

Whatever your skills are often it is as simple as letting people know what you can do and that youíre available to help if they need it.

What other ideas or stories do you have about how you can afford to travel to Blogworld Expo?

Paul Cunningham is a blogger, internet marketer, and the author of How to Become a Successful Freelance Blogger, the ebook that teaches you how to turn your knowledge and passion into a real income stream.

BlogWorld & New Media Expo Is Moving To Los Angeles


We have been hinting at big news for weeks now and we are glad to finally be able to share it with you. BlogWorld & New Media Expo West will be held in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Convention Center this November 3 – 5 2011.

For those interested in the long version of why we decided to move to Los Angeles and leave Las Vegas you can read more at the bottom of this post. In short we love Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas. We never thought we would leave but the folks at MB just did not have the space we needed to hold the show there this year so we had to look at other options.

We had two cities on our short list; San Diego and Los Angeles. Being born and raised in Americas Finest City, San Diego was my first choice. We saw the two cities having different distinct advantages. San Diego is the city everyone wants to visit, the downtown area is amazing, the convention center is right on the bay and the weather is always perfect. Another positive for San Diego was that it was close to LA.

LA on the other hand is the center of the Music, TV, and Film industries in North America, has a population of more than 10 million people and the largest population of bloggers, podcasters and other new media content creators in the country. It was the obvious logical choice from a business perspective. We have always attracted new media savvy individuals from traditional music, film and tv but by being in Los Angeles (and New York) we are going to see that participation increase significantly. That means more opportunities for content creators.

The drawback to Los Angeles was quite honestly the downtown LA area. At least that was our perception. Boy were we wrong!

We were blown away by our first site visit to Los Angeles. I have attended numerous events at the LA Convention Center including NAMM, E3 and the LA Auto Show. Honestly I always thought the convention center was great but there was nothing to do once you left the building. That has changed drastically! Downtown Los Angeles is being revitalized. The multi-billion dollar L.A. Live entertainment complex is directly adjacent to the convention center. Several of the downtown hotels have just undergone multi million dollar renovations in order to compete with the new J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels (they are beautiful btw). There are tons of new restaurants, shopping, parks and just cool city stuff that you (at least I) had never imagined of when I thought of Los Angeles. Oh and don’t forget the food trucks.

To sum it up we think all of you are going to find more business opportunities than ever and those of you unfamiliar with Los Angeles are in for a real pleasant surprise.

We would love to hear what you think of the news and welcome any suggestions you might have about how we can make this our best event yet.

Now if you want to know more about what led to this huge decision, read on.

It really started due to logistics. The space at Mandalay Bay was absolutely perfect. The conference sessions and exhibit space were conveniently located side by side, the space was the perfect size and Mandalay Bay is an amazing property. We knew we would need more space in 2011 and that meant we had to move to a different area inside Mandalay Bay. At first our friends at MB told us they didn’t have any space for us but they worked hard to try and accommodate us. They were able to offer us some space eventually but the conference rooms were far removed from the exhibit area. We tried to come up with a creative solution that would make this work for our attendees and exhibitors but simply couldn’t figure out a way to make it work.  Of course we looked at other venues in Las Vegas first but we still couldn’t find a workable combination of dates and space. So that made us ask ourselves, if we can’t hold the event here, where would the next BlogWorld be?

Why not San Francisco?

We have discussed San Francisco several times and we love the city but in the end we think San Francisco has the perception of being a technology city and if we were to ever move there, we would have to fight the perception that we were a technology conference and we are not. BlogWorld’s primary focus is content.

BlogWorld East: FAQ’s (So far)


The feedback we’re receiving regarding our BlogWorld East announcement is 99.9% favorable. However, we’re hearing a few concerns, and they’re all valid. I thought it might be a good idea to address some of the questions and concerns via a blog post as the inbox is getting a bit full. If you have more questions feel free to ask in the comments or we’ll do another post. Here are some of the FAQ’s so far:

Why a BlogWorld East?

There are several reasons for this, but the most important reason is that there are so many people on the East Coast who just can’t attend our yearly “West” event. It’s either cost prohibitive or the travel is an issue. Many hopeful attendees have expressed how great it would be to have a large social media conference in the East and we’re finally able to bring this to them.

The East Coast will bring in a whole new community of attendees, exhibitors and speakers. We’re offering a chance to network with new media professionals from a whole other corner of the country, which means a slew of new opportunities.

Why the co-location with Book Expo?

If you don’t mind, I’d like to quote our fearless leader, Rick Calvert:

Two year’s ago at BlogWorld Leo Laporte said during his talk “We are not new media anymore. Now we are just THE MEDIA”. While we all believe that to be true, many in the traditional media are not convinced yet. Since our inception we have had a couple of Big Hairy Audacious Goals. One of them is to foster and accelerate the convergence of traditional and new media.  We can’t think of a single better opportunity to help us accomplish that goal. New York City is the center of the traditional media universe. For four days Book Expo America is the center of the traditional publishing universe.  By locating BlogWorld and Book Expo side by side we are bringing the best and brightest from both communities together for the first time anywhere.

Will we be able to attend both BlogWorld and Book Expo?

Yes, Book Expo attendees will be able to visit BlogWorld’s tradeshow, but the conference pass is separate. BlogWorld pass holders will receive complimentary access to Book Expo. As always, there will be a variety of packages available.

I worry that by creating two separate conferences, we’re splitting the networking opportunities.

We think BlogWorld East will create new and entirely different opportunities. While there are sure to be attendees who will choose to pick East over West (or vice versa), we created BlogWorld East for East Coasters who normally wouldn’t be able to attend our annual fall BlogWorld event. So we’re not splitting the awesome, we’re adding to it and giving those who wouldn’t have been able to otherwise make it a chance to attend.

This is bad news for exhibitors because they can’t come to both events and you’re going to be losing money.

Again, we don’t see it that way. We understand budgets and know that most can’t attend two events, but we think we’re creating new opportunities. Eastern companies might not have had it in their budgets to fly a team West to exhibit at BlogWorld. Now, businesses in New York and vicinity don’t have to deal with airfare, hotel, and per diems. We don’t see BlogWorlds East and West as split events, but rather two entirely different and mutually beneficial events.

Is there a difference between “East” and “West?”

In addition to there being more Eastern based attendees and exhibitors, we hope to have a stronger focus on media, journalism and publishing. That isn’t to say we won’t cover topics such as monetization, content creation, and nichier blog topics, but as New York is the media capital of the world, we do hope to appeal to this community. We will still have the Social Media Business Summit and the same quality educational content you’re used to attending at BlogWorld.

How do I speak at BlogWorld?

We’ll have the speaker proposal form up in another week or so, which is more organized for us – and you. However, if you can’t wait or have any questions – for BlogWorld East only – you can submit your proposal to me via email at deb@blogworldexpo.com. I don’t have an official cut off date at the moment, but will make the announcement when we have a full schedule of speakers.

Can I specify that only want to speak at East or West?

Absolutely. In fact, as NJ resident, I would love to see the East Coast well represented in New York City. So if you are a speaker based in the area and have some good ideas, we really want to hear from you. (But you’re welcome to speak no matter where you’re based!)

Can I speak at both?

Sure, why not?

When can we register?

Soon, we’re getting our registration organized and will have a variety of registration packages for you to choose from very soon.

Can you recommend a hotel?

We will also have hotel information up very soon.

There are only a few months before BlogWorld East. Why did you take your time in making this announcement.

Believe us when we tell you we wanted to get this news out months ago. There were legalities to iron out and that is what took the most time. We will be much better prepared and will break the news well in advance next year.

Any more questions?

Feel free to post in the comments or bring the to our Facebook page, or the BlogWorld (Rick Calvert) or BlogWorldExpo (Deb Ng)  Twitter accounts.

Please remember that your feedback is vital to our success. No question is “silly” and even constructive criticism is welcome.  Now, stay tuned to all our channels for another major, surprising bit of new on Tuesday.

– Deb Ng
Conference Director
BlogWorld & New Media Expo

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