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BlogWorld LA 2011

Tamara Walker Talks Podcasting for Parent Bloggers

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Session: Podcasting for Parent Bloggers
Speaker: Tamara Walker

As I prepare to head off to BlogWorld LA in a few days, I’m looking forward to the whole experience of attending and speaking at my first BlogWorld & New Media Expo! After having wanted to attend in the past but not being able to, I jumped at the chance to go when I was asked to be a speaker on the Type A Parent Track this year at BlogWorld LA. I’m sure it will be a time of intense learning, lots of networking, and crazy fun!

In my session, I will be sharing tips with other parent bloggers on how to get started in the exciting world of internet radio and podcasting. Podcasting and internet radio are incredibly powerful tools to further your blog’s reach and value and can increase your monetization opportunities.

In this session, we’ll discuss how to start a podcast, where to broadcast, how to develop a theme and topics, get regular guests and how to market your podcast to build an audience. I promise to pack as much valuable information and helpful tips into our short hour together and will do my best to answer everyone’s questions!

Here’s a little video I made about the Podcasting for Parent Bloggers session and BlogWorld LA:

My co-speaker for this session was Maria Bailey of MomTalkRadio.com and I was thrilled to be sharing the session with her when we were asked to speak together. Unfortunately, Maria has had a scheduling conflict arise and will be unable to attend BlogWorld LA after all (We will miss you, Maria!!!). My presentation will be incorporating some of her research and contributions into the session so you will still get the benefit of some of Maria’s podcasting expertise.

I’m so excited to be attending BlogWorld LA and hope to meet all of you! Come to my session and let’s talk! If you miss my session, find me in the hallway and say Hi! See you there!

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

BlogWorld Blog Weekly Recap – Zombies, BWELA Packing List and Kimonos

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As we lead up to next week’s (next week people!) BlogWorld Expo in sunny Los Angeles, CA, the BlogWorld blog has been on fire with great content. In fact, every week we have some amazing content from BlogWorld staff, as well as guest posters all over the world.

So you don’t miss a beat, here’s a weekly round-up of articles from October 21st to 28th. I’ve broken it down into categories – such as posts specifically about BWELA, blogging tips and general news.

BlogWorld LA 2011

Let’s Pause for a Word from Our BlogWorld LA Speakers

Blogging Tips and News

The Recipe for a Successful Blogging Business: How to Minimize Your Liability

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… by Nellie Akalp

You’ve logged long hours behind the glare of your laptop display, battled writer’s block valiantly, and tried your best not to get rattled by the occasional negative comment or flame war. Along the way, you’ve produced some great content and have joined the growing ranks of more than 175 million blogs worldwide.

While blogging has become a serious industry, most bloggers don’t necessarily consider the business aspects of their blog when they’re just starting out. But soon enough what may have started as a casual interest turns into an extra source of income, or even a full-time business.

If you’re a self-employed or self-starting blogger, you’ve got to be aware of a few things as you navigate the legal and business aspects of your blog.

Liability issues

Yes, I know, it’s hard to imagine that sitting behind a computer can put you at any real risk of a lawsuit. And certainly managing a blog is inherently less risky than managing a sky diving business. However, there are some liability issues to consider: What it you accidentally plagiarize another writer’s work? What if you write about a mobile phone prototype left behind at a bar? What if you’re fined by the FTC or named in a class-action lawsuit for positively reviewing a defective product?

If you’re involved in blogging or social media, you’re most likely aware that back in 2009 the FTC revised their guidelines to bring social media and Internet advertisers into the mix. At the heart of this revision was a concern that recognizing ads in social media was becoming increasingly harder. And since then, we’ve seen a handful of controversies surrounding celebrities not properly disclosing brand relationships.

Here’s my recipe (just three simple steps) to minimize your liability as a blogger:

Step 1: 1 cup of disclosure

You need to disclose any ‘material relationship’ with an advertiser or brand. A material relationship can be anything and everything from receiving cash, free samples, a free product, or free trip in exchange for a product review or blog post. Let’s say that Jimmy is an online gaming expert who drinks lots of energy drinks and blogs about his gaming experiences. A game manufacturer sends him a free game and asks him to write about it. Accepting this free game creates a material relationship that must be disclosed or Jimmy can face substantial fines.

If you’re not sure what constitutes a material relationship, err on the side of caution. After all, do you think Jimmy’s readers will be upset to learn he received a free game (particularly, if he’s known for enthusiastic, albeit dead honest, reviews)? Beyond FTC penalties, I believe that disclosure is good practice, as it maintains the relationship of trust that you’ve built with your audience.

Step 2: Sprinkle reviews with results that consumers can ‘generally expect’

It’s no longer acceptable for a blog review to make outrageous claims like “I made $30,000 last month from home selling on eBay; I lost 50 pounds in 2 months.” This is true even if you put a disclaimer ‘results not typical’ in fine print. Like advertisers, bloggers are required to disclose results that “consumers can generally expect.” If you don’t comply, you could receive substantial fines or a consumer protection lawsuit. In most cases, the company itself will be the defendant, but as a participating blogger, you could also be named in the lawsuit.

Step 3: Form an LLC or corporation

Most bloggers aren’t really thinking about business structure when they first start out, meaning that most begin as sole proprietors. While you may think you should incorporate in order to lower your taxes, the main benefit of incorporating or forming an LLC has to do with separating your personal and business finances and minimizing your personal liability.

With an LLC or Corporation (S Corp or C Corp), your personal assets, such as property or a savings account, are shielded from any judgment if your blog happens to be sued or fined. On the other hand, if you’re sued as a sole proprietor, you’ll be sued personally. This means that your personal assets are all at risk. And what you initially started as an interesting side project could end up wiping out your down payment savings.

Also be aware that creditor judgments can actually last up to 22 years. This means that if you’re sued today, your personal assets will still be vulnerable for up to 22 years.

This may sound like scare tactics. And I’m not a fan of scare tactics. But I am a fan of education. Most likely, you’ll never run into any sort of problems with your blog except for the occasional troll. But following this simple recipe of shielding your personal assets through an LLC or Corp, using common sense when choosing your advertising/marketing partners, and always erring on the side of transparency will help make for the sweet success of your blog and business.

Nellie Akalp is a passionate entrepreneur, small business advocate and mother of four. As CEO of CorpNet.com, an online legal document filing service, Nellie helps small business owners form an LLC or incorporate a business in order to start and protect their new business ventures the right way. To access free guides, advice and informative videos on small business legal topics, visit here: http://bit.ly/pChZbV

At next week’s BlogWorld in LA; Nellie will be exhibiting information for attendees to learn the benefits of forming that business structure to a new venture and why it’s an integral part of the success of a business. She will be giving away one iPad2 on November 4th and one on November 5th to BWE attendees. People just have to stop by the booth and look for the ‘Word of the Day’. Once they find it; they need to Tweet to @CorpNet or comment on the CorpNet Facebook page with that word to be entered to win. If they tweet and comment; they are entered twice.

Marcus Sheridan: The Story of Inbound Marketing

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Session: 7 Blogging Ideas That Will Brand Your Business and Make You the Voice of Your Industry
Speaker: Marcus Sheridan

At BlogWorld LA, Marcus Sheridan will not only show 7 powerful ways by which businesses will gain huge SEO and Branding visits through content, but he’ll also take the audience to the ‘next level’ of understanding how consumers think, feel, and the things they truly want to be reading about.

Hear his story:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

BlogWorld & New Media Expo LA Book Signing Schedule

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Did you know that many of our speakers are authors too? Well they are! And now you can get signed copies of their books and chat for a few minutes during the BlogWorld & New Media Expo LA event.

Location: Barnes & Noble / BlogWorld Book Store, located in the lobby near Registration.
Schedule:

Time Table 1 Table 2
Thursday November 3rd
1:00PM – 1:45PM Peter Shankman
2:00PM – 2:45PM Mari Smith Brian Reich
3:00PM – 3:45PM Jay Baer Mike Schneider/Aaron Strout
4:00PM – 4:45PM Chris Brogan Robb Wolf
Friday November 4th
10:00AM – 10:45AM Jonathan Fields Douglas Karr
1:00PM – 1:45PM C.C. Chapman Jim Kukral
2:00PM – 2:45PM Marc Pitman Aliza Sherman
3:00PM – 3:45PM Michael Brito Tom Terwilliger
4:00PM – 4:45PM Julie Spira Bill Torgerson
Saturday November 5th
1:00PM – 1:45PM Jason Falls Michael Stelzner
2:00PM – 2:45PM Bruce Sallan Clay Nichols
3:00PM – 3:45PM Pace & Kyeli Smith

Brian Gramo Gets Creative with Live Streaming

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Session: Producers: Being Creative in Producing a Live Streaming
Speaker: Brian Gramo

Brian Gramo will be speaking at BlogWorld LA about being creative in producing live streaming productions, where he’ll share the wealth of information he’s accumulated over the past five years. While he started off in a small bedroom in Santa Monica, in the video below he walks you through his four thousand square-foot facility in Hollywood!

During his session, Brian will be talking about integrating multiple cameras and also how to interact with your fans while you’re live streaming. Whether you’re streaming from a professional facility or your apartment, he has a lot of advice to share.

Hear what else Brian has to say:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

How to Seriously Rock the BlogWorld Virtual Ticket

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Wow. When I started working with BlogWorld to reinvent the Virtual Ticket, I knew it’d be cool but I didn’t count on the amount of buzz we were going to create and how many people would be interested in it.

I also didn’t anticipate how many people would have questions. Many, many, many questions.

So as a service to everyone who’s signed up (or everyone who is thinking about it, or anyone with a live pass who wants to add the VT), I figured it might make sense to answer some of of the questions we’ve been asked about attending BWELA from the comfort of your own home, your office, or a construction site Port-a-John.

Here we go:

Q: What is the experience of attending BlogWorld through the Virtual Ticket like?

A: During the conference, you’ll be able to follow the action at the actual live event by watching our social media and a private Virtual Ticket site for video, photos, and other updates. Since I’m your host, the idea is that I’m there “for you” and will stream or upload sporadic video of people I run into or backstage-type situations I get myself into. All of this video goes into the VT website, so you won’t need to watch it live.

As the days go on, you can interact with me and henchwoman Jess on Twitter and/or through email and can send us questions or hurl insults. We also encourage you to connect with other VT attendees.

Then, as we process the videos of the session recordings, we’ll add those to the site and you can begin making your way through the 100+ hours of individual conference sessions. (This takes a while, so note that session recordings will be available about a week after the conference ends.) 

Remember, the Virtual Ticket always moves at your speed. There’s a ton of material and you can watch some of it live or you can spread its huge volume of content it out over weeks, months, or a full year if you’d like. Your way, on your schedule.

Q: What’s the best way to follow the action while the conference is going on?

A: If you’d like to simulate some of the “being there” feel of the live event, the best way to keep tabs on things is probably by following the Twitter account we set up for the Virtual Ticket to get photos, video, and updates. You can also keep an eye on your email and on the private Virtual Ticket site, as well as Facebook. (We’ll tell you how to do all of this when you register.)

Q: Is attending the VT like being there live in terms of time commitment? Should I block off a few days to “attend” virtually?

A: Most of the content of BlogWorld is in the conference sessions, and we can’t stream every one of those live. So no, there’s no need to take large blocks of time away from work and family to attend, which is one of the beauties of virtual attendance. If you’d like to check in on the live event as we recommend, keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook, and the VT site as you go about your business, but otherwise there’s no real need to mess up your normal schedule.

Q: Will I miss anything if I can’t watch any of the live (or quasi-live) stuff?

A: Not really! Everything we record (including the on-site stuff) will be archived on the VT site. To get the most “experience” of BlogWorld as possible — to be able to chat about conference goings-on and be able to ask questions — we suggest going through the day’s “recorded live” material each evening or whenever you have time. However, you’re the boss, just like Tony Danza. So if you wanted to wait until three months later to look at any of the material, that’s fine too.

Q: Do we get access to ALL of the conference sessions?

A: The answer is a qualified yes. We’re recording them all, but sometimes we lose one to tech glitches between recording and posting on the VT site (which typically takes about a week), so we can’t guarantee that each and every will be there. But most will, which is one of the reasons the VT is great even for live attendees! When you’re there live, you can’t watch two sessions that are scheduled at the same time… but if you have the Virtual Ticket recordings, you can.

Q: How long do I have access to the Virtual Ticket?

A: You get access to absolutely all of the material (including the on-site and behind-the-scenes footage and the VT bonuses, like exclusive interviews) for a full year.

So there you have it… your complete Q&A guide to the BlogWorld Virtual Ticket!

BlogWorld & New Media Expo LA starts next Thursday, so if you’ve been wishing you could attend but can’t quite manage it, you might want to sign up for the Virtual Ticket so you can experience the next best thing for a fraction of the cost.

You can register for the Virtual Ticket here.

(And if you bought a live ticket and would like to add the Virtual Ticket to your registration for $49, send an email to registration@blogworldexpo.com to request it.)

See you in LA!

Well, I’ll be in LA. You’ll be at home, probably in pajamas or something.

——
Johnny B. Truant is the host and M.C. of the newly-redesigned BlogWorld Virtual Ticket. You can connect with him on Twitter as @JohnnyBTruant.

Cirque du Soleil® IRIS – Special Promo Code for BlogWorld Attendees

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Cirque du Soleil® is offering BlogWorld attendees a special promotional code to experience their newest show … IRIS, a Journey Through the World of Cinema™ on either November 2nd or November 6th.

Created exclusively for the Kodak Theatre, IRIS offers a new take on the art of cinema as only Cirque du Soleil could imagine it. By combining dance, acrobatics, live video, film footage and interactive projections, the show illustrates both the mechanics of cinema and its extraordinary power to deceive the eye.

The show’s two young heroes – Buster and Scarlett – find themselves plunged into the joyful chaos of a film set, and their escapades are supported by an orchestral score composed by Grammy Award-winner Danny Elfman. IRIS is written and directed by French stage and film director, artistic director, dancer and choreographer Philippe Decouflé, who created the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 Albertville Olympic Games.

Your Printable, 18-Numbered Packing List for BWELA

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You do realize you’ve got less than a week to make sure all your affairs are in place while you’re away at BWELA, pack everything you need to pack, and make sure you don’t forget anything, right? Right!?

Are you the kind of person who always seems to forget something when you pack? Tip #1, don’t wait til the last minute to get everything zipped up. That’s probably the number one reason things get left behind. Tip #2, take this list below, and print it out. Check things off as you put them in your bags, and remember that many things you may forget could be available from the hotel or a nearby convenience store, but here is a complete, comprehensive list (from a 5 time attendee) of what you absolutely must remember to pack for your trip (yes, many of these are clearly obvious, but a checklist is a checklist afterall, and wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t list “underwear”).

  1. Comfortable shoes – Daytime can be sneakers, flats, or sandals, and some people bring dressier shoes for the parties. Regardless, make sure they’re comfy.
  2. Socks, underwear (see?), t-shirts, lingerie, pajamas, etc. for as many days as you’re traveling.
  3. Casual, business casual, and dressy tops/dresses, for women / Casual tee’s and shirts, buttoned shirts, for men
  4. Slacks, jeans, skirts, and a light sweater for chilly nights or a too-cool convention center / Blazer, jeans, slacks for men
  5. Tip: Try to make the most of your wardrobe and pack things that can be layered with each other in different combinations, so you don’t have to pack so many clothes. Many people are traveling for 4-5 days, and trying to pack 5 shirts, 5 pants, 5 sweaters, 5 dresses… way too much! Bring 3-4 tops/shirts, 3 bottoms/pants, and 1-2 dresses (for ladies). See if you can cut it with only 2-3 options for shoes including those on your feet the day you depart (they’re bulky). Ladies, accessorize to make your lightweight black top look different on Saturday night than it did on Thursday afternoon. Scarves and jewelry are great for this. Guys, one blazer that goes with multiple t-shirts is better than trying to pack 4 blazers without needing a steam iron for them all. Travel-size spray bottles of Febreeze are fantastic for keeping things fresh even though you wore them already, or you can use the hotel’s laundry service.

  6. iPad or Laptop bag with laptop, power cord, peripherals (mouse, keyboard, stand)
  7. Camera and/or FlipCam, batteries, charger, extra memory cards (I put these in my laptop bag, since it’s carried on.)
  8. Cellphone and charger (I always forget my charger!) – If you’re coming in from another country, some people grab pay-as-you-go cellphones and credits right at the airport when they land or at a nearby store, so as not to spend as much on their own line with roaming charges and international fees. You can always sell it on eBay later, or keep it for the next time you come to the States.
  9. Toothbrush/paste/mouthwash, shampoo & conditioner, soap/bodywash (in approved 3.4 oz. bottle sizes unless you put them in your checked bags). You can always rely on the hotel for some of this, but many people like to have their own brands, so if that’s you, don’t forget!
  10. Cosmetics and grooming items. ‘Nuff said.
  11. Business cards (I put these EVERYWHERE – my suitcase, purse, laptop bag, and carry on.)
  12. Mini-notebook or bound index cards and pens for taking notes when you don’t have your computer open in front of you but want to take notes on who you met or remember a website or a piece of advice someone shares.
  13. Snacks, powdered drink travel packets (I love adding these to bottled water for some variety), gum and mints, etc. Bringing your own snacks and getting water (stay hydrated, especially if you’re imbibing each night!) at a conveninece store ensures you don’t overspend on them in the hotel, and gum or mints is just polite, given all those you’ll be interacting with!
  14. Medications, vitamins, OTC remedies (ibuprofen, cold/flu/icky tummy meds, etc.), energy drinks (hehe), and hand sanitizer. Traveling takes a toll on the body, and with all the people you’ll meet and shake hands with, you’re sure to pass around some germs. Make sure you have your health covered.
  15. An 8.5 x 11 envelope. Yes, an envelope. In it, you’ll put all your receipts (after you take a photo of them for backup, and for tax purposes), handouts you want to keep, business cards you receive, and so on. Trust me, there’s nothing like trying to search for this stuff when you get home, and it makes for great filing later on once you’re back in the office.
  16. A printed out schedule. Many people go to conferences and “wing it” but I like to have a loose (ie. sure-to-be-changed-later) plan. Know what sessions you want to attend, when they are, and what room they’re in. (You can get this info here.) Also make note of the parties, their times and locations, and any other meetups or networking events you want to be sure to get to.
  17. Cash, ATM/credit cards, traveler’s checks (if you’re coming in from another country), and so on. Be prepared for unexpected expenses, or to buy a drink or two for your new friends.
  18. Copies of all your travel arrangements, phone numbers for the hotel and shuttle/taxi/hired car service you’re using, and registration confirmation email (this one’s important!) so you can keep track and in case you lose them. Yes, most people can access this stuff from their laptop or phone, but who wants to waste time booting up or searching? Just have it packed in a folder (or additional large envelope) and then you’ll know right where it is on a moment’s notice.
  19. Extra bags are great for carrying home the swag you’ll get from the expo hall, plus we’ve got a bookstore on-site with loads of great stuff, and you may want to buy a few (and have them signed by the authors) and bring those home too. You might get away with just leaving extra room in your suitcase, but even a foldable, reusable grocery bag works in a pinch and stays compact on the way home in the event you don’t need it. Alternatively, you can consider donating anything you don’t really love.

So there you have it, your 18-item list of all the things you need to remember to pack for BlogWorld. Have I forgotten anything? 😉

Pat Flynn Speaks About “Being Everywhere”

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Session: How to Be Everywhere: Building a Profitable Brand by Thinking Outside the Blog
Speaker: Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn will be presenting at BlogWorld LA on how to be “Be Everywhere” – which means that as a blogger you have to consider your blog as the “home” for your brand – but your brand doesn’t just stick to one platform. Pat will show you how to expand your brand using free and inexpensive ways to reach out, expand your brand, become more of an authority, diversify your content, and become more than just a blogger.

Hear what else Pat has to say:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

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