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BlogWorld NY 2011

How to Grow Your Blog Now Via Social Media


Session Title: How to Grow Your Blog Now Via Social Media
Speaker: Lori Randall Stradtman
Date: Tuesday, May 24
Time: 2:30PM
Jacob Javits Center 1A10

BlogWorld NY starts in less than 10 days! My flight and room are booked. My bags are far from packed, but my presentation on Grow Your Blog Now Via Social Media is ready to go.

Please say Hi to me while you’re there!!

Lori Randall Stradtman designs, speaks professionally, and uses her 8+ years experience in online community and social media to write for Social Media Examiner, Smart Brief, and Enterprise Efficiency. Her company works with clients across North America, the UK, and Australia.

So, What’s the Big Deal with WordPress?


Session Title: The Ultimate WordPress Experience
Speaker: Mitch Canter
Date: Wednesday, May 25
Time: 11:30a – 12:30p
Room: 1A16

If you’re the least bit into blogging (and if you’re reading this, chances are you are), then you haven’t been able to get away with the news of Blogger’s outage last week (week ending May 13, 2011). The server problems left lots of bloggers scratching their heads and asking lots of questions. “Where did my content go?” “What happens if it goes down again, for even longer?” “What’s going to happen to my content?”

WordPress, a History
Call me obsessed, call me passionate, or call me a nutjob, but I fully believe that there is no blog problem that can’t be solved with WordPress. If you’ve never heard of it, then allow me the honor of a brief history lesson. In 2003, two guys (named Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little) created a fork (a variety of a software program) of b2cafelog (a then defunct blogging platform). Over the years Matt, Mike, and a team of dedicated individuals finessed it, added to it, and modified it to give users an easy, friendly to use blog platform that would let people log in, add content, and get back to living life or running their business. And isn’t that the goal in the first place; to be able to have experiences to blog about?

Features and Strengths
WordPress has, over the years, simplified the process of creating a killer blog by adding functionality that would make any blogging fanatic swoon. They perfected the modular approach to functionality (modules, plugins, etc.) and made it easy to get started with just the core code, but even easier to add new functionality on the fly. Want to put in your twitter account’s latest updates? Find a plugin, install, fill in the information, and you’re good to go.

WordPress made template (the design of a website) easy to modify and operate. Blog designs became more and more elegant and stylized. Gone were the days of everyone’s blog looking reminiscent of one another; the more work and style you put in, the more you reaped in rewards.

WordPress also made adding “aside” content (like ads, widgets, and social profiles) easy with a widgetized sidebar. Now, a simple drag-and-drop gets your latest social badge onto every page of your site. Navigation menus were streamlined and made completely customizable. Photos could be formatted differently from video and audio and text posts. Content pieces of every kind could be configured, queried, and served up however you want; the possibilities became (and are still becoming even more so) endless as new features are added in.

Switching to WordPress
Typically, people in today’s blogging culture that aren’t on WordPress use one of two services: Blogger and Tumblr; both known recently for notorious downtime. So, if you want to switch, what’s the best place to start? Find a good host, purchase some cheap hosting for less than a few cups of coffee per month, and nine times out of 10 they’ll have a “Fast WordPress install option”. All you have to do is click a few buttons and let the software do the work for you.

If you’re on Blogger, you’re in luck. Even bloggers with unique domain names can import their content quickly to their WordPress site using the official Blogger import plugin. Once that’s done, a few changes in the DNS (your domain name, if you have a custom one) can get your new site up and running one the internet is notified of the changes. As a bonus, you can set your permalink structure (the structure of your URLs) to match your old site, saving most, if not all, of that hard earned SEO.

Tumblr blogs have their own importer too, and there are plenty of themes that cater not only to the seasoned Tumblr user, but allow them to keep their current post formats as well. Plus, WooThemes (a seasoned WordPress theme development shop, has an app in the iPhone store that makes posting to a “WordPress tumblog” a snap.

What’s Next for WordPress
Just to give you an idea of what’s in store for the WordPress team, the new version of the software (3.2beta1) dropped earlier this week, and it simplifies the process even further by getting rid of unnecessary elements in the WordPress dashboard. Their goal is to revolutionize how people are creating content, and with 8 years behind them (and no signs of stopping) it’s safe to say now that a better goal is to revolutionize it repeatedly. With over 10% of the Internet being powered by WordPress, it’s not a far fetched one.

If you’re curious, or want to know why I’m so passionate about WordPress, then please feel free to drop into Room 1A16 on Wednesday at 11:30am. I’d love to tell you more.

Mitch Canter is a WordPress designer / developer from Franklin, TN (near Nashville). He is the chief creative mercenary of ‘studionashvegas’ and specializes in taking WordPress blogs (and websites) to new and exciting places. He also works as a “special projects” contractor with Bridgestone of Americas. You can find him on his blog, or drop him a line on Twitter – he doesn’t mind a bit!

Mitch will be speaking on “The Ultimate WordPress Experience”, where he will speak on switching to, customizing, and getting the most out of a WordPress blog. If you’re frustrated with your blogging service (and chances are if you’re not on WordPress these days, you might be), then come with plenty of questions.

Common Sense and Collaboration: PR and Bloggers Are On the Same Side


Speakers: Danny Brown, Gini Dietrich
Session: Common Sense and Collaboration – The Last Stumbling Block for PR and Bloggers
Date: Wednesday May, 25
Time: 11:30AM
Location: Jacob Javits Center 1A06

… by Danny Brown

There’s been a lot of talk about the relationship between the public relations industry and bloggers. I’ve written about it in the past as have others, yet still there’s this feeling of a barrier between the two mediums.

As someone on both sides of the fence, I can understand each side’s views.

Yet I can also see where both sides could improve. So, with no bias to either the PR industry or bloggers, here are some suggestions to help both PR and bloggers help each other.

PR People – Think Like Bloggers

Consider starting a blog if you don’t already have one. Unless you blog yourself, you probably won’t understand the mindset of a blogger. It can be a lonely and time-consuming business – the last thing we want is added workloads through misunderstanding or laziness. If you blog, you’ll have a better appreciation of how we work and how our time can best be used.

Treat us as a bona-fide media source
in both your pitching and follow-ups. True, we may not have the name of a New York Times or CBS journalist or reporter. But we often are more visible, thanks to Google and search engine awareness, which means our story could potentially have a much wider audience. Doesn’t that deserve some respect?

Find out who we are and what we do. You have a gardening tool to promote for a client. So why would you send your news release to a tech or music blogger? Don’t just grab a bunch of names from a blogger list – do a little homework, find out what we write about, our style, etc. Trust me, show me you know about me and my readers and you’re almost home dry with me.

Invite us to participate in what your clients are up to. Bloggers love to be involved early on – after doing your homework on who would fit you client base, invite bloggers into your inner circle as your official blog partners. Let us tell your story (without any major interference) and you’ll have a primed marketing team of bloggers ready to go.

Bloggers – PR is Not Your Enemy

Bloggers are wary of PR people. Lazy pitches, poor communication and being treated as second-class citizens are just some of the complaints. Yet there are ways to help yourself be more appreciated by the PR industry.

Have either an About Me page or an area that describes what your blog is about. This may seem like common sense but the amount of reviewer blogs I’ve seen without this simple addition is mind-boggling. How can you expect a proper pitch when you don’t advise on what you write about?

Display a PR-friendly badge to let us know that you’re open to pitching. Todd Defren and the folks over at Shift Communications have come up with some badge designs you can use. Clean and clear, they save both PR people and bloggers a lot of time.

Be ethical at all times and true to your beliefs. This works both ways. Your blog is your voice and your readers should trust that voice. Keep your views honest and untainted by PR pressure. And if someone in PR is pressuring you into a positive spin when their client doesn’t deserve one, don’t be afraid to call them out via your blog.

Contact us and offer your services
as part of a PR agency’s blogger outreach program. Many PR firms and professionals are still far behind on the benefits of a blogger outreach program. Use Google, Twitter, O’Dwyer’s blog and other resources to find agencies in your niche. Then send them an email about your expertise and how they could benefit from it. Pro-activity never hurt anyone.

These are just some examples of how the PR industry and bloggers can help each other. I’m sure there are countless more, but it’s a start.

How about you? Are you a blogger? If so, how can PR professionals improve? Or are you in the PR industry? Where would you like to see bloggers improve? Feel free to share your views and let’s get the conversation going.

Danny Brown is co-founder and CEO at Bonsai Interactive Marketing, offering integrated marketing, social media, digital and mobile marketing solutions and applications. His blog is featured in the AdAge Power 150 list as well as Canada’s Top 50 Marketing Blogs, and won the Hive Award for Best Social Media Blog at the 2010 South by South West festival. Follow Danny on Twitter at @DannyBrown or on Facebook at Danny Brown.

How this 50-Year-Old Technology is the Hidden Profit Center of Your Blog… and How to Leverage It


Speaker: Nathalie Lussier
Session: Why This 50 Year Old Technology is The Hidden Profit Center of Your Blog
Date: Wednesday, May 25th
Time: 2:30PM

It’s no secret that I absolutely love technology. I inspire thousands of people each week to get techy with their online businesses. But here’s the big juicy secret: sometimes I think us techies can get too wrapped up in the shiny new tools that keep popping up.

The hidden profit center behind the world’s most successful blogs is based on a 50 year old technology. Email. That’s right, email has been around for 50 years – dating back to University researchers sharing information via “email” even before the Internet existed.

Okay, so now you know what this 50 year old technology is, but you need to attend my talk to find out exactly how to leverage it. I’ve heard far too many bloggers admit that they should have started building an email list earlier, and to make sure you sidestep that painful mistake I’m going to share all of my experiences and strategies.

During my talk you will learn:

  • The smart way to build an email list, and how it actually delivers results for people on a more in depth level than blogging alone.
  • How to repurpose your content, so you don’t leave your best pieces to collect dust in your blog archives.
  • Case studies that show you exactly why and how email is the profitable area that it is.
  • My top recommendations for which tools to use to get started with email marketing right away, so you know the first step to take after you leave the session.
  • Which stats to focus on, whether size REALLY matters, and how to stop obsessing over your numbers.
  • Proven tips to ensure people open your emails, forward them to friends, and keep coming back for more.
  • The no-brainer strategy that ensures you’re delivering value to your people consistently without adding more to your already busy workload.

If you’ve been thinking of setting up an email newsletter or blog-to-email system, you’ve got to be there for this. Even though email has been around for 50 years, a lot has changed and it’s important to keep up with the trends in email marketing, what’s working now and what isn’t.

I’ve been leveraging email in my business consistently for over two years now, and I’ll happily answer your most burning email marketing questions.

See you there!

Nathalie Lussier is an online business triple threat bringing tech, design, and marketing together under one roof. She built a successful online business around her passion for health as the Raw Foods Witch, and now helps other online business owners get techy with it.

Wendy Piersall Talks Monetization Strategies & Mistakes


Speakers: Jennifer James, Heather Solos, Janice Croze, Wendy Piersall
Session: How to Make Real Money From Your Blog
Date: Wednesday, May 25th
Time: 9:00AM

Wendy Piersall is truly a veteran of the blogosphere. She has successfully launched and sold blogs. I was excited to pick her brain about her session at Blogworld on advanced monetization strategies. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Insights from 5 Years of Blogging
  • Wendy’s Accidental Entry Into Blogging
  • Why Staying the Course is Key to Being a Successful Blogger
  • A Brief Discussion on Advanced Monetization Strategies
  • The Struggles of Becoming a Successful Blogger
  • Key Mistakes that Wendy Made as a Blogger
  • Monetization Mistakes that Bloggers Make
  • A Preview of the Multiple Monetization Strategies that Will Be Discussed in This Session

If You’re a Blogger, You Need a Business Plan


Speakers: Thursday Bram
Session: Business Plans for Bloggers
Date: Thursday, May 26
Time: 2:30PM
Location: Jacob Javits Center 1A14

It takes a matter of minutes to set up a blog — seconds if you’re not worried about hosting it yourself. But it can take years to actually see a dime from your blog if you aren’t thinking about it in terms of a business.

It’s easy enough to start writing and even to stick with putting together a post on a regular basis. But it’s just as easy to tell yourself that you’ll get around to putting up advertising later or to flounder a bit when thinking about you might sell from your blog.

Success is Not Hit or Miss

Whether you’re a big name blogger or you’re just starting out, your blog can earn money. But you have to be willing to treat it like a business. That means thinking about your blog’s future, setting goals for it and planning how you’ll reach them. For many business owners, the simplest approach to handling goals and plans is to create a straight-forward business plan.

It’s a business plan that can make the difference for a blogger, not getting on the front page of Digg or sending a guest post out to every site you’ve ever heard of.

The Right Business Plan for Your Blog

Business plans aren’t exactly a new concept — there are thousands of templates you can follow, books you can read and so on. But the part that many bloggers seem to struggle with is translating all of the information that is available on planning and operating a business into a plan that will actually work for an individual blog.

Part of the problem is that a blog isn’t exactly a typical business that someone might write a business plan for: many of those templates are focused on helping a new business owner communicate the details of her business to someone else, such as a bank offering business loans or an investor interested in getting involved. The startup costs of a new blog are such that those aren’t likely scenarios.

Rather, a blogger’s business plan has to focus on what you need to put into your site to get out the sorts of returns you want. Doing the necessary research to figure out what your target audience actually wants to see — and what they’ll buy or click on — is the most important part of your business plan. After all, if you can answer the question of how you’re planning to make money from your blog, everything else is downhill from there.

Thursday Bram has written for such sites as CNET, Lifehack and OpenForum. Her personal blog is at ThursdayBram.com

Join Us at the Podcasting Pavillion at BlogWorld NY 2011!


… by Lynette Young

I wanted to try something new. No, that’s not right, I wanted to bring back something old. You see, podcasting has been in my blood for seven years, but has been slowly replaced by faster and easier forms of online communication. What used to be a difficult process of writing, recording and publishing audio (or video) for on-demand distribution has been whittled down to simply typing 140 characters or less to express an idea or thought. Luckily in the past few years podcasting as become almost that easy, and has been enjoying a revival of sorts – both with producers and with listeners. To me, it’s more important than ever that people that joined ‘social media’ online be introduced to ‘new media’, including podcasting. As BlogWorld & New Media Expo has seen a bit of controversy lately over the lack of podcasting topics (they are still there – just look for digital publishing) I wanted to help bring the podcasting communities back into the social media arena. After a great talk with the staff at Blog World Expo, the idea for the Podcasting Pavilion was born.

The Podcasting Pavilion presented by Social Media Club local chapters hosted at BlogWorld and New Media Expo was created to act as a BoF (Birds of a Feather) discussion and conversation hub for podcasters (and people interested in what podcasting is & it can do). Ever hear that some of the value of attending a conference is in those ‘hallway meetings’ and chance encounters? Well podcasters – that’s what inspired the Podcasting Pavilion! You will get out of the Pavilion what you put into it – so help us make it great! BlogWorld Expo offers a podcasting track (digital publishing) and lots of social media tracks but the Podcasting Pavilion is meant to offer another take on the conference experience.

The entire purpose of the Podcasting Pavilion is to have a ‘homebase’ for podcasters and provide a bit of structure for those chance hallway encounters. The Pavilion is always available to just hang out and meet other podcasters as well as offering new podcasters a place to get questions answered and meet experts and veterans in the industry. Several podcasts will be recorded right at the Pavilion, so if you’ve ever wanted to see what goes into making a podcast hands-on now is your chance! You might even get a chance to get interviewed for a podcast as well.

Rather than speakers the Pavilion will have ‘facilitators’ – knowledgeable podcasting practitioners that know their way around a RSS feed, microphone and video camera. The Pavilion isn’t a place to hide in the audience and send tweets – you can participate as much (or as little) as you’d like. The topics we are going to cover are below, just keep in mind they are guidelines and suggestions than formal agendas. Of course you are more than welcome to create your own podcasting topics at the Pavilion, this is for the podcasters by the podcasters!

  • A to Z Podcasting & Video Podcasting
  • Podcasting for Business (B2C / B2B / B2E)
  • Building A Podcasting Community
  • Podcasting Killed the Radio Star – Music Podcasts
  • Podcasting for Creative Types
  • Making Money Through Podcasting

If you are interested in helping facilitate any of the topics above, feel free to get in touch with Lynette via email or Twitter and let her know what topics you can help out with. See you at the Podcasting Pavilion!

Lynette Young has been a pioneer in social media since she began blogging in 1997. An expert in podcasting and virtual worlds since 2004, she founded Purple Stripe Productions, a social technology and strategy firm, in 2006. She works with companies and organizations to help them have more meaningful conversations with their customers in new and engaging ways. Lynette is a frequent speaker at conferences around the country. She is an organizer for the Podcamp Philly conference, and is the Program Director for Social Media Club Princeton NJ. Lynette was also inducted into the NJ Social Media Hall of Fame.

Nathalie Lussier Talks About a 50 Year Old Technology that is the Hidden Profit Center Behind Your Blog


Speaker: Nathalie Lussier
Session: Why This 50 Year Old Technology is The Hidden Profit Center of Your Blog
Date: Wednesday, May 25th
Time: 2:30PM

Nathalie Lussier, pronounced as “regular Natalie” Lucy-ay, is the Raw Foods Witch. She first learned about the concept of raw foods in early 2005. Like most people, she experienced tons of resistance (both internal and external) when trying to go raw. In March 2006, she dove head first and went 100% raw for 30 days. Since her 30-day raw trial, she’s learned what are the best ways to transition to a raw diet – and she can use her wisdom to help you make changes in your diet and in your life!

In this interview Nathalie talks about:

  • Using a 50 Year Old Technology to Make Your Blog Profitable
  • Strategies for Getting Your Blog Right the First Time
  • Why You Shouldn’t Chase the Next Big Thing
  • Key Mistakes Bloggers Make
  • Why Your Hosting/Design Is Really Important
  • Repurposing Your Content for Good Use

Are You Leveraging Conversation Wherever It Happens?


Speaker: Srinivas Rao
Session: Leveraging Conversation Wherever it Happens: 365 Days to Turning Your Brand Into a Household Name
Date: Tuesday, May 24
Time: 9:00am-10:00am
Location: Jacob Javits Center 1A10

You’ve no doubt heard phrases like “build a community, create a tribe and participate in the conversation.” Sometimes they seem like broad generalizations and don’t really give us any sense of what exactly they mean. They’re simply buzzwords and if we don’t take the time to understand them, they’re essentially meaningless. Conversation in the online world is dynamic, it evolves and it happens across numerous platforms.

I recently talked about the importance of an intimacy strategy for social media where I dissected how intimate you can get with with every social media tool at your disposal. Many of us get caught in the trap that conversation is limited to our blogs and to twitter. But it’s really going on everywhere. It’s happening on Facebook walls, it’s happening in Skype chats, it’s happening at live events, it’s happening via email. It’s going on 24-7 and until you learn how to leverage it, you’re limiting your potential for growing your blog or business. The days of operating in a vacuum where you only talk to the people who can do something for you or buy your product are over. Today we’re in an age where we’re forced to look beyond our business and think about the value we can provide for those who might not ever be our customers because in conversation is where opportunities open up.

So how do you get started? Here are few basics:

  • Email a Reader: You’ll be amazed at what an email to one of your readers might accomplish. Just a simple note telling them you appreciate their commitment to show up everyday could go a long way. They have thousands of blogs the could read, but they’re reading yours.
  • Get on Skype: If you ask me, skype chats and IM is where real relationships are built and real business gets done. People want to talk to people and these platforms take everything to the next level.
  • Go to Meetup: If you can make it a live event in your town to meet the people you’ve been talking to on Twitter, then do it. Don’t see any live events going on? Then it’s a perfect opportunity for you to plan one.

During my session at Blogworld, I’ll be going into extensive detail about leveraging conversation wherever it happens, where I’ll talk about:

  • Building a Powerful Network with Only 150 Followers
  • Developing Relationships with Other Bloggers
  • Looking Beyond Your Business and the Opportunities that Open Up
  • Getting Over the Guest Posting Hurdle
  • How to Turn Your Readers into a Loyal Tribe
  • Turning Your Brand or Blog into a Household Name in 365 Days

BlogWorld NY 2011 Track Preview: Social Media Business Summit


In case you missed our newsletter this morning (What? You haven’t signed up? There’s a box right there to your right) here’s a preview of the Social Media Business Summit Track for BlogWorld NY! Hope to see you there.

Social Media Business Summit Highlight

David Griner, Dave Peck, Stephanie Agresta, Jason Falls

Fail: Social Media Disasters and What We Can Learn From Them

David Griner (Social Media Strategist, blogger at Luckie & Company) and Dave Peck, (Director of Community for Meshin, and profiled on CNBC and Current TV) made such a splash at last year’s Expo that we brought them back for more!  This time the veteran social media strategists focus on marketing and PR fails, and will walk through candid case studies of brands that have faced down an angry Internet – and sometimes came out better for it. (Click here for date & time)

The Rise of Social Media Commerce: How Consumers Are the New Affiliates

E-tailers understand the power of online purchasing, but how does sharing deals, shopping tips and bargain hunting via social networks and communities impact the online shopping experience?  Stephanie Agresta (internetgeekgirl.com) discusses leveraging traditional e-commerce acquisition strategies to drive social commerce results.  This session covers the fundamental change from solo to group shopping, and provides case studies on successful campaigns. (Click here for date & time)

The No B.S. Guide To Blogs and Brands

Big brands want to reach emerging audiences on your niche blogs and online communities, but misbehaving bloggers have led many of them to lose trust and faith in blogs as reliable sponsorship outlets. Jason Falls (socialmediaexplorer.com), social media marketing educator, speaker and writer, addresses the issue with real information and strategies to help you build mutually beneficial relationships with brands, and how and when to cut ties with misbehaving bloggers.
(Click here for date & time)

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