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Chris Garrett and Sonia Simone Talk Tribes


“Tribes are united by passion.” – Sonia Simone

One of the track keynotes at BlogWorld LA 2011 was given by Chris Garrett and Sonia Simone. The two partnered to talk about tribes, and whiles you can check out the entire presentation by purchasing the virtual ticket, here are some key take-away points:

#1: Your tribe starts with you – your passion and how you frame that passion.

Chris and Sonia talked about the need to be a leader in your community. While it is important to listen to your crowd, the vision for the tribe has to be your own. What’s your unique spin on your topic? People want to get behind that idea, and they need your vision as a guide.

#2: You are the leader, so start acting like it. Set the rules that will support your tribe.

I think this point can be best summed up in two quotes:

  • “If you’re not getting hate mail, you’re not trying hard enough.” – Chris
  • “It’s not all unicorns and rainbows. It’s a lot of drama…If you’re going to have a tribe you have to accept that you are the law.” – Sonia

There will be people who hate what you do and aren’t afraid to tell you that. There will also be people within your tribe who are argumentative, mean-spirited, and annoying. The great thing with your tribe is that you get to make the rules – but you also have to enforce them.

#3: You can move from free to paid when you know what your tribe will pay for.

Lastly, think about what you know how to do really well and what your clients really need. That’s the intersection you want to find if you intend to build a paid membership community. People are willing to pay for lots of different stuff; it’s just a matter for finding your community and getting them involved with your product!

I definitely enjoyed this insider’s look at the membership community-building experiences Chris and Sonia had. Remember, the virtual ticket allows you to hear the entire presentation as well as ALL of the other sessions from this weekend.

The Seven Harsh Realities of Blogging for Bucks


The Saturday opening keynote at BlogWorld Expo 2010 featured Brian Clark, Sonia Simone, and Darren Rowse to talk about the seven harsh realities of blogging for bucks. Let’s take a look at them.

Harsh Reality #1: Free is not a a business model.

You do have to give away free content, but you need to sell something related to that content. You don’t have to know from the beginning what you want to sell, but you do have to know that people in your market are buying things. Consider you free content as advertising for your products. People will buy your information, even if you are attracting them with free content. The more information  you give away, the more people will buy your premium content.

“You can show most everything and it increases the desire to see the rest – and they will pay for it.” – Brian Clark

Harsh Reality #2: The push-button Internet cash machine is on the fritz.

There’s a lot of work go into blogging, so it isn’t a way to make money fast. Don’t believe the hype that you can make money fast – most times. There are things you can do to make money quickly, but only with a lot of dedication and work before you flip that switch. You have to think about it long-term.

“It makes money when you build something real and when you build something that matter to people.” – Darren Rowse

Harsh Reality #3: You are not scaleable.

You are going to get to a point where you have to set boundaries. You can’t make hundreds of thousands of connections every single day. Do what you can, but still have a life.

“You do not have to sacrifice yourself to social media.” – Sonia Simone

Harsh Reality #4: No One actually wants that much authenticity.

You can share the ways in which you make mistakes, but you have to maintain your authority. You don’t have to share everything. Don’t tell lies, but we don’t need to know every little detail of your life.You don’t want people to not do business with you business of things you post online. It’s not about you, it’s about your customer. You need to focus on them.

“Don’t be the real you, but the best possible you. Be who you want to be…that’s what authenticity is.” – Brian Clark

Harsh Reality #5: Social media hates selling.

People don’t like selling or being sold to, but you do have to sell. You can’t just go on Twitter and start pitching your product. You have to sell you first. You do that with your content, and great content should sell itself – eventually. You need to start building a network. Reach out to people who might be interested in your content. People love to share content on Twitter, so use it. Don’t think about it as a pitch, think of it as an offer instead – offer them something to buy instead of selling something. Observe your readers and make them products that they need.

“We don’t trust what people say about themselves…find a way to get other people to start talking about you.” -Brian Clark

Harsh Reality #6: A blog is not a business.

You can’t have the mindset that “maybe one day this will be a business.”  You need to think about your community and why they are there. Think about how to keep your readers there long-term.You don’t need to know how you’re going to get to that “business” level, but you do need to know where you’re going with your blog. Stay flexible, but at the same time, you need business goals.

“Think today about treating it as a business…you need to start thinking in that way to take it forward.” – Darren Rowse

Harsh Reality #7: No one is reading your blog.

You need to give your blog time to grow. This doesn’t happen overnight. If you still aren’t seeing traffic, the biggest reason that no one reads your blog is that no one cares about your content. It might be because no one is passionate about your topic, or it might be because you’re not writing about a topic in a fresh way. You don’t need to attract everyone, but you need healthy traffic. Find people who are focused on wanting to read what you want to write. Be either useful or entertaining – preferably both.

“You have to write about things in a way that people you want to reach give a damn about and found compelling.” – Sonia Simone

New Speaker, Panel & Keynote Announcements!


Are you subscribed to our newsletter? If not, you’re missing out! Over the past two weeks we’ve been announcing some speaker, panel, and keynotes for BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2010.

Here’s a quick recap:


BlogWorld Keynote: The 7 Harsh Realities of Blogging for Bucks

Nearly all BlogWorld attendees are interested in monetizing their content, so we’re proud to announce this special keynote talk by Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, and Sonia Simone.

Every “make money online” guru wants to tell you how easy it is to find customers with blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. The reality is, though, business and social media aren’t always a smooth mix. Learn about the pitfalls of making money with your blog (and how to do it right). Presented by:

Brian Clark Darren Rowse Sonia Simone .


The ProBlogger Workshop

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A full day of programming from ProBlogger authors Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett and featuring Yaro Starak, attendees to this workshop will learn how to best grow blog traffic and community plus learn monetization tips and techniques. Presented by:

Darren Rowse Chris Garrett Yaro Starak


Real Time Revolution: 7 Rules for Business at the Speed of Now

We’ve adapted our businesses to accommodate many of the most recent upheavals in communication: the phone, email, digital marketing and advertising on the web. But we haven’t yet adapted our businesses, from the inside out, to what is potentially the single biggest shift in online communication: social media. The Real-Time Revolution has created new expectations from individuals and businesses alike. Speed and agility matter, response time is everything, and open communication is the hallmark of a business that thrives today. We’ll share seven blueprints for areas of your business that need to adapt as a result of real-time: culture, people, internal communication, listening, responding, crisis planning, and measurement. Presented by:

Amber Naslund Jay Baer


“From Blog to Book”

Features a look at what it takes to get a book published and why some bloggers are approached with book deals and others aren’t. Presented by:

Ellen Gerstein Simon Salt Brian Solis .


Monetization Speed Round: 60 Questions in 60 minutes

The speed round will feature questions about monetization from readers of the various monetization blog – the moderator will ask the question and each panelist has 30 seconds to answer and give a quick tip. Presented by:

David Klein John Chow Shoemoney Zac Johnson Jonathan Volk

For upcoming session details, continue to follow this blog and subscribe to the newsletter by clicking here and signing up in the box on the upper left hand side of the screen.

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