Ok everyone. I have returned from Blog World Expo 2010 with new friends, 30 pages of notes, tons of pictures, two magazines, three books, a blank journal, a nice stack of business cards, four buttons, stickers, a yo-yo, and, most importantly, an elevated enthusiasm for the world of blogging and social media. I would say all in all, that makes it a successful trip!
Before we get started, if you want a preview of something, hover over the little and icons to get a preview of photos and latest tweets!
Notes from the Blog World Sessions
So what did I learn while I was there? Here are some notes from a few of the sessions I attended.
- Every potential engagement is marketing – everyone you meet, every property you own (website, blog, social account) is marketing your brand.
- Stop writing crap and people will spread it. People spread awesome.
- Blogging everyday is mensa or mental.
- When you don’t blog awesome, you hurt your blog.
- Things that stop the “spread” of your website include:
- RSS Button – it’s not our job to tell people how to consume our blog, it is to get people to consume it. Give people different options so they can choose what fits best.
- Mobile – you’re killing your content if it is not mobile enabled.
- Google SEO – no one shares “keyword rich,” they share awesome. Google reads the awesome from people who share it.
- Adsense – if you’re positioning yourself or company, remove it. You’re sending visitors to your competition.
- Leaving Your Blog Popup – it’s like punching someone in the face when they’re walking out the door.
- CAPTCHA – you’re pissing off 99% of people to stop 1% of the problem.
- Your engagement is awaiting moderation – with no notification of if and when it is approved.
- Social media success doesn’t exist. It is simply a vehicle. If your product sucks, social media will make it suck harder.
- Don’t tweet something you wouldn’t want on a billboard with your name or your brand next to it.
- If your market includes people, and your niche includes people, then you should be on social media.
If you deliver content and you are interesting, you will get leads and sales, even if you suck at actual webinars. Here are six steps for creating a compelling webinar:
- Psychology of running a webinar: What does your audience want to learn and achieve? Slides should contain less text plus images that evoke emotional response. 100 per hour is a good amount of slides. Tell people to get in early as it will fill up fast. Get in 10 minutes early, start building up energy by giving an overview and what they will get at certain time intervals of the webinar (free download 45 minutes in, special deal they can’t miss at end).
- Building your blogging empire with webinars: People do weibnars because they work. Hubspot is a great example – they give great content, build audience trust, then pitch product in the last 15 minutes.
- Setting up your webinar for success: With GoTo Meeting, use the generic sign up page with the white background – tested against custom pages, it had a higher conversion rate. Keep it simple. Create a compelling headline plus five bullet points, plus mention that if they stay on, there will be a free product.
- Become the Frank McKinney of promotion: Don’t promote more than a week away from the event – people won’t stay excited. Use a four day promotion plan. The following should be a template – test with your audience.
- Day 1 – email your mailing list with the compelling headline, bullet points, and free product. Re-send email to those who didn’t open with a different headline.
- Day 2 – social promotion via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
- Day 3 – send email reminder with a call to action plus bonus.
- Day 4 – email un-opens in the morning. Reminder to those who have signed up for the webinar 10 minutes before with login – if you don’t remind people, they won’t show up.
- Manage your webinar the easy way: run your webinar with a partner. One person speaks, the other person handles technical issues and answers live questions via chat. People will leave if questions remain unanswered.
- Follow-up: email attendees that day. Create a replay page that only will have the webinar live for a set period of time – people won’t watch if they know it is always available. Include offers that end when the webinar comes down.
One key takeaway that makes a successful webinar is to show social proof, something which he demonstrated in a webinar on succeeding with social media just a week before Blog World.
During the webinar, he gave five steps on how to boost your LinkedIn profile in search results for a particular keyword that were easily implementable at that moment. Then he shared subsequent results from people who were doing it who watched their profile make the first page of results. And these weren’t just immediate but fleeting results – mine is still the fourth result for a highly competitive phrase.
So if you want to see his webinar stategy in action, sign up for his next webinar and watch the master in action!
- How do you find writers? Social Media Examiner asked industry experts to start writing in the beginning, which led to more being attracted to the site who wanted to start writing as well. When approaching someone, tell them stats (traffic, tweets) as well as who writes for you and who is a huge fan of your site.
- How do you control employees on social media? Southwest and Mashable created social media guidelines.
- How do you handle negative comments? Mashable has hired community managers to stay on top comments. Social Media Examiner uses Disqus so certain people can be setup as moderators. Convenient because you can delete all comments throughout the blog from spammers. Mike personally responds to “constructive negative” comments personally and suggests that some negative people are extremely bright and might welcome a guest spot to share their viewpoints.
- How do you get people to write with the same consistency of tone?
Mashable and Social Media Examiner uses specific style / editorial guidelines. Christi suggests to find posts that demonstrate the right tone to share with potential writers.
- What metrics do you use to determine popularity of a blog post? Southwest uses Radian 6. Social Media Examiner looks at tweets, pageviews, and comments within 24 – 72 hours of the post going live. Mashable looks at the same as well as referral traffic.
- What incentives do you give writers? Social Media Examiner does not pay writers, but instead asks top writers what SME can do for them as well as allows the writers to re-purpose their content two weeks after the post for themselves. They also feature popular writers to answer questions on their page for Facebook Friday. Mashable will tweet top authors from their main account, which will lead to those authors receiving more traffic and followers to their personal accounts.
- How do you use Facebook pages? Mashable has a main page plus pages for different channels covering specific topics. They note that Facebook referral traffic is growing faster than Twitter. Social Media Examiner responds to all wall posts and has a demographic of 60% females from 25 – 50 years old and has found that the page has brought more community to the site.
Live Blogging Notes
Of course, that’s not all of my notes, but Mark Thompson of Stay on Search did some great note-taking himself while live blogging from some of the same sessions I was in plus a few I missed including the following: Creating Killer Content, Finding Readers for Your Blog, Building Community on Your Blog, Making Money from Your Blog, Monetization Super Panel, 7 Harsh Realities of Blogging for Bucks, Treating Your Blog Like a Business, and From Blog to Book.
More of My Notes
In case all of the above doesn’t satiate your curiosity of my session notes, I have also written the following Blog World Expo inspired posts:
The People Connection
I’m sure that most people will tell you that it wasn’t about the education – it was about the networking. There is nothing like going beyond the avatar and getting to see your blogging heroes, collaborators, readers, editors, guest bloggers in person, as well as meet the people behind the technology you use.
It’s me with (from left to right) Cindy King, Naomi Trower, Lewis Howes, and Farnoosh Brock.
I started out the conference with a Thursday morning breakfast with some members of the Third Tribe including Lisa Johnson, Shane of TC Geeks, Derek Featherstone of Box of Chocolates, Wendy Cholbi, and Pace of Connection Revolution. Then, later that evening, I went to the Mallbar Slushie meetup where I actually ended up meeting some Phoenix locals for the first time, including Rosanne Higgins of SPIES as well as Chris Bird and Matt Simpson of Bulbstorm.
Friday morning was the Social Media Examiner breakfast, where I got to talk to a variety of people on the SME team including Mike Stelzner, Cindy, Naomi, Elijah, Stephanie, Are, Mike Stenger, and Tim. What was super amazing, beyond the conversation, was getting everyone together for one big group photo, which took just a few minutes.
From the Social Media Examiner fan page.
Later that afternoon, I caught up with Naomi and Elijah for lunch with Amy and one other person who, I’m sorry, but I can’t find the card for them – would love to know who it was. I also got additional Meet Meme cards (I still have beta invites) from Jonathan (who can beat on-site delivery)? While wandering the exhibit hall, I was photographed by Shashi Bellamkonda. And that evening’s MashBash was more party than networking, although I did meet another Phoenician, Bart, also from Bulbstorm, and briefly bumped into Murray Newlands. That night ended with the liberation of walking barefoot out of Aria to the cab, then through the Luxor back to my room.
Saturday was the final day, yet still a fun one. Going to lunch was like a snowball going down the mountain. It started with Mark Thompson and I, and we ran into Sid Savara along the way. By the time we made it to Raffels Cafe, we had a group of over 10 people. I enjoyed meeting and talking to Brian, Thursday, Megan, Mig, and Vik. I got to meet Annabel from Get in the HotSpot, someone I had been trying to track down and ended up two seats away from me. I had the lengthiest discussion with Srinivas of BlogCastFM. They had contacted me a long time ago about doing an interview, and after our chat during lunch which covered everything from GoDaddy, producitivty, and conquering my fear of being recorded, I feel much better about doing that interview than I did several months ago.
After lunch, I had two more people that I had to meet before leaving. We had essentially been playing phone tag, except in person, throughout the conference. So an hour before my flight was ready to leave, I hovered in one spot by the book signing area where people could find me. Here, I managed to finally have a chat with Mark about a project we’ll be working on for the upcoming future. (Begin hype about awesomeness here.)
While waiting for my last two meetups, I had a good conversation with Ric Dragon. Then Farnoosh from Prolific Living came over. She has a positive energy that just will make you feel inspired to do just about anything, including possibly speak at the next Blog World. Finally Neal Schaffer came by and we had a nice chat before I headed off to the airport. Then, last but not least, I got to share a cab to the airport with Amber Smigiel who does social media for the Peace Corps. I got to do my patriotic duty of the day by saving the government $8 in transportation costs.
All of the people I met with, as well as favorite speakers from various sessions in my BWE10 Twitter List. If I met you but missed adding you, please let me know – I’d love to keep up with my new contacts!
Blog World Recaps
This is only the tip of the iceberg, but here are some recap posts from Blog World.
- Blog World series: the inspiration in 76 quotes by Farnoosh Brock.
- Was Blog World worth it? by Chris Guthrie
- Top 10 takeaways from Blog World Part 1 and Part 2 by Amy Schmittauer
- What is the ROI of… by Sid Savara
- Blog World Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 recap by Lisa Barone.
- 10 simple ideas from Blog World Expo by Are Morch.
- Blog World 2010: Great Time by Mike Stenger
- How not to be a jerk at Blog World Expo by Naomi Trower
- Blog World Day 1 and Day 2 recap by Ric Dragon.
- How to create your Blog World Follow Up Action Plan by Srinivas Rao.
- Post Blog World Brain Dump and Wrap Up by David Risley.
Photos, Videos, and More
Last, but not least, there is a collection of links, tweets, photos, and other Blog World related stats on the Blog World 2010 EventBurn page. If you missed the keynote sessions, they are up on Blog World’s USTREAM account. Also, check out all of the photos on Plixi Kodak Live, the bwe10 hashalbum, and on Flickr in the following sets:
- My favorite shots from Blog World on Flickr and Facebook.
- Blog World Expo 2010 set from Blog World‘s photostream.
- Blog World Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, MashBash, TechSet, and UnMarketing Tweetup sets from Kenneth Yeung‘s photostream.
- Blogworld 2010 – Las Vegas set from Kris Krug‘s photostream.
- Blog World 2010 from Shashi Bellamkonda‘s photostream.
- Blog World Expo 2010 from hoda007‘s photostream.
- Photos tagged #bwe10.
Your Blog World Experience
Were you at Blog World Expo last week? What were your key takeaways, best moments, etc.? And if you have done a review that I haven’t listed, please share it and I’ll add it to the list!