Last week marked the second annual BlogWorld and New Media expo in New York City as bloggers, podcasters and communicators gathered from across the globe.
While it’s impossible to convey the depth and breadth of the content covered across the three days of forums, presentations and keynote addresses, I wanted to share some takeaways from just a few of the sessions I had the opportunity to attend.
I hope these takeaways prove helpful in your blogging, business and social media endeavours.
1. Optimise – Lee Odden
When we think optimisation, many of us immediately think of SEO. While SEO is a core component of optimisation, Lee encouraged attendees to think of optimisation as a strategic state of mind to be applied to content marketing in a holistic fashion. That is, understanding your customers and their problems and solutions to strategically plan and implement content for each stage of the buying cycle.
To find out more, you can check out Lee’s new book ‘OPTIMIZE’ here.
2. Blogging Mistakes to Avoid – Marcus Sheridan (aka The Sales Lion)
I’d heard a lot about Marcus Sheridan prior to this conference – and his presentation and thoughts didn’t disappoint. Among the biggest blogging mistakes Marcus encouraged the audience to avoid were: failing to think like your customer/consumer, lack of focus on the key metrics for your brand and business, being afraid to take on the big players, focusing on bragging (as opposed to blogging), favouring witty titles over those that are SEO friendly, using ‘lack of time’ as an excuse, failing to see employees as content producers, and not embracing content as a sales tool.
I also recommend watching Marcus’ story here, where he also offers a free inbound marketing ebook with over 200 pages of practical advice.
3. Three Steps to Great Content – Corbett Barr
At the heart of Corbett’s presentation were these three steps to produce killer content:
- Cultivate creativity,
- Experiment, and
- Remix popular content.
That is, keep doing the work of blogging and embracing your creative side (it often takes years).
Challenge yourself every day to produce different forms of content and learn from others to utilise and work with content forms that resonate with your audience.
To use Corbett’s metaphor of the cinema box office, we all now have the opportunity to create Little Miss Sunshine – a small budget film that, through killer content, took all the big players by surprise at the box office.
Try to map out and experiment with content that will make you the Little Miss Sunshine of your industry.
4. Chris Brogan
Chris’ first practical piece of advice was that blogging is a marathon – learn how to pen your thoughts in short and sharp bursts to maintain focus and manage your blogging time among all your work and life commitments.
Channel your passion and be sure to practice, practice, practice. As Chris said, “practice replaces talent” – and practice is the reward for all your ongoing efforts.
Through all of that, never forget to connect with others and draw them back to you, and try hard to be brave.
It takes a lot to put yourself out there as an individual and/or business – be brave every day.
There were some great tips out of this panel discussion, including:
- Always consider what is helpful and remarkable for your consumers, and what will help them and encourage engagement and discussion,
- Look at your community as a cohesive whole,
- Show your personality,
- Content may be King, but trust is the Emperor for online communities,
- Utilise user-generated content – UGC is a sleeping giant with incredible monetisation and revenue potential,
- Find the media that works best for your community and speak to them there in their language,
- Build a database,
- Blog and engage consistently,
- Be prepared to fail – it’s how you truly grow and progress,
- Measure and understand the topics that resonate with your community,
- Never forget to measure and refine your content and engagement. As the panel said – “Wash, rinse, repeat.”
Four points to consider about the future of content creation from this session:
- Social content will largely replace advertising on the web,
- Long form content is making, and will continue to make a comeback,
- Brands will dominate online publishing, and
- Freelance creatives and in-house Chief Content Officers will come to the fore as content marketing continues to evolve.
7. A World Gone Mobile – Chuck Martin
The key takeaway from Chuck’s presentation is that brands need to tailor concise communication for mobile.
Current exponential growth in mobile and smart-phone adoption is greater than the initial growth of the internet – with mobile technologies evolving to become increasingly consumer centric.
However, while brands need to understand and keep up to date with consumer behaviour across the third screen – the real value is in the content, not the technology.
That is, the technology is only as useful as the content that is able to break through the noise of the mobile space. Oh, and one thing Chuck made clear – an app is not a mobile strategy.
If you’d like to read more of Chuck’s work you can check out and purchase his book here.
8. Four Steps to Editing Your Writing – Ali Luke
Ali presented a practical four-step framework for editing your writing – be it a tweet, blog post, white paper or book.
- Read and re-read your work during the writing process,
- Edit at the macro level to maintain focus on the ‘big picture’ or theme of your piece,
- Change focus to line edit at the micro level – maintaining consistency and a clear voice, and
- Format. Use images, audio, shades, block text, indents and bullet points to break up and add variety and white space to your work.
9. Must-dos for the Serious Blogger – Jay Baer
One of my favourite blogs is Jay Baer’s Convice & Convert. At BlogWorld, Jay gave the audience a behind-the-scenes overview of the stages of evolution the blog has gone through over the years to get to where it is now, and offered these golden pieces of advice to step-up your blogging:
- Be patient,
- Be somebody’s favourite blog,
- You are a publisher – add value to your audience and have something to say,
- Embrace variety in the content you create, curate and share,
- Be a YOUtility in striving to help others,
- Include calls to action,
- Measure behaviour, and
- Be shareable.
What do you think?
Did you have the opportunity to attend BlogWorld? What did you take away from the conference?
Did any of the thoughts from the above sessions resonate with your current personal or business activities?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.