Every year, the Blogworld Expo takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It’s the largest blogging conference in the world and includes more than 50 panels, seminars and keynotes featuring social media’s brightest personalities. Topics range from how to sell more advertising on your blog to taking smart risks with your online personality.
Last weekend, I attended the expo along with fellow blogger Gala Darling and we both soaked up tons of valuable information.
Absorbing the blogging sights and sounds with Gala
Below, I’ll detail everything you need to know about the convention and why you should consider going next year!
WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND A CONFERENCE DEDICATED TO SOCIAL MEDIA?
Blogging has grown into much more than an idle hobby. It’s a way of life and a viable way to make a living. According to Blogworld’s stats:
* Over 12 million American adults maintain blogs (and more than 57 million read them).
* 22 of the world’s 100 most popular websites are blogs.
* There are over 1.4 million new blog posts every day.
* 1.7 million American adults list making money as one of the reasons they blog.
* Over 120,000 new blogs are created every day.
MY THREE FAVORITE CLASSES AT THE CONFERENCE: WHAT I LEARNED
1. Beyond Blogging
With social media, marketing is essential. Unfortunately, everyone thinks they can perform marketing tasks well with no training.
Transparency can be difficult for corporations dabbling in social media because as they get larger, they don’t necessarily know who they are any longer. The overall vision (and truthfulness) can get lost in a sea of PR and marketing teams trying to craft a visibly perfect image. Successful bloggers within corporations are authentic, passionate and know what they’re talking about.
2. Taking Smart Risks with Your Online Personality
There’s a difference between pure risk and smart risk online. Smart risk is about having a plan. There are many great things that can come out of showcasing your personality and letting people know who you are. Think about how you want your intentions to play out in the long run and develop a corresponding plan.
A very finite number of negative outcomes can arise when you put yourself out there (on the internet) and most of them can be controlled. In contrast, there’s an infinite number of great possibilities that can happen and they usually outweigh the bad. Examples include job leads, networking and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Remember, it’s up to us as our own personal brand managers to control our image. Be aware, consider the persona you’re projecting and your reactions / responses. The residue can last forever. Figure out what your boundaries are and give some consideration to your personal image before you step out publicly.
3. Opening Keynote
Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park had some really inspiring, basic advice during the keynote.
First of all, it’s important to give fans a brand that’s consistent with what you’ve promised them.
Secondly, you don’t want to fight the battle of competing with everyone else. Don’t be an asshole. You’ll meet everyone on the way down that you met on the way up. Being nice isn’t the same thing as being passive. Being cordial and direct and assertive doesn’t cost you any extra time and pays off.
Timothy advised us to “talk to your readers the way you’d talk to your friends after two drinks.” Cut out the nonsense and show them what they want to hear. Don’t avoid offending people; it comes across as fake.
He also related that It doesn’t matter how many times you’re rejected or how many people don’t get what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s about how many do.
IS THE BLOGWORLD EXPO RIGHT FOR YOU?
If you’re serious about blogging, either as an individual or for the company you’re employed by, Blogworld is for you. With up to seven seminars to choose from a few times each day, there’s a huge variety of topics on varying levels ranging from introductory to professional.
Meeting Steve Pavlina!
Beyond receiving the opportunity to learn everything there is to know about blogging, Blogworld is a fantastic place to network! Gala and I were able to meet Timothy Ferriss (totally approachable), Steve Pavlina (he’s hugely inspiring and even showed his raw food stash of snacks to us!), Darren Rowse (Gala and him are friends) and we came very close to meeting Guy Kawasaki on a few occasions (next year, perhaps?!)
Blogworld gave us the platform to meet some of our heros up-close and personal and to ask them questions. The insight I gained from these brief but powerful meetings was worth the trip alone.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
1. The convention hours are early (9 a.m. on average), so unless you’re a ‘morning person,’ staying out all night and partying on convention days is not recommended!
2. The cost ($400.00 for an all-access pass) is only worth it if you stick to a pre-planned, class-packed schedule. If you plan on taking extended breaks to nurse your hangover, don’t bother attending.
3. The food options at the convention center are exorbitant and not very tasty. Gala paid about $8.00 for a lackluster sandwich and our Starbucks orders had a burnt aftertaste. Plan ahead and bring tons of snacks (like Steve did)!
4. Sign up for a Twitter account in advance. It’s the preferred way of communicating at the convention. (See the live Blogworld 08 Twitter feed here).
Are any of you planning on attending the Blogworld Expo next year?