Your 2013 Panel Descriptions

Stop Thinking Like a Blogger and Think Like a Business! 

This session focuses on:

Inspiring bloggers to think bigger.

  • Breaking down misconceptions about turning your blog into a business
  • Drawing contrast between how most bloggers think vs. how successful business owners think
  • Providing action Items on how bloggers in attendance can create more customers and make more money

Online Energy, Offline Synergy: How Creating Content Online Can Create Financial Opportunities Offline

This panel will discuss ways in which your blog can generate opportunities that are profitable outside of the traditional ad revenue model. So many people go into blogging thinking once they get a loyal following the advertisers will come a ʻknocking. Iʼm one of those bloggers and I still havenʼt made more than $25 through advertising on my blog and Iʼve been blogging regularly for over 5 years and get almost 10,000 hits a month. I have, however, as a direct result of the content on my blog, been able to secure a number of deals offline which have been quite substantive including speaking engagements, magazine features, and a great social media consulting gig for a major NYC museum. Blogging isnʼt all about the ad dollars as a matter of fact Jodie and I will

tell you that itʼs not really about the ad dollars at all. Itʼs about flipping your online presence to make money off line in other creative synergistic mediums.

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. If you don't have advertising on your blog can your blog still be a profitable platform?

2. What kinds of professional opportunities can a blog create for a blogger?

3. What are the three things your blog/ social media platform needs in order to turn data into dollars?

4. How do you use your blog's popularity and buzz to secure deals with magazine editors, consumers, book publishers, etc? What do these deals look like?

5. What's the key to making YouTube videos that go viral and create sales for


When Keeping It Real Goes Real Wrong!

Imagine a place where creative thought trumps law and your ability to have an opinion supersedes that of precedence and slander. Sounds like an amazing world, huh? The fact is, it doesn't exist, and sometimes bloggers end up on the short end of stick.

Enter, lawyer. A lawyer that has built a platform on education creative thinkers and brands on how to maintain integrity, produce authentic opinion and to protect themselves. The reality of it is, laws are changing. The "win/loose" , "right/wrong", "I say what I want to say" era is out the door and bloggers need to arm themselves on what it takes to make it in this business, and to win.

In one session we will get to the root of it all - no fluff here. We will discuss lawsuits, deformation, protecting your content, and more. No question will be to raw and I will give you the tips the clients usually pay for.

The reality of it is, a candid conversation with an informed lawyer can mean the difference between suing and being sued. Blogging is a business and businesses create brands. It's the steps that you take today that can leave you to focus on what you're meant to do - and that's blogging. So let me help you get back to focusing on what matters. After all, you know what they say in the blogger world.. "You're only as good as your last post".

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. What is defamation, what does it have to do with blogging and why even I need to fact check?

2. What's the 411 on endorsements and product reviews and what will definitely get you sued?

3. Why protecting content is important and why other people can sometimes steal your stuff?

4. Why the fine print matters and what the advertiser doesn't want to tell you, but I will.

5. How your big mouth can get you in trouble if you are not careful?

Beyond Facebook & Twitter: Using Google Plus, Pinterest and Instagram to maximize pageviews & ad sales

Many bloggers, small businesses and new websites are nervous about exploring new social media platforms. Many will place a Facebook or Twitter account link on their sites and engage audiences and customers that way only. However, there is more benefits in being a "first adopter" in other platforms that are widely becoming more popular: Pinterest, Google Plus and Instagram.

The benefits of doing so is they become the first in their area or market to establish a brand presence and until the larger outfits come aboard (after going up the ladder for approval).

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. What are the benefits and negatives of each of these platforms?

2. Who are doing good jobs and what are they doing? Can your site replicate that model?

3. What are the time constraints involved with adding more social media platforms to your already strained plate?

4. Can I have a step by step primer on how to incorporate these new platforms?

5. Do these platforms reach different markets or audiences than are on Facebook or Twitter?

Blogging for the love of the blog

1.) Strategies for staying motivated to blog regularly or in the face of criticism from family, friends, colleagues that blogging that doesnʼt generate income is a waste of time.

Hint: The first (and only) person you have to convince that blogging is worthwhile is yourself.

2.) Tips for blogging for the love of it that can lead to compensation and to other social and traditional media opportunities.

3.) Tips for finding your tribe of like-minded bloggers and readers, to form a support network, not an echo chamber.

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. What is the difference (is there a difference) between a writer, a blogger and an author?

2. What do I do if no one is reading my blog? How do I stay motivated?

3. How do I stay true to the initial intent of my blog when only certain topics are popular?

4. What should I (or even should I) advertise on my blog?

5. How do I build a community of faithful readers?

Security, Privacy and Safety Tips for your Wordpress Blog

This presentation will discuss basic security configurations and setting Wordpress bloggers should implement to ensure the security, privacy and safety of their blog site using Wordpress. The discuss will discuss the common attacks and how to protect and recover from them. Lastly, a discuss on tools and plug-in to help protect your blog will be conducted. To conclude with an open discussion. 

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1.The nature of Wordpress and why it is vulnerable to attacks?

2.What configurations you can use to secure your Wordpress blog?

3.What plug-ins you can use to secure your Wordpress blog?

4.The results of being hacked?

5.Where to get help if this goes really bad?

10 Ways to Turn Your Blog Writing from Basic to Brilliant

Starting a blog is free and easy. Itʼs a terrific venue for someone with a passion or a strong expertise or something important to say. But put all that together and you still donʼt have a great blog until youʼre producing stellar, compelling blog posts—posts that captivate people and make them followers. A lot of people have the passion, the expertise, the “something important” part down.

Theyʼve got terrific information to share, but the product theyʼre producing isnʼt going to get picked up for season two, if you will. This quick session, taught by a former Essence editor turned journalism professor—will give you easy-to-remember, easy-touse pointers for making your writing more polished, more compelling, more real. Great content is still the best way to impress potential funders, excite advertisers and keep our readers coming back.

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. How can I make the writing sound like me—and appeal to my followers?

2. How can I make my blog posts (including video scripts, sound bites) sound more polished?

3. How can I keep posts tight, but full of good info?

4. How can I structure my posts for ease of search and navigation?

5. How can I find something relevant to say post after post?

Ten Easy Steps to HackproofʻYour Wordpress Installation and Backup Your Siteʼ

When your WordPress blog has been hacked you feel helpless, violated and defeated. Become empowered by preparing yourself before it happens. This session will educate you on 10 easy ways to prevent being hacked, offer steps to get your site back online if you have already been hacked and teach you how to backup your website (server files and database) to a secure location.

Note: Although this can be done in 15 min I would really prefer 30 min [20 min for discussion and 10 min for Q&A].

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. Have you been hacked? How to recognize the signs. Inform visitors on the common types of ways WordPress blogs get hacked and show examples.

2. Who to contact after you have been hacked? Give them the first steps of how to get your blog back online and who to contact first.

3. Ten steps to prevent being hacked, which include an introduction of free and paid plugins/services that help monitor your website.

4. How to install and understand Google Webmaster tools.

5. How to setup backup your site weekly via Dropbox

Bonus: How to remove and prevent spam commenters on your blog.

Starting a Business While Working Full-time

So many people want to branch out into the world of entrepreneurship, but have to work full-time. This presentation will show you the most effective way to launch a business while having a career.

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. What kind of business should I launch?

2. What are the first steps I need to take to establish the business

3. How do I manage both my full-time job and my new business

4. How do I launch and promote my new venture

5. The role of social media in your business

Cross-border Conundrums: Being An International Black Blogger

As a Black Canadian blogger, I feel that it would be important to highlight the particular issues that international Black bloggers face. Differing acceptances and expressions of race and ethnicity, varying populations of Black readers, intricacies of working with brands and bloggers based in the US, and engaging readers that may not be located in your home country are all areas that I have found to be quite interesting/challenging as a Black blogger. For instance, I have learned to navigate engaging my readers who are primarily American, even though I am based in Toronto. Also, working with brands based in the US has required me to utilize different tactics than American bloggers may

use. Though this is a particular niche, I feel it is worthwhile to highlight these things in order to facilitate better communication with Black American bloggers and brands, and also to show what Black bloggers outside of the US are doing and experiencing. I would be speaking from a primarily Black Canadian perspective, but would include perspectives of other international hubs as well.

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. What are the challenges of being a non-American Black blogger?

2. How can international Black bloggers engage readers that may not be based in their

home country? How can they engage more readers in their home country?

3. How can (or should) international bloggers work with American brands?

4. How do varying differences in race relations affect non-American Black bloggers?

5. How can American and non-American Black bloggers work together?

Keep it Movinʼ : Mobilizing Your Blog and Your Brand

In our age of instant access to information via smartphones and tablets, a blogger looking to expand his/her reach should be ensure that their content looks good on a mobile device. Our session will first help bloggers understand why it's important to have a mobile-friendly blog and how to accomplish this task - no coding involved. Not only should people be able to connect to your blog wherever they go, but they should be able to connect with your brand wherever you are and wherever attributes of your brand are. We will then ensure that once your blog is mobilized, you understand how to create doorways for your brand to walk through. 

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. Why your blog should be mobile-friendly?

2. What are the best ways to make your blog mobile-friendly?

3 .How to monetize your mobile-friendly blog

4. How to translate “you” into your blogʼs brand, wherever you go

5. How to turn your brand equity into a “leash”

Turning your brand up to 11 with a Podcast

Scott Hanselman and Luvvie Ajayi are two very different bloggers with two very different voices. However, they've each extended their voices beyond their blog with the addition of their joint podcast "RatchetAndTheGeek." We'll talk about all the tools you'll need to start a podcast. What kinds of mics, were to host, how to edit, finding a jingle, copyright issues, getting in iTunes, things to remember, promoting your podcast and more! Later, join Luvvie and Scott has they record an episode LIVE then edit, produce and post the show while you ask question!

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. Is starting a podcast hard? Expensive?

2. How can a podcast expand my brand?

3. Where do I promote my podcast?

4. What equipment do I need?

5. Does sound quality matter?

Diversity: Unpacking the Supply and Demand Side of Diversity

I have a mantra about diversity: If you want to achieve your work force, speaking roster, audience, etc., you need to:

1. Value it

2. Prioritize it

3. Ask for help to achieve it

Be the Demand.

But the other side of this equation is for all of us who represent diversity. We need to:

1. Value our worth so much that the word token becomes meaningless

2. Prioritize being the change so much that we put ourselves out there. Over and over.

3. Offer bringing others along with us, or recommending others in our place.

BlogHer sets measurable goals for diversity, and the truth is that it's *not that hard*. So let's talk about the decidedly *not* rocket science of getting more diverse perspectives.

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. What is the data about the value of diverse perspectives?

2. What are some of the common excuses for lack of diversity, and why are they mythical?

3. What is BlogHer's methodology to find and secure diverse talent for its initiatives?

4. What should you do if you're given an opportunity because you will bring diversity to the table?

5. Why is it as important to feature "new" voices as it is "diverse" voices?

Blogging For Your Organizational Voice

Members in any communications department work behind the scenes to uplift the voices of leadership on organizational priorities and agendas. This panel will address how to work behind the scenes of the blogosphere and manage organizational, individual voices and levels of influence for social change.

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. What is your role as message controller and content creator on a traditional communications team?

2. How can you use the blogosphere to open a dialogue on political and social issues impacting readers through another person's voice?

3. How can you use traditional communications strategy and digital media best practices to uplift issues specific to your organizations agenda?

4. Pitching, how can you establish relationships outside of your branded tools?

6. Words or images? When is it appropriate to use or pitch videos, images, infographics or commentary?

BlogGot a Blog? Protect Your Brand in Cyberspace.

While blogging for business it is particularly important that bloggers understand intellectual property: how to protect their rights, how to avoid infringement on the rights of others and, and how to use intellectual property to monetize their brand online. 

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. How do I use social media to maximize exposure for my blog while minimizing the risk of infringement?

2. How do I monitor my brand online? 

3.Someone stole my ish! How does the law protect me and what are the steps that I should take?

4. What are my copyright protections? Poor man's it true?

5.How can I use intellectual property to build my blogging business?

Crowdfunding your Creative Project: Advice From 3 Kick-Ass Women On Using Kickstarter

In this no holds barred presentation, Kiratiana, Kaneisha, and Evita, who raised $5000, $11,000, and $15,000 respectively on Kickstarter, will provide candid advice and secrets for success for crowdfunding the money you need to bring your masterpiece to the masses, be it a book, a web series, or a cross-country tour. The bloggers will share their best advice and lessons learned using Kickstarter, the hottest tribe-activating tool available to creators with something to share.

5 Questions This Session Will Answer:

1. What are the pros and cons to using Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo?

2. How do I know how much money to aim for?

3. How do I get the word out about my campaign besides tweeting and posting to Facebook?

4. How do I get my campaign to go viral (meaning how do I get people I don't know personally to contribute)?

5. How much is setting up and running a crowdfunding campaign going to cost me in terms of time and money?

6. What are some pitfalls I need to watch out for with fulfillment of rewards?

7. How do I choose the reward levels and what to give away?

Professional Blogging Opportunities, powered by BlogHer: What you need to know to make the most of your blog.

There is more than one way to monetize your blog and your overall social influence. BlogHer is a publishing network, and digital advertising may be the most easily understood aspect of what we do, but the blog monetization space has changed radically since BlogHer launched in 2005. Today bloggers in our network are not just running ads. They're monetizing their influence on social tools. They're creating syndicated editorial and advertorial (aka "native advertising"). They're landing blog ambassadorships and forging ongoing relationships with brands they love. They're getting a cut of the sales that are made because of their influence. We'll talk about the full breadth of monetization opportunities that are available to bloggers, and we'll give you the inside scoop on the key professional skills and habits that will bubble you to the top of the list when brands and networks choose with whom they want to work.