Keynote: Blog, Build, Sell: How to Turn Page Views into Dollar Signs, Presented by Arsha Jones

We are so proud to announce our 2016 Entrepreneurship Keynote. She's a multi-time Blogging While Brown speaker and a serial online entrepreneur. She knows what she's doing! 

About the Session

For many people, blogging is their gateway into entrepreneurship. As the industry continues to evolve, however, it’s time to start thinking beyond the blog as the sole strategy for building a profitable business. Driven by the personal experience of Arsha Jones, founder of For the Creatives, LLC, this presentation will give you the tools you need to turn your page views into dollar signs with e-commerce.

Specifically, attendees will learn how to leverage their blogs into bigger opportunities, better serve their built-in audiences by creating tangible products, and tips on how to make the transition into e-commerce a seamless one that fits their brand.

About Arsha Jones

Arsha Jones is a creative soul with a penchant for marketing, sales, technology, social media, and popular culture. An emerging leader in the e-commerce industry, she has built multiple, highly profitable brands, one of which has seen revenues approaching nearly a quarter of a million dollars in less than two years.

Known for her quiet demeanor and business prowess, Arsha’s brands have been featured in or on media outlets such as Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, Black Enterprise, FOX, CBS, and TV One. Her website, is where she endeavors to teach others how to turn their passions into profit with physical products. When not building her e-commerce empire, you can find Arsha spending time with her husband and children, enjoying a juicy nap or delicious bowl of ice cream.

AT&T Inspired Mobility: Enabling good. Activating Everywhere


AT&T has teamed with faith and mobility expert Jason Caston to host a casual session to discuss how people are using mobility to inspire themselves, others and the masses.  As an evolution of the #InspiredMobility conversation, we'll take a look at how mobile technology is enabling people to connect with positive content that can enrich lives.  Ever been accused of "not being present," checking work e-mails or playing games on your device, when you were actually engaged in something more positive and enriching? AT&T invites conference attendees to join in this open discussion about how positive and inspirational interactions are happening more often than you think.  This conversation is for everyone, so pick up your device for a change and join us.

Moderators: Jason Caston (iChurch Method) and L. Michelle Smith (AT&T)

Writing Your First Book Presented by Stefanie Newell

Time: Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 3:30pm

Like most writers, you may find yourself stuck before you even begin setting pen to paper, simply because you don’t have any idea the steps to write a book.

This session will help you to bring your book idea to fruition. If you aren’t sure what to give thought to first, the Writing Your First Book session will take away the guesswork and provide all the essential steps to write a book. From the writing process to choosing a publishing route, your writing and publishing related questions will be answered.

Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, this session is designed to help you begin your manuscript and complete it! It will walk writers through the first year of writing including: the dreaded procrastination, never having time, fleshing out ideas, writing the first words, writers block, and more!

You will learn:

  • How to get started writing
  • How to outline your manuscript
  • How to make time for writing
  • How to cater to your target audience
  • Manuscript formatting
  • Choosing between self-publishing and traditional publishing
  • The basics of editing your first draft and more!

Video Livestreaming to Leverage Your Business Presented by Monique Johnson

Time: Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 2:15pm

Are you looking for unique ways to connect with your audience through video? Are you overwhelmed by all of the livestreaming apps and do not know which one to use?

Join Monique Johnson for a presentation on efficiency and productivity through livestreaming tools and YouTube. When made well, videos have the power to engage an audience, showcase a product, describe a concept and generate a call to action.

Learn how to create blog content of over 500 words (without writing a single word) in less than 3 minutes with livestreaming tools: Snapchat, Periscope, Blab, and Facebook LIVE.

Learn how to create a content system for your videos that will guarantee engagement and your audience taking action.

This is blueprint to kill it in 2016 with video and it all can be done through the most powerful device that you carry with you every single day: your mobile device.



Productivity Tools You Need to Soar on Social Media presented by Cari Rene

Session Time: Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 2:15pm

We will dissect the science of social media as bloggers are introduced to a number of productivity tools they can use to help increase and enhance their social media platforms. Many bloggers are unaware of the online resources available right at their fingertips to ensure the most engaging experience for their audience. In this session I will also reveal my personal practices for creating a consistent and intriguing social media experience that attracts over one thousand organic followers a month.

Questions this Session Will Answer:

  1. What are the top 5 productivity tools every blogger should have one their devices?
  2. How should bloggers use the tools to ensure the most effective and engaging experience for their social media audience?
  3. Why creating a highly visually appealing and consistent social media platform is critical to increase the success of our blogs?

Smarter Reporting presented by Davina "Dayvee" Sutton

Session Time: Sunday, July 17, 2016

The landscape of content creation is changing moment by moment. This workshop is led by two-time Emmy Award winning journalist Dayvee Sutton, whose content reaches over 75 million unique viewers each month on all of her platforms. Dayvee will walk you through the latest trends and developments in digital media and walk you through the steps to start your own brand building platforms, and how to extend your reach by contributing to other outlets. Dayvee will also share the secrets of building a professional mobile digital photojournalism kit.

Questions this Session Will Answer:

1. What’s now, what’s new & what’s the future for digital content creators
2. How to position yourself for success in an already flooded & comparative market
3. How to turn your smartphone into a professional multimedia tool
4. Basic apps you need for digital photography, videography, interviews and social media management
5. Accessories are the key - detailed list of recommended gear to complete your mobile digital kit & it can all be done for under $200!

5 Steps to Explode your Instagram & Facebook Audience Presented by Kristy McCarley

Session Time: Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 1:00pm

This session will explore marketing techniques and strategy for Facebook and Instagram.  Attendees will learn how to grow their followers with just a few clicks and east, low-stress tips for managing your social media pages.

Questions this Session will Answer:

  1. Beyond Boosts - How can I use Facebook ads to drive traffic to my blog?
  2. What are the elements of a good photo on Instagram?
  3. What's the best ways to use images & video to grow my Facebook and Instagram following?

Engaging Audiences, while Increasing Content Monetization Presented by Carlos Nai

Session Time: Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 11:00am

With 10 million+ online publications including blogs and corporate spin sites competing for space, how do you keep your audience engaged long enough to monetize your content? The challenges content creators face are complex but through effective application tools, success can be had! Learn from Google Publishers on how best to monetize your content, keep your audiences happy, and stay relevant with the ever-changing tech landscape.

Questions this Session Will Answer:

  1. How can bloggers best monetize their content?
  2. How can bloggers keep their audience engaged?
  3. What Google Publisher tools and resources can bloggers for success?

Session: Think Small, Create Big in 30 Minutes presented by Alexzandria Cormier-Hill

Session Time: Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 11:00am

In the "Think Small, Create Big in 30 Minutes" session, I will teach bloggers how to cultivate numerous concepts for their blog entries in a short amount of time. Two of the main killers of successful blogs (outside of time management), is not knowing what to write about and failing to strategize. In this workshop, BWB attendees will learn how to break down huge blogging themes and concepts into a number of smaller, practical and engaging topics. Attendees will also be able to identify when the topics should be distributed, in what medium they should be presented in and how they can plan for the most optimal audience readership and response.

Questions this Session will Answer:

1) How can I brainstorm ideas when I have the most intense writer's block?
2) What are some creative & strategic ways I can form content that resonates with my audience?
3) What are a few strategic ways I can calendar out my blog entries and campaigns that will give me the readership I desire?


Storytelling - PIVOT: How to Successfully Rebrand Your Blog Presented by Vashti Patrick Joseph

Session Time: Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 9:15am

As bloggers (and business owners) growth is inevitable. Sometimes this growth means switching our blog's focus/rebranding and introducing new content. This can be a scary and nerve racking experience because we fear having to start from scratch, losing our audience, and often wonder how we're going to make the transition as seamless as possible.

This session will teach attendees how to successfully pivot by sharing my experiences from rebranding my blog, AND introducing new content to a previously niche audience. While losing some of your audience is inevitable with this type of change, I was able to successfully make the switch each time while retaining the majority of my audience.

Questions this Session Will Answer:

* What you MUST do prior to rebranding
* Steps you can take to include your present audience in the change process
*How to engage with your new audience
* How to handle the technical aspects of rebranding (changing URLS, Redirecting your traffic etc)

Storytelling: How Blogging Transformed My Life presented by Linal Harris

Session Time: Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 4:45pm

In the session I would share my personal story of starting my blog back in 2011 as an uninspired global executive.

I committed to blogging once a matter what.

Despite many obstacles I kept that commitment through 2015.

As a result, I grew my blog to global proportions with readers and visitors from all over the world.

I secured my own radio show.

I received a promotion to VP, Chief Diversity Officer of my company, largely because the CEO noticed my blog which led to us building a relationship.

I was introduced to life coaching through one of my readers, resulting in me becoming a certified ontological life coach.

I left my job and started my own company.

Simply put...blogging changed my life.

I would share the story above along with the lessons I learned about consistency, persistence and being prepared for opportunity.

Questions this Session will Answer:

1. How to confront your fears about blogging.

2. What it takes to build and create successful blog.

3. How to leverage your blog for professional and business opportunities.

Learn from My Mistakes: What I Wish I Knew Before I Started a Blog Presented by Ebony Ajima Maddox

Session Time: Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 3:30pm

It all sounds so easy, right. All you need is a domain name, a hosting account with WordPress installed and every social media account known to man, and you are all set, right? No. Things can get really difficult and complicated really quick. From money problems and email management issues to sick days and navigating trendy new tools, there are so many factors that can impact the success of your blog. In this session, I will share some of the major lessons that I've learned through the ups and downs of running a blog.

Questions this Session Will Answer:

  1. Why do you need to treat your blog like a business from the start and not a hobby?
  2. What if you don't want to be the face of your "brand"?
  3. Why you should choose a niche that you are really passionate about?
  4. How much more expensive can blogging be than you think?
  5. Wearing all the hats: What skills do you need other than writing and editing?
  6. How do you decide what new trends and tools are for you and which ones aren't right for your blog?
  7. How important is a customer service plan, including email management, from the start?
  8. What do you do when your blog's income falls off all of a sudden?
  9. What do you do when you are faced with a major health/family crisis but you have a thriving blog?
  10. What are my top 3 tips to consider before moving to full time blogging?

Ebony Ajima Maddox runs Black Women Losing Weight, a thriving community focused on making a positive impact on the health of black women. With over 14 years of experience in communications and web strategy, she believes in using the power of the web for good. The left side of her brain is a skilled internet marketer, web developer, and content curator while the right side loves to sing soul music and study eastern philosophy. She’s a proud mom and Howard University grad. You will find her blogging and celebrating success stories daily at

Sponsored Content 101: How Publishers & Brands Can Get Sponsored Content Right Presented by Ty Alexander

Time: Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 2:15pm

The potential success of sponsored content rests solely on the opportunity to connect with consumer. In this panel discussion industry expert, Ty Alexander will breakdown how storytelling has become the matriarch behind her wildly popular blog that she’s managed to monetize through sponsored posts.

Questions this Session will Answer:

  • The tops three things publishers and brand do that make sponsored content fail
  • What makes a good storyteller
  • How to promote sponsored content

Mobile UX for Bloggers Presented by Naya Scarbrough

Time: Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 2:15pm

Your blog content is being viewed on mobile devices. How does your site look to your mobile audience? This session will help bloggers capitalize on the opportunity to use their brands to build their audiences' trust through creating a delightful mobile experience.

Questions this session will answer:

  1. What is responsive web design?
  2. Why do I need to care and what will it do for my blog?
  3. How can I use my brand to lead the development of a delightful user experience?
  4. What are some tools I can use to test my mobile) user experience?

Session: Don't Get Got! Simple and Effective Ways to Keep Your Web Presence Secure Presented by Ann Daramola

Time: Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 1:00pm

When your site is down because of a hack, your brand is down, too. You're not just losing money every second your web presence is compromised by some bored teenager in a basement somewhere, you're losing credibility, too. Learn the 3 preventative measures you must take to keep your site secure, what to do if your site does get hacked, and a hack or two of your own at this workshop.

Questions This Session Will Answer:

  1. How can I prevent my site from being hacked?
  2. What do I do when my site gets hacked?
  3. How can I hack a site?



Workshop: How to Be a Podcasting Rockstar Part I. - Presented by Rob Walch of Libsyn

Time: Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 1:00pm

Rob Walch, the VP of Podcaster Relations for Libsyn will walk attendees through recording and launching their podcast. He'll demonstrate the recording set up for both entry-level podcasting and advanced professional-quality podcasters. This session will also cover syndication, promotion and secrets that distinguish good podcasts from the great podcasts.

Attendees will be able to get their individual challenges addressed in Part II of this workshop.

Session: Discoverability, the Differentiator that Matters FIRST in a Crowded Marketplace Presented by Lucrecer Braxton, Davida Arnold and Brandi J Riley

Time: Saturday, July 16th at 11:00am

You might be the most knowledgeable person in your niche, but if no one can find you when searching for relevant information online, you may as well not exist. In a crowded marketplace, being found is the first important requirement for your business’s success. Once found, of course you better bring the goods, but first: Make sure you aren’t the proverbial tree falling in a forest.

Here are three tactics that will cost you time and effort, but not dollars:

Brandi Jeter Riley, Social Media Manager, BlogHer and SheKnows Media
Lightning Lesson: “Exposure: Extracting the Viable Opportunities, like Wheat from Chaff"
Exposure is one of the terms that bloggers and entrepreneurs dread most. It might be a blog post with the promise of page views that never come. Perhaps you've sent a product to an influencer who promised sales that you never saw. It's easy to understand why exposure has a bad name. But almost every business engages in activities that deliver mutual value, if not dollars, and those kind of strategic partnerships or channels can and should be quantified. Take control and decide which opportunities increase your discoverability. expand your brand, extend your reach into new communities, and/or enhance your credibility as an expert. Plenty of people use publishing on such platforms as The Huffington Post, LinkedIn, Medium, and SheKnows to achieve specific, measurable goals. Hear success stories about using exposure to drive your business’s growth.

Davida Arnold, Content Marketing Manager, SheKnows Media
Lightning Lesson: “Hashtaggery is Not Tomfoolery"
Hashtags can be used to claim ownership and build a following for a brand, or they can be used to integrate into an existing community to be discovered by that community. For example: Davida is the founder and Creative Director of #GirlGameChanger, a social network of #WomenWhoDare since 2013. The first hashtag brands her company for discoverability on social channels. The second hashtag is used to curate content from a larger existing community, aligning her brand with that ethos and allowing her brand to be discovered by others who share that ethos. Hashtag use and best practices are actually different per channel, so this Lightning Lesson will share insights on the dos and don’ts of hashtag execution across social channels.

Lucrecer Braxton, Conference Programming Manager, BlogHer Conferences
Lightning Lesson: “Taking the Stage"
Speaking at local events, seminars (online and off) and ultimately national conferences is a super-charged way to improve your discoverability for future opportunities. Not only can you build followers from those who see your work live and in person, you can build your resume with the kind of accomplishments and credits that are third-party validated. You can get video clips to enhance your media kit. You can make connections with other high-powered folks in your field who share the stage. And you can make sure your Google search page isn’t filled only with great things you say about yourself…but great things other people say about you, or have entrusted you with! Get concrete tips on finding events, and making submissions that will stand out from the rest of the field.