Deva Dalporto // My Life Suckers
In this session, we will talk about setting your YouTube channel up for success from the beginning. Deva will share what she wishes she would have known before her videos started to gain viral popularity and tips and tricks for how video can be a great tool for engaging your audience!
How to Turn Your Blog into an Empire
Heather Hopson // Diary of a First Time Mom
In this course, you’ll learn how to turn your blog into a business, land funders and investors, create products, and manage multiple writers. We'll cover a few tricks of the trade like how to maintain consistency and ways you can avoid major spending mistakes.
Participants will walk away with a business blueprint to grow their blog and their team.
Traffic Through Twitter - How to Get New Blog Visitors Every Day
DJ Paris // Thoughts from Paris
Twitter is still the second largest social network and is largely misunderstood and ignored by bloggers. I started with ZERO followers back in 2009 and now have 140k. I take the exact same approach every single day and want to share that with you. To boot, I have never gone viral on Twitter or had Oprah retweet a joke.
You will leave this session with short and long term plans to implement right away.
Growing Your Facebook Page like a Pro
Kristen Mae // Abandoning Pretense
Facebook is a many-headed beast, but during this session, we'll cover the ways you can tame it and make it work for you to drive more traffic to your site. We'll explore the value of the Facebook scheduler, how much and when to post to maximize reach and engagement, how to use viral content from the big players to increase your exposure and earn likes, and how to create an efficient reciprocal sharing community, even if your blog is not big enough to qualify for a service like PubExchange. We'll also delve into a couple controversial items like whether or not it’s okay to post paid ads, The Meme Controversy (what constitutes copyright infringement, and how to find and use memes to grow your page without violating copyright or pissing off everyone in the blog world), whether or not boosting is a good idea, and myths of the Facebook algorithm.
Tearing Down Walls, Digging Up Wells: A Writing Workshop to Explore the Value of Vulnerability
Tyece Wilkins // Twenties Unscripted
What would you say if you weren’t afraid? Or, better yet, what would you say if you were afraid, but found a way to move beyond that fear? Vulnerability is the sweet spot where courage begins to outweigh fear. It is the cornerstone of good writing and the element that connects us most to the reader. But, it is often times difficult to bring ourselves to that vulnerable place. This writing workshop explores:
- Why vulnerability is important in writing
- How vulnerability translates to the reader
- How any writer can achieve his or her own personal level of vulnerability (writing prompts)
By the end of this course, students will be able to express the value of vulnerability in writing and understand how to tap into their own sense of vulnerability to better connect with readers.
Creating New Content: How to Come Up with Ideas for What to Write Next
Kim Bongiorno // Let Me Start By Saying
Suffering from writer’s block? In this class, we'll cover ways to avoid ever having to say those two dirty words again. We'll dig into a system to help you cultivate ideas from tweets to novels and everything in between (including video). This class will cover where you can find inspiration, how to organize your ideas, what to do with those ideas, and how to flesh out little ideas into finished products.
By the end of the session, you'll have a toolkit to help you get started right away.
Back to the (Blogging) Basics
Jen Mann // People I Want to Punch in the Throat
So many bloggers are focused on making their blog a business that they forget to maintain the basics. This class will be a refresher course in what bloggers should be doing to have a successful blog. I will cover topics like "Must Haves" for every blog, publishing checklists to ensure maximum results on every single post, writing a blog business plan and making blogging goals that bloggers can achieve, blog design and layout ideas, find your style, HAVE FUN. This class will focus a lot on seeing the "big picture" of your blog and staying on the course you started by creating clickable and shareable content and using the basics to get that content seen and noticed, because ultimately that's what will help the blog grow. We'll talk about pitfalls to avoid that will suck your time and creativity and won't do anything to help you succeed.
WordPress 101 & WordPress 201
Eddie Giese // BlogU Conference & Binkies and Briefcases
WordPress is the far-and-away leader of content management systems on the web today and is a leader in the blogosphere. This two-part course will explore the basics of WordPress to get even the most novice of users up to an intermediate level. The course will appeal to existing intermediate and advanced users as well because there is always something new to learn about WordPress, including those less-frequented activities that you might shy away from. You don't have to be a pro graphic designer or web developer to start altering and improving your site today! We'll touch on many facets of the basics of our good friend, WordPress, including the differences between self-hosting and wordpress.com, and overview of the dashboard, the importance of updates, security and backups, must-have plugins, front-end goodies (themes, appearance customization and menus), and adding and maintaining users.
A healthy website doesn't just look great - it needs to be rock-solid in its foundation as well. So, we'll also examine ways to integrate social media and use external tools to debug, the basics of SEO and Analytics, how to cache and optimize your site for fast load times, email integration (SumoMe and MailChimp), and how to best organize your site hierarchy to keep people on your site longer.
You'll leave this class with a firm foundation in WordPress so you can make the switch and start rocking it! If you're already a WordPress user, you'll leave the course with improvements you can put to work on your site right away.
Purposeful Writing: Blogging for Good
Jennifer Hicks // Real Life Parenting
As bloggers, we’re poised to reach thousands--hundreds of thousands—with our words every day. As the world of social media expands and more people look on-line for information and inspiration, we have a unique opportunity to shape the landscape, influence change in society, and impact the world.
Blogging for good—to make a difference, to bring about change, to impact those around us, to connect with a more diverse audience to create social awareness for the betterment of ourselves and others, to start and encourage conversations.
Arnebya Herndon // Arnebya.com
We can pretend that no one cares if we use incorrect grammar or have typos in our blog posts; we'd be lying.The key to lessening errors is knowing what our personal editorial pitfalls are. Learning to edit ourselves -- knowing we normally use the wrong form of lie/lay or that we always misuse their/they're/there is key. Incorrect grammar, typos, and punctuation errors turn readers off. Worse, if a reader isn't turned off, he or she may continue to read, but might also consider you less of a reliable source.
This will be an interactive class, where you can bring in specific questions and have them answered immediately.
Selling Yourself, Not Your Soul
Kathryn Leehane // KathrynLeehane.com
In order to succeed in the blogging world, it sometimes seems like you need to sell your soul to the devil. However, by using your personal goals to make decisions about the topics you write about, how and what you promote, and how you handle social media, you can succeed without compromising yourself or your values. You don’t need to detail your sex life (unless you want to) or advertise drunk, swearing monkeys (again, unless you want to) to achieve your goals. Topics include:
- Defining your individual goals and success matrix
- Finding your authentic voice
- Oversharing: How much is too much to share?
- Mastering the art of self-promotion
- Advertising and sponsored posts: to do or not to do?
- Using social media to do what works best for you
- Finding your tribe, but not going with the herd
- Deciding if/when to write anonymously
Results From Republishing
Susan Maccarelli // Beyond Your Blog
This session is focused on how to go about giving the posts on your personal blog a new and wider audience by submitting to sites that republish. Whether you have never submitted work before or are a byline pro, this course will focus on how you can get the most mileage from the writing you have already published. Topics will cover publications that pay for republished work, legal guidelines and simple etiquette for republishing your work, finding the sites that accept previously published work, success stories where a republished post has done better than the original publication, and avoiding rookie mistakes.
Becoming Your Own Brand
Amanda Mushro // AmandaMushro.com
You’ve been working to create a brand through your blog, but now it’s time to step outside of the blog and establish yourself as a brand, a personality, and an expert in your field. In this class, we’ll discuss how to take advantage of trends and topics to establish yourself as the personality that TV, radio, brands, and publishers want to work with. This class will focus on:
- Finding your niche, again.
- Establishing yourself as an expert
- Pitching yourself
- What this means for your blog
- How to earn money as a personality
- Tips to always be camera ready
Learn more about our Speakers
Head on over to the Faculty page to learn more about each of our teachers. You'll quickly see that BlogU Speakers are rockstar bloggers, authors, and trendsetters who flat-out know their stuff.