4 key takeaways from BlogWorld LA

Another BlogWorld in the books. Another crazy week. Another outstanding opportunity to learn from some of the better minds in digital marketing, blogging and social media.

What did I take away? A few key themes emerged for me throughout the week.

Ask better questions

Tom Webster presented at BlogWorld NY in the spring and I missed it–I wasn’t going to make that mistake again. And, I’m sure glad I didn’t. Tom’s entire presentation could be boiled down to three simple world: Ask better questions. As a professional market researcher, Tom talked at length about how we need to ask these better questions to get better data. To get better insights. To get better answers.

Know your readers

Another speakers I hadn’t seen present before that I really wanted to see first-hand was Darren Rowse. I’ve followed Darren’s ProBlogger ¬†blog for years, and his personal stories and accounts have really resonated with me. And while I had a list of takeaways from this session, the most impactful was the mantra: Know your readers. Darren encouraged folks to develop audience profiles for their blog (great idea)–just like a marketer would do when thinking about their key targets. Give these readers a name. Describe them in detail. Demographics. Psychographics. The works. With those audience profiles in hand, you’ll be able to better target your content and make it more relevant for your readers.

Do your own work

Another key takeaway from Mr. Webster early on Thursday, but one I heard other speakers espouse throughout the week afterward (including Jason Falls on Saturday). Tom and Jason were talking about doing your own work with respect to research, but it’s really a good lesson for digital work across the board. Don’t try to mimic what other companies are doing–your brand is unique. You have different customers. Different circumstances. Different employees. Don’t take research you find online as gospel. Do your own first-hand research and see what makes sense for YOUR organization. Do your own work.

Have a back-up plan for success

I first heard Peter Shankman speak a few years ago when he came to a Minnesota PRSA event I helped organize. Nowadays, he’s “internet famous.” But, he’s still the same guy. He takes some heat for his approach and strong opinions from time to time, but I’ve always loved his presentations. He brings huge energy to the stage. And, more importantly, the guy knows how to tell a story. He had me, and a whole slew of people in that audience Thursday, hooked from the get go. One of the key lessons he shared: Have a back-up plan for success. If and when your video, blog post or project blows up online, make sure you have a plan in place to capitalize on that success. Sure, we all fail more than we succeed, but you want to be ready for success. Love Peter’s optimism.

And, I’ll leave you with one last note. It’s a video Shankman featured in his presentation, and it was the single most hilarious thing I read or watched all week. Enjoy.

9 comments
Search People 360
Search People 360

I am happy I had the chance of reading your blog. You are so generous in sharing your experience in the conference. How I wish I had a chance to be there too.

fergusonsarah
fergusonsarah

That sounds like a great place.. Love to join a forum like this..I really love to learn from others too..

anku.singh1989
anku.singh1989

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bgindra
bgindra

Hi Arik,

Good to see you again. Sorry we didn't get to hang out more! Your takeaways were similar to mine. Particularly loved the ask better questions bit. Doing a post with some of my fave BWELA recap posts on Friday. May I include yours?

allison_boyer
allison_boyer

Hey Arik, thanks so much for blogging about BWELA! You've got some great take-aways listed here - glad you got so much out of the conference, since I know Deb and the rest of t he staff works so hard on making sure the sessions are awesome. For the record, Darren is one of my favorite speakers, so I'm glad you got to his session!

Krista
Krista

Thanks for sharing your learnings from this event! I wish I had more time and money to go to these conferences, so it's helpful to hear what experts like yourself are learning at them.

JohnNemoPR
JohnNemoPR

Love the idea of creating an audience profile for your Blog. Great idea and one I learned when writing books. Good reminder! Man @arikhanson I've got to get out to the next one. Sounds like an amazing time! And kudos to you and @gregswan for the props you both received on your presentation. Best title ever by the way! ;)

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

@Krista Thanks, Krista. Not sure I qualify as an expert about much of anything (save Super Mario Bros circa 1989) but it's always fun to share learnings and best practices. We all get smarter--everyone wins, right?

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

@JohnNemoPR@gregswan Greg gets all the credit for the title. And, the Nickelback segment. In fact, Greg probably should have given this presentation by himself. Probably would have been much better :)