I've been meaning to get this online, but you know how real life gets in the way! LOL I do have to thank Christine for all the great pictures I am going to be using while I blog about this. I got to Orlando and found out that my camera had died. Right now, it is at Sony to get fixed!
Jeremy Schoemaker was our opening keynote speaker. He genuinely looked nervous to be up there. We were able to learn that in 4 short years he went from a nobody to a somebody. He gave us a lot on insight into his life and how he got to be where he was and possibly what we need to do to get where he is.
Susie Gardner was up next. Her presentation was about content. As a person who has blogged for two years, I personally did not care for her presentation. It was geared towards the beginner blogger, and I have moved well beyond that. I felt like half of us in the room could have given that speech. However, I did talk to some beginning bloggers, and they found her presentation helpful and interesting.
We got to go to lunch from there. We ate at The Globe on Wall Street since it was the least busy. The food was excellent. However, the service was slow. Very Slow. Though, I guess all the places were that way since some of the next speakers weren't back in time for their presentations. However, we didn't know that and ended up almost running to get back in time! I definitely did not need any weight loss pills for this trip. That walk/run back to the conference burned off my lunch no problem! In the picture (which Drew took!) is Drew, his wife Allison, Heather, me, and Christine (and yes, in that order).
Next up was the big money bloggers panel and Drew got to moderate it. We got to learn the tricks of how they all got where they are. On the panel was John Chow, Neil Patel, Stephanie Agresta, and Jeremy Schoemaker. This was a very interesting panel. One of the questions was what was your biggest mistake or surprise. The answer that surprised me the most was from John Chow — it was the lengths that Google went about scraping his site from their search engines. He's a nobody compared to Google, and they went after them the way they did!
Next up was the growing traffic panel with Tony Hung, Lea Alcantara, Brian Clark, Alex Schek, Steve Spalding, and Tamar Weinberg. I'm going to tell you a funny story that you cannot repeat. I was listening to these speakers and was seriously confused. Finally, I leaned over to Christine and asked her what this had to do with what advertisers wanted. She informed me that that was the next panel. Whoops! Needless to say, I didn't get a whole lot out of this. Being that I work freelance as a social media manager, I pretty much already knew what they were talking about. However, what I didn't like was that they really didn't talk about all the networks out there. You can get some really good traffic from sites like stumble, reddit, mixx, kirtsy, etc. Its not all digg all the time. I personally don't get much traffic from there compared to the other sites.
The next panel was the “what advertisers want” panel. It included Jon Buschlen, Katia Adams, Michael Brito, Sean Jackson, Michael Jenkins, and Randall Richards. It was nice to hear what advertisers were looking for. However, anyone who has done any paid blogging already knew what they had to say. These were advertisers that “get it”. Unfortuntely, there is a whole ton of advertisers out there who do not and want 20 links for $5 and can't figure out why the bloggers won't do their opps.
After that, we had Ted announcement. This is when we learned about Cloud Shout, and we got our alpha keys for it! It was an awesome presentation. After that, we went to the hotel to get ready to go out!