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4 key takeaways from BlogWorld LA

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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.

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4 key takeaways from BlogWorld LA

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