Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blog Events by Amanda Shofner

From Goodreads:

How do you draw your community to your blog while growing your network and establishing your expertise?

Blog events.

They're not just for hobby bloggers--they'll help your business too.

And Blog Events provides a framework for setting up your own successful event.

You'll cover why blog events are beneficial to you, how to define your event's purpose, what to consider when deciding on particulars, tricks for developing an effective marketing plan, how to tackle systems and responsibilities, and how to deal with the wrap-up.

Blog Events also has a special bonus section, filled with the secrets of a veteran blog event host--from what makes an event successful to tips that'll help keep your sanity intact. Because you can never be too prepared.

From the time I joined my first online read-a-thon I dreamed about hosting my own blog event. How hard could it be, right? It's actually a lot harder than you might think, but maybe it doesn't have to be if you go about it the right way.

Enter Amanda Shofner with her new little tome Blog Events.

Amanda is the co-host of Bout of Books, a 3 times yearly, week long online read-a-thon that engages between 400-500 participants. We just finished up Bout of Books 8.0, so yes, I'm one of those participants. I am reviewing this from the point of view of an event attendee who sees the polished end result, not the behind the scenes and I am always impressed with the professionalism and smoothness with which it seems to run.  There are twitter chats, daily challenges and the overall feeling of a festival.  I always come away feeling like I'm part of a community and looking forward to the next one, wishing it wasn't so far in the future.  I call that successful, which is why when Amanda announced that she had released Blog Events I was eager to read it and find out her secrets.

The beauty of this book is that you can apply it to any blog event, big or small, any purpose, hobby or business.  While she uses Bout of Books as an example, those examples are easy to adjust to your own needs.  Simply, she makes holding a blog event accessible to anyone by breaking it down into manageable parts and providing a checklist of things you need to consider to make your event successful without driving yourself crazy.

Some key points I took away from this:

  • Define your purpose clearly, what are your participants gaining, and what are you gaining?  Answering both of these questions is important to help the event stay focused and benefit both sides.
  • Stay organized and enlist reliable help.
  • Use your community to spread the word, make it easy for them and they'll do the work for you, generating more traffic through their own excitement over the event.

I can see Blog Events becoming a treasured handbook to refer back to again and again before, during and after events.  Yes, I'm a fan of Amanda and her Bout of Books co-host Kelly, so you might think I'm biased, but guess what?  I'm a fan because of a successful event, so I think Amanda knows whereof she speaks!

Visit Amanda at her website The Path of Least Revision to learn more!

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