Woohoo! The WordPress HelpDesk is Back!

Woohoo! The WordPress HelpDesk is Back!

Last year, thanks to the generosity of the Minneapolis/St. Paul WordPress User Group, we were able to offer FREE WordPress HelpDesk support to our attendees during MNBlogCon.

MSPWP

We’re very excited to partner with them again this year! During the morning, you’ll be able to receive free one-on-one assistance with your blog from a local WordPress expert. They’ll be available to help answer questions, show you shortcuts to make blogging easier, and even get you pointed in the right direction if (or when) something breaks on your WordPress website.

The User Group is made up of WordPress developers, designers, and enthusiasts. They meet monthly, and are happy to welcome new members interested in joining their group. If you’ve been looking for your WordPress tribe, or maybe just a new place to get your geek on, these folks are the best in the Twin Cities.

Image credit: Vero Pepperrell on Flickr

Get Your Web Badges Here

Get Your Web Badges Here

You’ve got your ticket to MN Blogger Conference. You’ve tweeted your excitement with the hashtag #MNBlogCon. You’ve drawn hearts around doodles of the logo in the Clockwork notebook you got last year.

What else you can do to show the world how jazzed you are to attend MN Blogger Conference? By showing off one of these official conference badges on your site, of course!

2015 MNBlogCon Attendee

<a href="http://www.mnbloggerconference.com" ><img border="0" src="http://www.mnbloggerconference.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/mnblogcon15-attendee.png" alt="2015 MNBlogCon Attendee" /></a>

2015 MNBlogCon Speaker

<a href="http://www.mnbloggerconference.com" ><img border="0" src="http://www.mnbloggerconference.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/mnblogcon15-speaker.png" alt="2015 MNBlogCon Speaker" /></a>

Image credit: Drew McLellan on Flickr

Keynote Announcement: Keane Amdahl

Keynote Announcement: Keane Amdahl

We thought long and hard about who we wanted to invite to keynote the MN Blogger Conference this year. Should we go for big names, small names, international, national, local?

Mykl and I have attended many conferences ourselves, so we thought about what resonated with us most from our favorite keynotes – Connection. Passion. Relatable. Knowledgeable.

When we boiled it down to those elements, Keane Amdahl was the first person who came to mind. Keane is an anchor within the Twin Cities food blogging community, having written hundreds of articles for City Pages, Eater, and Lavender Magazine, as well as his personal blog. He’s passionate about food, he’s connected to the community, and he’s managed to intertwine them both through blogging.

We’re excited to welcome Keane as the keynote for the 6th annual MN Blogger Conference!

Keane Amdahl Bio Pic

Keane Amdahl

Armed with a ferocious appetite and an insatiable thirst for food knowledge, Minneapolis based food blogger Keane Amdahl has set his sights on learning about everything that makes the Twin Cities one of the most up and coming culinary destinations in the country. Along with popular trends, Amdahl also focuses extensively on sustainable food systems and the societal and ecological effects of our modern industrialized system of agriculture.

Having worked most recently as the Sustainable Seafood Coordinator at the Minnesota Zoo and having written hundreds of published articles and blog posts for Thrillist, City Pages, Lavender, Eater, and the Twin Cities Food Finds restaurant guide, Amdahl continues to hone both his pallet and technical knowledge in an effort to bring his readers the best in food related content.

Featured image: Sam Howzit on Flickr

2015 Speakers & Sessions

2015 Speakers & Sessions

We’ll get right down to business – introducing our 2015 MN Blogger Conference speakers!

Adam Dince: How To Build Social Communities That Drive Meaningful Traffic To Your Blog

Gianna Kordatzky: Blog or Website: Where’s My Success?

Jessica Flannigan: Become a Pro at Responding to Brands: How to Talk Money Even When It’s Uncomfortable

Erica Hanna: How to Look & Feel Your Best on Camera: A Primer for Bloggers

Arik Hanson: 7 Trends That Impact Every Blogger in This Room

Dan R. Morris: Webmaster Tools, Analytics and Adsense

Amanda Nagy: Why Your Blog Needs An Editorial Calendar (And How You Can Create One)

Jenna Redfield: YouTube Basics for Bloggers

Patrick Rhone: The End. A Postmortem on Knowing When It’s Time to Kill Your Blog

Davis Senseman: What You Really Need to Worry About: Blogging and Legal Issues

Bryan Strawser: Grassroots Engagement: How Building an Online Community Helped Change Control of the MN House of Representatives

James Svoboda: From Keywords to Content

Ashley Zeckman: Lessons in Creative Content Marketing from the Big Lebowski

Congratulations to all of the speakers selected for this year’s conference!

Stay tuned for more announcements soon, including this year’s keynote speaker, as well some special speaker announcements we still have up our sleeve.

Image credit: Arvind Grover on Flickr

2015 Announcements & Important Dates

2015 Announcements & Important Dates

Your 2015 MN Blogger Conference organizers have been hard at work getting ready for this year’s event. The date and location are set, so now it’s time to get on to our other announcements.

Call for Speakers

Our call for speakers is NOW OPEN. You’ll have just over 3 weeks to put together your talk proposal before the deadline on July 24, 2015.

The speaker selection committee will meet at the end of July to evaluate all of the submissions. All speakers who submitted a talk will receive an update on their acceptance status by August 1st.

Schedule

Confirmed speakers & sessions will be posted the week of August 3rd, along with our general conference schedule. A more specific schedule will be posted as details are finalized throughout the end of the summer & early fall, including information about our after party.

Ticket Sales

We’ve got some changes we’re implementing this year, so there are two pieces to this announcement.

  1. Tickets will go on sale the first week in August. Unlike previous years, they will not be released in waves and will instead be first come, first serve.
  2. Tickets will be priced at $20 per attendee. Tickets include access to all conference sessions, lunch, and the after party.

We anticipated some questions about the change from a free conference to a paid one, so we put together a little FAQ below.

Are you guys selling out on us? 

Absolutely not. We’re still committed to putting on a great event that supports and connects the local blogging community. There’s a lot of money that goes into putting on a conference of this size, and at the end of the day, we need to make sure those costs are covered. Sponsors help offset those costs quite a bit, and in the past, we’ve covered any leftover expenses ourselves. Now that the conference has grown to 3 tracks and 300+ bloggers, we have to set up systems to keep it operating smoothly year over year.

Where does the money go? 

All ticket sales and sponsorship dollars will go towards conference costs. The organizers do not profit monetarily from this event. (Though Jen might argue it’s one of her most lucrative events for getting hugs.)

One of the biggest reasons for us implementing a ticket fee is to allow us to operate the conference more efficiently on an ongoing basis throughout the year. All funds we receive go into a reserve we can draw on for venue deposits, catering, advertising, and other overhead costs. Money is first allocated to cover expenses for the current year’s conference. Anything left over will go into the bank as a reserve for next year’s event.

Why $20 for a ticket?

We know similar conferences that charge $100 and up for people to attend. And we know we could probably charge in that range, but that’s not what we’re about. We want to keep the MN Blogger Conference accessible and affordable for local bloggers to attend.

We know we can deliver a great value for attendees compared to the ticket price, and we feel confident that $20 is a price point we can maintain for several years to come.

Will speakers & volunteers still receive a free ticket? 

Absolutely yes. We couldn’t do this without you. Selected speakers will receive their ticket code upon confirmation of participation. Volunteer opportunities will not be announced until late summer/early fall – if any confirmed volunteers have already purchased their ticket at that time, we will gladly issue them a refund.

If you have other questions, please feel free to reach out to us directly at mnblogcon@gmail.com.

Photo: Joe Lanman on Flickr