BlogHer Handmade Agenda

Click here for Sessions-at-a-Glance

Please check out The Creative Connection's full conference schedule for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, September 15-17, 2011.

Day 1: Thursday, September 15, 2011
Time Event
9:00am - 10:15am BlogHer Welcome/Speed Dating with Continental Breakfast
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BlogHer co-founder Elisa Camahort Page welcomes attendees with information about who you are, why you're here, and why Handmade content is such a dynamic, rapidly growing part of the blogosphere. After the welcome, take part in a BlogHer tradition: BlogHer's version of "Speed Dating." Come with your business cards and a short, sweet snippet about your blog or business and by the end of 30 minutes, make 20 new friends!

9:00am - 6:00pm Handmade Marketplace Hours
10:30am - 11:45am Breakout Session #1A (Beginning): Content & Community Building - Your Social Media Solar System
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Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Etsy, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. The social media universe keeps expanding, and most of us swing between thinking we obviously must use every single tool and app out there to raise our profile and thinking that it’s all a waste of time without any return on the investment of our time and energy. The answer may be to choose one or two platforms to be the sun in your social media solar system and let all of the other tools and apps and channels be the planets and satellites that revolve around your primary platform. This panel will review the various social media opportunities and their strengths and weaknesses as a vehicle to feature your crafty work. Erica Mauter moderates this panel with Kathy Cano-Murillo, Nancy Malay, and Stacie Tamaki.

Breakout Session #1B (Intermediate-to-Advanced): Content & Community Building - Building Community Around Craft
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Many creatives are finding the most success when their online content is more about their community than about themselves. Challenges, projects, contests, collaboration...all of this can be a significant part of your online presence, and this panel will provide guidance from bloggers who have not just built businesses, but are building true-blue community around a shared love of a particular craft. Megan Jordan moderates the discussion with Corinne Leigh, Marie LeBaron, and Mena Trott.

11:45am - 1:15pm Keynote Luncheon
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Meet three women who have been able to funnel their passion and love for creating into businesses that offer products and communities to other creative women. Their individual talents add up to one powerhouse of a panel. Come for lunch and hear their stories! Featuring Becky Higgins, Nora Abousteit, and Stacy Julian.

1:30pm - 2:45pm Breakout Session #2A (Beginning): Growing Your Reach - Using Content and Community to Grow Your Reach
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Learn all the basic advice about building your blog traffic, encompassing content, community and marketing solutions. Presented in a simple timeline format allowing you to tackle the simplest tasks first and work your way up to more complicated approaches over time, the goal is to be able to see traffic results after the first 30 days! Crissy Herron moderates this panel with Amy Turn Sharp and Becky Jorgensen.

Breakout Session #2B (Intermediate-to-Advanced): Growing Your Reach - Using Technology to Grow Your Reach: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
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A strong foundation of great content and a solid engaged community is a must for any long-term sustainable online site, but the fact remains that a large portion of your traffic is likely still coming from search engines. And if it's not? It could be. SEO is not an option, it's a must-have for any blogger serious about growing their reach. In this session, Connie Bensen will help you take your SEO past the basic steps and plug-ins you may already employ and help you get even more out of the technology available to you. Now, keeping those folks around once the search engine brings them there? That's your job.

3:00pm - 4:15pm Breakout Session #3A (Beginning): Monetization and Business Models - Introduction to Monetization Models for Creative Bloggers
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This panel will review the basic models for monetizing your blog and online presence, with and without the sale of goods, including: 1. Making money with your blog: Advertising, affiliate sales, sponsorship: All methods that live on your blogs, and where it’s more likely to be a numbers game, i.e. the more traffic, the more money you typically make 2. Making money because of your blog: Using your blog as a platform to establish your expertise and as a platform for your skills, helping you to secure freelance, consulting, speaking, teaching and other gigs. 3. eCommerce: On your blog or via Etsy and other third party sites. Wendy Piersall moderates the discussion among Amanda Rettke, Gina Luker, and Traci Bautista.

Breakout Session #3B (Intermediate-to-Advanced): Monetization and Business Models - Craft + Money: The Next Steps
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If you're already making money with your creative blog or business, this panel will take a deeper dive into the ramifications of monetizing, and how to take it even further. Like any business, yours should probably have multiple streams of revenue, and you should be investing some of your efforts into being able to understand and articulate: - The true value of your work - How you are different from other artisans in the market, and why it matters - How you are developing new products that don't just express your artistic vision, but deliver what your customers want and need. Tara Gentile moderates the conversation with Alicia DiRago, Anne Kuo Lukito, and Megan Auman.

4:45pm - 5:45pm Closing Session: The Intersection of Craft, Passion, and Sustainability
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How do you balance your passion to share and encourage with your need to sustain your life and your business? Bloggers, like so many other creatives, often experience a conflict between their love of art, desire for authenticity and pride in valuing their work. Does the online space create a way for "starving artist" to become an oxymoron? Or is it only a promotional tool for offline pursuits that will be what really sustains you? Jory Des Jardins moderates this panel including  Karen Walrond, Kathy Cano-Murillo, and Mena Trott.

6:30pm - 9:00pm Welcome Dinner, featuring keynote speaker
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Please join us for our opening night Keynote Welcome Dinner featuring two extraordinary women, Cristina Ferrare and Holly Becker. They will share their stories of turning their passions into successful media driven businesses, and will give us a glimpse into their creative process. Question and answer to follow.