I just returned from a productive and enriching two days in Orlando for IZEAfest 2009. The event kicked off with a keynote by IZEA CEO Ted Murphy (@tedmurphy) on Developing Your Brand.
This session was followed by Brian Clark (@copyblogger) talking about Traffic Strategies That Work.
And there were some other sessions on the first day, but the highlight for me was Rockstars of SEO, where Michael Gray (@graywolf) and Rae Hoffman (@sugarrae) gave live site reviews.
The first site reviewed was a visual eyesore called Xomba.com.
The woman from Xomba.com commented before the site review, “I just want to say I am actually completely against the flashing banner. It makes it look terrible. And my boss says it makes too much money to take it off, but if I can find an alternative, then he’ll do something about it.”
Michael and Rae shared lots of helpful advice, and I think the Xomba.com folks would be wise to heed it.
In addition to site reviews of a number of other sites, they did one for FeedFront.com (the site for the Affiliate Summit magazine).
I’ve applied suggestions they gave us and would like to thank them for the advice – we’re #6 for the keyword they suggested for the title tag just two days later.
That night I had the pleasure of joining Rae Hoffman and Aaron Brazell (@technosailor) for dinner at Charley’s Steak House in Orlando. For some reason, when we mentioned the meal on Twitter, some people got the wrong idea.
The next morning kicked off with a keynote from Aaron, Marks of an Influencer, that was spot on in discussing influencers, except when he hit this one hideous slide of Fenway Park.
The last session I was able to catch before heading home was a talk by Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) called Go Deep or Go Home. This session was based on the book Trust Agents by Brogan and Julien Smith, but it was markedly different from the presentation he gave in August at Affiliate Summit. I was pleasantly surprised to see such a different session – kudos to Chris.
The day also included the launch of Sponzai, a new marketplace for sponsored guest blog posts. I had to head to the airport, so I missed that demo, but I’m checking out the system.
Part of the process includes inserting a randomly generated sentence into a post to claim your blog. Here is mine: Whatever wife lectures the violent baffle.
As I checked in at the airport, I was a little early the the flight before mine was delayed. So I was excited to jump on the earlier plane, since I had a window seat for my flight.
It was a big win as I got to leave earlier with an aisle seat in the exit row. But wait… there’s more. As I gave my boarding pass at the gate, a little noise went off and I was handed a new boarding pass for an upgrade to first class.
Now that was a cherry on top of a tasty IZEAfest sundae!
Thanks a lot to Ted Murphy and the rest of the IZEA crew for a wonderful time of learning and networking.