Registration will open at 8 a.m. and the opening session will begin at 9 a.m.

2013 Sessions (so far):

Opening Keynote: How I Got Started Blogging (PANEL)

— Ed Kohler @edkohler

At this moment in time (at the end of the day), Ed Kohler is fairly unique in his ability to think outside the box 24/7. With all due respect to people who find his thoughts offensive – some would absolutely say, “It’s a nightmare.” in reference to his ramblings – Mr. Kohler responds, “I personally don’t understand their pain. They shouldn’t of read what they read after reading, ‘You want The Deets? You can’t HANDLE The Deets. It’s not rocket science.”

— Kate Arends @witanddelight /

A Minneapolis graphic designer, Kate’s passion for art, fashion and culture gives her an eclectic perspective on style. Kate is the director of communications at the daft group, and frequent guest contributor to nationally-renowned design, fashion and home decor blogs.

— Aaron Wahlstrom

For over six years, Aaron Wahlstrom has written the Minnesota Vikings fan blog Purple Jesus Diaries in an attempt to find like-minded Vikings and Minnesota sports fans across the internet to commiserate. Aaron has always been intrigued by the interplay between fandom and sports teams, and enjoys engaging with audiences on a wide range of topics, discussing items of interests outside of just the football team, mastering the art form of haiku, and learning to never take the himself (or the game) too seriously. With unique content and a dedication to the blog almost to a fault, Aaron has enjoyed building Purple Jesus Diaries into his little corner of the internet. He hopes you’ll join him.


— Paul DeBettignies @mnheadhunter /

I started writing in May of 2005 to share thoughts and ideas I had as an IT recruiter. Since then I expanded this site to include local recruiter jobs, links to Minnesota business news and promote the local tech community. I am the Principal of Minnesota Headhunter, LLC a Minneapolis IT search firm and a frequent local and national speaker and article contributor on recruiter, HR, career, networking and social media topics

sessions-myklThe Non-Designer’s Guide to WordPress (Making Your Site Look Awesome)

Mykl Roventine,

You don’t have to be a designer to make your WordPress site look good. In fact, no matter what theme you’re using now there are lots of easy ways to make it look better. Mykl (who IS a designer BTW) will share tips and tricks to take your site design from just acceptable to downright awesome.

Mobilizing Your Blogging


— Curt Prins,

Smartphones are the most remote controls of our lives. They wake us up, they keep us connected, and even distract us from watching TV. Mobile has dramatically change the way we consume content. Yet a vast majority of blogs in Minnesota are not mobile ready, including many high-traffic sites like Secrets in the City. In this session, we’ll cover:

  • Uncovering your mobile users
  • 3 Ways to migrate and optimize your blog for mobile
  • Using mobile tools to expand your readership

Curt Prins is a mobile strategist and business-to-business (B2B) tech marketing counselor with a decade plus of experience working with and within emerging startups to Fortune 500 companies. He helps companies zero in on their target markets through segmentation, product/service market validation, message development, and tactical marketing efforts. He is a frequent speaker on mobile and marketing issues for emerging companies. He also mentors entrepreneurs–especially those with engineering and development backgrounds. You can find him on twitter at @curtprins and on the web at 

Jeff Sauer  - MIMA Board 2011

Using Google Analytics to Become a Better Blogger

— Jeff Sauer

While many bloggers have Google Analytics installed on their site, most don’t get beyond the first page when measuring their website performance. They are missing out on a wealth of information for how to draw in more visitors, reach your goals and become a better blogger. This session will inspire bloggers to go beyond the first page of reports and learn how get more from their analytics. Learn how to set goals, mine social insights, set alerts to know when you have high or low traffic days and many more practical tips that bloggers can use to improve their results.

I’ll Tumblr For Ya

sessions-nora— Nora Purmort,

Tumblr made its name as the source of your favorite meme blogs like Texts from Last Night and This Is Why You’re Fat. Oh, and for being purchased by Yahoo for about a bajillion dollars.

But beyond being a sea full of Feminist Ryan Goslings, it’s a great platform for a person to share their own personal narrative and connect with other humans. And maybe even publish a coffee table book.

For me, Tumblr has gone from a social network to a dating diary to a wedding hub to an International Support Network for young Brain Tumor Wives like me (that’s wives of people with brain tumors, not wives with brain tumors) and an interactive Baby Book for my son, who is best known as #ralphiegrams.

There are some 133 million stories on Tumblr, and plenty of room for yours. Let’s get started!

Final Keynote: The Future of Blogging (PANEL)

Where is the art and science of blogging headed? This unique form of writing and publishing has evolved in dramatic ways, but we are only getting started. No one has a better handle on this than the panelists we’ve pulled together for a session called (yep) “The Future of Blogging.” Join Weber Shandwick digital strategist Greg Swan, MinnPost media writer David Brauer, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden, and Fluence Media principal Blois Olson (along with moderator Julio Ojeda-Zapata of the St. Paul Pioneer Press) for what is sure to be an engaging and enlightening conversation.


— Greg Swan, @GregSwan

Greg Swan, SVP of digital & interactive at Weber Shandwick, is a hybrid marketer, blogger and trend junkie. Greg leads brand innovation, digital and social media strategy for Fortune 50 clients while maintaining a popular music blog, This dual experience has positioned Greg as a leading resource for connecting with online influencers in authentic and engaging ways. He is a trusted thought leader in emerging media strategies and is passionate about growing communication skills that help his clients and peers be ready for the next big thing.

knox.cameras2Blois Olson, @bloisolson

Ever since he received his first computer while a paperboy, Blois has lived at the entrepreneurial intersection of media, technology + communications.

He began his career managing political campaigns and working in political media through the 1990’s.Blois founded his first agency at age 26 and built it to be one of the most respected at integrating technology to synchronize corporate reputation and public affairs campaigns in the country.His innovative + strategic thinking is leveraged for clients across the country, including corporations and organizations in health care, technology, energy, telecommunications, real estate, retail and consumer products, food and beverage, + legal affairs.He sold the firm and left the political publishing business in 2008. From 2008 – 2012 he served as EVP and Principal at Tunheim.

In 2012, he founded Fluence Media in the belief that the silos of marketing and media have crashed. Fluence provides clients with high-stakes media and communications strategy, data visualization and insights, content creation and distribution, and marketing.

Olson was recognized as a “Top Marketer” by Minnesota Business magazine in 2012, and named one of “200 Minnesotan’s You Should Know” by Twin Cities Business magazine in 2011. He regularly speaks on topics of political volatility, corporate reputation, media change and social media strategies.

His morning take daily tip sheet and radio segment are a must read and listen for business and political leaders in the Midwest.

His analysis and clients has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Politico, the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, and numerous other national and local media outlets.

Named to the “40 under 40” by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal at age 31, Olson believes that his entrepreneurial spirit helps him connect and understand client’s business objectives, not just get hired to provide a service.

Lee Odden, @leeodden

Lee Odden is a consultant and author of the book, Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. Lee is an active industry advocate for integrated marketing and blogging by speaking at events all over the world including New York, London, Hong Kong, Sydney and next month, Madrid and Moscow. Lee’s day job is CEO at TopRank Online Marketing where his team works with major B2B companies like Dell, StrongView, McKesson and recently, LinkedIn. He’s been cited by the Wall Street Journal, The Economist and the New York Times for his digital marketing expertise and will be celebrating the 10 year birthday in December of this year.

David Brauer

David Brauer is a journalists taking a pause from work life to enjoy real life. He just graduated from the University of Minnesota 32 years late – but with distinction. He last covered local media for MinnPost, has written for most non-daily publications in town, started a 1200-member email forum in 1998, and was a talk radio host for 3 years. He currently chairs the Kingfield Farmers Market board.
 Moderated by Julio Ojeda-Zapata.


Blogging Within the Law

— Anna Berend, @MotherlyLaw

While your blog is yours and you can write or rant or educate or entertain or whatever you choose to do with your online presence, there is something to keep in mind: the law. No, you don’t need to make an appointment with an attorney or start working your way through a volume on intellectual property, but you do need to know a few basics.

This session will help you to mind your Ps and Qs when it comes to online etiquette and keep you within the law. I will touch on basics concerning copyrights, trademarks and fair use as well as discuss what you need to know about defamation and how to avoid breaking the law with your written {or spoken} words online. And lastly, I will touch on how to protect your own words and images online.

Bio: Anna Berend is an attorney and professional writer. Berend authors the blog, Hanging by a Thread, where she discusses laws and legal issues that affect families and offers tips and resources pertaining to these issues, as well as consumer protection issues and living life to the fullest through trial and error. Berend has spent her legal career researching and writing for several state courts and a legal publishing company. She currently works from home as an independent contractor for a legal publishing company.  You can find her at on Twitter {@MotherlyLaw} and on Facebook {Hanging by a Thread}.

Panel: Blogging Your Passion
You can’t have a good blog without passion, according to these three Minnesota bloggers. During this panel on blogging your passion, you’ll learn how these authors find their inspiration, harness their passion and infuse it into everything they do. Come to this session if you’re starting out as a new blogger or feeling a bit burned out and looking for inspiration.

session_amanda-ingle-photoAmanda Ingle @amandaingle

Amanda is the owner of Lemon & Lapis, a boutique marketing and design studio in the lovely metro of Minnesota. She loves helping businesses reach their full potential through great design, marketing, and social media. During the day, she works for the #1 company to work for in Minnesota, Anytime Fitness. She managing editor of the company blog and also does some design and photography! She loves race cars, hanging out with her friends and family, and wasting time on Pinterest. She would be content spending the rest of her life in Ely, MN staring at Burntside Lake. Find out more at or follow her on Twitter: @amandaingle

about_zhenyaZhenya Hutson

Zhenya Hutson is a personal style, fashion and beauty blogger and is the author of - a blog that inspires everyday women to get out of their comfort zone. Zhenya works with a lot of brands and bloggers, she also guest posts for Goodwill/Easter Seals MN.

session_JenniferProdJennifer Prod, @jenniferprod 

A Minneapolis artist, Jennifer Prod is passionate about social good and creating interactive communities.  You can find her committing Random Acts of Happiness (RAH) in the streets, or writing about her social experiments at Apartment-Wife.  An MA in Art History, a passion for photography, and a background in social work allow Jennifer to creatively capture the spirit of Minneapolis in both images and words.

Moderated by:

session-missyMissy Berggren @marketingmama

Missy Berggren is a director for WCG, an integrated communications agency. She is known as “Marketing Mama” on both twitter (@marketingmama) and her lifestyle blog She’s won numerous awards for her work in social media and is frequently tapped by the media for her thoughts on social media, parenting and food allergies. Missy also writes on marketing-focused topics at She is the co-founder of the Minnesota Blogger Conference and serves as the director of strategic planning for Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis/St. Paul.

 How to Grow your Blog Community

As the saying goes, “there is more than one way to skin a cat.” There is also more than one way to successfully grow your blog. This panel of bloggers uses different approaches to expand the reach of their blogs and gain new readers. By using community, search, or a well written newsletter, our panelists will speak about how they use different strategies to turn their blog from only a few readers to many more than that.

This panel discussion will give you practical ideas that will help you decide how you want to grow your blog and the different ways to do it.

session-bonnesJohn Bonnes @twinsgeek

John has blogged since 2002 at and joined forces with other Minnesota Twins bloggers to establish in 2012. In the twenty months since, that site has since reached 12 million page views. He is also a husband, dad, systems consultant, podcaster and occasional radio contributor to KFAN.

session-svobodaJames Svoboda @realicity

James Svoboda is a Partner a search marketing agency with offices in Eden Prairie, MN and Portland, OR.  He is also the President & Co-Founder of MnSEARCH: the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association, an advisory board member for Which Test Won, Curator for Marketing Land, and frequent host of #PPCchat.   James is also a Husband & Father living in Minnesota.

session-emmawEmma Wilhelm @emmasota

Emma Wilhelm loves punchy words and uphill battles.

As a writer, she’s been featured on sites like The Huffington Post, StrategyDriven, and Leadership Excellence. She’s coauthor of The 8 Dimensions of Leadership (Berrett-Koehler, 2012).

When she’s not driving growth for Mad Mimi, LLC, she relishes long runs, the family brewing biz, and dance parties with her kids. And eating fancy donuts—let’s not forget that.

Learn how to create simple, elegant marketing emails for your business, blog, or knitting club at Connect with Emma on Twitter and LinkedIn.


session-alexAlex Haider @alexhaider

Creating mutually beneficial relationships is what drives Alex to help create connections through social media. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict and currently works in the health insurance industry. She is a certified Community Manager through The Social Lights, LLC and enjoys creating social media strategies for businesses.

On a normal day, you can find her exploring Minneapolis, cooking, or listening to MPR. She lives by the motto, “plan well, flex well.” Alex is a maker of lists, a proud cat lady, sassy local blogger, and enthusiastic foodie. Connect with her @AlexandraHaider

How to Make Money Blogging

Do you have a passion for something, are you a writer and would you like to build a website that pays you for doing what you love? Or do you already have a large audience but struggle to make a living with it? This session is for you. I will be presenting about creating business strategy, finding and obtaining different income streams, how to approach clients / advertisers, hands-on tips as well as real example that you can apply to make money with your website.

session-svenSven Raphael Schneider

Sven is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the, an online destination for classic style, men’s clothing & fine living. He founded the website in 2010 and now makes a living from it, while continuing to grow the website into a larger platform. In 2011, he attended the blogger conference for the first time and has since worked with brands like Microsoft, Condé Nast, Maker’s Mark and Nivea. He believes that with passion, smart planning and hard work, online journalism & entrepreneurship can be a sustainable tool for passive income that allows you to live life on your own schedule.

5 Responses to Sessions

  1. Pingback: Recap of the 2010 Minnesota Blogger Conference « Marketing Mama

  2. Looking forward to the conference!

  3. Very excited for the conference this year!

  4. Looks like fun wish I could make it.

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