Countdown to #FinCon18: My 10 Most Anticipated Presentations

Four weeks ago, I talked about how I was preparing for this year’s FinCon expo in Orlando, Florida. Then two weeks ago, I highlighted what elements of the conference I was most looking forward to. Now, with 13 measly days left until kick-off, it’s time to get down to business and look even closer at the FinCon schedule.

Perusing the line-up for #FinCon18 can be a little intimidating at first as each day is filled to the gills with talks, workshops, and presentations. In fact, as you’ll see in a moment, it’s impossible to see and do everything offered during the expo. That said, I think I’ve narrowed my wish list down to the 10 presentations I’ve most looking forward to at this year’s FinCon:

“How to Start and Grow a Successful YouTube Channel”/”Anatomy of a Podcast Launch”

Like many conferences and conventions that want to pack a ton of content into a short few days, there are bound to be overlaps in scheduling (which I suppose is why FinCon offers discounts on Virtual Passes to attendees to catch them up on what they missed). Case in point: two workshops I’d like to attend — “How to Start and Grow a Successful YouTube Channel” and “Anatomy of a Podcast Launch” — are both taking place at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Making matters worse, I have yet to decide which one I’ll actually be shooting for.

How to Start and Grow a Successful YouTube Channel will feature Troy Grant (Dollar Dude) and Sarah Wilson (Budget Girl) discussing some of their best tips for succeeding on YouTube in 2018. In addition to advice related to getting started, such as what equipment you’ll need and how to brand your channel, the workshop will also take a look at important topics that can arise as you channel grows, including monetization and brand deals. Meanwhile, Anatomy of a Podcast Launch will find Bobbi Rebell and Steve Stewart walking attendees through the process of premiering a podcast and what to prepare for afterward. From technical talk and concept development to promotion and sponsorship discussions, this presentation promises to answer a lot of questions I have about podcasting — even as someone who’s appeared on my fair share of shows in the past.

It’s hard for me to empathize just how torn I am on this decision. On the one hand, as someone who already has a YouTube channel I’m working to grow, I’m sure there’s plenty of knowledge I can gain from Troy and Sarah’s workshop. At the same time, like I mentioned in my previous FinCon post, one of my goals for this expo is to explore the possibility of debuting a Money@30 podcast down the line — something that Bobbi and Steve’s presentation would certainly help me achieve. Alas, I’ll have to let you know what I decide and, in the meantime, I may have to purchase a Virtual Pass before the price increases.

“Creating a Successful Pinterest Marketing Plan”

It seems like only yesterday that I was talking about how I’ve really been making an effort to finally understand Pinterest. Oh wait, it literally was. In any case, Kim Ahl’s Wednesday Workshop will dive into the details of Pinterest marketing and how bloggers can use the platform to increase traffic. Like I said, I’ve already become convinced that having a presence on Pinterest is a must and so I’m definitely excited to see what tips and strategies Kim has to offer.

“The Art of Slow Travel — The Benefits, Challenges, and Why It’s a Life-Changing Experience”

When my wife and I got married nearly five years ago, something we realized very quickly was that we really enjoyed traveling and exploring new places together. In fact, that was a major motivation in getting her to find a work-from-home job earlier this year in hopes that her position would allow us to spend more time seeing the world. We’ve even toyed with the idea of becoming “digital nomads,” spending extended periods of time in different cities and really getting to know them on a deeper level.

That’s why I’m really stoked to hear about The Art of Slow Travel at this FinCon presentation. During the session, Sarah Li Cain, Jennifer McDermott,  Doug Nordman, David Stein, and Craig Stephens will share their stories and experiences slow traveling — even touching on some of the financial benefits. Whether or not I decide to take up slow travel after this presentation remains to be seen, but I’m certainly excited to hear all about it.

“How to Create a Podcast that Stands Out & Gets Noticed”

Although I may have to miss the aforementioned Anatomy of a Podcast Launch workshop with Bobbi Rebell and Steve Stewart, the good news is that I might be able to make it to this separate presentation by Paychecks & Balances hosts Marcus Garrett and Rich Jones on a similar topic: podcasting. Aimed at beginners like myself, this presentation will offer insight into creating a podcast that will appeal to listeners and maybe even get the attention of advertisers. As a result, this one is a must for me.

“New Blog Strategies from Two Ancient Bloggers”

The two “ancient bloggers” mentioned in this presentation title are none other than J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly and Jim Wang of Wallet Hacks. Both of there guys have found massive success with their blogs — so much so that they sold their initial sites and started new ones. The angle here is that J.D. and Jim will discuss some of the things they’ve been doing differently the second time around, which sounds fascinating to me. Plus, this is a fun opportunity to hear from two personal finance superstars.

“Secrets for Success: How to Flourish with Facebook Ads Without Wasting Your Time and Money”

Although social media does sometimes offer a free and organic outlet to promote your site, the truth is that sometimes you’ll need to invest some money to truly jumpstart growth. Obviously Facebook is the largest social platform on the planet, making it a prime opportunity for advertising and marketing. That’s likely why Monica Louie is hosting this presentation all about Facebook ads.

Funny enough, I’ve already started learning just from the description of this presentation. One of the bullet points of topics that will be discussed reads, “Why boosted posts are a waste of money and how you can hyper-target the perfect customers instead.” Welp… sounds like my only experience with running ads on Facebook was a waste — who knew?! With that, clearly this is a presentation I will glean a lot from.

“Break the Mold (and Draw In Sponsors!) with a Unique Podcast Format”

Yet another podcast-centric presentation that’s grabbed my attention based on the title alone is Break the Mold (and Draw In Sponsors!) with a Unique Podcast Format. Honestly, one of my biggest concerns about starting a podcast is that, no matter what I do, it will too closely resemble another show that does the same thing only better. Thus, color me intrigued to hear Tanja Hester discuss “translating financial content into good audio storytelling.” Naturally, you can’t exactly be original if you’re getting your ideas from someone else, but I’m really interested in this premise and I’m pumped to learn more.

“YouTube: How to Create Videos that Convert”

If you’ve ever searched YouTube for a review on anything related to personal finance, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered the work of Roberto Blake —I know I have. That’s why it’s pretty awesome that Roberto will be speaking at FinCon 2018 and sharing some of his YouTube secrets. Although the description for this presentation tags it as “Advanced,” I’d like to think I could keep up and gain some useful insight from this one.

“Building a Blog and Brand with Multiple Revenue Streams”

Last but not least, this presentation really seems to bring the whole convention together in terms of what my goals are. Featuring Grayson Bell, Tracie Fobes, Greg Johnson, and Zac Johnson, this panel will look at various ways that blogs can become true brands, including how to increase your income by diversifying it. Quite honestly, this sounds like a homerun panel and the perfect way to wrap up #FinCon18 for me (although there are still other presentations afterward).

With just a couple weeks left until #FinCon18 (and even fewer days left until I head to Orlando), my anticipation is at a fever pitch. Admittedly, the itinerary I outlined above is a bit ambitious so there’s always the chance I won’t get to do everything I plan to. On top of that, I didn’t even get the mention all of the keynotes, Big Ideas Talks, FinCon Central Talks, and all of the other events happening at the expo as well. Needless to say, this FinCon will be one for the books and I can’t wait to get things rolling — see you there! 


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site and the founder of

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Really wish I could make it to FinCon myself this year. I hope you share a post about your experiences at FinCon Kyle I’m so interested to hear all about it.

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