It’s taken me a while to get to this post but I finally unearthed my notes this past weekend and found some headspace to process the Problogger Training Event and its many learnings.
Of course in true Debbish style my learnings are all very ‘me’-centric… but of course everything is always about me, me me!
1. Find your tribe
I’m a pretty good networker and have an unfortunate habit of feeling as if I need to jump from group to group meeeting as many people as possible. This year I did my usual schmooze-y stuff but found my tribe and spent as much time with them as possible.
They’re people I’ve longed to meet and / or who inspire me and make me feel as if I’m a part of ‘something’.
2. Failure is not the end
The keynote speakers seemed to all have the one thing in common. They’d fucked up a few times but gotten back on that horse or bike, or small business wagon and tried again. They were honest about their experiences, their mistakes and their naiveté.
But they were passionate, so kept going. No matter what.
“Know your why,” said Daniel Flynn – creator of thankyou. – a social enterprise funding water, sanitation and food projects in the developing world.
3. Be you
Brian Fanzo, social strategist and multi-platform user suggested many people shy away from sharing too much of themselves on their sites. (Others, of course sometimes share WAY TOO MUCH. 😉 ) However, one of the messages that came through loud and clear is that people read blogs and look for news and information online because it’s easily accessible… literally and metaphorically.
By humanising our online selves we’re relatable, and our readers and visitors will ‘connect’ with us and return again and again. I often worry I’m too ‘me-ish’ in my book reviews, but was relieved to be singled out recently by a US book blogger who commented positively on that very fact.
4. Blogging is dead, long live the blog
Okay, so it’s not dead, but in another session led by Brian Franzo (which I didn’t attend), he shared the statistic that by 2020, 81% of internet traffic will be video.
For me, blogging has always been about writing. It’s why I started blogging and why I continue to blog. It’s my writing outlet. But… I suspect I met almost as many people at Problogger Event who are Podcasters, Instagrammers and vloggers.
Ed Dale, who helps entrepreneurs become digitally savvy reassured us that we don’t have to be good at everything.
But, the underlying message was that we should consider multiple platforms.
5. Blaze trails
I think of myself as an ideas person (albeit one who’s not great on the follow-through), but in all honesty, I’m not particularly inspired when it comes to adopting new technology. (Snapchat, podcasting, Instagram stories and Facebook live remain unchartered territories!)
Other than the keynote presentations I predominantly attended sessions focused around writing and content. However… there were many MANY sessions around search engine optimisation, social media, podcasting, video blogging (does no one say vlogging anymore?), newsletters, email marketing and auto-responders, monetisation including affiliate marketing, launching products, ebooks, finding sponsors and so forth.
Other than the inspirational keynote speakers, my favourite session was one on content by journalist and blogger, Emily Toxward – which I’ll write more about next week.
But… I’m conscious that because I remained safely ensconced in my comfort zone I missed some sessions which may have been useful. Fortunately attendees get access to all workshops (which were videoed) so I can watch them at my leisure. (And as an aside, you are also able to buy a virtual ticket to see and hear all sessions from the event. And… if you buy it by clicking below I’ll get a commission!)
Mr Problogger himself, Darren Rowse quoted his mother in his opening address…
And I’ve been pondering the things I avoid in the 2-3 weeks since the conference – those things that are just too hard….
We’ve been encouraged to start there; identify an action item or two and tackle them with vigour. I’ve got a few ideas and I plan to talk more about them next week as I think I’ll need some advice.
Do any of these learnings jump out at you? If you’re a blogger what do you need to work on?
As it’s Friday I’m flogging my blog With Some Grace today.