Problogger Event 2016: Five learnings

Thursday, September 29, 2016 Permalink

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!) 

Problogger Resources

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Darren Rowse – pic from Problogger.net. Click on pic to take you to Problogger’s event wrap-up.

Mr Problogger himself, Darren Rowse quoted his mother in his opening address…

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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.

28 Comments
  • Kate W
    September 29, 2016

    “Pay attention to the thing you avoid” – that’s great advice for everything in life!

    • Debbish
      September 30, 2016

      Absolutely – and compliments of Darren’s mum!

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    September 29, 2016

    Great round up Deb!! Love reading Problogger from so many different angles. #threecheersforfindingyourtribe

    • Debbish
      September 30, 2016

      Ah yes… naturally it needed to be at the top!

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
    September 29, 2016

    This sounds like such an inspiring event! I especially like the part about failure being a course correction.

    • Debbish
      September 30, 2016

      Yes… I’m fatalistic so think of failure as ‘the end’, but it was a nice reminder that it can be the start of something.

  • toniazemek
    September 30, 2016

    Loved reading this. I didn’t attend this year’s event so these take aways are awesome. Thank you!

    • Debbish
      October 1, 2016

      You’re very welcome Tonia. I’m planning a couple of more posts yet… it was hard to fit everything in! 🙂

  • writeofthemiddle
    September 30, 2016

    Thanks for the wrap up Deb, especially cos I couldn’t go this year. Two things jumped out at me “pay attention to the thing you avoid” – wow – yes! There’s a message there for sure. Also – “see failure as course correction”. Yes. It means it wasn’t meant to be and some changes need to be made. There are lessons in everything if you pay attention. 🙂

    • Debbish
      October 1, 2016

      True. Some of the keynote speakers were very inspirational (and I’m hard to inspire!).

  • Vanessa
    September 30, 2016

    I fail constantly! You have to sometimes to learn. Doesn’t stop me much.

    • Debbish
      October 1, 2016

      My black / white thinking Vanessa tends to have me thinking failing means ‘it’s over’. I’m the same with fighting. I tend to think fighting with someone means it’s over. Something I need to rethink!

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    September 30, 2016

    I really don’t get the video thing. I don’t watch 90% of videos because they take too long, the ads are annoying, most times I don’t want to annoy people by having the sound on and I don’t like ear phones, and various other reasons. I will never prefer videos. Sounds like another very good ProBlogger event though!

    • Debbish
      October 1, 2016

      I don’t watch videos either Michelle. Or listen to podcasts. I don’t even watch TV on my computer or devices. If I’m gonna watch something I’ll watch it on my bloody TV where it’s meant to be watched. (But that’s just me!)

      But… I’m trying to work out how I can adopt the technology…. a little.

  • Haidee
    September 30, 2016

    Interesting about the vlogging being so huge now! Not a path I will ever go down. Tribes are definitely a must for blogging, I’m involved in a few blogging groups and you do meet people you bond with and who inspire you more than others. Blogging is as much about the networking and sharing as it is about the writing a lot of the time! It’s actually pretty hard work!

    • Debbish
      October 1, 2016

      Oh yes… I spent way more time reading and commenting on blogs than I do writing my own. I think that’s part of the community thing. You can’t expect people to come and read your blog if you don’t read theirs. (Unless they’re not a blogger and they just like visiting you ‘at home’… which is kinda nice!)

  • Jeann @ Happy Indulgence
    September 30, 2016

    I loved this recap Debbish! It definitely shared some experiences that really showed that you don’t have to be good at everything, as long as you focus on what works for you – you can build a brand and personality from there. I actually don’t share too much about myself on my blog, but others are different. Thanks for sharing!

    • Debbish
      October 1, 2016

      I used to mostly be a personal blogger Jeann. Debbish (then Write About Now) was more about TV, books and life; whereas I shared pretty personal experiences in my diet blog (Diet Schmiet). I combined the two in early 2014 and sometimes struggle a little now with the ‘voice’ I choose to use. Bizarrely my personal posts get way more engagement than any of my book reviews!

  • Denyse Whelan
    September 30, 2016

    So good to read your take too Deb. I have been really impressed with what I have read about here and elsewhere about PB 2016 and I think the team seemed to get the balance just right! I love reading anything and everything you write…so keep on writing!! D xx

    • Debbish
      October 1, 2016

      Everyone commented that this year’s PB Event seemed really friendly and laid-back Denyse and I think that was the case. I think Darren mentioned in his opening address that over 1/2 there were attending their first event and were blogging newbies. I certainly met a number of people who either hadn’t started blogging or had other businesses / passions and needed to start blogging or focussing on social media and were there for pointers.

  • Jo
    October 2, 2016

    I’m a dreadful networker & truly feel that no one would be interested in either a) meeting me or b) hanging out with me. I’m conscious, though, that this is something I avoid, so will be setting aside the $$$ to do pro blogger next year.

    • Debbish
      October 2, 2016

      I’m thinking of doing a writers’ festival next year. Or something book review oriented.

      I’m an excellent networker and good matchmaker… I’m always like… “Oh, you need to meet x who also loves knitting and writes about monster trucks.” Like Bridget Jones.

      I do often feel intrusive when I insert myself into others’ conversations / groups though. I try to be sufficiently self-deprecating and then move on quickly.

  • @ashleighsmeow
    October 2, 2016

    Great round up. I loved it last year but missed it this year. I’m a dreadful sales person, and video person. Am I doomed?

    • Debbish
      October 2, 2016

      Nah… I think most people actually feel the same Ashleigh!

  • Mel Kettle
    October 3, 2016

    great round up and great to spend some time with you too xx

  • Grace
    October 6, 2016

    Sounds like you had a great time! Darren’s presentations are always so inspiring. His mum’s quote is just brilliant!

    • Debbish
      October 6, 2016

      Yes, it’s simple and very very true!

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