Ok so I am a little late to the party here, but finally I have my wrap up post from the ProBlogger Conference held in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago. Oz Blog Hosting were proud to be a sponsor of this event and it was a huge buzz to be in a room with 300 other people that ‘speak’ blogging.
It was also a privilege to put one of A Manifesto for Bloggers in the hands of every person in the room but if you missed out (or weren’t there) don’t despair … just drop your details in here and we will mail one out to you
Back to the conference. There was an abundance of amazing content and wonderful speakers over the course of the two days and there have been many wonderful wrap up posts. A full summary of all these posts are here but I particularly liked Rachel’s wrap ups here and here. Given lots of people have done long summaries I thought I would focus instead on my top 9 takeaways (why 9? It’s because Sarah Wilson says people like odd numbers!):
1. From little things big things grow (Darren Rowse)
Darren made the very salient point that at some stage, every single person in the room wrote their very first blog post. And then their blog grew from there. So in essence, even the very biggest blogs were teeny tiny blogs at some stage.
He also said that it’s easy to never get anything done because in your head you feel everything you want to do requires big chunks of time. Darren encouraged everyone in the room to allocate 15 minutes a day to doing something. Because 15 minutes a day adds up to a lot in a year and from that 15 minutes, big things can grow (one of Darren’s e-books was written in 15 minute blocks).
2. Look for sparks and then fan them into flames (Darren Rowse)
Darren says that sometimes the things your readers respond to surprise you … and if your readers respond in a big way to something, then take advantage of that spark and fan it into a flame. For instance, Darren’s e-book “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” started as a series of 30 blog posts. Readers LOVED the series so Darren turned it into what is now a very successful e-book that never loses currency because new people are starting blogging every day.
3. When creating products, look at what problems your readers have (Shayne Tilley)
If you’re looking to create a products for your readers, start with something that addresses the major problems that they have. For example, Christine from Hair Romance created a product that showed her readers how to create different hairstyles. This addressed the problem her readers had in that they were bored with doing their hair the same way every day.
4. When working with brands you are selling your reach and your influence (Nikki Parkinson)
Many bloggers find it hard to value themselves when negotiating with brands. What everyone has to realise is that in promoting brands on your blog, you are giving them access to a loyal readership that knows, like and trusts you. You are also giving that brand credibility. These are two pretty massive things and should be considered when you’re trying to put a value on sponsored posts and giveaways.
5. Collaborate with brands – don’t be dictated to by them (Mrs Woog)
When working with brands, you know what your readers will and won’t respond to. Don’t let a brand tell you how they want a promotion to work – instead suggest to them the way that your readers will best respond to. If they’re not comfortable with your suggestions you may need to walk away.
6. If you’re not sure what your expertise is – pay attention to the questions you are always being asked (Can’t remember who said this one!)
Everyone is an expert in something. If you’re not sure what your expertise is, take note of the questions you get asked the most. This will tell you what your readers consider you to be knowledgeable about.
7. The best time to start was probably last year but failing that, today will do (Chris Guillebeau)
Nothing more to be said here is there? I think this was the most tweeted line of the whole conference. There is always a better time to start than now, but now is all you have so JUST START!
8. Being really passionate and doing interesting stuff puts you in a good place to take advantage of opportunities (Sarah Wilson)
I totally got this line from Sarah because I was able to take advantage of an opportunity for this very reason. I had written a blog post for Kidspot that got picked up by news.com. Off the back of that news.com story I got asked to do two radio interviews on the topic. For one of the interviews the producer asked if I had anything I wanted to promote. I had just released the first chapter of a book that I am publishing one chapter a month so I was delighted to say ‘why yes I DO have something to promote’. Unfortunately I missed the segue to talk about my book in the interview but that’s a story for another day
9. Generosity and kindness go a long way ie what goes around comes around (Sarah Wilson)
Again – this is one that kind of goes without saying doesn’t it? Since I started blogging I have been the recipient of a LOT of kindness and generosity and I think that is what is amazing about blogging – everyone gets behind each other. So don’t be kind to people ‘littler’ than you just because they may be bigger than you, do it because it’s both cool to be kind, and because kindness makes the world go round