Saturday, September 21, 2013

Problogger Training Event Takeaways

Today is a week since I attended Problogger Training Event on the Gold Coast. I was admittedly nervous for my first blogging conference but it ended up being non-painful; and happily, also personally valuable.

I invested in my ticket price waaaaay back at the beginning of the year. Why? I'm still not even sure. I asked my hubby if I could spend 250 of our hard-earned clams because "it's something I'm interested in". He agreed, because he's a good guy.

Yes, in the back of my brain I'm a little interested in the fact that people earn an income from blogging. And I was excited to meet people from the internet who have become friends. It was also fun to see "big" bloggers in the flesh. 

But the best part was the learning. I was a little sponge, soaking it all up. I realised I totally miss uni. Not the exams, but the finding out of interesting things. I am interested in blogging, therefore a whole conference of speakers addressing blogging issues was totally cool to me!

And the best part was managing to sort through and solidify some of my writing goals. I've always written online - way back to my Livejournal days at uni- but the content has changed a lot. I used to be all about sharing my online life - cool fandom stuff, fan fiction and such. Now I write about my offline doings - what I call "real life". 

Problogger has helped me to identify some of the reasons I blog and also point me towards some goals that click with me. It's funny, I went expecting to be excited about the technical side of blogging: google analytics, cross-platform marketing, ebooks. Instead I was intrigued by the emotional aspect of what I do - telling a story, helping readers find solutions, writing for good.

My favourite sessions:
Sure, I'm hardly a n00b at this game but I couldn't pass up the chance to see Pip's session. I have admired her work for so long, and she is just so infectiously enthusiastic about STUFF. She talked about the rewards of building a community of engaged readers, which I loved. She advocates using your blog for good and being a good blog citizen by reading and commenting on others' posts. I learned from her that sincerity is should be at the heart of everything you do. I also liked that she uses the word "amplification" instead of marketing. 

I cannot believe I had never heard of Bernadette. Her marketing philosophy - focused on people, not product placement, was so refreshing. She told me that every click on my blog was a person looking for something, and never to forget that each of them is giving me the gift of their precious time. Think about trying to answer their problems or make a difference in their lives. Look at what people are reading most on your blog, not how many. Relevance is the key. The main message though was that people like things for how they make them feel (not what they actually are) - when you apply this to blogging, you can try to build a lovely community of folk who care about the same stuff. 

I was excited about this session because I've been thinking for so long about how to incorporate more acts of social good into my life. These guys talked about digital volunteerism and how charities are often not social-media savvy and most would welcome any blogger outreach. They talked about using a blog's influence to spread word or causes and raise profiles of campaigns. I also heard  about Blog Action Day, an annual event I'm keen to learn more about. 

In short, my brain is now buzzing with ideas. I want to write all the things. And I hope you all will help me!

Have you ever been to a blog conference? What did you learn? Did I meet you at PBEvent and I'm not following you on social media? Let me know!

PS - Meanwhile, how much exposure did QT Gold Coast get from this event? Trendy hotel, savvy PR folks.

--> Linking up with Slapdash Mama for The Lounge.


  1. I didn't attend any of those sessions. I'm working my way through them but listening to the ones I did attend first to remember what I have already forgotten.

    It was nice meeting you in person. We should do it for longer next time. Rachel xx

    1. I'm listening to the ones I didn't go to, hadn't thought about what you're doing! That's very clever.
      It was so nice to meet you. I apologize if it was a tad awkward - I really was a bit tongue-tied after your hug! I hope to meet you again soon at a future event :)

  2. Lj was the shit,hey.. ! =D

    1. Yes. Yes it was. I go back there occasionally and there are friends still writing there... so the community must still be strong. I'm just not part of it any more!

  3. Hi Sarah, Looking forward to your future writings then :)

  4. It really was great for inspiration!

  5. I've never been. I am desperate to go next year! DESPERATE! Thank you for this post x

    1. I hope you get the opportunity soon! Nothing like learning along with your own tribe. x



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