I’m not sure I have ever felt a mix of inspiration and overwhelm quite like my first visit to Problogger Event. The 2 day conference sparked so many ideas, questions and motivations that I thought my brain might short-circuit. Luckily I took pages full of notes, and Problogger has heaps on online resources, that I can work through to help organize my mind. I still have much to process but thought I would make a start at sharing some of the key lessons I took away from the event.
1. Why Should People Subscribe To Your Site?
Aweber’s Hunter Boyle hosted a bonus session on Web and Email Optimization the Thursday before ProBlogger officially started. I managed to get a place on this and whilst much of the advice was relevant to more commercial and transactional sites I did learn that I had been making a major booboo when it came to attracting subscribers. Hunter pointed out that many of us focus on giving people ways to subscribe to our site and explaining how to do so but we rarely tell them why. I’m guilty of this myself. I’ve asked people to subscribe to my site’s emails without explaining what they can expect to be popping up in their personal mail or giving them a compelling reason or two to allow me this privilege. (That will be my homework task #1!)
Hunter also pointed out that bloggers should limit the calls to action on a website for the very simple reason that it is most confusing for the reader.
2. The Importance Of Social Search
I know how Google+ works but that doesn’t mean I like it! (When I was part of the social team at Flight Centre we had a meeting with the Google bods at their HQ in San Fran to cover off how Google+ affects search. If you are not familiar with the workings check out Mashable’s take here.)
I attended Rand Fishkin’s talk on Google+ at ProBlogger though as I hoped a reminder of how the platform worked would encourage me to use it more, plus I thought he might have a few tips on how to get the best out of it. As expected he had oodles of helpful tips (check out the slides here) but my favourite was learning about the ‘Ripples’.
On any article that is shared publicly there is an option for you to view the Ripples (this includes other people’s content as well as your own) via the drop down menu on the post. Aside from satisfying the nosey parkers amongst us this can be useful to help identify influencers who are sharing content related to your niche. Rand recommended making a note of the people who are sharing your content or content similar to your own and sharing any similar articles you have with them in future. (Sparingly of course, we don’t want to be spammers!)
3. Web Video Marketing and The Importance Of Hiring Professionals
There were a few surprised faces in the audience when several minutes into his presentation on Web Video Strategy David Jenyns announced, “Want to know how to edit professional looking videos? Don’t do it.” Once the initial shock had rubbed in I realised he had a pretty good point. I’ve dabbled with video editing on my Mac but it’s pretty clear that if I want to produce anything like the YouTube masters I will need years of training and practise. David recommends you simply outsource.
Sites like Fiverr or People Per Hour are great for hiring professionals who can whip you up an intro, call to action and outro for a video series. He also recommended you film YouTube videos in batches and them drip them out on social over the course of several weeks (not so relevant for travel bloggers but a great idea for businesses filming tips.)
4. Setting The Right Goals
Matthew Michalewicz gave a brilliant, engaging keynote on turning ideas into actions but it was his pointers on goals which have given me something to work on.
He explained that success depends on setting the right goals and our desire to fulfil them. Through a series of witty anecdotes involving what his children will and won’t do for money he showed that goals have to come from the heart in order to work. They also need to be unpacked into small, medium and large milestones to keep us incentivized along the way. The first step, however, is to define what success means to you. I’m still working on that bit..
5. The Business of You
The only Brit on the ProBlogger speaking panel had me belly laughing at fart jokes and welling up at familial love. Chris Ducker’s brilliant talk was (believe it or not) actually about building the business of you – being your own brand and turning yourself into a business. He had many tweetable catchphrases dispersed throughout his talk but my favourite was this.
As the blogging industry goes from strength to strength you can begin to wonder where your place is in it. As I listened to all the bloggers at the event who had done remarkable things with their blogging businesses it was hard not to compare myself and feel way out of depth. Does the world really need another professional blogger? How am I different to anyone else? But Chris’s talk reminded me that our blogs are unique because of the parts of us we put in them.
Darren and his team put on a remarkable event. The venue, timing and staffing were all superb (as an ex-event manager I watch out for these things!) and many of the speakers were of the highest calibre. The Gold Coast was also a beautiful host for the conference (I took all the pictures above during sneaky breaks). Stay tuned for more Problogger Event takeaways later this week..
Did you attend the Problogger Event? What was your top takeaway?