Looking for a clever way to start this post. Failing miserably at this stage.
Better move on with the post itself before anything I write here becomes extremely redundant. No time to be fancy.
Will come back to this. (You can see that now that I didn’t)
Here are my notes from the conference.
Blog Smart – But from the Heart by Darren Rowse
When you are passionate, you attract passionate readers. Set the tone for your blog and you will find like-minded audiences.
People remember stories. Stories that resonate, go on forever.
Darren talked about some personal posts he had done on his blog that became immensely popular.
He talked about one guest post ‘How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World’ by Jon Morrow, the associate editor of copyblogger. That post has gotten over 2300 tweets. 2300+! Read Morrow’s incredibly inspiring story, be sure to follow the links inside the post. Read this and you will feel inspired for as long as you can remind yourself of this story. I guarantee it.
Other tips: Inspire people to go on a hunt for for information, be playful, throw in a personal touch, surprise your readers, write in your own style and most of all, be really useful.
If you want your blog to be a business, treat it like a business.
Have you created your reader profile?
Your brand is what people say about your blog when you are not there. What do you want people to say about yours?
Go where your potential readers are gathering.
Work out your editorial strategy – the type of posts, the rhythm. Experiment, test, tweak.
Focus on building your brand, your community, first. Once you have the readers, then think about monetization.
Blog Critique with Chris Garrett
‘About me’ page – talk about what you offer to your readers. Why should they come to your blog? (Check!)
List ‘Resources’ in the sidebar. (To do)
Attraction – Conversion – Retention. Formula for success.
Make one main call to action when someone visits your blog. What do you want them to do, buy, hire, advertise, subscribe?
Use compelling images.
Use descriptive headlines that make a promise and then deliver. Imagine a brat saying ‘so what?’ after each headline you write.
Make your headlines, subheads really stand out by choosing a different colour.
Blogs reach a plateau when they stop using headlines that attract new readers.
How I wish we had more time so I could offer my blog for a critique.
Creating Content that Builds ‘Know, Like, Trust’ by Sonia Simone
Sonia Simone said copyblogger is her baby- her vision, that she is responsible for 90% of copyblogger while Brian Clark takes care of the business side of it. She went on to say that Copyblogger is not a blog that is monetized but a business that has a blog. This is some serious fodder for thought. Have a think about your own.
Create Know, Like, trust.
Audience that knows you, likes you and in turn trusts you.
Treat your readers like dogs. Produce content that will reward people every time they open it.
#1 Cookie Content makes life easier
#2 Cookie content can be useful right away. (The a – ha moment for me)
#3 Cookie content tastes good.
Auto-responder. Set up a series of training posts that puts your reader in the habit of opening your content. (When somebody signs up that is.)
Creating Trust; show up, pay attention, and don’t lie.
Have a predictable schedule of posting. (I know I personally have to work on this.)
You have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you speak.
Sometimes, posts don’t get many comments because they are so comprehensive, so self contained. Readers don’t feel they can add anything but they still share it like crazy.
Blog is to attract, newsletter is to engage. (Feel free to interpret this however you like)
First mistake you can make is to assume your reader is you. Do reader surveys to establish what your audience is like.
If a post doesn’t do well, its almost always the headline that is the culprit.
My Tim Ferriss Story
So at the end of the conference, we are sitting down for the final case studies. There is one vacant seat next to me and somebody comes over and asks if they could sit down. Naturally, I don’t take much notice and utter a polite yes.
In about a minute or so, another man on the other side leans across me and asks this question ‘ Are you who I think you are?’
The mysterious man whispers ‘yes’.
As I sit there wondering .. while not looking directly, Darren announces .. and we have one surprise guest for you who happens to be in town, all the way from US, Tim Ferriss.
And this man, sitting right next to me, gets up and goes up to the stage as half the audience – including myself – nearly faints with excitement.
Who is gonna believe, mighty Tim Ferris. Tim Ferris of 4 hour work week, was sitting next to me at the problogger training event, Melbourne, 2011.
And we had a full (ok – two sentence) conversation!
This has been the story that I have been telling people, over and over again, and can’t still get over it.
Check out this Video by Trevor Young of Blog Hub here.
At about 1:10 mark, see the part where Tim Ferris shows up? You can see the back of one head in the right corner – someone taking pics? Well, that head belongs to yours truly. 🙂
Other Fun Stuff
Met gorgeous Annabel Candy of Successful Blogging. Check out her awesome post ‘5 Bonza Blogging Sessions From the Problogger Event’ for even more details on other sessions.
Had a brief chat with Darren, Chris and Sonia had pictures taken with them. Bought problogger’s book and had it signed by Darren and Chris. YAY.
Darren Rowse is such a brilliant speaker. He was really funny too.
Sonia Simone was really casual. She made a comment that she thought Aussies are formal so she is wearing her new sneakers. She wanted to let us know that she had made an effort.
And Chris Garrett was just sooo charming. He was soft spoken, incredibly wise and so kind. It was an absolute pleasure meeting him.
Lovely photos from the event here.
Found this awesome graphic ‘What I have learned, Blogs are like Icebergs’.
Wish I had written this post. What I learned at the problogger conference. UPDATED
And of course problogger’s post has gone live too. Melbourne ProBlogger Event Recap, LinkUp and Looking Forward (#PBevent) UPDATED
All the people behind the event were wearing handwritten tags as they forgot to have theirs done. While this was hilarious, it also made it fairly easy to spot people behind the event. Good on ya guys!
Darren showed a really old photo of himself, probably from high school that I can’t find anywhere now. UPDATED Check this out. (Scroll down)
Looked like brown, black or blonde were not the only popular choices in hair – there were some blue, green, pink and reds to be seen. A mixture of some in Sonia Simone’s hair as well.
Some babies were also spotted at the conference – some early starters I reckon. 🙂
It was really, really – really noisy in between sessions. My voice was hoarse from – what felt like – shouting to get heard. But I am used to it, after all I do manage to talk to my boys over the sound of telly.
All in all, it was a fantastic event. People are already talking about the next one. I know what to do for that one, wear comfy shoes, and network more!
Maybe I get to see you there. 🙂
Photos credit. Problogger.net
If you could go to events like that, would you? Would sort of questions would you ask? Did you go to this one? Share your thoughts on this recap in the comments below.
Have you taken my 3-minute Client Attraction Quiz? Check it out now, it’s awesome!