When I arrived in Australia 5 years ago, I struggled to get any freelance writing work. It seemed as if my world was caving in because throughout our nomadic existence moving around the world following Dave’s career and work projects, the one thread that always held me together was writing.
I had a portable career and I loved it.
But I began to feel like a phoney in Australia when people asked me: “What do you do?” and I’d reply, “I’m a writer,” while deep down I’d be thinking, “Liar Liar your pants are on fire – you’ve got no assignments! You Jo, need to retrain and find a trade that Australia really wants.”
I didn’t retrain because I know that if I don’t write I get depressed and maudlin and feel as if life’s just not worthwhile. So I kept going and learnt more about the writing industry here.
I’m glad I did because soon afterwards quite by chance I discovered Blogging (and Problogger Darren Rowse, whose site Problogger gives the most useful tips) which led to writing assignments with newspapers and magazines, which later led to earning a little money via blogging, giving workshops about blogging, and best of all it led to connecting with lovely people like you.
My passion for life returned, big time.
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Unleash your Mojo please
You may not have a blog, or have any desire to start a blog, but if you find that your days are not filled with a passion for something that motivates you now that the kids have left home, then I urge you to find something you love to do.
I can’t tell you how glad you’ll be and how you’ll enjoy getting up in the morning to pursue it.
So today’s post is to encourage you not only to unleash your mojo, but also to introduce you to blogging and the world of bloggers. The post is for those that blog, and for those that might want to one day, and for those who are just curious how this blogging process works.
ProBlogger Events or #PBEVENT
At the weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Perth Writers’ Festival at the University of Western Australia (below), which was brilliant and then I moseyed on to the very first ProBlogger event held in Perth.
ProBlogger Conferences around Australia
There have been four ProBlogger conferences held on the East Coast of Australia, the last of which attracted around 450 people, but none in little old Perth, probably because we are still considered too remote, and only really on the radar from space ships. Only joking.
Thanks to Kelly Exeter from Swish Design (who helped design Lifestyle Fifty) we had our own inspiring West Australian bloggie event in Floreat featuring a super-helpful key note presentation by Darren Rowse.
Anyway, Darren is pretty much the undisputed guru of Australian blogging and is considered a worldwide authority, so it was certainly a coup to lure him over to speak to us in Perth.
97 bloggers from around Western Australia pitched up. I’d like to say “Hello” to some of the new friends I made! Chris Richardson, Isabelle Kenis, Andrea Anastasakis, Glenn Nicholas, Demelza Buckley, Adelle Cousins and Rhonda Chapman and also to old friends, Jenny Freedman, Amanda Kendle, Rae Hillhorst , Clare Harris and Glennys Marsden – click on their names to check out their fabulous blogs.
I wish I’d got around to speaking to all 97 people, and more’s the pity that I had to drive two hours south to get home after the event – which meant I stayed off the wine (ahem, which definitely helps my networking abilities and loosens my tongue in socially daunting situations).
Millions of readers
It’s a bit intimidating to know, as a small-fry blogger, that Darren Rowse has millions of visitors viewing his blogs, thousands engaging with his posts, and huge numbers buying his products which include books on blogging and digital photography. He gives presentations to hundreds of people, and mixes with the biggest names in online publishing and social media.
Many people quake at just being introduced. I know I did. Which is unnecessary, because he’s friendly and giving, and he’s not only dead keen to help us get started with online publishing but he’s keen to help us keep at it and find ways to earn money too.
So you wouldn’t think that he started blogging almost by chance (as many bloggers do) in 2002 when a friend sent him an email with the words:
“Check out this blog.”
He did, and the blog so inspired him that he started his own blogging journey just two hours later.
“My credentials were not good though. I had had 20 jobs in 12 years, and knew nothing about social media or the web. I had a bachelor of Theology Degree and a half finished Marketing Degree. I was a technical luddite,” he joked.
By 2004/5 he was making a full time living from being a blogger. He quotes big numbers these days, and you better believe him because his empire now includes several staff members engaged in helping him with his blogs and the ever growing book publishing side of his business, while he gets invited to speak at events and conferences.
So when Darren speaks. Bloggers listen. Because he knows his stuff, and he’s happy to share it.
Without further ado, I’d like to present today: Tips to help you create better blogs via Mr ProBlogger himself.
Top Quotes from Problogger Darren Rowse
- “Successful bloggers are active, take initiative, experiment and are always trying new things.
- Successful blogging is the result of consistent small actions over time.
- A great blog = great content, great community and putting yourself out there.
- Always aim to either inspire, inform or interact in your blog posts. You might think about a set of posts; Day One – inspiring your readers with a photo. Day Two – informing them with a tutorial. Day Three – setting them a challenge or a way to interact with you.
- Watch out for the sparks. What creates energy and curiosity? What energises you? Use these sparks to write blog posts.
- Pay attention to the things that you stay up at night thinking about and the things that make you ‘chew the ear off’ your partner.
- Constantly be on the look out for problems to solve. Become a super hero solving problems. Obsess about being useful.
- Do good.
- Make your readers famous. Introduce them to one another, show them off to one another.
- Spend 90% of your time doing and 10% learning.
- Pay attention to your archives – how can you showcase your old posts? Can you put them on Facebook or update an old post with new information and re-post it?”
And now, as I pay attention to things – as in Number 4 above, I’m at the point where I’m meant to challenge you!
So please tell me in the comments: A) Would you like more bloggie posts on Lifestyle Fifty? or B) What would you like to read on Lifestyle Fifty? … or C) Tell us about your passion
See, I’m learning!
Until next time,