I missed the Problogger Conference in 2015. Not only did this blot my near copy book perfect attendance but it also gave me the biggest dose of FOMO I think I’ve ever experienced. (FOMO – The Fear of Missing Out).
Nor was I able to purchase a “Virtual Ticket” which this year you can Here if you’d like to. The ticket gives you access to all the great content from the presentations meaning you can listen to all the speakers in the comfort of your own home, coffee or wine to hand, and relish how much you’ve saved on air fares and accommodation! If you buy a Virtual Ticket you’ll get 50 sessions of teaching on creating, promoting and monetising content for less than US$5 per session.
But anyway, back to the Gold Coast. Check those cheesy grins! We three Perthites look pretty happy about being in Queensland at a blogging conference 😉 although at this point in time we’re probably not thinking too hard about the cost of airfares and accommodation! That’s Amanda Kendle from Not a Ballerina and Di Bortoletti from ProntoPR with me.
So this year only hell or high water would have stopped me attending and shortly after our amazing World Cruise I hopped on a plane bound for Sydney and then on to The Gold Coast to RACV Royal Pines (crikey, at these times I realise how far Perth is from nearly everywhere).
It’s always exciting arriving at the venue and looking around to see who you know. Old blogging friends pop out of nowhere, and friends you’ve made online suddenly materialise in real life, and before you’ve said a word out loud you already feel you know them so well.
Soon you’re off to the opening presentation wondering what words of wisdom you’ll be inspired by.
Then there’s the people.
I’ve met up with lovely Kelly from Swish Design (who re-designed my website) and Nicole form Planning Queen (below) at various events for quite a few years now.(Oh dear my pendant looks drunk 😉 and none of us had had even one lunchtime refresher except coffee.
Blogging Conference – the atmosphere
There’s excitement in the air – and anticipation about what you’ll learn, about what the food will be like this year, what gems of wisdom will be gleaned from the international and local speakers, along with a little healthy fear of the unknown – what many of us are really wondering is how we’ll move our blogs and online businesses forward – and for those of us attending from Perth, New Zealand and further afield, justifying our attendance is pretty important.
Then there’s the networking party on Friday night. All glitter and glam!
This year’s theme was “Reach for the Stars,” and everyone looked amazing, as they swanned around under an inky black Queensland sky in the big Tepi tents which had been erected on the lawn.
ErrMaGawd, I have another drunk looking pendant!
That’s Jasmin (a fantastic artist) from Wonderwebby above looking very Hollywood!
I wore my sparkly *blingy* sequinned dress which I purchased way back in 1999! I bought it in Manila from a tiny boutique in the subdivision where we lived, to go to a charity Glitter Ball. This dress has served me well and is testament to the fact that you shouldn’t cull everything ‘old’ from your wardrobe when you move or grow out of it. I’ve grown out of this dress and then slimmed to fit back into it several times over the ensuing years!
I was fortunate, for the third time that Amanda Kendle was kind enough to put up with my snoring and be the Best Room Mate Ever, and lovely empathetic Linda Fairbank from Journey Jottings listened to my cruising stories well into Saturday night before leaving once again for her island home. I hope we meet up again before the year’s out 🙂
I met up with Julie from Have Wheelchair will Travel – we first met when we won blogging Awards at the Bupa Blog Awards in Melbourne.
The food is always brilliant – there was even a type of farmer’s market for the health conscious amongst us. Everything was washed and ready to eat and looked so fresh and appetising.
Then there were the naughty and nice sections 😉
And the naughty masquerading in the bushes as just a little naughty!
And the very tasty …
But it’s the people that make it for me.
Here’s to Holly G for her sage advice about working with tourism brands. To Brooke from Her Packing List you are an entrepreneurial inspiration. To Janet (who’s written about the conference her blog here at Middle Aged Mama – well done on your business award, and Lyndall from Seize the Day Project, nice to meet you at last. To Ros who I met at the airport waiting for our bags and Cate who I shared a taxi with it was a great way to start a friendship. And thank you to everyone else who stopped to chat and say “Hello”, I just wish there had been more time for chilling and chatting.
And thank you to all the ProBlogger organisers for making this fabulous event materialise year after year. Here’s to Year 8!
Life tips and Entrepreneurial hints from this year’s speakers.
Without further ado here are some of the pearls of wisdom gleaned from the event about life, entrepreneurship and blogging.
I hope you’re inspired in one way or another to take action on something in your own life – let me know if you do in the comments!
Darren Rowse, the founder of Problogger urged us all to pay attention to the things we’ve been avoiding.
“Why are you avoiding this thing? Is there a legitimate reason? Should you kill that idea? It’s not the right time, or I don’t know where to start, are not good excuses,” he said.
He told us that, “By doing the things you fear you are making a difference to yourself.”
If you don’t have the knowledge and think you need to know more first , “Well go and find it!” Darren said.
Even wobbly courage is courage
“I don’t have the skills or resources. I don’t have the time. We all have the same time as Beyonce. We need to make time for the priorities in our life – how much time do we spend on Netflix or TV? Everyone else has already done it. I feel overwhelmed – welcome to the world of entrepreneurship we all feel overwhelmed! The people who have success push through that and don’t allow things to hold them back. I can’t do it perfectly – just do it 80% perfect. I’m scared – well, action is a risky thing to do. Fear is a signal that something important is about to happen, pay attention to it. Even wobbly courage is courage.” Darren Rowse
So tell me now … Are your excuses for not doing the things you’re avoiding in life or on your blog good ones, or not?
Professional Life vs Life is just called LIFE
Brian Fanzo at isocialfanz had advice for anyone working with brands, or brands working with bloggers and some tips about perfection – as in don’t go there!
“We crave access today – we want access to people, places and experiences – that’s what resonates with people. The consumer is no longer dumb,” he told us.
“Consumers aren’t listening to brands telling them to buy stuff. Consumers have access to information, they can research or buy online, they won’t listen to marketing hype. Community is the future of business – it takes time, it take the ability to listen, you have to relate to your audience, you have to build trust and rapport, and that doesn’t happen by you being perfect or controlling what people think about you. So be yourself, everyone else is taken already.” Brian Fanzo
I took away 7 further great quotes from Brian’s presentation.
- People buy from people they like – it’s the human to human aspect.
- Community will be the future of your success.
- Transparency amplifies the power in our vulnerablities.
- If you’re not telling your story, someone else is.
- Perfection is a fairy tale. But perfection is the thing that stops us.
- Perfect live video sucks – it puts up barriers.
- I don’t believe in work life balance. Professional life vs Personal Life? it’s just called LIFE.
Emilie Wapnick writes a fabulous blog at Puttylike . From Canada, she’s hugely inspirational, has given a TED talk, and gave a riveting speech to wrap up PB Event 2016.
Emilie spoke about how to combine your many passions in one blog
“Pick a Niche you are told when you start a blog. If you don’t choose a niche you run the risk of becoming confusing to your readers and become a little bit jarring we are told. This isn’t terrible advice for some people, but some of us are more complicated and have a hard time to choose one thing to focus on and choosing a niche might limit our creativity and impact. We shouldn’t all have boring brands or scattered ones but there are other ways to stand out in a crowded market.”
She said it’s okay to have an overarching theme, or an umbrella blog.
“A person who is destined to do and be many things is a ‘multipotentialite’. As multipotentialites or what I like to call renaissance bloggers, we’re masters of the relationships between subjects, fields and ideas and people, it’s in these intersections that we live and work and create, and our communities are attracted to us for the unique perspective we can bring. We’re not experts of our subjects.”
Daniel Flynn from Thank You, is the leader of a social enterprise born in 2008 in response to the world water crisis.
Turning Stumbling Blocks into Stepping Stones
He has a remarkable story about wanting to help provide access to fresh water to people around the world and how from an initial “Aha” moment at University, and after many setbacks, he’s built a company called Thank You – which began around selling bottled water.
“At that time (2008), over 900 million people didn’t have access to safe drinking water on a daily basis, yet the Australian bottled water industry was worth an estimated $600 million a year. Pretty wild given Aussies can access safe water straight from the tap!” Daniel Flynn.
Look out for his book: Chapter One – it’s a “pay what you want’ initiative and his story is compelling.
He gave an inspiring and tear jerking presentation and I loved these quotes for entrepreneurs …
“When you get comfortable with uncomfortable remarkable things happen.”
“History will be kind to me because I intend to write it – Winston Churchill.”
“The fear of failure has killed more dreams than failure itself.’
YouTubers here are a couple of Pointers for videographers who want to create loyal fans …
I think this advice would be pretty much the same for Blogging, Instagram and any other social network you might be on.
10 Instagram Hints and Tips
Easy to implement advice from @whattheteacherwears and @lissletters and Nathan Chan @foundrmagazine
- Choose your hashtags wisely.
- Use up to 30.
- Start with topic or a place – look at the ‘related’ ones Instagram suggests.
- Check out movers and groovers in the same space/genre as you and see what hashtags they are using.
- Check out the collaborative sites.
- Embrace imperfection – your feed should be interesting and engaging.
- Create content that triggers some sort of emotion.
- Create content that is valuable.
- Post cool stuff for your community every single day.
I met so many other great speakers, workshop facilitators and people – that to mention them all would take all day – suffice to say, they all added wisely to my bank of blogging knowledge and touched me in some way to help me grow as a person.
Virtual Tickets on Sale
If you’re suffering from FOMO right now, you can purchase a Virtual Ticket and have access to all the great sessions sitting in the comfort of your own home. I’m an affiliate and stand to earn a small commission if you buy one. The virtual ticket is the closest thing to actually being at the Gold Coast event – for you to listen to again and again at your leisure. On average attendees spend over AUD$1500 to attend the event, including travel, accommodation and other spending.
Pick up the PBEVENT Virtual Ticket and you’ll get access to:
– 50 sessions of teaching on creating, promoting and monetising content for less than US$5 per session.
– Audio recordings, presentation slides and offers from each speaker
– Access to our exclusive Networking and Accountability Facebook Group to support you until the end of the year.
– BONUS: Immediate access to the full recordings for our 2015 event with presentations from Jadah Sellner (Simple Green Smoothies), Heather Armstrong (Dooce), Ruth Soukup (LivingWellSpendingLess) and more.
And that, as they say, is a wrap.
Thanks Everyone! Here’s to next year 🙂