10 things I learned at the ProBlogger conference

problogger conference

Hey! I’m lucky enough to be connected to some fabulous bloggy people to whom this post is dedicated. If you came here for the eco-tips not some wittering about SEO, why not check out my Top 10 posts instead?

I went to my first blogging conference last weekend: the ProBlogger Training Event on the Gold Coast. Holy balls, it was a little bit Hollywood, a little bit high-school and a whole lot of brain jam. I was star-struck, nervous and awkward, and completely over-stimulated most of the time, but I did manage to take in a thing or two, which I would like to share with you now.

Lessons from the ProBlogger Conference

  1. Post to Facebook 2 to 5 times a day. The first session at ProBlogger blew my mind. I made a to-do list about eight pages long and could barely keep up with Amy Porterfield as she gave us her favourite Facebook marketing strategy. That’s a bit long and complicated to explain here, but I’ve oft wondered if there was a magic number (or range of numbers) of how many times to reach out on FB. She also described the perfect posts: 80 characters or less, with a picture, something personal, a sneak peek, a request for help or a how to. These are all most likely to get your fans’ attention.
  2. Set goals for your blog and be clear about its mission. Mr ProBlogger, Darren Rowse, sparked this thought, which was then compounded by many other speakers including Trey Radcliffe and Caz Makepeace. Then Claire Bowdich brought it all together by saying, “A successful business solves a problem.”
  3. Be afraid. I think all 450 attendees wrote these two quotes by DarrenĀ  down: “Fear is a signal that something important is about to happen. Pay attention to it.” Followed by, “Even wobbly courage is courage.” What are you afraid of? Taking the plunge to blog full-time? To reveal yourself to your readers? Or even to step back a bit? Whatever it is, break it down and then tackle it.
  4. Stats are people. The lovely Brooke McAvery from Slow Your Home said this, actually in relation to the point above – “I realised that every number on my Google analytics page was a person.” Although Brooke was talking about her fear of being judged, that sentence made me think about my readers – a small but dedicated number – and how I cherish every one of them.
  5. Uphold professionalism with flair. Katie180 cracked everyone up when, in response to Darren asking “Did that help you find your voice?” she said flatly: “Oh it was never lost.” From Katie, I learned that you can be factual and present accurate information infused with your own personality and style.
  6. Your email list is the bomb. Forget about Facebook, Google +, Instagram and everything else that sucks up your time. Your core focus should be your email list, as this is the one thing you own and that can’t be taken away from you. Okay, so don’t just forget about social media, but use it to drive your email list and build, build, build!
  7. Use a series to hit difficult keywords. If you really want to rank for a competitive keyword, Jim Stewart suggested writing a series of interlinked posts that all hit it.
  8. Tags are for users, not search engines. You probably already knew that, but I didn’t.
  9. “If you don’t track it, you won’t improve it.” The Google Analytics session was way too late in the day and I had experienced three kinds of meltdown by then, so I will have to go back to the recording and start again. But, Ned from Tweaky.com was dead right: if you don’t know how to watch the numbers, you can never truly know if they’re going up or down.
  10. It’s time to take this thing seriously. I’ve been to a few conferences now, from travel writing to freelance journalism to writing for young adults… So they have all been to do with writing. It’s what I do, okay? After every one, I get home pumped full of ideas and motivation and it’s always the same message to self: this thing that you do is real. It reaches real people, it affects them. Stop dicking around and take it seriously instead of shoving it at the end of your list of qualifiers with a rising intonation on the end: “I’m a writer, and a journalist, a mum, a wife, a pet owner…. oh and a blogger???” Blogging is a business and there are fortunes to be made (I’m not just talking about money, fyi). Expect big things, friends. Big. Things.

Did you go to Problogger? Did you want to? If you want me to elaborate or answer any questions, chuck them in the comments and I will get back to you just as soon as my head stops spinning.



    • (dt)em says

      I know, it was way too hectic. And my Sunday morning hangover didn’t really help… So I’ve always used the google keyword tool to find out which keywords are searching best. You have to have an adwords account now to access this tool. I have an account but haven’t done any advertising. Jim Stewart was doubtful about the keyword tool, he used google.com/trends to check out his keywords, but I’m not really getting on with this. Most of my keywords are so niche that they don’t even show up in Google Trends!! If anyone else has better info, do share. x

  1. Penny says

    That was an excellent post Jo! I think you hit the nail on the head with all the awesome quotes and tips. I’ll be referring back to here if I forget something. Go you!

    Oh and I feel honoured to be one of your followers and to have met you. You are so wonderful and giving, thank you for hanging out with me and inspiring me to be a better green mum!
    Penny recently posted..What Animals can Teach us about Building FriendshipsMy Profile

    • (dt)em says

      God luv ya, Penny! I so enjoyed hanging out with you too. I wasn’t making it up when I said that five minute chat we had was as valuable as the Facebook marketing seminar. x

  2. Katie Rainbird says

    Geez Louise! Thanks for including me in your points and what a loverly thing to say, x

    I regret not taking enough notes but I have access to all of the sessions via an e-ticket so I am going to MAX them out. My brain actually goes into a tailspin when it starts to make a list of things to-do regarding the professional polishing of my blog, argh.

    You sound revved up though!

    • (dt)em says

      Revved up, yes, achieving little. But little by little, we’ll get there. Dude, you’ve got a baby on the way, I’m impressed you could stay awake throughout the conference, let alone take notes! x

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