Snaps to you Twinings ... high tea for morning tea at a conference. That will get you remembered!

5 lightbulb moments I had at Blogopolis #nnb2012

Nikki Parkinson Life 38 Comments

A lot of paid jobs offer professional development to their staff. Sometimes that professional development is thinly disguised as a golf or spa weekend but to meet tax implications there must be a degree of professional development squeezed in between a massage and a session on the driving range.

Would it surprise you to know that in my 20 years as a journalist that I can remember only three such professional development days? And I can tell you there was no spa within sniffing distance 😉

We were told that if we didn’t complete these training days we would be less likely to get a promotion. Which is completely hilarious in hindsight because apart from CPI increases, I did not receive a payrise for the last 10 years in my job.

… and people wondered why I took a giant leap of faith to start my own business ….

Anyhoo, I got thinking about professional development and my current profession last weekend with the second annual Blogopolis conference.

Got to love an event where the Twitter stream is as entertaining as the speakers on stage

I think it’s because in my former life that I never had access to decent professional development that I jump at any chance to be part of any that comes my way through blogging.

My first conference was just last year. Since then I’ve been on a roll.

Show me a blogging conference and I’m there. Can’t get enough.

There is ALWAYS something new to learn.

I go in with a very open mind to these events. Sure there will information covered that I already know but if you’re open to learning, hearing someone else’s perspective on the way they approach an aspect of blogging, might just trigger a light bulb moment.

Here are 5 the lightbulb moments I had at Blogopolis:

1. Brands looking to work with bloggers should take a (tea) leaf out of Twinings’ books. Serving a high tea for morning tea – with real tea cups and spoons – at our tables was pure memorable marketing genius. Pity that some conference goers considered the tea cups and spoons as a bonus for their swag …

Snaps to you Twinings ... high tea for morning tea at a conference. That will get you remembered!

Snaps to you Twinings … high tea for morning tea at a conference. That will get you remembered!

2. Speaking of branding. Planning with Kids‘ Nicole Avery got us thinking about our blog brand. She said we needed to get clear on our unique offering and focus on that for growth. To not try and be all things to all people. This is especially important to me to have front of mind when I decide to partner MY brand with another brand. If I’m clear on my brand first, I’ll make the right commercial decisions.

Planning with Kids' Nicole Avery talks branding and your blog

Planning with Kids’ Nicole Avery talks branding and your blog

3.  I loved that digital strategy director Jeff Tan could take the really geeky subject matter of SEO and turn it into something that we could all understand … or understand enough to take down notes to follow up later.  All I’ve ever done in regards to SEO on my blog is fill in the All in One SEO Plugin form on each post and take a look at my top Google search keywords. Hello Nina Proudman, I thank you 😉

From Jeff, my lightbulb moment was when he said he needed to write unexciting headlines – not clever or funny ones – just ones that people are more likely to type into Google when searching for answers. I’d been doing that on some of my “How to” posts and can see in the stat results how that’s worked in my favour, bringing more people to my blog via those posts. I’ll do more.

Jeff Tan talks all things SEO and I actually understood it!

Jeff Tan talks all things SEO and I actually understood it!

4. I’ve been playing on Pinterest for some time now but am nowhere near the league of the likes of Christina from Hair Romance. Her talk about using Pinterest as a traffic driver to your blog was the bomb. What I took away from her session? Have more title images and more montages that tell the whole story of the post that they’re linked to. Easy to do and great for getting clicks back to your blog.

5. Caz Makepeace from Mojito Mother and yTravel Blog had me scratching my head wondering why I’ve never done a podcast. Podcasting is tipped to become even bigger and I’m thinking that there are plenty of people I could interview for these Saturday posts plus also as part of my fashion and beauty blogging. She makes it all sound so easy that it’s now on my to-do list.

A room filled with bloggers ... Tweeting

A room filled with bloggers … Tweeting

The other BIG thing that gets me showing up at blogging conferences? The people. People like you or I. People blogging about everything from fashion to interiors, to parenting, beauty, food and technology.

This particular conference I was so excited to meet some online friends IRL. And yes, the irony of having to fly to Sydney to catch up with people from Queensland was not lost on me. Not at all 😉

Check out my gallery for a look at some of the people who I met or caught up with.

You can check out my other Blogopolis posts too:

Keeping it Real: the blogging conference outfit

What opportunities can blogging bring to you?

And don’t forget, if you’ve blogged about blogging, my Saturday linky is open. where it says NAME to include your blog’s name plus the name of the post, for example: STYLING YOU: Title of Blog Post.

[inlinkz id = 15]

  • Great wrap up and humorous. I too, met people from WA in Sydney! Ironic but true. And Oh those poor dear teaspoons hi-jacked from their Moms – funny tweets during the day, but sad that it happened.

  • I am a blog conference addict too! LIke yourself, often there is stuff I know, but I always find there is at least one thing I can take away from any session I attend that can improve my blog. I have a list of things from Blogopolis, some I have made a start on already!

  • Posie Patchwork

    Oh yes, the Twinnings was brilliant, i’m new to tea drinking but now even Royal Albert are following my blog, just from mentioning them both!! Such a brilliant topic of blogging – my only wish at Blogopolis was that there was more time for socialising. Boy did i take notes!! So glad i boldly waltzed over to you to say hello & er, touch your hair, giggles!! If you want personal development activities – join the oil industry, they LOVE them. We did everything from 4WD courses to personality coaching (no kidding) one thing i missed since quitting to raise my babies. Love Posie
    http://posiepatchworkblog.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/blogopolis-my-very-first-blog.html

  • Really interesting, the conference sounded really fun, and how nice to meet bloggy friends in real life. Makes me think about my blog, which has been very neglected of late. Reading your blogging articles makes me feel excited about blogging, now I just need to make the time to just write!

  • I was so looking forward to the conference and very sad I was too sick to attend …. I’ve even been too sick to think about my poor neglected blog. Thankfully I’m finally feeling like I’m on the mend, and just in time too. Only 5 weeks before baby arrives! Great to ready our posts and others on what I missed!

  • denysewhelan

    Professional Development for Bloggers….why on earth didnt I think of that…having either attended or planned so many in education…but now, this is the real deal. Meaningful, relevant, spoilt for choice, and as for the Twinings, what a win that was. Did not feel well enough to stay for whole time, but at least we said HI…..love this linky. Thanks Nikki. You are always teaching me something new. XX

  • I’m joining in because I wrote about blogging today, something I rarely do! The pinterest talk sounds interesting. I’d love to learn more, to be honest

  • Janelle@AWhiteFarm

    More generous advice….thanks Nikki, I love these posts!! And the twinings tea cups of course!! xx

  • Rinniez

    I seriously LOVE this saturday series, so many great links to great advice and ofcourse your posts are always wonderful too.
    I’ll be joining in and linking up again next week!
    🙂
    xx

    • Thank-you. I actually started the Saturday blogging series as an experiment 18 months ago – I figured if no-one was interested I could have just stopped and pretended they never happened 😉

  • Grace from With Some Grace told me I had a cute accent so maybe I should podcast?! I’m not sure it’s me but loved reading all the tips, thanks, Nikki!

    Sorry you got the flu. I promise I had non-communicable bronchitis so it wasn’t me! 🙂

  • Louisa

    I’m really excited about podcasting too – that was one of the big things from BlogWorld for me. Pinterest too – these things are just great ways to create more content that reaches more people; not everyone is words oriented and it’s good for us to remember that. Great post as always!

    • Yes, it is important to remember – I’m a visual person but my husband is auditory – he’d do a podcast!

  • I wish I was able to go to that conference but the timing was all wrong for me. Thanks for sharing the advice that you received from it with us!

    Talking about SEO and Pinterest etc I have linked up a post about a link up I’m having at my blog on Social Media. Please pop by if you have time.

    I’m off to Mooloolaba for a couple of days now. I’ll think of you while I eat my crab penne at Augelos tonight!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

    • I’ve checked it out Natasha – great stuff – and enjoy tonight. I’m still sick and going nowhere!

  • Cherie

    Thanks for a great post on blogging once again! If you did do podcast interviews I would subscribe for sure! I am planning on starting my own blog and have lots of ideas but I either get overwhelmed or I chicken out!! I know sooner or later I will have to bite the bullet and start.
    I have been wondering what your opinion is on nastiness in the blogging world as I hear on other blogs about readers getting nasty at times. Have you experienced this and how do you handle it?

    • Cherie – firstly, if you’ve been thinking about blogging, just hit that publish button. You don’t have to tell anyone straight away that you’re doing it. It can be just for you until you feel confident to share.
      Secondly, I’ve been really fortunate here that there is rarely any nastiness in my blog’s comment section or Facebook page … I think part of that is that I’m not writing about anything controversial 😉 and I also think you can set the tone of your blog from day one. I honestly would delete any attacking comments and ban the user. I don’t want a space that fosters nastiness and it’s my site so I get to make those decisions.

      • Cherie

        Thanks Nikki, yes you are right I have to remember that it is not going to be read by hundreds at least not right away.
        That is good info as well, about setting the tone, this seems the best approach to me. Thanks for your advice. Look forward to your next post!

  • Great post Nikki, I’m also hooked on blogging conferences now! You already do fabulous work with your images. Especially your trend or product collages and writing on your real style posts. These types of images share your message clearly and lead people back for more. I found Nicole’s session so helpful, and your panel. It’s so important to know your brand before you jump at the opportunities blogging can bring your way. I love that about your and your blog.

    • Oh, Christina, you are indeed lovely. We really do have to be clear on our brand to be able to work with other brands. That’s probably been my biggest learning over the last year.

  • Love this post Nikki! I am developing my two blogs this year, looking to invest in mentoring soon. Ready for a full assault on the blog conference scene in 2013. Maybe we might meet one day. Thank you for sharing so much juicy fodder for my blog.

    • I would love to meet you Louisa and yes, I think a full conference assault would be a good thing for you. Even if you can get to ProBlogger in October in Melbourne, I think that would be worthwhile for you.

  • Never thought about Podcasting. I’m a tad camera shy (kind of part of the reason I blog- I actually like hiding behind the PC… My own personal downfall but at least I acknowledge it. Never thought about podcasts though.

    I LOVE attending events and now bubs is a little older I may be able to attend them again without the need to run out the door with a screaming baby.

    • Hahaha … the idea of a podcast does take away the camera issue! And I think it’s great that you came to a conference with your bub – even having to leave the room is better than not coming at all!

  • Tonya, The Crafty Mummy

    It was so lovely to meet you in person, Nikki! I learnt a lot, but I was also happy to hear that I’m doing some things right already too.

    I came home saying to my hubby that I might need to go to another event later in the year… I think I’m hooked!

    • Lovely to finally meet you too Tonya – and hubby watch out – you’re hooked. Seriously the best thing you can do for your blog is to attend events like these. As you said, sometimes it re-affirms you’re doing things “right” – sometimes you come way with something new to try!

  • Oh I am so excited that you are thinking of podcasting. There are so many people you can interview. I’m getting back into mine over the next couple of weeks so I’d love to finally line up that interview.

    Great learnings and I agree with everyone. Sometimes I battle with those plain and boring SEO headings and doing something more catching to encourage old readers to click open to read! Always a fine line in blogging

    • Would love to Caz! And agree with the SEO fine line – I guess mixing it up a bit helps – my how-to content is an obvious one to keeping it simple.

  • Carly Findlay

    Thanks Nikki – I followed the tweet stream from my hotel in LA but these tips are so concrete – again, bookmarking 🙂

    • Thanks Carly – was so much to take in. I always take copious notes and then re-read the notes a few days later to see what things leap out at me that I can apply to my blog. Thanks for linking up too.

  • Desire Empire

    Loved your take on the event Nikki. Especially the brand savvy Twinings. And I am about to get working on Pinterest too. Baby steps darling.

    Carolyn

    • Always baby steps – and not every idea suits every blog. Go with what feels right for you!

  • Louise @ Foxy and Fabulous

    Great takeaways Nikki, agree with you that these events are just fab learning and people in one! PS. Thanks for letting me touch your steam podded hair! Louise

  • I am a little scared of Podcasting, I would LOVE to hear yours. Rachel x

    • Right now my voice would not be very good – have had the Blogopolis flu!