I haven’t blogged about blogging here for the good part of 2013.
For those who are new here, I blogged every Saturday for a couple of years about blogging … completely off topic from the first world fashion and beauty problems of Monday to Friday. There’s a whole archive of posts here but many will be outdated now.
And I’m ok with that because that’s the appeal of this dynamic, pioneering industry. It is always changing and there’s always something new to learn.
I started blogging before there were blogging conferences in Australia and before branching out on my own, I worked as a journalist for a very long time. Any personal and professional development during that time was reserved for managers.
So when the opportunity to attend a blogging conference first came to my attention in 2010, I jumped on those earlybird tickets, attending the first Aussie Mummy Bloggers Conference (now Digital Parents) in March 2011 and have since been to every one offered in Australia.
I even flew to New York last year to attend BlogHer.
I also believe that we are very lucky here in the Australian blogging community to have the Problogger Event blogging conference. This time last week I was at my third PBEVENT (there have been four – I remember following the first one along on Twitter back when no-one was on Twitter).
This year’s conference was a little bit special for me because for the first time a blogging conference was hosted outside of Sydney and Melbourne. Queenslanders blog too and removing the distance barrier saw many fresh faces from my home state attend to learn and embrace the blogging community.
What I also love about this conference is that it has always embraced all blog niches – and all levels of probloggy-ness. Making money on or because of your blog is not considered a murky concept by attendees. The opposite, really. It’s embraced.
You don’t have to be making a full or even part-time income out of blogging to attend. You just have to show up and be open to fresh ideas (snaps to sponsor Kelly Exeter and ozbloghosting for giving each of us this notebook … I found myself taking notes the old-school way for the first time ever).
The ideas – and ways to make money through blogging – were aplenty at PBEVENT 2013 but central to everything is actually having a blog as your central business platform. What your blog-related business looks like from there is up to you.
Uberkate ubermemories bangle*
I’m still processing a lot of what I heard, plus I’m listening in on the sessions I missed via the virtual pass recordings.
I’ve written down a list of the practical, easy-to-do things and have even implemented one or two of them.
This post was one of them. Tsh from Simple Mom, one of the US speakers, suggested that an option for a post was to do a question post, where you only write a few paragraphs and then pose a question so that your readers essentially create the post. I always ask a question at the end of each post but by not writing a whole lot first, it invites your community to get more involved. I’m going to aim for one of these a month. Not only do I love the result but I also love getting to know some of my readers that much better.
The rest of the stuff I absorbed like a proverbial sponge was big picture stuff.
Darren Rowse (Problogger) asked this question more than once across the weekend: What’s your next step?
It’s so easy for the overwhelm to set in when you do ponder the “bigness” of this question.
All I know is that at the 2012 Problogger Event my next step was to plan and create a blogging series that I could turn into an ebook. If you’ve read my blog-to-book post, you’ll know that that was indeed a very good next step to make. I’ve now got four weeks to complete my Unlock Your Style manuscript and the photoshoot for my book is in the first week of November. By the time the 2014 Problogger Event rolls round, I’ll be a published author. And that seriously spins me out.
Yet, it all started with that first step.
My first step each day at the moment is to concentrate on staying focussed. Being easily distracted is my biggest obstacle. I allow myself to be sucked into the social media vortex, I’ll answer a tonne of emails before writing that post that needs writing and before you know it the working day is done and I’m beating myself up for wasting the time.
Except it’s not really time wasting time all the time. There’s just a lot to do.
Darren also said, “there will always be something more you can do” and that we need to make peace with that.
I’m trying, Darren, I am.
I also think that in planning – or stumbling across – that next step, it’s helpful to occasionally reflect back on the steps already stepped.
Maybe, just maybe, by looking back, we’ll not only celebrate the milestones but we’ll get a glimpse of what action we need to take when looking forward.
What to wear to a blogging conference is a question I’ve been asked many times over since the lead up to that first conference.
It’s always a very personal thing.
I like comfort, except if I’m speaking, in which case, I always wear heels (not sure why, it’s just a thing I’ve been doing since my first Carren Smith speaking course). I always carry a big bag around so my essentials (half my electronic orchard!) are at the ready.
I’m also all for giving your outfits a bit of a point of difference – accessories work well here. I’m one to stop a girl in her tracks if she’s wearing fabulous shoes. Last weekend was no exception. Ms Critique and Lipstick and Cake, I’m looking at you.
Conferences are also about networking. Remembering people’s names is tricky at the best of times but when you only “know” someone by their Twitter handle, it gets even trickier. This year I ditched the lanyard and opted for this gorgeous necklace made for me by Jess Van Den at Epheriell.
Anyhoo, here’s a look at three of my outfits. The fourth makes an appearance in a Model and Me post on Monday. Stay tuned.
Those Sportscraft pants | Mela Purdie shirt at Zambezee* (here’s a taupe version) | Red Phoenix Emporium earrings | Epheriell necklace* | Dinosaur Designs ring | Zoe Kratzmann sandals* (available in pineapple or black at Style Tread)
The Friday evening Hilton poolside tropicana party hosted by Tourism Queensland called for a kaftan and not just any kaftan – a Camilla number borrowed from Zambezee Boutique | Sophie Kyron earrings | Stuart Weitzman platforms (bought on sale at Shopbop – tried to find some more anywhere for my roomie Babymac, who tried to sneak these into her suitcase, but to no avail)
So tell me, do you blog? Thinking about starting? What’s your next step?
PS. I’d love you to go over and read my friend – and new blogger – Kellie Alderman’s post about the Problogger Event. I’ve known Kellie for years, she is an absolute pro and a journo “culled” from News Ltd last year. I love what she’s written about finding her voice. In that one post I think she’s found it. That’s the beauty of blogging – you not only can be who you want to be; you have to be.
PPS. Problogger’s Darren Rowse has written a great round-up of the event here that also includes links to other people’s blog posts about it and this new segment, which also features a cameo from moi.
As you were … I’m a bit emo now and probably need another coffee/margarita (insert appropriate beverage based on what time of the day you’re reading this post).
* These items were sent to me for editorial consideration.