There’s always something new to learn

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 There’s a whole archive of posts here but many will be outdated now.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.

Ideas and thoughts from Problogger Event 2013

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.

As my blogging mates, Christina, Andrea and Caz, underscored in their session, it’s important to recognise the “step changes” along your blogging – or life – path.

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.

And because this is a style blog …

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.

PBevent outfit  Bella Lido top  Angle Diamond Dot necklace

Bella Lido top | NYDJ shorts | Angle Diamond Dot necklace | Swedish Hasbeens clogs (bought on sale at Jean Brown) | Samantha Wills earrings

PBevent outfit | Sportscraft pants Mela Purdie top Zoe Kratzmann sandals Red Phoenix Emporium earrings Epheriell necklace

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)

PBevent party outfit | Camilla kaftan

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.

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  • anastasiaC

    what an inspiring post – thanks for sharing!! I had no idea this event was on – i would have enjoyed something like this for sure!

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  • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

    Oh Steph, I wish you had said hello. Please do next time.

  • Janie at BfB

    I think you looked fab. Love all the outfits but particularly love the Jess Van Den necklace. I eagerly read anything you write on Blogging. Always inspirational. thanks

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Janie, too kind. I love my necklace and it was perfect for this event.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Janie, too kind. I love my necklace and it was perfect for this event.

  • http://www.seanasmith.com/ Seana Smith

    Glad to read this. I used to love your blogging posts and learned a lot. Great to get your take on pb. And just a quickie .. Completely agree about the Model and Me (just read your newsletter), works so well. And I need those spotty pants !

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh thanks Seana and thanks for the newsletter feedback – would love a company to take the lead on this. I’m sure it would work for them.

  • Steph @ Lipstick & Cake

    Loved our shoe shot Nikki! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      We were keeping it bright Steph x

  • http://www.nateanglin.com/ Anwell Steve

    Yeah, the industry is dynamic as it has ever been so it’s important for us to adapt to these changes and learn from it. Nice fashion you have here.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      that’s what I love about it – the changes keep things fresh!

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  • LKBLouise

    Dear Nikki, thank you so much for the contribution you make to me (and this community) in so many ways…… I LOVE this post. So many ideas, great information and fabulously wearable clothes all in one.
    Take great care and please keep up the wonderful work of you oooxxx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh thanks so much – that means a lot!

  • Fleur Raps

    The dotty pants and black top is my fave! As always you look gorgeous. The event looks like fun, I’m def going to try and come along next year.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I’m completely in love with the pants … and do try and attend next year. Such a great event.

  • Maxabella

    You’re the biz, Nikki. One of the most genuine, heartfelt and generous bloggers going. And you looked like a fresh Spring breeze too. x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh thanks Maxabella, I can tell you I was feeling anything but. Such hard work these conferences ;)

  • kellie

    Thanks so much for the shout out Nikki, your support has been amazing and means so much to me. I SO understand that feeling of beating yourself up when the end of the day rolls around and you feel like you haven’t achieved what you wanted even if you have been parked at your computer all day! I’m trying to keep my working day to school hours and it feels like 3pm arrives earlier each day! Loved all your outfits at PBEvent! That Camilla kaftan is a winner! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh that 3pm cut-off is a killer. As is the school holiday juggle but I still wouldn’t have it any other way. x

  • TravelGenee

    Hi Nikki, thank as for continuing to be such a styling inspiration and generous blogging sharer. I do a second check and add another accessory before leaving home. Always go out with the statement necklace, bracelet, scarf or hand bag. While to some this might all appear to be stuff on the surface I can testify your sharing is much more than this and can even get me into strategic thinking and applying it to my “real” business. Thanks heaps. X

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh thanks so much – that means a whole lot to me xx

  • JessVanDen

    Oh Nikki, thanks so much for sharing my necklace with the blogging community – it was so ace to see my jewellery on you (selling online I rarely have the pleasure of seeing something I made on the lovely owner!) x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      My absolute pleasure Jess – way more fun to wear than a lanyard!

  • MotherDownUnder

    It was so nice to see you…and as always you looked great.
    I am still on a post Problogger high…and I am so glad that so many people have written about it so that when normal life catches up with me, I can reread the posts and get motivated again.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I know … so many posts and recordings to keep us motivated for the next six months I think!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Lovely outfits ,you always look Chic .I love that you always comment back to me on your blog and that means a lot also a lot of other lovely readers will give advise about fashion or a makeup etc in a friendly and caring manner ,you have made StylingYou a community of sorts,Thank you Nikki :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I love the community here Lisa and I’m very thankful for your loyalty x

  • http://slapdashmama.blogspot.com.au/ SlapdashMama

    Oh I wish I’d gone. I really want to make something of the whole blogging caper, particularly interested in freelance writing and even writing a book. I don’t think the advertising on the blog path is right for me, don’t get enough hits really and I am not very good at sort of drumming up interest. But would love to write freelance stuff. Am thinking of doing that magazine writing course that the Writers Centre does…your outfits are so great. I particularly love the neckalce in your first outfit xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That’s the thing about this conference SlapdashMama, it can open your eyes to the full range of possibilities that have your blog as a platform. I can highly recommend the Writers Centre magazine writing course and also once completed, Al Tait’s ebook is great with helping you to get your stuff published too.

  • 26 Years & Counting

    It was so good to see so many Queensland bloggers there!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Damn straight. I’m biased and would like it back here next year but also would love another region to get the opportunity too. Shows that you bloggers are not only from Sydney or Melbourne.

  • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

    Great post Nikki – I could say 1000 things about how awesome PBEvent was but all I want to say here is DAMN you are looking fine! Bring on the Styling You Summer for you! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Ah, thanks Donna … was such an amazing time!

  • http://www.jfgibson.com.au/ Jodi Gibson

    I love how the blogging landscape is ever changing. We are all growing and learning and choosing our own path. I had to laugh last night as I received an email from someone who shall remain nameless saying that I have no write to comment on blogging or social media as I didn’t go to ProBlogger! (Thank God I have a thick skin lol) I think Problogger is a great platform for not only those who wish to monetize but also those who need direction, but also experience from those who have been involved in the field is so important. I don’t choose to monetize my blog and am focused on the direction that is right for me. It took me a long time to get to where I am and as you stay, it is still a learning curve. Great post Nikki, and great outfits too!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh how bloody rude of that person. There was a great quote from the conference, from Trey I think … “respond to the critics with awesomeness”. As with anything in life, we should respect each others choices. We don’t need to like or agree with them. What I love about this conference is that a lot of the big picture learnings apply to all aspects of life – not just blogging.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      PS. I’m curious, you say you don’t choose to monetize your blog – do you mean advertising/sponsorship? Because Problogger’s not just about that. There’s more than one way to earn money on or because of your blog. The conference covers all sorts of income stream possibilities … things like you do with your social media consultation and freelance writing … things that come because of the social media platform you’ve built around your blog. See you next year :)

  • Kelly

    Nikki you look great in all your outfits – really love that Sportcraft one. I really need to get off my backside and go and get those pants! On a side note, it is interesting that you mention Carren Smith as she is how I found you and your blog. Carren is one of those really amazing people and I am really lucky to have had the chance to work with her.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh the pants may be hard to find Kelly, they kind of disappeared after the first post! Oh, and I didn’t know about the Carren connection. She is truly the reason why I’ve had the confidence and belief to make something of my business. Such a beautiful soul. x

  • Sonal

    Nikki, I am truly enjoying your posts so so much…BUT it’s your lovely unaffected style/voice that brings me back. I do love and appreciate your engagement with your readers/followers and that you do reply to comments. THANKYOU. It’s nice to be acknowledged by bloggers when we help the conversation along. I often think about blogging but feel awfully inadequate/inarticulate / uninspired…hmmmm.
    Anyhoo….I’m loving your outfits and that you are a real woman with a womanly figure…and chilluns and hubs too. ;-)) xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh thanks Sonal. It would be a pretty boring thing this blogging caper without people to “talk” to in the comments section. I love that I get to start a conversation and everyone else can just jump in if they want! As for feeling inadequate and the rest … the beauty of blogging is that you don’t have to be perfect to start. You just have to start. x

  • http://www.mdkaos.blogspot.com/ Mummaducka

    gorgeous outfits Nikki! Looove the orange top!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh I love it too .. great style and the colour is just right for summer. Comes in other colours too.

  • Joanne Rimes

    Ps I can’t seem to get the link to Kellie’ blog to work. Will try again, maybe my coffee hasn’t kicked in as yet!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Have just tried and it’s working for me. Let me know how you go!

      • Joanne Rimes

        I think it’s an issue with my iOS 7 upgrade, will have a play. Thanks.

        • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

          I’ve upgraded – love how clean it looks!

  • Joanne Rimes

    Thanks Nikki, will go back and look at some of your Saturday posts on blogging. I have considered giving it a go a few times and have always changed my mind. Not sure it’s where I want to go in my life right now. Love the outfits, Have some serious shoe lust going on!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Joanne! If you head to my About page on the blog you’ll also find a link to an EBOOK written by a friend of mine – how to stare a blog. Awesome resource.

  • Kelly Exeter

    I’m a bit emo too. This is the one time of the year I get to see my bloggy mates in real so I wish I could go back and have a do-over!! {ps thank you so much for the shout-out lovely!}

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      You’re very welcome re the shout-out! I’m only coping now because Sarah from A Beach Cottage is visiting the Sunshine Coast and Mrs Woog is coming to stay next week!

  • Sonya

    Great timing – not so much the blogging but the conference wear. I’ve just found out I’ve been invited to a conference in Canberra next month and need to organise a day/evening wardrobe!