Unless you’ve been living under a blogging rock, you’d know that last Friday 271 bloggers, who blog about everything from parenting, to food and even motorbikes, descended on Melbourne for a day of learning and networking at the ProBlogger event.
I covered the networking bit in pictures here but I’ve spent the week going over my notes and realised there were a lot of key messages from each of the big name speakers that any blogger, at any level of blogging can take on board. Even if you think you already blog by these key messages, getting that reminder is always a good one.
So who are those big name speakers I talk of?
ProBlogger himself, Darren Rowse: The mastermind behind this event. It was the second time I’d heard him speak this year and when he talks (or blogs), I always listen.
Sonia Simone: the co-founder of Copyblogger Media put on her “good” sneakers and worked them back with pink hair to talk to us about cookies and dogs.
Chris Garrett: knows his way around a blog and put these skills to the test in a live blog critique of two blogs run by bloggers sitting in the room.
Tim Ferriss: yes, the hugely successful author of The Four Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss. Not the Tim Farriss from INXS.
Playful posts create memories for your readers. Humour, anything that is a surprise. I love giving people a surprise.
Be useful. The more you enhance people’s lives, the more people will come back.
If you have any kind of goal with your blog, put some thought into your blogging.
If you want your blog to be a business, treat it as one.
I thought opportunities would come to me but realised I had to go after them.
Branding is what people say about about you when you’re not in the room.
Think about what you want people to do when they’re on your site? Subscribe, visit, comment, follow, buy?
Experiment, test and tweak – constantly try new types of post.
Blogging for money needs a mindset change – your blog is your business. It’s not a blog that is monetized.
Treat your readers like dogs. You get your dog (reader) to sit and give him a treat.
Cookie content rewards the reader for reading it. After your readers read it, they think: “I’m really glad I read that. The next time I see something by them I’m going to read it.”
The best cookie content makes life better, contains useful information that can be used straight away and tastes (or looks) good.
If you’re asking for a reader’s time and attention you’re asking for something more than money.
Create an editorial calendar you can live with and “show up”. Regularly and predictably.
Let people know you. Be vulnerable, be unique. How can you convey that?
When looking at the content on home page, think about what’s in it for the reader?
The “About” page should say why a reader should come to you rather than somewhere else.
Think about what you want them to do when they land on your blog? Don’t offer a buffet. The more you channel them, the more they will do.
Blogs get to a plateau because they’re not doing the things to attract new readers.
A benefit-lead headline will attract new readers.
When writing a headline imagine an annoying kid saying, “so what!” in response.
I do one post a week and write the blog posts so I can meet the people I want to meet.
People need to trust the messenger before they’ll trust the message.
Very clearly define what success looks like for you in two-three years’ time.
9 steps to find readers for your blog
I’ll finish off with more from Darren Rowse. This was a session that had people camping out on the floor for more:
1. Identify who you want to reach – use polls/surveys
2. Create content that meets their needs
3. Identify where they gather
4. Build a presence in those places – be useful not spammy
5. Engage the readers that you have
6. Give people relevant and easy ways to subscribe and belong
7. Use those methods
8. Create shareable content – experiment/tweak/test
9. Repeat all of the above
Did you attend the ProBlogger event in Melbourne? What was the one thing that resonated with you and the way you blog? Have you made any changes this week as a result? If you didn’t attend, make sure you hop around to all the blogs written after the event.