How to blog better: the word according to Darren Rowse, Sonia Simone, Chris Garrett and Tim Ferriss #pbevent

Nikki Parkinson Life 40 Comments

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.

Taking notes on my iPad at the Melbourne ProBlogger Event. Can anyone tell me why conference room carpet is always so bad?

Taking notes on my iPad at the Melbourne ProBlogger Event. Can anyone tell me why conference room carpet is always so bad?

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.

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Darren Rowse

This slide from Darren Rowse's presentation should be printed out on and placed on every bloggers computer screen.

This slide from Darren Rowse’s presentation should be printed out on and placed on every bloggers’ computer screen.

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.

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Sonia Simone

Sonia Simone knows her brand and knows how to share and inspire

Sonia Simone knows her brand and knows how to share and inspire

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?

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Chris Garrett

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.

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Tim Ferriss

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.

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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:

Spot any familiar blogging faces camping out here?

Spot any familiar blogging faces?

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. 

 

 

Comments 40

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  1. Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog. Thanks for sharing about the Problogger event. I really wish I could have attended but like one of the previous commenters I found out too late and missed out.

    Some great tips there. I would love to do more with my blog and I feel I am on the verge of it so a conference like this would have been perfect for me.

    Anyway, I’m off to have a browse around your blog.

    Ash
    🙂

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      Thanks for stopping by Ash. I blog about blogging every Saturday so come back for more tips then – fashion and beauty the rest of the week! And I can highly recommend attending a blogging conference if you can at all make it.

  2. Such a pity that I learned about this event too late. It would have been a perfect opportunity for me to visit Australia again and I would really like to attend a bloggers conference where some of my favorite bloggers will be. Any idea about the next big bloggers conference in Australia or Asia?

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  3. Hi Nikki, i loved that you did I pad notes! I did iPhone noted & they are still a bit of a mess. Thank you for yours.
    Three conferences this year on blogging have brought me to different places & purpose for my blog. I had already made my niche market & website, education and particularly for parents but it was the words ” if you are blogging for money make it your business to blog” my interpretation I guess.
    So I have a more disciplined & planned week on the blog, using editorial calendar, ensuring I check the look & fel of the blog each day, and actively seek businesses who may use my services by hiring a business consultant.
    So far I have paid out a lot of money with minuscule amount return but if the product doesn’t look professional there’s no motivation for a brand or business to want to work with me.
    Summing up, I came away from ProBlogger ready to be serious about where blogging & consulting take me & how to do the best for my readers & clients.
    Denyse

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      I feel the same after three conferences – how lucky have we been to have these this year?! I’m committing to attending all three again next year plus BlogHer – I always learn something and am inspired by the bloggers I meet across all niches. I love that you’ve got clear on your direction. And I totally agree about spending money to create a professional look to attract professional business.

  4. Thanks Nikki. I really got a lot out of the conference and your wrap up has been really helpful. I’ve started on an editorial calendar as sometimes “running by the seat of my pants” is not the ideal time management tool. Have a great weekend. Jo

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      I know what you mean – I didn’t actually blog by an editorial calendar until earlier this year – has really helped to keep me on track and keep the content diverse. I use a WordPress editorial calendar plugin as well, which is great.

  5. Hey Nikki
    Sound to me like Timothy Ferriss nailed it with this pearl of wisdom….

    “People need to trust the messenger before they’ll trust the message”

    It is all about trust! Love the 9 steps from Darren as well. Cheers Beanie

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  6. Nikki, I enjoyed all the speakers I heard. Looking forward to the audio to hear the others.
    Sonia Simone from copyblogger media -liked her tip –
    Treat your readers like dogs. Heaps of rewards & treats.
    Fran

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  7. Hi Nikki. I would have loved to have gone the Melbourne. Thank goodness for you and some other generous bloggers who have posted about what they learned. *Sigh* I have so many plans for my blog. Now, where’s the conference about how to fit 30 hours into the day? 😉 Thanks for sharing. xx

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  8. Ahh the headline. If I could tell anybody one tip, it would be to create a hook headline! And when promoting it on FB and Twitter, reel them in. Headlines rule the world!

    Love your work, as usual <3

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  9. I blog about marketing, communications, branding and all things digital and the one takeaway which was so fresh and original for me was “Branding is what people say about about you when you’re not in the room.”

    I normally say that branding is ‘what others say you are, not who you think you are’ but I think this added something more.

    I wrote a blog post from the heart called ‘why I don’t care about you’ which felt very different for me to write.

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  10. It is inspiring to be surrounded by so many bloggers and our blogging heros.

    I have made changes to my blog – I added an ad for World Vision to Get In the Hot Spot after hearing Richenda talk about blogging for good and I am focusing more on content planning which is a weak area.

    I love to fly by the seat of my pants but I’m sure if I planned more I’d post more too so that’s something I’ll be working on on both my blogs:)

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  11. I LOVE the “create an editorial calendar you can live with” tip. Definitely worth noting for anyone who is busy and can’t commit to writing lots of posts each week.

    Was so great to see you again! x

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  12. Great points there, especially of the ones I didn’t or couldn’t attend. Yes I have made a few changes so far. Little changes that so far have made a pretty good impact in my opinion. For eg. I did a whole week of eyeshadow posts – something one of my readers has asked me about previously. So I thought I should make it a daily thing where I try out different colours then textures. When I’m learning, so are my readers. And that’s been pretty good. 🙂 oh and fun for me too!

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