If you are following me on Twitter or Instagram, you might have noticed I recently attended my first Problogger Training Event. The Problogger Training Event 2016 was run by Darren Rowse (Problogger and Digital Photography School) and his team. It ran over the course of several days on the Gold Coast, with talks, workshops and masterclasses by international and local speakers.
It was INTENSE!
There were three talks and 2-3 workshops going at any one time. I was often spoilt for choice and the information sometimes felt overwhelming.
But it was worth every minute. I was inspired by the speakers, as well as by fellow attendees I spoke with. I was motivated to take action on things I’ve been putting off. I felt welcomed by a diverse community of entrepreneurs, writers, photographers, educators, entertainers, geeks, parents, fashionistas…
I walked away from every session with a tonne of notes and actions, so here’s my review of the Problogger Training Event 2016 sessions I attended.
Darren Rowse had me in tears with his slide: 10 things I never expected to say. Jokes aside, Darren’s message was super clear that we need to take IMPERFECT action. His challenge to take ONE action after the event is definitely homework I won’t be ignoring.
Brian Fanzo really set the tone for the day with a slam dunk of a talk. His challenge that we start with our ‘WHY’ instead of our ‘WHAT’ resonated for me. And the warning that he speaks fast was not exaggerated, but I enjoyed his style.
- Build trust with transparency by exposing your vulnerabilities
- Whether online or offline, we still need to engage
Turning Stumbling Blocks into Stepping Stones
I reckon there were a few teary eyes in the room during Daniel Flynn‘s (founder of ThankYou) inspirational talk. I was incredibly humbled by how warm and nice (and TALL) he was, when I gathered the courage to ask him to autograph my copy of Chapter One. If you are reading it or already finished it, please let me know what you think!
Key learning: Embrace failure and stay naive to pursue your dreams.
How to Blog Like An Entrepreneur
I am honestly the worst at connecting the dots with names and faces. I actually sat with Dan Norris (and the Merrymaker Sisters) at lunch and didn’t realise who they were. While Dan was extremely nice and shared so many great tips in his talk, I still feel like a right idiot for blabbing away at him like an idiot.
- You don’t need permission!
- Be generous – it builds trust
- Accept that you will most likely fail
How to Combine Your Many Passions in One Blog
When Emilie Wapnick shared she had moved her wedding date to be able to come to Problogger, I was floored by her (and her partner’s) generosity. Her opening that we don’t have to choose ONE niche gave me a sigh of relief. And she gave me a name: multipotentialite. I might not have ‘one true calling’, and that’s totally ok.
Key learning: Don’t choose – craft your overarching theme.
Creating Regular (and Amazing!) Content without Killing Yourself
I’m not ready to create videos (eek!) or podcast (double eek!), but I get why Colin Gray was advocating it. Building upon great content in a variety of formats helps your community. I certainly appreciated Darren’s podcasts after Bub was born and I had less time to read articles.
Key learning: Thinking like a teacher can help break your content down (and make it easier to create)
Top SEO Tools and How to Use Them
I loved this practical session by Jim Stewart. He didn’t explain what SEO was or how it is important – he just dived straight into it with a list of top SEO tools anyone can delve into today. His screen captures of what to do in each one was incredibly helpful and I was able to implement a couple of them that evening.
Key learnings: There are free tools you can immediately use to improve your SEO ranking.
How Do I Get My Blog/Podcast/Project/Event #Sponsored?
Laney Galligan shares a similar background to mine, so her talk was a wonderful refresher with a step-by-step guide on what can be sponsored (anything!), how to identify sponsors and how to approach them.
Key learning: Understand your influence
Working with Brands Panel Discussion
This panel discussion unfortunately didn’t provide as much value as I expected in terms of ‘how to’. That is probably because I came straight out of Laney’s #Sponsored session earlier. Instead I learnt a lot more from the panel – Brian Fanzo, Nikki Parkinson and Kristie Galea – sharing their real world experiences working with brands. Their honesty in sharing that developing mutually beneficial relationships with brands can take years of hard work was appreciated.
Key learning: Do not give your space away!
How To Build Leverage and Monetise Your Instagram
Giveaways seemed to be the buzzword with this panel. I don’t necessarily agree, but it works for panelist Alex Paterson. I loved Melissa Smith‘s hack on using text replacement for hashtags. I don’t think Nathan Chan‘s tips will be applicable for my Instagram audience, but he shared some analytics platforms I’m keen to check out.
Key learning: Have a solid content strategy
Common Legal Issues for Bloggers
Most of what Jeanette Jifkins shared I already knew from other blogging events, so it was nice to have that knowledge reinforced.
Key learning: Even when you Google Search for free-to-use images, it is still your responsibility to check the terms and conditions to ensure that it is.
The 5+5 Formula for Great Blog Design
Kelly Exeter‘s session on great blog design was a real eye opener. As she talked through the various elements, I realised why and where my blog – yes, this very same blog you’re reading – agitated me. There are so many ways this blog can be improved, so stay tuned!
- Invest in great branding imagery (you can start by reading Mel Kettle’s tips for a great corporate headshot)
- Footers are the new sidebars.
Although I’ve used a number of cameras over the years and have become lazy about using them in recent times, I thought the Olympus workshop on Photography: Get Off Auto would be a nice refresher course.
However I think Aaron Harivel from Olympus has instead cemented the fact that my cameras are seriously outdated. I still have (and use) my Canon 350D, which is 13 years old! There are so many new features in today’s models. Maybe it’s time to upgrade the gear.