What was last Friday? Well, the calendar officially calls it October 21, 2011. However, it is known to me as the day I went to the ProBlogger Event, the day after I met the famous Mrs Woog, and the day I didn’t meet Tim Ferriss.
In case it hasn’t been made obvious, I love blog conferences! In the past I have taken notes and even live blogged events, but this time was different. I didn’t just learn from the amazing speakers (including Darren Rowse, Chris Garrett, Sonia Simone and more), but the bloggers who had come to learn too. Here are just a few examples…
- Blog cards are great to hand out, but if you really want to be different, do as Danimezza did: hand them out with something attached. Danielle made awesome little badges (pictured top left) with things such as “I’m so going to blog about this” written on them. Many of us were “oohing” and “ahhing” over her cleverness!
- You don’t have to have a blog to attend a blog conference. I met two lovely bloggers-to-be who will definitely be getting their blogs off to a good start with their newfound knowledge!
- If travelling to attend a conference, make the most of the opportunity and meet up with bloggers who live in the town you’re going to – even if they’re not going to the event. Annabel from Successful Blogging organised a blogger meetup and kindly invited me along. It was great as I met four more very nice bloggers I wouldn’t have met otherwise! One of them, Torre, has just published her first book – Swept, a true story – which I’m loving!
- A picture post highlighting the events of the day is a quick and easy way to get conference-related content up very fast! Nikki from Styling You was super-speedy at uploading her collection of Instagram pics, leaving me with a big case of “Wish I’d thought to do that…“
- Be a leader and make yourself known before you arrive. John Young created a Twitter list of attendees in the weeks before the event. This is a great way to get to “meet” people before the day, and perhaps score some new Twitter followers too.
Of course, I learned from the speakers as well! There have been lots of posts recapping the highlights of the day (see a list of them here at ProBlogger). But for me, these are the points that really stood out:
- If you want your blog to become your business, you have to treat it as one
- When you are passionate about your blog, you will attract passionate readers
- Be personal. Make a personal connection
- Know your goals. Dream big
- Every couple of months ask, “Where are my potential readers gathering? And how can I participate in those places?”
- Experiement. Test. Tweak
- Have “cookie content”. That is, the type of content that’s fun and makes life better
- Advertising on your blog is fine, but clutter isn’t
- Make content appealing to the eye and easy to consume (headings, bullet points etc)
- If you’re asking your readers for time and attention, you’re asking for more than if you’re asking for money
- You have two ears, one mouth. Listen (to your readers) twice as much as you talk
- Listen to the language people use in forums, social networks etc. This is like “human keyword research”
- Your blog is to attract new people. Your newsletter is to engage the people you have
- Let people know the real you when you blog. The weird you. The dorky you. Think about how you can convey the “youness” that’s different from others in your niche
What have you learned from bloggers at blog conferences? And what is the best tip you’ve taken away from a blog conference?
PS: A big thanks to Trevor Young who helped me with venue suggestions for the pre #pbevent drinks. Cheers, Trevor!