On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending a blogging event hosted by ProBlogger.
To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what it was going to be about. I knew it would be about blogging, and I knew I’d see some bloggy buddies. And I knew that everything I’d seen of ProBlogger until then was helpful.
That was enough for me! I went along, and heard from Darren Rowse (Mr ProBlogger himself), Erin Bender (Travel with Bender), Alice Nicholls (The Whole Daily) and Nicole Avery (Planning with Kids). They discussed blogging (der), social media (including all those Facebook stats you can’t get your head around), community building, SEO, content planning and even what to do when you don’t want to do it anymore.
I got a lot from it. And here are the top seven things.
1. Know your blogging voice.
In the land of blogging, you’ll find a wide variety of bloggers. You’ll find friends, entertainers and celebrities. You’ll find experts, tutors and leaders. And you’ll even find the same bloggers filling these different roles across different topics and categories.
Know your voice(s), and use it (them) effectively.
2. You don’t need a huge audience to make an income from blogging.
A huge audience helps. Of course it helps! But you don’t need it. If your offering is unique, and there is a call to action that most people will act on, then you can make money. Because… (cue segue to next point)
3. You want to build a community.
You want active, engaged readers who care about and believe in what you’re doing. 100 readers that read consistently and are advocates for your blog and/or your services are better than 1,000 readers just stopping by.
4. It’s okay to switch off from blogging for a while.
In fact, if you’re feeling ALL OF THE OVERWHELM, it might be the best way to a) recharge, b) stay true to your voice instead of churning out content and c) keep your offering unique instead of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.
5. Content calendars are vital.
Even if you blog as the mood takes you, about whatever floats your boat, a content calendar is helpful. It can get your thoughts in order. It can highlight patterns in your posts that you didn’t even realise were there. And you can always change things around later. (Or ignore it completely. But I don’t think that was the point.) Which leads to… (cue second seamless segue… and admire awesome alliteration…)
6. Direction is important.
If you can’t do everything you want to do, it’s easy to blame lack of time. Time is finite. But all the time in the world won’t help you if what you’re actually lacking is direction.
Know what you want to achieve with your blog. This doesn’t mean you need lofty goals; mine certainly aren’t. But they do exist.
And here’s where Darren said something that really got my attention: Pick a fight. He didn’t mean to go around antagonising people with derogatory comments and writing angsty posts, but to pick your fight. Decide what you stand for (and against). And share it.
7. Focus is just as important.
As Nicole said, bloggers have a really hard job staying focused. We have a lot of distractions, and the worst part is that there are so many justifications for them. Social media platforms are generally how we build those blogs, so it’s easy to justify an afternoon spent on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
But once you have the direction, you need to focus on it.
So, an afternoon very well spent indeed, and with fabulous blogging company to boot.
Thanks, ProBlogger team. See you at the conference in August!
Have you been to a ProBlogger event? What did you learn from it?
And will I be seeing you at the conference in August?! I’m a little bit excited!