It has taken me a while to process everything I heard at Problogger Event but I think I am finally starting to make sense of it all. As part of the conference package you gain access to recordings of all the sessions so I am still catching up on the ones I didn’t sit in for, plus you become part of the Problogger Community where people are helping each other solve blogging questions everyday. I’ve had a think about some of the more poignant pieces of advice I picked up at the conference though and share them with you now.
Usefulness Is King
As part of Darren’s opening session he make a great point about the usefulness of content. The term ‘content is king’ has been bandied about for years but Darren wants to instill in us the notion that content should be useful for the reader. For ways to identify content that may be useful to your readers (apart from asking them what they want) think about the way people use the internet. Darren reminded us that people google things they are too embarrassed to ask a friend. What may be obvious to us may be helpful to someone else, think of those who may be behind you on the journey.
Want to build an epic blog? Here’s what it boils down to for me… pic.twitter.com/ihjqn2z4e7
— Darren Rowse (@problogger) September 10, 2014
You’ve got to respect a guy who turns a subject as dry as SEO into something entertaining. Rank Fishkin not only managed to hold my attention until the end of his presentation on SEO For Bloggers In 2014 but he also simplified a subject that can often be shrouded in confusing jargon. I’m not going to go over all his points as he has very kindly uploaded the presentation here but the part that struck home for me was his case study involving (poor) Port Douglas. Rand emphasised why keyword research is important by showing us the difference between what you write versus what people search. Whilst everyone on the internet was looking for ‘great barrier reef tours’ Port Douglas built a page around ‘reef trips’ and consequently ranked #123 (page 13) for their key selling point.
Map Of Monetization
From listening and speaking to lots of bloggers who have monetized their sites in different ways it became clear that there is no one best way to make money from blogging. Darren ran a session on Introduction To Monetization in which he used this mind map to show just some of the multiple ways people are monetizing their sites.
The revenue stream that works for you will depend on your audience, your products, your skills, but also the business you are looking to build. It may involve some of these methods at certain points, and none and others. It may be a case of trial and error until you find the right one that fits. There is no one size fits all when it comes to the blogging business.
Invest In Your Business
Almost all the speakers seemed to agree that if you wanted to turn your blog into a business you need to treat it like one from the start. This may mean you need to invest in it – be it on a theme, hosting or resources.
Don’t forget to invest in yourself too. As the blogging business continues to evolve we all need to invest in our learning along the way.
Find Your People
There was something I learnt at the conference that had nothing to do with the presentations and everything to do with how I felt at the end of the two days. Blogging can be a lonely business. I spend many hours at my desk, alone, trying to work out what is best for a business I manage, alone. It can be lonely and isolating but the good news is I’m not the only one in this position! There is so much to be said for attending a conference such as this, where you can surround yourself with people who get you, bounce ideas around and potentially make plans to work together in future.
If you can’t attend an event in person join and participate in online communities. I find Facebook groups particularly useful and user friendly. Some of my favourite include: Blog Society, Bloggers Bazaar Community and UK Travel Bloggers.
For anyone thinking of attending a Problogger Event I can tell you this – it will not give you all the answers. What I did come away with was questions, the sort of questions I need to be asking myself if I want my business to succeed. The conference helped me set goals and then gave me a kick up the bum to get me on the way to reaching them. Maybe I’ll attend next year and let everyone know how I got on..