By Tan-JaBetween Thursday afternoon and Friday morning at the end of August, 550 bloggers descended on the Gold Coast for the 5th Annual ProBlogger Event (#pbevent). If you’ve ever been to a Problogger event in the last 5 years, lucky you! If you haven’t, and you are an Aussie Blogger, it’s the best experience you’ll ever have in your lifetime of blogging. And this is why….
Darren Rowse – Let me tell you about Darren Rowse as I see him through my eyes. He is an unassuming man who pays an incredible amount of attention to detail. Very humble and very giving.At the conference, a few bloggers were called up out of the audience and recognised for their dedication and hard work in pursuing their dreams. They were given opportunities to fly down to Melbourne and work with Darren’s team. A complete surprise to them and one which had one of the recipients (blogging sisters – the MerryMakers) in tears. Darren is obviously an incredible man and people only had good things to say about him. A credit to himself.
WHAT MADE THE EVENT A SUCCESS…
Punctuality – Not one session ran over time and we finished on Saturday afternoon at exactly 5pm as scheduled.Team Work – Darren has obviously put together a hard working, amazing team. I was in the ladies bathroom at the end of the final day, and two team members were talking. They were discussing the weekend and how the event was nearly over. They were doing just what I like to call, ‘girl chat’.When I came out of my cubicle, I looked at one very weary team member and smiled. She immediately smiled back, asked how I was and what I thought of the event. She could have very easily ignored me and gone about her business of catching her breath.Kudos to her, and I only wish they wore name badges so that I could personally send her an email to say how grateful I was that she took the time to acknowledge me. Connecting and building relationships is a top tip for anyone – online or offline.Value for Money – Having planned, hosted and participated in many ICT events over the last 15 years, I tend to be able to estimate what I should be getting for my money. Not only was this event cheap in comparison to other blogging events, you received so many extras that were not expected. Things like:- Massages- Downloads of the Whole Event and access to the ProBlogger community- Incredible High Quality Food at QT- Drinks and Food at the Networking Event- Great Competition and Prizes from Partner Groups- No More to Pay (you didn’t have to keep spending money once there if you didn’t want to)- Australian Bloggers/Speakers and Brilliant Key Note SpeakersAnd much, much more!Venue – Holding the event at QT on the Gold Coast was fantastic. There was the opportunity for the blogger’s families to come and stay in apartments on the coast and visit the theme parks, go shopping or explore while the conference was on. It was a win-win situation for everyone!
PEOPLE THAT IMPRESSED ME…
There were a lot of impressive people, but these really stood out:The MerryMakers – Although I didn’t get a chance to talk to the two sisters, I watched them at the conference after Darren Rowse presented them with their surprise gifts.They are living their lives exactly as they portray on their website. They are incredibly happy, healthy and the optimum of well being. They live and breathe positivism, happiness and a genuineness that cannot be faked.These two young ladies are wonderful role models for following your dreams and I look forward to following their journey and introducing my teenage daughter to their lifestyle of living. Well done, girls!Sharon B of Pintangle – I met Sharon at the Saturday night Theme night. Neither one of us were in costume and began talking.Sharon and I had a lot in common, having both been in the male dominated industry of ICTs for many, many years. We have both battled the “ICT war of the sexes” back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s as advocates for women being able to succeed in ICT industries, and found the women to men ratio at the conference very interesting. (Just over 10% of men represented all the participants).What I loved about Sharon was the fact that despite her many years of working and beyond, she has never stopped learning or giving to others. She has designed and manufactured her own product, has a number of blogs/websites and raises money for charity.A fascinating lady who thinks laterally and keeps up with the ever changing world of communication we live in. I look up to you, Sharon and wish you all the best in your travels!Larah Brooke and Trudie Bristow – These two ladies were first timers (like myself) and demonstrated that despite the fact they have families, children and husbands to balance blogging with, they manage to do it all and not only survive, but excel at what they do.The time management strategies they must employ to balance their blogging and family commitments make them seem like Super Women. They have that wonderful knack of being able to make it look so easy. Well done, Ladies!
WRAPPING UP THE #PBEVENT
Overall, an amazing success. If you are an Aussie blogger – or even a blogger from anywhere in the world, I encourage you to join #pbevent next year and find your way in the blogging world with like minded people.Did you attend the ProBlogger Event? Let us know whether you will or won’t be back next year and why.
As a professional Teacher, Trainer and ICT (Internet Communication Technology) Educator for over 25 years, Tan-Ja has worked in the area of Internet Technology since the late 90’s. She has a Masters Degree in Education, with a specialty in Information Technology.
In a former life, she taught both children and adults around the world (Australia, UK and the Middle East) on different subjects including online communications, blogging and online chats. Since leaving education, Tan has been writing, teaching and training in the areas of ICT, blogging, digital marketing and content writing ever since.
Part One – How to Make a Blog from Scratch.
By Tan-JaHave you ever wanted to know, ‘how to make a blog’? Since writing my “Blarticle”, I have been contacted by many readers wanting to know, “How to make a blog?” (or write a blarticle). So I decided to put together very simple 2 part, “How to Make a Blog” series, making it easy for readers to understand blogging and how to get started. Before you even begin writing your blog, you need to work out why you are blogging. Ask yourself these questions:
1. What is My Passion?
Is it your business? Is it making loom bands? Is it cooking brownies? Whatever it is, you need to be very clear and stick to one topic on each blog. To keep your blog active and your followers interested, you need to blog regularly. It could only be once a month instead of once a week. But keep it regular. And be excited to blog. If your blog is not what you are passionate about, your interest will wane and your blog will end up in cyberspace desert.
2. Is Blogging for Fun or a Purpose?
After learning how to make a blog, you may decide it it is fun and a nice sideline for you. And keep it at that. Keep it light, update it whenever you have something to say and don’t do too much promoting of it.However, your blog on how to make loom bands for your friends, could get you a good following, and sponsors and advertisers may come knocking on your door. This would be the time to decide to get serious and buy a domain name to turn your hobby into a business.Remember, if you buy a domain name ending in .com.au, you will need to have an ABN associated with it before you can purchase it. Deciding to buying a domain name ending in .com or .com.au or even related to your passion (.photography) is a simple process, but there are some things you need to know and consider before buying. The tax office is a good place to start if you don’t already have a business.
3. What Do You Want to Do With your Blog?
What’s the purpose of it? Do you want to entertain people with funny loom band making stories? Give them advice on loom band designs? Teach them how to make loom bands? Think about it very carefully as you will be known for your tone and friendliness. If you decide you want to teach people how to make loom bands, know how to approach people with your voice. If you are looking at loom bands, your audience will probably be young, so you will need to be friendly, know their language and become a friend they can relate to.In Part 2, we explore how to make your blog with WordPress. Tan-Ja has taught adults and children to blog for over a decade. She herself is a Professional Blogger – standing in for those who don’t have time to blog. She also enjoys teaching blogging to adults who are finding their passion and want to learn to blog about it. She runs courses on the Gold Coast with Computer Smart Training. For enquiries as to the next beginners Blogging course, phone the Computer Smart Training Centre today on (075) 5395666.