Monday, August 24, 2015

10 blogging tips from Problogger 2015

For the past two years I've been watching on from afar at all the lucky bloggers attending Problogger each year wishing I was a part of it all. This year was finally my year. I finally indulged my fomo and packed my bags, left bub at home and went off on my own blogging adventure for the weekend. Amongst all the amazing food, networking, partying, and did I mention the amazing food, I actually managed to squeeze in quite a bit of learning as well. I learnt so much over the course of two days that my brain still has lots of processing to do, but these are my top 10 blogging tips from the 2015 Problogger conference.
Finding Myself Young: 10 blogging tips from Problogger 2015













10 THINGS I LEARNT FROM PROBLOGGER 2015


1. I am a glow stick
Without a doubt one of the most inspirational speeches of the entire weekend was from Jadah Sellner{of Simple Green Smoothies fame}. A lot of the points below were also touched on in her speech, but the biggest takeaway was the slide at the end. Its okay to be a glow stick - sometimes we need to break before we shine.
Its okay to be a glowstick, sometimes we need to break before we shine.
I doubt I could find a quote more relevant to me if I trawled through Pinterest for days. I've been broken many times throughout my life, and in many different ways, yet each time I put myself back together and soldier on. I don't know that I'm actually shining yet, but I very much relate to the metaphor that sometimes you have to be broken before you can shine. Sometimes just coming out of the situation that broke you is enough to make you shine brighter than you did before. 

2. Do your own thing
Don't fall into the trap of following what others do, just be yourself and do your own thing. Trying to copy what another person does will rarely work because you're not them. At the end of the day your readers come to read your blog because they love YOU. They like the way you do things, there's no need to be anyone else.

3. Write in your own voice
Be true to yourself and write the same way you speak in real life. Your blog should be like a conversation between friends. I already do this naturally, minus the swearing. I fear you would all up and leave if I swore as much as I do in real life. That's a lie I don't swear at all *cough* I just choked on my drink.

4. Be more confident
No matter how many followers I have on Facebook or how much interaction I get on the blog or social media, there's still a part of me that doesn't believe I'm good at all this. I still feel like a fraud {but I have no idea why}. I've learnt over the weekend that I really need to be more confident in my abilities and believe in what I do. I also need to learn to take it on board when people tell me I'm a good writer, instead of fobbing it off or making excuses. We all need to work on taking compliments better, people don't give them out for no reason.

5. Don't be afraid to fail
This is something I really need to get over. Even though I've been blogging now for over 3 and a half years there are still times when I don't do things I want to do, because I'm scared I'll fail. Times when I'm too worried about the judgement of others. I've decided next year is the year where I DO all the things I want to do and action all the ideas I have swirling around in my head. I already have something in the pipeline and I can't wait to share it with everyone.

6. There is not one magical way that works.
I think so many people go to conferences like Problogger in the hope of finding that one magical key tip that's going to change their lives and make them an overnight success. I'd even go further than that and say people were expecting a step by step list of how to be successful. I came away from Problogger with a list of notes on how I could try and make my blog better, but moreso with an overwhelming confirmation that there is not one magical way that works for every blogger. The key to success is to simply try, try and try again until you find what works for YOU. What works for you more than likely may not work for others. I honestly don't think there's a quick way to be a successful blogger because it takes a lot of time and effort to foster a loyal and engaged community of readers {they don't just appear overnight}.

7. There must be a pay off for your readers
As much as us bloggers can be a self indulgent bunch of people, because well der we write about ourselves all the time, our blog is not only for us. There has to be something in it for the readers. This isn't a new notion to me, its always floating around in the back of my subconcious. I always try to give my readers something from every post, whether it be inspiration, general advice, laughter or more obvious things like prizes from giveaways, but I'm not sure if I hit the mark all the time. I'm going to keep this more in the forefront of my mind as I write posts going forward and try where possible to offer more value to my readers.

8. Change lives
There was a lot of talk over the weekend about WHY you write. I primarily write to leave a footprint, but I've decided I don't want to just leave a footprint, I really do want to change lives. Not on a grand scale by creating world peace or anything like that, but I want to use the struggles I've been through to touch the hearts of others and let them know that they're not alone. To assure them that others have been on the same journey as them and come out the other side. Not only does it give a purpose to all the struggles I went through, but it also gives meaning to others at the same time.

That's why I've shared my journey with postnatal depression and why I'm actually grateful for going through that experience. Its why I share what it was like having a parent who committed suicide. Its why I also share bub's allergy issues for other parents who may have children dealing with the same issues and be feeling just as lost as I was in the beginning. By sharing our stories we can all grow and learn, and help each other.

9. Be more organised
I definitely need to be more organised, I'm sure we all do to some extent. I know this is something I really need to work on. I need to make better use of batch writing and my editorial calendar so that I'm not up at 10pm each night writing blog posts like a mad woman crazy sleep deprived mum the night before I publish them. I've started putting more effort into planning and jotting down ideas on actual paper as I have them, instead of storing them in the deep depths of my brain hoping I can find them again at a later date. Its my dream to one day be fully organised and have a proper office and know exactly what I'm doing one week to the next. I'm slowly trying to get there, but I'm not sure if I can really make huge changes with a 2yr old ruling the household at the moment. But we can all dream.


10. You're nuts trying to blog with a 2yr old.
Ok so this one technically came from after the conference when I asked in a Facebook group exactly how I'm meant to find the time to be organised with blogging while I have a 2yr old climbing on me/screaming at me/throwing toys at me/trying to sit on my laptop... and there were generally two types of responses. Keep her occupied with tv or send her to daycare... or just give up because I'm crazy trying to blog with a 2yr old in the first place. Ok to be fair there were some relatively useful tips in there too, but the general consensus is that I'm nuts for blogging with a toddler on the loose and I have to say I don't entirely disagree with that, but I'll soldier on regardless because I'm a gluten for punishment its my passion.

Did you attend the Problogger conference too? 

Any tips for blogging with a 2yr old in tow?

Toni x

Linking with Kirsty, Alicia & Eva

35 comments:

  1. These are 10 great learnings from PB Toni!! It's tough to keep the confidence up as a blogger sometimes. It's a lot of work running a blog and sometimes we feel very little return - not great stats, very few comments, social engagement interaction might be low etc. Other times the stats are looking better and we get some lovely encouraging comments on a post, social media engagement is on the up. It's an up and down ride. I think that focussing on our WHY is what will help when the ups and downs get us down. Can't give you any advice on blogging with a 2 year old I'm afraid as when my kids were 2 there was no such thing as blogging. Now I feel old!! ;-)

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    1. Yes it definitely is an up and down ride isn't it? I think you're right, focusing on the why really does help to keep direction even when you feel you're getting nothing in return.

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  2. Great post! I had every intention of playing along from home again this year but my daughter ended up in ER, requiring surgery and life got in the road. In the end it was a blessing I didn't make the trip from Perth to the Gold Coast this year.

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    1. Yes so much better that you were still in Perth when that happened Raychael.

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  3. No 2 year old tips but I think bloggers are all a bit nuts anyway and that's what makes us awesome :)

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  4. I wish I could have attended but it is great to hear all the tips and insights such as this post afterwards! And yes, I think we are nuts. I have a 2 year old and a baby - just madness! But perhaps it keeps us all sane?

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    1. I REALLY need to get more organised before I end up trying to blog with a toddler and a baby. I do think it keeps us sane. If I didn't have blogging and social media I'd go nuts talking only to a 2yr old all day.

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  5. What great tips. I couldn't be there but love all the advice I am reading about

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    1. Thats the awesome part about it Natalie, so many people share their tips after :)

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  6. Thanks for the tips! I wish I could have attended ProBlogger this year! Oh well, fingers crossed I get to attend next year.

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    1. Yes fingers crossed you do :) It really is worth going even if you can only go once.

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  7. These are great tips. Number 7 is particularly jarring for me, because I have absolutely nothing of value to offer readers, besides a bit of giggle from time to time. Oh well, nothing wrong with that, is there?

    As for blogging with a two-year-old the only advice I have is to let other things slide. Like I personally don't do ironing, ever. Or get help, such as a cleaner if or when you can afford it. Good luck. That thing in the pipeline sounds intriguing. xo

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    1. I thought I wasn't giving much to my readers either when they talked about it at the conference, but once they said laughter etc as payoffs then I was like oh ok maybe I am doing it sometimes then.

      As for letting things slide, I'm all over that lol. Its the only way I manage to blog at all.

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  8. This list is spot on. There were quite a number of words that seemed to be used over and over again by the presenters - courage/bravery (put yourself out there), serve/nurture (think of your readers), be true to yourself/find your voice and failure as something to embrace rather than something to fear. I'm still trying to process everything but I think your list sums up the key messages nicely Toni!

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    1. I'm still processing it all too Kirsty. I think I'll have to break it down into smaler chunks of information in my book so I can turn it all into useful things for the blog.

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  9. Thanks for the tips! I'm loving these Problogger catch ups since I couldn't go :( I'm still at a loss of how to do number 8... and I think sometimes I miss the number 7 thing. I'll have to keep these in mind with every blog I write!

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    1. Number 8 was a combination of two things - finding your why which Darren talked about and changing lives which Jadah mentioned in her speech. I just decided my why was to change lives :) No need for you to change lives too Lu, just find the reason why you love to write.

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  10. Great tips Toni. I'm blogging with a 2 year old (and a 3.5 year old). Nuts together ;)

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    1. Yes we can be nuts together!! Was great to meet you.

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  11. Wonderful write up Toni. You do a fabulous job with a toddler. I know exactly what you mean. I am trying to run my blog and a little home business and wonder why I can't get as much done as I want. I decided not to be to tough on myself.

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    1. Yea I think I need to do that too Julie. I need to realise I can't be the "perfect" mum all the time when I'm trying to do other things as well. I also need to stop beating myself up for not being the perfect mum because nobody can be perfect anyway. Hope your business is going well. I have a day dream of running a stay at home business too but I doubt I could ever find the time.

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  12. I love it when bloggers share what they have learnt from Problogger. This is an awesome honest account and so helpful.
    I love that quote by Jadah. I tells me it's OK to be broken, and good things can come from it. Blogging with kids in tow is hard, it's important to find a balance that benefits you and your family.

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    1. Yea I think the key is I need to find a balance that I'm happy with :)

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  13. I have been blogging with a 2 year old, though she just turned 3, and it is damn hard. I have no advice except to say that you aren't alone in the struggle. Keep at it if you enjoy it.

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    1. I'm glad there are so many more of us out there doing it too, makes me feel a little less insane.

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  14. Great post Toni! I blog now with a 2.5 year old & baby and sure it has its challenges but it is do-able. I just squeeze bits in when there's a break with one sleeping & the other playing. Plus really late nights but I blog ahead so it gives me time if I lose a day to kid needs lol I need to work on being organised too though. Flying by the seat of my pants isn't a great method haha schedule is made but I'm yet to stick to it.... Shine bright ;)

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    1. You are already waaaaaaaaaay more organised than me Holly!

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing - I didn't get to PB this year as you know so I'm gobbling up all the posts and info that are coming out of ti!

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    1. There's been so many posts this year {probably because there were so many more people there}.

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  16. Thou took a TONNE of good stuff away, Toni. Bet you are so glad you finally went!! I struggle with point 4 the most. Working on it! x

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    1. Yea I'm really glad I went. Just wish I had of been brave enough to say hi to more people.

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  17. I started my blog when my son was a toddler maybe that's why it has been such a slow burn - I didn't have the time or peace to pout into it. Now he is at school full time I am starting to make headway (except Facebook, can't seem to crack that one). Any way shall remeber the Glow stick to keep me going.

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    1. I have a feeling I'll have a lot more time to put into my blog once she's at school too. I started mine before kids but I was working full time so I didn't really put a huge amount of effort into it then either. A few more years of slogging away for me yet. And nobody knows how to make Facebook work, just as you think you've figured it out it all changes.

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  18. These are great tips! I have been blogging for almost a year and still have a lot to learn! I have really enjoyed everyones posts from Pro-Blogger, sounds like it is THE place to be for a blogger!

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