September 18, 2014

5 Gems from the 2014 ProBlogger Conference

Published: 18 September 2014 

As my first ProBlogger Event, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as we road-tripped down from Brisbane. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was about to meet A LOT of people and experience a mass brain download of awesome information. Here are some of the top things I took away from the weekend.

Success looks different to different people

As well as being highly entertained by Matthew Michalewicz, an important lesson I learned in his seminar is that success looks different to different people. Although this wasn’t news to me, it highlighted the importance of understanding this not only for yourself but for those around you. It got me thinking:

  1. What does success look like to me?
  2. What does success look like to my reader when they visit my blog?
  3. What does success look like to my colleagues?
  4. What does success look like to my clients?

Knowing what success looks like to you helps you set achievable goals, while understanding what success looks like to the people that impact your work will allow you to determine what they value and why they act the way they do.

Seminar: ‘From ideas to action: Your blueprint for achieving success and turbocharging your blog’ Matthew Michalewicz

Change people through your writing

Something that stuck with me throughout the entire weekend was the idea of being clear with yourself about the change you want to see in your reader - to identify who they are and how you want your content to change them. Darren Rowse discussed this in the opening keynote of the first day, and I saw this reflected in each blogger I spoke to. In some capacity or another you want to stir a change in your reader - whether big or small. Maybe you will change your reader by broadening their understanding of a topic, by helping them try something new or by giving them the knowledge they need to improve their life. Whatever the change is, it is there and it is real. Be clear with yourself about the intended change you want your reader to experience and, when you are giving your article a final proof, put yourself in the readers shoes and ask yourself if you have achieved it.

Seminar: Opening Keynote, Darren Rowse

The business of you it is 100% original

My colleagues and I recently attended a presentation about differentiated value, and this point from Chris Ducker really reinforced that. What do you have that nobody else has? Show people what sets you apart and why they won’t find your content anywhere else. To drive home the importance of this point I want you to consider that in the month of August 2014 alone there were over 43 million posts published on WordPress blogs and there are currently 203.6 million Tumblr blogs. What sets you apart?

Wordpress posting activity



Seminar: Building Your Online Brand, Chris Ducker

Make Your Newsletter Your Own

I receive a number of newsletters, but more often than not I only open a select few. Looking at Mailchimp statistics, this isn’t unusual. On average, most industries experience open rates that sit below 30%. So this had me thinking about what exactly makes me open a newsletter and, on the other hand, what makes me not want to open one. I was looking forward to finding out more at Shayne Tilly’s Email Marketing Essentials talk and I wasn’t disappointed. Shayne identified three main things you need to be good at as an email marketer:

  1. Building a list
  2. Crafting great messages
  3. Delivering them like a pro

My favourite tips were:

  • What works for someone else might not work for you. Don’t copy what other people are doing, find out what works for your brand and audience.
  • Test different subject lines and track the response.
  • Include a sign up form for your website at the bottom of your blog posts.
  • Build an exclusive benefit for your subscribers. For example you could invest in creative options such as competitions, giveaways or free webinars.
  • Write what you want to say, then edit it to say the same thing in a better way with less words.

Seminar: Email Marketing Essentials, Shayne Tilly

We should be helping bloggers

Having so many generous, inspiring and creative people in the one place was incredible. From beginners to blogging heavyweights, what most of these writers have in common is a passion and commitment to share ideas, help others and make the world (online and otherwise) a better place. So, to help bloggers do their thing and expand their online potential, we decided to commit to sharing our tips for SEO, design, writing and PR each week. We’ve kicked this off with:

If you have any topics you would like us to cover please feel free to comment, Tweet or Facebook us with a request!

We’d like to thank Darren Rowse and the ProBlogger team who worked so hard to put together such an amazing and practical event. A big thank you also goes out to Christina from Salivate! Food Travel Indulgence and Nicole from My Christmas for helping us get tickets last minute.

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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