I don’t get out much. Really, I don’t. I spend most of my days sitting in my office, on my computer, writing … alone – except for our gorgeous Golden Retriever, who looks at me longingly through the window every hour or so. She gets a walk every morning, but likes to check in to see if I’m in the mood for another one later in the day – it’s always worth asking. But I digress.
Guess what? I got out! Last weekend, I went to the ProBlogger conference at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. I had THREE. NIGHTS. AWAY!
Problogger is a gathering of bloggers from all round Australia, and some internationals too. We had three speakers from the states – Heather B. Armstrong of Dooce, Ruth Soukup of Living Well, Spending Less, Pamela Wilson from Copyblogger and Jadah Sellner from Simple Green Smoothies. There were over 700 bloggers in the audience, 95% of whom were women. The men were so outnumbered, the venue even converted one bank of men’s toilets to a ladies rest room during the event!
One of the event sponsors, Telstra, helped out by expanding the wifi capability to allow for all the hashtagging, tweeting, facebooking, instagramming and posting.
We arrived on Thursday afternoon, booked in and settled into our rooms in time for the networking to begin. My lovely roomie, Shari Brewer, is a friend I met at my first Problogger conference in 2013. We shared a spacious twin room with lovely views over the golf course. Each morning, we were greeted by misty mountains with hot air balloons drifting slowly above them.
About 4pm, we headed down to the lobby to register and then it was on to the bar for Welcome Drinks and networking – and lots of laughs. This was followed by two days chock-a-block full of listening, learning and A-ha moments… plus a SHINE Cocktail Party on Friday night.
Here’s some of my favourite highlights and take aways from Problogger:
“If you want your blog to shine,
you have to focus on your own wellbeing”
The conference opened with an empowering presentation from Problogger’s organise extraodinaire, Darren Rowse. Darren spoke about how, after last year’s Problogger event, he set about losing 15 kilos in weight and improving his fitness. He did this by tracking and scheduling his time and instigating a non-negotiable lunch time walk every day. Darren says this has made him much more creative and productive in his work.
He asked us, “Are you filling your cup?”, and reminded us that we need input as well as output, encouraging us find inspiration by reading more books and blogs, or listening to podcasts and audio books. He also reckons comedy is effective because laughter wakes up your brain – a great excuse to watch or listen to something funny. Not sure all those cat videos on Facebook count as inspiration though!
“The key is not to prioritise your schedule,
but to schedule your priorities”
Later in the conference, I got to meet and have a photo opportunity with the inspirational man himself. It’s not the best photo – perhaps the photographer had one too many drinks the night before?! 🙂
Another very memorable speaker at the conference was Jadah Sellner. She spoke about saying your dreams out loud, taking imperfect action and serving your community. She believes the key to her success lays in helping, nurturing and inspiring people. Jadah said, “If you want to make a million dollars, you have to help a million people first.”
“Closing the gap between your dreams and reality
takes a lot of imperfect action”
And my other favourite presentation was by Carly Jacobs of Smaggle and Christina Butcher from Hair Romance, who spoke about Productivity and How to grow your blog. The information supplied was practical, instantly doable and right on the money.
They reminded us that:
- Wishes aren’t goals – you need to be specific
- Pre-plan so that you can make the most of your creative time
- Know what time of the day IS your most creative time
- Batching and scheduling tasks can really help in enhancing productivity
- There’s an app called Self Control, which blocks wifi, just in case you need a little *ahem* … self control!
Top tip: Take action now – write a list of 100 blog post ideas.
“Success is rarely accidental”
OK, so if you’re following me on Facebook, Twitter or Instgram, you may have already seen some piccies of the amazing food. Sorry to torture you, but here’s some more….. The desserts were especially delicious 🙂
So, I listened, I learned and boy, did I have some laughs with my lovely fellow bloggers.
Lovely to spend time with:
Shari from ShariBrewer.com
Shannon from Dash of Tonic
Kylie from Handmade Kids
Sam from SamNordberg.com
Min from Write of the Middle
…and SO many, many other lovely people I met and chatted to. Thanks for sharing this special event with me.
I hope to put most of these great ideas into practice and bring my readers more inspiration as a result.
Bring on Problogger 2016!