Skip to main content

Problogger 2016 conference takeaways

It wasn't the best lead up to my first ever blogging conference...

Unprepared, overworked and knowing no-one, I rocked up Thursday evening to survey the scene at the RACV Royal Pines resort full of nervous trepidation.

Whilst experienced bloggers packed their conference essentials: cameras, computers and copious amounts of sparkling talent. I travelled light.
 Just little old me

Except that, I came with 20 kilos of addition baggage just in case, AND two non-blogging friends, happy to be my roomies for a girls Gold Coast weekend away. There was always that thought that I could always join them if required...

Not that I needed a blogging bolthole as it turned out, happily we all survived. Me with a big grin. My girlfriends got a much-needed break and I made some great new connections in the Aussie blogging world. Woo Hoo!

A billboard advertising the Australian Survivor TV show seemed rather apt!

Lesson One: Work out who you are and why you're of interest?

Leading a life where I'm often the new kid in town, I'm not adverse to the 'take a deep breath and introduce yourself' malarkey. But this time, It's not all about me and I'm not quite sure what to say.

I'm a crazy soccer Mum on Twitter, with a crazy poodle on Instagram, living in a Melbourne madhouse on my blog, but with enough emotional intelligence to sense this may not be exactly endearing to a room full bloggers searching for great social and professional connections... 

I had a few false starts, where I seem to remember describing myself rather rudely as a ditsy blogger, with the memorable utterings of 'my blog is just about my life' 

Before I gave myself a serious 'get a grip' talking to, and perfected my spiel to:
Hi, my name is Wren & I'm a personal blogger
Writing about my wanderings here, there and everywhere!'

I figured that gave me enough to say to sound like I knew what I was talking about, whilst giving the listener not the foggiest clue. Perfect - why does that quote on surprising, mystifying and misleading comes to mind?

Thanks to all the amazing sponsors: Principal sponsor Olympus 
Lesson Two: If you don't know 1 above, let others do the talking!

Some politely asked where I wandered, whilst others moved smoothly onto taking the safer ground of talking about themselves.  

Both responses I considered wins!

I listened to who they were and what they were wanting from their blogs and lapped up all the words of wisdom from the speakers before I came away with a list of inspirations a mile long.

Surfing the web at the Gold Coast
Lesson three: For virtual travel at it's best, 
dine with the travel bloggers!

On Friday night I ate pizza with the travel bloggers and met some awesome Mummy bloggers. A more impressive bunch of women you will never meet. Full of stories of travelling around the world with their families, juggling homeschooling, airports and a whole heap of affiliate links and appropriate sponsors with ease. 

Whilst we flitted from Colombia to Calcutta to Coolangatta without a single yell of 'Are we there yet? Or 'I need to poo' I smiled at their confidence and charisma and remembered when I arrived in Belgium twenty plus years ago, with a ten-day-old baby, a toddler and without even a 'Bonjour' of Flemish.

A quick flashback to my giant green double buggy that wouldn't get through the security barrier of my local Delhaize Supermarket, and I'm in awe of these Super Mums. 

Where was blogging back then, when I needed it? 

Keeping quiet about my roots in the crazy soccer mum world, I was happy to be flanked on either side by strong American women who'd landed on these distant shores having fallen for their Crocodile Dundee Aussie men. 

I'm more at ease with fellow first generation Aussies who can talk about their love of life and their love-life Down Under whilst in the next breath talking wistfully of their motherland.

Thank you to Problogger for a wonderful conference
Lesson Four: You don't need to have a perfect blog, or to have a well-formed plan, you just need to get your (excuse me for this) arse into gear,
and at the very least have your back end under control!

Ha! Such an Aussie approach to it all, which I loved. The kind of bottom line message was a 'no worries' approach meets 'Crickey! Get a grip.'

The greatest thing about attending Problogger was (unlike at other conferences) it is pretty difficult to tell across a crowded room, who are the most successful bloggers, or who has the words Top Influencer on their business cards.

I love the messages of the likes of Emilie Wapnick from Puttylike, that some of us are a little bit complicated and that it's ok to do, and be many things.

Indeed the written and technical skills needed to produce a beautiful blog do not transfer necessarily to amazing public speakers. But nor do they need to be, if you have a passion, a belief or something unique to say, your on-line audience will love you for this. 

Attendees at Problogger 2016, were primarily newbies and indeed from the one's I spoke to quite a few who were yet to start a blog. Which meant far from being the underachiever, the fact that my blog had survived the two-year mark, was an achievement. I'm giving myself a pat on the back for this ;)

I do need to get my design and my backend under control. I did not meet a single Blogger blogger. So at some point Word Press here I come... when I have figured it out  and when I have the time. If you have done this and have any tips for me, please let me know how you did it!
Bloggers find a possible post in everything!

Lesson Five: Create evergreen content

Only once did I get the unexpected response of 
'Oh how lovely, you must have a load of fantastic evergreen content with that?'
Of course, I agreed, making a mental note to do more gardening posts if the evergreen content is seen as desirable!
Evergreen view from our room

Ha Ha what a laugh ... oh well it seems I have quite a few things to work on 
Wish me well... Does anyone out there in blogland have their backend under control?! Silly me, of course, you do!

Linking with Blue Monday thanks to Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor
and the wonderful hosts at Our World Tuesday



Popular posts from this blog

Friendship Friday!

Hello dear friends in Blogland. How are you doing? I am pleased to be here for Friendship Friday
I've had a great week and have well and truly settled back into my Asian life  where I am enjoying making new friends both locally and in here in the blogosphere.

I've had fun, I have joined a new group - the American Women's Club of Thailand.
Why the American's when you're a British Aussie? You may well ask. Well firstly they take anyone, these Expat women's groups really are not that fussy!

Well, except for the ANZWG Group where you need to be closely associated with Australia and New Zealand. I am, I have the passport and I have a family, home and of course an Aussie Crazy Poodle Down Under and I miss my Melbourne life terribly,  but my life in Thailand is more about meeting women from around the globe.

I have always had lots of American friends, I chat with many Americans via my blog...

... anyway they let this little bird in and she's chirpy about that!

The Expat - an A to Z of how not to make friends.

Ok, so I have now officially disgraced myself with the Americans…
A little bit of backstory, I moved to Bangkok eighteen months ago. It was a tricky move coming from the eight times winner of the ‘World’s Most Liveable City’ Melbourne, Australia to one of the most polluted, congested and the world’s hottest capital city… I gave up a meaningful job that I loved, in the Not-for-Profit sector to become a lady of leisure.

I threw myself into life here. I enjoyed the travel and getting to know Bangkok, and we had loads of visitors, but this year everything changed when we moved into our forever place in Bangkok. Hated it, nothing worked, was miserable, so had a great summer traveling the globe visiting family and friends instead.

Back in Bangkok, ready to immerse back into my Thai life, I am moving into a new apartment and ready to make some new friends, I joined a few expat organisations…
I know, I know being an Expat sounds glamorous, we have left the homeland, or in my case homelands, and j…

The Last Rose Of Summer

I spotted this poppet of a pink rose against the crumbling English church wall this week. It reminded me of the song 'The Last Rose of Summer':
'Tis the last rose of summer left blooming alone. All her lovely companions are faded and gone.' Thomas Moore
Quite how this melancholy song slipped into our normally upbeat,  think 'My old man said follow the van', family singalongs, I don't know.  But since then, I've always looked for my last rose of summer!

The last rose of Summer got me thinking how Winter has well and truly appeared in the United Kingdom. She slipped in unannounced after an endless summer. On the back of the gritter lorries, with witty names like Grittie McVittie, Brad Grit, or Spready Mercury, busy throwing salt to stop roads freezing over. 

Wren's thought for the day: There is a stoic cheerfulness here despite a gloomy outlook in more ways than one... Brexit remains a monumental looming moment in British history but it’s anyone’s guess how t…