Blogging Conference takeaways

On the 12th of August this year, I boarded a plane ALL by myself and flew to Brisbane, via Singapore.

It was the very first time I had travelled alone, internationally to a country I had never been too for a conference I had never attended before.

Hey, I’d never been to a conference ever, let alone this one.

It gets better.

At the Brisbane airport, I was met by a lady I’d never met or interacted much with before and she generously and graciously drove me to the conference venue on the Gold Coast.

Not just that, she dropped me off and went to the stores and picked up lunch and fruit for me.

This generosity of spirit and incredible and instant connecting reflects the spirit of the conference I went to.

A bloggers’ conference, called Problogger.

The weekend that will for a long time to come be referred to as the “weekend that blew my mind” was filled with inspiration, actionable advice and lots of hugs and conversations.

I’ve let everything soak in for awhile and process it before sharing what I feel are my key takeaways and also, what Mayank and I will be focusing on for our ONE THING this year.

The Problogger 2015 Blogging Conference Punch Bowl: 10 Lessons for a Life and Biz.

1. Focus Your Lens

I’m actually not talking about your camera lens but your life lens. The lens you use to view your business and life from.

What are you focusing it on?

Do you have so many things on that plate that nothing seems to stand out or do you feel that you can’t decide?

Do you feel that you have too many fingers in too many pies and it’s leaving you busy but hungry too?

Nearly all the speakers at some stage or the other spoke about focusing because let’s face it… when you don’t focus, you don’t find that “secret spice” to make you shine.

Darren Rowse, founder of Problogger and one of my personal blogging heroes spoke about focusing in his keynote. His 3 Ways to Make Your Blog Shine presentation addressed taking care of ourself, refocusing on our “why” and most importantly, using our time wisely.

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2. Nurture Your Self

THIS is a biggie and while it is definitely something that both Mayank and I are focusing on this year, it was a takeaway because it reminded me to not let our self-care slip.

Whether it is eating right, moving more, staying inspired, working on your mindset, identify the ONE area of your life that needs nourishing and nurturing and then, work on it.

As Darren and then, Jadah Sellner of Simple Green Smoothies shared in their respective keynotes, when you don’t take care of your self, you don’t have the energy or enthusiasm to focus on your passions and you aren’t putting your best self forward. It’s a disservice to you, your family and to your community.

Nurture and nourish yourself. Period.

3. Find and Respect Your Why

THIS was key for me.

While quite a few speakers addressed knowing our why, including Darren himself, it was Caroline Makepeace of yTravel blog who asked the seemingly simple questions like “What’s your motivation?” “Who are you serving?” and “What’s calling you?” 

Yes, here’s Caroline and me;)

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Questions that on the surface are simple but force you to press pause and think.

With the fresh and new Content Bistro brand, both Mayank and I want to keep our “why” front and center in everything we do.

What is our WHY? Our motivation? What’s calling us? Our MISSION. Caroline asked us to share our mission, so here goes.

Our “MISSION” is freeing up time and creating online impact for time-starved entrepreneurs worldwide. We’re doing it through content, community management, social media, SEO.

Seeing small businesses scale search engine rankings and social media communities and supercharge sales is our WHY.

Increasing a solopreneur or family business’s income through our work is our WHY.

Giving tools and solutions to save time while increasing impact is our WHY.

4. Relationships Rock All the Time

Oh boy… As an introvert, I thought I’d be all “peopled out!” but it was awesome because while yes, there were over 700 of us at the event, the connections and relationships were really warm, engaging and in fact, even, intimate.

From chats over breakfast to lovely lunches and dinners together to swapping notes over sessions to meeting my personal blogging and business heroes who were amazingly warm and welcoming, the relationships I have made go way beyond a mere exchange of business cards.

Takeaway: Even if you’re an introvert and HSP, like yours truly, conferences can help you connect, build and strengthen relationships.

5. Lead, Don’t Follow

This was my takeaway from Ruth Soukup’s session on habits of extraordinary bloggers. Oh and here I am with Ruth.. I had to meet her considering I’ve followed her blog, Living Well Spending Less for, like, ever:) 

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Funnily enough she talked about being in a bajillion Facebook groups for bloggers and letting the conversations in them influence our paths and guess what, I’m so guilty of this.

And I’ve been feeling it lately. I love Facebook, don’t get me wrong and I love my Facebook groups, BUT I need to “focus my lens” and also, lead more than follow.

So, yes I will be leaving a lot of groups this week and trusting my own gut and experimenting more, trying new things and quite simply, leading. 🙂

6. Implement It

I’m an ideas person.

I’m also the kind who’ll want perfection in everything. Remember, ISFJ and Type A personality. 😉

Any way, post Problogger, I’m committing to implementing more than ideating, if you know what I mean. 😉 AND spurred on by Jadah Sellner of Simple Green Smoothies, dream scary dreams;)

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Most of the speakers spurred us to act. Move forward. Stop overthinking things.

And again, this ties into my “lead, don’t follow” takeaway.

Are you getting pulled into drama and distractions and not healthy discussions? Time to lead instead of just following.

7. Test It and Tweak It

Once you take action, don’t just sit back and relax.

Keep testing things and tweaking them. Whether it’s your email autoresponders, your Pinterest strategy, sales pages or your pitches to the media, testing and tweaking is what will help you find your secret sauce.

On that note, I will be revamping my autoresponder sequence based on my learning from Alita Harvey’s session and also, A/B testing our sales pages, thanks to Shayne Tilley’s inputs.

What can YOU test and tweak in your business today?

8. Be Insanely Generous

As I shared earlier on in my post, generosity was the spirit of Problogger and every single speaker was incredibly generous with their ideas, thoughts and time. 

From answering questions after each session to catching up with attendees during the lunch and tea breaks, the speakers gave a lot of themselves without a thought.

Not just that, the attendees were incredibly generous and as this newbie-to-conferencing found out were more than eager to help, chat, encourage.

Can you reach out to one person and offer to help? Can you be insanely generous to your community?

Jadah Sellner of Simple Green Smoothies shared that they put the entire smoothie recipes on their IG and Facebook accounts. THAT is insane generosity.

How can you make that happen?

9. Consistency is Key

While it is great to take all these ideas and get inspired, what came across in most of the sessions was that consistency is key.

Whether it was Jadah sharing her IG strategies or Ruth showcasing Pinterest growth strategies, the key thing that stood out was being consistent.

Consistency with action.

Consistency with branding.

Consistency with communication.

Yep, Consistent A-B-C. 😉

Can YOU bring consistency into play in your business? Whether it’s your blog, your branding, your social media… how can YOU be more consistent with them?

10. Surround Yourself with Success

Finally, and most importantly, the conference was a reaffirmation of how success breeds success.

Surrounding yourself with people who’re successful or motivated to succeed is bound to influence your mindset too.

Having the right mindset makes a ton of difference when you’re either a blogger or business owner or both. 🙂

Mayank and I are committed to working on your mindset as entrepreneurs and attending this conference cemented our belief that it is a key component to up-leveling our business.

Are you surrounded by people who spur you to action, support your dreams, inspire you to dream bigger? Join us in The Biz Bistro for just THAT,

Our ONE THING for the Year

At the end of Problogger, in his closing notes, Darren asked us to write down our ONE thing for the year. The ONE thing that we would focus on and make happen in this year before the next Problogger rolls around.

Here’s ours. We want to build our email community so we can connect more personally, be insanely helpful and always stay connected, regardless of social networking tantrums 😉

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You may or may not have attended Problogger but I’d LOVE for you to take time out today to think… what would be the ONE thing you want to focus on for the rest of the year and share with us in the comments.