I just got home from a weekend on the fabulous Gold Coast, attending Problogger 2015. To sum up: it was awesome. I didn't have expectations - in fact, I've been so busy with client work that I packed just hours before it began and had no recollection which sessions I'd even registered for. Flying by the seat of my pants is kind of my signature style.
I was lucky enough to travel with my friends Carly and Emma, which made the experience infinitely more fun and comfortable considering my introverted tendencies (in stark contrast to AwesomenessFest 2014, which I attended alone and found quite confronting).
It was hosted at the RACV Royal Pines resort - gorgeous venue, amazing staff, and the incredible FOOD served cannot be understated!
But onto the most useful information: what I learned from the excellent speakers. Here are my favourite learnings, picked from my #PBevent notebook:
Darren Rowse (the Problogger himself)
- How are you? The wellbeing of your blog/business is intrinsically linked to the wellbeing of you.
- Make sure input (reading, relaxing, listening to Podcasts, having a mentor/s) is equal to or greater than output (blogging, serving clients and providing value).
- If you're in a good place physically and mentally, you can help others more, and are in a better place to withstand difficulty and criticism.
- Refocus on your WHY. Your why gives you direction, provides motivation and helps in decision making.
How you spend your time gets you to your destination. ~ Darren Rowse
- Analyse how you spend your time. Run it through your filter of 'WHY'.
- Design your ideal schedule (and take into account your personality type). Many of us 'dreamers' would prefer a big white space to do whatever we feel like, rather than a rigid schedule. But that is unproductive.
- Develop systems to make everything easier.
We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. ~ Jim Rohn.
Jadah Sellner (Simple Green Smoothies)
- Say your dreams out loud. Take imperfect action (we all start at zero). Put it out there (your dream) and let the world decide!
The idea that spreads the widest, wins. ~ Jason Silva
- Decide what you want to be known for, then be fanatical and focused. Talk about it consistently. The riches are in the niches.
- Focus on your ideal client. Put her on your vision board. Give her a name. Make her feel as though you are writing specifically for her.
- Social Media: add value where people are already hanging out! Jadah posts full recipes on Instagram and other platforms, doesn't expect readers to click through to her blog.
- Opt-in offer: make it more valuable than someone else's paid offer! Make it a no-brainer for people to sign up.
- Once they have participated in your opt-in product, and experienced their desired results, think: what would their logical next step be? This is where your paid products come in.
- ASK your community: what are you struggling with right now?
Start moving people to action, rather than pushing people to products. ~ Jadah Sellner.
- Nurture your fans. Express more of who you are. You can't automate connection!
- Focus on how great do you make people feel - rather than how great do you feel.
- Focus on serving your community over building it.
Nat Kringoudas (on creating successful e-products)
- Nat's first eBook, Fertilise Yourself, has sold over 25k copies at $20 each - made back her investment of $5k (in eBook design, editing and marketing) in the first two days of sales.
- Hire the best editor and designer you can afford.
- Not sure where to look? Check out other eBooks you love and enquire about the designer/team involved.
- Best thing about digitally producing your own e-products is that there's no middle-man - all profits are your own.
- Try packaging products together or offering a digital bonus to boost sales.
- Dream big and ask someone you admire to write your eBook foreword!
Heather Armstrong (Dooce - on dealing with criticism)
- Don't seek it out! Stop reading the negative comments.
Of course it's fine to delete. You are not stifling 'free speech'. Don't allow people to visit your 'home' and poop on the carpet. ~ Heather Armstrong.
- Honour that the criticism hurts. Don't ignore it or go numb. That vulnerability is why you can connect to your readers.
- Find the humanity in your enemy. They are hurting too. Extend your metaphorical hand across the table to them and the conflict will end.
Carly and Christina (Smaggle and HairRomance - on productivity)
- Make a commitment to your blog. Affirm why it's important and who you are helping.
- Wishes aren't goals. Make your goals attainable and map out a strategy.
- Create calendars and plans - more routine = more creativity. More planning = less stress.
Pre-plan your blog content. Doing it at the last minute robs your creativity. ~ Smaggle.
- Batch everything! Blog posts, emails, social media scheduling, sourcing images, admin etc.
Know your best hours to work. A task that takes you an hour in the morning could take you 3 in the evening. ~ Smaggle / HairRomance.
- Don't sit down at the computer to blog without an idea. You could use that time more wisely.
- Make a list of 100 blog post ideas.
- If you work for yourself and control your own days, use timers to segment them for higher productivity.
- Use analytics to check what is working - then do more of that and ditch the rest.
The Internet is 90% consumers, 9% sharers and just 1% creators. ~ Smaggle / HairRomance.
Shayne Tilley (on making better sales pages)
- Easiest way to create a successful sales page is to copy the format of another successful sales page.
- Focus on the benefits of what you're selling, then the features.
- Make it as simple as possible: simple layout with one call to action.
- A/B test everything.
- Half the people that click 'buy now' will not go through with a sale! The top reasons why are: huge forms to fill in, payment page is not compatible with their device, unappealing payment methods, bad error handling, 'hidden' fees, or a voucher code box.
I hope that some of these gems gleaned from Problogger 2015 have been helpful to you! I learned a lot, ate a lot, and met some of my business and blogging idols - so fun!
Darren Rowse finished the conference by encouraging us to choose just one thing from everything we've learned to work on for the months ahead. I'd love to encourage you to do the same - what one thing will you choose to implement?