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As I mentioned in Saturday’s post, I spent last Friday at the Problogger Training Day in Melbourne.

It’s kinda obligatory for a blogger to blog about a blogging conference they’ve attended, right? Right. (I dare you to write a comment with more uses of the word ‘blog’ in one sentence!)

Luckily for both of us, I learnt a few lessons that I wanted to share with you, so here we go.

1. Headlines Matter.

I’m crap at headlines. When I write a blog post, I give all of 2 second’s thought to the title. This is a mistake. The amazing Sonia Simone gave a short, sweet, honest, and blunt talk about content creation. I have to admit, I am now a big fan-girl of that lady, she is amazing (she’s the gal who pretty much runs Copyblogger these days).

She gave me a lot of food for thought, but the thing that sticks most in my find is to make sure you write a headline that really draws people in. This headline is a good example. I used a number, I referenced a big event, and I told you that I learnt something, and that I’m going to share it with you.

I’m sure Sonia could write a headline for this article that’s about eleventy-billion times better, but hey, I’m trying!

2. The most valuable parts of a conference are not the sessions, but the breaks.

Don’t get me wrong – the sessions were awesome, and I took away a lot from them. But the breaks were where I got to connect with so many amazing people – both online friends and new friends. I got to talk to Darren, and Simone (though I couldn’t find Chris, I think he was hiding).

Not to mention, Tim Ferriss was a surprise speaker at the conference, and this is what he told us. I’ve never quite known how I feel about Tim, but hey, the dude knows how to connect with the best people!

3. I know it all already, I just don’t do it!

I didn’t actually learn anything ‘new’ at this conference. That is not really surprising, as I’ve been blogging seriously since 2007 and I’m a knowledge-whore, so I’ve learnt a LOT in that time.

However. Sometimes, just because you KNOW something doesn’t mean that you DO it. This is me all over.

There are so many things I know I should be doing with this blog. More importantly, there are so many things I know I should be doing to grow my business. But I’m not. This needs to change.

4. Bloggers are amazing people. And yes, a bit weird, too.

I kinda knew this already – but being a in a room of 300 bloggers really made it hit home. Bloggers aren’t ‘one type of person’. There were ladies, men, and ninjas (okay, one ninja).

There were people from their early 20s to their late 60s. There were seasoned bloggers and people who hadn’t even started yet!

But they all shared one thing. Passion.

They all have something to talk about, something to share – something to give to the world. And – especially in Australia – I think it’s hard for people to put themselves out on a limb and say ‘hey, I’m actually pretty awesome, and I have stuff to teach you’ without feeling like self-aggrandising jerks. We’re a self-effacing lot (thanks to our English heritage, I think).

5. You need to get out from behind the keyboard.

All the online networking in the world won’t ever substitute for real-life, face-to-face communication. I could elaborate on this, but I think we all know it’s true. Nuff said.

Postscript: Ideas for Next Year

One thing I felt was missing from this event was information about blogging for indie biz that sell actual physical products, like me and a number of my fellow crafty bloggers.

The focus was definitely on monetising your blog with digital products, advertising and sponsored posts. All of which are a vital income stream for any blogger, for sure, but not the be-all-and-end-all.

Also – Darren joked on twitter about running a week-long event in Bali (at least, I think he was joking. Cause if he wasn’t, I’m so there!).

But I think he hit on something – I definitely think that an event like this has scope for more than one day, and I would definitely love to see more of the craft and creative community getting involved. (And yes, that’s me raising my hand, Darren, if you’re looking for someone for next year! ;D )

I’m hoping to see more blogging and indie biz conferences happening in Australia – especially for creatives – if only I had more time, I’d put one on myself!

Finally, I’d love to learn more about the product launching process. I’m sure this was probably covered in the e-book session I missed, so I’m waiting eagerly for the sessions to appear online!

Did you attend #pbevent? If so, I’d love to hear what your take-home lessons were in the comments.


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