Eight things I learned at Problogger


It's been a few weeks since I headed to the sunny Gold Coast (it's a hard life!) for the 2015 Problogger conference. I've wanted to attend Problogger for a while now, so I was pretty stoked to go this year. It really made me realise how far I've come... while I'm not a "pro blogger" by any stretch, this time last year I was just getting started and explaining to my boss why I wanted to go to a blogging conference would have been a hard sell!

Problogger brings together 700 people from all walks of life, from full-time bloggers, through to people thinking about starting their own blog and everything in between. The conference is a jam-packed two days of blogging lessons, ideas, tips and tricks... we covered everything from finding your purpose through to social media, analytics, business, even running automated email campaigns!

I'm not going to lie, bringing 700 bloggers together is intense. While I love a social media community more than the average person, I was feeling pretty very overwhelmed by the chatter going on in the Facebook group before the event.

Thankfully, I knew one person out of 700 (we actually "met" on Twitter earlier this year) and we quickly became fast friends. The power of Twitter! It was also great to meet some people with similar interests to me from all different backgrounds. It was a pretty friendly group to practice networking with, so that's always a bonus!

I've had a few requests to share my Problogger tips and given a few weeks have already snuck past, it's definitely time I share some of the goodness that I learned at the conference.

Don't have a blog? Read on anyway! One of the best things about Problogger is the scope of information covered, so I've made sure I've included some tips for my non-blogging friends below as well.

problogger 2015 darren rowse keynote

Write your vision statement

A trend I noticed at the conference was asking the big questions.

I like the idea of writing a vision statement for yourself, or your blog, because it takes big, intangible questions like "what's your why?" and starts forcing you to think about your purpose in a really practical way.

No matter who you are, or what you do, at the end of this article grab a pen and start thinking about your own vision statement. Dream big!

When I launched Career Chronicles I did a similar exercise which really helped me think about my purpose and what I wanted the site to be about. Having this clarity has already been so useful. It provides a great framework for decisions, and staying on task with your goals.

Write down your goals, share & take action!

I have included this tip immediately after the Vision Statement advice, because I think that they go hand in hand.

To make your Vision Statement even more powerful, once you have set it out in front of you, start breaking it down into small, achievable goals that can help you achieve your vision. I really like the idea of 90-day goals, and this is something I've been trying ever since the Problogger conference.

September is a great time to start implementing 90 day goals to ensure that you finish 2015 on a high note. In fact, I like this advice so much already taken action on this one!

Interested? Here are my September goals.

While you might not want to publish your goals online like I have, another great way to ensure action is enlisting an accountability buddy. Since Problogger, I've found two people to help with this and I couldn't recommend it enough! Asides from the obvious things, like feeling more inclined to get things done, it's so cool to feel like you are on a journey with someone, and I've found it hugely motivating.

Always focus on adding value

One little saying that got a lot of love at Problogger was making your free stuff (like eBooks or eCourses if you are a blogger/entrepreneur) better than other people's paid stuff.

Blog or no blog, I think this is a great point.

Sharing is hugely powerful. Sharing something of value doesn't just help those around you, but inspires you to keep learning and keep trying harder. When I started blogging I was really motivated to do something that rejected the "I did it tough so you should too" mentality I kept seeing at work, so this is a great reminder.

I've got a few ideas for eBooks I've been working on, but I would also love to create a free seven day eCourse for my followers, so I will be definitely keeping this point in mind.

Cheeky plug: Are you looking for career advice? Feeling stuck? Let me know how I can help you!  

Stay ahead of the curve

In a digital world, things move fast. Something new is always vying for our attention.

Lots of chatter at Problogger was about the benefits of being a first mover, and adopting technology and trends as they arise. I love the idea of learning something new, and I think that always looking for opportunities to try things out is a great way to stand out from the crowd.

One of the "hottest" things going around right now is Periscope. If you haven't heard of it, it's a new social networking tool that uses live video streaming to connect you with the world. I tried it out once a few weeks ago, and I was so unbelievably nervous! After I got over my nerves, it was actually pretty cool! People are doing some awesome stuff, like free mini-webinars, sharing great information on Periscope, so make sure you check it out.

I am definitely going to be playing with this more, so sign up and let's chat!

Be strategic in getting on people's radar

This tip comes from a session I attended with Andrea from Fox in Flats, which was about working with brands.

I very rarely work with brands simply because I haven't found opportunities that I consider to be "on brand". I was really interested to head along to this session to get some more insight, and to get me thinking about cool collaborations that I could do that really deliver value to my audience.

The one thing that I took from Andrea's session was to be really strategic in getting on people's radar. Don't just sit back and hope for the best, or hope to have an awesome opportunity magically appear out of thin air.

If you are looking for your first job, new job, a promotion or even trying to build your brand, this advice applies to you. Get the notebook back out and think about people that you want to work with, meet, learn from... whatever! Think about what you can offer them, and be strategic about how you get on your radar. Connect with them on LinkedIn, chat with them on Twitter, make the time to have a coffee, drop them an email - whatever! Relationships will always be valuable, no matter what you do.

I actually did an exercise like this with my coach and found it super useful. Perhaps you can even go through your extended networks and think about what opportunities you already have within reach and start some conversations?

Get a new project off the ground in 15 minutes

Darren Rowse (ie Problogger) is pretty incredible. He manages two hugely successful blogs, a podcast, eBooks, a massive online community plus a long list of speaking engagements. I've always been so impressed by how much awesome content he generates.

Earlier in his blogging career, Darren had wanted to write an eBook, but never quite found the time (we've all been there, right?!). After a period of frustration, Darren started getting up 15 minutes earlier every day, for the sole purpose of writing his eBook. Slowly but surely, his eBook came together. In fact, when the eBook went live Darren wished he had started earlier.

I have really been struggling in the morning recently, and I have started to feel a bit of overwhelm sneaking up on me. Instead of getting a new project off the ground, I'm going to try and get up 15 minutes earlier to finish off all the things I have on the go.

Or exercise... !

This will be a challenge... I'll let you know how it goes!

career advice problogger 2015

Think about your "One Thing"

In the final session of the weekend, Darren Rowse asked everyone to commit to one thing.

I actually think that committing to one main goal is probably harder than five! But this acknowledges that we aren't super human, and again breaking things down into achieveable goals can really help you get.things.done! 

By now, you have worked through your vision statement, made some strategic goals and shared them (!). Take a look at your goals and be realistic: are you overcommitting? Do you need to narrow down your focus?

I do really think that this is a benefit of 90-day goals. There's something about committing to a goal for 90 days that just feels more achievable than committing to a long list of lofty New Years resolutions.

So be honest with yourself, out of everything on your list, what is the one thing that you want to achieve? Focus your attention right here.

 Don't forget to check in with yourself

My last lesson is a simple but effective one, and one that I have failed big time this year.

It's so easy to run yourself into the ground. I've done it multiple times, and I know so many people who always fall into this trap too.

Take the time to check in on your health. Are you eating right? Getting enough sleep? Making time to exercise? This can make a huge difference. I also chatted about this with Jennie Geisker, talked about how important looking after herself is to her success. Check out my interview with Jennie here.

I hope these hints leave you feeling inspired! I've focused on some more generic tips that will be useful for bloggers and non-bloggers alike, but if you are after more specific blog tips sing out and let's have a chat!

Did you head to Problogger too? I would love to hear what you learned too. Didn't make it? Comment below anyway and tell me your biggest goal right now and how you are going to make it a reality!