So I went to ProBlogger and I learned some things. Seven in fact. Odd number perhaps, but hey, what are you going to do?
This is not my first ProBlogger conference, in fact it’s my third. There’s also been some other blogging and social media conferences over the past four-odd-years in the life of About a Bugg. You could say I now get at least the basics of blogging.
Which is probably why these lessons surprised me the most.
- I don’t want to monetise my blog actively anymore. I know. I just spent days on the Gold Coast learning how to do exactly that, but I just don’t want to. I love to write, I love my readers, I love my crazy busy full time job and every time I try to focus on monetising, I feel like something drops. So the ads on the sidebar are gone, and while there will be some sponsored content occasionally, it will be few and far between, and will need to be something that ticks all the boxes. Not just the financial one.
- I am no longer 25. And solid socialising for three days straight, will take me three times that long to recover from. I know, I was shocked too.
- Even if no-one read it, I would still write. There was a lot of talk about a blog needing to be useful to readers and how we should write for our readers. While I love (read: crazy stupid love) my readers, I write to get things out of my head, and if they all stopped reading tomorrow, I would still write. This *may* have influenced the decision I made in the first point above.
- Some people are just jerks. Truth be told, I already knew this, but it was unfortunately reinforced. Luckily the balance of awesome certainly won out.
- I don’t do inspirational speakers. Now this may come as a surprise to those of you who know me (ok, it probably won’t) but I don’t do inspirational speakers. Most of the sessions were great, a few were awesome, but there was one in particular who caused my eyeballs to hurt from rolling. Next time, I need to choose my sessions better and not put my eyes through that kind of trauma.
- Online friends are just as real as real life friends. In fact, in my experience they are even better. Maybe the very best. When it’s right, the friendship grows quickly and without the boundaries of awkward that real life seems to bring. I’m lucky to have a tribe of them surrounding me.
- Inspiration can strike anywhere. And inspiration did strike indeed, with an exciting new collaboration with some of my favourite people being born over a martini. More on that later.
Of course there was other things that I picked up along the way; the buffet at QT is all kinds of amazing, most bloggers are crazy inspirational and dedicated, and the power of a tweet can deliver coffee to your door.
Then there was some practical things too; new apps to play with, Google+ tricks, a heap of new blogs to read and tips on how to better manage my blogging time.
While you may not notice many changes around here; I’m hopeful that the small things I’m tweaking on the back end will mean better writing and less half written blog posts bouncing around in my head. Because that’s not fun for anyone.