A week ago, I had the pleasure of soaking up the excitement and creative energy of 300 bloggers who descended into Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia for the ProBlogger Training Event aka #pbevent. It was the first ever blogging conference that I’ve ever attended and I must say that I wasn’t disappointed for shelling out the cash and traveling all the way for it.
#pbevent was put on by Darren Rowse and his team who help him manage ProBlogger and Digital Photography School. Speakers included top bloggers from all over Australia and they even brought in Chris Guillebeau all the way from Portland, USA as a keynote speaker. I’ve been following Darren’s work for a long time and when I learnt that Chris, another role model of mine, was on the speaker lineup I immediately decided that I would attend.
Side note: I’ve never really talked about Chris Guillebeau but he’s someone I really look up to in the way he approaches business and living the life you want. I will try to expand on this when I get around to reviewing his book.
I was very happy to meet Chris Guillebeau in person; I even brought my copy of The $100 Startup all the way for him to autograph. I also really enjoyed meeting up with people that I know online and making new friends which is awesome because I’m always stuck in my home office and don’t meet many new people regularly. I didn’t manage to get a photo with everyone but I can always send them some link love :)
- Annabel Candy of Get In The Hot Spot & Successful Blogging
- Matt & Loreena, the Little Aussie Travelers
- Amy & Kieron from Don’t Ever Look Back
- Craig & Caz from yTravelBlog
- Nicole Smith who is Bitten by the Travel Bug
- Linda McCormick, the Eco Traveller
- Jo Castro of Zigazag
- Brooke Schoenman of Brooke vs The World
- Jenny Freedman from A Taste Of Travel
- Holly Galbraith from Think Social Media
- Misho Baranovic the Mobile Street Photographer
- Shayne Tilley the Web Marketing Ninja
- Alexx Stuart of Luxury Tastings (see her foodie blog too)
- Karen Gunton of Build a Little Biz
- Rose Wintergreen, singer-songwriter & social media coach
Event Recap and Lessons Learnt
The focus of this year’s #pbevent (there have already been 2 before it) was monetization strategies and the theme was From Little Things BIG Things Grow. The event was split over 2 days and the talks were separated into 2 streams with several keynotes each day. I’m not overly interested in monetizing my blog as I don’t plan to be a full-time blogger but I really got a lot out of the sessions. Some of my favorite sessions and what I learnt from them:
From Little Things Big Things Come by Darren Rowse. Darren set tone for the event with his introductory keynote with a big picture perspective. He talked about how it was ok to be a little blogger (yay for bloggers like me!) and where to find sparks that will take your blog to the next level. He also told the story of how he used 15 minutes a day to put together his very first ebook which has now earned over 6 figures in income, and that 15 minutes a day idea really got everyone excited and was referred to repeatedly throughout the conference.
How to Monetize your Blog with Sponsored Posts by Nicole Avery. I don’t really do sponsored posts but this was one of my favorite sessions because Nicole provided very specific tips and even shared her media kit with the audience. I’ve downloaded her slides so that when I get another opportunity to work with a brand I will know how to get the most out of it and avoid messy misunderstandings.
Making Money and Changing the World through Blogging by Chris Guillebeau. Chris brought us through his blogging journey, sharing very specific tips on what worked and the lessons he learnt along the way. He explained how he developed his message to impact his readers around the world and how small consistent actions grew his blogging into a six figure business and created personal freedom for him.
Taking a New Blog to Success – panel by Laney Galligan, Cintia Gonzalez and Gavin Aung Than. This was a really motivating panel discussion because it featured bloggers who were just starting to see success so it felt like I could catch up with them if I put my head into it. Particularly inspiring for me was the fact that Gavin sold his house so that he could avoid paying a mortgage, giving him the ability to focus on his blog full time. Wow!
How to Use Email to Drive Traffic, Build Community and Make Money by Darren Rowse. This was another tactics-filled session that gave me very good ideas of what to do for ClickWP. I’m going to launch an email autoresponder or bust by the end of 2012!
At $299, #pbevent was a fantastic value, even more so if you bought the early bird tickets like me. The whole event was a big spark for me. I personally have benefitted from the conference in the following ways:
- Meeting with bloggers and awesome people and being inspired by them
- Crystalized a product idea and marketing strategy for ClickWP and this blog too
- I’m challenged to develop that 15 minutes a day habit for my blog, my business and everything in general
- I’ve been re-energized to blog more, maintain relationships with my online friends and reminded that there’s so much more to work and ClickWP
I’m looking forward to attending more events like this; I’m wondering if I should attend BlogWorld, SXSW or maybe even the World Domination Summit. I’m also eagerly looking forward to the next ProBlogger Training Events – I don’t think I’ll attend every one but will definitely make my way to Melbourne for a future event again.
If you’ve been hearing all sorts of great stuff about #pbevent but didn’t attend, you can actually buy a virtual pass to access all the slides and recordings. There’s also a Facebook group where you’ll get access to the ProBlogger team and other #pbevent attendees. It might not be as impactful as experiencing the sessions and meeting other bloggers in person but there’s bound to be a few sparks that will rub off on you. Learn more about the virtual pass.
There are affiliate links in this post. If you use them to buy that will earn me a small commission and a virtual high five from me :)