6 Things I Learned at the #PBevent

by Veronica on October 23, 2011

in Blogging

I’m sure by now that there are a multitude of recap posts from the Problogger Training Day, but hang in there because mine is going to be better than all of them. Probably.

I learned a lot of things and had some other things that I knew already cemented into my brain properly. It was a great day and I was exhausted by the end of it, but the networking drinks and the possibility of ice-cream pepped me up enough to network. I don’t claim to have made any sense however, I was so exhausted I felt a little trippy.

– Passion is everything.

People want to hear about your passion. Sometimes they don’t care about what your topic is and instead hang around for the way you’re writing about it. Passion shines through and is incredibly important. You might not think that what you love is interesting to anyone, but usually it is.

– Blogging from the heart, VS Blogging smart.

You need to do both. There is no VS here. Successful blogs are built by people who manage to meld these two things together. People love personal touches, but you also need to be clever about how you interact and present yourself. Your blog needs soul in order for people to connect with you, but also technical cleverness (design, marketing, useability) for people to stay around.

– People love storytellers.

I keep telling everyone that we are all storytellers, but I’m not sure people believe me. People are storytellers, using different mediums to tell their stories. Readers LOVE stories and blogs that I read the most are the ones with the stories woven in and around the content. Maybe I don’t care about what you ate for breakfast, but if I’m drawn into your story, you can tell me about it and I’ll enjoy it. Even blogs filled with technical tips often have a story or two thrown in. Readers love it. Tell more stories.

– You can do anything you set your mind to.

Maybe I didn’t learn this specifically at the training day, but it seemed like it was a common theme. All of the speakers, all of the success stories – they all had an idea and then worked to make that idea reality. Very few people win lottery and are magically rich, even fewer people are instantly successful. Work out what you want and then work to make that happen. Keep trying until it happens.

– Successful people build their own momentum.

This feeds into the above tip. You’ve got to build your own momentum. You can’t keep hanging around waiting for a PR company to dump things in your lap. You have to work for opportunities and make them happen yourself. You want a first class trip to New York? Write yourself a proposal and start sending it to businesses that are a good fit with you. You have to make it happen yourself and stop expecting magic and fairy tale endings.

Networking is the most important thing you can do for yourself.

We all know that networking is important, but sometimes we forget just how important face-to-face meetings are. The networking and talking that you do at events is more likely to land you a job or sponsorship than 100 proposals sent out. It doesn’t mean you stop sending proposals, it just means that you have to go out and meet people too. Inevitably the old saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know” holds true.

If you attended, what did you learn? If you didn’t, what is the most important piece of advice you would give another blogger?

{photo credit Simon Pollock who is not only a great photographer, but incredibly funny as well}

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo October 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I wish I was there and don’t know if I am qualified to give advice to anyone seeing I apparently break ALL the rules, but my one piece of advice would be find your voice.

It is there. Try on a couple and you will find it. Mine happens to be bad tempered sweary person.

Veronica October 24, 2011 at 9:13 am

That is always something I tell people too. Finding your voice is important.

river October 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

All of those points are very similar to what “they” tell you at centrelink job search classes. Then they teach you how to make a resume, usually several pages too long, so you never get a job from it because I’ve learned from a couple of managers who told me, any resume over a page or two is binned without reading, because they just don’t have time to wade through all those pages.

Veronica October 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

I was lucky, I remember being told that if my resume was more than two pages long no one would ever read it. That wasn’t centrelink though, that was my Year 10 Ready-To-Work teacher. I got a job with that resume, and then a VET course and then another job. Heh. I’ve not had to use it for years now though.

Suzy October 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm

^^ know your voice and OWN IT! You will find people who love it 😉

Was lovely to meet you on Friday Veronica…I haven’t even read over my notes yet, so much swirling around in my head still!

Veronica October 24, 2011 at 9:17 am


And it was lovely to meet you too. I’m waiting for the audio files to listen, pause, take notes and listen again.

Dorothy October 23, 2011 at 11:42 pm

I love the stuff about putting yourself in front of people. Theoretically, I know this, but I’ve never been in a position to do this for myself, rather than the organisation I worked for. Putting myself forward and selling myself is quite strange and awkward still, but I need to do it.

And I loved Sonia Simone’s presentation about letting your readers know you, like you and trust you. About showing them your vulnerability and their “dorkiness”. This is something you do really well, Veronica, you show us your vulnerabilities and your awkwardness and so we have grown to like and trust you…

Veronica October 24, 2011 at 9:25 am

I’m getting better about putting myself in front of people, but I still worry that they think I’m being pushy, or whatever.

Sonia Simone spoke good common sense through her entire talk. It was excellent!

Peggy Saas October 24, 2011 at 1:31 am

This is great, thank you. I do wonder sometimes what it is exactly about my blog that keeps my readers coming back. I loved your first 3 points as I am passionate about writing, I do write from the heart and those that know me know I love storytelling!

You’ve just reassured the very thing I was wondering about. So I shall stop wondering. 🙂

Veronica October 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

Yep, writing from the heart is what I strive for. I know that in order to be wildly successful you’ve also got to be smart and businesslike about it, but the heart and soul is what makes me hang around on a blog.

Marylin October 24, 2011 at 7:21 am

Definitely agree with Kel about finding your voice. It’s what draws people in… like you say, about telling stories. It’s the way they’re told that will gain (or lose) people who will want to come back.
SO jealous you got to go! 😛

Veronica October 24, 2011 at 9:27 am

Finding your voice is so so important.

And hey, I’m jealous of everyone that has gotten to hug you IRL, so it works both ways 😛

Sif October 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Thanks for your impressions – that was a great summary. It confirmed and affirmed all the messages I’ve been gleaning from the blogosphere in recent months!

Veronica October 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

Yes, same for me!

Yvette Vignando October 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Great post Veronica, but I especially LOVE the photo you took!

Veronica October 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Hi Yvette, it’s actually not my photo! Would you believe, I didn’t take a single shot during the day? This one is from Simon Pollock, who is rather talented.

Theresa Torres October 24, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Hi Veronica,
How exciting that training must have been! To learn new things, gain new insights and as you mentioned, old knowledge cemented.
I agree with the passion thing. As experienced bloggers say, if you have no passion for what you’re doing, you won’t last long.
And you’re right about people loving stories and storytellers. I myself love reading success stories, especially those that have overcome great hardships. If they can do it, we can too.
Thanks for sharing your story. Have a nice day!

Veronica October 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

Hi Theresa,

It was very exciting. I had a great time!

Marya | Writing Happiness October 25, 2011 at 11:35 am

Thanks for a great summary. I need to pay more attention to the networking bit. 🙂


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