Sometimes I feel like a terrible blogger. I post sporadically at best, and at other times I struggle with writer’s block.
So when Darren Rowse announced on his Twitter stream that he was organising #PBevent (ProBlogger Event), a bloggers’ training day/conference to be held here in Melbourne, I jumped at the opportunity to grab a ticket.
Now, the speakers had not been announced when the event was launched, and I normally don’t sign up for conferences without knowing who the speakers are. But I bought a ticket anyway because a) the event outline/sales page was appealing; and b) my intuition told me to go.
So I showed up at the event on a rainy Friday morning two weeks ago, and it was definitely well worth the time and expense. There was a good mix of keynotes, workshops and panel discussions available, and I think there was something for everyone.
Personally, I found the sessions on the ‘business’ of blogging to be most useful. In particular, Phoebe Montague of Lady Melbourne presented an incredibly useful talk on working with advertisers and sponsors. I have to admit I had no idea what a media kit was until Phoebe’s talk, but I now know how to prepare one when the time comes.
However, the highlight of the day definitely has be meeting blogger/author Tim Ferriss in person (albeit very briefly).
I nearly fell out of my chair when I found myself sitting two seats away from Tim Ferriss during the last session for the day. I did not recognise him at first until he took off the beanie he was wearing, so I gathered he either wanted to keep a low profile or was there as a surprise guest (which turned out to be the latter).
Now, I wanted to take the opportunity to say hi and introduce myself, but how was I to do this without attracting too much attention and coming across like a rabid fan? Finally I leaned over and whispered, “Excuse me, are you who I think you are?”
“Yes,” Tim whispered back.
“Great, I just wanted to say hi- I’m Gilbert.”
We shook hands and went back to listening to the talk that was going on. Not long afterwards Tim was introduced as a surprise guest and gave did a live interview with Darren on what had worked for him as a blogger. Once again he emphasised the importance of writing ‘evergreen’ content, which remains relevant even years after it is created. It’s definitely an approach I’ll be adopting as much as possible for Kitchen Dojo.
Another lesson I learnt on the day was the importance of networking. Many of the other bloggers I met during the networking breaks had come prepared with business cards, and were actively seeking out the high-profile bloggers they followed and wanted to meet. I realised I definitely need to value the networking opportunities at conferences more.
In all, I left the conference with renewed inspiration and fresh ideas for Kitchen Dojo, and I’m looking forward to finally putting them to work.