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10 PBEVENT Speakers Tell How They Stay Motivated

10 ProBlogger Training Event speakers tell about how they stay motivated in their current work. Inspiring stuff!

All secrets are being revealed on ProBlogger this week! We’ve had the morning routines of superstar bloggers and online entrepreneurs, and also their number one life hack (especially for time management). Today, they share how they keep going when the going gets tough.

HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce

Heather-Headshot-1.2015-200x200One, I am the sole provider for my children. Keeping them housed, clothed, fed and happy is the highest priority in my life. Two, I love where I am in my life and cherish the experiences that have brought me here to do what I do. I stay motivated so that I can create even bigger and broader experiences.

 

Heather will be presenting the keynote session: The Courage of Compassion: Transforming Your Experience with Criticism

MRS WOOG: Mouthy 40-something housewife from the burbs. Blogs at Woogsworld

Kayte-Murphy-200x200

 

Because I have the best job in the world and I want to keep it.

 

Mrs Woog will be on the panel for: How to monetise a personal blog with Heather Armstrong
 

BENJAMIN MANGOLD: Director of Digital and Analytics at Loves Data + Google-certified expert for Google Analytics

benjamin-mangold-800-2-200x200Seeing people learn new things and exploring new ideas keeps me motivated. When you see things ‘click’ for someone it’s extremely rewarding. I also love it when I hear how the work and training we do at Loves Data has helped someone – it’s an incredible feeling to receive a card, an email, or a chocogram, from someone saying how much they appreciate what we do.

Benjamin will be presenting the session: Metrics that Matter: Google Analytics for Actionable Insights

KELLY EXETER: Owner of Swish Design, a boutique web and graphic design company.

KellySquareHeadShotHiRes-200x200Habit. I’m very good at negotiating with myself and can talk myself out of doing anything so relying on motivation to overcome this just makes life too hard. Instead, I’ve created habits around the things that are important to me/just need to be done. For example: writing and exercise are super-important to me but it would be so easy to de-prioritise them in amongst everything else going on in my day. So being in the habit of getting up early and doing them as the first order of the day every single day … it means I never have to go looking for motivation.

Kelly will be presenting the session: Blogging voice and the art of creating meaningful connections through writing

RUTH SOUKUP: Founder of LivingWellSpendingLess.com

Ruth-Profile-600x600-200x200Honestly, I don’t have to try very hard to stay motivated—I LOVE what I do! I can’t think of a job that I would enjoy more, or that would allow me to combine all the things I love. I get bored easily, but the blogging world is always changing. I enjoy strategizing & the process of trying to get ahead of the curve. My biggest problem is not getting motivated, but trying to find the time to implement all my ideas. This year my husband made me promise to take Sundays off, which I have, but I often find myself wandering around the house wishing I could work on my latest project!

Ruth will be presenting the keynote session The 5 Ordinary Habits of Extraordinary Bloggers, and breakout session Pinterest Marketing 101: The Three Elements of the Perfect Pin

NAT KRINGOUDIS: Women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer at natkringoudis.com.au

Nat_1698-200x200If you are fully aligned to your vision, living and breathing it, it all falls into place without too much effort. It’s so important to fully integrate yourself in your message and what you do. The rest then will simply follow and flow. With this in mind, I don’t need to stay motivated, I’m generally always motivated.

Nat will be presenting the session: How to create your gangbuster e-product

 

BRANDON COWAN: 21-year-old co-founder and Director of Crazy Dog Apps

Brandon-Cowan-1-200x200Simple (sort of)… I live my life using a bit of Steve Jobs’ philosophy – if I find that I am not enjoying something in life and know that I can do something better, I will make the switch or adjust my life accordingly. By always doing what I want, I will always be motivated to do what I do.

Brandon will be presenting the session: Creating Business Ideas
 
 

PAMELA WILSON: Big Brand System and Copyblogger Media

Pamela-Wilson-600px-sq-200x200I really, really love what I do. My full-time job is Vice President of Educational Content at Copyblogger. I am running the day-to-day operations of the Copyblogger blog, which is an honor and a wonderful challenge, too.

Along with Editor-in-Chief Stefanie Flaxman and Chief Content Writer Demian Farnworth, we set the tone and editorial direction of the Copyblogger blog, and plan how we’ll complement the written information with editorial images that help tell the story of each post.

In addition to that, I’m overseeing the educational content offered at Copyblogger Media, and there’s a lot of it!

I’m a teacher at heart, so both of these jobs make me feel like I’m contributing to help people make progress in their businesses and their lives.

That’s all the motivation I need. :-)

Pamela will be presenting the session: Design 101: How to Use Design Basics to Polish Up Your Blog, and How to Create a Content Event That Builds Your Email List

DAN NORRIS: serial entrepreneur, award winning blogger and the author of the best selling business book The 7 Day Startup

dan-norris-1-200x200I work on what I love and what inspires me at the time so who wouldn’t be motivated to do that? I do lose focus a little bit sometimes so I have a few things that pull me back into line like chatting with other entrepreneurs, listening to podcasts and speaking at and attending conferences.

 

Dan will be presenting the session: How to use your blog to supercharge your small business

CAROLINE MAKEPEACE: Co-founder of y travel blog

Caz-Makepeace-bio-square-600-x-600-200x200I think about my old life waking up every morning to an alarm to go to a job I hated and my first words uttered were “Oh F***!”. That memory makes a 15 hour day working on my blog easy to do. I also have a very engaged email communication relationship (which I’ll share more about in my session). Each week, I read stories about my reader’s lives, fears, hopes and dreams and I’m so so inspired to continue working to help them. I seriously would have quit if it were not for those emails.

Caroline will be presenting the session: From Blog to Business – the steps you need to take from to create a profitable business online

THE EVENT

There are a handful of tickets left, so be quick to ensure you don’t miss out! You can go here to purchase.

PBEVENT is Australia’s biggest and longest-running blogging conference. Our first 400 tickets sold in around 20 minutes this year, firmly establishing it the ‘go-to’ event on the blogging community’s calendar for training and networking.

In 2015, ProBlogger Training Event is presented by Olympus and will be relocating to the spacious RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, ready for over 650 bloggers on August 14 and 15.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

I’ve seen so much good content lately on the subject of blogging – I always love a downloadable schedule that someone else has taken the time to create, and sneaking a peek into how others make money is such an eye-opener! I’ve curated a couple of links you might find helpful as we try to kick ass on the internet this week.

6 Social Media Templates to Save You Hours of Work // Hootsuite

There’s everything from a template to help you create a social media strategy to guide you in your daily online activities, to audit checklists, content calendars, and image size cheat sheets for download to streamline your workflow.

Facebook Rolling out Significant Upgrades to Ads Manager and Power Editor // Marketing Land

They say big improvements are coming that will increase the congruity of ad creation and editing with data and metrics as well as the usability and searchability within an account. Get excited!

6 Ways to Grow Your Blog Audience // Social Media Examiner

Practical tips on the subjects of blog promotion, consistent scheduling, offering subscription points, expanding your content, and finding content through readers. You can also listen to an audio recording of the article.

How I Made $132,339 Last Month Blogging // StartupCamp

Dale Partridge gives an income report for April, broken down into each revenue stream, and colour-coded to signify whether it was higher or lower than last year. He also includes some links you might find helpful to grow your readership like he has.

Why Link Building is NOT the Future of SEO // Quicksprout

Neil Patel lays down the law for SEO enthusiasts. Been focusing on link building? You might want to think again!

 

Have you read something awesome lately? I’d love to see a link and have a chat in the comments.

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

10 PBEVENT Speakers Reveal their #1 Life Hack

10 PBEvent speakers share their #1 Life Hack for getting stuff done! problogger.netFollowing on from the earlier post about what our speakers get up to in the mornings, we also asked them to give us their number-one time management or life hack – how DO they get everything done?!

HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce

Heather-Headshot-1.2015-200x200Delegating. I used to have the hardest time asking for help, but now it’s a basic part of survival. One example: I have a babysitter for two hours in the afternoon so that I can get in a full work day, and if I’m running behind on anything in the house she lends a helping hand.

 

Heather will be presenting the keynote session: The Courage of Compassion: Transforming Your Experience with Criticism

MRS WOOG: Mouthy 40-something housewife from the burbs. Blogs at Woogsworld

Kayte-Murphy-200x200I reward myself for a good days work by lying on the couch from 2-3pm and yell at the political hi-jinks on Question Time. That, or catch up with my Kardashians.

 

 

Mrs Woog will be on the panel for: How to monetise a personal blog with Heather Armstrong

BENJAMIN MANGOLD: Director of Digital and Analytics at Loves Data + Google-certified expert for Google Analytics

benjamin-mangold-800-2-200x200Honestly, I’m not the greatest at time management, but simple and short to-do lists help keep me focused. I also keep my work email turned off on my phone (unless I’m traveling) to stay sane – there’s always more emails to look at and more work to do, so this is one technique I use to help preserve some balance.

 

Benjamin will be presenting the session: Metrics that Matter: Google Analytics for Actionable Insights

KELLY EXETER: Owner of Swish Design, a boutique web and graphic design company.

KellySquareHeadShotHiRes-200x200The one minute rule. If there’s something to be done (wash a dish, send an email, file a letter) that will take less than one minute, I just do it. Otherwise the bloody thing will sit there for weeks and that’s ridiculous!
Kelly will be presenting the session: Blogging voice and the art of creating meaningful connections through writing

 

 

Ruth Soukup: Founder of Living Well Spending Less

Ruth-Profile-600x600-200x200I’m a big fan of the book, “Eat That Frog,” by Brian Tracy. I read it years ago, and it completely changed the way I structured my day. I try to be very vigilant about doing the big things first—eating my frogs first thing in the morning. I save the easier, fun things, like meetings, phone calls, & editing photos for the afternoon, when I am not quite as motivated.

Ruth will be presenting the keynote session The 5 Ordinary Habits of Extraordinary Bloggers, and breakout session Pinterest Marketing 101: The Three Elements of the Perfect Pin

NAT KRINGOUDIS: Women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer at natkringoudis.com.au

Nat_1698-200x200I’m an all or nothing kind of girl – so as far as time management goes, if I know I’m ‘off’ I don’t even bother. For me it’s so about quality over quantity, so tuning into this has been such a life saver for me. What it means is if I’m having an off day, I don’t even bother, it’s counterproductive.

If I had to say there was one ‘app’ or thing that saves me time and time again – it’s my google calendar. It means that everything is in the once place, the whole team (and family) has access and it makes life one heck of a lot easier!

Nat will be presenting the session: How to create your gangbuster e-product

BRANDON COWAN: 21-year-old co-founder and Director of Crazy Dog Apps

Brandon-Cowan-1-200x200You asked the wrong person because I am late for everything :) But seriously, I will usually do my best to avoid any type of meeting as they are usually boring, unproductive and the same information can be exchanged faster via a phone call. Of course meetings are sometimes necessary and it will depend on each persons individual situation…
Brandon will be presenting the session: Creating Business Ideas

PAMELA WILSON: Big Brand System and Copyblogger Media

Pamela-Wilson-600px-sq-200x200My favorite time management hack is to try not to tackle more than three projects in a day.

That doesn’t mean I only do three things every day! It means that in terms of projects that will take me more than 30 minutes of work, I try to keep three on my list, and no more.

I’ve found that when I reduce my list to three main projects, I’m able to get them done. And I don’t suffer from feeling guilty about “not doing enough with my day.”

Instead, I’ll often finish them with time to spare. When that happens, I look ahead to other projects on my main to-do list, and pick something to get ahead on.

That’s a completely different feeling than the “look at all I didn’t get to” routine I used to put myself through at the end of every day. Doing this has transformed the way I approach my time.

Pamela will be presenting the session: Design 101: How to Use Design Basics to Polish Up Your Blog, and How to Create a Content Event That Builds Your Email List

DAN NORRIS: serial entrepreneur, award winning blogger and the author of the best selling business book The 7 Day Startup

dan-norris-1-200x200The only time management hack I employ is I ensure that I automate or delegate most of my jobs. Definitely the ones I don’t like and aren’t good at but even the ones I do like and am good at, at least the critical business ones. That way I spend 100% of my time (or very close to it) doing only what inspires me on that day and time becomes much less of an issue than it is for most people.

Dan will be presenting the session: How to use your blog to supercharge your small business

CAROLINE MAKEPEACE: Co-founder of y travel blog

Caz-Makepeace-bio-square-600-x-600-200x200Meditation. It helps bring clarity of thought and a grounded sense of calm. That helps you tap more into flow and when you’re in flow time doesn’t exist. I truly believe that mediation has been the most powerful life hack for me for productivity + so many other things.

Caroline will be presenting the session: From Blog to Business – the steps you need to take from to create a profitable business online

 

THE EVENT

There are a handful of tickets left, so be quick to ensure you don’t miss out! You can go here to purchase.
PBEVENT is Australia’s biggest and longest-running blogging conference. Our first 400 tickets sold in around 20 minutes this year, firmly establishing it the ‘go-to’ event on the blogging community’s calendar for training and networking.

In 2015, ProBlogger Training Event is presented by Olympus and will be relocating to the spacious RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, ready for over 650 bloggers on August 14 and 15.

10 PBEVENT Speakers Share their Morning Routine

MORNING ROUTINE

There’s a real buzz in the air now that the ProBlogger Training Event schedule has been released. Everywhere, people are chatting about where they’re going to be when, sessions are being highlighted, and bloggers are stalking the guest list, wondering who they’re going to meet.

We have some exceptional speakers this year, presenting on some of the most sought-after and useful topics. We grilled them about some of their habits and practices to let you peek behind the scenes of how they do it all. Keep an eye out for the other posts in the series that detail their secrets to productivity, and how they stay motivated.

HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce

Heather-Headshot-1.2015-200x200I set my alarm for 6:30 AM, which is 30 minutes prior to the time my girls need to be up, because I am in love with the snooze button (anyone who travels or rooms with me must hate me for this because I could hit snooze for three hours and love every minute of sleep in between each snooze).

At 7 AM I go into my 5-yr-old’s room, wake her up, carry her into her older sister’s room and we linger there for a few minutes while everyone yawns. Then we all head downstairs, and I continue to the basement where my dogs sleep. I let them out of their crates, feed them breakfast, and let them out for the morning making sure to change the older dog’s diaper in the process.

My kids eat breakfast while I prepare their lunches, then we head back upstairs where I help them get dressed and brush their hair and teeth. That leaves me with about 20 minutes to throw on my workout clothes, put on a little mascara and take a deep breath in consideration of what lies ahead of me that day. After I sign homework and help them check off everything they need in their backpacks, we head out the door.

Heather will be presenting the keynote session: The Courage of Compassion: Transforming Your Experience with Criticism

MRS WOOG: Mouthy 40-something housewife from the burbs. Blogs at Woogsworld

Kayte-Murphy-200x200I wake up and reluctantly get out of bed. Make sure the kids are out of bed and make two coffees. One for immediate consumption and one so I don’t have to make another one in 5 minutes. I spend a fair bit of time saying any one of the following over and over again:

  • Where is your jumper?
  • Where is your lunchbox?
  • Get off your brother!
  • Have you cleaned your teeth?
  • Do you have normal uniform or sport uniform today?
  • No, I have not seen your uniform

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. I log on when the kids are ready for school which is such a lie. I log on after my first coffee. First I check the site is working, skim emails, make sure I the site has not been invaded by spambots. I check all the news sites for inspiration. I check the notes on my phone and recent photos I have taken before I decide on the topic of the day. Then I spend about 20 minutes banging it out, press publish before I go for a 5KM run, another lie.

I spend the rest of the morning working on various writing projects.

Mrs Woog will be on the panel for: How to monetise a personal blog with Heather Armstrong

BENJAMIN MANGOLD: Director of Digital and Analytics at Loves Data + Google-certified expert for Google Analytics

benjamin-mangold-800-2-200x200Most mornings I grab my phone and open Google News. It’s a great little app and it lets me quickly check the weather while also scanning the news headlines. After that, I open Digg or Google Play Newsstand to scan through articles. Then it’s time to get out of bed (yes … I was still in bed scanning my news!) and get the day started.

Benjamin will be presenting the session: Metrics that Matter: Google Analytics for Actionable Insights

KELLY EXETER: Owner of Swish Design, a boutique web and graphic design company.

KellySquareHeadShotHiRes-200x200I wake up at 4.10am and scroll through Facebook while drinking two massive glasses of water. From 4.30am-5.30/6am I write (that’s the main reason I get up so early, it’s the only way I get any kind of quality writing time/time to myself!)

Then 6-6.40am I go for a run or go to CrossFit. Once home from that it’s shower > get kids up > send husband and 2yo off to work/daycare > take 6yo to school … and by 9.30am, I finally get to sit down at my desk and start my working day :)

Kelly will be presenting the session: Blogging voice and the art of creating meaningful connections through writing

RUTH SOUKUP: Founder of LivingWellSpendingLess.com

Ruth-Profile-600x600-200x200I am a morning person so I am usually up very early—around 4am. I know that sounds crazy, but it is when I get the most work done and when my brain works best! I try to go for a very quick 15-minute run, just to get my blood pumping. I usually listen to a podcast while I am running, and then spend a few minutes lifting weights and stretching when I am done.

Then I get dressed, grab my stuff, and ride my bike (technically it is an adult tricycle) to my office, which is only a mile away. I try to get there no later than 5 or 5:30 am so that I can get a good 3 or 4 hours of quiet, dedicated writing time in before anyone else arrives. I have a kitchen there & I also keep a spare set of toiletries, so that I can just GO and get my coffee, eat breakfast, and put on makeup later.

My first priority is always to work on creating amazing content for my readers, whether that be books, courses, blog posts, an e-newsletter, etc I think the more you write, the better you get, so I spend a lot of time writing every day.

By 9am most of my team has arrived to the office, at which point I switch into “manager” mode—planning social meda, working on projects, discussing marketing ideas, responding to emails, etc.

Ruth will be presenting the keynote session The 5 Ordinary Habits of Extraordinary Bloggers, and breakout session Pinterest Marketing 101: The Three Elements of the Perfect Pin

NAT KRINGOUDIS: Women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer at natkringoudis.com.au

Nat_1698-200x200With two small children, there is no such thing as a morning routine!

I do however follow more a night time routine. I enjoy some downtime of an evening, I like the ritual of writing/journalling, taking a shower, a cup of tea, I like to set my intention for the next day and have myself organised. It’s all about the small things especially once kids are in the picture!

Nat will be presenting the session: How to create your gangbuster e-product

BRANDON COWAN: 21-year-old co-founder and Director of Crazy Dog Apps

Brandon-Cowan-1-200x200I’m a bit odd… Routine for me is having a lack of routine… It varies each day and seems to change every month. Probably because I don’t really plan much in my life in general. Currently, I will wake up some time between 10am and 3pm, grab my laptop from under my bed and reply to emails whilst still in bed for a few hours (yes, I do have a ‘horror story’ of unintentionally having a video call with the CEO of an international gaming company and about a dozen other people when I was in bed without a shirt on not so long ago).

After that, I’ll sometimes make a few phone calls, take my foster dog [as of time of writing] for a walk (I sneakily let her jump on people when we walk and if they react positively, I tell them that the dog is available for adoption – how’s that for marketing?) and then the rest of the day varies. It can include creating or modifying an app specification document (it’s as fun as it sounds), reviewing and testing apps, providing information to people wanting to make an app, creating animated videos and speaking with clients. I sometimes also speak at events and other times I have random meetings (but not often).

On other days, I might wake up at about 6am to work for the whole day looking after dogs at dog day care at my local vet. Then at nighttime I do my app work. It’s nice to balance what I do and I ironically recently got another job to give me a break from my app work although I still usually work on about 6 apps at once…
I don’t usually follow weekends or public holidays with my work as each day blends into the next for me.

Brandon will be presenting the session: Creating Business Ideas

PAMELA WILSON: Big Brand System and Copyblogger Media

Pamela-Wilson-600px-sq-200x200One of the most wonderful perks about my current life is I can wake up with no alarm. Despite this, my eyes pop open like clockwork every morning (weekends included) sometime between 6-6:30 am.
I drink warm water and lemon, followed by a cup of tea or coffee. Then I check email to make sure nothing urgent has happened overnight.

In the first part of the day I review the list I set up for myself the night before. And I visit 750words.com to get my first 750 words of the day written.

This site has helped me adopt a regular writing habit. Oftentimes I repurpose what I write there for blog posts or email newsletters. And sometimes I just use it as a place to sort through my thoughts.

I try to do a bit of exercise first thing before my day gets too busy. That may be a walk, some Qigong, yoga, or a bit of time on an elliptical machine.

I do love the mornings! It’s a great time to be productive.

Pamela will be presenting the session: Design 101: How to Use Design Basics to Polish Up Your Blog, and How to Create a Content Event That Builds Your Email List

DAN NORRIS: serial entrepreneur, award winning blogger and the author of the best selling business book The 7 Day Startup

dan-norris-1-200x200Assuming I don’t have the kids I wake up either from the sun rising over the beach or the sound of the ocean. I then look out my window to see what the surf is doing. If there’s waves I head out for a surf. If not I (don’t tell anyone) grab my phone and get on Instagram and Facebook oops! Then I walk up to the coffee shop, take my kindle and have a coffee and read a book.

I walk back along the beach, maybe listen to a podcast on the way and think about what I’m doing that day. I either work from home or head into co-working to work from there.

Dan will be presenting the session: How to use your blog to supercharge your small business

CAROLINE MAKEPEACE: Co-founder of y travel blog

Caz-Makepeace-bio-square-600-x-600-200x200I spend the first 20 – 60 mins meditating. I then read an inspiring positive message, for the day currently from Marianne Williamson’s, “A Year of Miracles” The rest of my routine varies in order depending on the day, but the routine involves the following: sometimes I may write in my journal. I’ll fit in exercise somehow, either yoga or boot camp. I wake up my inner body with a morning tonic tea. I then spend the morning with the girls, preparing them for school, while I have a green smoothie. Once the girls are in school, it’s time to start work with a green tea.

Caroline will be presenting the session: From Blog to Business – the steps you need to take from to create a profitable business online

THE EVENT

There are a handful of tickets left, so be quick to ensure you don’t miss out! You can go here to purchase.

PBEVENT is Australia’s biggest and longest-running blogging conference. Our first 400 tickets sold in around 20 minutes this year, firmly establishing it the ‘go-to’ event on the blogging community’s calendar for training and networking.

In 2015, ProBlogger Training Event is presented by Olympus and will be relocating to the spacious RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, ready for over 650 bloggers on August 14 and 15.

5 Basics to Having Your Post go Viral

5 basics to having your post go viral - the foundations of shareable content on ProBlogger.net

The longer I blog, the more I hear of bloggers trying to go viral.

I’m sure on top of posting consistently, using social media strategically, and generally providing interesting, useful, and inspiring content on the internet, it would be a little help if that content was seen by as many people as possible. Even better if those people hang around and provide ongoing traffic. Going viral wouldn’t hurt, right?

While it won’t happen to everyone, and it’s almost impossible to force, there’s no doubt going viral can be useful when you can get it. Viral posts usually have similar threads in common, so you’re bound to give your post a little push if you can ensure it contains this combination of essentials:

1. Reach out and touch somebody

The one aspect that always appears in viral content is its ability to invoke an emotion in the reader.

No emotion? No sharing!

In addition to that, the most shared content is said to be content that evokes a strong positive emotional response. So yeah anger and indignation will get people sharing (outrage is also good!), apparently what works best is the warm and fuzzies. A 2010 study of the New York Times “most emailed” list found the articles that were shared often tended to fall into one of four categories: awe-inspiring, emotional, positive, or surprising.

Recently, two professors studying the motivations of virality came to the conclusion that while content is shared for ultimately many reasons, it’s emotional reactions that tend to drive the most shares. In addition to that, content that makes your heart race is more likely to go viral. Written anything that powerful yet?!

In the article, they say “Content that makes readers or viewers feel a positive emotion like awe or wonder is more likely to take off online than content that makes people feel sad or angry, though causing some emotion is far better than inspiring none at all.”

Have a think about how you can get your message across. Is there a personal story you can share? Is there a humanist spin you can put on it? How can you really create your post with “resonating with the reader” in mind?

Viral content is compelling, interesting, funny, moving, and if you’ve really hit the jackpot – the next item on our list!

2. Be useful

Everybody loves a life hack. I’ve been eating apples wrong all this time? Chinese Takeout? Slicing grapes? Mind blown, must share.

When you think about creating content that people can’t help but share, thing about how you can be useful. How you can add value, find their pain points and solve them. Have they got questions? Answer them? Be inspiring, be emotive, heck, maybe even be a little controversial. But useful content is king – you’re starting off on the right foot if you’ve got that down pat.

3. It’s all about the reader

Apparently people will share content when it says something about who they are. It might make them seem intelligent, it might show how much they care for the less fortunate, or it might just show they’ve an excellent sense of humour. They’ll share reflections of their personalities, and you’re going to give them the content to do just that. The article says sharable content is “often a statement about what you believe in, what causes or values you align yourself with, and what, in particular, you love and identify with”, so make sure your content fills one of those needs.

Aaaaaaand I googled the term “extreme selfies” after reading that article. Buzzfeed, you’ve done it again!

4. Get a Head Start

If you want your content out there, being seen by the max amount of eyeballs possible, then begin by putting it there. Don’t just publish and hold your breath. We all know Facebook is making it difficult to be seen in newsfeeds, and evidence is showing Twitter doesn’t drive traffic like it once did – so think outside the box. I’m sure you’ve got an RSS or email post mailout sorted, but you can also upload to Slideshare, LinkedIn, YouTube, have something in your email signatures, forum signatures, you can submit to Digg and Reddit if you can, even StumbleUpon if you think that might help.

Don’t discount Google+, there’s still a few going strong over there! Some blog commenting systems (particularly WordPress style ones) have the option to link to a post – choose that one when you’re commenting. Post it to Pinterest – several times. Does it have a Pinterest-worthy image? Get on that!

Have you sorted the SEO? Is it keyword-rich (but natural, because nobody’s gonna read a robot)? Have you provided keywords for images, and in the alt-text? Have you checked the metadata?

You can ask people to share, if you think it will help. Email influential people (if relevant) and ask them to share if they feel it will benefit their readers. Ask people to retweet. Invite them to share at the bottom of your posts. Mention sharing in your Facebook update. Ask your friends and family to share if they can/want to. Sometimes all it takes is a little prompt.

It also doesn’t hurt to jump on a news story or trend when it’s reaching its peak. Does it have an angle you can cover on your blog? What is capturing the internet’s attention that you can build on, or provide an alternative opinion to? Do you have further information, something themed that will resonate, or have you covered this issue before? Ride that wave!

5. Make it easy

You really can’t expect people to share if you haven’t made it easy for them to begin with [tweet that!]. Have clear social sharing icons displayed prominently (wherever works for you – a scrolling set on the side, at the bottom of your post, at the top, etc), and ensure you’ve configured them to show the top five or six platforms you think will be most useful or that people are likely to share on.

Provide tweetable quotes, like I have above. Two clicks and they’re done! Have a Facebook-sized image somewhere in your post that people can use. Lead that horse as close as you can to the water, and they just might drink!

Have you ever had a post go viral? Did it fit the criteria here? Do you remember the viral posts that have caught your attention? What was it about them that compelled you to share? I’d love to chat!

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

4 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Domain Name

Choosing a domain name - Don't choose anything until you've read these four things to consider at problogger.net

When there’s more than 284 million registered domain names online, you’re going to want yours to stand out. But you also want to be easily remembered, have a URL that accurately describes your business, and it would help if it ranks well in Google. Right?

Right.

It’s very easy to buy a domain name that you come to regret later. What was useful and fashionable years ago suddenly is unwieldy and a pain in the butt to describe now. You might take what you can get if your favoured domain is already taken, only for that to expire later on and you’re stuck with one you don’t like.

Even worse, you could pay a great deal more for it later, or even spend quite a bit of money rebranding and redirecting years after you’ve become established just because that domain you’ve always wanted has suddenly become available.

It might be tempting to buy up quick to stop other people from taking the one you’re currently considering, but it won’t hurt to take a few minutes to ensure what you’re getting is what you want, what works, and what will stand you in good stead for the long haul.

The four things you should consider when choosing your domain name are:

The Human Perspective

Ease

You want a domain that’s simple to read, simple to say, and simple to remember. It also helps if it’s easy to type.

It’s one of the core values of marketing to be memorable, and simplicity is usually best. If you can create a url that is no longer than two or three words, with no phonetic bits to confuse people’s ears (razinghomes.com and raisinghomes.com might sound exactly the same but mean the total opposite of each other – confusing, right?), and doesn’t have unusual spelling, you’re well on your way to creating a domain name that works for you.

Readability

It probably does sound a bit fun to do some teacherstalking.org, but I’m sure the people behind Teachers Talking have other ideas. In the same vein, ferrethandjobs.com still cracks me up although they soon changed to ferrethjobs.com before going offline – no ferrets getting frisky to see here.

Have a look at how your words run together. Are there any surprises there you haven’t thought of? Send your proposed URL to a friend and ask for their initial reaction. Write it down, say it out loud – how does it roll off the tongue? any word that ends in “s” only to be followed by a word that begins with “ex” is a recipe for disaster so probably best to avoid that combination!

Unless you’re super-niche and you’re expecting a super-niche audience, it’s a good idea to steer clear of slang and corporate-speak. Different countries also have different vernacular and that can actually work in a lot of cases (see skintdad.co.uk for example), but outside the UK and Australia, “skint” and other colloquial terms might be unfamiliar.

The Brand Perspective

You’re always going to want people to know what you’re about in the shortest amount of time possible. You don’t really want a URL that doesn’t accurately describe what you do, or at least isn’t easily understood fairly quickly. It’s best to do some research and some brainstorming to find out what’s popular, what works, what sums up your business and what gives the right impression.

You might consider calling your blog or website something reasonably long, but that doesn’t mean your URL has to be the exact same name. The URL is like your business card, it should be short and sharp and to the point – just giving the recipient enough info to get started. You can then expand on your site if need be, but unwieldy URLs aren’t usually going to be useful when giving prospective audiences a snapshot of what to expect on your blog.

Domain Extensions

Back in the day there were a handful of choices – .com, .net,  .org, etc, and a lot of them had extra extensions depending on what country you were in.

While it’s still sensible to stick to what works, there are also other options to consider, especially if they work particularly well with your business name or genre. Newer ones include .biz, .info, .me, .shop – all sorts of things (a larger list is here) that might describe your work more accurately. Do keep in mind though, most people’s minds revert to “.com” when trying to remember URLs, so an exotic one might mean you’re missing out on traffic.

Uniqueness

There’s no way around the need to be unique when it comes to business names. Not only do you want to be memorable and hopefully the only one – but you also don’t want to get yourself into legal trouble either. Do some Googling to see what business names and URLs already registered are similar (or the same) to yours. You can search through business directories, phone books, and blog curation sites like Bloglovin‘ to find out who is blogging under what name and make your decision from what you find.

The SEO Perspective

Relevance

Just about everyone is looking to rank well in Google to help all those people searching for exactly what your blog provides. If you’ve got a clever and funny blog name but it has no bearing on your actual content, then your URL is not going to be the first few options a searcher sees when they’re looking for what you’ve got. You don’t have to make it boring as hell just so it ranks well, you just need to be able to strike that balance between cute and useful.

For many, their URL is going to be dependent upon their blog or business name, and if your blog content isn’t easily identifiable from the name, then it’s going to be that much harder for your blog to show up in search results. Not impossible – because with consistent posting and hard work to get yourself out there and linked to, you can begin to build credibility – but just that little bit harder without the natural traffic that you could be getting.

Keywords

For the super-expansive lowdown on how to make a great URL that ranks highly in Google, you have to read Moz’s SEO Best Practices for URLs. It’s going to take you through what a URL is, how to make a great one, and what are the ways search engines prefer. In a nutshell, if you’ve got keywords in your URL that pertain to your content, the better your SEO results. Keeping in mind the content you write will populate the longer URLs directing to each blog post, which means there are more chances for your keywords to show up naturally. But if you can create an original URL for your site that contain the keywords for your content, you’re halfway there.

How do you find your keywords? Brainstorm a list of what your site is about. Is it recipes? Fashion? Travel? Write down all the words you can think of that people will be searching for, and the key words in your content pieces. You can also check sites like Google Keyword Tool, Buzzsumo, Keyword Tool, etc to find out what are the popular searchwords are for your genre.

The Legal Perspective

Copyright and Trademark

Obviously it’s going to cost you a lot of time, money, and heartache if you’re sued for infringement because you’ve started trading as a company with the same name as, or can easily be confused with another company. To a lesser extent you might just piss another blogger off who has worked hard to establish themselves, and are now losing traffic to you. Copyright is difficult to control on the World Wide Web, but there are avenues for people to take if their intellectual property – including blog names and URLs – has been compromised.

I can’t stress enough to check and re-check other blogs, sites, and company names before you embark on your URL buy. There may be people out there with the same blog name as the one you want, but they haven’t bought the official domain or their blogs are left stagnant (which actually happened to me! So I started a blog with that name and it’s been going five years without incident). It is up to you whether you want to take that opportunity and make something of it, or if you’re not entirely confident it’s available for you to use. It will be obvious what you can’t have, as someone else will be currently using it – but you need to do your homework to avoid future legal battles and one hell of a headache.

You can do this by first checking trademarked business names, and then doing an informal search for other current blogs and sites. In the US, you can check who owns what at Copyright.gov and uspto.gov –  The Patent and Trademark Office even have a Trademark Electronic Search System to make searching easier. In Australia, you can search for a registered business name at asic.gov.au, and search for registered trade marks at ipaustralia.gov.au. Doing Google, Bloglovin’, Facebook, and Twitter searches for the blog name or URL you want will turn up all the people currently blogging under that name. Who knows, you might be inspired to choose something you like better than what you had in mind, thereby bypassing legal and blog-community troubles down the road.

 

Do you have a URL tale of woe? Nailed it right off the bat? I’d love to hear!

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

 

3 Ways Scheduling Will Make You a Better Blogger

There's more things to do with a blog than there is hours in the day. These tips will help you schedule like a pro and get your life back.Do you feel a bit like a slave to your social media? Always thinking about your next blog post, forgetting to respond to that guy on Twitter, and never Pinning at the right time?

I know what it’s like to always feel like you’re running to catch up, instead of being in control of how and where you spend your time.

There’s nothing wrong with flying by the seat of your pants and only writing or hanging out on social media when inspiration strikes – if it works for you. If you’ve found that’s a little too chaotic to be sustainable long-term, then you’ll benefit from being more intentional with your time. Which frees you up to have even more of it.

Three Reasons Why Scheduling is Good

It gives you more time

If it’s one thing I hear the most, it’s that bloggers don’t have enough time in the day to do all the things they want to (or think they should) to build their blog and make it the best it can be.

Time is finite, it’s so easily wasted, and yeah, it feels like there’s just not enough of it. Many of us are working on our blogs in the cracks of time we have around other work, family, and life commitments, and there are periods where we feel as though we are succeeding at the juggle about as well as we’d succeed at performing brain surgery on a puppy.

The reality is, you have to make time. Nobody is going to walk in, grab your kids and say “we’re going to the park, you blog for a couple of hours” (are they? If they are, can you send them to me?!), or take on a big project at your day job to free up time for you to finally get started on that eBook you’ve been putting off. If you’re not scheduling in time to blog, and scheduling your posts and social media updates, then of course you’re not getting as much done as you would like.

Scheduling = more time. Time to live, time to work evenly on all your projects, time to take your own kids to the park. (Tweet that!)

It gives you more flexibility

To be honest, I don’t know of any blogger who can sit on the internet all day and respond in real time, whether that’s publishing at the most appropriate hour, or answering every email, tweet, and Facebook message received. Nobody is up at two in the morning Pinning their latest posts because that’s when their particular audience is online (hello working from the Southern Hemisphere).

There are some people who like to read my blog at five in the morning. There are hundreds who come after I’ve gone to bed at night. The last thing I want to do is hit publish before sunup, but I also don’t want to miss out on the traffic that comes at the most convenient time for them, so post scheduling works in both my favour and theirs.

I know sometimes the word “schedule” makes people shudder, and they’ll tell you they prefer “flexible” any day. Schedule sounds locked down, tight, rigid. The beauty of working online is so we can publish immediately, spontaneously, and so we don’t have to toe the line of a 9-to-5. But done right, scheduling can bring freedom – what you want is a flexible schedule, something that works just for you.

Scheduling means I can more effectively work around my young family, who I really do have to respond in real time to. When my work is scheduled and my home day goes awry, I’ve got the flexibility to be present in the moment. If home is quiet, I’ve got the flexibility to blog and maybe set a few more scheduled posts and updates for the times I can’t be online. This kind of flexibility is invaluable.

It gives you control

One of the biggest lessons I learned last year is that I don’t work well in chaos. Trying to work, live, run a family, and blog all at once however I could fit it in was benefiting no-one. Least of all me. I felt stressed, constantly undone, forever forgetting things, and I went to bed almost every day knowing I’d let at least one person down.

Feeling always behind the eight ball is not how I want to get through each day long-term. I don’t want to feel reactionary to each situation as it arises, I’d rather be a step ahead, with a clear head, and proactive.

Scheduling allows me to control my time online, instead of it controlling me. I can write when I want, I can publish when I want, I can be on social media when I want, and there’s flexibility at the end of the day to rejig it if necessary. My readers get content in the times that work for them, and I can interact in the times that work for me. Win-win!

Three Ways Scheduling will Make You a Better Blogger

You are more present

Well, OK – the beauty of scheduling means you can blog without actually physically being present. But the times when you are online, you can be fully present. This is your time to blog, to interact on social media, to chat on Twitter. You don’t also have to be cooking dinner, finding gym shoes, or emailing your boss.

You can work when you’ve got the time spare, and you can concentrate better during that time.

You are more considered

So many mistakes are made when you rush, when you’re throwing something up and running out the door. If you’re writing something that isn’t going up until next Tuesday, there’s no rush. You can write, edit, and give it a once-over between now and then, picking up issues, typos, and adding that link to the article you just couldn’t remember at the time.

When you’re fully present with your writing or your social media, you write better and are more likely to avoid problems that crop up when your concentration is divided. You look more in control and authoritative. And you’re interacting when it’s best for you.

You’re sharing what matters

I know what it’s like when you’ve just found five cool things that your readers will love, but you can’t share all five at once – and you’re likely to forget or give up if you physically post them across a reasonable period of time. Scheduling helpful or funny articles at the times your audience would most like to see them (i.e. when they’re online and they’ve actually got the time to click through) means you’re being the most useful to them you can be. And we all know Usefulness is King!

You’re also not rushing to share something, anything in order to be seen – you’re sharing what’s useful, entertaining, or inspiring because you’ve got the time to find those things, and you’re giving it to your audience at the right time.

Three Ways To Schedule your Work

Start with a plan

I always say planning is essential to be more efficient and to use your time more wisely. In 5 Ways to Make Your Blogging Life Easier, I talk about planning (and scheduling + automating!) and how they can give you more freedom. In order to schedule your time and your content, you have to know what you want to do, where you want it to take you, and when you work best.

I do everything from long-term checklists and calendars to a five-minute brainstorm and rough outline of the tasks of the day and in what order I’ll do them. I can’t recommend enough that five-minute brainstorm before you get started – it saves a lot of time and heartache later. Slotting your tasks into the time you have available that day will be the best thing you can do that morning to get started on the right foot.

Then, of course, you can branch out into larger, more long-term goals and lists (and refer to those lists when writing your monthly, weekly, or daily plan).

Related: Setting Blog Goals: Why You Need Them, and How To Write Them

Do what works

Get to know the automation tools available out there for bloggers – Buffer, Hootsuite, CoSchedule, Edgar, or whichever one works for you. Get to know when your audience is online, what kinds of updates they respond to, and what kinds of content you enjoy creating. There’s no point posting to Facebook 11 times a day if it’s irrelevant, uninteresting, or clickbait.

Related: Boost Your Organic Reach on Facebook with These Tips

Use social media scheduling

Different apps work for different needs, although the ones I mentioned in the previous point usually cover several platforms. For example, I use CoSchedule to schedule my daily posts to Facebook and Twitter, and they make it easier to post way into the future. I can post several times to Twitter without leaving my WordPress dashboard. Facebook prefers its own scheduling tool, so if I can, I’ll delete the CoSchedule upload to Facebook and use the Facebook scheduler. If’I’m out that day, I leave the CoSchedule one – I do find that the Facebook schedule has better reach.

I use Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling, Buffer for tweets on Twitter or tweeting articles from other sites, and I’m interested at looking into Edgar for a couple of other things I’ve got in mind. I’d love to know which one you use though, and why? I think they’re all useful for different things.

Related: How to Socialize Your Posts for Maximum Effect

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Tips for Creating Your First eCourse

Tips for starting your first ecourse  problogger.netThere’s a reason you’re seeing an influx of ecourses in the blogosphere of late – it’s a fantastic way to share to a higher (and sometimes more concentrated) degree your talents and knowledge. If you have a niche blog, then there’s a good chance you can come up with an in-depth and useful course that will be helpful for your readers and profitable for you.

If an ecourse is something that’s been on your mind, then read ahead. Last year, Chantelle Ellem of Fat Mum Slim ran her very first blogging ecourse, the Clever Cookie School of Blog, which was a huge success. I picked her brain about how she started the course, what platforms she used, and what she learned. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments and we’ll try and get an answer for you to start your ecourse journey off on the right foot!

The Overview

What made you decide you wanted to offer an online blogging course?

I was getting emails every single day asking me how to do things on the topic of blogging, really specific questions that needed a lot of time and energy to respond to. And of course I was responding to each of them! I decided that there was obviously a need for a blogging course. It was actually back in 2010 when I dreamed up my blogging course, and it was a time when no one (or not that I knew of) was doing it. Over the years I’d revisit the idea, write the content and structure for the course and eventually I got my butt into gear and launched it this year.

When you began putting the course together did you have a specific outline in mind, or did it come together more as you were writing it?

Because I wrote it back in 2010, so much happened since then, like… Instagram! So I knew that I wanted to cover off everything I knew in my own head about blogging, and put it down into lessons. It definitely evolved as I started writing the content, and realised that I had so much more stuff I wanted to share.

How engaged have people been with it?

People have been amazingly involved. It’s been so well-received. I’ve done blogging courses before and it felt a lot like we were dumped with the information and left there to absorb it. I wanted to be really available to the Clever Cookie students, and let them pick my brain whenever they like. It’s been time-consuming, but good time-consuming. I’ve loved sharing conversations about blogging with the students.

What was the motivation behind getting “guest speakers” in? Were they hard to source?

I don’t know everything there is to know about blogging, and I don’t think anyone does… so I wanted to bring other people in to share their knowledge. I also wanted to teach the students that there’s not just one way to blog successfully. I wanted them to take bits of information from all the different sources, decide what felt right to them, and then make it into their own recipe for blogging success.

Has it been hard to fit it in alongside your regular work?

I’m not going to lie, yes it has. But I love blogging, so it doesn’t always feel like work. And, who needs sleep anyway? I think if I’d just created the content, scheduled it to go live and left the students to it, I’d have more time on my hands… but I want to be there as much as possible, and I wouldn’t be happy doing it any other way

What has surprised you about the course?

A few weeks before I did the course I read a quote that said, “Obvious to you is amazing to others” and it made me realise that the really basic general knowledge is something that I shouldn’t overlook sharing. And that feeling was right, because the most simple lessons I’ve taught in Clever Cookie have been the ones that have resonated most with the students.

What has delighted you?

The community! I love the community that has already blossomed amongst the bloggers. They’ll be their own support network moving forward once the course has long finished. They have access to a Facebook group for graduates and will be able to share, give advice, help each other out and support each other on their journey. Also, we sent out little welcome packs at the start of the course, and people loved getting those presents. Seeing and reading their reactions was a great way to kick off.

What did you learn about running a course like this that you will know for next time?

One big thing I learnt was with finances. The forum we run the course in takes a big chunk of income, and PayPal takes some too. We factored that in of course, but it was expensive, as were the welcome packs and postage. Because my Paypal account hadn’t had income coming in before, Paypal seized all the money (it’s a long story but they like to look after customers so they’ve frozen half the income for the course for six months in case anyone requests a refund). So I learnt those things, which I never knew before. I also learnt that there is some pretty amazing up-and-coming blogging talent out there. That’s exciting!

What would you advise other people if they wanted to run an online course?

I would say to do it! Be organised, set a schedule for the content, make it as social as possible and easy to digest. I’d also have to remind people of that great quote I read before we launched, “obvious to you is amazing to others”.

Tips for starting your first ecourse : problogger.net

The Nitty-Gritty

Platforms

The platform I used to host the course was CourseCraft: https://coursecraft.net/ In an ideal world I’d create my own platform, but this was pretty seamless. They take a percentage of all your profits, but it removed a lot of the stress for us.

Learning Curves

Tech-wise, we really only had to get to know how to use CourseCraft, and that was hard when students would ask about functionality but we didn’t know the answers to. A lot of the teething problems we had were more around figuring out Paypal, grabbing people’s addresses {we sent everyone a welcome pack in the mail}, and working out international times for the Facebook chats that we had with experts in blogging.

Social Media

We didn’t think that Clever Cookie required too many social media platforms to support it, as we already had our own assets, but we started a Facebook page and a new website. We also used MailChimp to email students, and to create a database to gain interest.

Useful Advice

Going into Clever Cookie we just tried to put into it what we’d like to have learned 4 years ago, and went with that. We asked for feedback from our students on completion of the course and it was really, overwhelmingly positive. Over these past six months we’ve seen lots of our graduates go on to achieve awards for blogging, grow their audience, and really soar.

Have you ever considered creating an ecourse? What tips do you have for us? I’d love to hear!

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Top Takeaways from ProBlogger Perth Training Event: Content, Blog Design, Social Media, Productivity, and Monetization

In the lead-up to the main ProBlogger Event on the Gold Coast this year, we have held various workshops and panels around the country, teaching and inspiring bloggers in their own home towns.

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February saw the first full-day event in Perth, Western Australia with both local and interstate speakers on the topics of content, better blog design, social media for blog growth, productivity, and monetization.

We’ve rounded up the top three tips from each speaker for those who couldn’t attend.

Darren Rowse (Keynote) How to Build Sustainable, Long-Term Blogging Success Through the Creation of Meaningful Blogs and Social Engagement.

Darren took us through the main pain points of beginner bloggers, and even those of us who feel like we’ve slogged away for years without much to show for it – with so many blogs out there how do I do I stand out and build an audience? How can I break through the noise? And wow do I establish myself and build a profile when everyone else is doing the same thing?

You May Not Need to Grow as Much as You Think

Darren showcased bloggers with minimal traffic making maximum money – proof that you don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of followers to make blogging work for you.

5 Lessons I Learned about Making a Living from Blogging with Smaller Amounts of Traffic

For those of us who make it work on much more modest traffic, Darren outlined the ways they’ve succeeded where others have failed – namely, it does depend on your business model:

10945560_10150687087939945_4904796194490385344_nThat diversity of income streams is crucial (not all eggs in one basket – what if one of those eggs fails and you lose all your traffic and income overnight?), and that you’re targeting the right reader, connected readers, readers who will be advocates for you, who respond to brand messages, affiliate promotions, and who buy your products and services. You want to aim for connected, engaged readers, not those who fly in and fly out.

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Fill a Gap

Those blogs who are successful are doing things that others are not – perhaps they were the first of their kind, or they built a following by jumping on a trend that was popular at the time. Perhaps they were an emerging sub niche, coming along at just the right moment when need is high. Or perhaps they are catering to an ignored demographic – people who wish there was something created that spoke directly to them.

Where can you fill a gap? Where can you tend a growing need? Where can you spearhead a trend that is just about to hit? Poke around in the corners of what people want before you quit, believing there’s just too many people all saying what you want to say.

Nicole Avery, How to Streamline Your Blogging Workflow

Nicole’s presentation was easily the most popular one of the day, with her practical tips and strategies to make the best use of the time you have to blog. Nicole took us through her personal routines of running one of Australia’s most popular parenting blogs while also being the mother of five kids.

Her top three tips include:

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Find Out Where You Are Now:

Analyse the time you spend on your blog, and see where you might be wasting it, or it might be better spent elsewhere. Use programs like Rescue Time to get a snapshot of where you are.

Find Out Where You Are Going

It’s easy to waste time when you’re not certain where you should be spending it. Create a goal, create a content plan toward that goal, and create a work schedule to help you achieve that goal.

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Take Action

Your work schedule should be mostly work, minimum admin and processing. Nicole recommends you set up your calendars and toolbars for success – have everything to hand and everything written down. Set up your email inbox with canned response to help you cut back time in order to spend it on more productive pursuits. Above all, stay focused. (image)

Nicole has shared her slides here, and her resources mentioned to help you improve your blogging workflow here.

Kelly Exeter, the 5 + 5 Formula for Great Blog Design

Kelly Exeter of Swish Design has worked on some of the best blogs in Australia, creating functional websites that also look beautiful. She gave us her top five tips for each over the course of the hour.

Functionality

Your blog must support and enhance your brand, make your reader feel at home, offer a logical pathway around your site, get the reader to take some kind of action, and help you achieve your blogging goals.

Top Takeaways from ProBlogger Perth Training Event: Content, Blog Design, Social Media, Productivity, and Monetization

 

Design

Needs a great header, logical naviation, clean sidebar, clear content area, and effective use of white space.

Top Takeaways from ProBlogger Perth Training Event: Content, Blog Design, Social Media, Productivity, and Monetization

Stacey Roberts, An Introduction to Turning Your Blog into a Business

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I outlined an overview of the myriad ways to make money, and how to keep it sustainable, most of which I’ve used on my own blog, Veggie Mama. The most important thing though, is staying true to yourself, having a vision, being honest with readers, and working hard.

 

Ways to Monetize

Really only limited by your imagination, there are numerous ways to make your blog profitable. From the immediate ideas of advertising, affiliate sales, brand collaborations and own products, to audio/video, freelancing, consulting, syndication, merchandising, and more.

What you need to focus on is: what are you passionate about? What is realistic for you? Where do your talents lie? Do you want active or passive income (or both)? The intersection of these dictates how you should monetize.

Pricing

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Without an industry standard, it can be difficult to put a price on what you do. Overcharge, and nobody will buy. Undercharge, and you sell yourself short. We went through several ways to formulate a price for your work – from this calculation, to seeing what others charge, and considering your qualifications and skill.

Media Kits

Brand collaborations are a popular way of monetizing your blog, and for many bloggers can also bring in the bulk of the income. To get a foot in the door with brands, you will need a media kit – a one-stop resume of sorts of your blog, your audience, and your prices. We also discussed how to get on a brand radar, and how to make your blog brand-ready. You can read the Ultimate Guide to Creating a Media Kit here, where I go into detail about what they should contain, and how to make them look professional.

My slides from the presentation and my downloadable cheat sheet of info and links mentioned is here.

Christie Burnett, Mastering Social Media for Blog Growth

Christie from Childhood 101 has a huge Facebook following, and let us all in on how she grew it, and how she keeps it healthy.

Define Your Voice

Make your social media reflect your brand – whether you’re humorous, helpful, authoritative, etc. Be consistent with that voice.

Invite Participation from your Readership.

Don’t think of it as a one-way relationship, but rather an ongoing discussion. Readers like to know they’re welcome to contribute, and that their contributions are important.

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Develop a Social Media Plan That Works

Your plan needs to consider your content, your style, and the time you have available. Christie recommended bloggers “plan, schedule, track analytics, repeat”.

Christie also discussed using the right tools to help you share and keep track of your shares – whether you use a calendar, a plugin, a third-party app or whatever works for you. Make a note of what was popular with readers, and what didn’t work quite so well. Get to know your audience and cater to their needs.

Christie’s presentation slides are here.

If you haven’t yet, you can still get your ticket for the Gold Coast ProBlogger event held at the RACV Royal Pines on August 14 and 15. The two day event includes speakers like Heather B. Armstrong from Dooce, and Pamela Wilson — of Big Brand System and Copyblogger Media. You can find out more information about speakers and sessions here, and to buy a ticket here.

See you there!

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.