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After 4 weeks of travelling around Turkey, the UK and Singapore V and I stumbled back into Melbourne this weekend.

Whilst the trip was amazing, it’s very nice to be back also to familiar sights, sounds, tastes and smells.

I’m still not quite on Melbourne time (jetlag is still taking its) toll. I’m probably a day or two away from resuming a regular posting here but will gradually get back into the rhythm.

Katie-Darren-1Meeting Shiny Media

A couple of days ago (what day is it anyway??) I was fortunate to meet with Ashley Norris and Katie Lee (pictured left) from Shiny Media in London. It was in my last hours in London and a fun way to ease myself back into ProBlogging world. Ashley and Katie both moblogged pictures of our booze up meeting here and here.

I’m really impressed by Shiny Media and hope that one day soon we can work on a project together. Their journalistic background is part of their real strength and they are also brilliant at getting the attention of the mainstream media with their PR – quite inspiring.

Guestblogging

I wanted to thank those of you who have left comments and sent emails in response to my request for feedback about the guestblogging here over the past month. Your thoughts have been greatly appreciated and I’ll do a little more thinking about them over the next few days. In the mean time there are three things I want to say:

1. I think the experiment was a success on a number of fronts. For starters it brought together a diverse group of bloggers who produced some interesting and high quality posts. Secondly it kept my blog ticking over (in fact the first two weeks it increased readership and the second two weeks it kept things at over 75% of what they were).

2. Having said this I also hear the feedback from many that they come to ProBlogger not to hear the voices of many but the voice of one. I feel humbled by it but for some reason many of you have found my thoughts to be helpful on the topic of ProBlogging – as a result in my absense a percentage of you have checked into the blog less whilst I’m away.

3. I’ve had a number of emails expressing concern over the idea that perhaps ProBlogger will permanently become a group blog. Whilst I’ve given it a little thought, after reading the feedback I’ve decided not to go with it. Instead I may invite single bloggers to join me from time to time for short periods, but except for holidays this blog will remain largely a single author blog. Sorry – you’re stuck with me!

Anyway – I’m back and I wanted to say hi.

I’ve been working on a few ideas for ProBlogger this past week that I’ll gradually share over the next month. I’ve come home feeling reasonably rested (although I had to go straight to a conference yesterday) and really keen to continue to improve what ProBlogger can offer. As always I’m open to your ideas about how to make it better.

Stay tuned for normal blogging shortly.

ProBlogger – Reflections on Guest Blogging

I thought I’d give a quick update – we’ve finished our tour of Turkey (amazing) and are back in London for a couple of days. I’m slowly leaving holiday mode as I have a couple of meetings lined up over the next day or two. Some are blogging related, others are not.

On the blogging front I’m trying to hook up with some of the gang at Shiny Media tomorrow (update – just heard from Ashley and we’re doing it). I’ve been a big fan of some of their blogs for a while now and am looking forward to picking their brains and perhaps having a beer with them.

We’re only here for a couple of days so I’m also trying to fit in a bit of sight seeing and relaxation. I’m going to see Coldplay tonight which will be fun.

Tomorrow night we head for Singapore for a few last nights of holiday before heading home at the end of the week when normal blogging here at ProBlogger will resume.

In the mean time I’m left pondering my ‘guest blogging’ experiment over the past month here at ProBlogger and am interested to hear your reflections both as readers and guest bloggers. Have you enjoyed the change? How have you found the group blog experience? Has it added to the value of ProBlogger? Would you like to see it continue in some way?

A couple of people have already emailed me to say they’ve both appreciated the new voices and to say that next time I go away perhaps I should only have one guest blogger. I’m interested in others opinions either in comment or via email. One person suggested I continue to allow this blog to be a group blog – another suggested I invite one guest blogger to join me each month so there is some rotation of new voices. I’m unsure as I’ve barely been online to follow how its gone. My only initial impressions have been:

- unique readers are a touch lower than normal (I suspect this is largely due to a slightly lower posting frequency than normal)
- comments levels are up (on a per post level) – the blog seems to have been more interactive in my absence. (I suspect this is partly due to less posts per day which means posts stay on the main page for longer – it also says something about the quality posting that has been done over the last few weeks).

Anyway – I’m not thinking too much about it until I get home – but am interested in your thoughts.

I’m also interested in the reflections of guest bloggers from my other blogs who’ve been doing an amazing job while I’ve been away.

ProBlogger in Turkey

Thanks for the many well wishers who have emailed to wish me a good trip.

We’re currently in Istanbul and are enjoying the rich culture and history, the wonderful food, the exquisit sights, the dodgy internet cafe’s keyboards and the company of some fun people.

I’m happy to report that I’ve not suffered too many withdrawal symptoms from blogging – although I’ve spent quite a bit of time the past few days deleting comment spam on my MT blogs – in fact it’s starting to get me down a bit. It seems every time I go away for a holiday the comment spammers seem to find another way to get through my spam catching systems. I’m currently getting 200 – 300 every 24 hours. Deleting them is taking me an hour or so every night which I won’t be able to keep up after today when we leave on a tour. I will need to upgrade my MT version when I get home I guess to combat this problem.

Apart from the comment spam I’m loving the time away and am really grateful for the guest bloggers who are keeping the show running for me whilst I’m away.

A few of you have asked if my blogs have suffered for me being away (or if I expect them to). I guess the answer to that question is yet to be seen but the initial trend I see today is that despite a significant drop in numbers of posts being uploaded per day (with the exception of a couple of blogs where it is higher than normal thanks to a few addicted bloggers) that the traffic remains reasonably steady (it’s a little down overall with some blogs higher and some lower).

I’m suspecting it will drop off a little further as the month progresses with less new content going up – but at this stage the signs are hopeful that the bottom line won’t suffer too much.

Anyway – I just thought I’d drop in and let you all know that we made it to Turkey and are having a good time. Tomorrow we head off to Gallipoli and then down to the southern coast for some time in the sun.

Hope all is well in your neck of the blogging woods.

Toy Time

mvx20i.jpg
I bought a new toy today in preparation for our trip and with the hope of experimenting with a bit of vlogging at some stage in the future.

This could be fun.

A lot of fun.

ProBlogger Dream Team – Guest Bloggers Introduced

I’ve been talking about this for the past few weeks but the time has come to reveal the guest blogging team that will see you through into early July here at ProBlogger.net. I approached some of my favorite bloggers who I thought would have something of interest to add to the conversation we’ve got going here and the following bloggers agreed to come on board and do some posts.

Some of them will probably post every day or two – others will contribute just a handful of posts (it could be a posting frenzy some days if all 24 decide to post at once). One or two have already submitted some posts and I’ve advanced posted them under my own name with links back to their sites. Please forgive them if they double up on a few stories – it’s bound to happen and I’m not to worried about that.

All of these people are bloggers that I respect and would recommend you check out. Add them to your RSS feeds and bookmarks because their collective knowledge is quite amazing. They come from around the globe (although I notice there are quite a few Canadians for some reason) and each have their own expertise.

Most of them will be familiar names to regular ProBlogger.net readers because I am constantly linking to them.

There are a few notable absences from the list – unfortunately a few other obvious choices for guest bloggers either didn’t respond to my invitation or responded with apologies due to other commitments. I totally understand this and am very satisfied with the list that you’ll find below (which may have one or two additions made to it in the next two days as I await two more invited bloggers to register).

So whilst I’m away I encourage you to keep logging in and following the rich discussion that I’m sure this group will generate. I’m here for another day or two – and will post a good-bye hand over post before they all take over.

So here’s the Dream Team listed in no particular order:

Tris Hussey | John Campea | Jim Kukral | Nicole Simon | Arieanna Foley | Susannah Gardner | Chris Pirillo | Duncan Riley | Shai Coggins | Andy Wibbels | Jim Logan | Peter Flaschner | Jennifer Slegg | Toby Bloomberg | Greg Edwards | Trevor Cook | Chrispian Burks | Wayne Hurlbert | Stephan Spencer | Henry Copeland | Jon Gales | Bruce Allen | Adriaan Tijsseling | Rachel Cunliffe | T.L. Pakii Pierce

Thank you to each of these bloggers – you’re not only providing my readers with some great content but giving me a much needed break! I appreciate each of your efforts so much.

Seeking One Good Digital Photography Blogger

I’ve decided to open one more position up for Guest Blogging on Digital Photography Blog.

There are already two bloggers who will be working on it – but I’d like one more blogger to help lighten the load on them.

Ideally you would have an understanding of digital cameras and have some experience of blogging (as this is my main blog).

You would be posting mainly news items (I can give you some RSS feeds to watch) and would be welcome to submit digital photography tips or reviews of digital imaging products.

Ideally I’d love you to post one post per day or more.

Once again you’ll be getting a link back from each post you do (it’s a site with a page rank of 7). These positions are not paid positions but as with other ones I’m open to evaluating how it goes at the end with the view of adding a few bloggers on a revenue share model.

If you’re interested please contact me asap. All applicants will be considered but I’ll be looking for the right person – so it’s not a first in best dressed scenario.

Introducing My Guest Bloggers

I would like to pause for a moment and acknowledge some people who have gone out of their way to make it possible for me to have a restful holiday.

The following 27 (so far) bloggers responded to my call for guest bloggers on many of my blogs. None of these people owe me anything – all are giving their time freely. All I promised them was a link back from each post they write to their own blog. Some are even blogging on up to 3 of my blogs!

Between this group of people are some names that many regular readers of ProBlogger will know – most are daily readers here and active participants in comments sections. Among them are some fine bloggers in their own right who I’m honored to have writing on my blogs for the next 4 or so weeks.

I’d like to encourage you all to visit some of these bloggers blogs as a little thank you for their work. In doing so they are enabling me to have a real break from blogging which will help make ProBlogger better when I return. All of my blogs now have guest authors – there are only three positions left (see bottom of this post if you want to be on this list).

To the bloggers listed below – I’ve already thanked you each – but want to publicly acknowledge the time and effort you’re putting in to lend me a hand. I’m humbled by your response and can’t wait to get home early in July to see what you’ve written!

nb: this list does not include those guest blogging here at ProBlogger.net – I’m still waiting on a couple of bloggers to get registered and will publish this list in the next few days.

Stan Hooker
Stephanie Herman
Scott Randol
Arieanna Foley
Michael Nguyen
Paul
Rich Brooks
Dimitri (doing it without links back to his blog)
Ian Pattinson
Rob Lewis
BJ
FMF
Jon
Matthew Thornton
David
Tom Hanna
transitus
Teli Adlam
Cynthia Giles
Colbert
Chris Abraham
Tim
FredonSomething
Andy Merrett
Angelique
Tony
Shane Birley
Tim Flight
Ken
Chrispian

For those who would like to join this list and be a guest blogger I have three positions still remaining open – one on each of:

Camera Phone Zone

shoot me an email to get involved.

[Read more...]

ProBlogger Network Guest Blogging Developments

I’ve been quiet today here at ProBlogger because I’ve spent the day getting my blogs ready for me not being around for 4 weeks in June.

As I mentioned a week or so back – I am attempting to put at least one guest blogger on each of my blogs to keep them ticking over whilst I’m away. The response to my call for bloggers has been quite amazing to say the least. There are over 40 bloggers involved across my mini network and they are some wonderful people. I’m actually quite excited by some of the conversations that potentially could emerge during June – not only here at ProBlogger.net but on all of the blogs – I almost wish I could stay home and read them all…. almost.

There are still a few slots for those of you who missed my initial call for bloggers or for those of you who have been wondering if you should do it. If you’re interested in any of the following blogs please contact me as soon as possible and I’ll add you as an author. I’ll put them in the order of what is more urgent to me.

Printer Blog – one position still available
Camera Phone Zone – one positions still available
Laptop Blog – positions now filled
Robotics Blog – positions now filled
PDA Blog – positions now filled
UAV Blog – one position still available
Pharmaceutical News – positions now filled
[Read more...]

ProBlogger Coaching Services

Susannah has posted an interesting post on Getting a Big-Picture Person for your blog. She writes:

‘I was just sitting here feeling a bit dissatisified with myself and with this blog. How can I get more comments? How can I be better motivated to write more? How can I know what my readers really want from me?

And then it hit me: I need an editor.

Oh, not an editor in the traditional sense. I don’t need someone to check my spelling or grammar, or to make sure I’m libeling people. I take all that onto my own head. What I really need is someone who is interested in my focus, and who reads my blog and is tasked with thinking about things on a macro-level. Someone who can say, “Hey, you really missed the boat on that one,” or “I’m desperate to know more about X, Y, and Z.” In a sense I need a coach—a blog coach….’

I think a blog coach is a great idea and it is something I’m seriously considering getting more into myself. I’m probably not interested in coaching business bloggers – rather I’m thinking of starting a service for entrepreneurial bloggers.

I’ve spoken about this before but have not acted upon it for a few reasons. Firstly I’m heading overseas for a month shortly and don’t want to start something just before that, secondly I’ve got a couple of months to go on a non blog related project that takes two days per week of my time and thirdly because I’ve been trying to build up a little more credibility and a broader skill set to offer to potential coachees (is that a word?).

So – when I get back from OS in July – expect me to launch something new – a ProBlogger Coaching service. The details are forming in my mind but here is what I do know:

  1. ProBlogger.net will continue to run as a free blog (as it has been for the last few months).
  2. I won’t be taking on everyone who asks for coaching.
  3. I will be charging for the service.
  4. I am considering a variety of levels of coaching.

I am interested in what people think about such a service. I have a list of things I’ll offer potential clients that I’m not going to go public with yet – but I’m interested in what those of you as ProBloggers (beginners through to experienced) would be interested in being coached on.