On Saturday I spent the day in Sydney with Carly from Smaggle and Christina from Hair Romance for their second Little Blog Big workshop. I’m still a bit devastated that I can’t make it to ProBlogger this year (I’ll be 38 weeks pregnant – didn’t really seem like the best idea!) but this went a long way to making up for it!!
It was such an awesome day, Carly and Chrissy are so wise and it was so great just listening to them talk and getting some insight into some tips and tricks from seasoned bloggers who have been doing this for years and made mistakes so that we don’t have to! It was also so lovely to meet some fellow bloggers for the first time in real life.
I came out of the day with a huge list of things to do and a load of inspiration so I thought I would share 3 things I took away from the day. I could probably write a post 10 times as long as this one about all the things I learnt and how amazing it was but I think 3 is a good number of lessons to share!
Carly and Chrissy talked about being valuable to your readers and summarised it in a great way: entertain, educate or empower your readers. So basically, write with your readers in mind and what you can offer them, rather than simply writing for yourself.
This is such an important lesson to remember because as bloggers we can tend to get a bit self-focused and insular, so it’s good to have an other-person centric view to blogging as it stops us from talking about ourselves too much and having nothing of value to offer our readers. And really, that’s why we blog – to have something of value to offer you!
Remember, blogging is a conversation and no one likes hanging out with the person who only ever talks about themselves!
Make sure you deliver on your headlines (aka don’t be a jerk and use clickbait)
I think this quote from Carly was my favourite of the day:
It’s a great analogy.
We all hate those websites that use clickbait and then have a terrible article and don’t deliver on what was promised (I think the ‘this person doesn’t look like this anymore’ and the ‘omg you have to see this’ ones are the worst – always so disappointing!).
If you write an awesome headline (something I still struggle with) make sure the article you write lives up to the hype and actually delivers on what you are promising!
Make sure your headline is an accurate representation of what the reader will get when they click on the article, you don’t want to gain clicks but sacrifice reader satisfaction in the process. It won’t do you any favours in the long run.
Planning and scheduling
These two things are the key to success, especially as most bloggers are working full time in other jobs which means a) we don’t have a lot of time to fit our blogging in around our work/social life/sleeping/eating/generally existing and b) we can’t be everywhere at once – especially on social media.
Have a bank of ideas (Chrissy suggested 100 post ideas) so you always have something to fall back on if you can’t think of a post or you need some content ideas. (If you need somewhere to start, check out this list of 50 things to blog about by Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim)
Planning out an editorial calendar is important so you know what you’re going to write, for when, and what you need to get it done. Need to take photos for some posts you have coming up? Schedule some time for it in your calendar! Have a weekend away coming up and weekends are your usual blogging time? Make sure you have your posts for the next week written ahead of time!
Which brings me to the other important part of this: scheduling.
Batch your work so you’re taking your photos for posts for the week/month at the same time, instead of trying to do it every time you write a new post, or writing several posts in one sitting instead of doing them the night before you want to publish them.
Schedule your social media as much as you can (remembering to still check in and interact with your community) using the schedule function in Facebook, or tools like Co-Schedule (which I use), Hootsuite and Viraltag. This helps you to be present on social media even when you’re stuck in a meeting at work or are out to dinner.
So those are 3 things I learnt from the Little Blog Big workshop that I wanted to share with you, and if you’re thinking about attending one – do it! You’ll get so much out of it.
In fact, there are a few workshops coming up (in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra) that you can book in for now. You can check out the events page of the website here. I’ll be going to the Canberra one for a little refresher and some great networking so make sure you say hi if you’re there too!
And for all those who like a stickybeak at events like this, some more pretty pictures for you (and you can tell it’s a blogger event because no one eats until everyone has taken pictures of the pretty food!):
There is lots of information about blogging out there on the internet and loads of online courses but there are some things you get out of meeting other bloggers in person and actually having that face-to-face time that is so invaluable and you just can’t put a price on it! Plus it’s awesome networking and it’s so so lovely to meet other bloggers!
Have you been to a blogging event? What was the one big thing you took out of it?
Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays)