Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blogging and the art of writing from the heart

My homework - lots to do!

I know it's taken me a while to get to this, but yesterday was a huge day. Liz and I were up early, fed, packed and on the train to the city by 7:20am for the Problogger training day.

In spite of constant drizzle and some random bloke's snoozing head repetitively falling onto my shoulder all the way from Watsonia to Clifton Hill (ugh!), it was an uneventful trip and we were at the hotel in plenty of time for coffee (mmm, caffeine!) before the main event.

Novotel on Collins
I have so much to say about the day that it's hard to know where to start, but here's a very brief rundown:

I met a heap of bloggers and Tweeps I follow, but I was especially excited to finally meet A-M, of The House That A-M Built fame, and Katrina, blog designer extraordinaire and star of The Block. They're both very sweet, very "real", and a lot of laughs too.

Lovely ladies: A-M and Katrina
A-M cracked me up when she led the way into the opening session and made a bee-line for the front row, asking "Shall we sit in the nerd seats?" It was also amusing to see dozens of people approach Katrina because they recognised her face, but couldn't quite figure out where from. Check out that TV smile!

There were panel discussions....
Panel discussion with Caz & Craig Makepeace and Darren Rowse
"How-to" sessions.....
Lady Melbourne: Phoebe Montague

Lots of advice on content, finding readers, monetizing and more, more, more.... Some sessions were hugely popular, like this one, which saw the back of the room filled with dozens of people standing, and rather a lot of us parked on the floor down the front:

The cheap seats
People were furiously taking notes, either the old-fashioned way with notebook and pen, or with laptops or tablets perched on their knees. The funniest thing of all to observe was the flurry of mobile phone usage. Normally at a conference, there's a strict "phones off" policy, but not here. In fact attendees were encouraged to tweet all day, with prizes offered for the most creative tweets tagged #PBevent. Twitter was really going off all day.

If you want to pick up some tips or links from the day, just jump onto Twitter and check out all the posts under the hashtag.

Tweeting and texting
It was pleasing to learn that I'm already doing a lot of things right (yay, me!). One of the key messages that all of the speakers emphasised was to write about what you're passionate about, write from the heart, and use your own voice - don't try to be someone or something you're not. I think I mostly do that pretty well. I still have plenty of plans for improving my content, of course, plus a few design tweaks and a lot of behind-the-scenes bloggy stuff.

I have a notebook crammed full of ideas and a pretty long to-do list, a stack of business cards, blog links and new Tweeps to follow, so I'm going to be kept busy when I get back from holidays. I also have some more work to keep Katrina busy, because she doesn't have enough to do already. ;)

You may see some changes over the next couple of weeks, so if you usually read my posts in a feed reader, hop on over and check out the blog - you never know what might be going on over here.  The bigger changes will happen a bit more gradually though, as I'm ridiculously short of time just now, what with weekends in Brisbane, trips to Thailand and so on. *sigh* It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.  :D

I'll be back with more on the PB event later; There's way too much to cover in one post.


At the moment I'm in BrisVegas, ensconced on Liz's couch with my Macbook while she plies me with cups of tea and food. Which I've totally earned, after surviving her cycle class this morning. I've named her the Smiling Assassin - she looks so sweet up there on the stage, all friendly and smiley. And then she thrashes the guts out of you for an hour and says "Gee, wasn't that fun?"

Jokes aside, it was a great class and I put in an OK performance in spite of being dehydrated (that's a whole other blog post) and freestyle cycle being an unfamiliar format for me. I had the pleasure of Miss Vicki's company on the neighbouring bike too, and all three of us sat down to a second breakfast of Vietnamese food after the class.

Ready for some nosh!
I'm all blogged out for now. More later....



Liz@LastChanceTraining said...

It was a great day! I really hope that Frankie sees my beaut "chocolate molecule" T-Shirt!

Vix said...

Thanks Kerryn....just found some new blogs to stalk!!
It was great to catch up with you ladies yesterday - really enjoyed it! Hope you gals enjoyed being tourists today and you have a safe trip home tomorrow.
Vic x

Kek said...

Thanks for coming out for the class and a feed, Vic.

it's been a fun couple of days, and there's still another training session and some more sightseeing to look forward to tomorrow. :)

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