So, sure, I didn’t go along to the Problogger Training Day this week. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn anything from missing out :)
With thanks to the wonders of modern technology I was able to keep up with the Training Day pretty well
- #pbevent Twitter stream
Though I had to wait until breaktimes to read the stream, I was able to pick up on some of the key themes of certain presentations. Like Darren’s emphasis on putting your heart into blogging. And Mrs Woog’s authenticity in her content.
- Blogs of presenters and panel members
I checked out the web sites of the presenters, panel members and attendees, many of which I’d either not heard of, or I’d not spent a lot of time on their sites. I’ve checked out Copyblogger and downloaded some free ebooks from Chris Garrett‘s site (and from Pint-Sized Sites, too). The ebooks have been downloaded onto my iPad so I can read them during the week. I cheated and started reading Pint-Sized Sites’ Your Website is Ugly and am loving the little tidbits I’m picking up already. Lots of note-writing about “above the fold”, “reader profiles” and “solving problems for your readers”. It’s not necessarily rocket science, but so so handy to have spelled out to me.
- Roundup blog posts by attendees
I found Kelly Exeter‘s posts about her #pbevent experience to be really helpful and Nobashake has a link up for follow-up posts as well
- Hitting up my friends who got to go along :)
I’ve been chatting online, at the supermarket (though that was a complete fluke) and I’m taking another out for coffee to get the low down on the whole shebang
I’ve sat down for a good half hour this afternoon and thought through the tips and tidbits that I’ve picked up around the traps. Here’s a start to what I’ve written down so far:
Why I’m blogging
My personal blog is just an outlet for my thoughts and memories. It exists for my own selfish reasons and I enjoy looking back on old posts (I always laugh at them).
My business blog exists because I know it’s a good idea, that there’s a need for it. It’s a topic I’m passionate about, that I’m good at. I want to use Smarter Admins to extend myself in my day job, but also to extend my readers. I’ve already been experimenting with changes to my “voice” on Smarter Admins and I think I’m getting closer to what I’m comfortable with… less stuck-up, less matronly, more rah :) I struggle often with my motivation for the blog, for content, for direction – I need to focus, pronto.
My blog design is great
Jarod and Liz did a fan-bloody-tastic job of designing Smarter Admins for me (I’m so proud to be one of their first clients in their new venture) and it will stay largely as-is. I’ve realised that I need to focus on what’s “above the fold”. Make it easier for readers to see that I’ve got the solution they need. Get the content to match the great design.
This is a tricky one for me, because I’m sure that many potential Smarter Admins readers don’t read blogs, don’t access Facebook/Twitter at work and sure as hell don’t Google things like “How do I correctly fold a piece of paper to fit a DL envelope”. I have some strategies that I’ve started putting into place to find the readers who are online, but there’s a whole other level needed to really break into the market I’m looking to nab. Sadly, I think this will need $$ investment :( In the meantime I’m going to implement better strategies for the readers I already have, then go from there.
I don’t want to think too much about making money from Smarter Admins yet. The site is only a few months old and it’s way too early for me to be earning a crust from it. But I’ve picked up on some great tips that will be really helpful when the time comes to start thinking about monetising Smarter Admins. One day :)
I’ve also made a vow to bloody well go to the next Problogger Training Day. I’m saving my pennies already!