I went to my first Problogger Conference in 2013. It was a pinnacle year in my blogging journey because I learned that there was much more to blogging than just writing a post and sharing it on Facebook.
For a full year and a half I had no comments on my blog. Part of the reason was because I didn’t have a comment section on each post and the other part of the reason was I didn’t think people would want to comment on my posts and I was scared of what someone would write.
It was early in 2013 that I learned what a linky party was (and for those that don’t know it’s when a blogger allows other bloggers to link a post to their blog and the etiquette is for those bloggers to read the posts uploaded by other bloggers.) They confused me and I found it odd to read ‘I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT’ at the bottom of someone’s blog post. I didn’t know what IBOT meant. It wasn’t until I clicked on the link to Essentially Jess that I worked out ‘ahuh’ this is how I connect with other bloggers and get more readers to my blog. Well one way at least without having to pay for advertising through Facebook.
At that stage the only people that read my blog was my mum and a handful of church friends. But once I networked with Essentially Jess bloggers, my readership started to grow. I then learned about the blogging conferences held during the year and made a note to keep my eye open for tickets when they would be released. Nikki from Styling You couldn’t talk more highly of Problogger so I was keen to attend because of her recommendation.
When it was announced that Problogger was going to be held on the Gold Coast back in 2013 I purchased a ticket the day they were released. It was a lot of money for me, a blogger who was making no income whatsoever from my blog. I wanted to learn if there was a way to monetize my blog so that it would cover hosting costs and anything over would be a bonus.
Since 2013, I have been to every Problogger event that has been held in QLD. The most recent event was held in the city at the beginning of this month and it was hands down one of my favourite sessions to attend. For great recaps on what was shared at the Problogger Day event head to Middle Aged Mama and Write of the Middle.
In a nutshell the conference gave examples of bloggers who make a full time income with a small following online.
So many bloggers get caught up with their readership figures and to an extent they are what is needed to get a higher sponsorship or advertising rate, but there are plenty examples of bloggers who have a small following but have worked out ways to carve out a full time income from what they do.
It was refreshing to hear this because I used to get caught up with the numbers. My readership figures were quite small when I was offered (and accepted) my first Sponsored Post and so I thought I was doing this whole blogging gig wrong.
In the scheme of the blogging world my readership is small but I’ve only been blogging for three years and I am particular about the readership I want to attract to my page. The reason I share my faith on my blog (apart from it being important to me) is because I am specific about the type of readership I want on my blog. I only have to look at some of the comments on big following Facebook pages like Plumbing Porn and Crap plumbing to see they aren’t the readers or at least comments that I want on my page. My blog is an Open Home but if you enter, there is an etiquette that needs to be maintained in this space.
So in a long rounded post, the question I ask is this: Is Problogger really worth the money?
I bought my ticket to attend again in August and there are still 100 or so tickets left for purchase.
I believe Problogger is worth the money specifically for the networking and being inspired to keep writing online. It is the only event in Australia where you get a mixed bag of bloggers in the one venue. I see it as my personal development training for my blog.
The reason networking is so important at Problogger is because once you meet someone in the flesh and see who they really are, you are more inclined to interact with them online and even share their posts from time to time. Since attending Problogger the income stream from my blog has grown, and the networking with other bloggers has lead to freelance writing opportunities I never would have received had I not gone to Problogger.
The conference is also a great atmosphere to be inspired. The main speakers are always relatable and their advice is always encouraging.
Even if you don’t want to make an income from your blog, Problogger Conference is a great way to open your eyes to the world of blogging. I have no doubt that if you don’t have a blog, you will be itching to start one after you have attended the event.
But here is some other advice. You may not be able to afford to go or you have decided not to attend because you have decided to put your money towards other training opportunities. There is this FOMO (fear of missing out) from some bloggers and I say try not to feel like you are missing out. Problogger will be on every year (hopefully) and going to every event is not be feasible. If the event moves down south, I will be debating on whether I will attend purely because of the cost of flights and accommodation. I’m still looking at being $1000 out of pocket after going to this year’s event but I know it will help my blog and it’s a lot of fun.
I have to come back this year anyway so everyone can see how much Phoebe has grown from last year. Most bloggers were interested in her than me last year. She was my drawcard.
If you are interested in purchasing tickets head here. This is certainly not a sponsored post. I’m just sharing what I know.
Have you ever been to Problogger? Are you going this year? When did you go to your first Problogger Event?