This time last week, I had just returned home after attending Australia’s largest and longest running blogging event, ProBlogger Training Event 2015 (#PBEvent). My mind has been swimming with ideas all week!
Held at the RACQ Royal Pines resort on the Gold Coast, the 2-day event brought together high profile international and local speakers, and over 700 bloggers, to discuss how to grow and monetise blogs and businesses.
One of the themes that came through loud and clear in just about every session, was FOCUS.
Here’s three things bloggers (and content creators of any kind) should consider focusing on:
1) Focus on your WHY
Darren Rowse, founder of ProBlogger, Digital Photography School and ProBlogger Events reminded us in his opening keynote to constantly focus on our WHY. Our WHY being why we blog – and what we’re trying to achieve by putting content out into the world.
Rowse’s vision when he started what is now the highly successful Problogger site, was that blogging has the potential to change the world. He wanted the site to help bloggers change their lives and the lives of others. A lofty goal – but one that he is achieving every day, judging by the number of stories people shared about how his books, blogs, podcasts and events had impacted their lives in powerful ways.
He said there will always be many distractions, but focusing on our WHY:
- Provides direction – when our WHY is bigger than ourselves, it becomes the compass for everything we do; it helps to determine what we need to do and how to go about it.
- Provides a filter to prioritise activity and ensure we’re only working on those things that will have the biggest impact on our audience.
- Can motivate us to keep going when things get tough or when we feel like quitting.
Rowse referenced Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on Start with Why – which is a great clip to remind both individuals and organisations what they need to do to inspire people to take action. I’d seen and discussed the clip in a marketing context, but it’s equally relevant for bloggers, or anyone who is providing a product or service.
2) Focus on creating insanely great content
Great content inspires, informs or entertains your audience. Ideally, it does all three. If your content is not compelling, it will not succeed. This was another recurring theme throughout the event.
Ruth Soukup, one of the international speakers, and founder of the successful LivingWellSpendingLess.com blog said that it’s a universal human need to be inspired – and the best bloggers inspire their audiences by offering paths to help their audience transform something in their lives.
Many examples of successful companies, and individuals who became successful by relentlessly creating and sharing great content were cited: HubSpot, Red Bull, Moz, Copyblogger, WP Curve, Michael Hyatt, Jadah Sellner and Ruth Soukup to name a few.
Great content becomes shareable content, and shareable content helps to build communities of like-minded people. Whether it’s in the form of blog posts, email newsletters, podcasts, videos, Periscopes and Meerkat sessions, social media posts, books, eBooks – when you focus on creating insanely great content, you’ll likely start to see compelling results.
3) Focus on doing one thing really well
The speakers provided many examples of their previous business failures and how the failures eventually led them to the big idea that resulted in their “overnight success”.
One of recurring themes was in finding a niche for your blog (or business) and serving that niche really well. It comes back to your WHY – when you focus on doing one thing really well, you become the “Go To” person for that thing. You build trust amongst your audience and start to position yourself as an expert on that topic. And it’s not to say that you can’t change direction over time, but the most successful bloggers seem to find success in finding their overarching theme and staying on topic.
It was as refreshing as it was eye-opening to chat with other bloggers about their niche, and their area of passion. There were fashion bloggers, mummy bloggers, travel bloggers, food bloggers, health and lifestyle bloggers, business bloggers, tech bloggers – and the list went on. With 700 bloggers in the house, I’m pretty sure I could have found a blogger on any topic.
The ProBlogger Training Event 2015 was an excellent conference, with a highly engaged and interactive audience. Check out all the commentary on the #PBEvent feed on Twitter.
It provided a timely reminder for me about the importance of focus in all aspects of what I do. I’m looking forward to putting some of my newly focused plans into action throughout the rest of 2015 and beyond.