A big thanks go to Peter Black who coordinated what was a conference with a difference, This was like the blogosphere, we were all able to participate in the conversation of the discussion, only in person rather than online.
It was well organized with time for learning, listening, contributing and networking, not to mention the tasty free food.
I met people I knew only by their photo or blog online, including blogging legends Duncan Riley and Yaro Starak and I had fun. The other blogging legend, Des Walsh has a detailed account of events you can read about here.
As I sat down for the first discussion of the conference I found myself sitting next to Megan Bayliss who blogs at Imaginif and runs The Carnival of Australia which is how I met her, online.
I gained insight into Creative Commons . If like me this sounds foreign to you,as it did for me, there is a humorous video you can watch that explains how you can share, reuse, and remix web content legally. I am still looking at how I will implement this on my blog. This is a free service and allows you to embed links into your “work” that will especially help if people are using content from your blog inappropriately and without attribution. For instance, copying a whole post from your blog and using it inappropriately (“scraping”).
I attended the next session with Duncan assisted by Yaro in the session Building a Better Blog. This was a lively discussion session and the main points I took away were:
- Quality content beats gaming the system.
- Know what you competition is doing.
- Linking and more linking -remember first to give, before you get.
- Design style
- The significant potential revenue to be made from well placed advertisements when you have built your traffic
- The importance of comments- this is where the conversation takes place.
Des and Yaro led a discussion The Future for your Blog, Promoting your blog and Building traffic:
Des asked Yaro to give 3 key principles for getting traffic:
- The best source of traffic is another blogger linking to you
- Social Bookmarking- Digg, Propeller,Stumbleupon and again this means you must write quality content
- Participate in Forums- Digital Point and Site point were mentioned. I would add here that joining communities like Bumpzee and MyBlogLog are also great communities to be in. The Australian community from Bumpzee was well represented at this conference, so now I can put more names to the faces that visit my blog.
Other points from the session that can help both promote your blog and drive traffic.
- Use Feedburner
- Putting a Frappr map on your blog
- Article and e-zine marketing- John Hacking from Search Tempo contributed to the discussion about article marketing and has a podcast that is worth listening to on starting out with article marketing. On article marketing another point that was made about the content you submit to e-zines is not the blog post you have just written. You need to do some rewriting and adapting . Google doesn’t like duplicate content. This is different to what some others are saying about your use of content.
I came away revitalized, inspired, with new blogging contacts, ideas and a determination to become a A list blogger. I am very pleased Des got invited to speak at Blog World in Las Vegas in November. If you live in the USA and can get there I would love to meet you there.
I forgot to mention an added plus, was after conference networking at a local pub, with a glass of red, I got to share conversation with NickHodge from Microsoft, Lindsay Polson, a fellow Gold Coast blogger and artist and Duncan Riley who, has recently become a convert to Apple and when I saw facebook on his new I-phone, plus his passion, I realised I am ready for conversion. Today I saw many Apple Laptops in use during the day and as I am on the lookout for a new laptop, this was a very timely conversation.
I now feel as well as developing new friends online, I have become part of the Australian Blogoshere, I got the sense of a good community developing.