Yesterday I returned from a trip to the US to attend Blog World Expo. This year was my fourth BWE and as usual it was a great event—well worth the 14-hour commute each way!
Of course when I return home, everyone always asks, “What was the best thing” or “What did you learn this year?”
Here’s what I learned
The thing that I always learn when I go to Blog World (or almost any other conference, for that matter) is simple: DO IT!
This year I decided to take a different approach to taking notes at BWE. Whereas in the past I’ve tried to capture much more of the words and ideas of presenters, this year I decided only to write things down when I heard something I needed to implement.
So instead of page after page of notes to wade through, I ended up with a rather concise list of action items—things I knew would not only be nice ideas but which would help lift my blogs up a notch.
As I sat in LAX waiting to board my flight back to Melbourne, I gazed over the list of action items and realized that much of what I’d written were things that I already knew I should do, but were things that I’d either put off, been distracted from doing or had not yet done well.
Here’s the thing: blogging isn’t rocket science
While when you just start out, there’s certainly a learning curve and it can take a while to get your head around some of the more technical aspects of blogging, a lot of what it takes to build a blog is pretty much common sense (note: common sense doesn’t equate to it being easy … it’s also a lot of work).
However the problem with “common sense” is that things that are common sense are often the things we take for granted—they’re things that we get comfortable with, and don’t always actually do.
Not only that, but the common sense things are often overlooked in the pursuit of “secrets” or “advanced tips and techniques.”
I spoke with one blogger at BWE who told me that they were dissatisfied with the event because it was all too basic. They commented that they “knew it all” already and wanted speakers to reveal their “real secrets.”
When I unpacked this with him a little and we looked over his blog together, it became apparent that while he may have known a lot of what he’d heard at BWE already, he’d not done much of it. For example, he told me he was sick of people talking about setting up an email newsletter. However, when pressed, he admitted that doing it was still on his to-do list.
He knew he should do it, but he was so busy looking for the next new secret technique that he’d failed to implement one that was tested and proven.
What have you been putting off?
Of course, most of us have been overlooking or putting off something.
For me, there was a list of 20 or so things. For example, I sat in one session with Amy Porterfield who talked about Facebook, and I realized that while I’m using Facebook much more effectively than in the past, there are still five or six things that I need to do to take my Facebook strategies to the next level.
I also realized that I need to rework some key pages on my blogs, rethink some aspects of my blogs’ designs, and so on.
What about you? Most ProBlogger readers didn’t get to BWE this year, but that doesn’t stop you implementing what I learned. Take ten minutes to consider the action items do you have that perhaps you’ve been putting off, but which you really need to take action on.
If you’d like to share them in comments below to help make you a little more accountable to them, please do!