Last August, I went to PB Event by Problogger on the Gold Coast. I had a blog set up, very badly, 3 lousy posts and no idea what I was doing or which direction to take. I went to the event for inspiration and to get a direction. Before going, I read avidly everything under the hashtag #pbevent to try and understand what to expect. It was daunting. Many people viewed the event with different expectations and it was so hard to make up my own mind. Furthermore, the question that hung over my head was:
Do I belong at Problogger?
I had this vision of overly confident and fashionable women strutting their stuff and I would feel completely out of place. Yes, me and my lousy 3 posts. Here is a run down of what it was like as a complete newbie:
The truth about what you need to wear at Problogger, the cliques, and all the things you need to bring…
Before going, I read a lot of mildly concerning posts about the fashion at Problogger, the cliques and all the stuff you’d better not forget…
I admit, I don’t like to feel underdressed. As a Parisian, I always feel there is an expectation on me to be appropriately dressed, so I worried. In the end, I didn’t feel the event was particularly dressy. People dressed comfortably, bearing in mind it was winter. Something I learned, the Gold Coast can be a little chilly at times…
I wanted to do them all, it’s really hard to pick… In the end, I decided to be reasonable and mostly attend the beginners’ sessions, in order not to be too overwhelmed. It can get a little repetitive and it’s a good idea to mix it up. I didn’t attend the Olympus Photography sessions as I didn’t have a proper camera…
As a newbie, I was really inspired by subjects that are still out of reach, such as Working With Brands By Andrea Michelle. I have taken all the notes and will certainly go back once I’m there!
Overall, there was a lot of very useful information. The speakers were generous with their stories and very encouraging of those starting out. It was really heartwarming.
Blogging For Beginners by Clare Hillier was a very good overview of what to expect when you start and how to have a go at success.
Blogging Voice & The Art of Creating Meaningful Connection Through Writing by Kelly Exeter made me feel that writing is within my reach. And she’s a little like me: introverted but a good public speaker…
There is always someone less knowledgeable than you
Taking part in Problogger daunted me because I thought I would be out of my depth, the one with no knowledge and three lousy posts… Yet I found myself explaining the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org to two young girls who didn’t have a blog or domain name…
In a show of hands, there was a majority of first timers. Young blogs. All of a sudden I didn’t feel so inadequate with my 3 lousy posts… It was going to be fine, Problogger was for me.
There are some truly inspiring people
Of course, that’s why we go to these events, so the speakers stand out:
Darren Rowse’s keynote address was genuine, full of actionable tips and made the whole blogging thing very approachable. On a personal level, I always like men who can work surrounded by women without feeling threatened in some way. Darren struck me as one of these guys.
The charming Jadah Sellner was a lovely revelation. Her story is what every blogger wants, I think some of us would even take the broken parts! And I, along with everyone else at the event, loved being a glowstick! Her presentation on How To Grow Your Instagram was incredibly valuable, all delivered with energy a big smile!
I also felt inspired by some fellow bloggers, some of them new to the craft. The pool party was really nice, with great atmosphere and great food. Meeting people who choose to express their niche interest in a blog is fascinating. Here are some of the people I met and who made feel very welcome:
All the stuff you need to bring
Again, the legion of mildly concerning posts drove me to “invest” in things I thought I needed in order to make the best of Problogger 2015. I ordered business cards and used about three. The reality is, when you meet someone, you connect with them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, so business cards are not absolutely necessary.
Phone chargers, double plugs, fast chargers… Maybe I didn’t spend enough time on my phone but I didn’t need them…
If I learned one thing…
At Problogger, I learned a lot about blogging, social media, monetization… And it was great. It gave me a lot of ideas, many of which I am yet to action. It gave me belief that it’s OK being a newbie, that I can take one step at a time. Most importantly, I discovered the blogging community. I found lots of support, lots of encouragement. For me and my three lousy posts. When you start out, when you don’t know what you need to know, and a welcoming communities probably the most important thing.
I would love to know what your PB Event experience was like. Please share in the comments below.