Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Podcasts for bloggers, social media lovers and solo business people

I have to admit to a bit of a podcast addiction. They are perfect for busy people because you can listen to podcasts while you're doing something else - like walking home after taking my son to school, or driving on my own, or even in the supermarket (I’m such a fan of self checkout at the supermarket because I can keep listening to my podcasts for longer!).

A couple of people have asked me lately for a few recommendations because they want to hop on the podcast train too, so here’s my answer. I definitely have cycles of loving particular podcasts and I need a decent amount of variety, but if you try a few of these you’re bound to find something you like.

(NB: If you’re not sure how to download and listen to podcasts, these instructions might help.)

My current always-listens

The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins - he is truly a quality producer of content. This podcast is all about how to have a portfolio career - just like I do, for example, with income from my social media consulting business, my travel blog, my workshops at UWA Extension, some freelance writing … you get the drift. These podcasts are well thought-out and well produced, and always a pleasure to listen to.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin - it helps that Gretchen Rubin (of The Happiness Project and more) is a personal hero of mine, but also this podcast is produced very nicely with regular topics, a great co-host (Gretchen’s sister) and lots of practical, bite-sized ways to practice making your life happier.

Being Boss with Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon - these two fun American gals are all about helping creatives (designers, makers, etc) to run successful businesses and they have a lovely tone and great philosophy on life.



Social media podcasts

Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield - it was actually her podcast which first introduced me to Amy P - and I used to listen avidly every time. Then I was a bit over it (and it got less interesting for a while), but in the last few months it’s got really useful again and I very often listen. Lots of Facebook advice as that’s her specialty but definitely goes beyond that.

Social Media for Small Business from the Australian Businesswomen’s Network - it’s great to have an Australian podcast on this issue and Suzi Dafnis and Cat Matson have been doing this one for a few years. Good solid info and interesting interviews.

Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner - he gets the big guns in and has a lot of functional, practical advice. It’s a bit overproduced in a somewhat cheesy way but still worth the listen.

Solopreneur, small business and creatives inspiration

This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt - he’s a real professional and has figured out everything about how to run a useful podcast. The topics are fairly wide-ranging and sometimes not relevant (eg they may be about leading an organisation sometimes) but skip those and listen to the rest.

Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn - of course you already know how much I love Pat Flynn. Some of the most interesting episodes of this podcast are when he interviews “normal people” - ones we’ve never heard of - who are running a successful online business.

Ask Pat, also with Pat Flynn - this is a kind of spin-off of Smart Passive Income and is kind of genius in its format - listeners/readers call up with a question and Pat spends about 10 minutes answering it, and that’s an episode - which means one’s released every week day. I don’t listen to all of them but pick the topics that are most relevant to me, and it’s handy to have a shorter podcast to listen to, especially on the 15-minute walk home from school each morning.

1 Day Business Breakthrough with Pat Flynn and Chris Ducker - a podcast version of the mastermind days these two fabulous guys run, so each episode has one listener in the hot-seat and Pat and Chris give them a tonne of advice on how to improve their site/business or solve a problem they have.

Natalie Sisson’s Suitcase Entrepreneur - Kiwi world traveller Natalie talks about building an online business so you can be location independent (and is an excellent example of doing this). I went through an utter addiction to this one but perhaps I overdosed as I don’t listen as often these days!

Business Addicts with Loren Bartley and Fiona Redding - two Aussies who launched this podcast earlier this year but have already had great interviews with big names like Chris Ducker and Darren Rowse.


Other random podcasts that I rather like

The Slow Home Podcast with Brooke McAlary - this launched just last month, from Aussie blogger Brooke of Slow Your Home. It’s all about slowing down and living more simply and includes interviews with some really inspiring people. I always end up feeling more relaxed after I listen to this.

Two Fat Expats with Kirsty Rice and Sarah Derrig - two Aussie ladies who have travelled the world living the expat life and are currently based in the middle east, they cover all kinds of fascinating topics and are just a really fun listen.

Reply All with PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman - a professional podcast which is "about the internet" - meaning it covers all kinds of interesting topics and often really grabs my attention.

Your turn - let me know your top podcast tips


Which podcasts do you love listening to? I'd love to know so please leave a comment with some tips.








Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bloggers' Workshops for 2015 - all the details to keep your blog on track and network with fellow bloggers in Perth

This one's for all my Perth (and near Perth) bloggers, because due to popular demand I've set up a series of Bloggers' Workshops for 2015 so that you can all learn (or refresh) some important skills, meet new blogging friends (or see old ones again), and keep getting regular doses of input and inspiration so that your blogging goals stay well on track this year. Many of you who attended the "Get Your Blog Ready for 2015" workshop last year were asking for an opportunity like this, and of course, ask, and you will receive! (Well, sometimes, anyway!)



How will the Bloggers' Workshops work?

Workshops will run on Thursday mornings in North Beach, Perth. I have planned out 11 different workshops (see all the topics below) and each session will run for an hour and a half. Approximately the first 45 minutes will cover training for the particular topic, and the second half will run like a mini-mastermind format where bloggers can get help and advice about both the topic we've talked about and any struggles they're having with their blog.

You can sign up to individual workshops for $39 (via the Eventbrite links below), or you can buy a "five-pack" for $160 or a "ten-pack" for $300 - you can choose which five/ten sessions you want to attend (email me and I'll invoice you then send a link to pick your sessions).

Everyone who joins any of the sessions will have access to my new Bloggers' Workshop Facebook group where you'll be able to stay in touch with your fellow bloggers (and me) for support and advice throughout the year. Maximum group size for each session will be 10 bloggers - 12 was a couple too many at our Beach Boardroom (North Beach) workshops last year.

What are the Bloggers' Workshops topics and dates?

All the links here will take you through to the booking pages if you want to book an individual workshop or two - if you want to use the ten-pack option for $300, or the five-pack for $160, email me and I'll invoice you, then send you a link to pick your 10 (or 5) workshops.


Workshop 1: Big picture social media strategy for your blog

Thursday 5th March (9.30-11am)

Everyone knows that using social media effectively is essential for promotion these days, but have you stopped, stepped back, and tried to create a big picture strategy for how it can work for you and your blog (without leaving you no time to blog, eat or sleep!)?

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover:
  • A quick overview of which social media platform works best for what (including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram)
  • An audit of what social media you’re using now, and what would actually work best for your audience
  • Setting sensible goals for your social media use and figuring out your over-arching strategy
  • Planning out your social media promotion for the next month

Workshop 2: Making the most of Facebook for your blog (pages and profiles)

Thursday 19th March (9.30-11am)

Facebook is THE social media platform because it has well over a billion users - chances are very high that your target readers are on Facebook. It’s true that Facebook pages have faced some challenges in recent times but it’s still possible to reach your readers if you’ve got a good strategy and great content.

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover:
  • The pros and cons of both Facebook profiles and Facebook pages
  • How to set up your own Facebook page, in brief
  • Using your Facebook page insights to improve your reach
  • Identifying what kind of content works best (for you) on Facebook
  • Developing the best plan of attack for promoting your blog on Facebook

Workshop 3: Reader avatars, surveying your readers and building community

Thursday 23rd April (9.30-11am)

Every blogger wants to have more readers. But do you know who your current readers really are, and what kind of future readers you’re trying to attract?

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover:
  • Ways to find out who your current readers are
  • Developing reader avatars - a profile of exactly who your readers are, or who you want them to be
  • Targeting your blog posts to your readers
  • How to turn individual readers into a community of readers

Workshop 4: Optimising images for your blog posts

Thursday 7th May (9.30-11am)

Gone are the days when beautiful words were enough to attract readers - today’s internet readers expect beautiful pictures as well. Images are also very useful for promoting your blog post on social media, as well as breaking up the text and making your blog post more readable.

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover:
  • What kind of images would work well for your blog
  • Sources of images
  • How to use tools like Canva to create great images
  • Different strokes: tips on images for different social media platforms (especially Pinterest!)

Workshop 5: Sponsorship and advertising for your blog

Thursday 28th May 2015 (9.30-11am)

If your blog is more than a hobby, you’ve probably dabbled in sponsorship or advertising, or at least thought that you’d like to get some income for the many, many hours you’ve spent working on your blog. Fortunately, more and more brands are noticing just how influential bloggers can be, so the potential is really there.

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover:
  • What forms of sponsorship, advertising or working with brands could work for your blog
  • Putting together a media kit (and making sure you’re keeping track of the right numbers)
  • Ways to approach a brand or company to work with your blog
  • How to be professional and successful on brand work

Workshop 6: Promoting old posts successfully - what's old is new again


Thursday 11th June 2015 (9.30-11am)

Whether you’ve been blogging for just a year, or for ten years, you will have some old posts that didn’t get the attention they deserved at the time. Many bloggers don’t realise that these posts still have plenty of potential.

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover
  • How to identify past posts that deserve a second chance
  • Options for reincarnating old posts - editing, adding images, republishing
  • Using social media to revive old posts (including scheduling - this will touch on tools such as Hootsuite)

Workshop 7: Writing better blog posts

Thursday 30th July 2015 (9.30-11am)

Writing for a blog is different from any other kind of writing, and since blogs are relatively new, a lot of bloggers struggle to find ways to write their posts so that their readers are clamouring to see them.

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover:
  • The characteristics of a well-written blog post
  • Formatting issues - why good blog post writing includes headings and images 
  • How to find your blogging voice
  • Tips for writing a post that your readers will want to share

Workshop 8: LinkedIn for bloggers

Thursday 20th August 2015 (9.30-11am)

A lot of bloggers think LinkedIn is only useful if they’re looking for a new job. Not true! Making all kinds of connections on LinkedIn, promoting your blog, perhaps even blogging on the LinkedIn platform are all legitimate ways to help your blog grow.

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover:
  • The basics a blogger should include on their LinkedIn profile
  • How to connect with the right people: readers, potential sponsors, guests and interviewees, and more
  • Using LinkedIn to promote your blog posts effectively
  • What LinkedIn’s native publishing platform is all about

Workshop 9: Using Twitter with your blog

Thursday 17th September 2015 (9.30-11am)

Twitter can be mystifying. It can also be fascinating! What’s more, you can definitely use Twitter to bring a multitude of benefits to your blog.

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover
  • The basics of Twitter and some demystification
  • Using Twitter for networking and making contacts
  • Taking part in Twitter chats
  • Promoting your blog posts on Twitter

Workshop 10: Newsletters for your blog

Thursday 22nd October 2015 (9.30-11am)

Social media platforms are fabulous but things can change on them at any time. Getting the email addresses of your readers and being able to get an email right into their inbox is something you are more in control of. I’ll focus on using Mailchimp in this workshop but the principles apply to any mailing list platform.

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover
  • The pros and pros of having a mailing list
  • How to get subscribers to your mailing list
  • Developing a calendar of content for your newsletters
  • Creating regular newsletters without giving up sleep

Workshop 11: Make 2016 your blog’s biggest year

Thursday 3rd December 2015 (9.30-11am) OR Saturday 5th December 2015 (10-11.30am)
Your blog won’t write itself … or promote itself, or get its own sponsors … it’s all up to you, the blogger! And the best way to make sure that 2016 is your blog’s biggest year ever is to have a really good think about how you can do that before the year hits.

In the training half of this meet-up, we will cover
  • Analysing how your blog performed in 2015
  • Using user audits to check the design and functionality of your blog
  • Setting some key goals for your blog for 2016
  • Brainstorming some completely new ideas and directions for your blog
  • Putting together a plan for 2016

FAQs

What kind of bloggers are these workshops suited to?
From beginners to intermediate bloggers, using Wordpress, Blogger or something else, and blogging on any topic.

Do I need a laptop computer?
Ideally, yes. We can use the Wifi at the Beach Boardroom venue and there will be sections at each workshop where you'll have a chance to do something hands on. It will often be the case that what we do works better on a laptop than on an iPad/tablet. If you want to borrow a laptop (PC), let me know as a I have a couple of spares.

Can I get a refund if I can't get to the course?
Full refunds are available up to two weeks before the date of the course, but not after that, I'm afraid, due to venue booking restrictions. Refunds for the ten-pack will generally not be given but I'll look at them on a case-by-case basis.

Got another question? Let me know and I'll add the answer to the FAQ.








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