Sooooooo I just attended the Problogger conference for about the 50th (fourth) time. I did less preparation this time than ever before. The reason for that is I get really busy with my web design biz as well as busy with my side blog, Humans of Hampton, which is basically not really a side gig because it takes up so much of my time and yes I probably should get some local businesses to sponsor me or something but I hate asking for cash – but if you’re reading this, how about it?! Then I get (more) distracted: Facebook, Twitter, football, reading what feels like 100 useless articles on 50 different things, Facebook, not cooking, perhaps a bit of washing, more Facebook, cups of tea and the small thing of flying to the Gold Coast which I’d been anxious about for days. Flying sucks.
This time my partner, Anthony and our two boys came too. The kids had never flown and the youngest one (who is 12) was rather anxious in the lead-up, though not as bad as his chicken mother. At least I had the help of a valium tablet, he just had to suck it up! “Breathe through the diaphragm Dan!”
But we were troopers and we hopped on the plane and while it was sunny in Melbourne, it was rather windy and the pilot warned us there’d be a bit of turbulence. Oh great! You can imagine my thoughts but I was more concerned about the boys and how they’d find it. Anyway, we obviously made it, they asked 100 questions every time there was a slight bump or noise but overall it was smooth(ish) there and back.
The night before the conference I thought I’d better check out the schedule. My complete lack of organisation skills (I’m kidding of course, I’m organised, except when it comes to me) meant that I missed out on some of the smaller workshops but there were still some worthwhile talks – none more than my new favourite person: Emilie Wapnick. Emilie is the owner of a website called Putty Like. I’d never heard of her until a text message from Kate at 10.40am on the day of Emilie’s first talk saying she hoped I’d get the chance to see Emilie speak. During my “in-depth” research the night before, I had already flagged that I’d attend Emilie’s talk – how to build an engaged community around your blog – because of my Humans of Hampton blog. But it wasn’t until Emilie’s keynote talk the next day on how to combine your many passions into one blog did I think “errr she’s actually talking to me”. I know I wasn’t the only one in the audience to think that.
Now it’s not like Putty Like is a new thing, it’s just that I’d never heard of it or Emilie before. Do you do that? Do you wonder how it is that you read so much yet have never come across something that a squillion of other people have?
Anyway, I loved Emilie’s talk because you see I have so many interests. I start things, I stop them, I start blogs, I stop them. I think about stuff All. The. Time.
All. The. Bloody. Time.
So Emilie suggests that instead of choosing a niche for your blog or business, think about what you love and why and craft an overarching theme by finding a common thread and combining unrelated interests. Well, shiiiit why not?
Here’s my brain dump of things I’m interested in – in no particular order:
- Women’s issues – a vast array of them
- Equity / Equality
- Helping people
- Footy / sport
- Women in business
There’s probably more but that’ll do for now.
And the overarching theme? Chocolate Cake and English Breakfast Tea.
I’m kidding (sort of). But here it is: Being Okay.
Cos the thing is it seems more and more that people are not okay. But could it seem that way because it’s more ‘out there’ due to the saturation of social media, blogs, etc and people are being more honest that they’re not okay?? The reverse of that are the Instagram posts of happy smiley stuff. I mean we all filter it right? The pic below is us all chirpy yet not 30 seconds later the kids were punching on and I had to sit between them. Again. For the 6,783,498th time. Because they STILL can’t sit next to each other in harmony. After the 12th year it becomes tired…I’m very tired…despite what the pic ‘says’.
The very last thing I expected when heading into this conference was to start another blog covering all the bits of my brain dump mentioned above. I’ve purchased a domain but given I’m an expert in nothing – except that Twinings has hands down/no arguments the best English Breakfast Tea – the blog will just have to evolve but the theme will be Being Okay. Now, to just find the time. Though of course that’s no excuse because as Dan Norris said in his keynote, we’ve all got the same amount of time as Beyoncé. Now all I have to do is hire a chef, a cleaner, a chauffeur…