The Post High of ProBlogger 2014

ProBlogger 2014 Conference Opening

Darren Rowse speaking at the opening of the ProBlogger Conference 2014.

I’m still not home, but I can’t help but put this post together straight away.

This year was my first trip to the ProBlogger conference and it was INSPIRING. I met so many bloggers at so many different stages in their blogging journey that it made me feel a lot better about where my little blog is at.

While I learnt a lot of things from the technical side to the planning side to the inspiration side, I have to admit I’m still feeling a little lost and I need your help.

Yes.. YOU! My reader.

When I started this blog I knew hands down what I wanted it to be about. Now four years later I feel a little lost.

So I’d love to hear what you love about my blog and what you want to stay and if you could throw in any new things you want me to cover I’ll be your best friend for life and we can do tequila shots.

Hit me up in the comments, what do you love and what do you want to see more of?

Blogger Series: Make Money Blogging Seminar {Giveaway – 2 tickets}

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While blogging can be a nice hobby, there’s also a career in it. All you need to do is tap into the different ways you can start to earn a side income and you can start developing it into a full time career.

The downside of living in Canberra is that most blogging seminars or conferences are never held here. To learn more about blogging beyond google we need to invest in conference fees, flights, accommodation and more. It can start to stack up, for example travelling to the Gold Coast for ProBlogger is costing me around $1,500 (not including the shopping I’ll probably do whilst there).

Kylie Ofiu is a career blogger and she has taken on the job of organising a Canberra based seminar ‘Make Money Blogging‘. Not only is it local but it’s a very affordable $50 (not including bf). An added bonus, all profits are being donated to the Communities@Work Sleepout.

Kylie Ofiu

Kylie Ofiu

I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into this seminar. Not only am I interested in how to expand my money earning options but there will be information on legalities to consider, tax tips and insurance advice.

Kylie has also very kindly offered me two tickets to giveaway to some budding bloggers!

Giveaway

So if you’re interested in attending the seminar and would love a free ticket all you have to do is comment on this blog post. Comment by 11:59PM Friday 5th of September, I’ll then select two winners at random on Saturday the 6th of September.

Blogger Series: Free Blog Planner Printables

An important tip for those blogging is to plan! Being organised and setting yourself goals, like when you’ll post, what you’ll post about etc helps you get into a rhythm of blogging.

It also helps build trust with readers, so that they know when they can come to your blog for new content. Wether it’s once a week, twice a week, everyday, you need to set up a regular schedule that is obvious to your readers.

A great way to do this is using a blog planner to try and plan ahead, you can also jot down ideas as they come to mind.

Here are the top free blog planner printables I’ve found online to help you!

Design Is Yay

Wita at Design Is Yay creates some really simple, beautiful and easy to use printables. One of my favourites being her blog planner.

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Click to download – www.designisyay.com

Secret Bloggers’ Business

I recently did the Secret Bloggers’ Business eCourse and the blog planner printable we got was a super useful tool! Just recently it was made available free to the public, so you can now benefit from this great printout.

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Click to download – Secret Bloggers’ Business

Oh My Hand Made

This is a super easy one page blog planner if you don’t like having lots of different pieces of paper flying about!

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Click to download – Oh My Hand Made

 

What tools do you use to help plan ahead?

A Plus Size Spring Dress {Part 1}

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The cherry blossoms have started blooming giving the clear indication that spring is just around the corner!

My favourite thing about Spring is the warmer days and cooler nights, it’s the perfect balance to wear just about any piece in your wardrobe.

Spring nights mean outdoor dates, strolling along rivers or lakes after a romantic dinner. Sitting by a beach as the sun sets. The possibilities in spring really are endless.

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Time to start thinking about my spring wardrobe. With slightly warmer weather I can start to think about dresses. During Winter I only wore one dress and I’m ready to start embracing dresses again.

There is a dress in particular that has taken my fancy for spring, thanks to Autograph’s Spring Look Book.

Autograph Black Cocktail Dress

I may have even planned a weekend in Sydney and a fancy dinner out around this dress. It has an expensive European feel to it (and if you’ve been reading my newsletters you’d know I’m very inspired by Paris at the moment!).

The detailing in this dress also lends itself to very simple accessories. Black heels, simple earrings and a blingy clutch would do. If you’re not a fan of showing off your legs you can easily add a pair of black tights without ruining the look.

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In particular I really love the sheer sleeves, as I’m a bit shy when it comes to showing off my tuck shop arms. It still allows your aims to be shown by hidden enough to make you feel comfortable and sexy.

If the evening turns cold you could easily add a black wrap or black jacket without taking away from the dress.

What would you accessorise this dress with?

 

Incorporating a chambray shirt { Plus Size Outfit}

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Chambray is one of those things that pops in and out of fashion and no surprises it’s currently very much back IN fashion.

I bought a chambray shirt almost a year ago and never really knew how to incorporate it into my wardrobe. I bought because I knew it was trendy, I just had no idea how to wear it.

Recently inspired by someone I saw wearing a chambray shirt I decided to throw this outfit together.

What I’m Wearing

City Chic Black Skinny Jeans

ASOS Curve Chambray Top

Lane Bryant Blazer

Colette Necklace

Wittner Sparkle Suede Boots

Rocco Sunglasses

I personally can’t pull of double denim when it’s the same colour, so I decided to go with black denim instead, teamed with a pair of boots (it’s still too cold for anything else) and topped off with a blazer, statement necklace and oversized sunglasses.

I’ve already worn this outfit several times and had a few really positive comments.

What do you think?

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The 2014 Liebster Awards

The 2014 Liebster Awards is a fun little online chain meme and I was nominated by the lovely Smaggle!

Basically I answer the questions she gives me, I then write my own questions and nominate a bunch of other bloggers to participate.

Let’s go!

Do you have a favourite mug? What happens if someone else uses it?

I had a mug I bought at my very first P!NK concert and it was my coveted mug at work. One day I washed it and left it in the communal kitchen then POOF it was gone the next day! After a few days of it not turning up I put up a friendly little note asking for the borrower to return it. The next day my entire desk was covered in paper cups with the word ‘P!NK’ scrawled on each one. My bastard colleagues made a big joke out of it and I never got my freaking mug back!

If you were going to audition for The X Factor (or other such competitive reality singing show) what would your power song be?

I think if I knew Adele in person we would be soul mates. I couldn’t go past screeching out one of her heartbreaking ballads and really making them feel my pain.

Is there anyone that you would erase from your memory like in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

The movie Dare Devil, 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back.

What’s your spirit animal and why? (Or for Potter-heads what would your Patronus be?)

My spirit animal is a domestic fat maltese terrier.. seriously is there a better life out there than sleeping, eating, shitting and barking all day?

What’s your favourite quote?

You know nothin’ John Snow.

Would you rather eat a spider or have sex with Fat Bastard?

I am terrified of spiders and I have no idea who Fat Bastard is so I’ll google him.. Oh.. Ok I’ll eat the spider.

Which celebrity would play you in a movie?

Whoopi Goldberg.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever smelled?

Me after a 5km run.

Name three things in your fridge.

Wine, Baileys and Cider. Wow that just taught me a lot about myself, I should have vodka in there as well.

It’s time for dessert and you can have ANYTHING – what do you have?

Cadbury Peppermint Chocolate. That shit is like crack cocaine.

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My turn!

1. What are you wearing right now as you answer these questions, be honest!

2. What is your dream job and why?

3. Of all the fictional characters in the world (TV, book, movie) which do you think is your soul mate?

4. On your smart phone, what is the last thing you took a photo of?

5. Do you prefer cats or dogs and why?

6. You win $5,000 on a scratchy, what do you spent it on?

7. What is your favourite TV show from your childhood?

8. Name a singer or band that you love but are too embarrassed to actually tell anyone you like.

9. What was your last luxury purchase?

10. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

I nominate…

2014 Liebster Award Blonde Ink Nominees

Mummy’s Undeserved Blessings

The Girl Has Sparke

Good Food Week

Tegan Westra

Design Is Yay

Working from Home {Fail}

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My desk at Gorman House

I’ve recently discovered I’m a total failure at working from home.

When I quit my job I was bright eyes and bushy tailed thinking I would totally nail working from home. I set up an office, I’d get to stay in my PJs and I would totally be productive.

Fail.

Being at home means there was a MILLION distractions. The dog running off with one of my favourite shoes, my dirty kitchen staring at me to clean it, my laundry basket walking itself to the washing machine, the tv shows I’m dying to watch..

You name it, I was distracted by it.

Getting a desk at Gorman House has been a total life (and work) saver. Other than my laptop and phone, I take no other distractions with me. When I sit at my new desk I am 100% more productive than I was at home. I write more, think more, brainstorm more and put so many more things into action.

If you find working at home to be a total fail I highly recommend finding a place away from home to work. It doesn’t have to be an office, I’ve found coffee shops work wonders as well!

What I can accomplish at a cafe in 1 hour shits all over what I can do at home in the same time.

I also can’t recommend it highly enough for writers block – take yourself out of your comfort zone somewhere new and watch your productivity sky rocket!

 

What are your tips for those who can’t be productive working from home?

Happy Birthday Blonde Ink! {Blogging Anniversary}

Happy-Birthday

4 years ago I started with possibly the most cliched blog post ever. I weep when I go back and read it.

I weep and then I remember who I was when I started. A full on Carrie Bradshaw wannabe with waaaaay too much time on my hands!

My taste in TV is still terrible and I never did end up blogging about current events. But boy do I still love blogging. It’s been the one constant in the past four years that has helped me get through a ridiculous amount of ups and downs.

While my blog has made one major shift from dating to plus size fashion my passion has never really wavered. While I may not post as regularly as I once did, I’m still constantly thinking about this blog.

I always like to use the anniversary to reflect on how far I’ve come and more importantly where I want my blog to head. For the first time I actually have no idea.

I know what I like to write about and I know what interests me, but I’m going to move away from forcing myself to write and organically let it happen.

Organically.. jeez I sound like a hippy wanker.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Blonde Ink, it’s been fun so far!

Blogger Series: ProBlogger 2014 Preparation

from ProBlogger.net

from ProBlogger.net

In under two weeks I’ll be jet setting to the Gold Coast for ProBlogger 2014!

I’ve never been before but each year I follow the conversations on Twitter and hear all about it from blogger friends that do go. So this year I was determined to get in early and grab a ticket before they all sold out!

Now is the hard part. The preparation.

I’ve been to conferences before, but going to a conference for your own personal business seems like a different game. I’m a lot more determined to take away more from this conference because of the considerable financial investment I’ve made in getting ticket, paying for flights and accommodation to get there.

I thought it might be worth putting together a list of things to help others in the same situation prepare.

1. Define what kind of blogger you are

If you haven’t already thought about it, it’s time you did. What kind of blogger are you?

Have you just started? Are you 6 months in and finding it hard to continue the motivation? Have you been blogging for years and lost your mojo? Are you ready to focus on the business side?

Work out the specifics on what you want to know or learn, are you ready to delve into the business side of blogging or are you hoping to just feel more inspired?

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2. Plan Ahead

Read the ProBlogger schedule beforehand and really think about what sessions you think will help with the questions you asked yourself in the above step.

I’d even recommend printing out the schedule and highlighting the sessions you want to attend beforehand and taking it along with you.

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3. Technology

Work out what you need to take with you beforehand.

Are you going to work off a laptop, iPad or a good old fashioned notebook? Do you think the battery life of these will last or do you need to think about extra batteries or recharge packs.

I’ve got a recharge pack for my phone and I know that my laptop can last all day without needing charging. I’ve also bought a back up battery for my camera – just in case!

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4. Networking

The key to this conference is networking. You really need to have business cards! There are going to be so many people and not enough time to write down the details of each blogger you meet so collecting and handing out business cards is key – make sure you have plenty on hand to pass out.

Also be prepared to chat. If you find socialising in person hard you will really need to overcome this to get the most out of the conference. Talk to anyone and everyone you can, starting with a big smile and a hello will set you up a treat to make new connections.

Have you been to ProBlogger? What did you do to prepare?

An Artist in Residence

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The Project Space – Gorman House

I was very recently successful in an artist in residency program at Gorman House.

I’ve never considered what I do an ‘art’, I feel like rather than being the artist, I help to foster the art with Big Ink. After mentioning the program to several friends they bugged on me to apply, and so I did.

I put together my proposal outlining Big Ink, what it stands for, what it hopes to achieve and what I would aim to do over an 8 week residency at Gorman House.

On Saturday I picked up the keys and so the residency begins, I’ll be working on Issue 12 and hopefully making it bigger and better! I’ll get to network with other creatives such as writers, visual artists, sculptors and even a puppeteer!

Who knows what the residency will be bring, but I can’t wait!

 

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