WDS Part 4 – Sunday Afternoon
Sunday was the final day of WDS. I enjoyed my workshop experience (although I read the map wrong and wandered around a bit in the heat before finding the venue) and finally met Darren Rowse. I was so tired and had committed to dinner & Powell’s Books plans with my daughter, so I skipped the closing party. I heard it was a great time. The photos of the dancing in the park are full of pure joy.
Darren Rowse & Chris Garrett
Workshop – ProBlogger Academy
As a new blogger, I was thrilled to be able to attend a workshop by the authors of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. The book has been a favorite and I have also benefitted greatly from Twitter chats in which Darren has generously shared his knowledge.
There were too many topics to go through here in detail. Creating compelling content was one subject. Darren described creating reader profiles to help in determining how to best write for your site audience. He advised to pose these questions: Who do you want to reach? What are their needs and challenges? What kinds of tools does the reader use? After creating the profiles, go on to develop ideas for content.
Chris suggested putting content out there and testing to see what people share. If it is useful, creates emotion and urgency, people will share it. His advice: Develop trust with your audience. Be likeable. You must have an idea and tell a story that gets in the reader’s head and heart. Slow steady growth is common.
The steps to productive blogging were identified: Create, Curate, Delegate and Automate. Each one increases your ability to build more content and reach a greater audience. Use your blog as the center for your social media outreach. As you build community, you learn insights, sell more, develop deeper relationships and create advocates for your work.
There were also tips on monetization. One key tip: treat your blog as a business from day 1. Even if you only have 15 minutes a day to get started, take an action. Write, contact advertisers, write e-mail, build a relationship. Darren suggested a blog series as a great way to maintain interest with your audience. (I blogged my WDS Inspiration in a series, hoping to make people who did not attend feel connected to the experience.)
Darren & Chris stayed until all questions from the audience were answered, which was very much appreciated. I think we could have gone on for hours but we had to make it back to the concert hall for the closing presentations.
My takeaway: “Define what success looks like for you. Create something worth being found. Your house, your rules.”
Connected – Musical Performance including Portland Gay Men’s Chorus
Steve sang, played the piano and shared his story of survival against HIV. During his illness, he hit the lottery by getting one of the few slots as a clinical trial patient for an experimental treatment. Instead of dying, he wrote a musical. You can read Steve’s blog posts from those earlier years on Living in the Bonus Round as well as his posts about the WDS experience. His site includes many more pictures of himself & the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus performance on stage.
My takeaway: Steve described the gift of having more time. “Anything is possible in the bonus round.” We should all be mindful of our time here.”
Who Are You?
Donald Miller, best-selling author and speaker on Christian spirituality, shared many personal stories and challenged the audience to ask many questions of themselves. Again, this is only a small portion of the message delivered on stage.
Who are you? What do you want? What happened when you went for it?
Do we distract ourselves with pleasure when we don’t have a sense of meaning in our lives?
What if we are not the identities we pretend to be?
Donald talked about having shame and how that influences our personality. His example was from childhood. His feeling that he was “not enough” led him to create a personality of humor and intelligence to cover up his feelings. He talked about integrity being the creation of integrated parts of yourself that come together to provide protection.
Who are you for real?
“We are not our failures. We are not our successes. Have you ever seen a masterpiece? None of them are perfect.”
He encouraged us to try to impress less and connect more.
My takeaway: “We are not our failures.” “I sit in my underwear and write books.” Read more well-written books like “An American Childhood” by Annie Dillard.
A Final Note of Thanks
We all were given engraved glasses to share a toast of apple juice at the close of Sunday’s program. A special thanks to Chris Guillebeau and his team of Ambassadors for creating the wonderful World Domination Summit 2013 and sharing the photos taken by Armosa Studios. I’ll be back in 2014.