9 Lessons learned from the Problogger conference

Two weeks ago we attended the Problogger conference here on the Gold Coast. So did 700 other people – mostly women! It’s definitely my favourite conference.

Not only do I get to hang out with a cool bunch of travel bloggers, but also connect with other bloggers and entrepreneurs across a wide variety of niches from business coaching, to fashion and food bloggers.

I always gain so much through new ideas, collaborations, new friendships and inspiring speakers. The conference always has a high positive energy vibe and full credit goes to Darren Rowse and his team for doing an exceptional job of creating an experience that has extraordinary value with attention to each attendees needs.

The Problogger conference is like a fine wine – each year it tastes better and better.

We missed last year as we were chasing crocs in Kakadu. We were happy to return, and myself as a speaker! It was my first Problogger solo session, and I loved it.

I like to do a wrap-up post with the things I learned the most and the biggest themes I found weaved through each speaker’s presentations. Hopefully, you can take some nuggets away to apply to your personal and business life.

1. Pay it forward with kindness

This was a huge theme of the conference that ran through many speaker’s presentations, including my own. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of hate out there in the world, and as Heather Armstrong from Dooce.com shared, it can be on the vilest levels. We cop it, although not as frequently or severely, as Dooce. It’s frightening how many crazy, unhealthy, miserable people there are.

As Dooce reminded us,

It’s merely a reflection of the deep pain and unhappiness that lies within them. Reach out to them with compassion.

It’s not easy to do, but will soften the hate energy.

I also recommend that you use the cruelty and judgement you receive as motivation and fuel to become a better human being and then do your best to overcome the hate by spreading love to others. It’s the only way I know to deal with it.

inspiring quote kindness
Photo: Shutterstock

Ruth Soukup also spoke in her presentation that paying it forward was one of the five ordinary habits of extraordinary bloggers. I completely agree. It’s a big part of what we do.

We regularly support charities, plus I have a private mentorship group, and our first round of the Money Cleanse was a pay what you want. I intend to continue to do all I can to help make the LOVE voice heard!

I met so many kind-hearted people at the conference. I’m so grateful for all the positive words and smiles given to me, and I LOVE how this conference has such a kind communal spirit.

Read more:  Who are you letting dictate your life? (How to deal with the haters)

2. Be a glow stick and shine

Jadah shared this quote at the end of her keynote, which everyone loved!

Photo: TinyBuddha.com
Photo: TinyBuddha.com

Be vulnerable. Share your story and connect with your readers. Let them know you understand and are here to help. Don’t be afraid to shine the truth of who you are.

Don’t be afraid to break. You will many times on the road to your dreams. Use that as the fuel needed to shine!

(It was so awesome to meet Jadah. We’ve followed Simple Green Smoothies for a couple of years. We even did their 21 day cleanse while travelling!! We made 10 days, which I thought was great as doing a cleanse while on the road is extremely challenging. I use their recipes still all the time! I talk about my morning tonic tea being part of my daily ritual in this post. It’s from the cleanse!)

3. Don’t fear failure

As Jadah Sellner from Simple Green Smoothies said,


Put it out and let the world decide.

Brandon Cowan, the young Geek and Director of Crazy Dog Apps, changed his life around from drugs and alcohol and high school drop out to helping pets in animal shelters and making a difference. He says,

persistence quote

Embrace failure because embracing risky ideas can result in a great outcome.

And we shared our fave quote from Michael Jordan

Michael jordan quote success
Photo: Shutterstock

I feel like I fail brilliantly on a daily level. But, I’m okay with it as I know I can’t get to the success without it.

Read more:

4. Look after your inner world too

health wealth quote
Photo: Shutterstock

Okay so perhaps we weren’t doing a great job of this at 2 am with our espresso martini and funny conversations. But, what’s a Problogger without a little party! In Darren’s keynote, he spoke about the importance of looking after your health- physical and mental.

I regularly share with you how my meditation and daily habits routine saves my sanity and keeps me focused.

I also shared that C.A.N.I – Constant and Never Ending Improvement is one way to apply leverage to your business. Work on yourself and learn new skills to keep growing!

A belief I love and I often share in my Money Cleanse is

going for dreams quote

Embrace this as an empowering statement, not one to upset you. You can easily grow into that person. Find who has what you want and emulate how they think and act.

5. Delete the Fugly

I loved this term from Jadah. She was talking about deleting the ugly photos from your Instagram feed (which I’ve now done.) But, I think we can relate it to a lot of other things.

Know your strategy. Know what your community needs and connects to. Delete everything else – Including those who don’t belong in your community and do their best to tear it down. Don’t be afraid to start again and as Darren says, “Pivot”,

change quote

Stick to your zone of excellence – if your skill level is missing and fugly is your only result, then outsource that.

6. Why are you doing this?

Truth Bomb - blue

Another constant theme was to reconnect with your why. Without a strong enough why you’ll quit.

There’s a certain lifestyle you’re chasing: location independence, time freedom, endless summers, but why else are you doing it?

What difference are you trying to make?

What’s your message and story to share with the world. Follow the calling within – no matter how crazy it might seem.

success serve quote
Photo: Shutterstock

It’s about creating for how you can transform people’s lives, not for the money you can make. Make the love the most important thing and the money will follow.

7. Dream big

Again another huge theme of the conference that was mentioned over and over again.

dream big
Photo: Zig Zag Travel

Don’t fear it. Make it fun and remove limitations.

Jadah shared her vision board as a way of doing it.

For me, I shared the

“Wouldn’t it be cool if?”

Paint the picture of all the cool things your blog can take you to. This strategy kind of takes away the limitation and just makes it a fun conversation with friends around a couple of martini espressos. (Oh wait, that was us at 1:30am at the Hydrate Bar! Who’s idea was that?)

These are all the things I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if?” and they happened.

dream big

Except for the White House thing! I could never have dreamed we’d get invited there.

Read More: It all starts with a dream

8. The importance of action

Action quote
Photo: Shutterstock

This is what I speak about in my 30 Days to Money MindfulnessThe Secret fooled everyone into thinking all you had to do was think about what you want and the Fairy Godmother would bring it! No – action is where it’s all at.

Jadah Sellner said it’s all about heart and hustle.

When we first started heart and hustle was the only leverage we had.

And this was one of my favourite quotes again from Jadah

Close the gap quote (800 x 800)

Don’t wait until everything is perfect. act now and learn along the way. Ruth also mentioned this in the opening to her talk. She spoke to a mentor and confessed, “I feel like such a fraud. I really don’t know what I’m doing.”

His response – nobody does. Everyone is just trying to pave their own way. And if you’re out in front then there’s no possible way you know what you’re doing.

Arm yourself with a machete and hack down the jungle vines along the way.

I often say, “I have no idea what I am doing.” The difference is I still DO it anyway. Again it comes back to that idea about being okay with failure.

I’ll try it and if it doesn’t work then I’ll just refine it and start again.

I talk more about business and balancing it with travel and family on this podcast. Listen below.


9. What’s your one thing?

success quote
Photo: shutterstock

A brain like mine doesn’t like to settle on one thing. I have multiple projects (and multiple browser windows) running at ones. (okay and maybe multiple devices too.) So when Darren asked us in his closing keynote to decide on one thing to do upon leaving the conference I wanted to dive under the covers.

But, I have taken action and implemented so much of what I’ve learned through my typical bits and bobs method – the nomad that can’t settle down into one project at a time.

I’ve tidied up some of my email sequences, I’ve tweaked a bit of my Instagram account and strategy – (which is growing by almost 100 people a day! Yay. Come join us!) I

The one thing we really want to create is a community-based challenge for you all. So let us know if you have any ideas of what you need help with so we can create that fun solution for you!

What’s your one thing that you’ll this year to achieve your dreams (travel related or not)?

27 thoughts on “9 Lessons learned from the Problogger conference”

  1. I rebranded my blog, which was a long time coming! I also launched a second blog & I have chosen what paid product I am launching first for it. One step forwards!

  2. Great take outs Caz. I missed your session but looking forward to listening to it via the recording on the wkend. 2 weeks on I’m still processing it all. I thought I’d walk away from PB with a note book full of actions ready to go. Instead I’m taking the time to reflect on it all and work out my ‘why’ and my one thing. Xx

  3. Stepping into blogging blind I didn’t have a clue where it was going or what I was doing. My first attempt failed. Now, the second time around I have worked out the blogs focus and what I am attempting to achieve from it and am on the second round now. To achieve my dreams I’m sticking with it – even in adversity. I know this is what I want as a Professional Person, so need to make it happen. (With help from the universe of course!)

  4. Fantastic summary of the 2015 ProBlogger highlights Caz! Like you, I never have just “one thing” I’m working on, but I have come to realise that it only makes progress on the million things I am working on that much slower because my “focus” (another buzzword from the conference, I think) is scattered. So, while my “one thing” was initially to start a podcast, I think it might be to do “one thing” at a time – and do it well!

  5. Dianne Bortoletto

    I missed ProBlogger this year – thank you so much for this post. I’m going to do my best to never ever miss it again (makes it tricky living in Perth) x

  6. Oh thank you so much for sharing these! I wish I’d been there but I was away travelling (not a bad problem to have for a travel blogger, and definitely one of those ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…” places).

    I was following some of what was going on with social media and loved the Glow Stick idea so much I shared that with a friend going through some tough times. It’s great to read some of the other wonderful ideas from the conference and get your thoughts on them. I’ll definitely have to see you there next year!

  7. Wow, well that wasn’t what I expected at all. Very interesting that it’s mostly head stuff.
    I try so hard, but…time slips away and I get distracted. But in a way that’s a good thing, I’m spending more time with my family and less online. One day we’ll make it, but now is the time for fun with the kids and big real -life adventures. Feeling a bit fed up with the online world today 🙁

    1. Yes. It’s definitely worth attending. I love learning across niches and it’s very focused on having a business mindset. I hope you can make it down here for it. Maybe next year?

  8. Good takeouts, and I LOVE all your inspiring images. Our family is in a state of flux and there’s a fair amount of hunkering down to do… my motto is ‘when in doubt, do nowt’ and that’s wise in terms of making big changes… but a vision board is coming into my wee office imminently, and some of your cool images will be printed.

    Good to say hello in person when there. Hoping to join B-School next year, and that you run a mentor group again.

  9. Thanks for sharing what you gained from Problogger for those of us who couldn’t make it all the way to the Gold Coast.

    I’ve been working my way through Darrens 31 days Podcast and finding some of these things have come up like paying it forward. I’m finding working with other bloggers and not being afraid to share their stories is actually great: one to build new friendships and also Karma (whatever you call it) filters back through.

  10. I’d love to go to Problogger one day. I love that all the speakers focused on giving for their why. We always try to start with that in our business. I also enjoyed your chat with the Mumpreneur, great energy and advice.

  11. Awesome things 🙂 I love that fact that you learned something to me about Problogger, right her Very convenient, since I´m back in Norway.

    1. Keep posting at lest one good blog post a week.
    – Defining my voice better. Inspire the girls to get out in the world and travel.
    2. Instagram – Reach 500 followers before New Year.
    3. SnapChat – Get moving and start the story telling.

  12. AWESOME post Caroline!! LOVED your lessons and of course, your session!! My ONE thing is all about taking big, scary action starting with my email list… Going to Problogger showed me that I can do it… Now I just need to keep at it!!

  13. I am yet to get to a problogger conference so it is great to read your wrap up Caz. I am taking a huge and scary step this year and taking my business on the road for a 12 month trip around Australia with my family, we leave in 3 1/2 months!! I have been working really hard for the last 2 years to create a business that I can work on from anywhere 🙂

  14. Hey Caz,
    I love this blog post for so many reasons so first off thank you for your words. For myself, my wife and I just started blogging this past year. We’ve had some of the same lessons, we’re still quite small, but have huge dreams.

    I love the idea of adding of value which is emphasized here in a couple of places. Everyone from big timers to first timers have something to say and something to add. Each of us has such a unique perspective and after all the experiences we’ve had it’s difficulty to not.

    One thought I’ve had is the idea of failure. Failure as a measurement of success. Shoot for the moon, miss, but land in the stars! If we’re not failing in what we’re trying to do we’re not dreaming big enough. Most of us reading your blog are dreamers and some even live vicariously through it.

    With all the excitement and all the noise. I completely agree that the balance needs to come from within. We just got into meditation after a week in Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and so much anxiety was shed through the simple act and practice of breathing. This post is a breath of fresh air, especially after we’ve heard and seen so much negativity in the blogging world. We’re happy to join the conversation yall have created and the journey yall are on.

    Thanks again for this post 🙂

    Love from the Philippines,
    Mark and Camille

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