I like to listen to podcasts & old conference sessions as I commute to work, to make me feel like I’m maintaining my knowledge of blogging and learning new things. It also helps me find small actions I can take to improve my blogs. It’s easy to get information overload at a conference, which makes it easy to miss quick and actionable tips.
Choosing Conference Sessions Based On What You Want To Learn
I was listening to a session from the first blogging related conference I went to (way back in 2013) & it struck me that I was feeling so out of my depth, content-wise, at the conference, that I went to all the sessions I thought I “should” go to, not the sessions I was actually interested in.
For example, I was walking to the cocktail party on the first night of the conference and I was telling someone how great the freelance writing session was from earlier that day. They didn’t go to that session so I was chatting with them about what was covered and they asked me if I wanted to be a freelance writer. I said no. They asked me why I went to that session then and I was very stumped.
While ProBlogger 2013 wasn’t my first conference, it was my first blogging conference. I didn’t know what I wanted out of blogging, I didn’t know my approach to it… I didn’t know much of anything about where i fitted in the community as, despite my years of writing online, I had barely been a part of the blogging community back then.
So instead of going to sessions that I wanted to go to, I went to the ones I thought I should go to. If you’re a blogger, you should probably also be a freelance writer. that was my line of thinking.
Now, none of this is all bad. Sometimes the only way to learn is to look into something and then you can make an informed decision about if that’s something you actually want to do or not. Learning by doing is valuable. I’m totally ok with that (in blogging and in life). But given the immediate and gut reaction of “no” when I was asked if I wanted to be a freelance writer – well, I really could have asked myself that question before the session and maybe gone to something a bit more relevant.
Have you ever chosen to do something that you probably didn’t need to?