Problogger Event 2012 - People, Parties and Progress

People, Parties and Progress at the Problogger Event

If there was a loyalty card for the Problogger Training Event in Melbourne, Australia I’d have three stars for a perfect three years of attendance.

Evolution of the Problogger Training Event

The first Problogger Event with Darren Rowse in 2010 saw 150 lovely blogger crammed into a dodgy hotel in Melbourne. I flew in and out again on the same day so it was a whirlwind of excitement, a chance to meet some well known bloggers and meet some Twitter friends for the first time.

Annabel Candy and Darren Rowse - Problogger event

The timeless blogging master Darren Rowse and me at the first ever Problogger Event in 2010

I only had one blog, my trusty travel blog Get In the Hot Spot, and the excitement was palpable, the room filled with people who were thrilled to talk about their passion for blogging with other people who not only knew what blogging was but loved it too.

150 people sounds like a lot but we all got a chance to mingle and I even managed to get the Problogger himself to pose for a pic with me. Look how young and lovely we were back then.

Being a pro Darren was much cooler than me but I was a blogging innocent, loving my new discovery and creative online playground. No prizes were awarded for the best post-Problogger Event 2010 headline but, modesty aside, if there had been, it’s hard to believe that my post Would you Travel 1,846 Miles for this Man? wouldn’t have crossed the line first.

Lesson learnt: It’s worth the time and financial investment to go to blogging events, meet your blogging heros and hang out with other like-minded bloggers.

The 2011 Problogger Training Event was bigger but not necessarily better. I’m probably not the best person to ask though because I live blogged the whole thing.

What that means is I sat there the whole day taking dictation and making as many notes as I could to share on my blog. I live posted 5 Bonza Blogging Sessions from the Problogger Event that day but I didn’t really enjoy myself. It was too much hard work and, although I was taking notes, I didn’t really listen and I couldn’t really connect with the speakers because I didn’t have time to laugh if they made a joke. I was too busy blogging.

That’s an experiment I definitely won’t repeat and a lesson for all of us: don’t let blogging take over your life and real time interactions.

Problogger Training Event 2012

This time around it was a two day event with 300 people attending. Thankfully I didn’t need to live blog the event this year because virtual tickets are available. If you didn’t make it to the event they are well worth the cost and offer massive value.

I will be listening to many of the tracks I went to again as well as all of those I missed because two tracks were running. Even just one of those sessions delivers the full value of the cost. Find our more about virtual tickets now.


First a huge thank you to my blog readers and everyone who came up to me and said they love Successful Blogging or Get In the Hot Spot. I so appreciate that.

It’s humbling, exciting and concrete proof that the work we do on our blogs does make a real and measurable difference to peoples’ lives. It was fantastic to meet so many of you for the first time and see some familiar faces too.

Other Personal Highlights

  • Darren Rowse - I love hearing the Problogger himself talk because he always seems so cool, calm and collected even though he says he’s very shy so must be feeling nervous. His session on email newsletters was GOLD. Literally. Don’t forget you can listen to it and see the slides if you buy a virtual pass.
  • Chris Guillebeau – Another huge blogging inspiration for me, Chris is the mastermind behind The Art of Noncomformity and the author of the surprisingly superb The $100 Start Up. I say surprising because business books can be deadly dull but The $100 Start Up excited me more than 50 Shades of Grey and for longer. Chris’s Empire Building Kit also helped me focus on growing my business and improved my bottom line thanks to his product pricing tips.

Confession: I kissed Chris Guillebeau’s ear - Unfortunately in all the excitement of meeting Chris I went to give him a peck on the cheek then he moved in for a hug and I ended up kissing his ear. Embarrassing. Still, how many people can say they kissed Chris Guillbeau’s ear? Or maybe everyone did it? You know what these bloggers are like. Oh, and in case you’re wondering it was his right ear and it was a bit cold.


5 Stand Out Speakers

I took reams of notes in every talk but some people deserve a special mention. I’ll explain why and although some of these things may not seem like blogging tips but they are. Let’s apply them to our blogs.

shayne tilley

Me and Shayne Tilley – both Shayne and Darren slipped into a dress to raise money for Do It in a Dress – or so they claimed…

  • Shayne Tilley – For his willingness to listen to, talk with and workshop ideas with individual bloggers like me. Shayne’s generosity blew me away.
  • James Tuckerman – For being funny, smart and thought-provoking even though it was early in the morning.
  • Nikki Parkinson – For being smart, approachable and telling it like it is. Nikki is the ultimate myth buster for that stupid “dumb blond” thing.
  • Sarah Wilson – For sharing her personal experiences of blogging, publishing and advertising along with how we can do it better ourselves, and for using interesting words. Brilliant  I liked that. It made me think and kept me wide awake even though it was the last final session on day two.
  • Darren Rowse – For being our fearless leader in how to make money online without being a slimy sleazeball.


I also got excited about hanging out with some of my blog readers and many of the other talented and lovely bloggers who weren’t talking this time. There are too many to mention but special props to Seana Smith, Eden RileyCaz Makepeace (but definitely not you Craig), “Tasty” Jenny Freedman, Brooke McAlary, Grace Titioka, David Wang, Al Tait, Andrea and my delightful roomie for the weekend Johanna Castro.

Some of the party animals at the evening cocktail party on Friday night:


So what about blogging progress? Are we getting anywhere? 


Nikki Parkinson and I strike a pose and are delightfully color co-ordinated

They say that Australia is two or three years behind the UK and the USA when it comes to social media marketing and branding but over the last three years more bloggers than ever are now making money from their blogs through advertising.

Many bloggers have scored fabulous opportunities like book deals, becoming the face of a brand and creating TV advertorials (I’m looking at you Nikki Parkinson) or been offered a plethora of personal and business opportunities.

Personally blogging has helped me get new clients all over the world for my blog design and web copywriting business, score some great travel writing gigs, get invited to China, Canada, Japan and work with some amazing brands like Qantas and Jetstar for the launch of their new travel site Hooroo.

I’m not sure if there were any sponsors at the inaugural Problogger event but this year 10 brands came to the party and sponsored the event. That and the stories from the bloggers I spoke with are real proof that more and more brands understand the value of working with us and realise bloggers are well worth paying for. Hallelujah.

The biggest lesson for me is to focus on the brands who do understand the power of social media and want to work with bloggers and don’t worry about brands that don’t get it.

They will catch up but it takes time to educate people so if you want to work with brands it’s much wiser to choose brands that want to work with bloggers already and appreciate their value. With that in mind a big thank you to the event sponsors for appreciating us bloggers.

I love meeting all the other bloggers, going to the parties is fun but the most exciting thing is watching bloggers and the industry of blogging itself progress.

These days it’s not just us bloggers who get blogging. Brands are willing to spend money to work with us - even here Downunder!

So I’m awarding Darren those stars for organising the event, for being our fearless leader and inspiring us all to blog better.

Thanks Dazza, for hosting a five star blogging event right here in Australia.

Thank you also to the Holiday Inn for hosting me in a comfy king suite for three nights. I needed that sleep and the location was perfect.

Now You Can Hear All the Conference Sessions Too

I hope to share my main takeaways from the sessions I went to with you here but there’s no way I can tell you everything I learnt in one blog post or explain it as well as the speakers.

If you want to get all the tips, tricks and inspiration from the event I highly recommend you invest in a virtual ticket. I’ll be listening to many of the tracks again and all of those I missed. Most sessions delivered the full value of the cost in just one hour but you get over 15 hours of audio recordings. Click here to find our more about virtual tickets now.

If you were at the event what were your personal highlights? If you couldn’t make it what sounds the most useful or fun? Apart from kissing Chris Guillebeau’s ear of course…

Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Kris Emery October 16, 2012 at 9:51 am

There SO should be a loyalty card! Nothing will keep me away next year. Fantastic event. Lovely to meet you, Annabel.


Annabel Candy October 16, 2012 at 9:58 am

Hi Kris,

Ha, wouldn’t that be good:) Although really the reward for repeat attendees (or should that be offenders…) is you get to build a long-term relationships. It is a celebration of those relationships and the progress we’re all making both personally and as a collective. Fantastic to meet you too:)


Johanna @ The Zigazag Mag October 16, 2012 at 11:32 am

Thanks for being a fab and generous roomie. It was such fun :) Love the way you’ve wrapped up the event with words and pics – and here’s to next year already!


Annabel Candy October 16, 2012 at 11:36 am

Hi Johanna,

Back atcha;)


Tash October 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

All the tweets and posts about Problogger Event have been so inspiring, and packed full of tips and advice! So amazing for Aussie blogger grow!

Love the #doitinadress pics! And the ear kissing confession! Ha!

Was great to meet you!


Annabel Candy October 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Hi Tash,

Great to meet you too – and so glad I didn’t kiss your ear…


jenny@atasteoftravel October 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm

3 stars to you! I love how you’ve shown how Aussie blogging has grown over the years. Now to put all we learnt ino action! It was great fun meeting and spending time with you and all the travel bloggers this year!


Annabel Candy October 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Hi Jenny,

Why thank you Madam:) I get impatient for it to grow faster and be appreciated sooner.

I’ve been learning about online marketing for 17 years and educating people about it for 16 years. Sometimes I’m over that and just wish everyone would get it!

Thank heavens I’m part of this wonderful community of bloggers who do get it. Phew!


Vicki October 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I couldn’t make it to Melbourne so I snagged a virtual ticket. I have listened to a few of the sessions and I loved them and have a lady got some great info from them. Let’s see how I put some of that info to use now and fingers crossed I’ll be at next years event!
Vic x


Vicki October 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Not sure about a lady but I have got a *lot* of great info from them ;)


Annabel Candy October 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Hi Vicki,

That is the real key. Action stations for all of us now:)

Bethaney - Flashpacker Family October 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Looks like you had a blast Annabel! Wish I could have made it. Was *this* close to buying a ticket when they sold out. I’m determined to make it next year. See you there!


Annabel Candy October 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Hi Bethaney,

I’ll look forward to it:)


Chubba October 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm

A great summary of the event. Next year we will have to come up and say hello!


Annabel Candy October 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Hi Chubba,

I’d love that:)


David Wang October 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Best roundup post I’ve read about #pbevent! Great pics, observations and top points for the ear-kissing confession! Lovely to meet you finally Annabel, hopefully I’ll see you at another conference soon :)


Annabel Candy October 17, 2012 at 5:50 am

Hi David,

Is this the first one you’ve read?! Just kidding, it’s a family joke…

It was brilliant to meet you too and thank you so much for coming all the way from Malaysia to hang out with us Aussies.


Bronnie October 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm

How I wish I’d been there. But I also had an important event to attend, my daughter’s school’s annual Mother Daughter camp. I desperately missed the technology and the bloggie talk (and the catch-ups), but it was good to disconnect and reconnect with other things that are important to me – my girl, her friends, and our beautiful beaches and nature here in Queensland. Maybe I’ll sign up for a virtual ticket! Perfect for the Mum who has to be in two places at one time …


Annabel Candy October 17, 2012 at 5:53 am

Hi Bronnie,

It sounds like you have a brilliant weekend too.

I truly recommend getting the virtual pass. I think it’s $200 and I guarantee you will get that value many times over. I’m an affiliate but because it’s really worth every cent and more.

You can check it out here —> if you wish. Either way I’ll still be here to motivate you and cheer you on:)


Nathalie Brown October 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Annabel wow now that’s a wrap up, happy we met and chatted love Nx


Annabel Candy October 17, 2012 at 5:54 am

Hi Natalie,

Yes, it was great to see a familiar face again and loved hearing your blogging success story too:)


Loreena October 17, 2012 at 9:30 am

Love your wrap up Annabel. I absolutely need to write one after I recover, which I think is still happening! It was very lovely to meet you, and I think one of the most important things that occur at these blogging events is getting to meet people face to face and truly connect with them. Hope to see you there next year, if not before :)


Annabel Candy October 17, 2012 at 9:38 am

Hi Loreena,

It was great to meet you too. Yes, I am still in recovery mode too but definitely feeling very motivated and in control.

Please come visit us in Noosa on your travels, we’d love that. I hope my Noosa Travel Guide post will persuade you to check it out:


Nikki @ Styling You October 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Great wrap-up Annabel – and thanks for including me! You’re too kind. Was an amazing event. Have never experienced a vibe like the one in that room last weekend. There will be great things happening in blogging in Australia over the next 12 months.


Annabel Candy October 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Hi Nikki,

You were fabulous in all ways:) You’re so right, this is an exciting place to be right now.


Kimberley M October 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm

This post was HOT Annabel – EXCELLENT wrap-up . Good score on getting a photo with Chris G also. Swoon. And stoked that I made it into the party animals reference with young Grace (is it bad that I don’t remember that photo being taken?) Was lovely to meet you at PB – hope we catchup again at the next one! Kx


Annabel Candy October 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Hi Kimberley,

Lol, you looked gorgeous and we had a good chat. You probably don’t remember that either but no matter:) It was great to meet you.


Kimberley M October 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Nah, I do remember the chat – just not that photo being taken! Kx

Annabel Candy October 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Oh good! You must have been papped so many times you didn’t notice any more:)

Sandra / Always Well Within October 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Congratulations on catching some ear! This sounds like fun and illuminating. Thanks for the round-up.


Annabel Candy October 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Hi Sandra,

Fun, illuminating but tiring too:) Thank you for being here and making my blogging journey so much more fun. I’d love to kiss your ear one day:)


Andi the Minion October 20, 2012 at 12:46 am

New York, Australia, no UK? I know I haven’t been in the blogging world for long but I have never heard of a UK blogging event, is there one?

I seem to be miles away from all of the fun.

Never mind, sounds like it was a great event. I will start putting my pound coins in a jar and save up for next years or the year after that :-)


Sara October 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

This may be a blogging conference I won’t get to, but I have to agree that blogging conferences (when done well) are worth the time and money and effort it takes to attend. I loved seeing the tweets and I know there will be valuable information available on your blog over the next year, which came out of this event.

Thank you for sharing it with us.


Seana Smith October 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Hi Annabel, really enjoyed reading your wrap up, this was my first trip to PB and it was well worth it. I am now listening to the Virtual Ticket presentations that I missed and getting a lot out of them. My fave bit was all the socialising!


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