Six Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward to Attending ProBlogger!

Note: this post contains affiliate links.

Six Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward to Attending ProBlogger! - Zest e-biz

 

Only three days until I fly to Melbourne to attend the ProBlogger Training Event! Getting very excited now. Not looking forward to the long day traveling via Perth with our 4 month old bub, but what is waiting in Melbourne will be worth it.

In the last couple of posts I’ve done some thinking about my Zest e-Biz blog developing a mission statement and goals. The other area I’ve been thinking about in preparation for ProBlogger is what I want to get out of the event.

Six Reasons for Attending ProBlogger:

1. To meet other bloggers who are at various levels of experience with their blogs so I can learn what worked and what didn’t for them. Already I’ve joined a facebook group called Aussie Bloggers that one of the ProBlogger attendees set-up which has been great to get to know people prior to the event, as well as being an excellent knowledge sharing space. For anyone interested in blogging, or planning to purchase a virtual ticket to ProBlogger, I’m sure you would be able to request to join the group.

2. Tips and ideas of how to build my blog so that I can work towards the goals I developed in my last post, including:

  • Building my blog’s brand
  • How to monetize my blog
  • How to market my products
  • How to make the most from visitors to my site, i.e. “turn them into raving fans”
  • How to get paid to write, and
  • Media and blogging

3. Validation that my blog is worth pursuing as more than just a hobby, building my confidence to stick at it and promote it accordingly.

4. To meet Darren Rowse in person who has an amazing work ethic and is so passionate about delivering value to his readers via blogging.

5. To listen to Chris Guillebeau’s story about how he blogged his way around 150+ countries, and how he monetized that blog to support his travel.

6. To go to Melbourne and indulge in great food and great culture!

ProBlogger Virtual Ticket

If you are unable to attend the ProBlogger Training Event in Melbourne, but you are interested in getting all the material from the event – good news…

They’re just released virtual tickets!

You can hear from speakers like Darren Rowse, Chris Guillebeau, Shayne Tilley (the web marketing ninja) and some of Australia’s top bloggers and learn how to build a profitable blog.

Best of all – you can do it all from the comfort of your own home – with full access to over 21 hours of teaching for you to listen to again and again wherever and whenever it suits you.

If you’d like to purchase a virtual ticket I’d love you to use my affiliate link below, however you are more than welcome to purchase one directly via the ProBlogger website.

Register for a Virtual Pass to PROBLOGGER’S TRAINING EVENT

Look out for future posts about my experiences at ProBlogger.

What is the Zest e-Biz Mission Statement?

What is the Zest e-Biz Mission Statement? - Zest e-Biz

I’m attending the annual (sold out) ProBlogger Training Event in October along with 299 other bloggers from around Australia. I can’t wait! It’s the first real professional development commitment I’ve made for my Zest e-Biz blog and coaching business.

This both excites me, and scares me… Still on maternity leave I constantly toss between the comfort of going back to work as an employee, and biting the bullet and really making a go of Zest e-Biz!

Already I’ve connected with some amazing people in the lead up to the event who are very inspiring and motivating.

One of the preparation tasks for the event involves thinking about the goals and mission statement for your blog. That’s easy I thought…

Zest e-Biz – coaching business excellence!

But then I thought more about what I really meant by this and I didn’t know how to describe it more explicitly.

So I had a think and came up with the following:

“I blog because I want a flexible work schedule where I do what I love and work when I experience flow, not being forced to work between the hours of 9-5. I aim to educate and support others who wish to do the same and generate a low maintenance income from this.”

However I thought about this some more and realised it’s probably the general mission statement of just about any blog. Why was Zest e-Biz different? How could I make it stand out?

I remembered back to Simon Sinek’s catch phrase, which I discuss more in a previous post:

People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.

The mission statement above is simply what I wanted to do, but didn’t explain the ‘why’.

So I enlisted the services of Nailah Blades from Polka Dot Coaching, courtesy of a prize I’d won through an activate28 photo challenge. Nailah skillfully helped me define a mission statement based on three things:

  1. Action words/verbs that I identified most with
  2. My core values
  3. Who/what I want to help

And this is what we came up with…

Coaching mindfulness in business, to connect and encourage business leaders who wish to inspire a following.

Quite different to my first attempt! This one really resonated with me, so now I feel I’m on the right track. The more we talked, the more I remembered my passion for inspiring leadership and engaging a following. My words started to dance off my tongue as my speech sped up. I felt my face come alive with emotive expression as I thought of and described leaders who have inspired me, and conversely those who have left me frustrated and disenchanted.

I think defining your mission statement is an iterative process, but for now I’m loving the way the second one above captures the essence of Zest e-Biz.

Specifying my goals is going to have to be the subject of a future blog after the time and effort it’s taken just to come up with my mission statement!

I’d love to hear what your mission statement is for your blog or business venture in a comment below. Check out the bottom of the Zest e-Biz Resources & Links page for more examples of mission statements from companies I find inspiring!

5 Free Photo Sites to Attract & Retain Your Readers

Guest post written by Kate Croston.

Do you want people to leave your website quickly? Do you want them to ignore all the hard work that you have put into creating it? Of course not! However, when most people see a site filled with lines and lines of text, they move on. To keep them reading and browsing your site longer, you need to add visual appeal. You can do that with photos.

Adding photos to your website is a great way to keep people reading. It gives them a reference point and helps to anchor the text.

But… you don’t have the money to pay for a bunch of professional photos, right? Well, have no fear.

If you need photos for your site but do not want to pay for them, then you have come to the right place. You may think there is no place to find good quality free images for commercial use, but you are wrong. Here are five great free photo sites with images that you can use anywhere you need:

5 Free Photo Sites to Attract & Retain Your Readers - Zest e-Biz

 

 

1. MorgueFile – This site is full of great pictures and you will not have any trouble downloading them. The only downside to this site is that many of the photos are taken by amateur photographers, and some are not very well focused or framed. However, they do have a title page where they feature the best photos of the day, so you should definitely check that out.

 

5 Free Photo Sites to Attract & Retain Your Readers - Zest e-Biz

 

2. FreeDigitalPhotos – If you are looking for stock photos that are free, then this is the site to visit. The photos are easy to download and only require the proper attribution. You can find great stock photos and images on a variety of topics on this site.

 

5 Free Photo Sites to Attract & Retain Your Readers - Zest e-Biz

 

 

3. Woophy – Do not let the odd name throw you. It stands for World of Photography and that is exactly what this site is. Featuring a world map with locations of photos take, this site is particularly great if you need a photo on a specific place or culture. Very interesting.

 

 

5 Free Photo Sites to Attract & Retain Your Readers - Zest e-Biz

 

 

4. Stock.xchng – This free photo site is particularly interesting to camera buffs. They offer information with each photo such as what camera it was taken with and what exposure. The pictures are many and varied and off good quality.

5 Free Photo Sites to Attract & Retain Your Readers - Zest e-Biz

 

 

 

 

5. StockVaultIf you are looking for large, high quality free photos then look no further. This site offers photos by professionals that can be downloaded in very large sizes. The images are crisp and clean and everything you need when creating a large image. Browse the favorites to see particularly great images.

 

 

No matter what type of photo you need, one of these five sites ought to fit the bill. You can find great photos for your site without having to pay anything. Now, what could be better than that?

 

Author Bio:

Kate Croston is a freelance writer, holds a bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She writes guest posts for different sites and loves contributing business internet service related topics. Questions or comments can be sent to:  katecroston.croston09@gmail.com.

How to Get Your Customers to Market Your Biz for FREE

How to Get Your Customers to Market Your Biz for FREE - Zest e-Biz

This week I received an email from Mighty Ape titled “Where are you, Kylah?” saying they haven’t heard from me in a while…

“Do we smell bad? Did we slip up? Whatever the reason, we miss you and we’re not above a bribe to get you back… get $10 off your next order!

Yes, this is a marketing strategy to get you to buy more of their products on a regular basis, but the personalised email that Mighty Ape carefully draft brightens up your day and makes you feel appreciated and valued.

Continue reading

Who is Your Target Market?

Who is Your Target Market? - Zest e-Biz - Making-$#IT-Happen-Peter-SheahanGot a good idea that you want to turn into great results?

Not sure how to go about it? Then read on…

Step 1 – Define your Target Market

Peter Sheahan lists some excellent resources in his book “MAKING $#IT HAPPEN” to identify trends in a market so you can determine whether there is a current need for your idea:

Online Trend Polls

Online trend polls are based on what people are searching and sharing. Sheahan suggests you check out the following:

–       www.google.com/trends

–       www.trendpedia.com

–       www.facebook.com/advertising/?lexicon

–       www.blogpulse.com

–       www.trendrr.com

–       http://adlab.msn.com/

Another great resource for spotting trends is Twitter. Use the hashtag (#) to search for varying subjects related to your target market. Or you could use one of the following websites that come up on Google for Twitter trending:

–        www.trendsmap.com

–        www.trendistic.indextank.com

–        www.tweetstats.com/trends

Subscribe to Trend Spotting Newsletters

Don’t have the time, or the motivation to spot trends yourself? Then Sheahan suggests subscribing to website’s newsletters who specialize in trend spotting, for example:

–       www.trendwatching.com

–       www.trendhunter.com

–       www.pewresearch.org

–       www.harrisinteractive.com

–       www.technorati.com

Ask Lots of Questions and Listen

It sounds simple, but Sheahan also points out one of the most effective methods of spotting trends… ask questions, but most importantly LISTEN.

Start to become more aware of conversations around you in your potential market, then ask questions to try and draw out the specific issues people or businesses are facing in your target market.

Step 2 – Refine Your Target Market

Once you have an idea of your target market and the trends going on, try to refine your target market. Although it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Successful companies know what they can be best in the world at and they specialize in servicing a niche market. Refer to my previous blog What is Your Hedgehog Concept for more about the secret of truly great companies and how they make the most of what they are best in the world at.

Once you know your niche market and can truly service them, it is likely that your market will grow. But specializing is KEY in the beginning rather than trying to catch all and achieving nothing.

Step 3 – What if You Can’t Identify a Current Market?

If you can’t see an existing market for your product or service, then you need to MOVE THE MARKET. Sheahan elaborates further on this concept, but a great example is Apple who sold earlier versions of the iPod, when people were still getting used to the concept of an MP3 player, as “10,000 songs in your pocket”.

To purchase Peter Sheahan’s great book that guides you through the five competencies you need to master to make it happen, click my affiliate link below:

 

Who is Your Target Market?

I’d love to know who your target market is. Can you define your target market in less than 20 words?

 

Image sourced from book cover for “MAKING $#IT HAPPEN” by Peter Sheahan