Blogger masterclass

by newintstudents

Aleisha McCormack  ‘It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.’

As run by the Voices of 2013 and Kidspot (a part of Google)

Venue: Smartz Art gallery which was hard to find, but is near the 112 tram.

It was a great chance to meet up with other bloggers such as Nic from Sharking for fish and Chips and others.

There was an abundance of free food and coffee and tea. There was so much.

But we were here to learn. We got many hints and tips about blogging successfully from the experts like: Wendy Tuohy (Herald sun) as well as tips about increasing your stats and monetizing the blog.

“Success is hard work”. It doesn’t come overnight.

There are too many sponsored posts these days. Sponsored posts are fine but they may change your voice just a little bit. We still need to sit with them for a while and be polite.

The most of us including ourselves write a personal blog. But what we would like to see is our readership going up as well as earning money from Google Ad Sense.

The most important thing that anyone could tell us is networking and getting guest bloggers to write something. This way we can market the blog as well as help them to market their blog. At the end of the day whilst it is a competition we really are helping one another out. We’ll try if we can to write on other people’s blogs too to increase readership.  We have formed a few friendships on Facebook.

Use your own voice. I tend to love being professional, but if you want to be personal that is fine too. You need to be comfortable in your own skin. You can have many voices but your character should be the same

Research is a must. Plan your topics well in advance. For many shows you need to research it thoroughly. Read lots. Read public notices. Watch TV. You should know everything.

 Know what people wants. To do that you need to have a look at the traffic sources in your blogs stats. Keywords are what people use to search your blog so make sure that the keywords match the post. Good keywords gives your post the correct message to market your blog. Go for the buying phrases. Put yourself in your readers shoes. There is an audience for everyone and it depends on what your target audience is. Ours are International students and Local students who go to University in Australia.

Be assertive. Don’t be passive and just have one or two photos without explanation (unless it is a photo essay). I like blogs that explain what the pictures are about and what they think of the food.

Forget the critics. Who cares about what they think?

Editing was another key point of the seminar. If we don’t edit we drive away our readers and followers. Read each post aloud is one way of picking up on mistakes.

Market your blog on Twitter and on Facebook. We should do something with the Google + button. This button has many good interactions on many fronts.

We have lot of fun with our blog. But we too love to talk about issues that affect students as well as eats and places.

What drives us? We are go getters. We want to see happy students. We don’t want them to be kicked out of the country.

We also need a blogging schedule. For us we like to publish posts on Friday and Saturdays.

The thing to is to identify what problem you have and how to solve it. Our problem is that many International students struggle to survive in Melbourne and want low cost and affordable ideas. This is how our blog came into play two years ago.

Which brings us next to: goals. We have a few goals in mind. One of them is about reducing the need for special considerations at RMIT from 11000 to half the amount. The other one is reducing the workload of the Academic registrars group within six months. In six months we also want to see a lot more satisfied students and a lot less students who are stressed. The other is to start earning money.

The aim of the project is to educate students on life and study in Melbourne and the costs associated with it.

Use images and learn to Photoshop.

We also got given a goody bag full of surprises.

Many thanks to the organizers for putting this on. Thanks to Pip, Dave Jenyns of Melbourne SEO Services, Kate Ulman of Foxs Lane, Wendy Tuohy of The Perch. Writers Kate Forster, Karen Andrews and Lou Pardi for giving us lots of ideas on improving our blog.

We hope to see you next year