Tips for Organizing a Workshop or Seminar on Blogging

There are many workshops, blogger meets and seminars being conducted on blogging in many places throughout the world. Though blogging is not taught in schools and colleges yet it has some craze among youngsters on knowing how people make six figures income through a blog. Most of them who earn money through blogging are hardly around 20 to 40 years of age. There is also a talk that people who earn through blogging are earning more than what people earn through a 9 to 5 job. There is a necessity to unveil the potential of blogging and guiding newbies on how to blog, to do this organizing a workshop on blogging does come to aid. Few newbie’s who have started new blogs are in need of guidance and help from professional bloggers who have good knowledge on blogging. These meet ups and workshops does help newbies and bloggers a lot. I am writing this post keeping Indian students in mind especially those who are doing B-tech and planning to conduct a workshop on blogging. These tips can be followed by others too by omitting at places wherever you feel it is not necessary.

organizing-a-workshop

Purpose of organizing a workshop:

Every event does have a purpose, and a workshop on blogging should also have a purpose. You need to target your audience on what you want this workshop to be. Nobody will organize a birthday party without actually having a birthday. A party is organized in order to celebrate the event whether a birthday, marriage, reception etc. Similarly a workshop should also carry a purpose. Recently there has been a bloggers meet conducted in India at Mohali near Chandigarh.

This Chandigarh Bloggers meet was organized by Shanker Bakshi on march 5th at Mohali, near Chandigarh and Keynote on Problogging Practices was shared by One of the top India’s professional blogger Harsh Agarwal of Shout me loud. The purpose behind the event is explained by Shanker Bakshi as follows.

To create a common Platform so that bloggers from Tricity and around can meet and take their blogging initiative to the next level of pro blogging.

Similarly before you are planning to organize a workshop you need to have a purpose. Below are some of the ideas on organizing a Workshop.

For Basic Bloggers and Newbies:
Blogging and its Uses
Building a WordPress Blog
Basics of blogging
Burning questions of blogging
Basic FAQ’s like SEO, Niche, Blogging Platforms, Adsense, Income reports etc.

For Basic Bloggers and Advanced Bloggers
Pro blogging Techniques
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Different approaches on Monetization of your blog
Affiliate marketing

Benefits of arranging a Workshop:

There should be some benefits over arranging a bloggers meetup or a workshop. Below are some of the benefits one can get by organizing a workshop or seminar on blogging.

  • Creating awareness among people on what blogging is and what future it holds.
  • By organizing such workshops you can motivate many people over choosing blogging as a career choice.
  • In future blogging too would be recognized as a career choice and would be included in the regular curriculum of school and college syllabus.
  • You can promote your blog and can also create brand awareness.
  • You get traffic, social media followers and clients to your blog.
  • You can promote products like domain names, web hosting and plugins by offering your affiliate links and coupon codes, good way to start promoting your affiliate products.
  • You can promote your own products if you have created some.

Proper Planning:

Planning is one of the most important steps in conducting a successful workshop, in fact a result driven workshop. In order to draw good results from your workshop you need to plan few things which I have listed below.

1. Place:

First and foremost thing after you have a theme for your workshop is to arrange a proper place which is free from all kinds of distractions and having some basic facilities like seating, electricity and wash rooms. My suggestion would be going with a college auditorium is preferable as it is more economic rather than planning in hotels, seminar halls, and function halls. If it is your college auditorium it will be easier for students to come.

2. Date and Time:

Choosing a good time is the next thing to focus on, planning such events during festivals or holidays will decrease the level of gathering as people won’t love to waste their time during these days. Planning it during working days would be helpful as most of the students would be around in the college. Sunday is not preferable as most of the people won’t like coming during this day. After choosing a day determine the timings whether it would be a half day program or a full day. Planning it for a full day would be advisable rather than a half day program.

3. Guest Speakers:

This is what turns your workshop into a place which converts. If you have thought to keep an entrance fee or registration fee then having some prominent guests is mandatory. I prefer go for a minimum registration fee if possible limited people so that the program would function more smoothly. If you would know the number of participants then you can have an idea on requirements perfectly.

4. Budget:

This is most needed part as you have many things to invest on. You need money for the seminar hall, electricity, drinking water, certificates, badges, notepads, pens, token of appreciation gifts for the guests. If you are conducting workshop on your own interest sometimes college people will charge for seminar hall and electricity else they would give it for free.

5. Blue Print:

Have a blue print of the workshop. You need to know the total number of participants, guests, budget, people involved, items needed etc. You need to have a complete picture of how, what and when of the workshop. If anybody would ask you for a thing you should not search for answers. Blue print in simple is the things which I have mentioned in the four points above.

6. Agenda:

After you have the blue print of the entire workshop next plan an agenda. Write a proper agenda by distributing the time wisely. Start your event by 9:00 A.M and end it by 4 or 5 P.M. Give required amount of time for the speakers. See that you plan everything from welcome note to vote of thanks keeping two small breaks and an hour lunch break in between. Plan two guest speakers one to take the morning session and one in the afternoon.

7. Choosing a team and assigning works (Volunteers):

You can’t be present at each and every place during the day of workshop or even for the arrangements. Select few able people who could manage few works like seeing every thing is going on perfect, people who guide the guests, people who guide the participants, people to promote and people who bring coordination in the event. Place few people who help at various places at the workshop like near drinking water, near the entrance to check for the registrations and giving badges for the participants etc. So having few volunteers is good rather than managing all works by yourself.

Registration Fee:

This is up to you on whether you want to collect some registration fee or not. If you are collecting registration fee see that you won’t charge much as people would not turn up as expected. By keeping registration fee you have three benefits you can have a limited number of people so that some uninvited guests can be kept off from disturbing the workshop, next you can use that money to cut short your expenses and you can give them a book, pen, batch and a participation certificate. Next you know the exact number of people participating so your arrangements could be controlled easily like how many seats, how much snacks to buy and all. See that you give some value to the fee the registrants pay apart from what they learn in the workshop.

Pre Planning:

1. Basic Requirements:

Below is the checklist of things you need to hav for your workshop to function properly. Go through the following list carefully and see whether you are having all the things done at the right time.

  • Proper Microphone and Sound System
  • Good working laptop and Projector
  • Generator or inverter (in case of power failure)
  • Proper seating facility 
  • Drinking water and washroom facility
  • Snacks (as per your feasibility) 
  • Badges, Books and Pens (see that you promote your blog by mentioning your address on the cover of the book)
  • Participation Certificates
  • Gifts and mementos for the speakers and guests
  • Volunteers (People who help you throughout the workshop)
  • Invitations (give invitations to chief guests and the note speakers before hand)
  • Promotion tools (You need few pamphlets, flex banners and business cards)
  • Required Permissions (You need to take permissions from the dean, principal or the head of the institute where you are conducting you seminar)
  • Accommodation for speakers (if they are from outstation)

2. Promotion:

As a part of planning you need to promote your workshop, so you can use the promotion tools like pamphlets, flex banners and don’t forget to use your social networks. If you lack in funds you can also promote it by word to word publicity. You can ask college management to officially announce or send a notice regarding the workshop. You can place a small banner on the notice board of your college.

3.Website:

You can have a website for the event so that people can know all the information about your workshop. Having a website gives a brand value to your promotion so that it can be conducted annually. There is a beautiful workshop being conducted by Niranjan Yadav by name Blogathon which has a good professional looking website for their workshop.

Things not to be missed on the seminar day:

  1. Don’t waste any time if there are some gaps during the event fill those gaps with some small entertaining programs.
  2. See that all the volunteers are at their proper places.
  3. Give your team their badges and mention the role on it like program coordinator, organizer, volunteer, anchor, hospitality etc
  4. Prepare proper introductory speeches to introduce the guests to the audience.
  5. Prepare a good vote of thanks and see that you include all people like guests, speakers, volunteers who helped you, people who has done your arrangements and participants.
  6. Don’t forget to give your business cards having your blog name, your address and email id as people would follow you after the workshop. Also mention your details in the book which you give for the participants of the workshop. Do give a feedback paper at the end of the book and ask them to fill it up on how they felt about the event, their contact details and tell them to drop at a box. 
  7. Note down any flaws which happened in the workshop so that you can correct it in the next event. As you are organizing the workshop for first time there would be few places where you might have failed so take a note of such things which would be helpful for your future events.

Things to keep in mind after the event:

Handover everything you took for lease in good condition to their respective owners. Now you would be getting some emails, phone calls and do attend them without fail. Answer to every query patiently even though they blog or not. Read the feedback forms and see what people liked and hated about your event so that you could change those things or implement any suggestions in the next event. I guess you could see a rise in the traffic for your blog, your social networking followers too increase a bit. So keep posting some good stuff in your blog so that people who have visited you through the event will subscribe. Write a retrospective post on the event with few photos and share them in your social networks so that people who attended the workshop would like to see what actually happened that day. They might share your article with there friends which can in turn bring in more traffic. I believe this post had been too lengthy to read most of you might have skipped and ended reading these last few lines I suggest to bookmark this page as it could be of use when you are Organizing a Workshop all by yourself in future.

13 Comments

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  1. Hi Vijesh,

    You have written a very nice article about organising seminar but I hope you don’t mind sharing a couple of thoughts on the same.

    Blogging is still a new domain, specially in India and anything and everything going on blogging is still going through an informal channel. It is still not accepted in the society as a stream and there are none of the Institutes providing any formal education in this sector.

    Don’t take me wrong as I am not focussing on providing education but I am strongly a supporter of self learning and do believe that blogging is all about self learning. No one can teach you blogging, you have to learn it yourself. Arranging a seminar is a good idea but the main question is the audience. Are we really going to get serious audience to attend a seminar on blogging!!!

    • Hi Ashutosh,

      Thanks for your visit, I liked your opinion that Indians do not have a good knowledge on blogging. I also agree that it is a self taught art for those who are having the privileged of using internet but for those who don’t have internet they only know to study and earn a white collar job.

      In fact blogging is beyond our imagination. I always wonder why Engadget, Techrunch and huffingtonpost are able to provide good information and are also creating employment opportunities, where as Indian blogs are focused on earning money and most of them are self centered they don’t have a scope to take it to next level like hiring content writers and staff. Only very few blogs India run on a team work like Fonearena, Nextbigwhat, Yourstory etc.

      I believe if proper knowledge on this subject is given, Indians to have the ability to create some big blogs. It is one of the easiest routes to entrepreneurship rather than earning some money. Blogging is misunderstood art and if we are good in unveiling its potential then we can create lot of employment opportunities.

      Audience do come and if it is one person too, its better to give him Good knowledge rather than bring thousands and sending them away simply. Colleges are perfect platforms to bring in audience.

      If you are serious then audience too would be serious.

      Thanks for your comment Ashutosh stay in touch want to hear more of your thoughts…

      • You are right Vijesh and I am not against your thoughts. There needs to be a change in mindset. It won’t happen unless and until the scope of Internet is widened. Its still disheartening to see that only a selected few, especially in metros have a good access line for Internet. It is a long journey and I am sure, we as Bloggers have lots of potential as well as responsibilities to develop this market in India. The change will happen but may take some time.

        • Thanks for your opinion brother, hope some revolution a kind happens in India. Recently I heard someone say that he loves to stay in India even if world is about to end, because everything happens late in India, even end too.
          Stay in touch bro, I want to hear more of your opinions…

    • Ashutosh, there might not have school or seminar in blogging per se, but there are university like San Francisco University who offered courses on Internet Marketing or Social Media Management which blogging is included in their criteria. These universities offered either certificate or a degree. I know that social media is its infancy. Blogging is one of them.

      Angela

      • Hi Angela,

        Its really nice to hear that the Institutions have started taking interest in blogging arena and you are lucky to be in that area. In India, the situation is quite different. We all are self learners and I believe that is the way of evolution. Someone has to be self learner to push the things move out from its state of infancy. Once grown up, you will see lots of takers but not as of now. Anyway, I am quite hopeful that the change will happen, may be a little sooner or a little later.

        Thanks
        Ashutosh

  2. Hi Vijesh,

    I got lots of tips by reading this blog post an dhow one could orgainise the blog seminar and what are the benefits of doing blogging and how it helps in creating the brand of blog by Orgainisng Seminar. All these point are discussed in very will detailed manner and definitely this post is going to help to lots of bloggers.

    Regards
    Siddhartha Sinha

    • Hi Siddhartha,
      Thanks for your comment, looking forward to hear more from you. If we can plan a blogging seminar we can exchange many ideas and also can get some new things to learn.
      Regards
      Vijesh

  3. Hi Vijesh,

    A well written post on organizing a blogging workshop 🙂

    I agree a lot with what Ahutosh mentioned in this regard that in our country, blogging hasn’t yet got the importance it deserves. Most of us are self learnt bloggers, or we learn from each other when we visit each others blogs, or through interacting on the social medias – where did we attend any seminar when we started, and even now – I wonder how many would really make the effort to attend such a seminar, unless you know they are really good ones.

    I guess the main problem lies in the fact that people around us, of those in the offline world really don’t treat blogging as a profession, because they have no idea about how things work online. Even if they do, this profession isn’t treated at par with other professions, even if you are earning much more in this profession that your friends in other professions. Once that mindset breaks, things get moving.

    There so much more scope for Indian bloggers and I know for sure there are many who can excel in this field, only if proper training and guidance were given to them, which again, perhaps happens only through such seminars or workshops. Yet again, we need a proper plan to action in such seminars and a focus to teach people, more than anything else.

    However, I wish more people would attend such seminars, and I wish they are conducted more professionally than they currently are with an aim to impart proper knowledge to newbies and existing bloggers in such a way that they can recognize and fulfil their goals and take their blogs to the next level.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂

  4. Dear Vijesh,

    It looks like you have laid out pretty good instructions how to implement a seminar on blogging. You have done a great job writing this and doing all the research to include in this particular article.

    However, some people find this controversial just because blogging is still a brand new job for anyone. Like Social Media Manager, not too many knows about this till this year. I didn’t. I didn’t know that I could make 6-figures in doing just Social Media Management for companies. All you do is familiarize yourself with Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube…how to do business campaign and monetize the client’s brand and/or promote the company’s identity.

    There must be money in blogging.

    Look at Michael Dunlop, who started blogging at the age of 16…he became a millionaire after a short time and he retired at age of 21. I actually mentioned him in my post, just search for: Michael Dunlop. And you’ll find my post.

    Anyhoo…here is Michael Dunlop:
    http://workfromhome-online-parttimejobs.blogspot.in/2013/01/how-michael-dunlop-earn-millions-by.html

    It says there…
    Michael’s principles = Michael thinks that attending seminars and workshops could make you learn a lot. He himself used to attend one seminar each year. Hearing from different speakers could make you more knowledgeable than buying more products. Not only that, attending seminars and all could build your contacts to help your business grow larger.

    Another one:
    http://workfromhome-online-parttimejobs.blogspot.in/2013/01/young-entrepreneur-michael-dunlop.html

    Well…of course you’re not gonna make money on just blogging alone…

    With that in mind, blogging includes:
    • quality content
    • high traffic
    • quality traffic
    • affiliate products
    • consistency
    • determination
    • etc., etc.

    The bottom line is “within” blogging you will have to do the following of the above.

    You know when I come to think of this the word “blogging” is not so new. We used to call this “diary.” And now it became blogging. So, that’s right…nobody can teach you how to blog better except you, yourself. By experience, by writing your voice to be heard by others, that is the ultimate thing to do.

    Others can say they made money from blogging. But really…many blogs out there are NOT making money. It’s the content, it’s the high traffic, it’s the tips & hints you’re giving others…that makes the HUGE difference.

    If say…Michael Dunlop is 21 now. He started at 16. That’s only 5 years! So therefore, he started in 2008. So yeah…blogging is very innovative and still new to a lot of people specially some people in India.

    Anyway, I hope what I said helps your post.

    God bless,
    Angela

  5. Not that I am trying to undermine the wisdom of people who arrange Blogging workshops and seminars. Honestly, I have never really enjoyed them much. Mainly because they often talk about everything that is not about blogging. For example I do not see blogger seminars really tackling issues like writing techniques, copyright awareness, journalism basics and also how to avoid Indianism in the language (a problem for most Indian bloggers like me for whom English is a second language)

    Most attention is given only to WordPress theme and their SEO friendliness, or SEO tips and finally how to use Social media for more traffic.

    Personally I like interacting with bloggers on a one to one basis as that is when people start discussing writing and creativity more than SEO and Social Media.

    • May be yes Aditya,

      Indians who blog concentrate more on earning money, so when they organize such workshops they look for their own benefits rather than helping others that’s the reason why such seminars lack few important topics like copy writing, basics of journalism etc.

      But I know in western countries there are lot of people who attend copy writing workshops, in fact they earn more money through copy writing rather than Adsense as Indians do. Carol Tice, is one such copy writer I know who earns 6 figure income through copy writing and she also offers a course too.

      I learned few journalism basics by reading TOS of Google News.
      Thanks for your voice…

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