A few months ago, the lovely Lauren, dropped me a message and asked if I wanted to come to speak at the Big Blogger Conference on SEO. I had recently written by Bloggers Guide to SEO series, and at the time it seemed like a great idea!
Fast forward to 4 weeks before, it suddenly hits me. I need to speak about SEO for 30 minutes to 60 bloggers all with blogs of various size, subject and SEO competency. Oh. God.
As I work in tech, I know that talking about technical bits can get pretty dull fast, so I went to the drawing board and tried to figure out how I was going to do this. I eventually decided that the simpler the better! When I have hosted twitter chats about tech, the overwhelming consensus was that SEO isn’t everyone’s favourite subject and that it could take a little while to get their head around.
With that in mind, I split my talk into several sections:
- What is SEO? (Based on my SEO basics posts)
- SEO Basic techniques (Based on my 8 ways to improve your SEO) including:
- Good content
- Links (based on my no follow links post)
- Techy bits
- The three take aways of SEO (coming soon!)
I also added a spot at the end on social media optimisation. This is something most of us focus on anyway but our social media is starting to play a big part in our SEO. I did some quick tips on twitter (based on my bloggers guide to twitter) and instagram (based on my how to increase your IG by 25% post).
I pulled all this together into a slide pack and also created a little handout which went through all these links, along with other handy bits and pieces for working on your SEO.
Phew, so the prep was done, after practising to Paul several times, I patiently waited for Saturday to roll around. After a slightly disrupted nights sleep, I headed off to Hotel Russell near Russell Square in central London. The day was split into 2 halves, the first half being the workshops and the second being a brand exhibition. There were three of us doing workshops, Elizabeth chatting about Pinterest and Sarah talking all about monetizing your blog. The attendees were split into 2 and we had 2 sessions running at once, which meant I had to repeat the talk for each group.
There was only a slight disaster when we got there and realised that the laptops we had, did not have the 6 pin plug we needed to project onto the screens in the room. I got a bit stressed at this point, as I had obviously been practising with my slides and havin to wing it was not something I wanted to do! After running up and down the road trying to purchase a cord, we eventually ended up emailing out the slides to everyone and having them follow along on the good old smart phone – disaster almost averted!
It was finally time to get up and present and well, I think it went smoothly! You can never totally tell when yapping for 30 minutes whether everyone is following along, but I got some lovely feedback and the blog posts about the event have shown that the tips have been useful. Overall, I was a happy bunny.
This was my first time ‘speaking’ at a conference, although I do a lot of speaking for work. I’m still working on my presentation and public speaking style, but I think I’m getting there. I’ve never really had a fear of speaking in front of others which certainly helps! If you do fancy a post on some tips for presenting and public speaking then do let me know.
Following the workshop, it was finally time to relax! I caught up for lunch with the lovely Rachel and Aisling and got chatting to some other fellow bloggers which is always the best bit. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for the whole brand afternoon as I had work to be done before my holidays, but both Rachel and Aisling have written some fabulous posts!
Overall, it was a great day to push myself out of my comfort zone and do something a bit different, whilst meeting a whole load of fantastic bloggers.
Have you been to a blog conference? How do you feel about public speaking?