Recaps & Photos & Presos…Oh My!

Arguably, the best (and bittersweet) part of the conference is what everyone learned and gathered. Here are some recap photos, blog posts and links to some of the presentations.

If yours is missing, please comment below.

Attendee Recaps

Speaker/Workshop Presentations

Clearly, we learned a lot and had a great time. Thank you to our organizers, volunteers, sponsors and attendees. We will see you next year!

WordCamp Tips for Newbies

Is this your first time attending a WordCamp? Or perhaps you’d just like a refresher of how to get the most out of your day. Here are some tips to follow.

  • Get here! Use this map to get an idea of the location of lunch spots and the afterparty. The parking lot across from the Harbert Center on Richard Arrington, Jr. Blvd. and 4th Avenue North will be free for WordCamp attendees.
  • Keep track of your badge. It is your admission to Harbert Center activities and may contain coupons and your food tickets! We like to recycle the lanyards, so once the day is over, drop it off at the swag table.
  • Follow and use the #wpyall hashtag on Twitter. A lot of attendees will post quotes they like, photos and other fun stuff. The WordCamp Birmingham Twitter feed will also use this hashtag for important updates. The best way to keep track is to use a program like Hootsuite, Tweetchat or TChat.io.
  • Follow @wordcampbham on Twitter. We will post updates and maybe even share some of your Tweets! If you post to other social media websites, such as Facebook or Instagram, feel free to use #wpyall as well.
  • Stay on track. You’ll notice the schedule runs in three columns: the first for the user/blogger, the second for a business or designer, and the third for developer. Essentially that’s beginner, intermediate and advanced! Feel free to use one track or mix and match.
  • Check on the workshops! We filled up all of our seats for our first-ever workshops on SEO, blogging and beginners. But check with instructors on Saturday. There may be open seats available.
  • Don’t forget about the afterparty! This year’s will be at Rojo starting at 7 p.m.

We are so excited and cannot wait for WordCamp to begin.

 

We Love Press!

It has been so much fun finding out when folks mention WordCamp on their blogs! Here’s where we’ve been featured so far.

We will update this list and if you’d like to do a recap post, we will feature it after WordCamp is over.

Thank you so much!

 

 

 

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Driving Blog Traffic without Driving Yourself Nuts

seo blog traffic wordcamp birmingham

This is a guest post by Carrie Rollwagen

Last year, I decided to come to WordCamp almost on a whim. I’m not a developer or a designer, so I thought the sessions would be over my head and hard to understand. One of my clients urged me to go, and I had a Saturday free, so I figured — why not.

That turned out to be an excellent decision. I really did learn a lot, and the User/Blogger track was totally relevant and understandable, even for someone like me who doesn’t know a thing about coding.

After I attended WordCamp last year, I finished my own WordPress site, and I learned a lot about blogging that I’ve put into practice for myself and my clients this past year. I also realized I have something to offer on the speaker track, too. This year, I’ve started teaching Pop Up Workshops on Social Media for Small Business and Personal Branding, and the experience has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve learned to help people through the rough beginnings of transitioning into the world of social media, and I’m proud of what my students have accomplished. After all, I really believe that the key to successful blogging and social media is remembering that, even when we’re blogging and tweeting, we’re talking to people — and we use the same social skills we’ve already developed in our daily lives. We just have to tweak them a little so they work well online.

For my WordCamp presentation this year, I went to a question I get a lot from my clients — How do I drive blog traffic? The follow-up question — How do I do this without driving myself nuts? — doesn’t usually occur to people until they’ve already begun, but I’m including it in my presentation anyway. We’ll touch very lightly on SEO, and we’ll jump into how to use social media to get likes and shares for your site. After all, it’s frustrating to work hard on the perfect WordPress site and create great content and then have no idea how to get readers. I’ll help you do that, and this presentation is 100% appropriate for beginners.

I’m excited to present at WordCamp, but I’m even more excited to attend. If it’s anything like last year, I’ll have a good time, I’ll get to network, and I’ll learn a lot. I’m so thankful that I get to be a part of that.

Carrie Rollwagen is a copywriter at Infomedia, co-owner of Church Street Coffee & Books, and  teaches Pop Up social media workshops.

Be a Volunteer! It’s Fun. It’s Easy.

It’s time again for us to send the call throughout the interwebs for the amazing people who make WordCamp awesome: volunteers. And we are calling you.

No matter what your level of expertise, you can help. Work a one-hour shift or an all-day shift to help campers find their way. Smile a lot. Have fun. It simple and you can help.

Check out the details and Sign Up as a Volunteer

Areas where you can help

Room MC’s

  • Speaker introductions before sessions
  • Make Announcements
  • Help the speakers with lapel mics for the video
  • Start the video cameras recording.

No video experience needed. We will show you what to do which is basically pushing one button.

Registration Desk

Help campers with registration, buying swag, and general conference questions like “Where is the restroom?”

Help Desk (a.k.a. Genius Bar)

Designers, developers and speakers – take a seat at the help desk to answer WordPress questions from campers and offer hands-on help with their sites.

Sign Up as a Volunteer

Freelancer’s Workshop 2014

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Guest post by Nathan Ingram

Somebody has said that the freelancer is someone who is paid by per-hour, per-job or per-haps. If you’re a card-carrying freelancer, you know there’s more than a little truth to that statement.

I’ve been a freelance web developer since 1995 and, although the freelance life has its challenges, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. That’s why I’m thrilled to be leading a Freelance Workshop at this year’s WordCamp Birmingham – and it’s a double session!

When it comes to web design, the only thing I love more than WordPress is teaching people how to find the freedom of freelancing with WordPress. The workshop will be a very informal, very interactive, guided discussion of how to do just that.

During our time Saturday morning, I’ll be pulling elements from two of my more popular talks at WebDesign.com: “10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Freelancing,” and “The Freelance Ninja’s Guide to Clients.” I’ll be sharing plenty of bone-headed mistakes I’ve made over the years and what I’ve learned so that I (hopefully) don’t make them again. And in the middle of it all, we’ll walk together through a simulated project — from sales, through development to launch and after.

So if you’re a freelancer, consider this my personal invitation to you to come be a part of the discussion. If you’re a seasoned freelancer, come add your two cents. If you’re a total newbie, come learn from the mistakes of others who are a little further up the road than you. And if you’re somewhere in the middle, perfect. You’ll fit right in.

And hey! The Freelancer’s Workshop is first, right out of the gate Saturday morning at 9am. So grab a ticket, get there early, get some coffee and get a seat. There are only five spots left! I look forward to meeting you there!

WordPress and SEO in 2014

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Guest Post by Mickey Mellen of GreenMellen Media

You often hear people say that “Google changes the rules too often,” and we disagree with that. Google’s rules have changed very little since they first launched in the late 90′s; they are simply getting better at enforcing those rules.

In previous years, tactics such as link farms and reciprocal links could work. Google didn’t like it, but struggled to squelch their effectiveness. In the last few years, Google has become very good at dealing with that kind of spam and rewarding the truly effective sites.

So what does SEO look like now?

Solid SEO really comes down to three areas:

1 – Finding the right keywords.
2 – Make sure Google knows and appreciates what your site has to offer.
3 – Make sure Google knows you’re popular, via inbound links and social mentions.

During our session at WordCamp Birmingham, we’ll work through all three facets of SEO.

When it comes to keywords, Jenny Munn knows her stuff. Keyword research may seem daunting, but it’s a fairly straightforward process that Jenny will walk you through.

From the technical side, simply using WordPress gets you off to a great start. At GreenMellen we work hard to provide highly optimized sites for our clients, and I’ll be sharing those techniques with you to help compliment Jenny’s keyword strategy.

Hope to see you there!

Grab a ticket today!

Your WordCamp Ticket’s True Value

About 10 gallons of gas is what $20 will get you these days, if you’re lucky.

Earlier this week. we mentioned on our Facebook page what 20 smackers will get you at WordCamp this year: food, swag and admission.

A fabulous deal to be sure.

But after an incredible experience as a speaker and attendant at last year’s WordCamp, “admission” doesn’t quite seem to cover your ticket’s worth. Here are a few other things you will get for $20.

Beyond “Networking”: That word has been used so much, it seems a bit passe. Yes, you’ll get to shake hands, get acquainted with like-minded folks and exchange business cards.

But where will that lead you? It could mean life-changing relationships or future opportunities to get more involved with WordPress (which, let’s face it, can be pretty amazing).

More Than Just an Application: Keynote speaker Jake Goldman is a web developer and always will be passionate about his craft. But he knows WordPress isn’t just a nice application or content management system.

It’s about being a part of a greater mission, a community of people with similar passions and the opportunity to see a great system reach many more people.

Attending WordCamp Birmingham validates its importance to the city and to the WordPress community as a whole.

Get More Out of Workshops: Sometimes we attend conferences a bit mindlessly. We go, take a few notes, say hi to folks and leave.

But I encourage you to note at least one action item from every session. Use the Genius Bar. I did last year, after getting over my fear a bit and learned concepts about CSS that made my site even better. I’m not as nervous going into the editor section of my site.

So what are you most looking forward to this year? Let us know in the comments after checking out this year’s sessions and grabbing a ticket

Speakers, Sessions, and Schedule

This year is gearing up to have some really great content. We had a ton of speaker submissions this year and we’re excited to about all of them.

Just wanted to let everyone know that the schedule, speakers and sessions are all up on the website. This year we’re also doing a series of workshops that will be geared more for those people that are wanting to get their hands dirty. The workshops will be longer than the regular sessions but they’ll have breaks in-between. There’s a limited number of spots in each workshop so if you’re interest hurry on over to the tickets area and reserve your spot now and if you haven’t bought your ticket yet, you can do that while you’re there.