WordCamp Charleston: So Now I’m a Blogging Speaker!

Last Updated on February 19, 2022

Over the weekend, I did something I’ve never done before: I spoke at a blogging conference, WordCamp Charleston.

South Carolina hosted its first-ever WordCamp in Charleston on Saturday. I’ve mentioned WordCamp before, after my visits to WordCamp Atlanta last year and this year.

In the early planning stages, WordCamp Charleston organizers, who I’ve met through local WordPress blogging meet-ups, mentioned they were looking for local speakers in addition to national or regional speakers. Their commitment to including local bloggers — even if not nearly as well known as bigger speakers from other places — was to try to encourage community in the home-base area.

My goal was to condense several posts I’ve written here at Patrick’s Place over the past couple of years to create about a 40-minute talk on fighting deadline pressure.

Here’s a shot from WordCamp Charleston’s Instagram account:

No one, after all, can dump extra pressure on themselves like bloggers. We want everything perfect all the time, but as so many have said over the years, if we waited for the “perfect post,” most of us would never hit the “Publish” button.

The hardest part for me wasn’t writing the presentation or building the graphics for it. It was actually the hour before the talk.

Sure, I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous going in, but I unintentionally made my own anxiety worse by sitting in on the talk scheduled right before mine in the same room.

I did it for a few reasons: first, I really wanted to hear that presentation (which is the right reason to attend any talk). Second, I wanted to watch that speaker set up the computer and projector to make sure my slides were going to display correctly. And third, I wanted to already be in the right area, so I didn’t have to worry about rushing there from a different location.

I was trying to take away at least a little of my own ‘deadline pressure’ in getting there.

It didn’t help at all that my predecessor, Cliff Seal, was really, really good.

It wasn’t that I hope he’d suck — and I told him this after his talk — but I guess I hoped he’d at least suck a little.

He didn’t.

In fact, his talk, called, ‘Nobody Cares About Your Content (Yet)’ was so good that I was tempted to slip out the back and pretend I’d forgotten about my own. Of course, I had to sit on the front row for Cliff’s talk, so that was out of the question.

Cliff is a User Experience Designer, WordPress Developer and frequent WordCamp speaker. To call him a “tough act to follow” was an understatement.

My talk focused on four areas: shooting down a few blogging myths, using Topic Buckets, creating Theme Days and using an Editorial Calendar.

Yes, if you do enough searching here, you’ll find that I’ve had plenty to say about all four over the past couple of years.

Making good use out of any of the four areas — or any combination thereof — can help take at least a little pressure off of a blogger’s shoulders by establishing an order of things and boosting the way your blog is organized.

A little organization is not a bad thing, no matter how “free-flowing” you want your blog to be.

Remember: it’s about your readers, not about you.

It’s better to combine the world’s greatest content with the world’s greatest user experience. Even if your content, like mine, is likely never to earn the title of “world’s greatest,” making the user experience better so that it’s easier for your readers to find what you’re saying, will forgive at least some sins.

Have you ever attended a blogging conference, whether a WordCamp or something else?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.


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