Saturday, 31 January 2015

Northern Bloggers - Wordpress Leeds Meetup

Hey guys! Last week I did something a little different, and went to a local blogger's meet-up in town. It was rather impulsive in all honesty, I saw a link to it on Twitter and decided on the spot that I wanted to go. It's not something I've ever really been involved in previously despite being a blogger for a number of years now, and I'm pretty glad I went as it opened my eyes to a lot of things that frankly, I would never have otherwise thought of myself!

Despite being ran by WordPress, the event is inclusive to all platforms. 

The evening was a very relaxed format with a friendly atmosphere from the start. We spent the evening sat around a table in a lovely set of offices in the city centre, and took part in an activity called 'Lightning Discussions'. This was where everybody wrote down two or three topics they wanted to discuss and then we all voted on what we should talk about, with each topic getting ten minutes or so of time to make sure we got through plenty!

A lot of the attendees were people working in the blogging industry as professionals, either as developers, SEO specialists or web designers, and so a lot of the discussion for the night was around techy things such as maximising blog security, what to do in instances of hacking and how to best understand SEO to make sure your blog is reaching as many people as possible in the best way. I'll admit, some of it went right over my head, but a lot was super helpful advice, much of it from real industry professionals who know a lot more about IT and the internet than I do! Key points involved focusing on quality content and legitimate link-backs for good SEO ranking, having strong passwords on everything, and learning how to properly use Google Analytics, because that still really confuses me in all honesty.

We also spoke a little about the actual content side of blogging, and it was really interesting to get an insight into how other people tend to write, and also reassuring to see that many others run into the same problems I do! We all admitted to having far too many unfinished draft posts piling up, forgetting to tag things appropriately, and sometimes just being incapable of getting into the right mood to write a post. I shared my method of writing a couple of posts in advance and storing them up, so that even if I don't feel like writing much one week, I've still usually got something to post. I write all day at work for my job, so sometimes the last thing I want to do is come home and write some more! I'm really trying to improve how regularly I post though, and it's one of my key objectives for this blog in the future.

Overall I'm really glad I went and I hope I can go again sometime soon! I'm certainly going to keep an eye out for any other blogging meet-ups around me as well, as I think it's a great way to meet other people with similar interests and share some quality ideas.

- Natalie XOX