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2015 MN Bloggers Conference Recap

I’ve been to several WordCamps this year, but I decided to mix it up with a blogger conference. The 2015 MN Blogger Conference was put on by some of my favorite WordPress people, Jen Jamar and Mykl Roventine, so I was very interested. It is always a big commitment to have to travel the 2-3 hours to the cities, but it was well worth the drive.

Online Threats

I’ve had the chance to see Tony Perez of Sucuri speak before at the 2015 Prestige Conference, but that was a business-focused event. This time around Tony shared his wealth of knowledge on website security. It is a topic that has always intrigued me, but it can also be an incredibly complex topic. Tony does a fantastic job of conveying the key points that everyone can understand.

Installing WordPress security plugins or using a managed WordPress host is a great start, but at the end of the day the website owner needs to take responsibility for the security posture. It is incredibly important, for example, to add 2-factor authentication, force secure passwords for users, and put a contingency plan in place. There are many more great points for website security and I’m planning on writing up a post in the future to be able to fully cover this topic.

Camera Confident

I’ll be honest; this presentation didn’t seem to apply to me as I don’t have an issue with getting in front of a camera. However, I wanted to see my friend, Erica Hanna of Puke Rainbows, speak. She absolutely blew my mind with her talk. There are so many things I am doing wrong. Erica gave specific advice that went well beyond just being confident. Here are some of the tips I found most intriguing for me:

  • You hate your voice on camera because it is your REAL voice.
  • Warm liquids can help relax your throat.
  • Slow down! Most everybody, myself included, speaks way too fast when put in front of an audience or camera.
  • Silence is power. Instead of saying “umm,” just pause for a moment.
  • You don’t like the way you look on camera because it is a flip of the image we’re familiar with in the mirror.
  • Level off the camera angle. Shooting from a low angle can give the impression you’re talking down to your audience.
  • My favorite: people have a high tolerance for nerves, not bullshit.

Check out the full presentation here for on-camera confidence.

Networking

One of the best parts of the event was being able to meet a lot of other great people. Conferences are great for networking, but it was nice to branch out of the WordPress arena and have conversations with a much stronger emphasis on content. It is certainly an area that I could brush up on. I’ve been blogging for a number of years, but burnout has been an issue. Getting inspiration from others is a fantastic way to reboot my efforts.

Looking Forward

I am excited to attend again next year and the event will have a new location that should better suit the size of the audience. There were 300 bloggers in attendance and the breakout rooms filled up super fast. It’s great to see the event be so successful and moving venues should help to facilitate growth even further.

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Tyler Golberg

I love writing about web design that inspires, figuring out Google's black box, and speaking to lively audiences. In my spare time, I enjoy reading Game of Thrones (waiting on Winds of Winter) and touring the lakes on my paddleboard.

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