Kumbaya, WordPress! What I Learned at WordCamp

Good content strategy tips can help anyone build and focus their blog better.

Infomedia emplyees sitting at a table putting together lanyards

A couple of weeks ago, most of us at Infomedia went away to summer camp. Okay, we didn’t actually leave Birmingham. And there was a (somewhat unfortunate, if you ask me) lack of s’mores and friendship bracelets. But we learned a lot that we can put to work for our clients, and we did make new friends. We went to WordCamp Birmingham, a weekend-long conference about WordPress, the content management system that we use for almost all our Infomedia clients (read more about it in last week’s post).

The speakers at WordCamp were fantastic. I’ve been a blogger, content strategist and copywriter for years, but I still learn something useful every time I talk to or hear from someone else who’s doing those things well. Two of the speakers in particular shared ideas that I know I’ll use to help our clients at Infomedia.

Good Content from Adam Walker

Adam Walker of Sideways8 gave a great talk on how to guide businesses in developing site content. First, he says, start with content, not design. Design is incredibly important, but it needs to promote the business’s content, not just look pretty. That’s why we create site maps for our Infomedia clients before we begin designing, so we can be sure the design and content work together.

Adam says good content bridges the gap between what an owner wants to say and what a user wants to read. The balance is tricky — we want to communicate company objectives, but we have to do that in a way that is interesting and useful to the user. For example, Adam says that most companies put too much emphasis on company histories and vision statements and not enough on user resources.

Simple Blogging Tips from Karla Archer

Karla Archer of Archer Creative here in Birmingham was another strong presenter. She shared her tips for blogging under the premise that everything we need to know about blogging we learned in kindergarten. For example, she reminded us to be patient, ask questions and explore. These tips seem simple — and they are simple. But they’re also so easy to forget. Good bloggers don’t rush their posts before they’re ready. Good bloggers are always curious, digging deeper and wanting to know more. And good bloggers explore and have fun with their blogs. That one is sometimes the hardest to remember, and it’s what will keep your blog fresh and exciting, not only to you, but also to your readers.

Thanks to everyone who made WordCamp Birmingham possible. It was wonderful — but, next year, think about including friendship bracelets.


About Carrie

Carrie has been copyediting and writing for fifteen years. Her skills were forged in the newsroom at The Birmingham Post-Herald and she’s a huge book nerd (she moonlights as Southern Living’s book reviewer), but a love of paper and ink hasn’t stopped her from mastering the digital world as well: She’s had a blog pretty much since they existed, and she’s run social media for companies big and small. Carrie’s always ready to take on a new communication challenge, lecture us about the proper use of semicolons, or defend the fact that her Instagram account is filled with selfies.

See more articles from Carrie Rollwagen

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