I eventually took the plunge and decided to talk at Bizcamp Belfast. The turnout was lower than Barcamp, but that may have been down to both the weather being typically Belfastish, and a bit on the damp side. The NW200 road race was also on which probably prevented a few people from attending. However a big thanks to Andy – @goodonpaper for organising the event. You should be in digital events management.
All in all however there were an interesting range of speakers, each with their own presentation style. I turned up a bit on the late side, after a late night, so apologies if I missed your chat.
My own talk was covering SEO for small business, and hopefully conveyed the underlying message that you not only have to have content on your site to gain traction, but you also have to make it audience relevant, sticky, and promoted in order to go viral and potentially pick up the big wins (incoming links resulting in valued SERP positions).
I’d just like to say that I particularly enjoyed the talk from a few of the businesses that have launched web applications, and received funding. Niftynosh aka Barry Lynch spoke particularly well, as did the honest Kevin Traynor @ Sonic Academy. Kevin’s honest approach and straight talking was really refreshing to listen to.
James Kennedy and Caelen King were also honest and upfront in their approach to running a Niche online directory; I think this was partly due to the fact that Barcamp is an unconference, and gives people a certain amount of free speech. Piehole and What Clinic both look like interesting ventures, and show that there’s still opportunity to niche – something I’ve been rabbitting on about for some time. Both James and Caelen also spoke really well, and were quite the comedy duo at times – bouncing off each other. Well done lads. James – Not sure I agreed with your branding defense..punchy for one agency, could be vulgar to another.
As for my own talk, well there’s no point talking about something like SEO without putting it into practise. Alot of people in the room were on the fence as to whether SEO as a service is snakeoil – and needed convincing. There are alot of people out there that have given the industry a bad name, and its understandable. Keith spoke honestly calling it the “homeopathy of the internet”. SEO and website promotion is in my opinion now intrinsically linked, and you can’t offer one service without the other. Although many people are offering on page SEO services and leaving it at that. For me SEO is about growing traffic organically using BOTH onpage and offpage techniques.
So – here it is. I’m throwing the door open to anyone who attended. I’m going to do 5 free of charge guest posts, that I’ll promote on the social web, and give you a feel for the sort of traffic the right sort of content can achieve. To be in the running of getting chosen, all you have to do is leave a comment or a trackback if you are interested. The chosen companies I’ll do at random, assuming theres enough interest.
The content will be written within the context of your site, just incase anyone was wondering. I could think of a couple of pieces of content for the various people I was chatting to that would work at attracting attention, just for interests sake, I’m throwing these blog post titles out there – if anyone finds them useful at getting the brain waves ticking – great. If I had a business attempting to garner signups, this is the sort of thinking I’d put behind my content.
25 useful websites to find stonking drum and base loops
13 things you didn’t know about DJ’s
Why DJ’s make the best lovers
A beginners guide to getting voiceover work, and making major $$
15 of the most inspiration ad agencies and how to grab their attention
10 of the most interesting radio adverts that never made the airwaves
10 things to remember when attracing investment
What every restaurant owner should know about going online
What the countries takeaway habits and teach us about modern Britain.
12 things you didn’t know about your dentist
What the NHS needs right now
15 of the quirkiest drug promotions
Obviously this is only a small subset of the businesses and individuals that attended – and it took me 5 minutes to put together, but hopefully it shows that ideas that are primed and ready for promoting on the social web for sharing can be applied to any business concept, even ones which are particularly competitive e.g. healthcare.
The key thing to remember here is that you need to get inside your audience’s head a bit, and think about what a) they would share with others and b) what their needs and desires are. Match both of those perfectly, and your chances of going viral increases somewhat.
Remember the free guest posts are available to anyone that attended #bizcampbelfast, and I’ll be picking from the comments the winners.