WordCamp Montreal is only two days away! We’re excited to bring you a new speaker spotlight series this year!
Our next spotlight is Mark John Hiemstra!
Mark is a Staff Writer and Editor at Acquisio. He has been writing for the Web for more than 7 years, and has found WordPress to be his preferred platform for publishing content for as long as he has known of its existence. He has been active in SEO, SEM, and in many areas of marketing via the Internet, and is excited that the content we consume, along those who create it, are finally getting the recognition they deserve.
Mark will be giving a talk titled Stop Writing for SEO And Start Writing for Your Audience.
What is your favorite improvement to WordPress this past year?
How easy is it to upload an image to a WordPress site now? Not that it was ever exactly rocket surgery, but the simplicity of this makes it so that even the most inexperienced user can significantly improve the way they present their site with a great deal of ease.
Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Montreal?
I’m really passionate about the way that we communicate with each other on what the kids are calling “the interwebs.” It can be frustrating to find information from the first page of search results that actually gives you want you want to find out about, and I really wanted to be able to talk to people about the necessity of the readability and usability of their content. I think it’s important now, more than ever.
What is your talk going to be about?
Well, it’s going to be about that – about creating relevant content. When I first started writing for the web, I did so by inserting keywords every 60 words or so that were ridiculously laid out, and that I had to wrangle, somehow, into my text, to ensure that search engines thought the text was relevant. Now, with search engines leaning more towards semantics, with relevance being the name of the game, and with so many more options to have your content reach people than just being on the first page of Google, I want to share with people the importance of relevant content.
What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?
That they need to be passionate about content. I don’t care if you write about what could potentially be the most bland topic imaginable. The job is still to get people excited. Speak to your audience. Let them know that you’re excited. They’ll get excited too. And they’ll share what you’ve written with others.
Who in the WordPress community inspires you? Who do you follow?
As a writer and part-time borderline agoraphobe (not really, but you get the point), I’ve not really had the opportunity to meet too many people from the community. However, recently I’ve gotten to know someone who I’ve been following for quite a while called CT Moore (@gypsybandito). He’s kicking ass and taking names these days, and it’s cool to see how his work ethic is helping him progress.
What new feature would you like to see in the future?
Man, I don’t know. I’m already fond of saying how cool it is to be living in the future, and with each passing year, WP gets better and better. At this point I’m quite satisfied, and am willing to be blown away with the next big improvements that I never saw coming.