On the weekend, I attended WordCamp Halifax 2018. It was a great event and I learned a lot despite being out of my comfort zone.

And I almost didn’t go.

Even as I am typing this on my WordPress site, I admit to not being WP literate. I can add blog posts, and change some of the content, but this is where my savviness ends. My website functions do to my WP peeps who speak the language, know their stuff, and answer my desperate emails when things go wrong. Honestly, I find the whole experience to be intimidating.

The prospect of spending the day with people outside of my tribe scared me. However, as I was speaking to an audience last week, I heard myself say: “learn from others who aren’t part of your tribe and see what ideas can spark”. I decided that I should listen to my own advice every once in a while. So off to WordCamp I went.

First of all, I got to meet some great people of all ages, backgrounds and experience in WordPress. I appreciated the collaborative approach of sharing knowledge and teaching others. I even got some free expertise on my site and google analytics at the Happiness Bar. Thanks, Jeremy for your patience and encouragement.

I was inspired by many speakers. Ifo Ikede who spoke so eloquently about diversity and inclusion reminded me that the key is “to remember to be human”. Heather Deveaux who shared her journey building a WordPress site on her own, instilled the attitude that when you just go for it, you will be amazed at what you can do.

I also got some practical SEO tips from Michael MacMillian. Answer the Public and Keywords Everywhere have changed my life. Seriously, why didn’t I know about this?

Am I any better at WordPress? Not really but I would like to think it is a little less intimidating.

And the best lesson of all?  Get out of your comfort zone. You never know what you might learn.

sandra currie-samson