You can find the Podcast on YouTube, iTunes (or whatever they are calling their podcasting platform now), Spotify and probably anywhere else you prefer to find podcasts.
What is WordCamp Calgary
WordCamps happen all over the world. To quote the WordCamp Central page, they are “informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.” And I am lucky to be an organizer of this year’s WordCamp Calgary, which just happens to Calgary’s 5th annual event. WordCamps vary from location to location and even year to year. This year, WordCamp Calgary is going to be a one-day event. Attendees will have 3 options to choose from in each of 4 timeslots, followed by a Keynote session by the ever popular Dana DiTomaso.
Why I love WordCamp
I’ve been going to WordCamps for about 6 years now. My first one was in Edmonton, shortly after I started using WordPress. I was so new, all of the amazing information was overwhelming to take in, but somehow I managed. Every time I attend a WordCamp, I learn new things, and nowadays, when I sit in a session at WordCamp, I can think of at least one project I can apply my new knowledge to. Learning aside, I’ve also met some wonderful people, some who have become friends, and others who are now colleagues and even referral partners. And the tickets are always ridiculously cheap ($25 this year!), so even if you were to only take away one tiny thing from the day, it’s still worth it!
Why you might love WordCamp
WordCamp isn’t just for designers and developers who are working ON WordPress sites all the time. It’s for anyone who has a WordPress site and wants to learn how to use it better. Even if your site is already online and functioning beautifully, there’s always more content to be created. And let me tell you, there are always great talks about how to create great content (and get it out in front of eyeballs), and this year is no exception. There are also sessions about things like SEO, speed and current trends. And did I mention the people? We’re a fantastic bunch!
Will you join me?
If it’s starting to sound like WordCamp Calgary is a good idea, I’d love to see you there! Here are all the details:
Date: Saturday, May 27, 2017
Time: 9:30am-5pm (and then we party!)
Where: Fort Calgary
Investment: only $25 (includes lunch, a drink at the after party, and some cool swag)
And if you don’t live in Calgary, I highly recommend you keep an eye out for a WordCamp near you.
Last year I compiled a list of gift ideas that my family, friends and clients were offering. It was well received, so I decided to make it an annual thing. I present to you some of my amazing clients!
Gifts that keep giving
What’s better than premium chocolate? Chocolate that gives back. Use coupon code “shoebox” when you order a chocolate pizza or truffled milk chocolate grahams and part of the proceeds will be donated to the Shoebox Project. Chocolate, please!
For the puzzle lover in your life, check out these puzzle packs that support various organizations. Each puzzle pack is built around the theme of the organization. Puzzle me this!
One of my favourite non-profits, Joy Socks just celebrated their first anniversary! There’s something wonderful about a fun pair of socks, and Joy Socks continues to bring socks and smiles to people in hospitals, Ronald McDonald House, and other similar places. Help spread the joy!
After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we could all benefit from some soothing meditations. The Gift of Divine Blessings: Meditations to Awaken Your Soul comes with the added benefit of reiki energy! Connect with compassion and love
Take guided meditations/visualizations to the next level with MindFit at Chiropractic Wellness Clinic. There are hundreds of session options, ranging from reducing stress to improving your golf game. Activate your brain’s full potential!
Yoga goes hand in hand with Intuition in this book that demystifies the practice of using our intuition and includes it as part of daily life. Along with a practical guide to living a yogic lifestyle, this book is filled with relatable human stories. Choose intuition!
More Cool Ideas
Got kids? Do they love computers? Book a Coding Party! Kids Code Force trains kids as young as 6 years old how to start computer programming while building their own project that can be shared with friends and family. Level up!
Just in time for the new year, get a custom branded 2017 year-in-view calendar for your favourite business owner. These are great printed out poster sized and laminated! Great for internal use or as promotional items. Best year ever!
Eco-friendly dishcloths like nothing you’ve used before! Streak-free cleaning, throw them in the dishwasher to clean and disinfect, use them for dishes, in the bath, anywhere! And they are super cute. Find a retailer near you.
Know someone who is thinking of changing things up in the new year? Interior Design Shoppe is offering gift certificates for a 1 or 2 hour in-home design consultation. Get stylin’!
One last thing…
I also recently created a Kids Code Force store on amazon.ca where you can check out some great coding resources. If you know someone who is interested in computer programming, you may just find their coolest gift!
Have fun shopping!
I’ve seen a lot of posts lately encouraging people to “Shop the Neighbourhood”. It’s a great idea, but it seems to be made more retail businesses with an actual storefront. I know a lot of fantastic small businesses without storefronts who could use our support as well, so I invite you to shop MY “neighbourhood”. Click on the company name to visit their website.
Specialty chocolates once described to me as “the gobstoppers of chocolate”. Take a nut, fruit, or even start with a bit of chocolate. Coat it in chocolate, and then coat that in another kind of chocolate. YUM!
Know someone who loves decorating their nails? Why not get them some custom scented cuticle oil, barrier butter or mani bombs? Seasonal scents currently include: Candy Cane, Elf Sweat, Snowman Balls, Cranberry Sugar, Gingerbread, Wintergreen and Jingle Bells.
Flora Italia is a luxury brand that designs custom crystal art and jewellery with intention.
Get 15% off with discount code SPARKLE15
Give someone the gift of happy feet! Warm winter toes with fun “mismatched” socks, or make a statement with various one size fits all styles. Proceeds go to the Sox in a Box Campaign (see further down). I’ve got “Computer Keys” on my wishlist.
Julie Marwood Photography
Julie is a photographer with an eye for the finished product. In addition to family photos, she specializes in creating beautiful wall art from your shoot. Purchase a $50 Gift Certificate and receive $100 towards, or a $100 Gift Certificate and receive $200 towards Julie Marwood Photography. Good towards future sessions only. Can be purchased up until December 20th. Valid M-F 9-4.
Kids Code Force
I’m a bit biased, but this is an awesome opportunity! If your child can read, they can code! Computer programming with a drag and drop interface is a fund way to create games and other projects.
Book a private 3 hour session for only $50!
Kids Photography Academy
Learn about the art, science and fun of photography with online lessons designed for kids. An annual membership with access to all lessons, exclusive contests and more! This is a perfect gift for the budding photographer in your family!
Tyneal has a knack for bringing out the best in kids to capture priceless family memories on film. She specializes in milestones and studio special event mini sessions.
Health & Wellness
Chiropractic Wellness Clinic
Improve your brain and body health with Chiropractic and Functional Neurology. They also have laser technology, orthotics and other options available. You’ll be amazed at the symptoms and conditions that are treatable!
Dr. Linda Kodnar ND
Offering Hair Mineral Analysis and 30 minute consultation for $125 (regularly $225!) until Dec. 20. Evaluates body mineral status and toxic metals, extrapolates absorption issues,estrogen dominance, adrenal status – extremely useful tool as an introduction to additional methods of assessment outside of routine medical blood tests. Use in conjunction with other comprehensive saliva, allergy or digestion analysis.
Naturally Sweet Body & Wellness
Natural products for your home and body, including bath salts, body balms, candles and sugar scrubs. Scented with 100% therapeutic grade essential oils. The Cold Rescue Body Balm is popular this time of year. Now featuring Christmas gift sets.
Did you know that anxiety, skin rashes and breakouts can all be linked to your insides? Also that our guts are our other brains so when they talk, we should listen! Through Energy Work and Intuitive Guidance, Susie finds imbalances in your body and help you release them. Specializing in but not limited to intestinal discomfort. Find Susie at Lasya Healing. Offering 15% off during January
Support a Cause
Providing Workshops that explore inner and outer beauty, physical fitness and survivorship for young women facing cancer.
Offering information, resources and emotional support to families dealing with congenital heart disease.
Sox in a Box
The Sox in a Box campaign is focused on collecting fun new socks in all sizes (newborn to adult) and distributing them to people in various charities and organizations where people could use a smile.
And a Freebie!
In the last few weeks I have had several conversations that started with a client asking a seemingly simple question: how do I get to rank number one on Google? Or: why am I not first on Google? Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as they would like; it’s actually rather complex.
First, it’s important to note that being “number one on Google” is not the same as it used to be. For that reason, nobody can guarantee to get you there. (If they do, and you believe them, I have some magic beans and a lovely piece of land to sell you.)
What do I mean when I say it’s not the same as it used to be? For starters, Google is always modifying how it determines site rankings. But they have also made a lot of changes to make search results more relevant to the individual searcher. Because of this, two people using identical keywords will not necessarily return the same results. Their results could vary for several reasons including:
- your location
- the device you are searching on
- your preferences if you are signed in to a Google account
How can I improve my Google ranking?
Individual searches aside, there are still numerous factors that affect your search ranking. Most of them are positive factors, but there are some things that can have a negative impact. Here’s a short list of dos and don’ts that you can easy implement today:
- Do set up a Google Business page
- Do link your Google+ profile to your blog with Google authorship
- Don’t have duplicate content on your site
- Do ensure your images have Alt text and utilize your keyword when possible
- Do use keywords in your urls, page titles and headers
- Don’t engage in keyword stuffing or negative backlink campaigns
- Do write content for humans, not computers and bots
- Do expect it to take time and effort
In the end, keep in mind there are no prizes for ranking first in search results. The ultimate goal is to get people to your site so they can engage with you, and there are many additional ways for this to be accomplished.