What I Learned at Evo ’11

Yes, this post is long, but it has to be because I’m sharing what I learned at Evo ’11! If you want to hear about all the fun stuff that happened, check out my post on how The Bloggess Turned Me Into A Zombie and all the other crazy things that happened!

Yes people, SEO was made interesting by @TheNextCorner (AKA Dennis, but I also learned that at conferences people are only known by their Twitter handles.)

Dennis is the Director of SEO for eBay, so yeah, he knows what he’s talking about. And he talked about SEO for more than 3 hours and we were all at the edge of our seats! Not only that, Gigi and I cornered him one night after dinner and he talked to us for over an hour about more in-depth SEO stuff, answered all of our questions, and gave us advice.

But bonus for you guys? He is putting all some of his knowledge out for the world to see on his blog, The Next Corner, and sharing what he taught us at Evo. Go now and check it out…it’s that good that I’m sending you away from my blog to check it out. Just come back, okay?

Dennis, I know you will see this because you get alerted when anybody links to you…hope this has your SEO stamp of approval on it! If not, let me know how to improve 😉

Make Sure You Don’t Sell Yourself Short
I will not confirm or deny, but I may have done some work with a MAJOR brand in the past…for free. And I almost got my butt kicked for it after I admitted it at Evo while speaking to a PR person.

Here’s the deal, people. We are all probably working with brands for less than we are worth. I complained talked with several PR people and told them how us little bloggers have no idea what to charge for what. A sponsored post? Twitter party? I have no idea what the value of my influence is when I am approached to do one of those things. But I learned that I am worth more than I thought.

Find a “big” blogger, or a bigger-than-you blogger to direct your questions to. I think you just might be surprised by the response.

Listen to Learn
The closing keynote was delivered by Me Ra Koh, someone who I didn’t know anything about until  I listened to her speak at the conference. She was inspiration on a stage…I can’t describe it any better. You can listen to Me Ra Koh speak at Evo here…and let me know what you are going to do to put more creativity in your life.

Big Brands Don’t Only Go After Big Bloggers
I know this because I talked to them and made some connections! It’s about building relationships, and they want that just as much as we do.

Nature’s Path and McDonalds both blew me away with their messages, philosophies, and  why they wanted to work with bloggers. If I get a chance to work with either brand, I’d consider myself very lucky.

Nobody Cares What You Wear
Seriously, nobody cares. There were some people who were really dressed up, and others that maybe should have thought a little more about their appearance. But for the most part, people just wore what they wear everyday.

And shoes are important…wear them for comfort, not to look cute. Your feet will thank you for it.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
I’m naturally a shy person, and it’s not ever very often that I’ll just walk up to someone and introduce myself. I am always fearful that they will look me up and down and turn away uninterested. Or that I will introduce myself to a blogger that I *think* I have a connection with, and that they will say “You are who?”

But I learned that there are a lot of us that feel that way! There was one blogger who I told after I got home that I wished I would have introduced myself to but that I was too shy. She tweeted me back that she felt the exact same way! I told the same thing to a really big blogger, and she made me promise to introduce myself to her at BlogHer (she knew who I was and was bummed that I didn’t talk to her!)

Another really big blogger told me that she understood how I felt because she introduced herself to a few people and they basically blew her off…until they figured out who she was. Then they wanted to talk to her but not because they wanted to get to know her, but because of who she was. So remember, you never know who you are talking to – give everybody sincere respect that you want in return.

If you read Kludgy Mom’s post, you know that we weren’t able to zipline and she was really bummed about it. This was because I was too chicken to try something new – something I’d never done before that I was scared to do even though people kept telling me how much fun it was.

So make sure if you are attending BlogHer, to step outside of your comfort zone!

The Evo Conference ROCKED…and I already bought my ticket for evo ’12, and I recommend you do, too!


  1. Such good fun these conferences! Glad you had a great time and brought home lots of knowledge and experience. Cannot wait to hear what you get up to at BlogHer!
  2. Great thoughts and perspective. Thanks for sharing. After just attending my first conference (Type A) I can relate to almost everything you said. Thanks again for sharing.
  3. It sounds like an amazing conference! Maybe one day I will have to hit one of them up!
  4. That sounds amazing! I'm so impressed with: 1) how you've built up your blog & your brand 2) how you work so hard with a smile on your face 3) how you always take time to share your wisdom!
  5. thanks for sharing all this neat info! I love the part on not to sell yourself short! It is really so hard to put a price on a sponsored post that i often feel i got the short end of the stick!
  6. I'm so proud of you for working so hard at overcoming your shyness. You worked the room like a pro. I never would have known you were shy. You did a great job and I am so happy that you got so much out of the conference - you deserved it!
  7. I had the pleasure of watching that keynote speech yesterday and, like I told Gigi later, I took notes and wrote down 14 things instead of 3. What an inspiration. Thank you for sharing all of this info, especially about working with brands. If you ever have time, I'd love to talk with you about it since you are one of those "bigger than me" bloggers you referenced ;) Oh, and sincerity? An absolute must. Sometimes it's clear even on Twitter who just wants to be recognized by the big kids, you know? I am seriously thinking about attending next year. Hubs and I need to talk this over.
  8. so glad you had a good time, learned lots of fun stuff and shared it all with us. :) Welcome HOME sweetie
  9. Totally awesome recap, Natalie! Thanks for sharing!
  10. Thanks for sharing this Momma!! I've got some reading to do!
  11. Great recap! I keep hearing about both the keynote and SEO session. Must check it out!
  12. Wow, already have your ticket for next year??? Must have really been awesome! Great recap!
  13. Great post! I posted in a similar vein today too. Evo is going to be on my mind for a long time. What a life-changer!
  14. Glad you had a good time Natalie. And, great thoughts to ponder.
  15. The seo class sounded awesome can't wait to check out the notes. I also loved how nice everyone was. Everyone was so willing to share.
  16. I think that I want to try out this conference next year. You have done a great job at selling it.
  17. Thanks so much for sharing everything you learned!! I still need to learn a lot about SEO...sigh...
  18. Wow, it sounds like you had some fun while learning a lot. I'm really hoping to be able to go to a (any) blogging conference next year, putting it in the budget. Thanks for all the info.


  1. [...] except last Saturday. It's the first Saturday I've skipped this year! Last Saturday I was at Evo learning about SEO and trying not to die. If you missed those posts, you can check them [...]
  2. [...] summer, I was lucky enough to attend BlogHer 2011 in San Diego. I also was lucky enough to attend Evo 2011  in Park City, Utah, where @KludgyMom and I were representin’ Clever Girls Collective, and [...]