<Over the past few years, I’ve had the honour of volunteering my time at YES Montreal in some capacity or another; either briefly advising on a board, speaking at an event, or leading a workshop.

On Wednesday, March 21, 2012 I luckily got a chance to lead a workshop on something I know quite well: Building & Optimizing Websites. So I took the short stroll over to YES Montreal and we got rolling at about 6:30 PM.

The goal of the Workshop was to offer information, tools, and tips to the Montreal creative community to help them improve or, as was the case for some, begin their journey toward online building, enhancing, and maintaining their website. The audience was diverse, with everyone from painters to photographers to machinists to actors in attendance. The skills and knowledge of the roughly 30 people present was varied so I had to make sure to keep the information flowing while keeping concepts clear and not talking over anyone’s head. I tried to keep it focused yet loose enough so that we managed to cover as many questions as the audience could come up with in the brief period we were given.

The main themes covered were:

  • How to develop a content plan
  • How to select tools to help build your website
  • Strategies for driving traffic to your site
  • Search Engine Optimization

We weaved in and out of these topics via other areas like Pinterest, Facebook Timeline, WordPress, and MailChimp. I have to admit, even though I led a similar workshop at YES a couple of years ago, I went into this one with a bit of trepidation. Since I don’t speak publicly all that often, I was worried that I would run out of steam or ideas halfway through the talk — what happened was the exact opposite. The workshop was one of those moments that reminded me that, oh yeah, I had once wanted to teach high school, long before I got wrapped up in this whole Internet thing.

I’d like to thank everyone who attended for their participation and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

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