So, PubCon South is right around the corner (March 8-9  Austin, TX), and it is official; I am speaking on a panel!

Search Analytics and Traffic Analysis

Date: Wednesday March 9

Time: 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Location: Salon B

Format: Standard Conference Session

Show up, because this is going to be a fantastic session.

This is my first speaking engagement on a panel this large, and it’s a milestone moment so excuse me if I gush for a second.

When I broke the news to Timothy Nobles, I think he was just as excited as I am, in a “Drinks are on the house!” kind of way. This is as big a moment for him and Words Go Here as it is for me.

Timothy and I started out in Internet Marketing at the same time. He initially brought me on as he was starting out and we formed a tremendous working relationship. At the time, this whole “internet marketing” thing was still pretty new, and we were learning and plying our skills in the high-demanding automotive industry. Because of the scale of our in-house operation, we learned our craft quickly and we learned it well with Timothy finding a niche with Organic Search and Content Strategy, and myself having a talent for PPC and Analytics.

The fast-paced, aggressive environment allowed us to learn and adapt furiously; our battle scars were deep, and for all the daughters that didn’t get ponies for their birthdays, and for all the used yellow convertibles in Buffalo, we gained large wins and a crazy sense of internal satisfaction when it looked like our most vocal competitors might have started bitin’ our rhymes and copying our style.

And in that industry within an industry, frustration grew as companies might not have moved as fast as we would have liked, “automotive online experts” would take credit for advances Timothy and I made, and others would peddle bad advice only serving to line their own pockets and cause confusion in the marketplace. I believe this was the catalyst that made Timothy want to go into business for himself, and me to desperately want some type of recognition from our peers (call it “Only Child Syndrome”).

For both Timothy and I, where we are professionally is the culmination of a near-decade of tremendously hard work as Words Go Here begins to take off and someone thinks I’ve got enough knowledge to talk about Analytics in front of people. This is a watershed moment in time for both of us that is as validating as it is humbling.

I do feel like I need to thank some people for helping me get here:

Longtime bro, and fellow Austinite Taylor Pratt has been tremendously reassuring. Since he’s an old hand at these types of things. I want to thank both him and Jon Henshaw. It was working with them that gave me the final boost of confidence to seek out greener pastures on my own, and I’m eternally grateful. I don’t this would be possible without the Raven crew.

Kelly McGee at Ads Next, who is a satellite sister from back in the automotive days. She and I attended our first Search Conference together, and neither of us would have made it out alive without the other one.

Bryce Callaway for Fists of Fury! One of the most loyal guys I’ve ever met, and one of those persons you always want on your side of a fight.

Grumpyhawk for challenging me on a daily basis. You make me want to be better at my job.

Ashley Morrison – She had to deal with a lot of the residuals in those early days, and she made every business trip worth it. Despite going our separate ways, she remains a big part of how I got here. You’re the top.

Lauren Litwinka – I met this young woman at SMX East of aught-nine. She bought me a Coke in between sessions, so she’s pretty cool in my book. During the conference I noticed how determined she was to meet everybody, and I thought to myself, “She’s going to be somebody. I wish I had her confidence.” Cut to a few months later and she had relocated to Duluth, MN to take a job with Aimclear. It’s amazing the little things you pick up from people.

Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land – I was initially on Danny Sullivan’s radar during our SEO Showdown Foursquare match at last year’s South by Southwest Interactive. During the Google Instant kerfuffle, he linked to a post I had written on the Raven Blog. He and I had briefly discussed the SMX East 2010 Google Instant panel, but it wasn’t in the cards for me that time. I became more motivated than ever professionally, when only a year ago a similar situation would have discouraged me to the point of debilitation. At some point I grew up during all this.

To Brett Tabke and Jeff Randall – thanks for taking a chance on this guy.

To my fellow panel members, Alan K’nechtPaul EdmondsonPrashant Puri, and Moderator Joanna Lord, I just hope I make you guys look good while not embarrassing myself.

Show up at this panel if you dare to have your minds blown by some Analytics goodness!