What I Learned and Who I Met at Alt.

Our Work | January 26, 2011

Where do I begin…….

I learned so so so much. I attended some fabulous classes and I seriously was a sponge. Here are just a few of the notes I really took to heart:

* Introduce yourself to other bloggers. You are establishing long-term relationships with these people. Jenny, LGN
* Scratch the itch or your readers will go elsewhere. -Jenny, LGN
Remember what Inspired you originally! – Jenny, LGN
* Disclosure is very very very important. You now have to let people know anytime you are writing a post that someone is paying you to write or if you’ve been given a product for review. Basically just be honest with your readers. And if you are given anything that is worth over $100 you have to claim it for taxes.
* You HAVE to credit sources.
* Be kind and generous, it comes back to you. -swiss miss  (I seriously believe in this principle!) 
*  When it comes to advertisers test the waters first. You’ll come to know what your value is worth over time. I think this is so true. Wait till you have a good following before you introduce sponsors to your blog. It’s better for everyone. 
* Do not use the comment section of other bloggers to promote your site or products. Use it build friendships and community.  
* Spend at least 30 min. a day commenting on people’s blogs. And make your comments smart. 
*Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are the busiest blog traffic days. 
* My favorite was, “You cannot build your blog in a vacuum!”. – a practical wedding  You can’t just expect to gain readers unless you are actively seeking them and getting to know them. 

Basically here is my summary in a nutshell. I learned that I need to think harder about what my readers want to read about. You have to be original. I never want to read a blog that has images I’ve seen a thousand times before or is just a reposting of a DIY. You need to be thinking of things that no one can read anywhere else. I want to get to know my readers better as well. I need to be better at disclosing and more upfront with all of you. If I am receiving an item for free or getting paid for a post I will be letting you know. I am also herby swearing to be better at Twitter. I’m possibly the worst there is. But thanks to Tweet Deck I think I can actually start to handle it. I also learned that there are SO many blogs out there that I don’t know anything about. I have my little niche of blogs I read but I want to expand my horizon and read a few things that aren’t necessarily in my comfort zone. So here are my goals for my business and blog this year.

* Tweet
* Get a Website
* Have at Least 3 Projects Photographed for my Portfolio
* Re-do my Blog Design or at Least Clean it up a Little
* Post more Original Ideas
* Get to Know More Bloggers. Especially the Local Ones.
* Re-do my Advertising Strategy
* Comment on Your Blogs More
* Finish My Master Bedroom! (okay I know that has nothing to do with my business or blog but it really needs help). 

It can definitely get discouraging at times to think of how far I have to go and how GIANT some blogs are. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE blogging and I am so happy to get to share it with all of you. And if you are thinking of starting a blog but are a little scared here is a quote shared at AlT that I love:

“In all new beginnings dwells a magic force” – Hermann Hesse quoted by Tina Roth Eisenberg

Another great part of Alt is the social aspect. I met some amazing people!

 I have loved blogging for a very long time and it’s wonderful to meet people who are equally as passionate about it. Here are some of the people I got to meet and mingle with:
Elisabeth Fraser from You + Me
Janette Crawford from Storenvy
Danyelle Mathews from Dandee Designs
Janie Liu of We Heart Paper
Katie Richardson from Puj
Caitlin Fleming from Sacramento St. 
Alisa Openshaw of Modern Palm
Marisa from Creative Thursday
Brittany Ambridge from Aubergine Photography
Megan Biram from Mimi + Meg
Trina McNeilly from La La Lovely
Pam Kueber of Retro Renovation
Nicole Hill from A Little Sussy
Holly + Kristen from Alice Lane
Crystal from Plush Palate and Rue
Amanda from Recycled 
Marta from Marta Writes
Bri from Col
Melanie from Fifth and Hazel
Sarah Jane from Sarah Jane Studios
Caroline from Armelle
Annie from Annily Green
Stephanie from Stephmodo

Here’s me and Caitlin talking with Bri. 
One of my favorite parts of the summit was getting to hang with Caitlin who I email frequently but don’t get the chance to spend a ton of time with. 
Here we are at the Kate Spade party. Which by the way was amazing. 
It was thrown by the Girls with Glasses.  It was fabulously decorated 

Kate Spade = Magic. 
Plus we got a goody bag with this cute book,  Things we Love. I can’t stop flipping through it.