Alt Recap

Our Work | January 27, 2012

I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to Alt this year. I was so excited to go but the morning sickness hit me earlier than I expected. But lots of prayers and zofran later I managed to show up for the two day conference and I’m so glad I did. 
I hung out with Caitlin Creer and Christina mostly but I was able to chat with some friends that I met last year and some new friends that I met this year. 
Alt is fun for a number of reasons. The people are interesting, the atmosphere is exciting the food and hotel are amazing and the all of the speakers are so inspiring. 
photo by Justin Hackworth 
Ben Silbermann from pinterest shared his inspirational story and received a standing ovation afterwards. It was truly amazing and an experience I’ll never forget.  Let me just say that Ben is one-of-a-kind. I’ve never met anyone like him.
His speech was so inspirational and he got a well deserved standing ovation at the end of it. 
There were a few panels I really enjoyed this year. 
Jenny, Kirsten, Morgan Satterfield and Emily spoke on a panel The Ins and Outs of Interior Design blogging. I was really interested in Jenny’s portion. She talked about how she always though the blog and the separate design business were really hard to manage at the same time but she realized that the business fed the blog and vice versa. I agree. It’s so much easier to find things to blog about when I’m working on client projects. She also touched on spending 10% of your time on inspiration ie. blogs, pinterest, magazines.. and 90% of your time on perspiration meaning actually getting out there and shopping, working on clients homes or your own home etc. 
Emily Henderson gave some great tips on styling your projects for photographs. This was advice I really needed. A few of her tips that I liked:
– It’s okay to show stems in vases
– If you have tight flowers use a blow dryer to open them up a bit.
– Combine open and closed flowers in a bouquet to make it look more natural. 
– Create asymmetrical shapes
– Don’t use gerber daises unless it’s for a kids room or party. 
– Use lots and lots of pretty books to style. 
– Fake or half eaten food is a no-no.
– Square objects should be straight on and have stuff on them. 
I also enjoyed the panel by Erin, Danielle, Meg and Sarah on Building Relationships with Ad Networks and Sponsors. 
I feel like sponsors and giveaways are still a mystery to so many people. There are new rules coming out all the time on regulations and laws regarding these things and the only way I get to hear about them is by going to things like Alt. Honestly I’m still a little confused. Basically I know that I need to start doing some research before I do any more giveaways. You can read some more info on what I’m talking about here. I also learned about the types of sponsors you should be taking. Make sure they are a good fit with your brand and blog. Make sure they are honest and have values as a company. You can even think about having some kind of document for them to sign stating that they are such. Go into blog advertising as, “Once I take money from you you are on my team and I will do everything I can to help you make money”. Don’t be a person that will just take any sponsor or any giveaway. Know your worth. 
Friday morning I attended a round table discussion on Tax and Accounting for bloggers. I’d been looking forward to this one. Caroline Devoy spoke at this table and she was really knowledgeable. Basically you can write off what you blog about if you feel it is promoting your business or is a business expense. You need to be careful though as to how you label things. Make sure you call them “Creative Supplies” 
One of my favorite panels last year was Growing Your Readership so I decided to go again this year. Jordan, Kelly, Nicole and Maggie spoke at this one. Some of the points I liked from this one:
– A well designed blog is a prerequisite now. Have a professional look and make yourself look bigger than you are. 
– Blog about what people are searching for on search engines. For example holidays, big events like the super bowl etc. 
– What’s your story? Are you the girl who is building a house, fixing up a house, starting a business, writing a book etc. 
– If you have a good idea put it out there immediately before someone else does it even if you don’t have the idea perfected right now. 
Jordan gave the best advice on my opinion on growing your readership. She outlined ways to actually post original content.
– Design beautiful layouts for your posts. Take a normal photo and add a beautiful graphic. This will also help your pictures get pinned.
– Blog about your experiences. No one else can have the experiences that you have. Experiences with travel, clients, in school, in your everyday life etc. 
– Share expertise. If you are an Interior Designer teach people how to become better designers. If you are a party planner guide people on planning the perfect party etc. 
– Post from your own research. Find ways to pull inspiration from the past and put your own spin on it.
I attended lots of other great panels but those few were my favorites. I hope I get to attend next near and I hope to see you a lot of you there!  
Wow that post took me like a whole week to write.  I would work on it for 5 minutes and then take a nap or get something to eat or just stare into space. Seriously I’m a mess right now! I hope you enjoyed that recap now I am going to go watch some t.v an lay on the sofa.