Friday, January 27, 2012

Alt Recap

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.


  1. Great post Kirsten. Thanks for sharing some of the stuff you learned. Hang in there, hopefully soon you will be feeling better. I'm in my 8th month of pregnancy and remember those early months that were just awful. It was so hard to juggle everything but take it easy and give yourself a break.

  2. How exciting! Kristen thank you for sharing so much info for those of us who could not attend. The camaraderie also sounds so fun and inspiring!


    Art by Karena

  3. Thanks, Kirsten - esp. for taking the time to write this post (esp. when you have morning sickness). Having been there recently, I know that is no easy feat! I really appreciate it! Happy Weekend!

  4. Thank you so much for the little peek! I hope to attend next year, it sounds like there is so much knowledge and wonderful people to learn from! Hope you feel better soon!

  5. i loved this post! i've been curious about a lot of these subjects and it's so good to hear what people have to say that are in the thick of blogging!

    thanks for sharing!!!

  6. Thanks for the recap! It sounds like the sessions were fantastic. Makes me want to attend next year!

  7. Thanks so much for the recap! One of these days, I would love to make it to a blogger's conference. I know I would learn a ton! Hope you feel better soon! :) Get lots of rest!

  8. I hope you're feeling better soon! I really appreciated reading about your experiences at Alt, and I'm glad that you were well enough to go. Take care. :)

  9. Thanks for taking the time to put together this recap! I love reading everyone's experiences and tips. The original content ones are especially relevant because I hit a writer's block the other night.

  10. Thanks so much for the wonderful recap! I plan on attending next year and your recap makes me all the more excited. I feel very fortunate that seasoned bloggers, such as yourself, are willing to share your insight and knowledge with newbies like me. So much great information. My mind is already turning on ways to improve my blog! Thanks Again!

  11. Thank you so much or the LONG recall of all the great advice....I know these posts take forever to write, but this reader sure appreciates it!

  12. So far everyone has raved about PinterestBen at Alt. Get your're growing body parts!

  13. Look like you had so much fun! I have been wanting to go to Alt for some time now. Hopefully, I will go next year. It looks like a great time.

  14. this is so helpful. thanks for sharing this info from Alt.

  15. Great recap Kirsten and thanks for sharing what you've learned. I hope to make it to ALT one of these years and I'd love to meet you in person. Have a great weekend and get some R&R!

  16. What great tips! Thank you for sharing what you learned. I especially loved Emily Hendersons tips for styling interior design photographs!

  17. Thank you so much for posting this! I'm glad you were able to attend. Jenny's comment about 10% inspiration and 90% doing REALLY speaks to me....this, I need to start doing. Sometimes I feel like my life is just keeping up with all the blogs I read and all the social media STUFF! Have you gone to BlogHer too? I was thinking of attending this year but Alt seems SO MUCH more like my crowd.

  18. Thanks so much for the recap! Sounds like it was a blast and I have learned so much just from your tips! Hope you are feeling better!

  19. Oh Kirsten It was so great to be able to hang out with you. I am having withdrawals.

  20. Loved your recap Kirsten, thanks so much for sharing it, hope you're feeling better ;)

  21. Sounds like time well spent. If I was still in SLC, I would have loved to go with you! I am excited to hear about your your second little one on the way - though I know it's hard to get excited yourself when you feel like crap all the time! Hang in there!

  22. This was such a good post. I try for all original content and it's not always easy but it's true what you say about no one else having it. Take it easy. You are smart to rest. It takes a lot out of you.

  23. So i just have to say that I got equally excited and jealous reading this post! I so wanted to go to Alt this year, and would have loved to meet you! Theres always next year though. So glad morning sickness let up for you enough to go and enjoy it! Thanks for sharing the tidbits you learned!
    Dream Book Design

  24. I was a mess after Alt too - my head was so full of ideas and thoughts but I didn't know how to put them on paper! It was so nice to meet you in person Kirsten. I admit I was totally nervous when I said hi but you were just as sweet as I thought you would be. Love how you and Ben are holding your hands similarly in that photo. He was a highlight for sure.

  25. How sweet of you to take the time to write this when you are feeling bad! That is loyalty for sure. I have never gone to any of these type of conferences...but this one really sounds like it had great information. I always wondered what Ben looked like, such a cutie, nothing like I thought he would look like. Hope you feel better soon, Kristen, and thanks again for all the tips you shared, I am going to go back and read them again!

  26. I consider myself a closet stalker of your lovely blog as you have so many followers and great commentors who usually beat me to the commenting punch like a hundred times over. Haha I usually sit hear in rapt reader observation saying "oh yeah love that", "good advice", "brilliant designs", etc, etc. However I'm breaking my silence! Just wanted to add that I found your blogging and business nuggets at the end of the post particularly genius and wanted to thank you for all the inspiration.

    Your brilliant, don't work yourself too terribly hard! Drink some tea or coffee and have some chocolate. Unless your allergic. Then that would be bad. Ok, I'll stop now :)


  27. Kirsten,
    I really enjoyed your Alt recap. It's nice to read about who spoke on which panel and get a glimpse of what topics were covered on top of your takeaway from each. The photos are great! I am happy that even though it took a long time for you to finish writing your post, you were able to do so. Feel better. Bagels & cream cheese, plain pasta and french fries always got me through the morning sickness. (and Congratulations!)

  28. Kirsten, I am so glad I got to run into you and catch up for a minute! You are just so darn adorable and so incredible talented! I am in awe of you and you leave me completely inspired! That Interior Design class was so fantastc! I left wanting to redo my entire house. They were all so down to earth and impressive and imformative and funny. The whole conference was incredible, I didn't want it to end and I want to go back again and again. Anyhoo, back to what I was saying. I am so inspired by you and so proud of what you do and that I can say I knew you way back when and that we did girls camp, high school, a few journal/letter writing parties and all that fun stuff. You are awesome, love you girl!

  29. Oh, I also meant to mention that I hope you feel better soon and that you are in the clear of all the yucky morning sickness quickly. I am so happy for you that you are expecting baby #2! Congrats!

  30. I really loved your recap! It sounds like you were surrounded by amazing people with great advice. I would love to go to this sometime :)

  31. Thanks so much for sharing, especially when you're under the weather! Wish I could have attended, but reading your recap was a nice second-best!

  32. Thanks so much for sharing. I took sometime off from blogging, but I'm back. I missed it. And I really appreciate the insight.

  33. Kirsten, thank you so much for taking the time to sort through everything you learned and share some highlights with us! So valuable, you're a gem and it's obvious why you're such a success!

  34. Sounds like a marvellous event with so much to take away from. Thank you for sharing so much!

  35. Thank you for the notes! I wish I could have attended and it's neat to hear your feedback from the panels!

  36. Morning sickness most be rough although I'm not a women so I can't really know. Have you tried making dietary changes? Increase the amount of sleep your getting? All these things would help.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means a lot. I try and answer any questions directly in the comment section so if you ask a question come back to look for my answer. However it is much easier for me to answer questions through email at

Have a Great Day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips