Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Tips I Learned at SNAP That Changed My Life!

If any of you follow me on instagram (@kirstenkrason) then you know that I spent the majority of my week last week at the SNAP conference. It was amazing. I went last year but I was pregnant and still not feeling 100%. This year I felt like I could really have fun and enjoy myself. I love getting to catch up with blogging friends and meet new ones that I've been following for awhile. I also felt like the classes were amazing!! After each class I'd text my husband with phrases like, "this class is changing my life!".  I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on how the blogging world works but after I go to blogging conferences I'm always reminded about how much I don't know. The blogosphere and social media world are ever-changing which is why you can never say you know it all. 

 Class #1 // Google +Carolina, Always Expect Moore
Everyone keeps saying that Google + is the next big thing so I keep trying to get myself motivated to be on their more. Are any of you on there? You can see my profile here.

- You can create live stream videos on your blog using google + hangouts. 
- The people in your own circle will come up first in your search engines. Basically it's very important to build a large community on Google + for SEO purposes. 

Class #2 // Pinterest Heather, Whipperberry    &  Jamielyn, I Heart Naptime
Amazing, Amazing, Amazing. I couldn't write fast enough in this class!

- Are your photos going to make it in a Pinterest world? So true. Let's face it. We are living in a Pinterest world. For your blog to survive you have to be viable on Pinterest. 
- Your descriptions on Pinterest should have call to actions.
- Create negative space with your photos. The eye craves negative space. 
- Try and make your blog photos in portrait layout whenever possible. These take up more space on Pinterest and in turn are more likely to be viewed. 
- Make sure you pictures portray your brand. Someone should see a picture and instantly know it's from you. Also think about the type of watermark you want to use and where you want to place it. 
- Use no more than 3 different fonts on your Pinterest images

- This is the best tutorial for adding a "pin it" button to your pictures on your blog. 
- You have to engage on Pinterest. Comment, like and repin! 
- Pin only the best and most beautiful images so your boards look well curated. 
- Holidays are HUGE. Be pinning for Holiday pins about 2 months in advance.
- picMonkey is a great site for creating pinnable collages for your blog. 
- Timing is everything! Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are the best days to pin. 7-11 am and pm EST are the best times to be pinning. There are sites out there to let you schedule pins. Pingraphy is a great one. 
- If a pin is sponsored you need to add #spon or #ad to the description.

Class #3 Monetizing Your Blog - Beckie, Infarrantly Creative  
I'm not gonna lie this class was WAY overwhelming. Most of it went over my head but I did get some great gems from it!

- Sidebars are premium ad space! Clean it up! Get rid of anything that you absolutely don't need. 
- Work with numerous ad networks not just one. 
- You should have about six ads on your blog. 

Class #4 Collaborating with BrandsMandi, Vintage Revivals  - Melissa, The Inspired Room - Kate, Centsational Girl  
Awesome class taught by some of my favorite people! I LOVE collaborating with brands so I was all ears for this one. 

- Make a list of all the brands you want to work with and set goals for how you are going to make it happen.
- Respond promptly! They will move on if you don't. 
- Keep in mind these companies have budgets they need to maintain. 
- You need to disclose sponsored posts at the top and not just the bottom or on your sidebar somewhere. 

Class #5 InstagramSusan, Freshly Picked , Shelley, House of SmithsRhonna, Rhonna Designs 
I really really needed this class. I feel like I got to Instagram so late in the game (stupid android). I have been working hard to try and figure out how to increase my presence on instagram and take better pictures but it seems like it has been a long process... 

However I have been improving slowly but surely. For example these two pictures are from my instagram feed. The second one was Jane first thing in the morning about 7 months ago and the first one was a picture I took a couple of weeks ago. It takes time to learn how to use a camera and figure out lighting so I know it's okay to give yourself some time to figure it out. 

I also think that instagram is like blogging. It takes reading other blogs to figure out what you are supposed to be blogging about and how to do it. It takes following people on instagram to get a hang of how to do it, what kind of pictures to post and how many pictures to post. I'm still figuring it out. 

But please, follow me on Instagram! I promise I won't disappoint! 

So here are the best tips I took away from this great class...

- Make things Pretty! People look at ordinary things all day long, give them something pretty to look at. 
- Get a camera lens cleaner and clean your iphone lens off.
- instagram about 4 times a day. Don't overgram. 
- Make sure your giveaways are simple and to the point. Don't make them too long (about 48 hours). 
- Don't ignore your haters or bad commenters. Address their concerns. Turn them into fans!
- Include questions or call to actions in your posts to get engagement from your followers. 
- Comment and reply to comments! You need to be active on instagram. 

The best tip I took away was from Susan. She talked about instagram karma. If you are helpful to other people and kind it will all come back to you. Be gracious. Tag others whenever possible and share the love! 
They also shared some of their favorite apps. 
- Bubble Frame
- Shape Plus
- Afterlight  (I love this one. Captain is my favorite filter)
- Fuzel
- PicTapGo (also LOVE this one)
- Text Mask
- Rhonna Designs
- Diptic 

I also took some great classes on photoshop and photo styling which were seriously amazing. Did you know I've had photoshop elements on my computer for two years and never used it! I learned the most basic things which are going to totally transform the way I edit pictures from now on. 

Have you ever attended a blogging conference? Did you think it was worth it? 

If you liked this post you might also enjoy What I Took Away From Alt


  1. I love this post! I haven't been to a blogging conference yet. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Amazing tips! Thank you sooo much. I just got an iphone yesterday, so I am finally able to join the instagram world. When I do, I'll be sure to follow you.

  3. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for passing along all the great tips, Kristen! Love your cute outfits. :)

  5. Oh my goodness Kirsten! This is amaaazing! I'm literally bookmarking this as a resource to go back to since I definitely need help with all of it! I wish I could've gone to SNAP, it sounds like such a great place to learn more on this ever-changing blogging world. Thank you SO much for sharing this!!!


  6. Wow, wow, wow. Thank you so much for sharing Kirsten. I am dying to start using Instagram but Windows phone doesn't support it (and my husband works for Microsoft so I feel some need to support it). One question for you, could you give an example of what a "call to action" would be in a Pinterest description? Thanks again!

    1. I think this is something like..."come learn how to transform your living room with these easy tips on painting furniture..." something like that!

  7. Thank you so, so much for this post. So helpful!

  8. Great tips! Flagging this blog post so I can come back and try to implement them myself!

  9. Thank you for posting, Kirsten! We are new to the blogging world but will use these tips at our upcoming conferences. We know we're already making progress thanks to what you have shared!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing, Kirsten!! I follow you on IG and saw you post about this the other day, was hoping you would share some details! XOXO

    1. Thanks for following me on IG Jessica!

  11. Kristen! Thank you so much for posting this info! I will def be referring back to it. Could you please tell me how to add the instagram icon to my blog? I would love to have more followers and I think this could help! Thank you!

    1. Hey Katie! You could try something like this: http://snapwidget.com/ or this: http://www.myfavouritethingsblog.com/2013/03/how-to-add-social-media-icons-to-your.html

  12. Wow, amazing. I just like to read blogs, so it's amazing to see how much thought and effort goes into it all. You do a great job, keep it up. I love seeing what you come up with.

  13. Curious to know how this conference compares to Alt?

    1. VERY different. There are pros and cons to both conferences. I like the atmosphere of this one a little more. It's not quite as intimidating and every one is so nice! I also like the classes better at SNAP. They were more specific and I felt like I learned a lot more. I think Alt is a little more exciting and the parties are amazing. Plus I like the diversity of people that you get at Alt. But like I said they are different so I would say go to both!

    2. Alright, next year I'll have to come out for it. It looked like a lot of fun and good information.

  14. Thanks for sharing about our class :-) I'm glad you could come! I didn't get to go to the other classes you mentioned so I really appreciated the tips! Thanks so much!!!

    1. of course! Your class was so great. I feel like you all brought up points I hadn't thought about. Plus your outfit was awesome :)

  15. Ahhh! I didn't get to go to Snap but now I feel like I did :) Thank you so much for sharing these...even after doing this blog thing for a while, a little tip roundup helps refresh the blood :) Love it.
    xo - kb

  16. What app did you use to write the letters on the picture above? "It's a Friday"

    1. It's called Typic Pro. I also like Over for writing words on photos.

  17. It's called Typic Pro. I also like Over for writing words on photos.

  18. That's a great wrap up!! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Awesome post! Some tips I will definitely be using! Thanks Kirsten!

  20. Awesome amazing post - So many helpful blogging tips :)

  21. So glad you shared all you learned - some really helpful stuff in here!

  22. What a great post! So many good tips and things to think about. Thanks for the link!! :)

  23. These are such AMAZING tips Kristen!! Thank you so much! I was so jealous of all you ladies that got to attend and now I feel like I at least got a little sneak peek into everything!

  24. Thank you for this super informative post! I'm so glad you took the time to share with us everything you learned!!!

  25. You took great notes!! It was SO SO SO great to meet up with you! I'm sharing my post in the morning with a cute pic of us;)

  26. This was great info! I had fun meeting you last year at SNAP, but wasn't able to go this year, so I really appreciated this post! And of course I follow you on instagram! Love your pics!

  27. Great info! I went to Haven last year before I started blogging. I'm excited to go back to Haven this year to see how the perspctive changes now that I have been blogging for about 9 months.


  28. You are so kind and generous to share these tips, Kirsten! Much appreciated!!

  29. Incredible take aways! Thanks for sharing!

  30. Such great info -- thanks so much for always being willing to share your knowledge!!!

  31. Wow! Love the Pinterest tips! I have yet to master that area of blogging. I have plenty of Pinterst followers but would really like people to pin from my blog.

  32. Hurray for you sharing the instagram apps, THANKS!!

  33. Loved that I found your post through googling Snap conference reviews:) Also, are you going this year again? I am planning on it! Getting my ticket tomorrow bright and early:)


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 kirstenkrason@gmail.com.

Have a Great Day!

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