Hi Edit and Posters! I hope you are having a wonderful start to 2011! I’ve been busy busy working on great new things for Elizabeth Anne Designs, as well as helping my good friends Cyd and Mojito Maven create brand spankin’ new sites!
I also just returned from Salt Lake City, where I attended the Altitude Design Summit. Not only did I get to spend loads of quality time with some fabulous ladies (like Cyd, Nole, Vane, Victoria, Emily, and Amanda), but I also was able to hear panelists like Heather Armstrong, Jordan Ferney, and Erin Loechner speak on a variety of topics including The Art of the Pitch, Advertising: Beyond the Banner, and Blogging Personal Stories.
I’d like to share a few overarching themes of the conference with ya’ll, and get your feedback on them.
The largest concept that repeated through the conference was blogging with integrity and honesty.
- Giving your readers full disclosure about any compensation for content
- Respecting your competitors and fellow bloggers
- Taking sponsored content only where you feel it fits with your audience
- Crediting all sources of content
We have all seen those blogs that bash other blogs, those who seem just the slightest bit sleazy with their sponsored content, who credit a blog and not the photographer when posting an image… Moral of the story? Don’t be that blog.
Although I don’t take ads or sponsored content on Edit and Post, I do on EAD, so this part of the summit was the most interesting to me. I came away from Alt with a few salient points on monetizing:
- Think outside the box when it comes to monetizing. Case in point? Check out I Wear Your Shirt. Literally, this is a group of people who will wear your company’s t-shirt around town for money. It’s so crazy it works, and I find it pretty awesome. Explore alternatives to banner ads, such as affiliate relationships and ad networks.
- Don’t undervalue yourself. I came away feeling like design bloggers are lightyears ahead of wedding bloggers in this respect.
- Monetize in a way that is in line with your readership (as in, if you blog about personal finances, a sponsored post on pet food probably isn’t a good way to make a buck!).
Every aspect of a blog will be better if you are engaging your audience and are authentic. One of my favorite panels, Blogging Personal Stories with Karey Mackin, Marta Dansie, and Stephanie Nielson, honed in on developing your voice and taking small things from your daily life and weaving them into your blog to tell a story. People love knowing things about other people and connecting with them.
Personally, I took the most learning opportunities from this theme and am excited about implementing some of my ideas on EAD.
So did you attend Alt this year? What do you think about the themes that the conference covered – does it get you thinking about your own blog?