Top Five Takeaways from Alt Summit 2013

There’s so much to say about my time at Alt Summit – about the people I met, about the presentation and workshops, and about sweet swag that I brought home.  I hope to do more detailed posts – someday – but for now, here are my Top Five Takeaways from Alt Summit 2013.
Top Five Takeaways from Alt Summit 2013
1. “If you build it, brands will come.” – Merrilee Liddiard.  This was said during the first panel I attended, which was “Collaborations with Sponsors.”  I learned a lot from this panel, but this particular quote stood out to me.  Even though I’m a tiny blip in the blogiverse, I’m starting to attract more and more attention from both readers and brands just by writing about the things I like. Basically I need to just keep doing what I’m doing!  
Top Five Takeaways from Alt Summit 2013
2. “Be weirdly honest.” – Tiffani Jones Brown.  This panel was a little odd, because we thought we were attending one thing, found out when we arrived that the scheduled speaker couldn’t make it, and Tiffani was filling in with a completely different presentation.  I thought about leaving to go to another panel, but I decided to stay and I’m glad I did.  Tiffani spoke about improving your blog by telling true stories.  I didn’t really think I would get much from this presentation because I feel like I’m pretty good at just putting it all out there, but I was wrong.  Tiffani gave us eight tips for telling the truth, and “be weirdly honest” is the one that stuck out to me.  I believe in honesty, but do kind of hold back on the weirdness here.  I can get pretty weird, you guys.  So prepare for some more honesty and weirdness from me.

Top Five Takeaways from Alt Summit 2013

3. “Readers choose bloggers, no just blogs.” – Jasmine Star.  The panel that spoke to me the loudest was Jasmine Star’s panel on branding.  I know of Jasmine as a wedding photographer who has an impossibly huge following, and it’s because she does beautiful work AND is authentic and crazy and hilarious.  She is a great speaker and you can tell she is very passionate about her work and her life.  Basically, I want to be just like Jasmine Star when I grow up (except I think she’s younger than me).  She gave some great advice about how to brand yourself, how to blog more authentically, and reminded us that readers want to get to know the person behind the blog.

Top Five Takeaways from Alt Summit 2013

4.  “You are a content creator.” – Meg Keene.  This quote was on the final panel of Meg’s presentation about media kits, and you could hear the collective whoosh of everyone picking up their smartphones to take a picture.  No matter what else we do, we need to remember we are content creators above all.

Top Five Takeaways from Alt Summit 2013
5.  “Keep an editorial calendar.” – everyone.  OKAY, I GET IT.  I need to make a blogging calendar!  This was repeated over and over and over again throughout the conference.  From advice about creating content, to working with brands, to collaborating with other bloggers, the bottom line was if you want to stay organized and be successful, you have to create a calendar for your blog.  So, I started an editorial calendar on Google calendars and – GUESS WHAT – I am more productive and less stressed.  So it seems everyone knew what they were talking about.  

Beyond these highlights, I hope to do more detailed posts about the panels I went to and the awesome time I had at Alt Summit!