Alt for Everyone Recap

Alt for Everyone | Hey Love Designs

Hi Friends!

My brain is still buzzing from all the excitement that was Alt for Everyone. I spent 3 days sitting on my couch but I learned so much in my 7 sessions. That's right - 7 hours of knowledge!

I won't go into every little detail or attempt to decipher the notes and slides for you (I hope I can read my own handwriting later), but I thought I'd share some of the awesome things I learned that you might also find useful. Sorry if they're a little scatterbrained. So are my notes!

Joy Cho Keynote Presentation

  • People don't know you can do something until you show it to them.
  • The chat rooms during Alt for Everyone had us all reminiscing of the old AOL days.
  • When organizing your Pinterest boards, put your most interesting and popular ones in the top 2 rows. Those are the ones the people who visit your profile will see first.
  • Screen shots are your best friend if a presenter doesn't offer a download of their slides.

Graphic Design for Bloggers (101, 201, and 301)

  • Consistency is key. Try to stick with just 2-3 fonts in your blog. One each of: serif, sans-serif, and decorative.
  • White space is key in blog design but it doesn't necessarily need to be white. Your design needs breathing room.
  • Before designing a logo (or having someone design for you), gather 5-10 that you like, put them together in one place, and see the similarities between them (color, style, structure). It will show you what you really want in a logo.
  • Never show a client a design you don't love. Chances are they will choose the one you don't like. (Yup, it's happened.)
  • When you're in a creative rut, surround yourself with design. Books, Pinterest, etc.
  • If you're having trouble starting something, just START.

Photoshop for Bloggers

  • For web images, your photo resolution should be 72 dpi.
  • If your camera gives you the option to shoot in RAW, choose it. It gives you more control when editing photos.
  • I finally learned the difference between the healing brush and the cloning brush and how to use them correctly. Heal - good for blemishes. Clone - straight copy of sample area.
  • Think of the Rule of Thirds when cropping photos.
  • When saving photos for web, use "Save for Web" (instead of "Save As") and then compare various file formats. Choose the one that will create the smallest image size without sacrificing quality.

Organized Online

  • Editorial planning is your best friend if you can stick with it.
  • Keep a running list of blog ideas. (I already do this, yay!)
  • A good way to make sure you follow up with emails is to keep them unread and "star" them (in gmail). I'm terrible at email follow up.

Open Discussion During the Pajama Bash

  • PassionFruit Ads is a great service to find sponsors or sponsor a blog. They do all the work for you.
  • Add a note on blog about readers needing to ask permission to copy content or images.
  • Blogging is WORK, not magic.

iMovie for Bloggers

  • Back up footage!
  • When adding audio to videos, check out the free options that iMovie has or check websites for free royalty-free music. If you try to add from iTunes, then YouTube and Facebook will strip it when you upload it due to copyrights.
  • If you want to add graphics to your project, make sure it's PNG and transparent.
  • Keep videos within 2-3 minutes. We have short attention spans.

Your Blog is a Business: Blog Documents

  • When planning your editorial calendar, think about it in days, then weeks, then months, then year. Plan your blog posts based on holidays and seasons. For example, during November have Thanksgiving-related posts leading up to the holiday.
  • Having a document of writing guidelines is good for contributors and guest posters to know your style and content requirements, like size and number of photos, word count, formatting, etc.
  • A comment policy is a good idea to have to address what hot button topics are not allowed (politics, race, profanity, etc), if readers can self-promote, that comments can be deleted, etc.
  • If you work with sponsors or affiliates, you HAVE to address this, per the FCC. You even have to write "ad" before sponsored tweets. Fail to so, and expect a BIG fine.
  • A media kit helps sponsors know information about your blog - traffic statistics, who you are, what your blog is about, editorial calendar, opportunities for sponsors, rates.

Self-Assigned Homework

  • (This was actually assigned by Laurie in Graphic Design for Bloggers 101): pick 1 font from each category (serif, sans serif, and decorative) and use only those 3 for the next few months.
  • Create an editorial calendar and stick with it. In progress: downloaded a Wordpress Plugin to help visualize and plan.
  • Research Passion Fruit Ads
  • Blog stalk everyone!
  • Create a Twitter list of fellow Alt For Everyone attendees. Done!
  • Create blog documents based on Chris's suggestions.
  • Get EIN (employee ID number) especially when I start monetizing blog. My tax lady also suggested I do this earlier this year.

Lastly, aside from all the knowledge I have gained from these courses, I also have a lot of new friends!! My Twitter follower list has gained nearly a hundred new followers in the last few days, I have new blogs to read, and I have awesome like-minded people to connect with. Thank you Alt and thank you Bing for making your event available to more people.

Did you attend Alt for Everyone? Did you give yourself any homework? If you didn't attend Alt, did you find my list of tips helpful?