The Art of the Alt Business Card

This post is sponsored by HP. Photography by Brittni Mehlhoff.

Alt is a time for creativity, inspiration, education, and…showing off your business card! The business card trade is a proud, distinguished tradition here at Alt that celebrates individuality and encompasses what the summit is all about— design and making connections. The classic use of the “business card” is to be informative, polite, and provide an easy way to keep in contact with connections you make.

A pretty business card can be the perfect icebreaker, whether you’re a networking pro or on the shyer side. You’ll get a stream of questions like, “How did you make this?” or, “Where did you get the idea?” and, “Tell me more about your blog…” Don’t be afraid to showcase your talents and do a little “humblebragging” about your awesome craft and design skills. After all, you created it!

Best Practices of Blogging

By Sara Urquhart. Photography by Painting the Roses Black.

We have high standards here at Alt, and we think you should, too. You can set yourself apart as a blogging pro by instituting blogging best practices, whether you’re brand new or a seasoned veteran.

Be consistent. Readers like knowing what to expect, so blogging consistently is key. If you’re taking a break, tell your readers. If you’re going offline for a couple of weeks, it’s a professional courtesy to let your readers know that you’ll be gone…and that you’ll be back.

Be upfront about advertising. Tell your readers when it’s time to take on sponsors. Explain that sponsors will allow you to keep blogging, or to make blogging a profession. And do your homework about FTC guidelines regarding sponsored posts and product reviews to protect yourself and your sponsors.

Maintaining a Small Blog with Pride

By Tiffanie Turner.

Work from my blog has had a lot of exposure in the past year through larger blogs and outlets, yet my readership is still pretty low. I’ve learned to really appreciate contributing spots and being featured elsewhere. It’s validating to get that kind of opportunity, and it can carry you through your moments of doubt, or when you feel like you deserve more attention than you’re getting.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned in this past year that have helped me keep it together, and keep my chin up. First the practical:

FINDING EXPOSURE FOR YOUR ORIGINAL IDEAS

  • Submit relevant ideas to blogs who solicit work from others. Blogs actually seeking content are more receptive when it comes to featuring work you’ve already published on your blog (although some blogs want work that has never been seen before, so think about submitting ideas before you post them to your own blog). 
  • Build relationships with writers and editors. That person who featured your work might be back to mine your blog for more good stuff. 

What To Charge for Your Freelance Work

By Victoria Hudgins. Photography by Maclufus.

During our Alt panel Melanie, Capree, Chelsey, and I had an open discussion about the value of our freelance work. Here are some of the points we found most important (for more detailed information come to the Alt Channel Freelancing to grow your brand class I am teaching next Tuesday):

How much should you charge for freelance work and how can you be sure you are doing something that is valuable?

Providing free content:Sometimes it is worth it. Sometimes it is not.

  • Working for a big site that doesn’t want to pay you can be exciting – at first. Weigh the benefit of possible exposure and networking opportunities and decide if it’s worth your time. Will this site send me enough traffic to justify my time and effort? Is this blog/company someone I’d like to build a relationship with? Can this relationship lead to other contributor positions?
  • >Consider agreeing to a trial period (3-6 months, depending on post frequency) and then evaluate. If it’s not worth it, politely let them know and thank them for the opportunity.

Rounding out the 2013 Alt Summit Recaps

By Victoria Hudgins. Photography By Brooke Dennis. We are rounding out the 2013 Alt Summit SLC links today. In a nutshell – it was amazing! See the full list of recaps right here. Look your way at Alt Paper eye candy What inspires design bloggers The amazing Smilebooth photos When opportunity knocks Meeting Jessica Alba […]

Feeling the Fear: Putting Big Ideas in Motion

By Michelle Edgemont. Photography by Justin Hackworth.

As a creative, my list of big passion projects that I dream to accomplish one day is always growing. I’m sure yours is too. Many of them, more like a huge chunk of them – are terrifying. Simply thinking of the amount of work, to-dos, information, and money it will take to put a big idea in motion can stop it before it even starts.

I’ve learned a few ways to recognize this fear, work through it, and take those first steps towards accomplishing a giant goal. Fear is often seen as a negative, as something to run away from, as our gut telling us not to do it. In terms of business decisions, I don’t agree. With these following tips, I’ve learned to feel fear, to embrace it, and to turn fear into a positive instead of letting it cripple my big ideas.

How To Become a Valued Contributor

By Victoria Hudgins. Photography by Amanda Mabel.

You landed that fabulous freelance position – great! Now what comes next? 

Do a wonderful job with everything and see your work and pay increase quickly. Here are tips from our Alt panel to move you forward.

Your posts will be submitted for review, either through email or a post draft. Each person/company you work with will be different and have different ideas of success so it’s important to know what your goals are for each position. One may be very relaxed with the whole process and give you complete control of posting, while the other may have more steps and edits before your post is ready to be published. Some may have traffic goals, some may not.

Here is a general idea of what editors hope to see from you:

How to Become a Blog Contributor

By Victoria Hudgins. Photo by Cube Me.

Have you wondered how YOU could get a blogging contributor job? Well, you’re in luck! There was a panel at Alt discussing this topic and Chelsey, Capree, Melanie and me are sharing our tips on the topic this week.

How to land a great contributing position.

Be approachable! With the ability for anyone and everyone to see your crafting work, being approachable is a great asset. Here are four tips on how to do that: