Rates for Contributing Positions

By: Melanie Blodgett. Photography by: Present and Correct

Some of the questions I hear the most about contributing to other blogs are about payment. To be more specific, how much should you expect? How much can I ask for and still be reasonable? I kind of wish there was a rate system for contributing comparable to a sizing chart for clothes. The fact is rates vary – a lot. Here are just two of the variables you’ll face:

Link Love: Best Practices for Being a Contributor

By: Melanie Blodgett. Photography by: Have & Hold Design Still wondering about contributing and if it is right for you? Check out these links and have a great weekend! 1. If you missed out on the contributing panel at Alt, here’s a recap. 2. How the Huffington Posts works (in case you were wondering). 3. […]

Spring Cleaning Your Business

By: Sara Urquhart. Photography by: Amanda Catherine Designs Whether or not the sun is officially shining in your town, spring is here and it’s time to look around and make some improvements.  Find some inspiration below to help you spruce things up around your business. Pick up that business book you keep hearing about (or […]

Why Contribute?

By: Melanie Blodgett. Photography by: Gabriela Herman

Some of you may be excited about the possibility of contributing, but some of you may be wondering why you would choose to create content for sites that are not your own. Here are 5 reasons why contributing is beneficial:

Contributing is a money maker

If your own site isn’t large enough to pull in much cash flow, you can make money contributing. Sites that hire contributors have the advertising revenue to be able to compensate you. In turn, you can take the money you earn to help build your blog by investing in a custom design or hiring contributors of your own.

Contributing will help grow your traffic

Your traffic grows the more readers with similar interests are drawn to your site. Contributing to sites with a larger readership will attract visitors who will hopefully become faithful readers.

Three Tips for How to Keep Readers on Your Site

By: Melanie Burk. Artwork by: Sandy Welch

In today’s world, keeping readers on your site is simply a race against the clock. With the advent of instagram, pinterest, and the veracious amount of information on the internet, our viewers have become accustomed to a “scroll, scroll, scroll” quick glance at your content, and then  with a click they are gone. 


In fact, I have found that for most of my blogger clients, users spend an average of 2 min to 2 1/2 minutes on their site. If you don’t believe me–check your analytics! Viewers are spending less and less time on sites, and now the trick is not only getting viewers to your site, but keeping them on your site. 


Here are a few design tricks that can really help your viewers really focus on your site and actually read your blog content.

4 Ways to Make Your Online Videos Stand Out

By Jenner Brown.

When you set out to create a video for your blog, there are a number of little things you can do to make them look and feel more professional. Here are a few ideas to unleash your inner filmmaker:

1) Shoot with a DSLR
If you’ve been shooting with an iPad or a point-and-shoot, you’ll see the cinematic quality immediately when you start shooting on a DSLR. They have become the go-to camera of indie filmmakers for good reason–the gloriously large imaging sensor that provides the coveted shallow depth of field and high resolution picture. You can purchase an entry-level kit for around $800. If you’re taking lots of pictures and video for your blog this is a must!

2) Learn iMovie
Pretty footage is the first step, but a basic knowledge of video editing is required to take your clips to the next level. It’s time to learn the art of iMovie editing. Sign up for the online iMovie For Bloggers course on the Alt Channel where we’ll be covering this software in depth with live tutorials.


YouTube vs. Vimeo: Video Wars

By Jenner Brown.

A question I often get asked is which platform is best for hosting your online videos, YouTube or Vimeo? The answer is case specific. They are very similar, having the same underlying purpose and structure. The difference between the two is subtle, kind of like Mac vs. Windows. Let’s dive in a bit deeper and look at the comparisons.

Like Windows, YouTube has a much larger user base and is more utilitarian. It is owned by the mighty Google and that puts it pretty far ahead when it comes to reach and visibility. While both platforms use search, the YouTube search engine is much more commonly used by people searching for online content. If someone is searching solely from within YouTube, your Vimeo videos will be invisible. The key with YouTube is to take advantage of the keyword tagging to make sure people find you. Start with that and then focus on getting people to subscribe to your channel.

Where Are Your Customers Hanging Out Online?

By Piper Toth. Photography by Vladimir Kukorenchuk.

You’ve opened up your online shop, hung out your shingle (so to speak), and have done all the right things to find your online customers. Facebook page created? Check. Guest posts on other blogs/store featured on blogs? Check. Spending time daily doing the social media thing? Check.

And then you reach that point where sales and customers (or readers) visiting you hist a plateau. And it won’t budge. So you start wondering…WHERE are my customers hanging out?

This is where you need to step into your customer’s (or reader’s) shoes and think about who they are and what they like. Start with a close friend who you know loves your shop or blog. did this by choosing two friends who were completely my target market. One of them is a mid-west professional who loves traveling, baking, and hiking. The other is an east coast gal who loves reading design blogs, going to flea market, and entertaining. So even though they both are my target market, they hang out at completely different places online.