If you are familiar with Alt Summit, you know it is an exclusive, stylish blogger conference that originated in Salt Lake City but has expanded its conferences to NYC and SF. It also costs a pretty penny for the conference, plus travel and lodging. Alt has smartly created an online Alt for Everyone that offers the spirit of Alt Summit online. Maker Nikki of delovely details shares her experience with Alt for Everyone. Enjoy!
Hi! I’m Nikki from delovely details. It’s kind of embarrassing sometimes when people ask what I do for a living. I sell hangers. The facial reactions to that statement vary, but confusion is always in there somewhere. I started selling hangers in 2011. My two best friends were getting married three months apart. After throwing bridal showers, bachelorette parties, buying dresses, paying for hair and makeup, it was a very expensive year. On their wedding day, I wanted to give the girls something special. So I had my husband help me wood burn hangers for them to hang their wedding dresses. They both loved it. Everyone was soon telling me I had to sell them on Etsy. After talking it over with my husband, we both agreed it was worth a shot and opened delovely details in July 2011. By January of 2012, I was able to quit my full time preschool teacher job. It’s been a rollercoaster but I’ve loved every second of it.
Now that my Etsy shop is full time, it has to pay some bills. I have a bare minimum I have to make every single month. It can be very stressful, so I try to make sure I’m marketing myself the best way I can. I also try to stay educated in my market, in business practices, financially and legally.
I have always maintained a blog, but when I started delovely details, we switched it from a strictly personal blog to a business/lifestyle blog. I wanted to continue to build an audience for my blog and I somehow stumbled onto another blog that recapped the Alt Summit Conference. It sounded pretty amazing. People who had found success through blogging would be showing us the ins and outs of their success. The best definition of the event I’ve found, was “The premier business conference for pioneering bloggers and rookie bloggers alike.” The conferences were expensive though, way out of my league. However, I saw Alt for Everyone, an online conference. Cheaper, no travel, and I can wear my PJs to the classes. Perfect!
Basically, you sign up to take 7 classes, 1 keynote speech, and 1 meet and greet. The classes are of your choice (as long as they don’t book up) and range from marketing, legal stuff, photography, Photoshop and Illustrator, and branding. The meet and greet is an organized chat room where you can offer your advice and ask questions of other bloggers.
I crammed all of my classes in two of the three days of the conference.
- Keynote Speech (by Kate from Wit & Delight) - 8:00am
- How to Start Selling Ads on Your Blog (by Jaime Derringer from design-milk) - 9:30am
- Blog Documents (by Chris Gardner from Man Made DIY) - 12:30pm
- Illustrator for Bloggers (by Alison Faulkner from The Alison Show) - 3:30pm
- Photo Styling 101 (by Susan and William Brinson from House of Brinson) - 6pm
When it was finally over, I felt two significant emotions. I felt overwhelmed with knowledge and I felt the inspiration to implement everything I had learned. It was so much information, some I had already heard, some completely new things. However, it was all so inspiring to see these bloggers, start in the same shoes as I am, and take their blogs to the levels I dream of. Those tasks I’ve been dragging my feet on, like an editorial calendar, all of a sudden became something I couldn’t wait to do because I saw how helpful it was for Kate from Wit & Delight. House of Brinson had me excited about taking my time and styling my photos. And Rachel from Pencil Shavings Studio has me rethinking my branding approach and excited to really sit down and make some decisions about how I want people to view my company. The coffee and conversation was also amazing. I made so many connections and networked with so many other bloggers, which alone was worth the $135. I am now working with two different bloggers on collaborations. It’s so exciting.
This was a great experience for bloggers, however, I see myself implementing the same things in my Etsy shop too. Branding, photography, colors & fonts, I will use something from all of those classes with business. Make no mistake, it is definitely geared towards bloggers, however, I took away more than just lessons on growing my blog.
Lastly, as if I didn’t take away enough, they also sent us an awesome swag box with items from small Etsy businesses, growing companies, and some cool techie items. That was a lot of fun to get in the mail and open up.
I highly recommend Alt for Everyone to any potential bloggers. I also recommend the branding classes which are sometimes available as an individual class on their Alt Channel for any small business owners.