Alt Summit Talks

ALT Talks: Collaborations by Leslie

Today I am featuring my illustration of the Collaborations session from ALT Summit, I also illustrated the Growing Your Readership session. I find these drawings to be such a great way for me to process all the information, really aborb it and understand it and also a great way to share it. You can click on the image above to link to a larger version that you can print out if you like!

Collaborations was hosted by:

Each of them covered an aspect of Collaborating:

1. GETTING STARTED - Danielle Krysa

  • Just ASK: Reach out to those people that you admire and just ask them for what you would like to do. If you outline how it is beneficial to both of you, very often they will say YES!
  • Create Guidelines and Rules: The less work that you make people do, and the less that you make them think, the easier it will be for people to say YES. Constraints can yield good material.
  • Keep Trying: There will be mistakes made, and you have to learn from them, revise and try again. When mistakes are made, not all is lost, much of the work can still be used, you might just need to apply it differently.
  • Bonus: "Drive It Like You Stole It"

2. FINDING THE RIGHT PEOPLE - Bri Emory

  • Similar Aesthetic: There is an easy back and forth when styles align and compliment each other. Complimentary styles can bring a fresh look to what you are doing.
  • Trade Skills: Designers and photographers work great together because they have skills that work well together. Find people who have skills that you don't, but make sure to establish the boundaries up front.
  • Have a Connection: It is more efficient and fun to work with people that you vibe with.
  • Bonus: "Don't be an internet DJ"

3. RULES OF ENGAGEMENT - Joslyn Taylor

  • Agree on Goals: Decide at the beginning what the plan is. What are the goals of the partnership? Is it fun? Is it business? How committed is everyone? Are you making money? Driving Traffic? Building communities? The answers to these questions will  inform all your decisions.
  • Always Meet as a Group: If there are more than 2 people, never pair off. Do not gossip. Keep it professional, even if you are friends. 
  • Weighted Voting: If one person feels strongly about an issue one way or another, they should have the right to veto or push through something. If it's that important to them, let them have it.
  • Sometimes you have to Walk Away: If it stops being healthy, if it veers to far from the original goals when you started or if you are no longer pulling your own weight, it's time to step away.

 4. TAKING IT OFFLINE - Victoria Smith

  • Face to Face: Your local area and blogging conferences can be the best places to meet people and build communities
  • Independent Print Magazines: There are many opportunities with small non-traditional media. Look for places with smaller budgets and freelancers. Uppercase, Rue, Kinfolk and Matchbook magazines.
  • Conversations can lead to other opportunities. Be open to talking with people, sharing what you are good at, and listening to what they need.
  • Bonus: "Enhance Creative Lives"

Hope that helps you with your plans for collaborating! It seems that collaborating is a great way to grow. It lightens the load, and makes our creative endeavors more fun and rewarding.

If you are looking for more ALT inspiration, be sure to check out the ALT channel for ongoing online classes that cover many of the topics presented at ALT Summit, including "Creative Collaborations" by Laura Mayes that offers more tips and tools for collaborating.

Check out my other Alt Summit posts:

ALT Talks: Growing Your Readership by Leslie

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Today I am featuring and illustrating the Growing Your Readership session from ALT Summit, in the same way that I did the talks from Camp Mighty. I found it to be such a great way for me to process all the information and also a great way to share it. You can click on the image above to link to a larger version that you can print out. (Edit: I also illustrated the Collaborations session!)

Growing Your Readership was hosted by:

They had three main points about how to grow your readership:

1. ORIGINAL CONTENT

  • Create a personal narrative from your own experiences. Examples included Jordan's move to Paris and Nicole's home renovation. Use these narratives to share tips and resources.
  • Use your expertise for DIYs and tutorials. Showing people how you do what you do is a great way to gain readers. It's the old give a man a fish/ teach a man to fish parable.
  • Do your own research and make something new. Don't just link to what other people have said or made, have a look at everything being done in a certain category or on a certain trend and do a comprehensive post that shows a complete picture and showcases your own insights.
  • Make custom layouts, curate and remix. Creating your own content is key, but if you are using other people's content, be sure to ask first, credit sources and then present it in a way that is new. Add graphics, pair things up, put your own personal stamp on it.  

2. CONSISTENT SCHEDULE

  • Have an editorial calendar. Plan ahead and try to post on the same days every week. If people know what to expect, they will look forward to your posts.
  • High quality posts are better than high frequency posts. Rather than post one item every day for a week in a series, consider posting all five at once on one day. Make it easy for your readers, don't space out content to have a post up every single day. Quality over quantity.
  • Find the right amount of content for your audience. Kelly found that when she was posting three times a day, less people were reading, it was too much. When she scaled back she found more people engaged.
  • Best times to post are 7am (EST), noon, 4pm and midnight. Know who your audience is and when they are more likely to be reading. Sometimes off times can benefit as well. Midnight is a good time for overseas audiences. Or you can just post it when it's done!

3. PROFESSIONAL LOOK

  • Invest $ in your blog. Spend money on design if you are not a designer, quality giveaways for things people want, hire assistants and pay contributors, and make sure you have childcare so you can dedicate time to your blog.
  • Masthead and URL should match. This means investing in a dedicated domain name and designing your header to be the same. Make sure you have a domain name secured before naming your blog.
  • Good design is a prerequisite. Good design used to set blogs apart, but now it is common place. You must have a good design that is easy to read and navigate to be successful.

Additional tips:

  • Put stuff out when you are excited about it and tweek it later. Execute the bare minimum of what you need to do to get it out into the world and then update it later.
  • Join Communities, build communities, comment on other blogs (but make sure they are quality comments, not just "cool post"), post on Facebook (have a page for your site) and contribute to other sites that have a similar aesthetic, style and audience with your writing or artwork.
  • Capture search traffic with unique seasonal and event based content. Check out what the trending topics are for the day. You can post about current events and holidays, but make sure it is not something that other people are doing. Make it special.
  • Learn how to do SEO and tags. Check out Google tutorials.

If you are interested in learning more about Alt Summit's Growing Your Readership session, check out Nicole's twitter recap on Storify.

You can also check out the Alt Summit channel for fantastic online classes that cover many of the topics that were discussed at the conference, including Growing Your Readership.

Check out my other Alt Summit posts: