It’s been just about a month since the Alt Design Summit. I came back excited, inspired, and lucky to have met such an amazing group of bloggers. But I also came back feeling conflicted. Blogging is an odd thing: everyone seems to be doing it, a large percentage of people claim to be experts at it, but no one is sure where is going or what it means.
On the plane home, I wrote up a list of what I heard the most at Alt.
be authentic, but focus on what your readers want
be authentic, but focus on making money
be authentic, but tell everyone you have the GREATEST BLOG EVER!
blog 3 times a week, but say no to being overwhelmed
focus on one social media outlet, but rule them all
sponsorship is not a dirty word, but sell yourself to make a lot of money
find your niche, but don’t get niched–you must appeal to wide variety of brands
do everything for free, until some point, then charge a lot for everything you do.
video is the future, but no one knows if video is really the future.
do all of this yourself, even though most profitable blogs have teams running them.
It’s confusing and conflicting but still all true. Oddly, it’s a lot like the advice new parents get. Maybe blogging is like parenting: you stay up all hours doing it, you can’t explain to people who don’t have blogs why you have one, and you’re not sure how it’ll turn out in the end.
I did learn one really good thing at Alt:
Blogging is weird. You talk to so, so many people everyday, but every interaction is planned, controlled, and/or edited. Not at lot of creativity bursts forth from controlled situations. We need other people to challenge us and show us new things–this coming from a tried and true introvert. So reach out to similar bloggers. Collaborate! Contribute! Talk–face to face even! Gossip! Bullshit! Just say something off the top of your head for once…