It’s undeniable. I hoped that I would learn a lot walking into this adventure and I did. In fact, I learned so much from Alt that it’s got my head spinning with ideas, challenges, to-do lists, and the motivation and encouragement I need to change some things and get some goals accomplished. Here are the top five points that I walked away with to improve my blog from the conference.

// 1 // ORIGINAL CONTENT IS KEY: This was reiterated in every forum I attended. You will not keep readers coming back unless your content is original and something they can’t get elsewhere. Jocelyn from a Simple Lovely said “blogging is becoming a sea of ‘sameness’ ” and I couldn’t agree more with her statement. Sometimes when I’m surfing different blogs I will see the same image, or DIY tutorial, or party idea (def felt that way about my blog in its early days). But be encouraged because Jocelyn also mentioned that it’s great to watch a blog evolve and grow over time! Lastly, the big bloggers mentioned they’d rather see a mediocre photo of something original than a professional photo that is being reproduced on every blog. There’s something to think about!

{image by The Flashdance – currently the world’s most brilliant collaboration  known to make your wedding ridiculously awesome!}

// 2 // COLLABORATE: Surround yourself with people in your industry. Some of the best inspiration will be stimulated by the creatives you’re able to work around. Put yourself out there, make a proposal and attempt to collaborate on a photo styling idea, or art installation or….whatever! Directly after “original content,” I definitely feel like creative collaboration was the second biggest point encouraged and suggested to design bloggers.

// 3 // CONSISTENCY = HIGH VALUE: Consistency is a large contributor towards building a following for your blog. Blog everyday (or a few times a week) and blog with an unapologetic and unique message. Readers appreciate consistency which provides a level of trust thus resulting in a stronger readership.

{image from Oh Joy’s Blog – this is only  a small portion of her blog roll! }

// 4 // ROLL OUT THE BLOG ROLL: Consider a blog roll (the list of blogs that the blogger reads/follows). Everyone needs a little blog love and it’s considerate to share your reads with others.

{photo via Alt Summit’s Flickr}

// 5 // SWISS MISS SHARES WORDS OF WISDOM: Lastly, I need to share with you this inspiring list that Tina Eisenburg from the big’ol Swiss Miss blog close with in her killer keynote speaker presentation! I have to say that she was quite an engaging speaker that spoke with wisdom, sincerity and poise. When I grow up (yeah right!) I would love to be like her.

Tina shared the top seven thing she’s learned throughout her process of being a designer who eventually started a blog which then evolved into her career and business: (a) Nobody can tell you what’s best for you (b) Surrounding yourself with smart people is key. (c) Don’t just talk. Do it. (if it fails, move on) (d) Be kind and generous. It comes back to you. (e) Your enthusiasm and integrity are your biggest assets (f) It is possible. THINK BIG (g) Everyone needs an ‘inspiring aunt” in life (aka a big fan to inspire you and nurture your creative endeavors!).

// MORE, PLEASE!  //

If this isn’t enough to quench your thirst for Alt knowledge then check out the following links:

Recaps from assorted bloggers at: Alt’s Blog

Growing your blog:  Little Green Notebook

Blogging Etiquette – Design*Sponge |  Hot blogs to follow at  Say Yes to Hoboken

Recommended recaps: Oh, Hello Friend | Twig & Thistle | Design Crush

{this little blogger didn’t know anyone going into the conference, but made a few nice friends! me + Jen + Lisa + Jen (yes, two Jennifers!) }

// IN CONCLUSION // Thanks for reading and allowing me to document this experience guys! I really appreciate it. I consider this adventure to be a tremendous learning experience and I look forward to the relationships that will grow as a result of it. Of course none of this would be possible without my unbelievable husband who sat at coffee shops for hours working on seminary assignments and even saw a movie by himself while I was conferencing it up. I’d be lost without you love!

Thanks for tuning in (or just looking at the photos =)! Until….next year?