Where to start? I’ve heard a lot of things about Alt over the years, but nothing could have prepared me for the experience itself. My head is still reeling from the events of the day, which were entertaining, enlightening and — most of all — empowering.
My mind wasn’t necessarily blown. I didn’t come home with the secret password that unlocks the door to bloggy success… but I did come home with something that’s, arguably, a lot more important. Confidence.
And come to think of it, I suppose that kind of is the key to bloggy success.
Despite hearing from so many different voices, speaking from so many different perspectives, there was a constant that ran throughout the day. You have to have confidence in yourself and your goal to succeed. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, to take risks and to suffer the consequences with grace, and willingness to turn around and do it all over again. Because that is the only way you’ll make it.
I feel so lucky to have heard from such inspiring speakers as Grace Bonney and Garance Doré, and to have the chance now to take their lessons and run.
The five best things I learned at Alt NYC are more specific than the lesson above, but they all ultimately hold the same truth.
Believe in yourself, and others will begin to believe in you too…
The people you want to work with won’t just come to you; you need to go to them. Reach out and don’t be afraid to hear no. Don’t be afraid to hear no a lot.
2 // Be provocative.
Don’t cuss at your readers all the time, but don’t hold back either. Be as honest with your audience as you would be with your best friend. Don’t underestimate their awesomeness.
“Blaze your own version of a path.” – Grace Bonney
You should always be watching and learning.
Don’t avoid the newest thing, jump on board (because it might turn out to be Pinterest) but don’t invest all of your time in each new thing either.
“Stay in touch with what’s going on but don’t freak out every time someone launches a new app.” – Garance Doré
When you start to notice that everyone is flocking to one thing, start looking elsewhere. You have to be one step ahead of the crowd.
Survey, analyze, and watch what’s happening around you closely.
Invest in it, think of your time as money, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re not thinking of your blog as a business, you risk beginning to think of it as a hobby, and that’s dangerous.
5 // Don’t be afraid of change.
You are your brand. As you change, and as times change, your brand will change… and your readers will not freak out. Stop worrying so much.