Alt: Round Table

January 26, 2012



There were about a dozen and a half banquet tables scattered throughout a very large, empty room. I found my seat at a table labeled “Your Blog As A Marketing Tool”. I sat down with my coffee and started doodling in my note pad. At :10 ‘til I was a little worried I might be like that kid sitting at the cafeteria table by myself.

I approached Alt Summit to facilitate a round table discussion on “Leveraging Your Blog As An Authentic Marketing Tool.” After last year’s conference I came away feeling a little funny about the fact that I don’t have sponsors or the metrics to justify ads. I felt like a failure of a blogger because I didn’t have deals with HGTV or HP. But since then I’ve made a living off my blog – and not because big corporations or indie designers are giving me money – but because my readers, you guys, support me both financially and emotionally. You support me when I’m feeling down and you lift me even higher when I’m feeling up. But you also hire me to develop a brand identity for you and to coach you into making the leap when it comes to your own creative career. (THANK YOU.)

So I made it my goal this year to make other bloggers who might not feel like a big deal to know that they can ask their readers (even if they only have 12 of them) to support them – that they can thrive without huge amounts of traffic, metrics, sponsors or banner ads on their site.

Photo by Just A Girl

WithEmily copy

So back to my round table. At about :05 ‘til my table started to fill up – so we started introducing ourselves to each other. And before I knew it we were squeezing more people in and at one point I looked up and had rows of people around my table. We chatted about mixing the personal with the professional and finding the balance. We talked about sharing your work in an authentic way. We talked about not using words like “lovelies” and “I adore” on your blog if you don’t use them in real life. And at the end of it I had met some long-time readers, made some new friends and got some really great compliments. A SLC architect told me I had really great energy and he had learned a lot. My friend Emily told me it was her favorite session of the whole conference. I felt like I had really made a meaningful difference, just by sharing my own experience and a few tips, for a few people.

I have a recap on my round table tips over at Braid – along with a fun video my sister put together for tips on how to pepper business into your personal blog. Read that and let’s continue the discussion on how to find the balance when mixing personal with professional.

Copyright © 2020 Kathleen Shannon LLC. Photography by Greer Inez and Sarah Becker Lillard. Theme by Maiden Sites. Privacy.