12:35 AM

Summit of Awesome Day 2 (or why am I afraid of Heidi Kenney?)

Day two of The Summit of Awesome. I never want to leave this place. Really. Except that my sweet husband is not here - is trip is perfect.

We got ton the summit in time to have "breakfast" which was basically your choice of plain pound cake, pound cake with nuts or an apple (my only complaint so far).

I was really looking forward to my first session which was with Heidi Kenney from My Paper Crane. She was really engaging and funny but also sort of shy at the same time. As though she can't quote figure out what all of the fuss is about. If you've seen her stuff you know what all the fuss is about.

She talked about how she manages it all. Her first experience writing a book and how she got started in thte craft world before there were really any resources for people. Anyone who started when she did just had to figure it out for themselves. Anyway, I was planning to ask if I could take her picture after her talk...but for some weird reason I just couldn't make myself do it. She's like craft show famous and stuff. So someone go tell Heidi that I need her picture to complete my Summit of Awesome blogging experience.

I also attended a session called "Monetizing Your Website and Online Advertising Basics" by Sara Dick and Christine Ernest from Hello Craft (the two cuties below).

Here's what I learned:

Step One: Develop and define your online audience.

Check out http://www.Compete.com. It's a website (obviously) where you can plug in your URL and someone elses URL and see how your traffic and demographics line up. It is really useful when determining what sites to advertise ON as well as useful information you can provide to potential advertising purchasers.

Other similar resources are http://www.Quantcast.com and http://www.Sitemeter.com

Which stats matter and what do they mean?

Unique visitors: individuals who visit your website. They may visit multiple times in a month, but they are only counted once.

Page views: the total number of pages that are visited on your website during a specific time. This helps determine how sticky your website is.

Step Two: Define your inventory and create ad packages There are basically two types of ads: image and text. Text ads are best used in email marketing campaigns. If you are selling ads in an email marketing campaign you should be able to tell people what your open rate is (the % of people who open your emails).

Step Three: Define Ad specs

Specify what file types you will accept. .jpg and .gif are the most common.

File size: you should specify around 50kb or less. Ad dimensions: what size ads will you accept? Many craft websites and blogs use square 125x125 or 150x150 Check out http://www.Iab.net for standard sizes and advertising specs.

Step Four: Implementation

Think about where you will put the ads and what that means to your advertisers. Ads that are above the fold (shown on the top of the screen so you don't need to scroll down to view them) are more valuable. Also, ads closer to your content are more valuable because people tend to ignore ads in groups. That said, you also have to consider what the experience is like for your users. It's a fine balancing act

Step Five: determine which model you will use.

The simplest is a static ad that stays in the same place for a set period of time.

You can also use Share of voice: # of impressions forecasted divided by # of impressions purchased= sov% you sell sov on a cpm basis - per 1000 (cost per 1000 impressions or number of times the ad will be shown on the site)

Cost per click (cpc) ads are shown on the website until they receive a specified number of clicks.

Step Six: Reporting standards

It is customary to send the customer a screenshot of their ad being displayed on the website once the ad begins running. Check out http://gyazo.com.

Clicks: let your customer know how many clicks their ad received during the time it was running.

Impressions: If available, let your customer know how many times their ad was shown on the website.

Click through rate = # of clicks divided by impressions.

That's the end of your lesson. More soon. In closing, enjoy these pictures from the party tonight at Land during the tour of the Buy Olympia warehouse.

11:55 PM

The Summit of Awesome Day 1

Day 1 at The Summit of Awesome and before 6 hours have even gone by I've made my own name tag, attended two sessions, screen printed a t-shirt with the conference logo on it, made my first zine, watched a man receive a Shower Art (http://www.uglybaby.Etsy.com) and become a bit bewildered, stolen a t-shirt from a nice lady and eaten tater tots.

I can only wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Today I attended Danielle Maveal's session called "Unblocking Your Creativity." she put together a little zine handout with some exercises to help you realize your creative potential. One of the tasks was to make a list of the top five reasons you aren't able to do the things you want to do - what is holding you back. Then, you make a list of why each of the reasons you gave is total bullshit.

Touché Danielle. Touché.

I'm leaving the conference with something tangible that I can use to call myself out in my free time. Watch it self!!

Here's a picture of Danielle looking kind of sick of me saying, "Look cuter. But don't move. Nope, cuter." it's a rough process, but just look at the results!

I also attended the session on Getting Press for Your Business with Kari Chapin (author of Handmade Marketplace) and Christine Ernest (Hello Craft).

I learned some great stuff and was relieved to know that I probably don't need to write a really official press release-ey press release but that I can contact folks online and introduce myself and my projects that way.

If a traditional press release is up your alley, here are some tips I learned:

Figure out what your hook is.

Figure out what season you want to promote yourself in. Do your products male great gifts? Are they more of a back to school item? Figure it out.

Depending on the type of publication you are sending your release to, you should time your pitch accordingly. For example, releases to national magazines should be sent 3-4 months in advance (or six months for holiday pitches).

It's important to target your release well. Know who you want to send to and why. Know what you want from them and consider whether you are prepared to receive press. Will you be able to fulfill orders and keep up with demand?

If you are targeting online publications and blogs then great photographs are essential. If you are emailing images to someone, only attach low resolution files and let them know that high resolution images are available.

Create an About page with high resolution images and quotes from customers that bloggers can refer to for more information.

Always follow the submission guidelines to the letter.

Always address people by name.

Make it as simple as possible for them.

If you can find a features editor and make them your best friend, you should. Or, if you can get a gig as a features editor, take it. The compile e products for montages in printed magazines. Look in the masthead of any magazine you think would like your products to find the listed features editor. Write to them directly and introduce yourself.

Make a fact sheet with lots of bullet points about your products. Include lots of white space so the amount of information isn't overwhelming.

In closing, here's a cute picture of Kari. Yay, Kari!

Location:NE 33rd Ave,Portland,United States

4:25 PM

Handmade name tag

Create my own nametag. Check.

Location:Summit of awesome

7:27 PM

The Summit of Awesome

I'm on my way to the Summit of Awesome and testing out my iPad on the way. I haven't figured out how to upload pictures yet so you'll have to enjoy this random image of a squirrel instead of something timely and poignant.

He's CUTES!! You can read all about the Summit of Awesome and check out the schedule here: http://www.hellocraft.com/2009/04/summit-of-awesome-announces-awesome-schedule/ If there's a session you're really quite interested in hearing a report about holler and I'll see what I can do. More soon.

Location:On a train bound for Portland