7 The Best Things I Learned from the Classes at Haven (Part 1)

Happy Monday, my friends!! Without a doubt Haven hosted many, many amazing speakers and taught its attendees everything from designing to painting and even business classes. The day before the conference (notice the procrastination theme yet?), I decided on a recipe mixture of 5 parts business class 1 part fun. #WarningItsLong
Today I’m going over three of the Best Things I Learned from each of those sessions by day, and today is Part 1. I’m sure I could overload you on info but then again, I can’t give away all their secrets.

Opening Welcome
Keynote Speaker: Ana White

Become more efficient” by doing the following:
  • Be the best at one thing; be good enough at everything else.
  • Automate repetitive tasks as much as possible.
  • Create canned responses. As much as I’m not a fan of canned responses, they can actually be laid out extremely well with professionalism and personalization all in one.

Educate, Inspire, Entertain or Reward. Simply stated, if the post doesn’t contain at least two them, reconsider it.

Be the tortoise!  I took it as: if you’re doing this for the long run, trying to get fame quickly can backfire if you haven’t set up the proper foundation.

And one last sneaky one: “Love your haters.” –Ana White. Hey they’re still readers right?!

Google Juice-SEO tips

Speakers: Brooke from All Things Thrifty and Court from The Blog Builders
Google Analytics
  • If you’re not already signed up, do it ASAP, the statistics are NOT retroactive.
  • When individuals are signed into their Google account (gmail, google+, etc), their UPDATE: statistics  keywords are not tracked. This means that you won't be able to confirm what keyword your reader used to find your blog.
Go back and spruce up old posts...
  • by adding keywords, answering FAQs from the comments, adding relevant links, etc. Work on posts that make sense. If you’re listed 21st in Google search rankings, it may not be worth your time. Or if the business that holds the #1 spot has 3 million page views ahead of you, there may not be much you can do.
  • Do not remove old photos because Pinterest links can become broken.
  • When posting lengthy tutorials, it may be best to split them into multiple posts and provide links to the next postings. To all my favorite non-blogging readers- we’re not trying to get more page views, rather it’s just to capture your attention and help break things up. Like this post, when I drafted it, it was almost five pages long before I decided it was worth two posts!! I know I wouldn’t stick through it.

Meta tags vs. Alt text vs, Photo naming
All these concepts are ridiculously important.
  • Photo Naming: Admittedly, I knew this one already, but once I heard it outloud; it only reinforced its importance. When uploading photos make sure the FILE NAME reads something with actual words instead of IMG_0110. The formatting should be word dash word dash like How-to-Build-Awesome-Webpages. However, like above don’t go back on old posts and re-upload old photos (unless you’re 100% sure the photo hasn’t been pinned). Best practice is to work on this going forward. *Wordpress users: you must change the actual file name on your computer- as opposed to changing the naming convention after the upload.
  • ALT text: This description will appear as your “Pinterest Description.” Also it is used when searching images through Google.
  • Meta Tags: This is the description that appears in Facebook and Google like so:

Here are some other tips I’ve found throughout the net: Meta tags don’t necessarily increase your SEO, they’re simply used to boost your marketing presence. By default, it’s usually the first couple sentences in your post.

*With all of these its best practice to restrain yourself with keywords as it may backfire with the bots at Google. 
**I also learned in passing that SEO is constantly changing. Just because these are the latest tips, doesn’t mean that they won’t be different next week. So do your best- pick out small changes you can make and most of all, ensure your content is the most amazing thing ever!!
***and just because, here’s a sweet link to a blog post checklist. I’m sure you can add/delete things that apply to you and the new things you learned here.

Bloggers & Brands- Bam!

Speakers: from theses amazing brands Frog Tape, Powerhouse Factory, and Izea.
This was a panel style session intended to debunk misconceptions and answer our heated questions. Here are three + a bonus one that calmed my nerves:
“Companies want you to regurgitate their press release.”
                -Good brands would rather you provide honest opinions and use your own words. This varies though and they may provide a few pointers or key words to use.

“Companies only reach out to bloggers during certain times of the year.”
                -Generally companies have campaigns all year round, at times even catering to the holidays.

“No doesn’t always mean no, it can mean sometime in the future.”
                -Just because a brand doesn’t accept your offer now, doesn’t mean that they won’t want your services in the future. They may have closed the books for the year or exceeded their blogger allowance or haven’t even hopped on the blogger bandwagon just yet. Keep an open mind when they say no.

Extra credit:Companies don’t want to hear about a bad experience.”
                -With good brands, it’s actually just the opposite. They may not want you to blog about it right away; rather the best thing to do is to communicate the problem immediately. That way both parties can rectify the situation and work towards a mutual solution. The main goal with companies is to achieve an open door policy.

Profitable Advertising

Speakers: Myra from My Blessed Life, Sarah from Thrifty D├ęcor Chick, and Beth from Home Stories A to Z.

Admittedly I took this class as an introductory and the second, more advanced class, was the following day. I figured it would be best to combine the knowledge and become an advertising power house. Haha just kidding, maybe, sort of.
This is just my geeky way of organizing, the class is in gold.
For those geeky like me, the teal is ‘duplicate entries’ you know since they offered the same class both days.
Form a blogger tribe
This was one of the most important things I learned all weekend. You are more powerful as a team. Not only is it difficult navigating this ‘new-ish’ job field, but doing it alone?! No way. They recommended starting a Facebook group of similar bloggers in your niche to bounce ideas off each other, talk about ad networks, share and pass along opportunities, or even just to chat about your struggles and successes. A group can keep each other motivated and even become your biggest cheerleaders.

FTC Guidelines
I’ve heard about the crackdown before, but again hearing it out loud only reinforced its importance. If you’re not already aware, when you are paid for a particular service, say links within your posts must have a “no-follow” link. If you’re shouting out sponsors through Twitter or Pinterest, you better meet the appropriate criteria. They reiterated that some bloggers have gotten stung by the FTC, so its best just to keep our name clean.

I even dug up this link for you.

Blogging Income
It was interesting to see how vastly different each speaker generated their income. Some bloggers revenue generation was higher from ad networks while others were banking with Google Ad Sense. So keep your chin up, just because something works well for one blogger doesn’t mean that you will find the exact same successes too.

That my friends, was day one of Haven classes for this girl. Yep, it was a lot of info to digest and by the end of the day I found it difficult to focus with all the concepts and ideas spinning in my head.

Tomorrow I have a special treat: my very first guest blogger and she is going to rock your socks!! I’ll be back on Wednesday with Part 2, so stay tuned for all those goodies.

What about you, what did you find interesting so far? Maybe you’re a blogging guru and knew all of these? If you attended, did you hear me sneak in a question were you in one of my classes? Do tell!!

Preparing for a blog conference or event of your own? Be sure not miss:
Prequel: get your cords organized and label your stuff because your new bff roomies won’t want to fork out money to ship it to you.
4- What I learned from all those Classes at Haven (Part 1, you are here & Part 2)
6- THE Haven Experience (Part 1 & Part 2)

Check out more blog event tips from my experience at the Maiedae Mixer


  1. First, I'd like to thank you for including a link to my FTC post.

    Secondly, I'd like to thank you for teaching me something about WordPress images and how I have to rename them before I upload them.

    Thirdly, I'd like to thank you for being so informative and sharing what you've learned!

    1. Hi Lisette,

      I was just about to send you an email, but looks like you found me anyway!!

      Thank you for the kind words, I love sharing solid information whenever possible!

      Much Love,
      Trisha D.

  2. This was some great info! I can't wait to read part two! And to see my post go live ;) Woohoo!

    Marie H.

  3. Thanks for your notes! They were helpful.

  4. Thanks so much for the link to my blog checklist! I appreciate it! Your blog is so fun! I am just discovering it!

    1. Hi McKenzie, thanks for stopping by! Your checklist was too awesome not to link to.


Comments make my heart go pitter-patter! Your comment may not appear right away as they are manually accepted.

Pin It button on image hover