7 The Best Things I Learned from the Classes at Haven (Part 2)

It’s Wednesday and I’m back with Part Two (Part 1 was here) of the Best things I Learned from the Haven classes!

Let me tell you, Haven had some of the BEST speakers, you know the ones who’ve already played the field and paved our path, ready and willing to share valuable information. Most of the classes I chose were geared towards business (like say all but one). Oh I choose only the top three-ish things because you’ll just have to attend a conference of your own I mean… I can’t just go blurting out all their secrets. #WarningItsLong

Yes I made that, maybe Jen would be proud? Of course it’s not that tiny, I don’t have ANT eyes.

Advanced Painting
Speakers: Marian from Miss Mustard Seed and Shaunna from Perfectly Imperfect.

This was the ONE fun/creative class I threw in the mix. In absence of three things I learned, since Miss Mustard Seed rocked out her tutorial, I also want to show you what else I learned:
Painted hands and all.

Let me explain for a second, I’m a questions girl, when I’m in learning mode; I need to make sure that information is thoroughly comprehended. So at every session I asked at least one question. Whether it was during the class, in which I may or may not have been the crazy one waiving their hand begging for their question to be answered, or after the class, it happened.

Let me tell ya- the Advanced Painting class was no exception. Right after her class, like the very last word and I was up off my chair, I went up there and asked my dying question: “ok so we have this piece that’s by water and we’re starting to achieve unwanted watermarks. We used a water-based polly and well, it’s not working.”

Since the plan of getting up there quickly to ask my question, I didn’t quite think it through, hence the lack of paper. Use whacha got right?! Shortly after, I realized that it was lunch time, and with all the speed-dating handshakes this Germaphobe was NOT about to lose such valuable information.  So a quick snap of the camera and it was time to scarf down my meal.

In case you can’t read my sloppy handwriting here’s what I think I wrote:
This process to fix my water-logged piece will most likely be a 10 day process start to finish. I assume I forgot the sanding, prepping and cleaning part which I could be day 1. Using Waterlox Liquid (found here), apply 4 coats letting it dry 24 hours in-between. Thus 7 days, and assumingly allowing the piece to dry for 2 or 3 days. If the piece is large, to ensure quality, apply the product in a 4 inch square each time? She also mentioned if at all possible, remove the piece and work outside because it’s stinky.
As with some of my notes, it was a bit shorthanded. Hopefully we’ll be tackling our project soon enough to put those tips to good use.

Follow me! Social Media
Speakers: Cassie from Hi Sugarplum!, Courtney from A Thoughtful Place, Megan from Honey We're Home, and Carmel from Our Fifth House.

I have to say, I really appreciated this class for the fact that they provided handouts so we could sit and listen without having to scribbling down a notebook full of every word they said highlights. Although I did take a few…

ONE website that will change your pinning life: viraltag.com formerly known as Pingraphy.
  • KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms was the first to introduce me and hearing it during the Social Media class only firmly cemented the company into my strategy.
  • Using the technique from the Profitable Advertising class on forming a blogger tribe, find out if anyone from your tribe would be comfortable splitting the cost of the premium (5 accounts) plan. You know since we are starting to get noticed as a real job have such a unique job, we should be thinking of ourselves as co-workers instead of competition.
My appreciation only grew fonder of these lovely ladies when I found out that each of them posted their cliff notes directly on their blogs. This means you only get one awesome tip from me, BECAUSE I couldn’t possibly provide more than their wealth of knowledge. I guess it pays off to be the biggest slacker put off these kinda posts, eh? Har har.

Go ahead and check them out for a good long read, pin them, bookmark them (does anyone still do this?!) so you can reference them over and over and over. Cassie’s tips on Facebook, Courtney’s tips on Instagram (toward the bottom), Megan’s tips on Pinterest, and Carmel’s tips on Twitter.

Advanced Advertising Strategies
Speakers: Beckie from Infarrantly Creative, Cassity from Remodelaholic, and Rhoda from Southern Hospitality.

Like I mentioned Monday, I took the beginners class to help me with the ‘now’ related concerns and the advanced to become a powerhouse come next year’s Haven (let’s see if THAT can become a reality). I went into the class fully understanding that I probably wouldn’t understand much, but scribbled down every word I could anyway.

I have a lot of notes to digest yet, so instead I’ll introduce you to, and provide sources to the Ad Network Jargon the blogging experts threw out (like total bosses):
  • CPM- Cost per Mile or Cost Per 1000 page views of the particular Ad.
  • Floor CPM- “is a threshold below which a publisher doesn’t sell an ad impression.”
TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE SOURCE (with better grammar I suppose)
  • DFP *– DoubleClick for Publishers. It’s a Google run advertisement service to manage the sales process of online ads.
* I’m not a fan of sourcing Wikipedia (especially when there’s a warning on the page telling us that it appears to be written like an advertisement) but it was the best info I could find.
  • Backfill– when Ad Networks cannot fill ad space during a particular length of time.
Paraphrased from the Haven presentation.
  • Fill Rate– the amount of impressions served divided by the number of impressions you gave them.
Also paraphrased from the Haven presentation.

It’s worth noting that: “a lower CPM rate usually means a higher fill rate, and vice versa.” per this source.

Here are a few more I found along the way while gathering sources:
  • CTR- Click-through rate. It’s just another acronym to measure the success of an ad campaign. It even has a snazzy formula which I’ll save you my horrible attempt at deciphering, by letting you click through.
  • PPC or CPC- Pay per Click or Cost per Click. Which basically means: you get paid a specific amount only when a user clicks on the specific Ad. Ad agency’s don’t actually pay for the listing itself. Check the link for more technical terms and even more acronyms.
  • CPI- Cost per Impression is similar to CPM as in the ad agency compensates you for a single appearance of an Ad. Check out the Ad agencies contract for variations like “non-qualifying activities.”
Guess that part made up for the aforementioned slacking, eh? Just for some extra credit, here’s a good article on Ad Networks. And here’s some more Advertising terminology “for dummies” A-C and F-Z.

At the very end of their perplexingly educational presentation, a fellow classmate inquired on Mobile Advertising (that sounded pretty intelligent, huh?). I could be wrong, but the three gurus may have been a little stumped and were super impressed which left us all curious and somewhat excited for what’s to come in the future.

As you can see, all of the above are definitely advanced strategies and terms that still have my head spinning. I did my best to translate when I could. So if anyone wants to figure them out in lamens terms and chat about it over lunch, I won’t mind.

It also goes to note that this is exactly why it may be best to hold off on advertising until you get your bearings, because with terms like this thrown around- well I know I wouldn’t want to be thrown to the sharks. And I’m no guru at any of this advertising stuff, so it’s probably best to double check my work or do some digging of your own to bring your technical jargon up to snuff.

Phew- I hope you’re still with me, especially after all that intense terminology because I saved my favorite for last:

Closing Keynote
He was an I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E speaker, everything you would want from a motivational speaker and more.  That being said, he doesn’t need much more of an introduction, here are my top three:

Do good on a grand scale
I took this as don’t do things by yourself, sure ideas can generate from an individual but kneading them to formation usually takes a team. Kind of like raising kids…
Ok all jokes aside, he provided the touching story on how Social Media helped out the good people of Alabama after a destructive tornado ripped through their town (in his own words of course). You probably didn’t hear much about it as the devastating Joplin Tornado occurred shortly thereafter.

DIY Bloggers Are ‘da best
Somewhere in his presentation he managed to lift our spirits even more by reconfirming how amazing our DIY blogging niche is. How we have a gift to make ugly things beautiful. We see the good in things while many people continue to walk past. And possibly my favorite: Do you think Big Vendors would come to a conference for 250 people if they didn’t believe that we have this little thing called influence?

GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure.
Like Bob, this topic doesn’t need much introduction because you just have to see their generosity to believe it.
  • Check out their Instagram here.
  • Their Twitter chain here.
  • A great introductory post here.
Who knows maybe next year my face name could be splattered across GMC’s Habitat for Humanity volunteering effort or at the very least I can convince the beau (or other bloggers and friends) to check out the World’s Longest Yard Sale with me.

If I could have cloned myself, I would have gone to every class because I heard they were all equally amazing. Maybe this time next year I’ll be the advertising guru and use that money to invest in human cloning. Probably not, I’d much rather build a REAL transformer.

And to close it off, I would like to say that in almost every class/session, someone usually mentioned that content is key. In almost every article I’ve read on the subject, they stressed content is key. As much as it stinks to work towards your goals (maybe without seeing a dime), make sure you have good content out there and possibly a queue before signing contracts that may not be fulfilled. It is far better to find your voice and find your posting habits well before it’s too late and you’ve made a bad impression. Patience my friend, patience.

What about you, what was the best thing you’ve learned? Maybe you are totally knowledgeable in the online marketing area AND want to take me out to lunch? Or maybe you thought the dirty foot prints trailing Barbie was the best part of the post? Do tell.

To all my lovely haven mavens, if you have more info to provide, feel free to drop them in the comments below—share.. Share…. SHARE…. (that was my chant if you couldn’t tell).

Thank you to my non-blogging readers for still supporting me through these longwinded hazy-eyed posts. If anything I hope you’ve had a little peek into my business life. Who knows maybe you’ve picked up a thing or two on how to paint furniture using Vaseline, or maybe you’ve hated twitter so much but found out it’s not so bad after all. I hope to wrap these Haven Posts up soon and of course Friday will be a normal (depends on your definition of normal) What I Wore Fantastic Fridays.

P.S. I promise you, I was not paid or perked from any of these vendors/bloggers/random sites; I happily translated some of the terms myself because I’m a super nerd like that. Well maybe not a smart nerd, so you may not want to cheat off my paper want to use this as a foundation.

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 & Part 2, you are here)
6- THE Haven Experience (Part 1 & Part 2)

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


  1. Thanks for sharing Trisha! I'm headed to the Bloggy Boot Camp-Minneapolis in October and I feel like reading all the nuggets of info people have shared from Haven has been a good primer to help me familarize myself with some of the social media stuff I have no clue about.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I'm really glad you found some good information!! Hope you have fun at Bloggy Boot Camp, can't wait to hear alllll about it!

  2. This was awesome! LOL I haven't used my hand for a note in a long long time! I completely agree about being coworkers and not competitors it's a win win for everyone when it's done that way! Really enjoyed part two just as much as part one, you are awesome!

    1. Thanks Dria, it was another looong one. Thanks to you I sourced a lot of stuff out this time!! haha.

  3. I am loving this series. I've always wondered what happens behind the scenes at blog conferences so this has definitely been useful for me. Also, Jen would definitely be proud of your spreadsheet skills!

    1. Haha thanks Jazmin! Conferences have so many benefits to bloggers of any size shape! I'm definitely budgeting at least one per year.


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