Bits and pieces of my Alt Summit panel: Being a Contributor

Being a Contributor

Well, it’s officially been OVER a week since I got home from Alt Summit. As usual, it was inspiring and fantastic. I had a blast! This year I spoke on a panel to share some info for any bloggers looking to land a job as a contributor/freelance worker on other sites. I was joined by 3 other lovely ladies: Capree, Melanie, and Victoria. We had a TON to share… so much that it would probably take up about 4 different blog posts. I won’t talk about all the info with you, but I will share a few bits and pieces (the full panel notes will probably be up on the Alt Summit blog soon). Enjoy! AND, if you have any questions… feel free to leave a question in the comments.

Being a Contributor
How we got here:

  • – Capree responded to a call for contributors, and submitted a post to a big site.
  • – Victoria built a site and projects and shared her work with anyone who would have her.
  • – Chelsey was approached by companies that liked the original projects and DIY’s on her site.
  • – Melanie grew her audience and became more marketable, networked and asked for introductions.

Alt Summit Panel

How to be approachable:

  • – Find your own authentic voice: A strong, unique voice in a sea of blogs will get you noticed.
  • – Engage! Put yourself out there and engage with other bloggers, big and small.
  • – Don’t be afraid to start small Consider guest posting on the “smaller” blogs, not just the “big” blogs.
  • – Lookin’ good If someone found your project on Pinterest, would they recognize it as your photography/font/graphics style?
  • – Cold calls Interested in guest posting on a favorite blog? Ask if they’d ever consider taking a contributor.

Being a contributor

The art of the pitch:

  • – Get to know people one on one, in person locally and at conferences.
  • – Networking is vital.
  • – Be confident. Be persistent. Be tough.

Workin it
What to expect:

  • – Be comfortable working on a variety of blogging platforms.
  • – Your posts will likely be submitted for review, either through email or a post draft.
  • – Each person/company you work with will be different.
  • – Some may have traffic goals, some may not.

Being a contributor
What Editors are looking for:

  • – A unique perspective and a strong voice
  • – Writing skills!!!
  • – Passion and Energy
  • – Creativity and Initiative
  • – BONUS: mad photography skillz.

Good Working Relationships:

  • – Keep those deadlines: You’re representing your business and brand, make sure you look good.
  • – Communication
    • + If you have any questions, ask.
  • – Be Professional

Producing Fresh Ideas:

  • – Find inspiration and stay original.
  • – Set hard deadlines for yourself.
  • – Know your limits.

Producing and Balancing Content between Sites:

– Consider keeping specific topics to specific sites.

– Think about topics you’re knowledgeable in but not currently covering on your own blog.

Makin it rain

Value of working relationships and networking v. pay:

Providing free content?

– Weigh the benefit of possible exposure and networking opportunities and decide if it’s worth your time

+ Will this site send me enough “traffic profit”?

+ Is this blog/company someone I’d like to build a relationship with?

– Consider agreeing to a trial period (3-6 months, depending on post frequency) and then evaluate.

Providing a post for a friend

    • – Decide if you have enough time, or if it cuts into other work.
    • – Decide if you have enough time, or if it cuts into other work.
    • – It’s good practice.


– Always negotiate

– Talk numbers with confidence and value your work.

– They are paying for creative genius and that is costly!

– Contracts

  • + Always have one
  • + Key elements to look for
  • + Important points to negotiate
  • Setting Rates and Knowing What’s Fair:
  • – Don’t sell yourself short. You are valuable!

Being A Contributor


I was so happy with how the panel went. Gotta be honest: I was so freakin’ nervous. Speaking in front a large crowd of people isn’t usually something I LOVE to do. After the nerves wore off, it was great! We had a great turnout of people… I mean, look at all of them:

Alt Summit Panel

Alt Summit Panel

ANDplusalso… one more thing. Here’s the crazy outfit I wore for my panel day… I have titled this outfit: Crazy Aunt Louise!

Alt Summit Panel

Alt Summit Panel

//Heart cardigan: f21//Dress: Anthropologie//Tights: Target//Shoes: LuLu’s//

Happy Monday,


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Categories: Uncategorized


  • Helen on said:

    Great post – really good to read about how you guys all got there and the tips to reach it! Thank you!! And thanks for the contributor links, very useful!

  • Pingback: Design Crush » I Went to Alt! (And Caught the Plague)

  • Tanya on said:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recap.
    I loved this session and took lots of notes.
    I appreciated the candid honesty and willingness to share your knowledge.
    Sessions like this make Alt even more amazing then it already was.

  • Mary on said:

    You're seriously adorable and such an inspiration!

  • Tiffany Franklin on said:

    That's an amazing opportunity . I LOVE your outfit and style btw!

  • Jenni on said:

    I love it… and, am so jealous about you getting to be on a panel with some of the bloggers I've been following for FOREVER. I did a double take to see someone I actually know IRL sitting near people I've blog stalked for so long. 😉

    Thanks for the tips on the topic. It is something I've been interested in for a LONG time!

  • cardassianvole on said:

    I have those same tights! Love that outfit, by the way — it speaks to my fashion sense. 😉

  • Diana on said:

    Great info to know and to take into consideration / try out! Thanks for sharing these tips for those who couldn't make it to the conference!

  • Heather. on said:

    I love Crazy Aunt Louise! So cute. And all of the information you provided will be so helpful to a lot of people.

  • Jen @ Cuddles&Chaos on said:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this info!

    Instead of doing a resolution this year, I've decided to set a goal for myself each month. This month it's writing focused. I want to get more of my writing out into the universe and I want to line up more freelance projects. This post was so incredibly helpful!

    I'll keep my eye on the Alt blog for more!

    Thank you!!!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I'm so happy it helped! I will definitely share a link to the Alt post when it's up!

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