What I Learned at the Design Bloggers Conference, Day 1

by Dagmar Bleasdale on March 13, 2014

Design Bloggers Conference 2014Time for my Design Bloggers Conference recap of Day 1!

After a bit of a hiccup to get to Atlanta — the airplane had cabin pressure problems and we spent hours in Greensboro, NC — I decided not to go to any of the parties and enjoyed the hotel room to be rested for the first day of the conference. It started at 8:30 AM!

Thanks again to my sponsor, Lamps.com.


I learned so much during the sessions at DBC2014. We were all taking Instagram pictures and tweeted like crazy — you might have notices the hashtag #DBC2014 a lot.

Here are notes of the most important information I gathered during the sessions on Day 1 that you might also find helpful:

Adam Japko at the Design Bloggers Conference 2014

Adam Japko, founder of Design Bloggers Conference

In his introductory remarks to open the conference, Adam mentioned that bloggers are more influential today than traditional media and that we’d created the design news during those two conference days.

Want to find what people are looking for? Just google what people are searching for, look for the most popular searches, and write blog posts that answer the questions people have.

Design Bloggers Conference attendees will be able to download all of the sessions on DesignSherpa.

Design Bloggers Conference 2014 session

The Business of Blogging – Methods to Maximize Your Revenue

Jed Williams said we should only have 1 call to action on every blog page (call to action, or form, or downloadable, subscription, registration, purchase)

He talked about understanding the conversion journey consumers are taking on your site. Lead them to a path that influences the conversion you want.

Regarding content, both quality and quantity matter.

Tie your blog to Google authorship

Paloma Contreras from La Dolce Vita wants us to think about the theme of our blog. Why are you blogging? Blog only about what you love and keep it positive.

Design Bloggers Conference 2014 session

She mentioned that our blog is a powerful marketing tool. She suggested we use an editorial calendar and stay organized and focused.

Collaborate with other bloggers, reach out to your favorite ones.

Think about creating regular series readers grow to love.

She makes extra money by using RewardStyle.com.

When working with brands, always consider if the partnership makes sense. Ensure consistency, quality, style, and reflect your brand.

Engage and leave comments on other blogs.

Your blog is your digital calling card. “We are the editors of our lives.”

Jan Bills thinks that the design on social media should look like your blog.

Design Bloggers Conference 2014 session

Facebook tips: look at the Admin panel. Use the banner area and make it look like your blog. Make sure you optimize the About page, add your blog URL, use bullet points, use options of dropdowns.

Give readers what they want. Maybe ask your readers what they want. Schedule your posts!

Look at Jan’s FB feed to see what she shares and how much engagement she gets because of it. She always adds her URL to her pictures. She gives them just enough and then links to more.

LinkedIn: position yourself as an authority and expert. Add “speaker” or “consultant.” Add your blog’s name to your LinkedIn name. Make it easy for people to connect with you! Claim your vanity URL and get noticed in the newsfeed. Engage on LinkedIn like you do on Twitter and Facebook.

Design Bloggers Conference 2014 session

21 Useful Tops to Build Your Business and Personal Brand

You can see their presentation at http://www.slideshare.net/digitalsherpa.

Chris Vaughn: go into Google Analytics to analyze what generates hits, what are the most popular posts. Why are they popular?

You can edit old posts, optimize them for SEO, retag important pictures to get rid of bad traffic.

Use the Google keyword planner tool. Pair it up with your editorial calendar and to get great post ideas.

Never stop optimizing. Geo-target content for certain regions or markets. For my example: what do people of Westchester, NY, want to read about?

What questions want people answers? Reply to those questions.

What does your brand sound like? What’s your tone? What is the key message?

Optimize your profile across all social media platforms. Have the photos your use tell a story of your brand.

Using photos gets 39% more engagement.

Think in themes:

  • before and after
  • how to
  • inspiration boards (think collages made with Picmonkey.com)
  • behind the scenes
  • holidays and seasonal
  • pop culture happenings

Repurpose content, cascade it across platforms, shoot one and use thrice, create collages.

Leverage analytics, use Facebook insights, BlitzMetrics, and Google Analytics.

Houzz: 14 million people use it per months, you can use it to communicate with clients. Do ask for recommendations on Houzz from past clients.

Design Bloggers Conference session

PR for Bloggers

Amy Flurry: Think like an editor to promote yourself. An editor thinks of a story in many different ways and angles. Write pitches for newspapers and magazines. When, who, why, what?

The lead time for stories is 6 months. Pitch the assistant editor, create relationships.

Establish authority through pictures.

Pitches: keep it short, use many pictures.

“PR is now about networking.”

Do not post the whole project, just put a tease on social media.

This is just a small part of the notes I took during the first day of the Design Bloggers Conference, but I hope you can glean a few helpful tips from it.

Look out for my post about Day 2 and many additional useful blogging tips.

Did you attend the Design Bloggers Conference 2014? What did you think about it?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy @ The UnCoordinated Mommy March 14, 2014 at 10:30 PM

This was great! I can’t believe I didn’t know that there was a Design Bloggers conference here in Atlanta! I live here! I’m going to go bang my head against the wall now.


Dagmar Bleasdale March 14, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Hi Tracy, look into Haven, also in Atlanta in a few months! See you there :)


Karan Mccaughey March 14, 2014 at 10:03 AM

I found your wonderful blog at
Friday Pin Fest…. Thanks so much for sharing these tips. I also have a blog and invite you to stop by and take a look.


Erlene March 14, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information. There is so much to learn. Visiting from Fri. Pin Fest.


Joanne Viola March 14, 2014 at 7:05 AM

I enjoyed this post as I am always interested in ways to improve & grow. Thank you for sharing from the conference. I am glad I visited from The Fri. Flash Blog :) Have a great weekend!


Jan @TWOwomenANDaHOE March 13, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Thank you so much for the shout-out and the wonderful recap of a successful event, Dagmar! I am truly honored!

I wish you the best of luck in 2014! It looks like you are off to a GREAT start!

May all your gardens grow,


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