All My Notes From Haven (Tips to Grow Your Blog!) July 9, 2012

Hello again!,

Yes, I know, you’ve heard me say several times now, how great the Haven conference was! Not only did I learn tons of wonderful tips to grow my blog, DIY tips and thriftiness secrets, I met some really lovely women!

Now, I added some pictures of new friends at the end, you’ll see, but if you didn’t attend Haven, but want all the scoop, just review the following notes. I took at least six different classes and took pretty copious notes. It’s a shorthand version, but if you write a blog, they should make sense. It’s a very long list and I’ll be lucky to get through it all by next June! I am making headway though. One step at a time! So here you go….! If you have questions, I’ll do my best to help!

Haven blog conference notes 6-12

I LOVE THRIFTING by Mr. Goodwill Hunting
“Don’t look for anything at any time. Look for everything at all times.”
Become a curator
Try painting an upholstered piece
Visit show houses, to learn what’s new and fresh. Look at textures, fabric, layers, hard and soft surfaces
Look at fabrics used for dresses and shirts, to find pillow fabric
Spray paint thrift accessories
Sea glass spray paint
Books, cheap accessories
Thrift shops on outskirts of town are the best. Goodwill too expensive. Don’t pay too much! Be patient, ask for sale dates, Focus!
Salvation Army on 45th in NYC for great selection
Know your budget and learn to walk away
Remove tags on items you’re interested in
1st Dibs for price comparisons

Thrift Store Survival Kit
Tape measure
Hand sanitizer
Smart phone, to research items on the spot and take pictures
Wear old clothes

Create Project Gallery!
Sidebar highlighting most popular posts, furniture make-overs, room make-overs
Titles should explain about the actual blog content…not cutesy, using keywords that Googlemwill recognize
Pictures as wide as content, lots of them
Watermark pictures
Link to previous posts within my posts
Publish consistently, comment lots
End posts with a question
Subscribe and social networking options on top sidebar of blog
People read left to right. Ads on LEFT sidebar
Don’t go with “mobile ready” posts
Leave comments open under posts
Spotlight reader on my blog
Keep post titles/ideas on iPhone
Pick a limited # of link parties to join
Google Plus, important to search engines, ask subscribers to click on +1?
Key word tool:
Goggle ad words, key words tool, click global monthly searches, to find key words with “low competition”, use key words in parenthesis, of title
Google search “Rel = author”
Promote others
Clear contact Info, remove forms add email linked to me
Make look of the shop the same as the home page, so people don’t feel like they’ve left the blog
Give credits, instead of product on give-away promos (get product plus payment)
Use “raffle copter” to choose winner of contests

Use WordPress
Key words! (go to google Adwords, key word tool, to find key words, global monthly searches…look for low competition)
Rename photo titles, with key words
Use headings with bold type
Key words in first 150 words of post
Use tags and meta tags
Use key words, for descriptions on Pinterest
Complete +1 profile, with Google…gaining in importance
“Rel=Author” —learn more

Latex- great thinned and used with hvlp sprayer. Needs to cure, up to 30 days! Use good paint: BM Aura or SW high end; let primer cure two to three days before painting

Annie Sloan:
Order 600 grit sand paper at Amazon to smooth out the paint, removing ridges if looking for smooth finish
Marian has good tutorials

Apply and wipe off wax, leaving on just enough to feel slightly tacky. Let sit 24 hours, if possible, before buffing.
Don’t leave waxed furniture in sun! Only use a polyurethane if Leaving in sun
Use chalk paint for decorative painting (over milk paint)
You can reprint over wax. Always use clear wax first
Don’t use dark wax on stained surface
Dark wax mixed with mineral spirits creates a glaze

Chalk Paint:
Paint will self distress, unless bonding agent is added to the paint
Use a wax, hemp oil or poly acrylic to seal
Milk paint works best on unfinished wood
Can use milk paint with bonding agent over oil based paint

Zinser shellack primer – oil bas, for shiny enamel finish

Amazon store affiliate, receive 6% for anything bought from your sight (Conspicuous Style has favorite products on her site and side bar, to take advantage of this.
Fabric through Amazon?
E-books sell well on line, especially solution based books under $10
What would be the dream list of brands that fit my blog & why
Magazine PR:
download editorial calendar for a magazine, to find out what kind of article to propose
Choose magazine and writer that best fits my style and the type of article they usually write
When approaching editor, propose titles that solve a problem: “rainy Day Pick-Me-Ups Under $25”
Know what makes me unique & what I’m worth as an influencer

Google analytics-add and understand
Unique visitors per month, understand google analytics. How many do I have?
Add Google Adwords now. Why wait?
Add attractive “advertise Here” space
Typical ad sizes: 125×125, 125×250, 250×250
Above or below the “fold” (the area of the blog seen on screen, without scrolling down)
private ads: don’t put up ad until paid
Make sure artwork is good. Explain benefits to advertiser if needed. Have person available to help create ad for $10-$20.
Sell month to month, giving discounts for 3 month commitment
Passion Fruit or 010 Publisher, a WordPress plug in, (one time fee) will take care of billing and ad creation by the customer!
Typical ad revenue: $1.50 for each 1000 page views per month
Amazon affiliate program

-Get insurance
-Get LLC
– Buy similar domain names like treasure home
-Need disclaimer on blog
-S-Corp really separates the personal from the business

Good / popular blogs:
Dreamy Whites
Bower Power Blogger
My Blessed Life
Home Stories A to Z
Beneath My Heart
Inherently Creative
Blogging with Amy: educational
Savvy blogging : ”
Apartment Therapy: good media kit
Tip Junky: “”””””””
thistle wood Farms
The Lettered Cottage…Layla
Living on the Bliss: Bliss Window Designs
Mr. Goodwill Hunting
DIY Showoff
Little Green Notebook
Vignette design
Perfectly imperfect – furniture painting expert
Hooked on houses

Volunteer at thrift shop

Use tripod and remote control, lights off
On line class w/ (haven2012) discount code to use before July 4

Be consistent, persistent, unique, promote others
Facebook: make page look good, pretty tabs?
Use FB to put pictures of furniture pieces for sale & invite visitors to the shop to “Visit TTH FB page, to see other painted furniture in inventory”
Create a landing page? Pretty tabs and welcome Pinterest subscribers
Branded cover photo
Post manually through the day
Large photos
Ask questions
Install FB “Like” button on home page
Cross promote other blogger friends
Creat promotional networking group on FB
Find a mentor

Community college -social media class

Software, App’s
– Photoscape- does photo editing, watermarking
-Windows Live writer -photo editing

Here I am with the sweet Gretchen of Birds Nest Cottage
-pic collage, for iPad

And Barb, in that amazing sweater, turned away, just as I took the shot. She’s another Southern girl, who writes The Everyday Home


I was thrilled to meet Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, and learn about her soon to be released milk paint line, that yours truly will be a retailer for!

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  1. Jane on July 10, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Now I know why you changed your format!

  2. The enchanted home on July 10, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Hi Barbara…haven’t been around as much as i like but I am glad I stopped in! What a treasure trove of AMAZING blogging advice/ tips!!!!! WOW…worth keeping, so much good information here, and looks like you had a ball!

    • Barbara Bussey on July 10, 2012 at 7:19 am

      Hi Tina, glad you stopped by! There was great info for everyone there! And yes, I had a ball! 🙂

  3. Patti@Pretty Old Houses on July 10, 2012 at 4:42 am

    You took great notes and you went back and organized them. Wow–I really need to do that. I missed some of the painting sessions you went to–it’s good to know what you learned there.
    You’re doing a fine job of implementing the tips from Haven.

    • Barbara Bussey on July 10, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Thanks, Patty, it’s a very long list, but I have to start somewhere!

  4. kim on July 10, 2012 at 5:12 am

    You took a lot of notes. Fun reading through them since I have never been to a conference. Maybe next year.

  5. Shirley@housepitalitydesigns on July 10, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Great recap Barbara….I am printing this for my files…to add to my notes..!!
    Loved the pics!!…

  6. Barbara@HausDesign on July 10, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Sounds like it was time well spent! What is this sea glass paint you noted? Sounds interesting…thanks for sharing your tips!

    • Barbara Bussey on July 10, 2012 at 8:04 am

      The sea glass paint is an actual Sherwin Williams spray paint color! It’s frosted in a beautiful shade of creamy white/green. They used it on some clear glass bottles and jars, to make floral centerpieces. The secret is to wipe the glass with nail polish remover first, so the paint doesn’t peel off the glass. The SR rep says she buys it in the gallon size at beauty supply stores. (guess she does a lot of this!)

  7. on July 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Great notes. I am going to print them so I can refer to them. I con’t wait to try the milk paint. There is going to be a local distributor in Calgary for me to go to.

  8. Gretchen on July 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Good tips! Thanks for the shout out. I’m glad we were able to spend time together.

  9. classic • casual • home on July 11, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Fantastic notes…thanks for sharing!!! I am reading this in London…time to get out for the day!

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