WHAT I LEARNED: Texas Style Council 2013 Day Two

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Last year's Texas Style Council was just for fashion & style bloggers, this year they opened up the conference to all female lifestyle bloggers, business owners, and independent designers.  We were labeled students and received badges to attend class.  The first night was the Solo Happy Hour and the Lulu's Clothing & Swap Party at Miss Behave (Read more about Day One HERE).  Day 2 class was in session.  Each hour there were 3-4 options for the students to take depending on what they wanted to learn.  You could design your own curriculum depending on if you wanted to graduate with a specialized degree in Blog School, Business School, or Gen Ed. You could also do a mix and match which is what I did! I really liked this concept for the conference! I thought it was so cute.  As bloggers we are always learning, and really do need to be in class all the time learning from those who have really great experience.  Here are the courses I took on Day 2:

9am-10am - Gen Ed// HTML 101
This session was taught by Jen from Purse & Clutch. She has a blog and online store, but her background is Chemistry. I just love meeting these other bloggers that have a technical or science background like me, but dabble in the world of fashion.  Jen taught us the basics of html, so when you are trying to troubleshoot issues with your blog, you can understand a little bit what's going on that page that looks like Alien language. As much html and background coding that I do on my own for my blog, I never knew what the acronyms HTML and CSS actually stood for! Did you? HTML = Hypertext Markup Language and CSS = Cascading Style Sheets.  I also thought they were 2 different options that you could have either or running your site. What I learned is they actually work together. You CSS to define the style of your site within HTML coding! I know I mess with both of them on my blog, but I never really understood how they interacted with each other.
10-11am - Blog School // Monetization 101
Session 2 I attended one of the Blog School courses by Bethany of The Glamourous Housewife.  I do not have a picture of her, as this session was so crowded I was sitting on the floor and couldn't really see her! Haha. It was a popular session! Everyone wants to know how to make money with their blog! We learned interesting information from Bethany about being consistent, what pageview levels she reached when she started really receiving campaigns. We learned about what sites she uses for affiliate links, and more. She was also one of my favorite speakers from the conference. She was H I L A R I O U S!

11am - 12pm - Business School // eCommerce 101
This session was lead by Tasha of Imperfect Concepts. She went over the 5 legal structures that you can choose from when starting your company:
1. Sole Proprietor
2. Limited Liability Company
3. S-Corp
4. C-Corp
5. Partnership
It's important to register your name, but before registering it, research the name (Patent and Trademark offices). It's also important to file a DBA for your business in your county.  Each state law is different, so it will be important to figure out the rules in your particular state.  It's also important to obtain an EIN number.  Once you own a business Uncle Sam comes after you every quarter for taxes.
Shot of Tasha teaching our class
There was really no time "scheduled" for lunch, but just so happened that I wasn't interested in any of the options offered at 12 so I took this time to go back to my room, regroup and order some room service.  I ordered these really yummy sounding Avocado Tacos...however they were just "okay". I think after the first one the consistency started to make me sick! 

1pm-2pm - Ask Me Anything: I'm A Designer
This class was led by Kevin Richardson of Iron to Iron the husband to Jen of Jen Loves Kev and he talked all about design and branding. He also has a design blog called Encourage Others. The coolest thing I learned in this class is that there are websites that are responsive! For instance when you change the size of a website now, things go off screen and you have to use a scrollbar to see everything, but however new sites with the responsive coding adjust per the screen size. I want my blog to do that! You can check this out in action on the Words of Williams blog. I had Kev look at my blog and there are some design changes I want to make, but I am thinking of hiring someone to do it. Lesson on that, don't pay someone 100% of everything up front when doing design. We also talked about how many websites are "inspired" by the Windows 8 format which is colorful and very interactive. More sites are going in this direction with flat design and bright colors. He gave us the following examples:
www.wistia.com (Wistia is a cool website that is an alternative to YouTube.com though you have to pay for it)

We also talked about logos. Logos shouldn't be trendy, they should be something that can be everlasting. It's okay to change up your brand and logos.  Typically seen in the industry is about every 2 years. Grey on white is easier on the eyes than black on white.  Having a lot of white space is important

2pm-3pm - Ask Me Anything: I'm A Lawyer
3pm-4pm - Ask Me Anything Split Course: Accounting & I Own a PR Firm
4-6pm was open and it was suggested that we go out to Dinner with new blogger friends, or walk around Austin downtown for their White Linen Nights in the Heights.....Melissa and I opted to go to the hotel pool. You may or may not have noticed, that I have a slight obsession with Hotels, Room Service & Pools.  I just like nice things, and who doesn't like to lounge in a pool, or chill in a fancy hotel?  I outlasted Melissa though because b/w the heat and the annoying bugs, she peaced out, but I ordered some Avocado Quesadillas and A Strawberry Daiquiri.

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  1. Great recap! Sounds like it was a really informative and fun conference!


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