Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I put off purchasing Halloween candy until this past Friday, because I know how I am. Apparently I should have put it off longer. Those 100 Grand Bars are my nemesis. There might not be any left for the Trick or Treaters. Poor kids. The Heath Bars are at risk, as well.
On a positive note I haven't touched the Nerds or Skittles. Hmm, I wonder why that is...Could it be CHOCOLATE?!!
I haven't been very crafty lately, but I did manage to carve a pumpkin. That's him above. And here he is lit up.
My big adventure right now is starting a new website. I have become so convinced that SBI is a great way to go, that I have purchased an account and am now working on my new site.
They are having a buy one get a second one for $100 sale, which ends tonight I think, and that is what prompted me to go for it.
I went in halves with someone else, so instead of paying the full price of $299, I got it for $199. So I will be pretty busy the next several weeks getting my new site up and running. So far I am very pleased with the process.
Happy Halloween to everyone out there. I hope you have a Spooktacular Day!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Although Sabon Handmade Soaps is an Internet based craft business, Dana continues to sell her soaps and bath products at craft fairs in the Norfolk/Suffolk area of England. Originally starting by selling on Ebay, demand grew to the point that a stand alone site became justified and thus, Sabon Handmade Soaps was born.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I don't know how much direct traffic Squidoo will drive to your craft site, but I would imagine it depends largely on the quality of the page you create. It is a huge site and sees an enormous amount of traffic.
That aside, creating a web page at Squidoo is another opportunity for you to have another high quality, relevant link to your craft site.
Squidoo also has easy add ons for generating a little extra income by placing ads on your page, using companies like Amazon, Ebay and others. It's quick, easy and free to join.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I want to introduce you to Sara from Sara's Texture Crafts, the home of handcrafted gifts, crafty kits and equipment. Sara first started crafting as a child making doll clothes. Later she began making custom clothing and jewelry which she sold to friends and family.
After graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2000, Sara went to work as a designer, eventually becoming a free lance designer in 2006. Requests from people who see her work, wanting to learn her techniques and help finding supplies led her to open her first EBay store, Sara's Texture Crafts, where she supplies beginners with kits & techniques and for those more advanced, kits, fabrics trims and equipment.
"My mission is to supply textile arts and crafts to like minded people."
Although Sara draws inspiration from many sources, the one element that is common to all her work is texture.
"I enjoy recreating texture by combining a number of mediums."
Sara's latest online venture is expanding her new online craft magazine, 'Crafts of Texture' at http://sarastexturecrafts.blogspot.com/. She also features guest writers on a variety of different subjects, including craft tips and tutorials.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I just wanted to let you know about an awesome craft wiki site I found called Artful Shares. Artful Shares is a wiki site, so it allows anyone to become a member and edit or add pages.
That in itself is terrific, but the best part of Artful Shares is crafters and artists are encouraged to create a page about their own sites. You can't ask for a better link than that if you are at all interested in increasing your craft site's traffic.
If you do decide to join and create a page about your craft site or blog, which I highly recommend, there are some points to keep in mind if you want to make the most of this link.
- Include the name of your site on the page, not just in the page title, and link it.
- Write a general description of your site.
- List yours site's features.
- Include links to important pages on your site.
- Include pictures of your crafts.
- Use keywords that are important to your site and include them in links.
While you are there, consider contributing to the wiki by writing a craft article. By adding content on the wiki that is related to your niche, you will make having your site listed more important.
Another thing to consider, by adding craft wiki pages you get another opportunity to include your link. I created a page for my blog and also added a page about card making. Neither of them are very exciting but I hope to get back and add more soon.
If you know of any good card making sites, please add them to the page I started. I could only think of a few, but I know there are tons of great card making sites out there.
Keep it crafty!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
The photo above shows most of the materials you'll need, but I'll include a short list:
3 1 1/4" square white card stock
3 1 1/2" square red card stock
Blank card and envelope
24" metallic thread, yarn or ribbon
3 small red rhinestones
Cut the pieces of card stock and stamp images. I colored in the holy leaves with watercolor pencils and a water brush pen. Glue the rhinestones for the berries.
Adhere the white pieces to the red pieces.
Stamp your card and then add three small dots of double sided tape, evenly spaced on the card.
Start one end of the thread on one of the tape spots and guide the thread into loops by returning to the tape spot. Make two or three loops for each spot and then move to the next. Trim the thread when finished and make a final loop ending at the last tape spot.
Adhere the three pieces of card stock and you're done.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Here is a very basic Christmas card I just put together. I had some little red rhinestones that I wanted to put to use and this is what I came up with.
If you want to do it for yourself, there are some instructions below.
1" x 1" white card stock
2 1/2" x 1 3/4" light green patterned paper
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
You can always jump start your link building by submitting your site to directories. I recommend avoiding using paid link submission sites, however, due to this tactic being frowned upon by search engines.
Below is a list of blog submission sites to help you get started.
Kookkoo Blog Directory
Blogging Fusion Blog Directory - Must be a blog of at least 3 months with active posting.
Best of the Web Blogs - Must be a blog of at least 6 months with active posting.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I think there are a lot of people like us that like to try new things rather than make the same thing over and over again. If you think only crafters dedicated to making one type of craft are the only ones that can have a successful online craft business, you might want to think again.
There is an alternative for crafter like us. You don’t have to sell your crafts at all. Crafters like us can rely on info-publishing to create an online craft business. Instead of selling crafts, info-publishing craft sites provide craft knowledge.
Info-publishing crafts sites don’t rely on selling crafts, instead they generate income by placing pay per click ads (like all those Google Ads you see everywhere) and affiliate programs.
Your job as an info-publisher is to compile as much craft information as possible, either through research or personal knowledge and develop it into useful articles and tutorials that crafters are searching for.
What makes info-publishing work? It provides a product that viewers are looking for when they search the Internet and that is information. Have you ever gone online and searched for a tutorial on how to create some craft you’ve seen somewhere? Well crafters are doing this every day.
This is where info-publishing is so powerful. A crafter finds your site which you have filled with useful craft information. At this point the crafter is happy to find such wonderful information and is now looking for more.
Sprinkled throughout your website are links to other helpful sites. Some of these may be Google ads, which pay per click, others might be to sites that sell craft products that you are an affiliate for. In this case you receive a commission if a product is sold as a result of the crafter following the link from your site.
The real beauty of info-publishing is that search engines love websites with a lot of good information. In fact, it’s what they look for. If you are willing dedicate time to building good quality craft information for your website, you have the potential to develop a successful online business.
What are you waiting for? Put your craft knowledge to work and maybe you can become a successful WAHM yourself.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Well, really it's past time. If you sell crafts, hopefully you have already started gearing up for the holidays. Now it's time to start thinking about getting them sold.
Here are some tips for marketing your crafts for the Holiday Season.
Review your product descriptions. Consider rewriting some of your descriptions to suggest them as ideal Christmas gifts. Maybe just add something at the end like, "the perfect Holiday gift idea for Mom," or "These candles make lovely Christmas Thank You's for Teachers."
Put your viewers in the holiday spirit. Dress up your website or blog with a few holiday graphics. Don't over do it, however. Your website still needs to maintain it's identity.
Update your photos. Take some new photos of your craft products in a holiday setting. You could try placing small items on a piece of green velvet (or other fabric) and add a few Christmas bulbs or silk poinsettias. Add these new photos to your site for the holiday season and remove them after Christmas.
Run a holiday "Special." Boost your sales by offering a buy 2 get one free sale, or, consider offering free shipping on orders over a certain amount or by a certain date. Another option would be to include a free gift on all purchases over a certain amount.
Give you viewers a treat for the holidays. Offer free gift wrapping. Reward your viewers for visiting your site with a special holiday family recipe or free download. Offer online shopping tips.
Keep promoting your site. Keep posting on your blog, in forums and make comments on others' blogs. Add some fresh content to your website to make the search engines sit up and take notice. Pass out fliers and business cards. Include a link to your site in your email signature.
Above all, let your customers know what date they need to place their order by to be sure it's there in time for Christmas and make sure you can back it up.
If you do add this Craft Gadget to your page let me know how it looks or better yet, post a comment with you link for I can visit myself.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Are you just getting started with an online craft business, website or blog? Feeling alone and worried that no one will ever find your site? Join a craft forum and make friends with fellow crafters.
One of the great innovations of modern computing is the advent of community forums or message boards. These online communities give people a place to share ideas, get advice and develop friendships with people all over the world.
The great news for crafters is there are numerous online crafting communities. I recommend visiting several forums and spending time at each to get to know the members and feel of the community.
Look for forums that suit what you are looking for. If you are mainly interested in new ideas and feedback, one of the larger communities might be a place to start. If you prefer to develop close ties to other crafters then you might want to join a small or new crafting community.
When you find a crafting community that you like, register for an account and introduce yourself on the boards. You might be amazed at how quickly you can become an active member of an online crafting community. And once you do, the members become a wonderful resource for support and friendship.
If you do join a craft forum, be sure to read the posting rules and guidelines. You may find that you are allowed to include a link to your site in your signature and even promote it in certain boards. Just be certain not to spam, a practice that is not appreciated by other members and may even get you banned.
The camaraderie and sense of community you’ll find at a crafting forum can be a real benefit to you and to the crafters you’ll meet. So when you’re not busy crafting, get online and join a craft forum.
Below are some craft forums I like for various reasons.
Cash Crafters Forums – Obviously, this is my top pick since it’s my own site. The Cash Crafters forums is very small and only a few months old. If you are looking for a craft forum that offers help on starting an online craft business, this is the place for you. There are also boards that are craft specific for sharing crafting ideas and questions, as well as an Off Topic board. Stop by and say “hi.” I’d love to chat.
Craftster – By far the largest crafting forums that I have come across so far. Craftster is huge and covers nearly every craft project imaginable. I find it to be a very friendly place with helpful moderators. Many large communities this side can be a little unfriendly to beginners, but Craftster is not like that at all.
Craft Happy – The name says it all. This is a very friendly, happy community. It is considerably smaller that Craftster, so a bit easier to get familiar with the regular members and feel at home.
Fresholi – An up and coming new community of crafters who specialize in soaps, cosmetics and other body and health related crafts. Fresholi is a very new community but quite active despite their newness. Say “hi” to Helen, the admin over there, she is a friend of mine.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
If you have a craft website or blog that sees much traffic and you haven't monetized it yet, you could be losing money. Google Adsense is simple and easy to use and can generate a bit of spare cash to offset the costs of running your website.
If done right and on a website that generates a lot of traffic, Adsense can bring in more than just a bit. To use Adsense, you must first be approved by Google. They don't automatically accept you. Your site is reviewed and if approved you are notified by email.
A really good guide to setting up Adsense can be found here. Pay particular attention to the section, 'Ad Placement to Maximize Income,' in the table of contents. It is the last page and I think the most valuable in terms of making the most out of your ad program.
Even if you are already using Adsense, that last page is worth a read. It has some good tips on producing the best click through rates for your site.
If you are using Blogspot for your craft blog, there is a way to get your Adsense ads to show inside your posts, but it involves modifying your template. I found a pretty good tutorial for doing this here.
Monday, October 1, 2007
After writing my last post I was thinking about what sorts of articles would do well for crafters. In other words, be popular with publishers. On my own website I am always looking for new craft tutorials. Unfortunately, it's very hard to find good tutorials on sites like Ezine.
I am sure I am not the only one out there wanting tutorials. So if you trying to think of ideas for articles, that might be a good direction. I'm not sure if Ezine allows pictures in their articles or not, but you could always link to them if you have them on an online gallery.
I just posted a new article, Craft Business Ideas and new tutorial, Paper Candy Dish on Cash Crafters.