Sunday, September 30, 2007

Craft Articles = Targeted Traffic

One of the most effective methods of generating targeted traffic to your craft website is to submit articles to article directories such as How this works is you write a craft related article and submit it. At the end of each article is a resource box. This is where you get to put a link to your site.

Other webmasters and newsletter publishers use the article for their sites or newsletter. Everyone who reads your article on another site then becomes potential traffic for your craft site.

The key to making this work for you is to write good articles that people will want to publish. If your article goes unnoticed and therefore unpublished there is no benefit to having written it.

First choose a good craft topic that will utilize keywords that you also use on your site. It is important to tell your reader at the very beginning what they will get by reading your article. Make that your first or second sentence.

Web viewers are notoriously fickle readers and they will hit the back button within a few seconds if their interest isn't piqued. Therefore, it is vital that you capture the readers interest within the first few words or they won't stick around long enough to get to your resource box and follow your link.

Besides making your craft article interesting and useful, other points to keep in mind are making short sentences and paragraphs. Use bullets and bold text for key points and in general do everything you can to make it easy to read.

I don't mean to imply that you should write as if to a five year old. But it is important to note that most web viewers tend to scan rather than just read every word. Reading on a computer monitor can be very hard on the eyes and you should do all that you can to make it easy for viewers to find the information they are looking for.

At the end of your article is a perfect opportunity for some sort of call to action. It might be suggestion to make a project or encouragement that goes along with the topic you've written about.

This should be followed by your resource box that contains an invitation to visit your website. Also be sure to include your name in your resource box. It gives your more credibility with the viewer.

Once your article is written you need to come up with a catchy title. This is probably the most important part of your article because without an interesting title most people won't even click on the article to begin with. Also try to include keywords in your title.

I hope this helps motivate some of you to submit articles for publication. Give it a try, you might be pleased with the result.

Good luck and happy crafting!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Halloween Craft Countdown

It's almost October and that means fun fall craft projects. I found a fun tutorial describing how to make this Halloween Countdown Calendar.

There is a tutorial on my website where you can find instructions for creating this Spooky Ghost. This is a very simple, low cost project.

Now if I can just get my act together and start crafting. I am hoping to make some Halloween cards sometime next week. Don't be like me, get those fall craft projects started. It'll be Christmas before you know it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Don't Throw That Bag Away!

Craft it instead.

I am so amazed at the wonderful craft projects people have been making out of plastic grocery bags. There are tutorials popping up all over the place on how to make reusable shopping bags out of ordinary plastic shopping bags.

Check out this awesome Crocheted Purse made of recycled plastic grocery bags. What a fun craft idea.

Here is a cool video that shows how to fuse the bags together and forming them into a nifty messenger bag.

After seeing that video I wonder what else would be possible. Wouldn't it be cool to make a rain coat out of plastic bags? Or maybe knit a plastic bag sweater. It'll be fun to keep an eye on this trend to see what other creative ideas crafters come up with for using plastic grocery bags.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Looking For A Few Good Crafters

Hi there.

I would like to start publishing reviews of craft sites. If you feel that you have a blog or craft site of merit and would like to be reviewed please comment with a link to your site.

If I choose to review your site I will send you a questionnaire that will ask for information like how long you've had the site, what inspired it, the crafts you make and so on.

Reviews can be very good for generating traffic to your site. Not only do they funnel additional traffic to your site, they also provide a very content relevant link that search engines love. I hope to hear from you.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Online Craft Business - A Better Choice

I was just watching the Today show this morning and saw a report about women entreprenuers. The expert that was interviewed suggested that when starting a new business you should have approximately 2 years cash reserves on hand to cover living expenses until you can expect to earn a living off your business.

She also recommended having double what you think your start up cost will be. So lets say you are used to living on a income of $50,000 a year and you want to start a business that will cost $25,000 (which you need to double, so $50,000) then your need to have $150,000 on hand.

Wow, I don't know about you but I don't have that kind of money lying around. The simple fact is most of us can't afford to quit our day jobs to start a new business. Also stressed was the importance of developing a business plan and building your business around something you are passionate and knowledgable about.

That is why I am such a big fan of online craft businesses. You can start small and with very little cost. No need to set aside huge reserves of cash. You are also doing something you enjoy and are knowledgable about.

Starting an online craft business may be the perfect solution to those of you who want your own business, but aren't able or willing to make the kind of financial committment described above. Be creating an online craft business you have the flexability to either sell your crafts on sites like eBay or Etsy or make your own craft website and sell crafts there.

For a very low cost start up business, you can use craft info publishing as the basis for your craft business. Crafting has such a myraid of topics from digital scrapbooking to painted gourds, finding your niche and developing it into a successful business is a real possiblity. And all without the risks involved with starting a traditional business.

If you are looking for advice on how to start an online craft business visit Cash Crafters - A guide to help crafters start an online craft business.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Selling Crafts Beyond eBay

Why you should stop relying on Ebay and create your own craft website

Are you tired of paying eBay for the privilege of selling your crafts? I am not trying to put down eBay or anyone shops or sells there. They provide a wonderful service for crafters to sell their products, but they have limitations.

On eBay, you are bound by their terms and subject to what ever limited traffic they send you. You are also required to pay their fees, cutting into your profits. At eBay, you are a tiny fish in a very big pond. Isn’t it better to be a big fish in a small pond?

Most successful eBay crafters have websites or blogs (probably both) designed to drive traffic to their eBay crafts. If you are going to all that trouble, why not just sell your crafts yourself and keep all the profits?

I am not suggesting you pull all your crafts from eBay, but we have all heard the old adage, Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Just think. Are your crafts really shown to their fullest on eBay. Would they be better complimented on your own website, designed specifically to showcase your crafts?

As a stepping stone to the world of e-commerce, eBay is unrivaled. It is a great way for crafters to get started, but why stop there? By creating your own online craft website and finding the right niche for your crafts, you could generate more traffic to your crafts than you ever imagined on eBay.

With your own craft website you can build credibility with your viewers and develop a much more personal, mom & pop sort of relationship that is just not possible on eBay.

If your crafts are upscale in nature, does eBay give you the type of targeted traffic you need to maximize your profits? Selling crafts on your own website allows you to target the right market for those crafts.

Remember, eBay is an auction house and the customers there are savvy bargain hunters, an absolute must in this day and age. But, as a crafter, you need to ask yourself if your crafts merit a more unique setting.

It may be time for you to take the next step in your online craft business. Creating your own craft website may not be as difficult as you might think. There are many resources available today to help the novice get started.

Why not start today? With a little research, you could be on your way to realizing the full potential of your craft business. Who knows, you might even have fun.

Learn more about sellng beyond eBay.

Craft Contest - Win a Joann's Gift Card

Cash Crafters is starting a new series of contests for the months of October, November and December. You can win a $15 Joann's Gift Card for the October and November contests, and a $25 Joann's Gift Card for the December contest.

To enter the October challenge you must submit a craft tip on the Cash Crafters Forums. For more details please follow,2.0.html.

Good Luck!


Friday, September 21, 2007

Starting an Online Craft Business - A Perfect Match for WAHMs

So many mothers are confronted with the dilemma of choosing between staying home to care for their children and going back to work. I faced this myself managed to spend most of my daughters first two years at home, before returning to work part time.

What I didn’t know back then was that many work at home moms (WAHMs) were starting entrepreneurial websites centered around their craft interests. Even if I had known, I probably would have written it off as something I was unqualified for. I have since learned that it is not so difficult after all, as long as you’re willing to work hard.

There are an amazing number of resources available today, many of which are free to help those new to online entrepreneurialship. And crafters are putting them to use at record numbers, starting craft websites to sell their crafts or their knowledge of crafts.

In general there are two ways you can build an online craft business. One is to sell products (presumably your own crafts, but really you could sell anything), and the other is to provide and informational site and generate income by advertising.

Which choice is right for you depends on whether you are a serious craft producer or someone who likes to try a little bit of everything. If you do create a lot of crafts, you have probably found that there are not enough birthdays, holidays and graduations to unload them all. If this is the case for you then a website selling your crafts might be just the ticket.

If, however, you are a dabbler, like me, then you enjoy learning new things all the time and move on from one project to another. If this is the case for you, then a website centered around your knowledge of crafts might be a better choice. Now, instead of selling your crafts, you earn an income off your craft website from either pay per click ads (usually from Google) or affiliate advertising (commission type).

So what is the secret to having a successful online craft business? In a word: Content. It is not enough to simply put up a single page craft website and expect any kind of real success. You have to provide loads of good craft information for your viewers. This is true for either of the online craft businesses described above.

Beyond that, you need to find a good web host and web building software and develop a niche that will become your target market. If you can find a host that can help will all of these tools, that is ideal, but certainly all the information you need to get started can be found with careful searches.

Watch out for scammers. If you come across single page websites promising get rich quick software, back away as fast as you can. There is no short cut around the work it takes to create a successful online craft business. You have a lot of research and writing to do, but it is certainly worth the effort to be able to spend time with your children and work from the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule.

Learn more about becoming a WAHM or download the free WAHM – Masters Course.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cash Crafters update

I added a few tips for selling crafts on Etsy at Cash Crafters today. You can find them here. You can always get good information on the Etsy forums.

There are also a few new tutorials and updated information on webhosts.

Crafting For Dumb Luck

Okay, how many people do you think get online and search for hand crafted products like you make? Probably not too many. Another question: For the most part, who do you think is browsing around on Etsy? Mostly other crafters selling their crafts, right?

So, when you make a sale of a craft product from your online store, do you think somebody deliberately set out to find it? Or do you think it more likely that someone stumbled upon your product and couldn't resist? Lets face it, unless you have promoted your online craft store, it was probably dumb luck.

Most people that start a search using Google or Yahoo or some other SE are typically looking for information. That is why I stress promoting your website so much. If you're happy living with those kind of dumb luck results that's great. If you want more you're going to have to find ways to get more dumb luck.

By combining an online craft store with a blog or website (preferably both) you have the opportunity to create more dumb luck opportunities. Every time you make a post on your blog you can ping sites like Technorati. If the title is interesting enough people will click on it. Once they are on your they will find pictures of your crafts and of course a link to your online craft store.

A website offers the same opportunity to send viewers to your store. Write pages about your crafts, write tutorials, write about craft supplies and other useful websites and blogs. If viewers get valuable information on your site they will like and be more likely to purchase your crafts.

So get busy, promote and create your dumb luck.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Baby Steps to Creating Your Craft Business

I think one of the biggest obstacles to creating a craft business for many people is lack of commitment. They fear to take the plunge. Sure it may be something they really want to do, but actually making that first step can be a daunting proposition.

These are most likely the same people that creep into a cold swimming pool an inch at a time. We all know someone like that. Everyone is calling out to them, “Come on. It’s easier to just jump in.” All right, I admit it. I am one of those people. It takes me 10 minutes to get in a cool pool and you can just forget about a cold one.

Are you one of those people too? If so read on. If you are one of those fearless types that like to plunge in, you can skip this, unless you just want to stick around to mock the rest of us.

Creating an online craft business is perfect for people that are just looking to get their toes wet. The reason being is that you really don’t have to commit to much more than spending your time and maybe a little money. The only serious risk involved here is to your ego.

If you are like me, you really to want to create a successful online craft business, but you don’t want to admit it to anyone, because you don’t want to be seen as a failure. Are we getting too deep here? Don’t worry, I’m not here to help you resolve your anxiety and self esteem problems. I have my own to worry about.

What I am here to do is tell you to take baby steps if that is what you are comfortable with. If you want to create an online craft business, you don’t have to actually come right out and admit it, even to yourself if you don’t want to. Now I sound like an enabler.

The beauty of starting an online craft business is that you can take those baby steps if you want to. You can start by just selling a few items on Ebay. Okay, now you’ve made a few dollars and boosted your ego a bit. Maybe you can expand to your own Ebay store.

Now you’re really rolling. Are you feeling a little wild and crazy? Good. Cause it’s time for Etsy. That’s right. You’re going to join a community of other crafters and try selling your stuff in the midst of all those awesome crafters. But you know what? It wasn’t such a big deal, because you warmed up on Ebay.

Once you have created your own Etsy craft store, its time to start thinking of bigger things, like maybe your own craft website. You can see that creating an online craft business doesn’t have to be intimidating, even to the beginner. Go ahead, list that first craft item on Ebay today, you know you want to.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How I got started

Back in June I was thinking about how I would spend the summer and I got the idea of starting some kind of craft website or business. I normally attend college, as an art major, during the rest of the year, and I thought starting a website would be a good learning experience and a great way to fill my time.

What I didn't anticipate was how hard it would be to figure it all out. I knew I wanted to have some kind of website about crafting, but I really didn't know what to do to get started. So I searched and searched. Searching on how to create a website yielded so many results, it was nearly impossible to filter the valuable information from the hype. Searching for how to create a craft website didn't yield much at all in the way of usable information.

Eventually I was able to put together tidbits from here and there and form an overview of what I needed to do the get started. But by this time my vision had changed to creating a website to help crafters start websites. So that is how Cash Crafters came to be. I've done my best to compile as much useful information as possible for crafters looking to start their own online craft business.

I continue to research both web development in general and as it pertains to crafting specifically, and add to Cash Crafters regularly. You can help by letting me know what is missing. If you have any questions about starting an online craft business or craft site please post them here or over at Cash Crafters.

Thanks for your time,


Craft Info Publishing

Craft Info publishing

Info publishing can be a very important tool that you can utilize in the success of your online craft business. What is info publishing? In simple terms it is providing informative content on your website. My site, Cash Crafters is an example of an info publishing site. Even this blog utilizes craft info publishing.

Info publishing for your online craft business directly relates to content, a subject I return to time and again. Info publishing serves the duo purpose of providing a service to viewers and improving search engines rankings through useful quality content.

Although info publishing can be an invaluable tool for any online craft business, it is absolutely essential for crafters that want to earn an income without actually selling their crafts. Essentially, if you want to create a craft website and earn money from it without setting up some kind of online store, then info publishing is for you.

Instead of relying on selling products, info publishing craft sites generate revenue through advertising programs like Adsense or affiliate sales. If this is the type of online craft business that you want to create, then you will need to take some time and build up several pages of useful information that will appeal to your viewers.

Choose advertising and affiliate products that relate to your craft content and place them on your pages. The more information you have on your site, the more opportunity you will have to place advertisements that can generate income for you.

Info publishing craft sites have the added benefit that they are very appealing to search engines. Because the focus of info publishing is to build up a great deal of information on a particular craft topic, the result is a site that contains a lot of highly relevant content which is exactly what search engines are looking for.

You can learn a great deal about info publishing from Site Sell. They are the specialist in info publishing. I have managed to glean a lot from reading the articles over there.

Remember, even if you do plan to sell your crafts online, you can benefit from the use of info publishing on your site, as well. There is no such thing as too much relevant information and in the world of internet marketing, content is king.

Good luck in whatever online craft business you choose to create!


P.S. Here is a great site to learn more about info publishing.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Get Traffic to Your Craft Site

Possibly the most difficult part of creating an online craft business is getting traffic to your craft site. So many new webmasters give up shortly after creating their site due to poor or no traffic. If you have taken the time to start a new craft business online, I hope you don't give up too soon. It can take months to get your site found by search engines and even longer to rise in the ranks to the point that you start seeing significant traffic to your online craft site.

If you are in a traffic slump, or just want to improve your traffic, take some time to try some of the tips listed below.

Generate quality inbound links - Links from highly ranked craft websites make your site look better to search engines and can boost your ranks. In addition to improving your page rank, those inbound links can bring viewer to your online craft business. Find sites that rank high in key word searches that relate to yours and request a link exchange.

Quality craft information - Add original new craft articles to your site. Make sure to include your key words in the articles. Adding new content to your craft website will not only make your website more appealing to viewers, but encourage those viewers to stay on your site longer. By having more relevant craft content on your site and having viewers stay longer, traits that search engines love, your craft site will likely see a boost in rank and traffic.

Participate in forums - Join forums with members that are in your target market. Become an active, valuable member and people will follow your signature link to your online craft store.

Submit articles to publishers like Ezine - is an article submission site that you can submit craft articles to. Write craft articles that relate to your own craft market. You are allowed to include links to your site if it is relevant to your article or you can put it in your resource box. This is a good way to improve your page rank with more links to your site and also to generate traffic from viewers that follow your link.

Practice good SEO techniques - Search engines are looking for sites that are completed, are easily navigable, have quality inbound links and, above all, have lots of highly relevant craft related content. Review your site and make sure it is search engine friendly. Check for broken links be sure every page is no more that two clicks away from your home page.

Tell your friends - If you have an online caft business don't keep it a secret. Tell your friends. If they like it they will tell others. And so on...

Be patient. Success takes time.

I hope these tips help and wish you great crafty success.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Online Vs. Store Front Craft Business

Which is more intimidation to you, starting an online craft business or a storefront craft business? I'm willing to bet a lot of you would say that starting an online craft business is the more intimidating of the two.

For many the Internet is very mysterious. They may feel comfortable navigating their way from site to site, but prefer to leave web design to techno geeks. Yet a craft store across town is something tangible. It is familiar and comfortable and, even without a background in business management, many people see starting a physical craft business as something that falls within their capabilities.

There are pros and cons to both, but the cost of setting up an online craft store compared to the cost of starting retail craft store is probably the biggest difference. The other big advantage to an online craft store is flexability. Not being tied to a 9-5 job is a huge motivating factor for the movement toward online businesses.

Although I confess to a bias toward online craft businesses, a storefront craft store does have its advantages. Getting traffic to a storefront can be a lot easier than online. In fact most people say the biggest criteria in a successful store is location. The idea of personal interaction with customers can also be very apealing to many.

If starting an online craft business is tempting you, but the idea seems too complicated, you might want give it some more serious thought. Starting a craft store at is as simple as registering (free), setting up the shop (they guide you through it), establishing a Paypal account (free), and uploading a few pictures of your crafts. Pretty simple compared to finding a retail location, buying furniture and equipment, keeping regular hours just to name a few.

A simple online craft store linked with a craft blog or craft website is only as complicated as your willingness to write valuable information that will drive traffic to your site. But a physical craft store requires that same amount of effort with a lot more at risk, namely your money.

Take a look around the internet at online craft stores. If you like what you see and want to try it yourself, don't be intimidated. If you need help, my other website, offers free advice to starting an online craft business.

Good luck,


Friday, September 7, 2007

Etsy - A Virtual Craft Paradise

Etsy is to crafters as Amazon is to book sellers. A relative newcomer on the Internet scene, Etsy has taken the online craft world by storm. But what is Etsy? It is a virtual craft fair, where venders can set up stalls (online shops) and sell their crafts. Is it really as easy as that? Pretty much, yes!

If you are a crafter looking to sell your products, Etsy might be the perfect fit for you. Simply go to and register to set up a shop. Registration is free and easy. There is a small fee of 20 cents per item listed and an additional 3.5% fee for each sale you make.

You can upload your own banner to use on your store and you may also include up to five images for each craft item you list. Listings may stay in place for 4 months. If they are not sold by that time they must be re-listed. You may also include a product description for each craft item listed.

This is a relatively easy way for crafters to get their feet wet in the world of ecommerce. With nearly cost free commitment, you could start selling your crafts online. This can be a real confidence builder if you are a beginner, who is interested in starting your own craft website, but aren't quite ready to make that large of a leap.

Many crafters start with an Etsy shop and go on to start a website or blog to promote their shop. Eventually, many of those will continue to develop their websites so that they may sell their crafts directly from their websites.

Regardless of your goals, whether you just want to sell a few craft products or launch a large online craft business, Etsy may be just to tool you need to get started.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fun Craft Ideas For Kids

Craft projects for kids gives parents an opportunity to engage is good family time with their children. Crafts can stimulate imagination, relieve stress, develop motor skills and improve self esteem in children.

As a parent you probably understand the importance of engaging in family activities with your children, but may be having trouble finding ideas on how to do that. Let’s take a look at a few craft projects for kids that you might like to try…

Create a decorative bulletin board. Help your child cover a small piece of fiber board with batting and fabric. Then attach ribbon in a crisscross pattern and use decorative tacks at the ribbon intersections. Attach a wire to the back and hang in your child’s room.
Tuck pictures and notes under the ribbon.

Decoupage a paper Mache box. Using scraps of papers and fabric, you and your child can decorate an old shoe box or a paper Mache box. Apply a thin coat of Modge Podge or acrylic gloss gel medium to the box. Place the paper or fabric on the box and cover with another coat of the gel medium. Continue with this process until the entire box is covered. You can then help you child use beads, shells, or ribbons to decorate the box further, if desired.

Make sand candles. (Not recommended for very young children.) . Fill a bucket with damp sand and pack down. Have your child use an old spoon to scoop sand out to create a cavity in the sand. This will act as the candle mould. Fill the cavity with melted candle wax and insert a wick. Allow several hours to cure, and then remove from bucket. Use this opportunity to teach your child important safety habits to follow when using the stove, handling hot materials or burning candles. Burning candles should never be left unattended.

Make a bird feeder using a cup and saucer. Let your child use ceramic paints (these usually require baking at a certain temperature to cure) to decorate a cup and saucer. Use an outdoor epoxy to attach the cup to the saucer and the saucer to the top of a 1½ - 2” wooden dowel. Once cured, bury the bottom third of the dowel in your garden. You child can place bird seed in the saucer and water in the cup. Use the experience to teach your child about different types of birds that come to feeders.

Decorate a tote bag. Purchase an inexpensive canvas tote bag or make one yourself. Have your kids use fabric paints to write their names on it. Let them cut out pictures on printed fabric and iron them on the bag using fusible interfacing. Your kids can then go around the edges with fabric paint. They can also use fabric paint to attach plastic gemstones and other embellishments to the bag. Thin the fabric paint slightly and pour some on a paper plate and your children can make hand prints on their bags.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Scrapbooking Today

Are you swimming in a sea of old photos? If you haven’t tried scrapbooking, you might be surprised by the vast resources available to help you get those photos sorted and put into albums. Just be careful. It can be addictive.

The rise in scrapbooking as a hobby may be explained by its ability to fill several basic human needs. It allows scrapbookers to express their creativity; it relieves stress, provides social interaction, and builds confidence and self esteem. Beyond all those benefits, scrapbooking also gets all those old photos into albums, a task that may have once seemed onerous, but is now a pleasure.

The surge in popularity that scrapbooking has seen in the past decade has resulted in an explosion of new products, tools and information. Scrapbooking stores can be found in cities across the nation, while the internet provides an abundance of scrapbooking websites, many of which have support message boards where experienced and novice scrapbookers alike can seek help, share ideas and show their work. Many scrapbookers attend classes or meetings, known as “crops” where they get together to build their scrapbook pages with others.

While crops can be great fun and provide useful information to the scrapbooker, they also serve to stimulate creativity and help motivation. The sharing of ideas can help scrapbookers come up with new and innovative techniques to help keep their work fresh and unique. The wide variety of tools and supplies available today also allow scrapbookers to totally customize their pages.

Scrapbook pages can be embellished with ribbons, brads, stickers, die cuts, vellum, beads, buttons and more. Craft stores feature aisles of printed and solid papers, in a variety of sizes, for use in scrapbooking. The popularity boom in stamp art has also found its way into the world of scrapbooking, allowing for even greater flexibility.

One of the most appealing aspects of scrapbooking is that the novice can start with a minimal investment in tools and materials. A blank album, scissors, adhesive, decorative papers, and some photos is enough to start with. Scrapbook designs can be as simple as rounding the corners on photos and placing them in frames in the album or as complex as pop-up pages with music, pockets, widows and more.

Exciting new machines like Cricut an Cuttlebug are just the tip of the iceburg, with better cutting tools, journaling pens and pencils giving scrapbookers the tools they need to design page themes to their exact specifications. With the variety of products available today scrapbooking can be a simple weekend hobby or an artform

So the next time you go to a fair, museum, amusement park or zoo, snap lots of pictures and be sure to save those tickets. You never know when the scrapbooking bug will bite you and those tickets will make great embellishments.