Archive for the ‘Etsy’ Category
I have a list………….
Don’t we all? I start one every year – but this year seems to be somehow different. I have a small composition book (like we used to use in elementary school, back in the day, and I got myself organized very differently. I have a page for yearly goals, then a page for monthly goals. I have separate pages for each of the weeks of the month. Right now the notebook is set up though March.
I can at a glance see what I’ve accomplished, and I have a way of listing items ahead in the month they’re due, and I can backtrack to begin working on them. This helps me see the bigger picture much better…..and I love crossing things off my lists.
I think the thing that is also different is that I am feeling so much better than probably the last five years. The weight is slowly rearranging itself, clothes are fitting, the knee doesn’t hurt, I’m getting stuff accomplished (more than I thought), and I feel calm, centered, and productive. A great way to start the New Year!
Lots of new pictures, revising items, getting ready to do a “retirement sale” of older items that have been around the country one or two times. We’ve lived in places where we could have better photography set-ups, but we are making do. Lots of great suggestions and tips from Rachel Biel of The Fiber and Textile List – she is amazing when it comes to set-up, marketing, and all-round general encouragement.
I am looking for a royalty-free piece of music for our second marbling video, finishing up pieces that have languished for years, taking apart a major piece from 2003 and modernizing it with my new skills, keeping up with blogging (I WILL hit 1000 blog posts this year…….) and constantly looking for new venues and ideas.
Here’s to 2017! What are you doing to start your year out right?
I’m unearthing a lot of unfinished projects and pieces of fabrics that can be turned into small art quilts for Etsy, and I also came across a couple of digital pieces (like the above) that need reworking for an upcoming show. It is just amazing to me how productive I have been at getting new – and old – projects completed since we set up the new studio. Here’s pics of the new studio – taken right after we unpacked and stored, so things are cleaner than they are now after three weeks of solid work. Good north light, and lots of surface area.
Stored behind the door, along with mats and combs…..
This can be closed up for an air mattress on the floor for company.
Filled with fabrics and patterns and lots of other goodies….no longer used for clothes!
Sewing table for the last 15 years, lots of room to the left to support larger quilts….almost impossible to keep clean……
For the serger and decorative stitches on the Brother machine….
Happy as a clam, and now to the piece in progress….which is some leftover from another completed piece.
Thread choices –
Didn’t use the blue – too much contrast, and not what I liked – ended up pulling out all the threads…one advantage of not checking the tension – easier to pull out.
Finished project, available in Etsy. I needed to simplify the design – got caught up in following the patterns, so I ended up leaving the bottom corner free of stitching, so it looks like everything is approaching from the northwest.
Serged edges, mounted on wrapped canvas, 12 x 16 inches. Moving right along!!
What a beautiful Monday morning! It’s 10 AM and I’ve already accomplished photography of baskets, cutting fabric for the next project, and done all the Christmas cards. Plus – lots of great stuff accomplished over the last two weeks!
So….finally updated the Facebook business page with our gift baskets for sale – sold two, and I have another ready to go up. It’s been a lot of fun making the baskets and choosing some of the “ugly” fabric in the stash, as that turns out pretty darn cool. The Etsy store is up and running again, as well as Ebay, so check them out.
I’m contemplating a new online platform – just need to do the research. One of the biggies was the first newsletter in just over a year. No sales or offers, just a welcome, we’re still here, and it’s good to be making art again. I have plans for the first of the year to get back to a regular newsletter. Redid framing on a small 9 x 12 piece ready to go on Etsy, and another piece that needs new serging and mounting. Have another show set for three months with two other artists, starting in April – law firm, so will probably do some fiber, and we’ll save the digital work for the solo show in August. Had a great time at the Essex Art League holiday party this past week. We’ll be doing a demo for them, as well as a class or two, and we’re looking at a couple of open studios within our new apartment complex. We are back to seriously looking at video, so who knows where or when….or who?
The big thing for me has been the decision to self-publish my novel, so Monday Marketing will also include my work there – need to set myself some deadlines. I’ve given agents and publishers seven months – time to move on and get this out there!
Let’s see what the rest of today brings for momentum!
Oh my, things are beginning to pick up momentum! The studio is finished, ready to go, and I just pin-basted a commissioned baby quilt to machine-quilt by Thanksgiving, starting this afternoon, and I also have a list of projects by the years they are due (13th and 40th birthdays) in 2017. I even visited the new quilt shop nearby (yay!) and left information about teaching machine quilting classes.Lots of great ideas percolating. Love our morning north light – but I will say I can’t get used to it being dark by 4:30……just too far north now!
When I looked at last week’s goals, I accomplished everything except updating Facebook and other websites. Plus, I need to get the marketing book out again, making the rounds, especially since there is information on a marketing plan for holidays.
Goals for this coming week:
- update ebook on price, where to send money, etc.;
- read about ebooks on other platforms besides iBooks;
- half-way through the machine quilting on this baby quilt;
- update Etsy listings with new information;
- continue listing definite and potential projects (add solo show to the calendar!); and
- anything else that happens to occur to us!
- NEWSLETTER! Let people know we are still around!
I’ve been retired now for two years. Last year on the one-year anniversary I took a look at what I accomplished for the year. I was afraid of looking back on retirement and not seeing anything to show for it. So I tracked everything this year. The last four months have been pretty fallow, as I struggled with some personal issues, but I feel like I am finally reclaiming myself. All in all, I had a pretty productive year.
SAQA quilt submitted to major show
SAQA auction quilt submission
Tried out Tophatter, gave it up after some really obnoxious feedback from an a-hole, who actually burned my quilt
Newsletters for 10 out of 12 months
Wrote a dozen blogs for Handmadeology
Remade hubby’s blue quilt
Participated in the free motion quilting challenge through the end of the year
Yoga instruction throughout the year, including pretty regular daily practice
Completed Stepping Stones table runner
Completed “Clammin’,” a small art quilt up on Etsy
Completed pattern and two samples for the table runner pattern
Machine-quilted the Forest quilt
Machine-quilted two bed-stand table-toppers and one dresser scarf
Worked at stocking and marketing the Etsy store
Took a Quilt University class with Elizabeth Barton
Finished Spring Wall Hanging
Guest post on Craft Gossip
Finished makeover of small Christmas quilt
Quilted Ali’s green picture
Participated in three challenges for Art Quilts Around the World
Took two Craftsy classes
Joined Galleribba online gallery
Potentialgallery representation starting fall 2013 in Tubac
Participated in StashFest again this year for the La Conner Quilt Museum
Submissions for three books, one accepted, the other as an ebook
Green and purple whole cloth quilts completed
Started commission of 7 quilted chakras, finished Root chakra
Completed two bed-stand table toppers and one long dresses scarf
Accepted into the juried Faculty/Staff art show for The Art Institute of Tucson
There are probably a couple more, but the mind has been kind of blank. It’s nice to have this list, so I know I accomplished a lot! Now I have to start the new one for year three.
Trying to get caught up on all the endless marketing things to do…..I took a look at the Etsy store and updated what was needed, pinned a bunch of fabrics (until Pinterest wouldn’t take them), tweeted them, and renewed a few expired listings. Most of the Etsy work has been turned over to hubby. Now we need to increase our sales!
Also got some pins and tweets up regarding ebay, so we will see the difference in hits and if there are any sales. When I do this on ebay, I usually tweet half the items so I can see the difference in traffic and if it leads directly to sales.
The crunch is on to prepare for StashFest at the La Conner Quilt Museum in April – we are marbling more, and we will soon get into gear for twice a week. We plan to set up our really large tray in mid-February for larger pieces and special orders (we have a couple in the pipeline).
Fabric of the Month of January is up on the website, as well as a special offer for subscribers in the newsletter. We’ll see if this leads to some sales.
With the end of the month on Thursday, I am curious to see just how I did on my list of goals for January. I know there are a couple I won’t get to, but maybe……I will have a lot of time on Wednesday and Thursday, so maybe……
Upcoming: 2 potential book deadlines, where our fabric creations will join others; Martha Stewart Weddings mag to hit the stands with our ribbons spotlighted; possible licensing in the works with some of our patterns…and that’s just through March.
How’s your marketing going?
CYBER MONDAY – 50% off all fabrics, 20% off all artwork in our Etsy shop.
Cyber Monday is tomorrow, and I think I am ready…Etsy is loaded with fabrics, and I have a few more art pieces to get listed this evening. In the meantime, my mind is going to the last couple of days and what I am learning about trying to take advantage of this gift-buying weekend. I did a blog post for Handmadeology about getting ready, but it never made it up in time, so here’s what I was thinking about preparing for Black Friday and ensuing Madness:
Get Ready –
1. Send a newsletter, even if you haven’t sent one at all, or it’s early for your next newsletter. Ours is going out a week early, several days before Thanksgiving with the holiday specials. We did this – haven’t checked stats yet because I’m waiting for the end of Cyber Monday. The sales pitch for all three sales was at the bottom of a pretty newsy newsletter….maybe it needs to be on the top, but I feel uncomfortable with that.
2. Decide on your specials. Internet marketing shows folks love deep discounts and/or free shipping. This latter is usually the easiest for us, but be sure to specify if it is continental US or some other limited range. Black Friday was 20% off anything on the website, plus spend $40 and receive a free pattern. Saturday was free domestic shipping off the website. Nothing Sunday, but I will change that for next year, as that’s what I saw a lot of retailers doing. Sunday will be 50% off any fabrics on Etsy, and 20% off artwork on Etsy. Have not seen a spike in visits.
3. Have products ready for shipping. Check for : care codes, package supplies, postage scale (we finally bought ours today), custom slips, tracking slips, padded envelopes – anything you can think of that you will need for shipping. Think about various combinations of items you could sell and be prepared. All of this is set. We do carry-over from other events, and we pretty much have this down.
4. Check website, blog, Etsy store, Redbubble – any place you have product to sell. Are the sites ready? Prices set? Postage listed? Pictures up? Any descriptions need to be changed? Discounts added? Interesting comment from a website visitor – why no pictures by the samplers? I added a rationale about two years ago, but now I think I need to come up with something that closes the sale.
Get Set –
1. Make sure your Friday and Monday are available for taking online orders. Printer ink? Paper? Not a problem – ready to go for tomorrow.
2. Consider sending a brief reminder newsletter on Friday morning reminding your subscribers about the sales. Consider doing the same reminder for Monday. Been using Promotesy to send out reminders on Sunday for Monday. Need to think about “how much is too much.”
3. Have blog posts ready to go announcing your sales Run one on Thursday evening, and then run one Sunday night for Cyber Monday. Did this for Thursday and Friday, and this is the one for Sunday night. Cyber Monday is already to go.
4. Have something on your website announcing your sales. Have a link directly to your products to make shopping easier. Did this (for the first time) on the front page of the website, with links.
1. Send confirmations of orders and give customers an estimated shipping time. Done.
2. Send out a brief email when you ship to let buyers know their package is on the way. Thank them again. Done.
3. Wrap carefully. Check Paypal for confirmed addresses, and if not confirmed, email to be sure the address is correct. Done.
4. Consider giving a small percentage of your profits to a nonprofit for the holiday. eQuilter has done that successfully – over one million dollars donated. We’ll be way under that, but it’s a very good feeling. Once we know a total, the check is going to Tucson’s Ben’s Bells, a nonprofit representing kindness.
CYBER MONDAY – 50% off all fabrics, 20% off all artwork in our Etsy shop.
So for the first time in MANY years, we are actually ready for the holiday shopping season. Newsletter went out Sunday, sales are planned, website has had a significant makeover, and the Etsy store is stocked. So here’s what’s coming…….
Black Friday Special
Small Business Saturday Special
Free shipping in the continental United States on everything on our website, including art work. Support Small Business Saturday! Our website page is here. Orders placed will take two weeks to complete.
Cyber Monday Special
It’s been a busy month of completing a lot of loose ends, especially in getting ready for the holiday season. But I am always on the outlook for great ideas for and about marketing. Ask Harriete has had an interesting series on displays for windows and booths – lots of great ideas to enjoy – as well as think about what could work for your own purposes. Window Dressing for Booth Display – fascinating ideas for setting up displays. Made with pencils, and there is a video to go along with the photo as to how the booth was constructed. Who knew hangars could look so cool?
A fascinating TED talk on Collaborative Consumption – lots of food for thought……Would love to open a dialogue with folks about some of these ideas.
In the meantime, getting the Etsy shop loaded with fabrics in preparation for a 50 percent off sale on Cyber Monday. Promotesy (from the folks at Handmadeology) is a great tool for scheduling and marketing posts and items. And you really can’t beat $5 a month. The biggest marketing task has been a total makeover of the website, which has kind of sat idle for a couple of years, as the blog and Facebook page moved to the forefront. Lots of major changes on the site: new pages: Testimonials, Snapshots, Patterns, Digital Marbling, Classes and Workshops. Plus, new work is finally up, and the gallery has been seriously updated. Some pages still need writing and pictures, and the order form is getting a makeover, but the site is so much more comprehensive. And….two new domain names….
The domain name has been an interesting issue. We’ve had “marbledfab” since the late 1990s, since “marbledfabrics” was already taken. Hence a play on the words, but we always have to spell it for people. When we got our domain name, e-commerce was still very much in its infancy. It would be several years before domains became the critical component they are now. So we now have two new domains that point to the website (and I actually learned how to do that…): deanandlindamoran.com and MarbleTDesign.com. It’s all about branding and making it easy for folks to find us. We’ll see how it works…and the new business cards will have the new domains on them.
I decided to also add more examples of fabrics and patterns to our fabric page. These are pieces from our “we’ll never sell anything in this folder because it’s so gorgeous” file. These are just a few…..
Ideas to share? Pas them along!
Busy week, and lots of great things happening. All as a result of dropping a few ideas in the pond, as well as continuing to do what I’ve been doing.
The website is coming along. A lot of minor changes, new work is up, but there’s still stuff to do in descriptions. I need to get the shopping cart completed, as we just had an order this morning and the price was wrong. There was about ten hours of work so far, and now it’s about at the point where I have to turn over the rest of the work to my amazing web guru, Suzan. Interesting discussion from a friend about the confusion for branding on the site….like why the “T” in the business name. Turns out this was a play on the word “novelty” from way back, when we were thinking of primarily doing t-shirts. Now we can’t really change the name of the business, but I need to get our personal names involved more.
Inquiry from a magazine that I can’t say anything about now, but it’s really exciting! Inquiries coming in from the Etsy store for commission work, which is good. Need to do a thread order, need to start a couple of new pieces. And…have to get some work ready to go up on a new gallery site.
Today a give-away broke on Craft Gossip, our quilting marbled fabric tutorial, so we’ve had a lot of new subscribers to the newsletter. Another tutorial will break the end of the month on C&T Publishing blog. That’s the deadline I need to make this week.
We’re marbling again this week, as we have new orders coming is, and I have a couple of new patterns I want to try out. Speaking of marbling, as a result of visits to the Etsy shop, these are the pieces people have been saying they LOVE:
So here’s my list of marketing tasks for today:
* update Facebook business page, reflect on how I did the past week – I did pretty well over this past week, a lot of updates posted, mostly personal and helpful (hopefully). I just need to get in the habit of doing this each day. I also commented on a number of different pages.
* NEWSLETTER finished and scheduled – written, proofed and ready for mailboxes on Wednesday! That’s six months of regular newsletters, after a long drought of not writing. Yay me!
* schedule blog posts, especially TAFA and books for Amazon – Tuesday’s Top Ten is already scheduled, and I’ve started next week’s Top Ten, on some really great new blogs I’ve found. It was easier last week to get blog posts scheduled, and I’ve come up with a few new things to try for posts.
* Promotesy – worked on this during the middle of last week. Worked on this again today, and I learned some interesting things about hashtags from Tim, the mastermind behind Handmadeology. Let’s see if it works…..
* look at holiday marketing plan and choose what needs to done this week – working on another basket this week,so I’m pretty much on track.
* “About” page for the Etsy shop – done. Pretty easy, just follow the directions on your Etsy shop. Here’s ours. It’s a nice personal piece to your Etsy shop.
This doesn’t seem like a lot, compared to last week. I think I’ll ruminate some more on what else I can do.
Here’s what’s left for next week, and I’m sure I’ll add to this.
update ebay “About Me” page
schedule for pattern release
review and comment on blogs
Look at TAFA marketing for holidays
Handmadeology post on community for this week
Southern Cal artist packet completed
I write regularly for Handmadeology, a blog about all things handmade, and the blog is strongly connected to Etsy sellers. As I am trying to REALLY work at having a good holiday season this year, rather than letting it fly by me, I took all the advice I found in these sites!
It’s almost October, and if you’re an artist of handmade, you are gearing up for the holiday buying season. It seems early…but it isn’t. I thought it might be helpful to see what else others have written about the holiday shopping season. I scoured Handmadeology to collect a set of articles relevant to holiday buying. Some good stuff in here!
Preparation H – H is for “Holidays!” Packing materials, your mail carrier/s, feeding your family – all things to keep in mind as you get very busy and start to run out of time.
The Holiday Rush Etsy Marketing Formula – this is a free 5-day course. I just read through Day 1, and even though I consider myself pretty savvy about online marketing, there are definitely a couple of things I can do to improve visibility. I’m headed out to look at Digg and Kaboodle today.
25 Things to Do on Your Lunch Break to Further Your Handmade Business – while not directly holidays, there are some good ideas for when we are pressed and thinking there is ot enough time. I really like this one: make lists of your key words – that definitely saves you from writer’s block when you are doing your descriptions.
Etsy Sellers Can’t Afford to Ignore Pinterest – true, true, true. I started pinning a month ago and have seen a definite increase both in traffic and sales. This is a really interesting stat: American users spend an average of 1 hour and 17 minutes on Pinterest compared to Twitter at 36 minutes, LinkedIn at 17 minutes, and Google+ at 6 minutes. In terms of the holidays, set up a Pinterest account and start pinning your holiday items.
Your Blog Post Promotion Checklist – for those of you who write a regular blog, here are some great ideas for getting the most out of a post, plus a listing of additional articles on promoting your blog. One of the best tips? Comment on other blogs. I need to get back to doing this regularly. And….REPLY to every comment you get!
Promotesy: this is a new app from Handmadeology to help your organize and maximize your online presence for your Etsy shop. It’s easy to sign up for, and at $5.00 a month, it’s a deal. I’ve just started using it (as of yesterday), so I will keep you posted on how it’s working.
Three Steps to Freshen Up Your Etsy Shop and Be Found Again – wasn’t aware of the “Trending Now,” and this is definitely something I will be checking out. Also, change some of your descriptions to match the coming holiday season…..good idea, and I’m off to do that!
As I’ve been doing the research for this post, I realize that even if we think we know a lot about marketing on line, there is always more to learn!! I’d love to hear your insights, so feel free to leave a comment: what’s been working for you?
In keeping with my plan to actually write about what I did for marketing on Mondays, I made my list yesterday, as I had a lot of loose ends floating around in my head. Beside each heading is what I actually got accomplished today.
* marbling – 12 fat quarters, including some for the new set of Seasons patterns, plus more for the Etsy shop. I’m glad hubby is doing all the Etsy work of listing items. I then go in and promote them through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Got a really gorgeous new one that I’m trying for a quilted piece of driftwood. I’ll post a pic when the fabric is ironed.
* update Facebook business page, go back through some previous likes, make comments – I had been doing pretty well about a month ago with posting regularly and commenting on other’s art, but the month got away from me. So now I’m back.
* check on SAQA entry -read through the call to artists, and I decided this would not be right for me.
* email Anne about SOCAL Fiber Arts show and getting some appraisals done on recent quilts – done; need to know if I am qualified as legitimately disabled. I qualify, I’m making arrangements for appraisals in January for some of the newest art quilts, and now I can put together the packet for this show.
* Handmadeology blog – done and sent along the way. In researching a couple of blogs to boost holiday sales, I discovered a couple of venues I need to check on, so I’ll be busy with Digg, SumbleUpon, and Kaboodle this week, finding out all about them. I’m not sure about StumbleUpon – I don’t usually do that kind of surfing…..we’ll have to see. Same for Kaboodle – don’t know that it will be productive, and I have enough time-wasters as it is.
* TAFA request for community groups – sent out the request for information about the various communities we network with, as part of a blog post for Handmadeology.
* Craftsy class with Cindy Needham – the reality is that with the holidays coming up, and the number of unfinished projects, I really don’t have time for this class. I do want to wait and take another Elizabeth Barton class in October, since I got so much from the first class – and I’m not done with that one yet…….
* Promotesy – did my month sign-up yesterday, and I’ve started using it. I can schedule ahead of time, and things automatically post to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Looks to be easier to use than Hootsuite – which never did seem to publish my scheduled tweets.
* pin ebay – done…..it usually drives some traffic to the site, but it doesn’t seem to be converting to sales. Maybe when October rolls around….
* AZ SAQA info – emailed two jpgs off to the group. These are the two quilts that have been chosen to be in Linda Seward’s book The Complete Book of Art Quilt Techniques. We’ll see what happens. At least there’s no entry fee….
* Phoenix Public Library call for submissions – deadline October 10, $15.00, CD with 10 images. Images need to be from the last two years, but because of teaching full time, I am only now getting a lot more new work completed. Need to think this through.
* start newsletter for the month, at least outline what will be in it. I know what will be in the newsletter, I just need to get started on it, for it to go out a week from tomorrow.
* email stencil lady – go through website on stencils. I went through two sites that carry stencils, looking at ways of constructing some designs. I think I have a couple of really cool ideas, and I have emailed about pursuing this idea further. Over the next two weeks I want to see about doing actual designs for possible approval. This could be another source of passive income.
Okay, I was very productive getting all this stuff done today. This seems to be the way to go, rather than just writing about it and not necessarily doing it…..go figure……
I first heard about passive income about three years ago when I was reading a lot about monetizing my blog and making money without having to do a whole lot of work. Sounds great, but not as easy in reality. I got turned down by a group to host ads, as I didn’t have enough traffic, and they didn’t see quilters as a big draw – despite the fact that I had done my research and talked about a 4 billion dollar industry.
Rather than spend the time trying to get everything up and running to make money, I was still stuck working in the classroom, and I just didn’t have the energy after work. I started doing what I could. And now…I find I actually am getting some passive income three years later, with more possibilities in the works.
First, I receive a commission when someone buys materials from licensing expert Tara Reed. I’ve bought a number of things from her, and I love her work – all the detail and information is exceptional. Every time I mention her in a blog post, I usually make a sale, and consequently I get a few pennies.
I just uploaded my first pattern to PatternSpot.com, and hopefully I will begin to sell patterns there, through Etsy, and on our website. Every little penny helps! I have digital marbling images on Fine Art America. The work there is to figure out the site and get the photos uploaded. Once work sells, they do everything else.
Amazon and Google Adsense are two other outlets for monies. At one time I was getting regular checks from Amazon for books I recommended, and I need to do more of that. Google Adsense is about to send a check, as the clicks on the site are getting up to the minimum for a payout.Part of my issue with Google Adsense is making sure the ads that show are applicable to the site – Jockey underwear isn’t going to exactly get click-through’s….
So, it takes a while, but getting notices from Paypal about money in your account are very nice. You just have to be patient!