Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Gifts

I'm kind of a day late and a dollar short with this post... but such is life! I wanted to share the matching Christmas Tree necklaces I made for my mother and sister. I forgot to photograph mine...which is lavender and white so... I'll be even later with that post! ;-)

Mom's was traditional:

 My sister's favorite color is chartreuse or, as I call it, Grinch Green! Still her's is my favorite!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Creative Vision?

I'm taking a few days off to recoup from my trip to Louisiana and the nasty cold I brought home with me. So the bestie and I went to downtown LA to purchase a few more crystals she needed for one of our niece's many wedding projects. Along the way, we noticed that a wedding supply shop we had favored because of the kind old man that owned it had become a leather and findings store.  The old shop closing was expected. But the fantastic and unusual selection of the new shop was most unexpected!

I found inspiration everywhere I turned. The most amazing magnetic clasps ever! I bought some leather cording to try with kumihimo and my head was just spinning.

In the center aisle, I found sections of ebeaded bits ready to be sewn into place. And then, I spied these loved velvet collars! I was envisioning a whole line of jewelry possibilities, mixing my glass beads with these lovely velvet bits when my best friend joined me. I quickly explained: I guess you slide a bead on, add a clasp and look they have these adjustable slides so it can fit anyone!

Without missing a beat, the bestie quipped, "Yeah, or you could just wear it as a bra strap!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

You Like Me!!

The number one question I've gotten since I started this series on Fan Pages is... How do you get them to like your page. It's rather elementary... You make it worth their while!

I openly tell people that my fans see my work first, they get first dibs on a sale and often get their own sales coupon codes  for extra percent off and / or free shipping. There are perks to being my fan!

Think about the fan pages YOU like... WHY do you like them??? Is there something they do to entice you? Maybe that would work for your fans... can you adapt their techniques??

But other than making it enticing, my best advice is point out you have a like button EVERYWHERE you are. Mention it on your sale receipts, business cards, show fliers, your blogs, your website, your shops and your personal Facebook page. Tweet about it once in a while... "Secret fan sale starts tomorrow (with a link to your fan page)."

The second most popular question I've gotten is - "What's your fan page?" REALLY??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Do you not see the annoyingly large box to your right???>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

That's called a Page Badge and getting one for your own fan page is pretty nifty and simple. Let's walk through that:

  1. Click here to create Facebook Badges
  2. Choose Page Badge.
  3. Choose your your blog host 
  4. The next page will give you widget options... which blog (if you host more than one), which page you want the widget to advertise (If you have more than one fan page), The title of the widget, the content (This is where I edit mine to say there are benefits to liking me... I also tweak the width here to fit into my three column format.)
  5. Click "Add Widget" and Viola! You have a like box page badge on your blog!
If you want to add that box to your personal site... just click OTHER on the Facebook Badge page, copy the html that appears in the box below and paste it where you need it.

So that takes care of your blog. But I'm often amazed at how many sellers I see on Artfire and Etsy that don't take advantage of the Fan Page Like buttons there.

Artfire, as always, makes it so simple. From the Tools tab in My Artfire, click on Market Hub. There you are allowed to fill in all the places people can find you: Blogs, personal sites, Etsy, Twitter, My Space and ...fan pages.

On Etsy, go to your account / settings. There you can fill in your Facebook fan page (or personal page) and your twitter.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fire Divas Black Tie Challenge

The Fire Divas are getting ready for all those fancy Holiday and New Year parties? Well take a look at these pretty baubles! Our theme this month was Black Tie - something you would wear to dress up a bit.

Please cast your vote on the right side of the Fire Divas Blog and make sure to leave a comment below, and you could be the lucky winner of a 20% off coupon from the ArtFire shop of Amy Sims Designs!

The Poll closes at midnight EST this Saturday, December 17th, and we will post the results on Sunday.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fan Page Apps

The number one question I received after last week's post was how to get people to like your page.  I will cover that but first we have to finish decking out your fan page. Before they come, you have to build it!

You have to think of your fan page as another interactive website for your business. You want to give them a lot too look at and things to do (buy) while they are there.
 Keep photos of your latest work, new shops listing and even blog listings feeding to your page!

The easiest and best thing to do is work with the photo albums that come with your page. For my page, I know that I make lots of beads and occasionally jewelry and those items fall into specific categories: Glass Bead Sets, Under the Sea theme, Focals, Big Hole Beads, Sweet Treats and jewelry. So I create annual albums for those items. I don't want the albums to seem too long to discourage browsing.  But if you only make a few items you won't need so many. Maybe you make so much, you need monthly albums. However you organize them, these are my tips:
  • Try to keep 30 - 50 current photos per album.
  • Never list more than three photos at a time to avoid spamming your own page.
  • Always hit "Publish" when you are done for the last three photos to be visible in your wall feed. 
If you are looking to cut down on work, there are apps out there that feed your flickr uploads to your fan page. I have not tried them but some are highly reviewed

There are also apps that allow you to create custom tabs for your fan page. You can create a landing page, telling people about your business / products / you and encourage them to like you. If you know basic html or can deal with a WYSIWYG editor such as blogger, you can do this. TabFusion is one such free tab maker that is fairly straight forward and used by many high-end clients!

Additionally, you want to feed all your listings to your fan page. Having a steady flow of interesting content is KEY!  You should feed anything to do with your business that has an rss feed to your wall! There are MANY apps and third party sites that allow this.

For the Fire Divas fan page, we set up a twitterfeed account. We feed every team member's newest listings to our team twitter account, one per shop per hour. (You ARE feeding all your listings to your twitter automatically, right???)  As a team, we decided that many new listings was too spammy for our fan page however and we do not feed team listings there, choosing instead to manually post treasuries and collections that focus on the whole team.

But as an individual, I RARELY list more than three items per day on any of my sites combined... and my fan page is about ME... supposedly, my fans want to know what's new. So I do feed all new items to my personal fan page.

While twitterfeed is great to feed to twitter and to your personal page, it doesn't have the capability to feed to your fan page. But there are several apps on Facebook that you can use for this. The two I have the most experience with both have quirks.
  • Networked blogs  - will feed anything with an RSS feed to your personal or fan page wall. The downside is... I find it to be a popularity contest. You have to either post some code on your page (impossible on Etsy / Artfire) or get 10 friends to confirm you as the author of your feed. They can also delay the feed based on how many followers you have... which sucks! 
  • RSS Graffiti - will also feed any RSS feed to your wall or fan page. This one can be trickier to set up and it does have posting errors from time to time but...it's not a popularity contest. 
For the record, I use twitterfeed to feed my listings and blog to twitter, RSS grafiti feeds all my blogs and new listings to my fan page and I still have Networked blogs set up to feed my listings and blogs to my personal page. 

So now, you have some content for your wall but you should also make shopping easier so that your fans can shop from your fan page. There are shopping cart and payment apps right on Facebook but, you can also link to the shops you already have!

Artfire has step by step instructions for this on their site. NOTE: if you had the Artfire app installed on your page before 12/1/2011, you will find it has stopped worked due to an upgrade. Simply go to your fan page / Artfire tab and enter your shop name and the upgrade will work!

Etsy, as always, makes things just a bit more difficult.  But there is a My Etsy app for your fan page as well. Click on "Add to My Page" and it will walk you through the steps. It may be helpful to have three tabs open: My Etsy app, your actual Etsy shop, and your Fan Page.

*** Summary***

  1. Utilize photo albums on your fan page.
  2. Create a custom landing page.
  3. Feed all your shop listings to your fan page wall.
  4. Add tabs for your Etsy / Artfire shops.
Get busy!!! Next week... getting those LIKES!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fan Pages

You NEED a fan page. If you don't have one, you are missing out on a fantastic business opportunity on many levels! Here are a few advantages to having a Facebook Fan Page:
I had lots of comments on this set of beads... which can be both good for sales and bad for fans...

  • Sell right off your page - I often list photos of new works on my fan page and frequently make sales before I even list my item on my site or Etsy and Artfire. I save listing time and commission fees. You can also set up apps that place your Etsy and Artfire items on their own page within your fan page!
  • Fast communication with fans - I often go six months between newsletters. Mine are time consuming. But if I want to have a sale quickly, I announce it on the fan page.
  • Frequent communication with fans - Say you post a sale on Thanksgiving... you can remind your fans frequently - and at more convenient times! By feeding your new listings, blog posts,  or even your tweets to your fan page, you should have something new for your fans to see DAILY whether you physically log on or not.
  • Access to reasonable, super targeted advertising - Think about it... Facebook doesn't just know the basics of targeted marketing - gender, age and geographic location. Facebook  knows EVERYTHING!  What people are interested in, what they talk about, age and zip code specifics, other groups they like and frequent... Trust me, Google adwords should be VERY afraid. Facebook has SUPER reasonable ad rates and can tell you exactly how many people on their site your ad would target!
  • Insights - Facebook gives you amazing data so that you can see what reach your posts have. You can tell that you get hits off your blog, that you get new fans when others talk about you and... that you lose fans when people talk about you a lot! 
 I lost 2 fans they day I showed off the beads above... with so many comments on one photo, my fan page may have bothered them! Insights allow you to see what's going on from day to day. What your fans like and what some don't!
  • Expands your Google footprint - as we've talked about before, the more places Google finds you, the more legit you seem! And Facebook pages come up high in the Google rankings for keywords!
  • It's FREE! - Speaks for itself!
Ready to start your own??? From any other fan page, scroll all the way to the bottom and click "Create a Page."

Before you do this, give some time and thought to your name!!! Facebook will get you some higher rankings if you can work your #1 keyword into your fan page name. Learn from my mistake! I walked away from a fan page with 275 fans and I'm struggling my way back! Why? My keywords were not a part of my fan page name! I sacrificed fans for Google rankings and would do it again tomorrow!

Facebook does allow you to tweak it a bit but after you get a certain (small) number of fans, you cannot change your name!

Once you get your page set up, you'll want to add your shop apps and feed your new listings to your wall. We'll go over that next week. In the meantime, be sure to invite your Facebook friends to fan your page!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Most Unusual Sale

So, I'm having the typical after Turkey Day sale with not so typical pricing. I occurred to me that I have around 180 glass beads in inventory. I REALLY want to cut that number down! Honestly, I would love it if my stock were around 20 pieces... I'm running out storage and finding a piece when it sells is a chore even though I'm fairly well organized!

  My favorite focal of the year... still needs a home!

More detail as to why are in my NEW newsletter which went out to fan page members and subscribers two days ago.  But here are the basics:

Here’s the deal:
  • You see something you like, email or message me with the price you want to pay.
  • Keep in mind, I need to buy glass and I need to keep a roof over my head and that some beads are many layers of pricey glass but MAKE ME AN OFFER.
  • Also Valid on  MOST of  my Artfire and Etsy listings… just convo me first so I can update your prices and reserve your listing.
  • FREE shipping on all orders over $50.00
  • Sale ends 11:59 p.m. the Wednesday night 11/30/11 PST
Da Fine Print:
  • VALID ONLY ON  OLDER Glass beads or Glass Bead Jewelry! Stamps, Gifts, Tools, Kits, Kumihimo threads / beads and Findings NOT included.
  • Please select from items listed before 10/1/11 on my main glass bead site. Not Valid on Santa Panda on Etsy or on any made to order beads on all three sites.
  • NOT VALID with FREE Bead Gift Certs. Free beads are FREE at the retail cost of the beads… Sorry! But you can combine for free shipping ;-)
  • NOT VALID on made to order items. In stock only.
Checking Out:
  • Please wait for check out instructions on HollysFolly.com.
  • IF SHOPPING ON MULTIPLE SITES: Check out but do NOT pay. Please wait for ONE CORRECTED INVOICE! You can check out with a credit card on HollysFolly.com as I bill your card in my shop with the correct price.
 Beautiful Squeezed Denim Hearts would love a new home too!




Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to take a moment to wish all my friends and customers out there a VERY
Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you save room from something sweet! ;-)


Big Sale announcement tomorrow! The Fans already know...

Monday, November 21, 2011

When Things Go Wrong

I was unhappy with a retail experience this week and how that retailer handled things is, to me, a course in what NOT to do!

My bestie and I LOVE cupcakes! We are endlessly fascinated by all the cupcake businesses that have sprung up around the LA area and even more fascinated that no less than three cupcake shows are now on television. Since there are so many cupcake vendors in So Cal and the fact that the show Cupcake Wars is filmed here in La La Land, we often know some of the shops on that show.

It's fun to see shops we know and love do well and we marveled at the one shop that made it through a couple of rounds when we think their icing always tastes like soap! So it was with great anticipation that we read one of the local winners of the show, Goodie Girls, was opening a shop. It was to be a big shindig with celebs and a pink carpet and press and a 5 p.m. opening party.

Knowing that I'm handicapped... numerous foot surgeries make it impossible for me to stand in long lines... I wrote on the store's Facebook Fan page "What time do you open?" My thinking was... what business opens at 5? Surely they are opening earlier and I can avoid the line (and the prizes and the celebs) and just pick up some tasty cupcakes if I go earlier in the day.

The owner quickly wrote back... 3 pm. Great! We had a plan.

Only it was pouring down rain Sunday, making our journey down our mountain treacherous and scary. We arrived early and waited a good half hour in the car... a block away. We got soaked getting in the store that was already full of people. But no one seemed to be shopping or eating. We asked the person up front where to buy. We were told that this time was for celebs or press ONLY. I was made to feel like the gum on someone's shoe.

I repeated that the owner herself told me they would be open at 3 and couldn't we just buy a few. Instead we were shown the door. I was pissed, wet and embarrassed.

And what happened next is a Marketing 101 FAIL.


I took to Facebook and Twitter to voice my concern and embarrassment. The owner did apologize, but she and her father and her friend all made excuses:

  • Dad:  Starting your own business is very costly. And shes doing what she can to move up to the next level.
  • The owner: The girls that were up front were just getting started and they knew we were only doing press/media until 5pm and then we were selling cupcakes after 5pm .
  • I had chose to start at 5pm so the talent/media would be done with there [sic] part and it would make it easier for my fellow residents to get some.
  • they didn't know if they were allowed to sell as we were supposed to start at 5pm.
  • it is my first store and I can only do so much and it's all a learning experience 
  • not one person other than yourself had bad reviews or a bad time.
  •  I am a small local business trying and contributing to the Glendale community, helping people have a few more jobs, and I contribute a TON for charity. It's a shame that you have so much anger.    
  • I can't control what they did.
  • Her friend: Mistakes happen in life and it takes a bigger person to forgive and forget.   
 To me, the very WET person who was made to feel like a second class citizen after wasting an hour and a half of my time and gas, this is nothing but excuses and INSULTS. Never once did the owner say why she told me, a fan page person, that her business was open at 3.

What IS a business owner to do in this age of facebook and twitter??? Here's my guide...

  1. Publicly apologize - on the selected media... Facebook / Twitter, et al. Keep it brief and sweet!
  2. ONLY apologize or offer to make it better - don't insult someone and tell them they are too angry (it only makes them angry whether or not they were before!), don't point out what a good time others had or how nice the gift bags were. Just apologize, ask sweetly for another opportunity and leave it at that. 
  3. Keep others out of it - While you can't do anything about legit customers coming to your defense, keep your parents and close friends out of it...even if you have to delete their messages. It can make a customer feel attacked!
  4. Take it offline - Send them a personal and PRIVATE apology. If you offer a coupon or discount, do that privately as well. This may prevent other public attacks if there is no public payoff.
  5. Drop it - if all the comments stop, there is nothing more for them to respond to. Most people just want to feel heard. That's IT. Hear them, let them know you hear them with sincerity and it will go away. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

More New Beads on the Way!

It's a lovely overcast Friday here... rain on the way... and the PERFECT cover for bead pics!

So I cleaned out my desk bead bowl... this is the one that holds beads to be listed that have been photographed but... they looked at the camera cross-eyed or they some mandrel poop on their finery. And so they sit and wait until I remember to take more pics of them!

And oh what treasures I found!


These guys have all posed for their close ups and are ready for me to get a move on a list them! I hope to get them all up on the glass bead site by Monday! Thanks, as always, for l@@king!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Beads!

I finally got off my duff (OK... You know me, I'm not ON my duff that much... I've been dealing with another huge stamp order...) and cleaned some of the bounty of beads in my bead bowl! Or just finally dealt with the final stages of getting beads ready to photograph!

This gingko had been kicking around my work table for like... a year! Butterfingers here had dropped him on her tile floor! The bail broke but he was just too pretty to toss in the trash or melt back into...something! Then the other week, I had a really small, all day kumihimo class and I knew a large part of my day would be waiting for people to braid their work. I tossed him in my kit along with some sterling wire and had him all wrapped up before class began!

He's so pretty, I gotta show off both sides!:

This key was made back in the summer but got stuck on my key mandrel! I would work and work on it every time I passed my allen wrenches! It finally came off and I get it all polished up and took a pic! There's rich silver glass on that bead and it really shimmers!


This Green Tiger set is SO SMALL if you know my work... only an inch and a half long for the whole set! The blue is a cool color reaction! 

There's more and all will be listed on my glass bead site in the next few days!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tis the Season Bead Challenge

Holiday beads are always some of the most fun to make. With the Thanksgiving and Christmas speeding toward us, the Fire Divas decided to make the holidays the theme of our November Bead Challenge.


Please cast your vote in the poll on the right side of the Fire Divas Blog. The poll closes at midnight on Sunday, November 20th. Make sure to leave your comment below after you vote-the winning comment (randomly chosen) will win a 20% off coupon to Susanne's ArtFire Shop!

Now lets check out those gorgeous glass beads: Santa, mistletoe, red and green ... and even Tom Turkey make an appearance!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Expanding Your Footprint

Last week we looked at our google footprints and discussed how to control our business image by utilizing various sites. Before we delve into some less obvious ways to do that, I wanted to refine a point from that post.

When you sell on Etsy / Artfire etc, be sure to use your whole business name. I know of folks who have one user name and a different banner with a different name in their shop. Consistency is the key expanding your footprint. Now that Etsy will allow you a one time name change...it's a good time to think about that.

On to other ways to add to your google footprint:

  • YouTube is one of the top search engines on the web with TONS of traffic! Is there a way for you to shoot a video tutorial of something you do? OR can you just shoot some video of your booth set up at a live show??? I personally shoot quick videos of some of my high silver beads that are impossible to get a decent photo of. I will embed that in my listings (on my website) or refer to it for my Etsy / Artfire listings. As always, load your keywords in when uploading the video. 

A short video but it uses my keywords and people find me! 
  •   Guest blogger - If you have writing skills, offer to write for another website or blog.  Choose carefully and pick one with way more traffic than your own and in a topic that will appeal to your customer base. They will embed your shop links with your article.
  • Artist Profiles - Every business has someone successful and well known within that community. I can't even begin to name all the "famous" beadmakers I admire. I wrote an article about one once (and I really should do it again...and again!) and that article gets me lots of traffic. Even better, my blog pops up in searches for HER! Not that my beads are anything like hers... but who knows if someone looking for info on her hasn't purchased from ME!
  • Participate in Blog hops... such as the one on PromoFrenzy or the big grand-daddy of blog hops One World, One Heart. For PromoFrenzy, you end up on stumble... another great search engine. Events like One World, One Heart send you tons of hits, introduce your work to thousands and you end up with lots of link love. More links = bigger footprint. My last One World event post is HERE.
  • Online Photo Albums - i.e. Flickr, Photobucket, et al. Again, these are great search engines. Tag your pics with your business name. Submit the photos to groups for more exposure. (ex - The Fire Divas has a Flickr account and we allow members to submit up to 4 photos a week to our team account and those get fed to our blog.) I will submit to groups that specialize in beads, jewelry or even color themes!
  • Charity Fundraisers - If you find a charitable event with an online presence... donate!  I've found customers this way, still get some link love and... it felt great doing it!
  • Arts Bulletin Boards - Is there an online community for your art / craft?? Check around; you may be surprised! Glass bead makers have no less than 5 and even more if you count some of the groups that have sprung up on Facebook! I joined several card making and scrapbook bulletin boards to get rid of some of our excess supplies in my stamp shop. But I joined under my glass bead business name. That is on page 3 off my google footprint. Whatever forum / hobby you participate in, use your shop name and link to your business!
This is the kind of presence you build over TIME. I don't expect you'll go out and do ALL these things in a day or a week but if the opportunity arises, give it some serious consideration. You never know where your next customer is coming from and the bigger web presence you have, the more legit it feels to shop with you!
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I'm taking Thanksgiving off... JURY Doody - UGH! And I'm working as a KJ for my bestie's karaoke business until the wee hours of Thanksgiving morn but... the following week, we'll finally tackle the subject of fan pages!



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Buried Treasure

The PromoFrenzy team on Etsy is busy promoting their Treasure Hunt - a month long event where customers hunt for "treasure" in team shops.  When you find the Buried treasure photo, featured up there on the right of this blog, that listing will give you a coupon code for that member's shop! Hint: Mine is in my "jewelry" section.

I was most thrilled to be in Lost Lemonade's treasury:

'Searching for Treasure 1' by LostLemonade

I'm on a treasure hunt in 3 parts - Part One -searching over the dry lands (browns)


EXCLUSIVE Reversibl...
$50.00

2 Potholders, Roost...
$6.00

Sculpted Moon Maide...
$185.00

Book Locket Necklac...
$49.00

Fabric Postcard Hor...
$3.00

Large Marbly Tortoi...
$19.00

Booklet fine art pr...
$39.00

Pale golden raspber...
$34.00

Gold Tiger Eye Gem ...
$12.00

Custom Soap Favors ...
$360.00

Brown Fire Agate C...
$9.25

ZINNIAS blank fine ...
$3.50

Disco Party Lampwor...
$13.00

4 Piece Flat Rectan...
$6.00

Candy Corn Fall Spr...
$7.50

Vintage Japan Swirl...
$3.50

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Google Footprint

Do you know what your google footprint is? It's the first 10 - 40  items someone sees when they google your business name. Why is this important??? It's the best way to control the virtual impression your business makes.

Think about it... For the sake of example, let's say your business name is AXZ Sewing. And you google your business and maybe your etsy and twitter account come up. But let's say you had a problem with a customer and they've taken to the web saying AXZ Sewing SUCKS and that is in the top 10. And let's say, you're business is fairly successful and someone is trying to ride on your coat-tails and they's started an AXZ Sewing blog... that has NOTHING to do with you or your business... but it will mislead and frustrate YOUR customers. Just what are you supposed to DO about all that??? Well, controlling your google footprint can help!

Let's take a look at my google footprint for some ideas - This is 1-5.
#4 is ALSO facebook so I cropped that out. This is #5-9

#10 was Facebook - again!

Let's break it down:

  1. My website... with a nice layout to the most popular pages on my site. I maintain and extensive site for this reason.
  2. My Etsy... when I concentrated more on Artfire... that was #2.
  3. Facebook fan page
  4. Fan page again
  5. My blog
  6. My blog... I wrote a tutorial for free... and posted it on a site listing tutorials for other glassers. It gets me TONS of traffic, boosts my ad revenue and...now, another toe in my google footprint!
  7. A site geared toward glass people. I get a free listing there. I RARELY update my profile or pics there (I should!) but... look...that site gets so much traffic, it adds to my google footrpint.
  8. My twitter
  9. Widgetbox - an app that allows me to put a slideshow of my current work on my main blog page. 
  10. Fan page again.
The bottom line here: ME...ME MEME and ME! I control my google footprint by spreading my name around. In other words... I don't care HOW you find me but find ME. Not an angry customer and not someone trying to make money off my name... find ME.

Here are a few obvious ways to spread your name around:

Yourbusiness.com. - having your own website may seem pointless if you sell on Etsy / Artfire but there are a several  good reasons to have one. It can serve as a anchor with links any selling venue, online or in person. It gives you control over your image... suppose you have thousands of business cards printed with your Etsy shop and Etsy goes belly up???  Train your customers to start at your site FIRST, someplace you control .

And let's go back to the scenario in the beginning... what IF you become wildly successful??? I love the Daily Coyote blog... but when her writing career took off and it became obvious she needed a new website... DailyCoyote.com was taken. The domain has since been sold... I pray to the rightful owner but that's just one example of how a web scammer will try to make money off of a successful business name.

For around 12 bucks a year, you can and should own your own dot com...whether or not you use it! Protect your name! If you do launch a website... update it often! Google hates static!!!

Facebook FanPage / Google + Pages: A great free way to get your name out there as well was an amazing way to communicate with people who are already clearly interested in your work!  I frequently post pictures of new work to my fan page and often sell it before I can bother listing it elsewhere! This is a win /win all around in my book!

Blogging - For footprint purposes... it's really bad form to blog on your own dot com. A number of web hosting companies toss in a free blogging template. But this does nothing to add to your footprint. Additionally, blogs on their own dot com never seem to aggregate properly. My experience starting the blog for the Fire Divas taught me this... Our Diva blog lists our individual blogs with the most recent published on top. Divas that published on their own sites would never go to the top.

It's much better to go with the grandaddies... Blogger (a google product!) or Wordpress. You pick up more followers there as well. Wordpress is so amazing that I utilize their inner workings as a template for my main website. It gives me the power of a blog with rss feeds shooting out to twitter and my fan page with the flexibility allowing a shopping cart.

Don't think you have anything to say??? Hogwash! I haven't met a creative type that couldn't talk about their work for ages.  Focus on new items (again, sell before you list!), holidays, other sellers who make complimentary items. Write a tutorial and share the link! Wordless Wednesday is a popular blog tag around the net. Who can't take a great pic and put it up one Wednesday??  Try to blog just twice a week to keep your blogging footprint active.And sign up for blogger in your business name whether you ever blog or not! Protect your name!

Arts Organizations - There are three free handmade glass art organizations online and yep, I'm a member of all! There's also one expensive one.... and no, I'm not a member of that one.

Try and find one geared toward your art form. If you can't find one... consider starting one.... The ad revenue alone should make it worthwhile!

Twitter -  Many people are twitter resistant. I use twitterfeed.com to feed all my shop feeds and my blog feeds to my twitter. I don't go on there and get political or personal... I just try to keep my feed active. And that keeps my google footprint bigger!

Now... back to that angry customer... eventually, he will fade away. Why??? Because YOU are working to keep your name in the top of the google search! You have inundated google with legitimate and current methods to find you and the angry customer's post is getting older and dying a sad google death!

Feel free to ask questions!

Next week, I'll focus on some other ways to increase your footprint.

Still Here

I feel like my blogging has been rather lax lately. Truth be told... I haven't had a whole day off to do what I want since sometime in July. My rubber stamp shop has been jumping... our busiest fall in five years... still not great but better than the last few years for certain! Add in my crazy teaching schedule and my sister's illness (a sever mental distraction for sure) and I feel like I'm just running from one thing to the next.

I turned on the torch last week for the first time in ages! I LOVED being there... just creating and not in my own head. If you are not an artist... skip this part, cause you'll think I'm nuts... My inner critic... that voice in my head that is never happy just shuts up and retreats to... who-cares-where!  Creating really is my happy quiet time!
Crazy Bird (coming later this week!)

And, I need to make the effort more often. Sure I'm creative in lots of areas... but those always feel like "have-tos." I "have to" get new artwork to the engraver. I have to make another kumihimo bracelet for class.... For the most part... when I torch, it's just for me.  And while it's SO nice if it sells, in many ways, the piece has already served it's purpose.


Just the same, I always do hope my beads find a new owner. So... I've also been trying to photograph some older bead with my newer camera to help them get adopted. Cause finding a new home is always good!