So, you want some schmancy buttons to let people know you are on not only Twitter and Facebook, but also Pintrest and Youtube? Or maybe you proudly use Vimeo and DeviantArt? Wherever your haunts, icons allow you to share all of them with you blog readers and website visitors from one easily navigated hub. And you can install them yourself, for free.
First though, you'll need a set of icons. Have some picked out already? Great! If not, read on and I'll share some of my favorites.
LAST MINUTE VALENTINES! Get yours today! They come in two sizes, with envelopes and everything. =D
If you're like me, you'll have made your Valentines two weeks ago, created a PDF version of your favorite design for your blog, and then neglected to post it. Ahem. So for those of you not like me, here it is.
Mad Mimi and MailChimp are the two best free email marketing managers in cyberspace, hands down. Both offer paid upgrades at about the same rates, have similar aesthetic, and are ideal for the creative small business owner or blogger. Upon spending a few days researching and exploring Mad Mimi and MailChimp for myself, I could see that, while both services offer much of value, there are some significant differences between the two (primarily in their features, ease of use, and terms of service) which warrant careful consideration when deciding which might be the best fit for one's business.
NOTE TO BEGINNERS: An email marketing manager allows you to grow your business by keeping in regular contact with your customers. It does this by collecting and storing their email addresses, and sending out a prettified newsletter to all your subscribers whenever you determine. The newsletter could be as simple as a short shop announcement (of a sale, or a new collection in your Etsy shop), or as complex as, well, an actual newsletter.
Unfortunately I've seen many business bloggers blindly recommend one or the other of these managers to their students, without taking the time to warn of potential downsides, or suggesting alternative options. What follows is my unbiased comparison between these two. I hope it will help you determine which, if either, will best help you promote your work.
Oh I love these bows so much! :D They are pretty pretty pretties! And I think, if I weren't such a disciplined person, I would make about three dozen of them--nine large ones for putting on parcels, fourteen medium sized ones for a garland across my sewing room window, twelve little ones for a set of cards, and one miniature one for my hair. Tehe.
I learned to make these pretties from this post on Tweety Atelier. It's in Japanese. But the Photographs are clear, although you might not catch at first glance that steps nine and thirteen require the use of scissors. Yes, scissors. But just for a couple short incisions. This isn't kirigami here.
The instructional video below, for those of you who prefer that, happens to be in Spanish. (What? It was the best one. And I really scoured YouTube, I'm tellin ya.)
You'll want to use origami paper, if at all possible, or something of a similar weight. Tissue paper will work. But regular wrapping paper turns white at the crease points, so I wouldn't use that. Kraft parcel paper is much better. For the metallic bow in the below photograph, I used heavy scrapbook paper. That was a mistake. It resulted in the square ripping apart when I pulled the corners open in step eight. So lighter is better.
Speaking of the square, if you change how large you make the fold in step three (or at about two minutes in the YouTube video), you will also change the square size. I liked mine big, cause it makes the bows look cartoonish.
You may notice I have flattened most of my bows. This way, if put on the fronts of greeting cards, they will be much easier to slip into envelopes. =P I prefer to leave them poofy when sticking them onto doors, and walls, and gift bags.
Reference the black and white photo for tail trimming suggestions.
And that's it. Have fun. =)
As you are probably aware, tags matter because they communicate to your Etsy customers what it is you have to offer. When someone searches Etsy using the phrase "cherry red knee-high elf stockings," and you have exactly such a pair for sale but you only used a single tag, that of "socks," to describe it, this customer will sadly not be able to find you listing. And it's a shame. Cause your stockings were just the thing she'd hoped to buy.
Now I'm sure none of your tags warrant the double facepalm. Mine never did. However when I was first starting out on Etsy, I hadn't done enough research (dudes you've got to do more that read the Etsy guidelines, trust me), to know that I could steadily improve my traffic, and thus sales, by making a few key adjustments.
"I enjoy writing and drawing on paper, making things out of paper, and words and illustrations on paper in books (especially comic books) created by other people."