Monday, December 29, 2008

How to add a signature to the bottom of your post

A little while ago I introduced you to where you can create your own signature to add to the bottom of your blog posts.

Today I'll share a little tutorial on how to add your signature to your blog posts. This tutorial is for Blogger blogs, since that's what I'm familiar with. If you use Wordpress, TypePad, or another platform, you may know of some resources for you to tweak the appearance of your blogs. I'm sorry I'm not able to help you here.

First, go to
(open it in a new tab or window) and create a signature that you want to use. Continue to the end where you get the HTML code for your new signature. Select all the code and copy it. (You can click your mouse on the HTML then on the keyboard hold down CRTL while hitting the A to select all, then hold down CTRL while hitting the C to Copy.)

Next, open your blog ...again in a new tab or window, so you can keep your signature and this tutorial visible, just in case you need to refer back to either one.

In your blog, click Customize in the upper right hand corner, then click on the Settings tab.

Now click Formatting. (It should be under the three tabs, third link from the left.)

Scroll down until you see Post Template.

Paste the code from the My Live Signature into the Post Template box.
If you want a line of space between your blog post and the signature, add </br> in front of the code you just pasted in. For each extra line you want, add one more </br>.

Save settings, and you're done. Every post you make from this point forward will have your signature added to the bottom.

If you want to test it, go ahead and write a little blog post to show off your new signature to all your readers. And if you do that, leave a comment here with a link to your post so we canall swing by and check it out ...and leave you our congrats in your comments!

I still have to tell you how to find out where other bloggers get their neat widgets and gizmos from. Stay tuned for that little tidbit...

(And remember, all comments are do-follow, so your comment left here supports YOU.)

Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blog Bling: My Live Signature

Hey look at my name at the bottom of this post. That's fairly nice looking, isn't it?

I was bopping around the blogosphere this morning and when reading From Dates to Diapers and Beyond, I noticed Christine had a nice looking signature at the bottom of her post. My first thought was "I want one."

Since I learn more about blogging (and blog bling) by casually visiting other bloggers than by looking for stuff and/or reading about little widgets and gizmos, I looked at her code to see where she got it from and visited the site: And yes, I put a link to this in my sidebar under "Blog Bling" so you can find it later.

Neat. You can use their wizard to make a signature that looks similar to yours, which is what I did. (It's free, so of course I took the free option.) You can also use your mouse to write your own signature or scan in an actual signature and their artists will render it into a graphic you can use.

Next week I'll tell you how to add your new signature to the bottom of your posts, and I'll also tell you how to look into blog code to find out where bloggers get their blog bling. Of course, you can always check out other blog bling from the list in my sidebar.

So now... if you like this and decide you want a signature at the bottom of your posts, (and you know how to add the code to your blog) go do it! Then leave a comment here with a link to your blog so we can all check it out.

(And remember, all comments are do-follow, so your comment left here supports YOU.)

Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Embed your comment form

My Pass It On Plates Blog recently switched to using an embedded comment form, like WordPress blogs have. I didn't think much of the change until I logged into my Pass It On Plates Blog and saw a comment from my funny friend Laurie B., who asked:
Laurie B. said...

Hey, how did you get this comment format? I love it....much better than what I've got...oh wise one, can you share your wisdom with this grasshopper?

Pam Hawk said...

Ohh...I have to think about that. What did I do?

As usual, I was fiddling around and saw something intriguing, so I clicked it to see what happened.

Hmmm, let me look into it and I'll let you know.
December 7, 2008 10:08 AM

A minute later the lightbulb came on and I remembered. It's so easy.
For those of you who have Blogger blogs, you'll love this.

1. Go to your Blogger dashboard. In the address bar on your browser, replace the www with the word draft. Or open this link in a new window/tab:

You'll see the little orange B in the upper left corner switch to a blue B. This will let you know which version of Blogger you're using. Blogger in Draft is just where Blogger adds and tests new features before they add them to regular (orange B) Blogger.

2. From your Dashboard, click Settings on the blog where you want to change the comments form. Now click on Comments.

3. Look for "Comment Form Placement" and click "Embedded below post" then save.

That's it. This will change the format for all the comments on your blog, not just starting with today's date.

Bonus: If you like this, then you have to see what else Blogger is working on. (I love those guys...) Click your Layout tab then click Add A Gadget. This is where they test out new gadgets. Some new ones you may have seen, others may be totally new to you. IOne of their new ones here that they don't yet have (as of today) in their regular Blogger (orange B) gadgets is the "Search your blog" button.

How do I know about all of this? I cheat.
I'm one of the 792+ followers of and I keep tabs on new stuff in my Google Reader. They tell me when they have something new; I'm not out there searching for it.

Speaking of "Followers," do you have a Follow Me gadget on your blog? It's a Web 2.0 gem, baby. You can see who reads you and get to know them... and if you follow someone's blog you can read the blogs of their other followers and get to know them as well. I love that gadget. But that's another Blog Bling post here. Maybe next week...

If you change your comment form, leave a comment here so we can all swing by and leave you a comment as well.


Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I "Do Follow" you

Have you seen this? Did you know that making this simple change is a huge win-win for both you and your readers?
In a nutshell, most blogs are set up as "No Follow," meaning Google won't consider your link when you leave it in a comment on someone else's blog. This was done to prevent comment spam.

Blog Contest Station recently asked how to remove the "No-Follow," so I figured this may be something more of you are interested in.

It is really easy to change the code in your blog to make it "Do Follow," which means that when someone leaves a comment, Google includes your link when it does its thing. When you leave a comment on a "Do Follow" blog, you are ultimately helping yourself and your Google rank.

You may have seen this badge here and there and heard bloggers mention their blog is "Do Follow." I love blogs that are "Do Follow" blogs and jump at the chance to leave a comment.

For more info and to learn how to change your blog to a "Do Follow" blog, check out Randa Clay Design. She also made the icon shown above.

And yes, this blog is "Do Follow." Help your blog's rank by leaving me a comment.

Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Who is your JV partner?

Do you have a JV partner?
If not, you may want to consider starting a JV* with someone.

*Your JV partner is the person or business that you enter a Joint Venture agreement with for cross selling and cross advertising opportunities.

A great JV example would be a wedding gown store and a hair salon, since they have some overlap with their customer demographics. Or how about the wedding gown store doing a JV with a photographer and a bakery?

Take a minute and think about what they all have in common:
Their target demographic is women... but look further. Yes, the bakery, salon, and photographer have a wide variety of customers, and the bridal gown store generally sells to brides. In fact, brides are the one thing all of these businesses have in common, and when a bride-to-be shops at one of these kinds of businesses, she usually needs one or more of the other businesses.

A JV between any or all of these types of businesses would broaden each ones' customer base and increase sales.

What a JV can do for these particular businesses is:
  • The hair salon, bakery, photographer, and wedding store can put their brochures at each others' businesses.
  • The wedding store hosts a fashion show co-sponsored by the hair salon, bakery and photographer.
  • The bakery writes up a "What's new in wedding cake design" article for the monthly newsletter sent out by the wedding store. (This establishes the bakery as an expert on current trends in wedding cakes.) This article could also be published on the photographer's blog when he delves in to subjects related to wedding photography.
  • The photographer sends the gown store and bakery copies of their photos of brides wearing that gown shops dresses and/or cutting that bakery's cakes to be displayed in the respective shops - and the photographer's name is watermarked on the picture.
  • The bakery provides free samples at the gown store - for customers to taste as they try on dresses.
  • The wedding gown store hosts a wedding dress event and invites all the contacts of the bakery, salon and photographer. The photographer is in the store, photographing brides-to-be as they try on their future wedding dresses for the very first time. The photographer then offers copies of the photos to these young women for their wedding album. Of course, the photo prints have the photographer's watermark on the front and business card on the back.
  • The bakery and the photographer work together to put together a portfolio of wedding cakes. The bakery gets the portfolio and recommends the photographer to customers who order their cakes.
  • The salon and photographer work to put together a similar portfolio agreement.
  • Get the hair salon involved and one of the stylists can do free style demos at the gown shop one Saturday a month. The salon can send an invitation to all their existing customers to attend the demo. (This gets the salon customers into the gown shop and introduces all the gown customers to the salon stylist.)
  • The gown store offers a discount to any bride who orders her cake from that bakery. The gown store also offers a discount to any wedding party who schedules a certain number of hairstyles from the salon. The possibilities to offer a discount for doing business with ones JV are endless.

Other businesses that could join these three in the Joint Venture would be:
a florist
printing and engraving shop
travel agent
banquet room
kitchen store (for kitchen ware and dining goods, probably not cabinets)
shoe store
DJ or band, etc.

True, these businesses don't focus solely on brides, but working out a JV agreement with other businesses that share this niche would absolutely capitalize on the sales strategies of each business involved.

How do you think you could use a JV for your own business? Can you think of at least two businesses that would be a great JV partner for you? Please leave a comment here with your business (and a link!) and one or two ideas on what kind of business you can work with to arrange a Joint Venture.

If you're having a hard time thinking of a potential JV partner for your business, please leave a comment here with a description of what you do and a link to your site and I'll see what ideas I can come up with to help you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What will you show us in your video?

Last week you learned how easy it is to put video in your blog. Have you need wondering what you could do with it? ...or were you even wondering why I told you in the first place?

Imagine you're at an art fair or visiting an artisan's village. You wander from shop to shop, marvelling at all the wonderful things for sale. Some shops have the items displayed on shelves for you to look at, other shops have items on tables that you can pick up and examine more closely.

A few shops feature the artist at work. They talk to the growing crowd about their equipment, supplies, and technique, and look like they're genuinely having fun as they create more of the same art they are selling. It's fascinating to watch them work and explain the process, both technical and creative. As you watch them work, you notice there is always a crowd around their shop and the cashier is very busy, constantly ringing up purchases. After watching for a while, you decide you like this artist, their style, their sense of humor, and you just have to have one of their items. Not only because you love the item itself, but you are enjoying the complete experience of how your item came to be.

You buy the best piece in the shop and bring it home. The next time the art fair comes around or the next time you visit the artisan's village, you look for the same artist to see what new items they are selling this time. You also recommend friends to check them out and talk about your experience.

So now let's think about your business.
Is it a blog? Do you have an Etsy shop? Is there something you would do differently if you were selling to your customers in a shop, face to face?

You could create that same artisan environment with video on your blog. Invite your readers into your studio, office, or other workspace and introduce yourself.

For those of you with an Etsy shop, you could show off different techniques you use. Hint: this will add value to your work once your customers see how work intensive/detailed your craft is, or how much skill goes into creating your pieces. You could also do a regular video series regarding your studio or shop - why not have your customers ask you questions and you dedicate a 2 minute video to answer each question, and run this as a regular weekly series?

You could also show off the process you need to go through to create a piece of your work.

How about showing video highlights on new items in your shop?

Or... show us your muse, so to speak. How about a video of people or places that inspire your creativity?

Do you publish tutorials on your blog? Why not pair up a written tutorial with still photos with a video tutorial. Just watch a cooking show or Carole Duvall on HGTV to see how they plan their video tutorials. They're not that hard.

If your video really stands out because it's unusual (such as the couple having breakfast on their porch with their neighborhood deer,) or funny, very entertaining, cute, informative, or even maybe a little controversial it could circulate around the internet as a YouTube cult classic.

What else can you think of? Comment here with your big brainstorm - or share a link to your video so we can visit... and marvel at your cleverness!

Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Seven steps to hosting a Great Giveaway

Do you regularly host a Giveaway on your blog or website? This is a great way to increase your traffic and get your products in front of new potential customers. It's also a fantastic way to drive a lot of new traffic to your online store, if you have one.

Today's question is: How do you conduct a Giveaway?

1. Plan on what you will give away. It could be:
- Something from your online store and/or something you have made
- A gift certificate to your online store or to your favorite online store
- One of your favorite products (a new one, of course!)
- Something your regular readers would love to have - perhaps a hobby or lifestyle item?
- Something related to your blog topic or something you frequently blog about
- Advertising space on your blog
- A one-year membership - like a pro account from, for example
- Entrecard credits, if you use them

2. Take clear, well-lit pictures of your item on a simple background, then write up an irresistible description of the item. At this point you could package up the item and get it ready to be mailed. Include any promotional material you have for your shop, if applicable. Just make sure you label the outside of the package so you remember what it is.

3. Calculate your cost to host the Giveaway, including shipping. Since this will cost you some money, you'll need to decide if this is a hobby or a business. If it might be a business expense, you may want to consider how to categorize it. I am not a bookkeeper or accountant, so I recommend contacting yours to check on the best way to calculate the cost of the Giveaway into your accounting method, whether it's part of your advertising budget or belongs in a different category.

4. Write out your Giveaway rules.
a) Do you want people to perform specific tasks, such as visiting a certain website and/or leaving comments about anything in particular? Several Etsy shops require contest entrants to visit their shop then leave a blog comment about their favorite thing in the shop. Some bloggers ask contest entrants mention the Giveaway in their own blogs. Others ask for everyone's answers to a specific question. Requiring a specific action, while not necessary, can make the giveaway fun for everyone.
b) What are your Giveaway dates? Note the time zone of your start and end times.
c) How will you pick the winner? There are a few online places that will randomly pick a winner, such as or Contest Machine. Actually, Contest Machine collects entries, then randomly picks and contacts the winner for you. If you're really into hosting Giveaways, you may want to look at Contest Machine to help. At this time, use of the widget is free for up to two Giveaways per month.
d) Write up your entire Giveaway announcement and doublecheck it for clarity.
I am also not a lawyer so I cannot give you legal advice, but I recommend you look into any laws that your Giveaway will need to follow.
e) Where do you want people to put their Giveaway entries? You could have them leave comments on your blog or if you're expecting a lot of traffic you could install a Mr. Linky widget to take care of that for you. (You'll have to register to use the Mr. Linky, but there are two basic Mr. Linkies for free with a basic membership.)

5. Just like sending invitations to a party, invite people to your Giveaway.
a) Make an announcement on your blog at least a week prior to the beginning of the Giveaway.
b) Include a signature line in your outgoing emails with the Giveaway dates and a link to your site. (Be careful not to spam people with emails about your Giveaway, though.)
c) Get the word out. Notify all the blogs and other websites that announce Giveaways a day or two in advance. (Keep in mind it may take them up to a couple days to announce the giveaway, so you may want to consider running your giveaway for up to a week. Experiment and see what works best for you.)
Please follow the submission rules of each site, of course. Some places to start are:
Tip Junkie
Etsy Giveaways
Blog Events Dex
Blog Contest Station
Mom Giveaways
The Giveaway
Barefoot Mommies

If you look at my sidebar you'll see a "Giveaway Toolbar" where I will continue to list these Giveaway announcement blogs as I find them. If you host a Giveaway blog not listed here, please comment below and I'll add you to the list!

d) If you advertise via Project Wonderful, The Indiego, or through other sites, run an ad for your Giveaway. Schedule your ad to end a couple hours before the Giveaway ends.

6. Get ready for traffic. Giveaway time is like tv sweeps, where you are offering something fantastic to encourage new visitors to stop by and check you out. Clean up and spruce up your blog, if needed, and schedule some great blog posts for first time visitors to read. If you don't have a "Subscribe to this blog" button or a "Follow Me" widget (available on Blogger,) add one near the top of the page to make it easy for new visitors to become a regular reader.

7. Unleash the hounds! Post your Giveaway announcement with the picture of your item and watch the traffic zoom in. When it's over, announce the winner to everyone, thank your visitors for stopping by, and send the prize to your happy winner.

Related post: A Brilliant Giveaway Strategy

Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Incorporating Video Into Your Blog

Last week I posted a brief video of my car into this blog to show my friend Amador how easy it is to post videos online.

Today I'd like to share a quick how-to so you can post your own videos on your blog.

It's a lot easier than most people think. Like I said last week, I don't own a video camera.

Equipment Needed:
#1 - A digital camera that can shoot video. If you're not sure about yours, check the various shooting modes you have: close ups, scenery, action, flash, movies... Your shutter button may have a little movie camera icon on or near it.
#2 - A method of transferring images from the camera to your computer. Could be a memory card or a cable that hooks them together.
#3 - A computer with an online connection
#4 - A blog or other website where the video will ultimately be shown

If you're reading this, chances are you have #3 on the list. If you also have at least #1 and #2, then you're ready to start.
First, decide what you will use for your #4 in the above list. It could be YouTube, but I'll be expanding on this concept in upcoming posts and to take advantage of all the great tips coming up, you may want to have your own site (or blog.) At the very least, you'll want a website or blog that will let you submit your video for all to see (other than You Tube.)

Step One: Choose your subject matter.
This first video will be your demo, so don't stress out about this.

If you want to be the star of your demo, set the camera on a counter or cabinet and step back so it can show your lovely face as you recite a short poem or sing a silly song. Actually, you could simply introduce yourself. That would be a short and sweet 15 to 20 second video perfect for your demo.

If you'd rather not be the star (I understand completely,) then find something interesting, be it a family pet, a tree in the yard, or a goofy kid.

Step Two: Shoot your video.
Don't make it too long, just 30 seconds to one minute is enough.
A little camera shake and wobbliness is ok for your demo. You're a real live human.

Shooting tips:

- Make sure you talk during the video to keep it interesting. Describe what you are shooting and explain something interesting or significant about your subject.

- Talk at a comfortable pace, not too fast, and speak clearly. Smile - people will hear it.

- You may want to plan ahead with what you will say to avoid dead space or overuse of words like "Ummm" and "Uh..."

- Make sure there is sufficient light for your viewers to see the subject.

- When moving the camera from one subject to another, move slowly. Rapid movements make viewers dizzy and disoriented with your scene.

Step Three: Upload your video.
If you can take the memory card out of the camera and insert it into a port on your computer, you can upload the video directly you YouTube.

OR - If you need to connect the camera to your computer with a cable, upload the video to a file where you can find it. You can upload it to You Tube from there.

Go to YouTube and either log in or sign up.
In the upper right hand corner, you should see a button that says Upload. Click it and follow the instructions to upload the video you just made.

Your upload will take a few minutes, depending on how fast your internet connection is.
When I upload videos, I notice that YouTube says to wait until I see a message telling me the video is done but it seems to take forever. Meanwhile, if I open a new window and go to You Tube, my video is there, ready to play with. You video may be ready before YouTube tells you it is - you may want to check on it in a new window after a few minutes.

Step Four: Embed your video into your blog.
Note: What blog would you like to post your demo video to? You may want to consider that at this point. Ok. Open that blog. Ready?

When you see your video, grab the code to embed it, and open a new post in your blog. Click to edit the HTML of the post, and paste in the code from You Tube. Add any appropriate comments and publish it.


Once you get the hang of this, you should be able to produce a great little video for your blog in about 15 minutes or less.

Coming up next: I've got some big ideas for you! Check back later this week to find out how you can use video in your blog to increase traffic and/or Etsy sales!

Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I've been tagged!

Wow, my first tag here at this blog. Cool.

My brand new friend Frieda, over at Deer Mountain Arts tagged me, so I hopped over to meet her and say hi.
...and I'm now following her blog, which is a mix of things she's doing in her wood working studio, she tells stories about relationships (the one about Jim and Mary will warm your heart - I got a little choked up when she asked him for 5 more minutes) and she's a real down to earth lady that I wish I lived next door to. Go check her out.

Anyhoo, the rules of the tag is that I share 7 things about myself that you don't already know. Then link back to the person who tagged me, and tag 7 other people.
Here goes. I hope you come back again after you read this. LOL

1. Since I don't have the links on the sidebar at this blog, I'll reveal that I have a very bloggy family. My blogs include, of course, the Pass It On Plates blog and the Plate Diaries. I also have a family blog about my Deaf hubby, rockstar-and-too-smart-for-her-boots daughter, and hyper pooch called The Adventures of Pam & Frank. My hubby's blogs are Deaf Chef at Large and Red Hawk's Deaf Musings. (The latter has been ignored lately, though.) Then of course, the kiddo had to jump on the blogging bandwagon and hers is When Confustion Strikes. She hasn't done much with it, but at one point we had talked about turning it into a Daily Photo blog with pictures of her each day. She spikes her hair and stands in front of the mirror for hours, taking picture after picture, so there is at least 365 pictures she could post. (...each month...) Ok. So we all blog. And we're all a little goofy.

2. Since moving from a single-level apartment to a two level condo a month ago, I have lost almost 5 lbs. The only thing that has changed is that I'm running up and down the stairs a couple dozen times each day. Huh. That was easy.

In a year or two I should have the perfect body. Yah. LOL.

3. I am afraid to be successful. Isn't that stupid? I think I'm afraid that I won't know what to do to stay successful once I get there. Or I'm afraid that if I get really busy with my businesses, I won't be able to keep up. That's dumb and defies logic, but that is probably my biggest hurdle right now.

Oh, and that there is not enough time to do everything I want to do. But that's another issue.

4. One time I conducted evil medical experiments on a slug. (Sorry PETA.) I know salt kills them, and our patio was overrun by slugs one winter here in Oregon. I decided I wanted to find out what else would irritate them, so I pulled out all kinds of condiments to see what would happen. The plan, really, was to use the most offending condiment as a barrier between the paatio and the surrounding bark dust (weed-resistant mulch made from tree bark.)

Things that had no effect: various hot sauces, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, pickle juice, ketchup, yellow mustard, soy sauce (that was a surprise), vinegar. Ol' Mr. Slimy didn't like Chinese Hot Mustard but he slimed up and twisted out from under it.

What really did the trick and made him light up like the night sky on the Fourth of July is Pickling Salt. There may have been some nitrates in it because Ol' Mr. Slimy foamed up in a puff of orange and pink foamy slime until he was about the size of a mango.

If you're feeling sorry for him at this point, I suggest you spend a little time in the Pacific NW and try stepping on one barefoot when you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I had to use nail polish remover and sandpaper to get the slime off the bottom of my foot and out of the carpet. And I was so grossed out and upset that I couldn't get back to sleep for the rest of the night. Well, I was up for three hours trying to remove the slime from the bottom of my foot, so I guess by the time I was done it didn't matter anyway.

I've had Slug Skittishness ever since.

(I had to bleach the patio to clean off the slimy mess. And yes, this changed my mind about nitrates in my own diet.)

Oh phooey. I just remembered. I have 3 uncarved pumpkins sitting on the front step. They're probably slug restaurants by now. I'd better haul them off before they're uncarryable slime pits.

5. 99% of the time I answer questions with long answers and detailed stories.

6. My favorite candy is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups but I do have a thing for Bridge Mix and Licorice Allsorts. I think I enjoy the unexpected. (See? I'm trying really hard to keep this short.)

7. I have the same preference when listening to music. I love certain songs and have a huge playlist of favorites, but given a choice, I prefer to hear new stuff that I've never heard before. BTW, my playlist is all indie, punk, and alternative stuff that's not on the radio (most stations anyway) and most people have never heard of some of my favorite bands. If you're interested, go to 94.7 KNRK and listen to their stream. That's the station set in my car and on my radios at home.

Yes, I said I listen to punk, among other things. But I look like your normal average suburban mom. You'd never know... Unless I drove up to where you are, with the subwoofers pumping out a bass line from British Sea Power, Modest Mouse, or The Beastie Boys. Or Beck and Moby. Oh, I'm on a roll. I'd better stop before I drive you nuts with all these links. I have noticed that my music (car windows up) does tend to turn heads when I'm driving around downtown. I think that surprises people to see me in the car with all the noise. (My little car came with some really powerful subwoofers; I didn't put them in. This was discovered after we bought it. Lucky me!!)

Now to tag 7 other people. How about my regular reads?
Denise of Denise Clenney's Changing Designs
Amy of Bellas Boutique
Melanie of Everything Etsy
FairyAlchemy of In the name of Fairy Bubbles! and a bit of Food!
Libby of ~* Auroras Garden *~
Jenna of CorgiPants

Ok. If you didn't get named in the list above and you're still here after reading this, you get a prize: consider yourself tagged, too!

Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What's with the video?

Today I posted a brief video where I'm pretending to do a little sales pitch on my car.

I posted it here to show my friend Amador how easy it is to put videos in a blog.

I don't even own a video camera.

Stay tuned - Next Monday I'll be posting a tutorial on this and give you some really BIG ideas on how you can use this trick to increase your sales.

Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Demo for Amador

Hi Amador,

Here's a little video to show you some of the features on the 2007 Chevy HHR.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

About Pam Hawk Marketing

Pam Hawk Marketing is a creative marketing service for small business owners.

Do you need inexpensive and easy ways to promote your business?

Would you like to bring in more customers and enjoy repeat sales from existing ones?

Is your business stuck in a rut?

I can make you look good and help you make money.
All on a shoestring budget.

Projects include creative and cost-effective guerilla marketing services, support, and training for independent businesses such as:
+ small online shops
+ handcrafters and artisans
+ owner-operated food service and entertainment venues
+ public events
+ local musicians and bands

My menu of services includes:
Website design
Online social network training and mentoring  see an example here
General marketing services
Guerilla marketing services
Consultation for marketing & promotion

Contact me today to get started marketing your independent business!

To read more posts in this blog, visit the main page at

Did you like this post? How about subscribing
in a reader or by Email?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The identity crisis is over

There's nothing else to do with a restlessly creative brain while moving and unpacking and painting (and painting and painting - 6 rooms and half an office so far,) so I spent all that idle brain time musing and planning.

During that time, I think I have solved this blog's identity crisis. My focus will be to help Etsy stores and local crafters, as well as local farm market vendors, and other independent small businesses do the following:

  • Come up with creative, inexpensive ways to get their business recognized
  • Bring in new customers
  • Increase sales and profits
  • And establish themselves as an expert in what they do
I also offer one-on-one planning sessions to help you figure out how to solve a certain marketing challenge, find a new approach to marketing your business, or help you change something that is holding your business back from finding its full potential.

Just contact me at pam [at] or call me at 503-569-2665 (9am-9pm PST, any day but Sunday) and we'll talk.

To kick off my new identity (my brand), I found this new Blogger template at Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates. The colors and style fit my personality to a T. Hopefully it'll set the mood here and you can get to know me and my style a little better as you read my blog posts.

(It's very "Pamish" and if you know me in person you're probably nodding your head right about now. If you don't really know me yet - stay tuned. You'll see...)

Did you like this post? How about subscribing in a reader
or by Email?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Host a Multi-Vendor
in-house Spouse's Shopping Event

In the last in-house Spouse's Shopping Event post, I talked about turning your home into a boutique for one day as you sell your creations to the spouses and significant others of your customers.

Did you also read about creating a Joint Venture (or JV) for your business?

Why not combine these two ideas and dramatically increase your holiday sales? This is a great way to pool your customers together and everyone has the potential to make a lot of extra sales.

Do you know anyone who sells:
Mary Kay
Cookie Lee Jewelry
Pampered Chef

How about a local massage practicioner, nail technician or hairdresser?

Think about the people you know who have their own full-time or side businesses, and list those who would have similar customers to you.

Contact one to three of these people and invite them to participate in your Spouse's Shopping Event. Each person would follow the steps outlined in the In-Home Spouse's Shopping Event.

If you don't have a space large enough for your guest list, just stagger the times on your invitations. For example, tell a third of your invitation list that the event is from 1-3pm, tell another third of your guests that the event runs from 2-4pm, and another third of your guests can plan to arrive from 3-5pm.

Work with the other vendors you are inviting to this event beforehand to figure out how you will divide the expense of refreshments and gift wrapping supplies.

When sending out invitations to the spouses and significant others, let them know what kinds of items will be available at this event and encourage them to bring their shopping lists with them for help picking out the perfect gift for the other women on their lists. Let them know they can get all their holiday shopping done all at once, with perfect choices that are gift-wrapped and ready to go, (and done early - for bonus points at home!)

Feel free to include your business card with each purchase - any other promotional materials should go in the shopping bag, not wrapped into the gift. Have a sign-up sheet ready for shoppers who want to learn about other special events like this for upcoming holidays such as Valentines' Day and Mother's Day.

Leave a comment here with ideas about who you could JV with for a shopping event like this one!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Host an in-person Spouse's Shopping Event

So now that you have the idea to host an online Spouse's Shopping Event, why not look at doing one at home? It is as easy to host as a birthday party.

Send a card to all your local friends, family, and local acquaintences. In the card, announce your Spouses Shopping Event and invite your local contacts to either visit your online store, or coordinate another way for them to view your handcrafted goods. Have them note their favorites and their spouse or significant other's name on a postcard that they return to you. For an example of the postcard, please see the previous blog post. Make a copy of the post card for the party.

Send a card to all the spouses and significant others inviting them to your Shopping Event. Enclose the postcard as well as any coupons you may want to offer. Be sure to include a coupon for free gift wrapping at the event. Also include a reminder card that they can post on their calendar. Let your guests know what payment types you can accept at this event.

Set up for the event and display your work just as you would set up for a craft fair. Depending on your space, you could set up in your living room, dining room, garage, or anywhere that would be a nice place to do some shopping.

Prepare some snacks and beverages for your guests and put on appropriate music to get your guests in the holiday mood. If most of your guests will be guys, keep this in mind when planning your snacks and beverages.

On the day of the event, you may want to have someone watch your little ones and pets so they don't distract your guests. Remember that you are basically setting up a boutique in your home for the day. (Yes, I do love kids and pets but this needs to be said.)

Invite a friend or two to help out with cashier duties and gift wrapping.

When guests arrive, invite them to look around and help themselves to the refreshments. If they didn't bring their spouse's post card with them, pull out your copy to help them with their shopping. Do they need a gift for anyone else?

When the event is over, send a card to your customer and spouse, thanking them for participating in your Spouse's Shopping Event.

Stay tuned for the next blog post which expands even more on this idea.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Host an online Spouse's Shopping Event

Hey Etsyians, boost your sales during the upcoming holiday shopping season by hosting an online Spouse's Shopping Event.

Send a card to all of your customers using snail mail. In this card, invite them to browse through your shop for their favorite items. Have them note their favorite items and spouse's name on a pre-paid post card that they send back to you.

When the card comes back, send a card to each spouse, introducing your shop and mentioning the favorite items chosen by your customers. Offer a discount, free gift wrapping, and any other specials you would like to extend for this shopping event. Make sure you note a time limit so you have time to get orders wrapped and packaged and shipped out in time for the holidays.

Your customers will love their gifts and their spouses will appreciate the personalized shopping assistance.

Note: By sending cards to your customers via snail mail, you are not violating Etsy's strict no-spam policy (which is a good policy) and your card is more likely to be opened and read by your customers.

Stay tuned for the next blog post which expands on this idea

Friday, October 10, 2008

Expert Article Marketing & Publishing Online

by sandy sahota SS

If you want to drive millions of people to your website annually without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so, you must become an expert in article marketing. This progressive, low cost marketing revolution is changing the face of advertising and public relations across the U.S., and indeed around the world. Before the dawn of the Internet, only companies with tens of millions of dollars set aside for marketing and advertising could make an impact on the psyche of an entire country. And where did all of those tens of millions of dollars go? To television, radio, newspaper, telemarketing and direct mail campaigns. Yes, these marketing vehicles are still effective, but they are losing their power hold month by month around the globe. Usage of traditional media is decreasing daily.

Article marketing (writing pivotal articles and publishing them online) can help build your site and your company in many significant ways. Not only you will drive astronomical numbers of visitors to your site, but you will also achieve a high level of credibility with your target audience, increase your Google ranking (which in turn will bring you lots of free advertising), and build your name in ways that only expensive PR firms were able to do in the past.

Why you ask? As already mentioned people are increasingly turning to the Internet for information, entertainment, and communication and shopping. According to, growth of Internet use in North America rose 106.7% from 2000 to 2005 alone.

Mega publishers and media outlets such as newspapers in major cities, network television and large radio syndicates used to have all the power. In the past, they dictated to the populous what we should be interested in. But the rise in consumer media has changed all that. Nowadays, people just want information about the issues that are of most interest to them. And since most people now turn to the Internet for answers, search engines now rule. What is the first thing you do when you want information? You go to your computer and type in your subject in a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or MSN.

The goal of article marketing is to get people to click on one of your articles, and that article is hosted on your website of course! Once they are already on your site, your chances of engaging them with the rest of what you have to offer (and ultimately becoming a customer) go up exponentially. The more you understand the logic behind search engine ranking systems, the more you can tweak your articles to garner the coveted higher positions in search results.

How much will this cost you? The good news is that article marketing is extremely low cost, and in many cases, totally free. You can achieve wide visibility of your articles with very little or no money at all. There are some inexpensive software packages (such as automated article submitters, etc) but these are generally low cost ($70-$300) and are not absolutely essential for success. Article submission software normally comes with a few hundred article "hubs" already installed (websites whose sole purpose is distribution of articles to thousands of other information sites). You can discover these hubs on your own, but it will take you much more time to find, test and learn to navigate each one. A simple rule - what you don't have in resources, you will end up investing in time.

Article Source: Free Articles ArticleSnatch Article Directory

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So Pam, how do you use Web 2.0?

Glad you asked. This week I'll share with you several social networking sites where I'm active, to some degree. Yes, this is still part of that long email I sent my mom to explain what Web 2.0 is all about. I hope she's got the confidence to explore some of the sites.

And yes, EVERYTHING I do online I am proud to share with my mother.
How about you?

The following list is where you can find me. I'm sure I've forgotten at least a dozen more.

My (public) blogs:

Here is my favorite photo sharing site:


Since all my comments are Do-Follow, why don't you make a list of places where you're active and post them in the comments. Let's see who can make up the longest list, shall we?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blog Bling: BlogUpp!

Today's Blog Bling: BlogUpp!

Instead of writing something new about BlogUpp!, I will copy and paste the Etsy forum post I made in mid July, inviting Etsyians to add a BlogUpp widget to their blogs. The nice folks at BlogUpp! also sent me an email clarifying how the widget works, and since I want to keep everything I do transparent, I have not edited anything. When I started with BlogUpp! I was in a hurry (as usual) and did not read the entire FAQ and didn't realize that if I spread the word about BlogUpp! it would benefit me. I am not posting here for my benefit, either, I just think it's a great tool to promote one's blog and invite you to give it a try if you haven't already done so..

I'd like to mention what I like best about this tool (besides the fact that it is very easy to set up and install,) before I give you the copy/paste. You know how when you shop at they tell you "People who bought this item also bought..." What a great tool to show you similar items that may be of interest to you. BlogUpp! has used a similar approach by promoting similar blogs on your widget. This means that your blog will be promoted on other blogs similar to yours (based on your recent posts) and you will most likely discover other interesting blogs on the widget installed on your own blog. It's a win-win, in my opinion.

On to the cut & paste. I initially introduced BlogUpp! in the Etsy forums like this :

Posted 7/8/08 at 11:32am
A new blog widget called BlogUpp! doubled my blog traffic but most of the blogs are mom blogs. We need more crafty blogs on the BlogUpp! network. It's free to join, no signup required - takes <1>
PS: Thanks!

Oh - if you want to see it in action, take a look at mine.
It's on the sidebar under my Project Wonderful ad.
Hover your mouse over the images and you get the RSS feed from those blogs. Click and it takes you there. But like I said, they're all mom blogs - which is fine, but I'd love to see more crafty blogs out there so they'll get promoted on my site.

Once you put the link to your site in the box and hit the "Shoot ahead!" button, put their code on your site. Their admins take a look at your site, check the code, and (within about a day in most cases) you're live. Give it a day or two from the time you put the code on your site and you'll start seeing some nice results.

When you first put the code on your site, the BlogUpp! bar is grey. When you're approved the bar is blue. I think not approved is red, but that would usually be the case for gambling, and adult sites. Not a prob here, right?

Wow - when I started this I figured there would be maybe a handful of responses. I promised myself I would do my best to visit every blog adding (or using) BlogUpp and thank everyone personally for joining and helping to promote each other.

I think I visited all the blogs listed in the first 3 pages here, maybe 4? I'll have to check back tomorrow and try to thank everyone else who is participating.
Meanwhile, * * T H A N K Y O U * * to everyone!!
And holey cheese, people - do you realize just how much talent we have here? I have spent a wonderful evening visiting some amazing blogs showcasing all kinds of incredible things.

Posted on 7/10/08 at 2:51pm, about two days into the project...
Wow, I'm seeing a LOT more crafty blogs in rotation on that nifty little widget. Thanks everyone so far!

I went back to the BlogUpp site and clicked on stats.
Have you checked this out? They show you how many times your blog has been viewed, how many clicks you've gotten, etc. And if you post about it in your blog they give you more blog impressions on other peoples' blogs.
That's extra free advertising, baby!

During all of this, I had asked BlogUpp! a question
about how it works. Their quick response:

Thank you very much one more time for sharing your finding of the widget. We are impressed how receptive has been the Etsy community to your invitation. As mentioned in our earlier email, we've updated our records and your weblog was assigned  additional bonus impressions, for its extra-promotion. You can see that in your stats under "Additional impressions".

Concerning your questions, you understood it right. Everything that's related to the promotion of your blog, stands under "Inbound", i.e. the clicks to your blog and your blog views within the community. Whereas "Outbound" stands for the clicks and promotion from your blog towards the community. And it's important to mention that for each 10 impressions displayed on your blog in the widget, your blog gains 9
more views in the community, which accumulate in your balance.

You might be seeing in your stats not big figures for the "inbound impressions" lately. That's only because you've been an active clicker, and the system looks to promote your blog on other community blogs with relatively the same click activity, in order to increase the number of actual visitor to your blog. It means that your
impressions sharing is more qualitative rather than quantitative. The growth of the community from your lovely category will render better results, and more new connections for you and your blog.

Please don't hesitate to let us know should you need further information.

Thank You!


The BlogUpp! Team
As usual, when you learn about a new bit of Blog Bling here, (don't you just love alliteration?) post your URL in the comments so everyone can check out this bling on your site. Remember too, that all blog comments are DoFollow, so leaving your comment plus link is an extra shot of Goggle juice for your site. Win-Win.

Ok? So come on, comment comment.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So then, where is Web 2.0 and how do I find it?

Last week I explained what Web 2.0 is all about. To fully understand Web 2.0, here are some well-known websites that embrace it:
  • - upload videos and viewers will comment on it and post it to other websites
  • and - social networking sites where you can chat, share music and photos, and find friends with similar interests
  • blogs such as those on and, etc - chronological websites or online journals that are open to readers worldwide, and any reader can comment on what you write.
  • photo sharing sites like,, and - upload your pictures for everyone to see, comment on, and share with others
  • - a place to upload all your internet bookmarks online. You can see how many other people have bookmarked a particular site, you can browse bookmarks of other Delicious users to find other things that may be of interest to you, and meet new people who share similar interests.
  • - submit interesting websites, news items, photos, blog posts, etc, and other digg users will vote based on whether they dig it or not. Submitted items that get a lot of "diggs" (positive votes) rise to the top of the page which increases visibility of that item. Things that are "buried" (negative votes) sink to the bottom rank and fade away until they're forgotten. It's a great place to find interesting stories, recipes, etc. Creating interesting content and submitting it to digg is also a great way to increase traffic to one's website.
  • Blog networks such as,, and - submit your blog(s) and readers looking for your topics will read from these clearing house websites. Members who join networks based on topic will get more traffic to their blogs, as well as see what other blogs their friends read, what social networks their friends belong to, etc. It's a huge social network where you can meet people and find out who they're friends with and what they and their friends are interested - and expand your own network.
  • - I'm still learning about this one, since my phone isn't cooperating. You can send text messages from your cell phone to this website and instantly interact and chat with other "tweeters" (twitter users.) You can text a question and receive responses from other tweeters instantly.
  • - post your background, resume, and people in your network in order to network with others. Many people have found employees and/or received job offers through linkedin.
I'm proud to say that I'm totally involved in Web2.0 and social networking. Next week I'll post a slew of sites where I'm somewhat active.

Monday, September 29, 2008

What the heck is Biz Bling?

A couple weeks ago I introduced a new category of posts called Blog Bling. These are my reviews about tips and tools available to enhance your blog, and often a brief tutorial on how to add them to your blog.

This week I want to tell you about another new feature I call Biz Bling. Because this blog focuses on marketing your creative business and/or small business, my job is to let you know about new tools and techniques available today to really get your business in the forefront. These new tools make a greater impact on your customers and your bottom line.

They don't teach these things in business school and I know you don't have time to scout out and experiment with all the new stuff online. Let me handle the finding out, learning about, and trying out and I'll give you the lowdown so you can decide if it's something you want to pursue. My blog posts are written in plain English and I always try to break down technical jargon or explain tech-y stuff in real terms. Ditto for all technical tutorials I post here. If it's not easy to read, who's going to waste their time trying to figure out what I'm saying?

Again, these blog posts are my opinions only and I am not paid or compensated to blog about any other company. Nobody asks me to blog about them, either. I tell you this because I want you to trust what I have to say and not wonder if you're reading some sort of advertisement. When I want to advertise to you, I'll say so.

That said, please check back often to see what's new. Subscribe, bookmark, or follow me (see sidebar widget) so you don't miss any tasty tidbits.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Blog Bling: Slide

Here's a bit of bling for your blog: Slide
I first discovered this at laurie beggin glass musings where she installed an interactive guest book.

Have you seen Slide sliding around the internet?
It's a lot of fun to use to make your blog more interactive. Very easy to set up.

I've got a Slide slideshow at the bottom of my family's blog, The Adventures of Pam & Frank, where it chronicles a road trip to Seattle that we took this past summer. A Slide guest book is installed at the top of my Plate Diaries. I installed it recently and very quickly three visitors signed it. I know these people in real life (a very good friend I've known since 6th grade, my sister, and my favorite former neighbor who has stayed in touch for the past 8 years.) What I absolutely love is that while none of these wonderful ladies leave comments on any of my 4 public blogs, they signed my guest book. I had no idea they even read my blogs!

Here's my guest book.


Setting up and installing your Slide is so darned easy I'm not even going to give you a tutorial. You don't need one.

Now put your thinking cap on and imagine how you can use Slide to promote your site or product. If you comment here with your idea you get a gold star (figuratively) and everyone will learn what a brilliant thinker you are.

Go forth and slide! Leave a comment here with a link to where you put your Slide and we'll go check it out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What the heck is Web 2.0 ? ?

My mom has been taking computer classes and is pretty comfortable with surfing and emailing and such. She reads my blogs periodically, and comments on them occasionally.

Recently, she mentioned that her computer teacher (and big-shot web designer in town I might ad) could not answer any of her questions about blogging.

*tsk* My poor mother is falling behind the times. (Ok she's 70. Sorry mom. You're awesome and you know I love you.) I took it upon myself to bring her up to speed.

After sending the email I thought there may be a few of you who would like a little info about some of this as well, as the internet has recently gone through a radical change that only geek blogs are buzzing about, and only in terms that are over the heads of most of us regular folk. (Sorry geeks, I love all of you too.)

If you're reading this, you deserve to stay in the loop on things here. This is written in layman's terms and if I'm a little off on something, please leave a nice comment to clarify.
Here's what happened to the internet:
  • The internet has changed and is now called Web 2.0
  • When there's a minor change in a computer program, the version number jumps by a 1/10th of a point. Such as Windows 3.0 to Windows 3.1 This was back when people started getting computers at home and the internet was just a series of message boards, circa 1989. Usually these changes are only noticed by programmers and people who constantly use the programs.
  • Every time there's a major change in programming, the version number jumps a whole number, such as Internet Explorer 6.0 to Internet Explorer 7.0. The average consumer can pick up on these changes which include a whole new look to the program, major improvements to how it works, etc.
Lately, people have been talking about Web 2.0
This is a major change to the internet and it is not really a programming change, meaning some guys in a computer lab didn't re-write how the internet works. Instead, the people who use the internet and write programs that you can use on the internet gradually made improvements until the entire internet changed to a completely different kind of entity.
This change is called Web 2.0 - it's a social network.

So what's the change? Unlike other whole-number changes, you are not aware that you're seeing the new version, but when I explain it you'll say "Aha!"

During the days of Web 1.0, the internet was like an online encyclopedia, online class, and online shopping mall. Consumers went there to get information. Businesses had websites that provided information. That was it.

Web 2.0 is an interactive online community where the consumers take info and give info. Businesses provide info and invite the consumers to talk about it, share it, re-use and re-purpose it, and talk back to the business that originally provided it. Web 2.0 is more of a full-on online conversation.

To fully understand Web 2.0, come back next Wednesday and I'll share some well-known websites that embrace it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What the heck is Blog Bling?

There are so many interesting and useful blog enhancing widgets available for free I thought you might be interested in learning about what's available, how they work, how to install one, and what you could use it for.

I call all of these little gizmos Blog Bling. Nobody pays me a dime to blog about them and I'm not asked to do any reviews. This is all based on what I find (and I mention where I found it), what it looks like, what my opinion is about the widget, how it works, how to install it, etc.

As I blog about them I'll add a link to my sidebar
so you can find the link easily or refer someone over here to grab the link.

If you have one of the widgets I blog about on your blog, please leave a comment here with your URL. I have disabled the nofollow on my comments, so every comment counts. Plus, if you are reading about a widget and want more info before trying it out, I strongly encourage you to check out the URLs in the comments to see the widget in action.

Commenting and following is just good blog karma, anyway.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Blog Bling: Quick Ribbon

Here's a bit of blog bling for you to try out: Quick Ribbon.
I discovered this at Psilology, and had to give it a go. The results - very easy, looks good.

I'm using this tool on my Pass It On Plate blog and Plate Diaries
to promote giveaways and sales. The ribbon is a link, so when people click it they go to the blog post that talks about that promotion. You could use it to advertise your special events or just point people toward your store/shopping cart. It's up to you.

The Quick Ribbon website makes it extremely easy to design your ribbon. The trick is installing it into your blog. Installation is easy, but it means you have to go into the actual HTML of your blog. Don't worry, I'll walk you through it here.

Install your own Quick Ribbon in 5 steps.
1. Go to the HTML of your blog. As always, copy and paste ALL your code into a notepad document on your computer before touching anything. Save the document.
2. Near the top of your code, find the word <head>. You could hit ctrl+F and your computer will find it for you.
3. Insert your Quick Ribbon code just under <head>.
4. If you have a favicon under <head>, you can put this above or under your favicon. It shouldn't matter.
5. Save, then go look at it.

One note: I discovered that the code makes the entire corner a hot spot, meaning if you click anywhere in the corner, even if the ribbon isn't covering it, it will take you to the link you programmed into the ribbon. If you are using Blogger, this will affect how you get to your dashboard. Just click New Post and navigate to your dashboard from there. It's a little annoyance in my opinion, but I can live with it for the occasional use of the ribbon.

Ok - go try it!
When you have it installed, be sure to comment here with your URL and we'll all go and check it out!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Well that was easy

Check out the URL for this blog in your address bar. What does it say?

It used to be but now it's a simple and perfect
Worth every penny of the $10 spent this afternoon to buy my own domain.

Would you like a quick 3-step tutorial on how to get your own domain for your blogger blog?
Required skills:
  • You must be able to type the name of the domain you want
  • You must have a credit card
  • You must be willing to use the credit card

Um, that's pretty much it. Comment here if you want the tutorial and I'll post it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Favicon Tutorial -
Making a little tiny
picture thingy

A couple weeks ago, I posted here on this blog, and here on my other blog, a little tutorial on how to find hex codes when you're tweaking the color of your blog template.

In the screen shots used for the tutorial, you can see the Firefox various tabs I had open at the time. I was careful to make sure that the visible items were suitable for world-wide viewing, and didn't think much beyond "Is that private information or not?"

I had a good chuckle when Brad from left this comment on the post:
LOL. It's pretty cool seeing your favicon in a tab on a screenshot..
Thanks for visiting!

Yeah Brad, that actually is pretty cool. I guess the secret's out about what I read when I post. (I haven't heard from Chris Brogan, yet. Score one for Brad for picking this up first - of course Brad, you have two tabs to Chris' one.)

To my dear readers, if you are wondering what the heck Brad is talking about, the favicon is the little picture thingy that you see on the left side of each tab in the picture below. There's also a favicon in the address bar on the browser in the picture. (Brad's favicon is a bold, dark letter "B")

If you look up at the address bar at the top of your screen right now, you probably see a favicon, too. It could be the orange Blogger "B" or my pink zinnia that I use as my avatar everywhere I go.

Would you like to make one for yourself? It's pretty easy. You can do this.

There are a lot of good tutorials out there, so instead of repeating what other folks have said, I'll just point you toward two that are well-written and not too tech-y.
Short and sweet. Easy if you already have a website or hosting to which you can upload your favicon image.
Here, Sarah mentions using Flickr to host your favicon image.

When you get yours installed, leave a comment here and share your link so we can see your favicon masterpiece.

PS: Hey Brad, when you leave a comment here, would you mind sharing how you found this post? Technorati, Google Alerts, etc? I'd like to use it as an example for a future post.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Are people talking about you?

One thing bloggers do is talk about other bloggers. In almost every case this is a good thing and it can send a nice flow of traffic to the talked-about blogger's site.

So today's question is this:
If you're a blogger, how do you know when someone is talking about you?

Two easy ways to check this are with Technorati or Google Alerts.

Technorati can be used to see what other blogs have mentioned yours. Just type your blog name in the search box. A list of posts mentioning your blog will appear. Click on your blog name under one of your own posts, then scroll down to see blog reactions to your blog. You'll need to visit Technorati each time you want to see what's being said about you.

Personally, I prefer Google Alerts. Instead of searching their database, you tell it what to search for and the results are regularly emailed to you. Not only can you search for your blog name, but you can search for specific keywords. Tell Google how often you want to be emailed, then sit back and don't worry about missing anything.

One thing I love about Google Alerts is their keyword search feature. I have set up Google Alerts to let me know when all my trademarked words and my name are used in any blog. Yes, my own blogs appear in the emailed results, but I quickly learn about every mention of these terms and my name on other blogs as well. It's a simple, no-brainer way to keep track of who's talking about me.

I used Google Alerts during my last Pass It On Plates giveaway. One of the ways people could enter the giveaway was to blog about the contest and/or blog about which Pass It On Plate they wanted. Google Alerts told me who was blogging about it even before I visited my own blog to check the comments.

Do you use any online tools to track who is blogging about you?
Please comment here and share your tips.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Video advertising

This morning, I saw an interesting email in my inbox offering a free video ad based on my own images uploaded to my uShops store. This is a brilliant idea. Merchants who take advantage of this free offer would be wise to post that video to their blog, website, social networking sites (such as MySpace, Facebook, Ning, etc.)

On a side note, check out the bottom of the email where you can share this email with various other social networking sites with just a few clicks. That's some very clever viral marketing.

Will I be making a video of Pass It On Plates? You bet.

Meanwhile, I'm intrigued by the links to, digg, etc at the bottom of the post. I will examine that further and talk more about it in an upcoming post.

Read on...


Our mission is to help you sell online.

We, at uShops are excited to announce that we have partnered with companies to provide video ads to all shops. We think this will provide our users a great marketing opportunity to showcase their products in a interactive manner within their own community, websites , blogs or video sharing sites. More views will lead to exposure which will convert into sales.

For a pilot project, we are inviting your shop(and products) to be morphed into a online interactive video. If you choose, we will create and host a 30-45 second video of your shop (its products) and provide with you a link to post to any online site. We will post selected videos on the uShops blog as well.

Just send a email to and enter "I want my Video ad" in the subject to have your video sent to you by early next week (1st Sep 2008). By sending the email you give us permission to create video using your product images. We will need at least 5 products in your shop to be eligible for the video creation service.

BTW - This pilot service is free to use and you can post this video to as many site as you like.

Feedback , comments and other suggestions on this topic are welcome.

Thank you for using uShops
uShops Support team

This message was sent from notifications to It was sent from: redbytes software, 1801 Wing on building, 26 des Veoux road, Central., Hong Kong, NO NA, Hong Kong. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below. Email Marketing Software

Manage your subscription
View this message in the iContact Community: View message Comment on this message Receive as RSS
Share this message with others: Digg reddit Facebook StumbleUpon