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.