Thursday, November 10, 2016

WRITING: How To Start A Blogger Blog-Watch Videos


Starting a blog is easy. If you've always wanted to write often about things that you love, that you know about, and that you want to learn about too, now is the time to get started. You're not getting any younger, and time waits for no one. Remember? Do you want to blog, or do you want to continue dreaming about blogging?

Here is one video about using Blogger.com, by Lashay Hudson, the creator of Dream Home Based Work. I will add more videos soon,  hopefully about other blogging sites.



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The Creative Seller

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

WRITING: Start Writing Poems With Short Haiku

When I became interested in writing Haiku, I really thought that I would not be very successful. The intense restrictions in lines and length seemed like a format that would constrain and frustrate me too much.

Instead, I took well to writing in the 5/7/5 format. Here is one of my verses that illustrates the defining feature of this Asian poetic form.


Tissue-Thin Transcience

Tissue-thin red leaves.
Shaking and quaking in gust.
Detach, flip, and fall. 

The Japanese poetry format of Haiku is written in a 3-line stanza, where the lines are 5/7/5 syllables. Some misunderstand this to mean 5/7/5 words.

The easiest way to stick with the traditional format is to count out the syllables of your words on your fingers, as you repeat them. Try it while reading my Haiku. You will see that the first line is 5 syllables, the second line is 7 syllables, and the last line is 5 syllables.

At Poets.org, Haiku is described as "Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression." It is true. The poet only has a total of 19 syllables in which to squeeze a moment in time. This verse format is the ultimate in distilling an experience onto paper. Though writing a Haiku may seem difficult, the good thing is that the lines do not rhyme.

If you find yourself writing a Haiku about any subject other than nature, you are writing a Senryu.

I hope you post your first Haiku, or second or third, in the comments. That way, I and others can read and give feedback.
_________________________
The Creative Seller 

Poem (c)Holland Writing & Publishing 
Image: Pexels.com Free Stock Photos 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

MARKETING: What Is Spam? Am I Doing It?

I thought Twitter's definition of  spam was interesting, because I encounter members who regularly do at least 3 of these things. We all know that spamming is bad marketing, and we shouldn't do it, but sometimes the line is very thin. It's good to have explicit directions to consider from different sites. Read what Twitter says below:

"Spam: You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as we respond to new tricks and tactics by spammers. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are:
    • if you have followed and/or unfollowed large amounts of accounts in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive following or follower churn);
    • if you repeatedly follow and unfollow people, whether to build followers or to garner more attention for your profile;
    • if your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates;
    • if a large number of people are blocking you;
    • if a large number of spam complaints have been filed against you;
    • if you post duplicate content over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account;
    • if you post multiple unrelated updates to a topic using #, trending or popular topic, or promoted trend;
    • if you send large numbers of duplicate replies or mentions;
    • if you send large numbers of unsolicited replies or mentions;
    • if you add a large number of unrelated users to lists;
    • if you repeatedly create false or misleading content;
    • if you are randomly or aggressively following, liking, or Retweeting Tweets;
    • if you repeatedly post other people’s account information as your own (bio, Tweets, URL, etc.);
    • if you post misleading links (e.g. affiliate links, links to malware/clickjacking pages, etc.);
    • if you are creating misleading accounts or account interactions;
    • if you are selling or purchasing account interactions (such as selling or purchasing followers, Retweets, likes, etc.); and
    • if you are using or promoting third-party services or apps that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising "more followers fast", or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account)."
________________________________
The Creative Seller 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

BUSINESS: Free Places To List Your Creative Products #1



Below are short overviews of websites where you can list your creations for free. Though the account and product listings are free, most venues charge a fee when an item sells, usually a small % of the total sale. Some venues are 100% free, and do not charge a fee when a product sells. This is #1 in the TCS
series of free listing venues.

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Artifyy...
is a comprehensive creatives site where "options include our STORE; where products are sold at a fixed rate, a SERVICE MARKETPLACE; where artists offer individual creative and business services and a JOB BOARD; where consumers can post jobs they need done and talented Artists bid on their jobs!" It is free to join, and you can sell anything that you make (in keeping with their TOS), and any services that you provide. 

It appears that Artifyy is located in Canada (map marker graphic in footer), and was launched in August, 2016. They take credit cards and Paypal. They take 10% on sales, and according to their Q&As the "10% fee goes towards our marketing budget, so we can get your products in front of thousands of consumers every month."  They also hold funds in escrow. Seller withdrawal of funds is through Paypal, and the platform minimum is $50. Not so bad for services and digitals, but if you sell physical products that require shipping, and can foot that bill until your account reaches $50, it may be a great place for you to sell too! I did not see forums or a community, but they have pages at G+, Facebook and Twitter.

Artifyy.com Q&As 

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Fervous.com...
has no listing or monthly fees, and charges a FVF of 5%, for handmades, vintage and crafting supplies. The site uses Stripe payment processor only, which charges fees that are comparable to other payment sites. Fervous has a blog called On The Spectrum, and the rapidly-disappearing-from-other-venues onsite forums. No logging in to another site to hobnob! I like Fervous' format, which is clean and neat! The site is beautiful and the shops are easy to navigate.

Fervous.com Q&As

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GLC Craft Mall... 
has been around since November 2004, and is located in Delta, B.C. which is approximately 20 miles South of Vancouver, B.C. and 20 miles North of Blaine Washington. This venue is for crafters, artists, artisans and designers. For the free basic plan, you can list 12 items. The Basic Plus Store allows listing up to 100 items for a flat rate of $3.50 per month, which is $42 a year.

GLC Craft Mall uses Paypal for order processing, and there are no setup fees, no commissions, no contracts. There is a 30-day free trial for all upgraded plans. Sellers are required to list 6 items, with images and full product descriptions, within 48 hrs of opening a shop. There is a 7-day deadline for shop deactivation, and a 30-day deadline for shop deletion. I wish more venues would adopt this policy.

The owner states that "We only allow 150 Free Basic Stores in the GLC Arts and Crafts Mall! Basic Stores that have not added any product will be Deleted after 30 Days." This is a great feature, one that I've never heard of at any other listing site. It reduces dead shop clutter, and makes the visitor browsing experience much easier and productive. There is no community at this venue, but there is a Facebook page.

The product listing interface, while extensive and complete, can be somewhat intimidating to some sellers. Also, adding images requires a little more time and patience. They are uploaded and stored in your on sight image library, where you can create folders for organization. It is from there that you select images for your listings. GLC Craft Mall has some great marketing and promotion features built into the product listing interface. When you learn to fill it out completely, it will help maximize your SEO.  

***Sellers Please Note: The search function at GLC Craft Mall does not seem to be always accurate, which is frustrating. Part of the problem could be that some unscrupulous sellers could be improperly cross-listing in order to spam visitors. Another reason could be because of a small data-base of sellers on the site, which causes fill-in products to load when the few that the visitor searched have loaded.

GLCCraftMall.com Q&As, Terms & Conditions

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ShopHandmade.com...
is located in Washington state, and offers 100% fee-free shops and unlimited listings for handmades, re-supplies, and creative services. They say, "Sell as many products as you want. Keep all the money. That's it. No catch." Paypal is the money processor, and your products are shared on the site homepage in the marketplace. There are no public or private stats and no on-site community. On the marketplace page at the bottom, the recently updated shops thumbnails have a fun feature. Mouse over a shop to see the main image slide down. 

ShopHandmade.com Store Policy, FAQs & Update

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Vangoe.com...
is an auction option listing site that refers to itself as "the ebay alternative". Be sure to see the ***Sellers Note at the end.  Vangoe: the art of online selling, is not a site dedicated to handmades, but has extensive categories for handmades, and is open to all products, even cars and trucks. They claim to feature a fair feedback system, free re-listing of up to 52 items (above that there must be a fee to relist), and a whopping 14 payment methods. One video can be added to each listing, and they host digital downloads.

Click the BUY button and be served a plethora of categories, including 36 under Arts & Crafts. There is also a separate Arts category, as well as Aviation, Bulk Items and eBay Imported Items. Interesting! The FVF is 5%, except for a small number of categories, which have a higher fee and/or a flat listing fee. From what I understand, sellers are allowed to set an auction listing, or set the listing to unlimited, and not receive bids. I did not see forums or a community, but stores can be faved.

***Sellers Please Note that Vangoe offers free standalone listings, and a$9.95 per month shop feature. If you free list with Vangoe, you will not have a shop home for your products, and no shop banner. Your listings will only be in the stream of the marketplace. Visitors can pull up all listings per seller, but no shop front will show for that seller. To have your own shop front you have to buy the monthly subscription.

Vangoe.com FAQs.
___________________________
The Creative Seller
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