Thursday, February 15, 2018

Business: Pionik Is Like Pinterest

Found Pionik through a Pinterest pin (and don't ask me how to pronounce it) and did not like the site as soon as I went there. Firstly, social media buttons are lined vertically left on top of each and every image. Very distracting. Could not even look at a page of pins very long.

There is no help or about page anywhere on the site and I like to read about sites and people. I clicked on Our Community and there are about 50 registered members. Member Fercha has a profile page with an avatar, header and a few tote bag patterns on it.

According to , the site has been in operation for 1 yr 9 mos, and the server is hosted near Wichita, KS. It gets over 1,000 unique visitors per day, and over 5,000 page views. The Alexa global traffic rank is #405,951.

If you're seeking a non-congested Pinterest alternative, you should give Pionik a try. They say this about their site: Pionic is a visual bookmarking tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests. This image bookmarking site has a long way to go to rival Pinterest though. Pinterest congestion, by the way, is what makes it such a rich place for inspiration.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

WRITING: How To Write Poems For Beginners

If you have problems with a poem springing forth in your mind, i.e., you lack inspiration, first decide how many lines you want to have. In The Sky Through Bare Branches I decided to write 2 stanzas with 5 lines each. The lines do not rhyme, but are free-flowing thoughts.

To write a poem, decide how many lines you want to have.

The Sky Through Bare Branches

I love seeing the sky through bare branches.

I don’t know what it is, but

The white limbs of

The paper birch look silvery

Against the azure blue.

I love seeing the sky through bare branches.

As the scattered leaves

Shiver stiffly in

The cold gust,

I bid fall ado.

©Holland Writing And Publishing | All Rights Reserved  

In Blue Winter Sky, I chose 3 stanzas of four lines each, and this is a rhyming poem. If you want your poem to rhyme, decide on which lines. You can choose any format, but some seem harder to rhyme. The 1st and 4th lines are an example. You can even do something like the 1st and 3rd, and the 2nd and 4th in the same poem. This is quite a challenge.

Sometimes your thoughts will lean towards a certain rhyming format. I chose the 3rd and 4th lines in each stanza for Blue Winter Sky.

To write a rhyming poem, decide on which lines you want to rhyme.

Blue Winter Sky

The winter sky is very blue,

As I look out in disbelief

That winter sky could be so rich

In color blue, while trees are sticks.

I stand and gaze on wintry scene,

With brilliant blue across the sky,

With air so very crisp and cold,

With skeletal trees so black and bold.

The sky is such a lovely blue.

On Heaven's canvas Nature's brush

Has deftly added glorious hue,

Has placed her artist skill on view.

©Holland Writing And Publishing | All Rights Reserved

Creative Selling Ideas at TCS: 

  1. Print or type up a few of your poems on 8 1/2 x 11" paper turned sideways and folded to make 8 1/2 x 5 1/2" pages. So 1 sheet of paper will fold into 4 sides in stead of 2 sides for the large sheet of paper. Cut out pictures from magazines to illustrate your poems and paste them to the pages. Staple the folded sheets together at the fold line or spine. You can also glue each page spine into each other. Staple or glue a folded piece of 8 1/2 x 11" colored paper or cardstock to the outside of your folded booklet, or signature. Decorate the front simply or elaborately and give your booklet as a gift. You have now published a book of your poems, in the most simple and pure way.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

BUSINESS: Facebook, Selling & Copyright Infringement

Ina Steiner talks about the nightmarish result when a seller bought an item at a flea market and listed it for sale on Facebook. The handmade product featured some type of branded element that was not identified in this article. There are so many pitfalls to navigate when selling anything associated with copyrighted and trademarked products. Maybe this will help you avoid some of them, The Hidden Risk Of Selling On Facebook.


Monday, January 8, 2018

BUSINESS: Ending Product Prices In 9-Something

In considering changing to ending my handmades products prices in 9-something, I recently did research about the perceived value of this marketing practice. I have resisted in the past, preferring to list prices as I considered them to be, ending in .00 mostly, and sometimes in .45, .65 or .25. I have always felt that this is more honest. The psychological info about what helps lead people to buy, however, is sound. It involves more about what people are comfortable with upon first observation of a price tag, rather than deceiving shoppers as I had previously thought.

I've never felt that it was fair to lead shoppers to believe that a product is $10 when it’s actually $11, by pricing it at $10.99. I've always considered it to be a trick to fool the eye. It is interesting, though, to learn the psychological reasons behind what people think when observing $10.99 versus $11.00.  Here’s one article that I read at titled The Psychology Behind The Sweet Spots Of Pricing

Even as a crafter and artist involved in eCommerce, I am still protective of consumers. When retailers use deceitful tactics to wring a dollar from my purse, I don't like it. It has occasionally resulted in protest and permanent boycotting from me. While I think that the psychology of buying can be abused, there is a lot to be said for helping the customer to feel comfortable, rather than repelling them. I'm going to work on my prices. Am I caving in? I could perceive it that way, if I want to be negative. I choose to perceive it as putting my customers first, rather than being stubborn.

I do understand that the info that I've shared above won't make a difference to everyone who reads it, but it surely changed my stubborn stance. I'm always seeking ways to encourage visitors to spend time in my shops, which can lead to more sales. It also shows compassion for potential customers, because they don't understand that they are being repelled and possibly missing out on just what they were seeking.

Understanding psychological behavior about many things is important to me, and I learned from the psychological studies of prices that some people can be unconsciously turned away by price endings, when otherwise they might have found something that they liked.

I LOVE sticking to my guns about anything and everything, but changing my habits about pricing my handmades is a small price to pay for the possibility of increased sales.

As an aside:  The studies show too that there is also value in pricing certain types of products with prices ending in .00.  Those who are crafters and artists can effectively use both methods.

Other interesting articles about the psychology of pricing: Psychological Pricing 99 vs 97 - Can You Help? 5 Psychological Studies on Pricing That You Absolutely MUST Read

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

BUSINESS: eCommerceBytes Nominations Ending Soon

Have you nominated your fav selling venues for inclusion in the eCommerceBytes 2018 Sellers Choice Awards? You can nominate up to 5, and nominations close in a week. Voting opens 1/14/18. 2018 eCommerceBytes Selling Venues Nominations.

Friday, December 29, 2017

MARKETING: Easy Promoting In Etsy Promo Thread

Posted my first listing in the Etsy promo forum today. No special characters or coding needed for image to show. Just post the http:// link to the listing page and the pic shows with the title, price, shop name and this is great, the favorite button!

It's in the Wall Hanging Gifts thread, "I May Stumble I May Even Fall But I Always Get Up" Small Motivational Wall Art, Handmade Beaded Hanging Decor.

At some venues it's time-consuming to promote like this, because of the steps it takes to have an image show. I don't think that promo posts without an image get much play. Many visitors are pressed for time and want to see the product in the thread before they decide to visit the link.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

MARKETING: Saving Time In Repeat Marketing

In Small Business Trends' article, How to Automate Your Small Business Marketing with These 4 Approaches, they discuss automatic email marketing "to begin a campaign or follow up on the actions of prospects and customers". As they note about this affordable way to market products and services, if it is done incorrectly they are rarely read.

I think that the best email marketing tool is a newsletter. Potential customers and others can sign up for it, i.e., it's voluntary, versus sending out marketing emails to every email address that you've ever run across. The latter can be annoying and perceived as spamming. Ultimately, it is useless, a waste of time and effort.

Source: Small Business Trends

Thursday, December 14, 2017

BUSINESS: New Etsy Shop Positive Words Artwork

Positive Words Artwork shop at Etsy

I recently opened at Etsy after sitting on my membership for years. I don't have any illusions about getting-rich-quick there. Been monitoring the changes and problems for years. Just something I decided to do to challenge myself, because the increasing problems there always repelled me when I considered opening.

Have A Nice Day Mixed Media Wall Art from Positive Words Artwork
My shop is PositiveWordsArtwork. It is a place where all things are motivational, inspirational, uplifting, encouraging and self-esteem building. It is a happy place, no matter what challenges may be happening in our lives, or out in the world.

Happy Greeting Cards from Positive Words Artwork

Happy Pillow Boxes Set From Positive Words Artwork

I create my products in my pet-free/smoke-free home studio, and shipment is in 2-3 days.

A look at a corner of the workshop of Artsy Craftery Studio

Papercrafting in progress using reused book text

Paper Quilting and Vintage Papercrafts books and supplies in workshop of Artsy Craftery Studio

Eyeglass chain beaded craft project in progress at Artsy Craftery Studio

Craft supplies at Artsy Craftery Studio

Papercraft project at Artsy Craftery Studio

I do love the Lord, so some products feature scriptures and other Christian sentiments, but not all. If you are not a person who lives by faith, I still have many products that you would like.

Faith Fish Design Keychain at Positive Words Artwork

Proverbs Christian Scripture reference on mixed media artwork at Positive Words Artwork
So much has changed at Etsy with the algorithms for search, which have made being found so difficult now for true handmades sellers. The sellers who are allowed to consistently use additional makers for their shops are such an unfair challenge for single-maker, handmades shops.

Positive Thinker Tiny Words Motivator pocket card ornament from Positive Words Artwork
Positive Thinker Tiny Words Motivator pocket card ornament from Positive Words Artwork
I read at eCommerceBytes today that Etsy's CEO, "Silverman said Etsy does boost new shops and new listings in relevant search for a very brief time to give them a chance to be seen." This was in response to sellers' questions about giving new shops an unfair advantage.

He stated that after the initial boost, the new shops' listings fall back into rank with established sellers. Maybe I've gotten a little newbie boost to help POSITIVE WORDS ARTWORK become more visible. I'll take what I can get and be grateful for it!

I Don't Look Backwards handmade bookmark with bird design at Positive Words Artwork

I Don't Look Backwards handmade bookmark with bird design at Positive Words Artwork

I Don't Look Backwards handmade bookmark with bird design at Positive Words Artwork

What helped me to decide to take this plunge is that I finally developed a brand that I feel is specific enough to hold its own among all of the competition there, but which is flexible enough for me to add a wide variety of new products. This is important because I am a prolific creator who uses a myriad of media and techniques to create crafted items, artwork, digital and graphics, published products, and creative services.

To be successful at Etsy today, I believe you have to focus on creating for a niche market by developing a specialized brand, but one that is also expandable. Being able to diversify is crucial to obtaining an edge anywhere in the increasingly, fiercely competitive handmades market.

Have A Nice Day small mixed media hanging artwork at Positive Words Artwork
I want you to be happy with your experience at POSITIVE WORDS ARTWORK, so satisfaction is guaranteed. Support handmades sellers like me. BUY HANDMADE first, before you buy anything else. The creation and making of my products reflects the right of every capable, skilled, independent creative to generate income. We do this by creating products that are decorative and/or useful, and that make people happy.
Stop Smell The Flowers mixed media wall art at Positive Words Artwork

PWA is closed New Years’ Eve & Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Eve & Day and Christmas Eve & Day. Orders will be processed the next open day. 

Men Have Feelings Too mixed media wall art at Positive Words Artwork

For taking the time to read my GRAND OPENING POST please accept this special coupon code for 25% off of 28 select products in my new shop, or whichever of them are still available when you order.

This introductory coupon is good until 12/13/18, next year, and there is no minimum or maximum.

It is only for you and not transferable, so thank you for not sharing it.

Use this link: , or the exact code GO1217INTRO when ordering.   

Write me a note when you order, in the msg to the seller space,
that you found me at The Creative Seller.

Thank you for visiting POSITIVE WORDS ARTWORK. Please come again and STAY POSITIVE! A good life depends on it!

Artsy Craftery Studio

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