Okay, some of you may have noticed that there was no "Getting to know you Tuesday" this week. :( Sad I know. Well see, here's the thing. The wonderful Etsian that I had chosen for this Tuesday's feature was all ready to be featured, but unfortunately at the beginning of this week had to remove her 'roger stick' from her computer, drive down to the bridge and throw it off. She's currently on the search for a new Internet provider, so was unable to send me back the questions! Hopefully she'll be back soon as I'm very excited to be featuring her. (I'll put in a bit of info to peek your interest here!)
Her name is Rebecca and she has an etsy shop called CarFarmCreations. We met one night on chats and we had a blast, and continue to do so! She's a fellow photographer, as well as a painter! Check out Rebecca's Blog, as well as her Facebook Fan Page and of course her Etsy Shop - you won't be disappointed. :) (Although you may be right now because her stop is in vacation mode and nothings listed! hehe. But you can still go to her Blog and Facebook to see her work!)
Now, on to promotions. Are you overwhelmed with all the different sites to advertise your work on? Because I certainly am. At first I was clueless.. Had no clue what to search for, what it would all pertain, but then I hung out on the forums for a bit (very quietly I might add.. sometimes the mere thought of writing something can cause a cascade of bitterness and hypocrisy your way via certain smug etsians who will remain nameless) and there was a link that I'd like to share with you all.. 50 Free sites to promote your site.
Now, I haven't tried *all* of them, but I've tried a lot of them! (And there's still a few I'd like to give a go.) But I decided that I'd rather be involved with some really good ones that I can keep updated, then having 50 that I can't spend adequate time on each. So I'm going to give you all my 2 cents! There's a few I'll be talking about that aren't on the list as well, just so ya know :)
My Craft Corner
Okay, this one is not on the list posted above, but it should be. My Craft Corner is at the very top of my list! This site is relatively new, and I happened to stumble upon it one day, and I'm extremely happy I did. What do I love about it the most? It's welcoming, personable, and easy to use. My first day on there, I'm downloading my pics, putting in all my links to shops and sites, and there's a note from the president of My Craft Corner, Reggie, welcoming me on the site and commenting on my etsy shop. Not only does she welcome every new member, she hangs out on the chats, tweets about your products, announces new listings or anything else you'd like to share, plus will help you out with any questions you may have, and encourages any feedback on the site! My Craft Corner has it's own forums, groups, (I'm currently joined with "Creative Bloggers" and "Etsy Sellers") blog, advertising, funding, member features and contests! The member profiles are user friendly, well organized, detailed (as much as you'd like it to be) and informative. There's none of this "Name:, Location:, Shop:, okay that's it!!" deals. And during my chat with Reggie last night, she informed me that I've had almost 100 views on my page, and I've only been on since October 9th. Personally, I think that's pretty good! Especially compared to some of the other sites I've joined recently. I'd like to encourage everyone to join My Craft Corner, it's proven to be a very friendly and fun atmosphere with an awesome community.
Now, obviously I also have Blogger at the top of my list, cause well, I love blogging. And it has brought a lot of traffic to my etsy site. Twitter has sent me amazing views, and Facebook isn't too shabby either. Although I find I don't update that one as often, because a) people don't pay attention, or b) if i post more than 1 thing a day, i find fans will click the 'unsubscribe' button at the drop of a hat. But either way, My Craft Corner, Blogger, Twitter and Facebook all get me very good views according to Google Analytics!
Myspace and Craigslist on the other hand, I won't touch with a 10 foot pole. (not even going to LINK them I don't like them that much) My only experience on Myspace was searching for a friend of mine and all I ever got was a bunch of profiles of 13 year old girls with barely any clothes on. Didn't realize Myspace was such a Slutspace. I don't think I'd wanna bother putting any of my listings on there! And Craigslist, all I hear are bad things with the amount of spam and other problems that are posted in the forums.
The name alone is what prompted me to join hehe. This one's not too bad. The uploading was extremely easy - you submit your crafts and people can click on them to "vote", and if you get enough votes, it'll end up in the Popular Crafts section which is featured on the front page. Your own profile isn't anything to shake a stick at, but atleast when people click on your crafts you've submitted, it's linked directly to your etsy shop listing. I've had a few 'votes' on my items, and people seem to enjoy my stuff, yet hasn't brought any views to my etsy site according to GA. Huh. I guess people are more apt to just look at the pic, click a vote and move on, instead of wanting to read up on the details. I still think it has potential, and again, easy to upload and sort through. I'm sticking with this one for a while longer to see if it ends up bringing in the views!
Again, another one where it's extremely easy to use and any crafts you put on there will link directly to your site. It's pretty, it's simple, it's straightforward, and has gotten me a few views on my etsy. Total views of my profile (another one that's nothing to shake a stick at) is pretty much non-existent from what I can tell. No comments have been posted, no one has clicked the "I love it" buttons, so other than that, there's no way to tell if people are actually looking. Of course with the exception of the 2 etsy views it's yielded me via GA. The front page is all the "popular" crafts, and if you go into "Discover" it'll show you everything that people have posted. The popular tends to only be "How-to" tutorials (for the most part). That's one thing that I do think is cool about this site, because people will share their "How-to's". Unfortunately, the categories are a little trim, there was none for Photography, so I had to clump it in with another section that it probably doesn't pertain to, and well, it hasn't been kicked out yet, so I'm guessing it's okay. Again, this is another one I'm chalking up to have potential, so I'll stick with it a few more weeks to see if anything comes of it.
Vote Hand Made
All this site does is kinda just annoy and frustrate me. While it's simple - it's a little *too* simple. I couldn't for the life of me figure out where to go or what to do, or what this site has to offer. While the uploading is really easy (but of course you have to be on the right page to even find the link to upload) it kinda just gets lost after that. Unless of course people find it, click on it, and comment on it. Then it'll get closer to the front page. This site has gotten me quite a few views on etsy according to GA, so I guess in the end it's worth it. But can I ask something? What the crap is with the "Karma" points, and what good are they really? So again, another site I'm sticking with for awhile to see if anything good comes of it. It has gotten me decent views, but again, I can't figure it out.
Although I have to confess something here - if I have to do a ton of reading up on a site just to figure out how to work it and what everything means - totally not worth it for me. So if it's not straightforward, forgetta-boutit! My time is precious. (*snort*) Actually I'm just impatient as hell!
By Hand By Me
Now this one, I'm thinking of definitely sticking with - but I need to invest more time in it. There are tons of things you can add, for example: as many shops as you like, sets up a blog, you can upload pics, videos, get featured on the front page and the most exciting is you can add in any giveaways or contests you're having and it goes into a sidebar on the front community page. There seem to be a lot of members on there, and this site has a lot to offer. It'll show you how many times your profile has been viewed (and won't include you! lol) and there are a lot of opportunities to meet and communicate with other members. One thing that I'm not too keen on is the *amount* of stuff being shown on each page. I like simple. I don't like flashing things, or moving things, and while I think it's cool that it's constantly showing you updated comments, i just don't like all the moving around of things while I'm looking at a page. It causes too many problems with loading, and when things get slow because of flashy things, I tend to get impatient (Surprise!!) and move on. But, the other things this site has is worth the small annoyances, so yes, I'm sticking with By Hand By Me!
Okay. I don't get it. I realize I added a little link to it up in the corner there somewhere, because if you do, you have more chance to get featured. But for the life of me, I can't figure out this damn site. I guess it's supposed to be *really* simple, as in, there are no profiles, only listings. A bunch of categories that you can click on, see all the listings under that category, all while dealing with flashy advertising squares on either side of the page giving me a migraine. Yes, you get an email saying "Hey you've been approved!" so I know my sh*t is listed in there somewhere. But to actually get noticed, you gotta pay money and well, I don't have any. (so you won't see many of these sites I'm using where I'm actually forking out the dough!) Have I atleast gotten views on my etsy site? Not that I'm aware of. So this is one where I'll most likely ditch. Unless some sort of miracle happens and I get tons of sales from it.
Not to be confused with MixMade. Wow was I confused when I accidentally went there. I haven't given this one much of a chance. Too much happening at the same time. I mean, this site looks like it has a lot to offer, but I just don't have the patience to get that involved. They have spotlights and groups and forums and blogs and all that good stuff, so maybe other people will really enjoy it, but it's just not for me. I'm not gonna say really bad things about it, because I really can't, but I just found navigating really difficult with all the flashy things on each page. I know you're all probably thinking that my computer must be really freakin' slow, since that's onna my biggest complaints! But - it's not true. My computers pretty freakin' fast, so if *I'm* complaining on the slowness of a page loading, ya, there's a problem.
((Smurf Village DENIED by Craftgawker!!)) - I was really upset about this one!
The snobs of the crafting world! Okay, I can't say that, it's just they're very PICKY about what pictures you submit. But for those not familiar, you do not have any sort of profile (except for yourself to see what you've submitted and accepted AND DENIED) and when people click on your pic, it brings you to the etsy listing. So that's good. I mean, I'm *still* getting etsy views from Craftgawker and my pic is no longer on my site because it was sold soon after it got accepted! So I'm completely torn with Craftgawker - they have declined SO many of my pics on SassKatPhotography without any real explanation that I guess I just got kinda offended. But on the other hand, it brings tons of views. Will I submit to them again? I may give it a go. But the constant rejection doesn't go over with me very well lol.
((Only pic accepted by Craftgawker))
I've heard tons of great things, so I went to sign up the other day, and if you don't pay a fee every month, you don't get to do a damn thing except upload a few pictures! So I said screw it! And that's all I really have to say 'bout that :) Well, that and it seems to be more geared towards art then crafts. So it may not be the best venue for things like crochet!
Find it Handmade
This is the *only* site so far that I've actually paid for. It was a flat $5 fee (for one year) to put your shop in the directory. It was easy to upload the shop, it links right to your etsy, you can put in a bit of info about yourself, and that's it. Have I gotten views? According to GA, why yes I have. And quite a few. Now this is the simple I really enjoy. Was it worth the $5? I've only been on it for 3 days, and yes. It was worth the $5. So I will highly recommend this site to all. (And it's another not on that list!)
Again, another one not on the list. But. Honestly. Don't see a point. It's probably a great community, and I know quite a few people are on it (judging from the amount of the 'yaami' buttons I see posted on blogs and facebook) but I dunno. While I've gotten views on my profile, not many have actually made it to etsy views. And it's great that you can check your hearts and item hearts (I tend to just use the "Heart-O-Matic" for that) and it can tell you if you've been on any guides (But I use Craftopolis for that) so really, I just don't see much of a point. But that's my opinion only - I don't want to sway anyone else out there from using it, because it might be right up your alley!
Ya, I joined with Flickr and posted some pics. But I keep forgetting it's there. I got more views from Flickr when I didn't have an account (still haven't figured that one out) but I guess it's just not up my alley either. I love showing my pics, but I'd rather do that on my own site. Not one where it gets lost among the other 8,000,000,000 other photos.
And now we've reached the end of my particular venues! There are a few I'd still like to try (100 Craftlinks, PlainCraft, Kaboodle) and a new page Brent (aka my boyfriend - yes I know I'm married, but Brent takes me to the movies which my husband won't do.. therefore, he's my boyfriend) told me about called Squarespace. Basically it's a make your own web page that's extremely easy, you have unlimited opportunities of what you can do, if you can't figure out how to do something they'll email you the detailed instructions.. and it's only 8 bucks a month which is something I'd be willing to do to have that much freedom. I'm trying to decide what to do with it - I know I probably won't sell off of it (for now that's what Etsy is for!) but I know I'll have gallery views of all my work, links to Etsy and blogs, and all that good stuff. I'm very excited about it, just have to work on figuring it all out. :)
Okay, hopefully this has been helpful to some people! I'm off to finish some more cards and list list list. Cause all yesterday was all promote promote promote! And I find it's too exhausting to do both in the same day lol. Have a great Thursday kids!