Wednesday, April 22, 2015

22 APR 2015 :: Catching Up

Just wanted to share that I am still reorganizing my living space into work areas... major changes, good changes... it looks more and more useful for my craft activities.  As I am able to create photos of my efforts, I will share them with you.

This week has been absorbed by all the sorting and changing, so this weekend should be a better effort at creating.

I am hoping that GOD is going to bless my life and efforts with all the things I need to accomplish a lot of my goals.  I keep moving in those directions the best I can.  Pray for me, pray for His blessings for me... thanks.

Monday, April 13, 2015

13 APR 2015 :: Just a quick note

I have been busy using up some recycled GESSO (finally) before it completely dries in the bottle!  :-)  I discovered that playing cards I found at the thrift store are the right size for ACEO art, so I am putting on layers of Gesso to create a painting surface.  I didn't get all the cards covered, so tomorrow I will check on them and try to finish.

With Mother's Day (the 10th of MAY) approaching, I am determined to get a gift in the mail this time.   Maybe and ACEO, maybe something else that I create.  I don't think she really likes hand crafted things, so I don't send them unless I have to.  I hope to live long enough to send here a bouquet of flowers... it's on my "bucket list."  :-)

Other than that, I am creating a list and a plan... and praying that GOD protects me until I get it done... I guess I'm asking to live forever!  :-)

I will keep you informed on my Gesso efforts. I haven't really created anything with a Gesso foundation, but I do vaguely remember trying to see how it worked.  Playing cards have 52 opportunities to see how it work... I'll put the best ones up at my shop.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

7 APR 2015 :: Sharing more of my shop development

I have been spending a lot of time developing forms that will help me keep track of my efforts and also let me evaluate everything on a small number of pages.  I am an Excel fan... I think it is one program with tons of applications, making it possible to organize several different size sections on one page. For me, that is a great option.  I learn more about how to set up the initial columns every time I make a new form.

With my listing goals, I have been trying to make a way to list the important information about what I have in my shop.  I keep revising the format because I don't find out if it works right until I try to put the information into the sections I have created.  Sometimes it looks good as a design, but doesn't really work well in tracking associated data.

I have read several blog articles about what to track at etsy.  If I remember right, they were mostly SEO oriented...about views and tags and search engine access.  I haven't totally dived into SEO yet, so I don't know which of those data groups matter to me. Later, after I get my listings caught up, I will begin to explore other shop data.

Shop development, to me, is creating my section titles, deciding on products that matter to me, and finding prices that will be both low and high so I have items for a larger group of customers.  It is making sure my links go to the right destinations, and learning how to promote my shop and products.  It is creating a schedule that will work for the long term, and flex for my health and income issues.  And it is finding other Christians who do the same things so we can learn from each other, and refer customers to other Christians who may have what I do not.

I haven't started my "price point" brainstorming yet... a lot of the reason is because I have no idea how much to charge for a lot of things yet...and shipping is a huge challenge for me.  Digital products can be delivered anywhere in the world with no shipping fees or limitations.  Actually mailing a package is a different story.  I am striving to understand Etsy's shipping profiles, and which countries can be shipped to safely.

I hope to create currency options that don't need to be exchanged, through PayPal, Etsy Checkout, or both, but I would like people to be able to purchase in their own currency and not have to pay fees to change the amount to USD.  I think PayPal is my only option for maintaining other currencies, but I haven't found that answer out yet.

It takes time to work all these details out for your own products, but the internet is the future of our world so finding a place to fit into its commerce is a necessity.  These efforts will last as long as I am able to operate my shop/s...hopefully, that will be a long time.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

3 APR 2015 :: Creating permanent directions

I don't remember all the things I wanted to share when I entered my post for yesterday, but I may remember them as I work on this one. Today I have been busy creating and revising my own forms to keep track of the important goals I have. I am learning what information helps me to improve my efforts and, eventually, my sales and income.

As I work to create a permanent foundation for my shop and other online sales activities, I am discovering information that will help me build a better income.  Hopefully, I will live long enough to enjoy the fruit of my efforts.  :-)

Deciding what to name my ten Etsy shop sections is one of the permanent foundations I am working on.  I have already committed to nine of the ten section titles I am allowed with a single Etsy shop, and need to find the best name for the final one.  I have also toyed with the idea of splitting my efforts into two shops, but decided to wait and see which of my products sell the best.

Below I have listed the titles I have decided to keep ::
  • Personal Writings
  • Art Original & Prints
  • Beads & Jewelry
  • Fabrics & Yarns
  • Recycled & Upcycled
  • Kits & Patterns
  • Ornaments & Collectibles
  • Food
  • Digital Delivery
These titles cover pretty much all of the craft areas I want to be involved in at some level.  My problem is Christmas.  My online (retirement) sales goal was to create the largest part of my yearly income with collections of Christmas ornaments.  I also want to find products for Valentine's Day (Love), 4th of July (America), and Earth Day (recycling).  Almost every day has an event focus of some kind... I don't want to become overwhelmed trying to create sales options for all of them.  I don't know how much I want to focus on Christian holidays and events either.

Other parts of my shop development efforts are creating a variety of products for each of my shop sections, and having those products fit into different price categories from $0-10 to over $1000.  I don't know which ones might sell better than the others, so creating a variety will help my chances of finding the right item with the right price for potential customers.

My goal to create 25 new listings each month is another part of this development effort. One of the forms I was working on today is a way to record the details of my listings in one place.  I can already see where more improvements need to be made with my current listing group.  Once I fix these problems, I can begin to create my new listings.  I have been gathering supplies and making lists of the products I want to make first.  I hope to make a huge dent in the 100 listings I need to have to catch up with my goal by the end of April.

Using my goals notebook, recording my activities, planning my strategies, reading and learning more each day, gathering supplies, making workspaces, and thinking about products to make  --  these all contribute to my long-term income goals, to permanent foundations that will grow as time passes.

Friday, April 03, 2015

for 2 APR 2015 :: Too late to post

I am sorry, I browsed a lot of internet as I headed toward my blogging, and will have to enter this one tomorrow...hope you don't mind... I can hardly think when I get really tired.  I had several things I wanted to share.