Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wondering Why Wednesday 10.12.10

This is the second of my three Wednesdays that I've set aside this month to answer questions that were posed by curious people who read this blog or follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Reactions were a bit less than I had hoped for, so at this point it's looking like this feature will probably be over and done with after Week 3 which is next week. Hey, it was worth a shot!

This week, there were fewer questions, but there were fewer duplicates as well - so that's a good thing :) As with last week, the questions I selected are in no particular order and if there were duplicates, the question posted here was just selected at random! That being said, let me put on my "Dear Karen" hat and take a look at some of your curiosities about the world of handmade and selling online!

Cathy J. asked... As a jewelry designer, what is your personal favorite jewelry item (ie necklace, bracelet, etc) to create? I would have to say necklaces - especially more glamorous sparkly ones that are better suited to special occasions. Unfortunately, they're not as popular as the smaller, simpler ones since you can't wear them day to day - so the reality is that I try to create a variety of styles to suit the wide spectrum of tastes out there. I'll admit I'm pretty excited about my new Family Jewels line of custom family birthstone jewelry. But there'll be more about that when I release it later this month!

Kristie wanted to know... I've thought about starting a blog to promote my online business, but I don't know where to begin. I didn't know where to begin when I started this blog either... and there are days I still don't know exactly what I want to do with it, so you're definitely not alone! I'd say there's a few questions you should ask yourself: 1) How much time can you devote to blogging? It's important to keep content fresh so people will keep coming back so if you can only afford a couple of hours a week, blogging probably isn't the best venue for you. 2) What is the primary purpose behind your blog? Do you want to make money off your blog or use it to educate others or promote your business or ??? Different blog layouts lend themselves better to certain types of blogging - so be sure your layout and your blogging platform work well with what your blog will feature. 3) Do you like to write? Not every blog has a lot of text - especially promotional blogs for markets like Etsy and Artfire. But if you really want to engage your readers, you have to find a commonality with them and be able to communicate with them in a way that allows you to build a relationship with them. Beyond that, pick a blog site, pick a template, and start blogging! Good luck to you!

Barb asks...I've been selling at craft fairs for years and making gifts for family members for as long as I can remember. I'm pretty good at a lot of crafts and would like to start selling online. What's the most popular item to sell on Etsy? It depends on whether you're looking at sales strictly by numbers or by dollars or whatever criteria you're using. I'd say as far as pure numbers of items sold, supplies come out on top. Shops that sell baby items and children's items also do very well. Jewelry sells, but the market is inundated with sellers. Some items, like knitware and crocheted items tend to be a bit more seasonal unless you ship worldwide, but they also do very well. The important thing is to love what you do, be inspired, and let your love and inspiration show through to your work. And then promote, promote, promote!

Rich is curious... What one piece of advice would you give to someone who's thinking about selling crafts online? Geeze, only one? Okay, I have to go with - have a plan... but stay flexible. I think that applies for any business though. Put all your ducks in a row, make sure that you have all of your bases covered, take a class about running a business (most chambers of commerce offer them through local libraries), and be ready to make changes if you're not seeing the results you want to see.

Lisa R asked...You do a lot of features on members of the teams you belong to. I've been thinking about joining a team on Etsy, but is it really worth it? Teams can be a very effective way of networking, making new friends, and making the most of the Etsy community. In most cases, you're drawn together by common goals, and many of the teams are more like big 'ol happy families. Being part of a team means never having to go it alone, and there's a great sense of camaraderie and teamwork in setting goals, and then helping each other achieve them. Teammates can be a wealth of experience and support, and I heartily suggest that everyone join at least one team to experience what being part of team can be like!

Okie dokie, that's it for this week's questions! I'm going to try to be back in a bit with a team member feature, and tomorrow you can look forward to a wonderful collection of lovely Seurat blue! If you have any items in this shade of blue in your shop or in your favorites, do me a favor and send me the links by clicking here !! I'd be happy to look at any and all suggestions!

I can't believe this week is half over already - or that this month is almost half over. Time sure does fly when you're having fun! I hope you're having as much as I am, if not more! :)


ViKotas said...

Your thoughts are so well organized, it's no wonder that I come to this blog more than any other.

With regard to scream day, my daughter was thinking of renting a business storage bay, sound proofing it, and charging $20. for half an hour-----for customers to scream and vent frustrations.

mysticwynd said...

Thank you for those kind words, ViKotas! I hope I can always provide the kind of post content that keep you coming back!

I think your daughter might be on to something with her idea - I'm guessing there might be a lot of people who would love to have somewhere like that to go!

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