Blog Tips, Tricks And Advice

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Blogs are a great way to help market your business, organization or a team. We use our #EtsyCIJ blog to market our members, ourselves and celebrate handmade!

Here at Christmas in July we want to know what tips,tricks and advice you have about blogs and blogging?

Gari Anne from beadloverskorner says:

One of the things that I really try to do when blogging is to try to think of how my writing and item promotion might solve a problem for someone or answer a question someone has. So many people (including myself) use the internet for research, so blog writing to increase traffic should try to solve a problem or answer a question for someone.

One of my most visited blog posts is one I did on how to create necklace cards. I had purchased them several times but had been disappointed by what I received so I spent a good amount of time figuring out how I could create them myself. Then I turned it into a tutorial to help others who had the same issues with premade necklace or earring cards for their business. I wasn’t selling a product in that blog post, but the people who search and find my post might also decide to look at my Etsy shop or website where they might find something they want to purchase at some point.

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Savannah Griffith from RareRusticCrafts says:

Gari Anne, I think you’re totally correct when you say that you use the internet for research. Most of the blogs I follow are for small businesses and they contain mostly information on typical how-tos for small business owners (like social media guides, market guides, or general information about taxes and accounting). I follow these blogs religiously because they always have information that I need to know but never think of myself. I also like to follow blogs with information on managing my time and balancing my personal and professional life (because we all work way to hard!)

For my own blog, I think I need to keep this in mind more. I have a difficult time viewing my own website from a customers perspective, so I definitely think it needs some work. In my blog, I often post about whatever I’m working on at the time, so it might be a new product, preparing for a photo shoot, or I might share some insight into upcoming projects. To be honest, my blog doesn’t have a clear direction and it’s very scattered. I just moved it from WordPress onto my own site and started managing it more directly. I’m hoping this will make it easier for me to integrate it with the site and the overall brand of my business.

My best performing article was one I wrote about why I decided to go into business for myself. It might help me to re-read that article a few times and talk to some of my customers to see why it was so impactful.

Looking forward to seeing your blogs! You can check mine out here: Rare Rustic Crafts Blog.

I welcome your feedback and advice!

RareRusticCrafts

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10 Years Of Etsy Trends – Steampunk

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

This month Etsy celebrates 10 years as a global community of makers, inventors, and collectors. Today, we’re turning our attention to 5 memorable trends that have made their mark over the years.

https://blog.etsy.com/en/2015/10-years-of-etsy-trends/

Steampunk is a science fiction genre that quite a few Etsy sellers seem to have stumbled on by chance; what unites them is a passion for fantasy and a steadfast appreciation of the movement’s creative versatility.

We wanted to know if any of our CIJ members had any Steampunk items in their shop and the story behind the item.

Gari Anne from beadloverskorner says:

I have been a life long lover of Science Fiction and a big Star Trek Fan! One time I watched a movie about Star Trek fans and thought to myself, I should be selling Star Trek items instead of beads and jewelry, LOL! Anyway, I sat down and made several different types of earrings with a science fiction theme. These ray gun earrings would be considered “Steapmpunk” because they were created with spare beads and things I had in a “lost bead” tray on my table and fashioned them similar to the old style phasers or ray guns!

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This is a photograph of a winged creature, just one of many whimsical creatures on a steampunk carousel in Brussels, Belgium. This carousel was a delightful discovery the first time I came to Brussels’ Christmas market, and I returned year after year just to watch the children ride such an enchanted machine.
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Steampunk is so versatile and like finding a mixed bag of treasure, which is why I think it is among the 10 Years of Etsy Trends.

Outdoor Activities

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Outdoor activities are something most of us love to do, no matter the season. There are many different activities we can participate in including: skiing, walking, swimming and many more.

Christmas in July Team wanted to know what do you like to do outside?

Here is what some of our members told us!

Gari Anne  from beadloverskorner says:

One of the activities I always loved when I was younger (and still do love) is going to the beach and hunting for shells, sand dollars, sharks teeth, and any other treasures of the sea. I created these earrings to portray the many gifts of the sea and emote the feeling of calm that can be felt while walking along the beach hunting for treasure from the ocean.

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There is nothing quite like being on or near the water on a summer’s day. Stick your toes in the water, breathe in the fresh cool air or jump in a boat (with approval and a life vest of course) and off you go to an adventure. You see things differently from the water.
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Ina from InaSudjana explains:
With spring approaching here in Australia, we can find more and more butterflies on clear days. They are such gentle creatures and oh-so-free. My little girl loves chasing her butterflies every time we have the chance to go outdoors – even as simple as having our picnic lunch at the front lawn!
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BBQing! My husband is a master in this field and always looks forward to the summer and warmer weather for smoking & grilling different food for outdoor picnics and family gatherings.
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No matter where you live it looks like there are many types of activities to get you outdoors and active!!

10 Years of Trends – Owls

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

This month Etsy celebrates 10 years as a global community of makers, inventors, and collectors.Today, we’re turning our attention to 5 memorable trends that have made their mark over the years.

http://blog.etsy.com/en/2015/10-years-of-etsy-trends/

“Since most owls are active at night, they have a mysterious quality that we associate with the elusive.”

We wanted to know if any of our CIJ members had any Owl items in their shop and the story behind the item.

Gari Anne from beadloverskorner  says:

I carry a wonderful line of pewter beads and findings by Green Girl Studios in my shop, and this is one of my favorites of their owl beads! Bubo was the owl that Athena sent to help Perseus in The Clash of the Titans movie. Bubo is also a genus made up of Horned owls and Eagle owls.

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Ina from InaSudjana states: 

There was a time when Owls dominated most girls nursery decorations. Truly. I think it’s because they appear in many children books, they’re whimsical, and they mostly live in children’s imaginary world as we don’t see owls very often especially if we live in suburban streets and we’re not nocturnal…With their popularity comes many requests for them in my shop. Here is one

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Melissa R from missy69 explains:

Owls are fascinating, and some people find them creepy, and maybe even scary. As a new, and constantly learning artist, I find abstract art sometimes creepy, and fascinating, much like owls. As part of an Art challenge to create Abstract Art, I created this beautiful doodle owl. Her eyes are a little creepy, lol.

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Carola Bartz  discusses:

I think I have the love for owls in my genes! My mom loved owls and collected little owl trinkets. Ever since my family and I witnessed the upbringing of two owlets in one of our regional parks I have created little owls as well. This particular print of my original mixed media painting is my favorite since I combined it with my love for the American Southwest. The original painting is not for sale as it is so close to my heart.

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Christina Paul from lebeauchaton said:

I frequently feature owls in my shop – and have a blog with an owl logo I love how expressive their faces can be – they seem always to be thinking and feeling thoughts.

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Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese states:

I love little cute owls like the ones on these cards. Actually I really like any fluffy animal and the little white fluffy owls are so cute. I have been fortunate to see an owl in the wild one night when visiting a friend’s house. It was a lovely moment!

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Sue from SuesAkornShop says:

I love owls and enjoyed seeing a big one in our back yard years ago. I have quite a few owl items in my shop because I really like them.

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Lorraine from EyeGloArts said:

A wise old owl lived in an oak The more he saw the less he spoke The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?The origins and history of ‘A wise old owl’ are vague, however its meaning isn’t, basically it would be told to children in an attempt to teach the child the virtue of being quiet! The lyrics of ‘A wise old owl’ poem are derived from the saying ‘a wise old owl’ based on an owl’s behavior of watching and patiently waiting when hunting its prey. Legends concerning the owl are recorded in Greek, Celtic, Native American and Aborigine mythology. The owl is especially associated with wisdom in Greek mythology being linked with Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom. Athens is named from the Goddess Athena and its emblem is the owl. The owl was, for many years, viewed as a sinister bird only hunting at night when only evil spirits and witches were abroad – hence the connection with as a Witches Familiar! A wise old owl – “Children should be seen and not heard!

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Sara Wyatt from CustomCrayonsbySara stated:

I love owls – they peek out here and there in various decor in my home, including my girls’ room. Until now, I have never really thought about why I like them. Owls make me think of a forest, and forests make me thing of Autumn. I LOVE autumn. The year could be composed of 11 months of fall and the other seasons could cram into the other 1 month and I would be perfectly happy. So I added these little cuties to my shop!

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Lucy Clasen from LuDesignsCreations says:

Owls were my Mom’s favorite so now I love them too! They are so neat with their large eyes and the ability to swivel their head. Wonderful birds.

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Jennifer Loftfield from CaffeinatedPapercuts states:

I find owls so cute and adorable. I had so many people asking me at craft shows if I had anything owl I simply *had* to add something! The magnets I created are such a big hit that this year I added key chains to the mix as well.

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This is one of my most popular items in my shop, the Owl Mug Cozy. I started crocheting these when a friend requested one after seeing the crochet pattern online. It was one of the first crochet patterns I actually spent money on and I am glad I did. It is very intricate with a lot of weaving of ends and I did not like making these at first. But, after many orders of them I have become quite proficient at creating them and actually enjoy it! And they are oh so cute with so much personality. I’ve even branched out from this pattern to create a panda bear and a penguin and will soon offer a duck model so keep an eye out. Thanks for letting me share this here.
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Personally I love owls and visit the “Audubon Center for Birds of Prey” whenever I can. I wanted to design an owl that was unique and whimsical for a hand embroidered pillow. I infused a nature theme within my owl design, by making his wings “leaves” and placing flowers on his chest. I wanted to offer a handmade item that would bring joy to an owl lover.
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I think my true love of owls started from growing up reading Harry Potter and being in love with his pet, Hedwig. Snowy owls are definitely my favorite, and one of my favorite of all birds.
One of my favorite ‘owl facts’ is that a historical favorite of mine, Florence Nightingale, kept an owl she named Athena as a pet.
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I loved Owls since I was a child. They always seemed so wise, gracious and mysterious at the same time. Owls to me associate with school, books and Winnie Pooh story. I remember how my teacher put the wooden Owl statue on her desk at the beginning of the class.

Now with Fall season coming I made these honey mustard color boot cuffs and attached the wise Owl from the 1970’s as accessory.

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Ginny C from GRCTreasures discussed:
I too am drawn to owls when I am out “hunting”, in fact this Saturday I bought another one at a yard sale. I said to my husband I may have to keep this one for myself. The vintage owl is from the 70’s and I took the picture outside on my back patio to show how it would look in its proper environment so to speak.
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The Owl fabric in this listing is what I bought to create my very 1st Nappy Wallet for my first-born son. 4 years ago. I now make many Nappy/Diaper wallets & am happy to present one of my newest creations!
This Owl design will find its new owner soon enough.
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I find owls somewhat mysterious – often heard and seldom seen. We have many types here around our farm and frankly my chickens could do without them but I quite like their single steady focus on things – although a bit aloof.

I managed to capture this handsome fellow one nasty winter day. He was actually perched on the deck railing right outside my bedroom window hunkered down against the elements.

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Owls are found in legends among many cultures, as well as many other reasons are why the Owl is one of the 10 Year of Trends for Etsy.