July 29, 2011

Vintage Coca Cola glass, looking for a replacement

This is going to sound kind of obsessive... but I loved this vintage coca cola glass I found at a show a couple years ago, and my son broke it a couple days ago. I've been looking all over and can't find it anywhere!

Of course, I also don't know what I'm looking for. So I'm hoping that some of my vintage-selling friends might be able to shed some light on the year or the event or season it might have been made for so I can narrow down my search a little bit.

And if anyone happens to find one or even a set, I'd love to take it off your hands.

June 25, 2011

Simplifying Panda: The new SEO rules

I know a lot of my friends who sell online are probably sitting around reading about Panda right now and not understanding much of what is being said. So I thought I'd start a simplified list of rules based on what I'm reading. I'm not saying I'm an expert or anything, so you should still be doing your own research. This is just a quick list to help you make a few changes.
  1. Make your site unique and appealing. We've been told for years to do this because it improves our chances of having people share our content, which helps SEO. But now whether or not people like the look of your site and how user friendly it is directly affects your SEO.
  2. Make it trust worthy. If people feel confident following your advice or inputting their credit card info, your ranking will improve.
  3. Click throughs count. If someone clicks on your site and then clicks out again, it will hurt your SEO. If someone is interested enough to click through a few pages of your site, your SEO will improve. You need to have a better click through rate than other sites similar to yours.
  4. Content for content's sake doesn't work anymore. Google has finally found a way to lower the ranking of "content farms" (sites with tons low quality content that is full of keywords). This means that having unique content and doing keyword research is still important, but you need to do more. You need informative, entertaining content that keeps people interested and makes them want to pass it on to their friends.
  5. Duplicate content is worse than ever. Even if you're duplicating your own content across the web, you will be penalized. This update was made to specifically target "scraper" sites. These sites have little to no original content, copying it from all over the internet.
There is a lot more information out there, but hopefully this will help your get started, especially if you have trouble wading through all those tech blogs. I'll continue adding to it as I find more info.

Here are the articles I got this info from:
http://www.seomoz.org: How Google's Panda Update Changed SEO Best Pracrices Forever
http://searchengineland.com: Official: Google Panda Update 2.2 Is Live
http://searchengineland.com: Google Forcloses On Content Farms With "Panda" Algorithm Update 

June 8, 2011

More Business Card Ideas

My business card ideas have evolved a bit since I last wrote about them, so I thought I'd post an update.

I'm still using Moo.com to print my cards, because they're awesome. A lot of people think they're a little on the pricey side, but I think it's worth the extra money to be able to put a different photo on the back of each card. It's like having a portfolio in my pocket! And I'm loving the new rounded corners option.

I'm also still using the same design I blogged about last time. A vertical card with my shop name at the top and my logo and details at the bottom with a big blank spot in the middle. The original idea was that they were earring cards (once I punched holes), note cards and business cards all in one.

Now they're still all that, but I've modified them a bit so they can hold necklaces and fit in the little boxes I ship in. I score across the top, just under my shop name, and fold it. Then I measure out where I want the earring holes and the slits for the necklace. Then I just cut the slits and use a thumb tack to poke the holes. This makes cards that stand up a little on their own for display purposes and sit nicely in the boxes I use.

Oh! And to all my fellow Canadian jewelry sellers - I finally found boxes that are only 3/4" tall, which means they can go through letter mail instead of parcel. That's at least $5 saved! Check out Noble Pack. The product number is M201-W.

May 25, 2011

Blog Hop!

I just learned what a blog hop is... so yay blog hop!

May 21, 2011

Collections on AF to boost traffic

I saw a post in the forums the other day about collections being good for boosting traffic... so I'm trying to make more collections. I'm going to make one with one of my new items every time I list new items (not one for each item, just one for every day I list a bunch of items). Today one of these collections made the front page, which was encouraging. So I'll keep doing them.

Today I listed some earrings with gold plated hearts, and put this together.

May 8, 2011

Store Display

I'm working for a small jewelry store in town. In return for watching the store and helping her set up a website (it's not set up yet, will post a link when it's done), the owner is letting me display my jewelry, have a quiet work space away from home and is giving me driving lessons (did I mention we got a van?).

So I thought I'd write a quick blog post to show off my display.

I'm not earning much in the way of cash - she gets commission on my sales, I get commission on hers, and it's a slow time of year - but it's nice to be working again, and I love talking to the customers. 

One of the customers totally made my day yesterday. She liked one of my necklaces but couldn't buy it right away, and she said that if it sells by pay day she wants me to make another one just for her. It's nice to know that people like my jewelry enough to buy it - but liking it enough to have a piece custom made if they can't get the one they were looking at is a much bigger compliment in my mind.

April 27, 2011

Best Handmade Cloth Pantyliners

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I'm a huge fan of menstrual cups and recommend them to anyone. They're the only menstrual product that hasn't been linked to health problems because they aren't absorbent and therefore don't interfere with your body's natural cleaning fluids. They're also great for busy lifestyles because they usually only need to be dealt with once or twice a day. The reusable ones are also eco friendly, but if you prefer disposables they are also available with all the same health benefits.

Usually my menstrual cup is all I need, but if I'm really busy on a heavy day I prefer to have some backup. In all honesty, it has yet to actually be necessary, but it makes me more comfortable. So I've been trying out a few different brands/styles of cloth pantyliners. I wanted to get away from the disposable ones to save money and the environment... plus they're just uncomfortable.

It took me a while, but I've finally stumbled on Caroline's Creations, home of the most comfortable pantyliners I've tried. They're so comfortable that I completely forget they're there! They cost less than $10 for 3 pantyliners, shipping is only $1 and there are quantity discounts available. Plus you can get them custom made in whatever fun fabrics catch your eye. They're made out of cotton and soft flannel and are easy to clean - I just throw them in to the washing machine with my underwear - though pre-soaking is recommended if you do get blood on them.

I ordered a custom set of 3 just to try them out, and I ordered more the day they arrived. I haven't tried any of Caroline's other products, but I'm sure her other products (menstrual pads, nursing pads, facial scrubbies, flannel wipes) are just as comfortable and well made as her pantyliners.