Monthly Archives: July 2012

Writing, Blogging, Listing Products: How Serious and Committed Are You?


Have you started a blog, website or launched an online store but lament that you just don’t have the time to do regular updates and editing?  Part of the success that you long for is based on consistent participation in your own ventures.  One definition of creative insanity is not participating in your own stuff, but continuing to expect others to.

Brent Riggs says:

In the end, it boils down to how serious and committed you are. It’s about priorities and discipline.

He writes about the things that it’s easier to do, rather than knuckle down and do that composing of posts, editing and updating.  I once read this anonymous quotation:

Successful people do the things that others don’t like to do. (anonymous)

Read Brent’s suggestions on ways to find more time to invest in your creative ventures, in his article Just Can’t Find The Time.


Scam Alert: Targeting Hotmail Accounts

If you use Hotmail and get a private msg from someone you know, you probably should NOT click on it.  There’s a blue clickable link that reads “…so and so has sent you a Private Message in the body.  It will probably lead you to a page that asks you to sign in again to your email account, at which point your email account will be hacked.

When I got one from someone I know, but haven’t been in contact with for some time, I first looked at the source code, and didn’t recognize anything.  Then I Googled How To Send Hotmail Private Messages because I wanted to learn if it was really possible and how to do it, before I decided to open that email.  I found many posts in my search that told me that the Private Message hotmail email is a phishing scam.  Clicking on the link does send you to that re-sign in page.

Brainstorming Creative Ways To Market Your Art

Kathy’s Backyard

More creative ways to market your art and craft work, shared in article by Mario Toneguzzi, at Calgary Herald.  Artist Van Ginkel hosts home gallery viewings.  Read what he and his wife does that makes these events special: Local Artist Marketing His Work In Creative Ways.

Analyze A Website With Site Trail

According to Wikipedia, data analysis is the inspecting of data, by highlighting useful information, to support decision making.  I stumbled upon an interesting resource to help you analyze a website’s data.  Site Trail allows you to enter the web address of any site, and if the site has enough traffic, you can get a comprehensive breakdown of various site data…
…Some types of data include SEO analysis including number of pages indexed by search engines, and unique visitor analysis.  Traffic, revenue, link and content analysis is also available.  One type of fascinating data available is color analysis, which shows the top colors used in a site’s template.

This web analysis site was founded in 2010, and you can sign up for free.  Membership is not necessary, however, to analyze a website.  One use I can see for it is to help identify good websites for advertising or purchase.  

Niche Market Targeting For Selling Success


Identify a niche market by supplying what you cannot find.  You can provide a service that you cannot obtain.  Provide existing products or services in a way in which they are not being sold, just as Brad Nadell did.

When he noticed that a blank surfboard maker required customers to buy a minimum number of blank boards, he got an idea.  When he further discovered that customers had to have a commercial location for delivery, he launched his plans in 1993…
…Foam E-Z was born and Nadell now wholesales across the world to do-it-yourselfers and board hobbyists, as well as commercial board makers.  He credits the internet for boosting his niche business.  It afforded him a global reach to a small customer base.  He saw that this specialized demographic was not being served.   While promoting on the internet he continued with his narrow market focus.  Read more about his company here: Foam EZ: The Original One-Stop Surfboard Supply Shop.      

Free Online Business Classes

One of the 4 free online courses that the Univ. of VA plans to offer, starting in 2013, is Business.  Read more about it here:

Despite the fact that this program is supposed to start in 2013, I’ve found some free courses, offered by the Univ of VA, at Udemy.  Find links to some of them at my free online education page here at SMT.

Selling Your Prints As On-Demand Products: Lucrative or Lame


How much does it really benefit you to list your artwork at on-demand products sites?  I ran across a detailed and insightful complaint about OD products giant CafePress.  Though it has
the ring of truth, I’m sure CP can benefit you depending on what you promote and on how many items.  Will it be worth it,…
…however, for what you get in return?  I never used my CP account that I opened years ago.  There have been too many changes to their TOS that seemed to me to adversely affect the artist.  Read that interesting post at

Custom Dropshipper claims to have an alternative plan that offers what CafePress, Zazzle and others don’t.  They are free for the first 30 days.  They then deduct one of three types of monthly fee plans from your PayPal account.

DeviantArt offers all registered users the opportunity to sell their artwork prints on t-shirts and other products.  Their instructions on submitting images and setting up your print products can be found here.  Many other OD products hosting sites I reviewed were more for corporate promotional and incentive products, rather than for artistic print products.

Whether it can be lucrative or lame to list prints for on-demand products is up to you.  Investing time to upload and format hundreds, and even thousands, of designs for which you only get $1 per sale may be lame.  Highlighting five of your easily recognizable designs, on a handful of popular items, may be worth the meager returns for the additional web presence.  You could move on to other things, update your profile periodically, and reap the rewards of increased exposure.

4 Ways To Make An Impression When You Leave

When you leave a site, delete your account, take down your page, etc., make your departure work for you.  Compose a msg/email to the people you met, to say goodbye.  Maybe you can…
…add a global goodbye post, if you think it would be appropriate.  That would, however, alert everyone.  Maybe you wouldn’t want to connect in the outer limits with everyone you met at the site.  Alternately, compose your message, save it and copy and paste it in a private message to each person whom you want to alert.

Include in it your places to connect, your listings, your sites, etc.  Invite them to keep in touch.  It would be nice to share why you are leaving, but you don’t have to.  Even if you only met and became friends with 1 person, you owe it to him/her to at least say goodbye.

  1. Say goodbye.
  2. Be professional.
  3. Show That you care.
  4. Make an impression.

Be sure to make your message warm and honest.  Remember: you are doing this because you sincerely would like to keep in touch, not because you are trying to sell to them.  Show others that you care and they will remember you, and your work.  Your professionalism just might garner some sales for you later!  Consumers like to buy from professionals.

Increase Sales Through Solicited Donations


Asking for a donation is a beneficial merger of selling an item and giving it free.  It’s another way to circulate your work and your name among potential lifelong customers.  Provide a donation button or cart for the service(s).

Decide on the suggested donation amount, whether market or reduced.  If contributors are especially grateful, they can usually opt in to donate more than what you suggest.  I did this when I donated to a crafter for her marketing services.

Remember: receiving a donation for your product or service is a type of sale.  Someone is paying you for it,  even though it may be just a token payment.  They may one day decide to review and buy more of your work.

Test A Pattern And Link Your Store Opportunity

Sheryl is seeking pattern testers for Halloween treat and gift bags.  Hand or machine applique will need to be applied.  Her quidelines include Feedback is needed by July 31st….a high resolution….full sized digital photo….answers to….list of questions….link to your blog or website.  Read all of her guidelines here: Sher’s Creative Space .