Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Changing Colors of Home Decor

I don’t know about you, but there is always something with Fall that makes me feel like renewing and refreshing my home space. I realize this sounds completely awkward, given its Fall…leaves will be falling in most places, sunshine will be replaced with cloudy skies, and rain will be replaced with snow. Maybe it’s the whole back to school mentality – new, fresh school supplies (“bouquets of sharpened pencils”…quick! What movie is that from?) and new school clothes. It all just makes me take a new look at my home, my décor and my colors to see what I can possibly do to freshen things up a bit.

And the home décor designers and stores get this too – they know that with the season change, people want to change their homes. My mailbox has been flooded with updated catalogs with the latest in Fall patterns, colors, and designs. Just last week alone, in one day, I received catalogs from: Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Crate & Barrel and CB2. In one day. That doesn’t even count the magazines I receive monthly: House Beautiful, Elle Décor, and even Real Simple, all get in on the Fall “I-must-renew-my-space” action! Plus, all of the fantastic ideas you can find online from some of my faves like Target.com, ProjectNursery.com, HGTV.com, and Etsy.com!

So, what’s the latest? We all see popular patterns and colors that seem to be everywhere. But what is “in” right now if you’re looking to make a little (or big) change to your nest? Here are just a few of the lovelies I found at some of my favorite décor sources!

Combining Traditional with Modern from Target

When it comes to fall colors, I always think of rich oranges, browns and reds. This simply lovely area rug from Threshold at Target combines so many fantastic elements. For one, color. I love that this blends a very traditional Fall-like burnt orange, with a much more modern (and the new neutral) platinum grey. Combine these colors with a more traditional, large scale damask pattern, and you have the perfect blend of traditional yet contemporary.

The Threshold Exploded Damask Area Rug from Target

A Twist on the Traditional Curtain from Crate & Barrel


Window treatments are one of my very favorite décor elements. They can add drama, they can be completely practical, or they can add visual appeal. This season, it seems like many panels are going for the dual visual appeal and practical approach. Gone are the heavy, velvety curtains (don’t worry – they are still out there!) which have been replaced with very natural fabrics (think linen) with patterns that remind you of world travels. 

The Skylar Curtain Panel from Crate & Barrel

A Different Approach to Children’s Spaces from Project Nursery

One of my favorite places to decorate in the home are children’s spaces. And, boy are we seeing a transition in the design of nurseries! Traditional pastels (pink for girls, blue for boys) have been replaced with bolder, richer, more modern designs – anything from bright and bold colors, to a more woodland design approach (can you say “what does the fox say?”) is taking over both nurseries for boys and girls!

Fox Nursery by scampbell on Project Nursery
Bold, Vibrant Paint Hues and Trends from HGTV

We can’t talk about seasonal décor changes without talking about one of the easiest décor elements to change: paint. A simple coat of paint can completely transform a space and give your home a completely different feel. While it’s laborious, it’s one of my very favorite changes to make. For Fall, the paint trends are much, much more than just your saffron, chocolate brown and merlot….we’re seeing goldenrod, radiant orchid and emerald green, which I love (and which all happen to work well with your more expected Fall colors!)

New Ways To Use Fall’s Trending Colors

Metallics, Naturals + Industrial Décor from Etsy.com

And, finally one of my very favorites for trending home décor…etsy.com! What I love about Etsy is there’s so much from all over the world. And, the décor trends on Etsy this year are following right with what we’re seeing with mainstream décor outlets. Metallics. Industrial materials. More utilitarian. Blended soft, natural materials like knitted items, with very organic and natural burlaps and more! I’ve put together a nice little treasury over on Etsy with some of my faves!

Throw Pillow Cover by TheHomeCentric on Etsy. 

Tell me: what do you think of this season’s trends? Would you incorporate any of these into your home décor? Are you planning any décor changes this Fall?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Advertising Opportunity for all EtsyMoms

It's that time of year again and just like all business owners, we, as Etsy shop owners, are constantly in search of opportunities to advertise our products and our shops.  Well, one of our EtsyMom team members has one such opportunity.  Michelle Vackar of Hi Mamma is helping to relaunch Modern Handmade Child magazine which will be having a publishing date of November 2014 (winter issue) and they are in search of handmade businesses interested in promotions.  Here's a note from her:

Modern Handmade Child has a diverse readership interested in a variety of subjects including DIY, home decor, sewing, cooking, health, art and education. Our mission is to provide a fun and valuable resource helping families to embrace the handmade way of life by intertwining the skills and values of the days gone by with the trends and technology of today. 

Our readers come from various backgrounds and countries all around the world. We cater to parents, families and independent business owners. Readers and visitors may interact with magazine pages by zooming in and out and clicking through to any advertiser’s website.

We are offering to handmade businesses the opportunity of purchasing one ad for the winter issue and receiving a second ad free in the spring 2015 issue, of the same size. We also have various mentions that we will be doing during each issue to recognize your business based upon the ad that is purchased.


Here is the MHC Media Card with various opportunities. Deadline for applications is October 15, 2014.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weekly Linky Party - Through August 9

Each Sunday, we will start a linky party on our blog - add your latest blog post or a new item in your shop and check out what others are adding as well! This is a great way to promote what you're working on and to learn what others are working on. Every once in a while, we'll have a theme - pay attention to the themes! We'll give you advanced notice when a themed linky will be going up so you can prepare for it.
    

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Back to School Special Weekly Linky Party - Through August 2

For this week's linky party, we hope to see any back to school items created by our wonderful EtsyMoms.  If you have any school supplies or back to school items in your shops, add a link to them here and check out what others are adding as well! Also, if you are offering any special back to school discounts or sales, make sure to add any discount or coupon codes to your link's description.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Weekly Linky Party - Through July 26

Each Sunday, we will start a linky party on our blog - add your latest blog post or a new item in your shop and check out what others are adding as well! This is a great way to promote what you're working on and to learn what others are working on. Every once in a while, we'll have a theme - pay attention to the themes! We'll give you advanced notice when a themed linky will be going up so you can prepare for it.   


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Special Weekly Linky Party - Through July 19 (Christmas in July Sales)

For this week's linky party, we hope to see items from those participating in Etsy's annual Christmas in July sale.  Christmas in July runs from July 10th - 20th 2014. If you are participating, add a link to any item in your shop and check out what others are adding as well! Add any special discount or coupon codes to your link's description.



Sunday, July 6, 2014

Weekly Linky Party - Through July 12

Each Sunday, we will start a linky party on our blog - add your latest blog post or a new item in your shop and check out what others are adding as well! This is a great way to promote what you're working on and to learn what others are working on. Every once in a while, we'll have a theme - pay attention to the themes! We'll give you advanced notice when a themed linky will be going up so you can prepare for it.   

  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekly Linky Party - Through July 5

Each Sunday, we will start a linky party on our blog - add your latest blog post or a new item in your shop and check out what others are adding as well! This is a great way to promote what you're working on and to learn what others are working on. Every once in a while, we'll have a theme - pay attention to the themes! We'll give you advanced notice when a themed linky will be going up so you can prepare for it.     



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PROMOTE YOUR ETSY SHOP USING INSTAGRAM

Instagram is a social networking service where users share photos and videos, instead of just text status updates. It has been around for a couple of years now, but honestly, I have not really started using it until early this year. Despite being late to the party, I have grown to seriously LOVE Instagram, not only because it involves looking at lots of pretty photos, but also because it is also having a good impact on my handmade jewelry business. So, for this week’s social media post, I thought I would share a few tips I have learned on how to gain followers and promote your Etsy shops using Instagram.

9 Essential Tips For Promoting With Instagram

  1. Make sure your Instagram profile has a link to your Etsy shop. Also, complete the BIO portion of your profile to describe you and what you do.
  2. Post daily but don’t just post photos of your products. Also show other aspects of your business such as your workspace, materials/tools, etc. Everyone loves to get a little sneek peak of your creative process.
  3. Always use hashtags with your photos. This is one way people can find you. Some popular hashtags I have seen are #etsy #etsyshop, #handmade, #photooftheday, #picoftheday, #igdaily, #love, #instagood, and #fashion.
  4. Experiment with using different filters for your products’ photos. There are so many to choose from so make sure you are using the one that showcases your products the best. 
  5. Respond to comments. As always, engaging with people and potential customers is the main goal of social media.
  6. Like other people’s photos and leave engaging comments on the photos of people you are following.
  7. You can add watermarks to your photos to make sure people know what your business name is.  However, make sure you keep the watermark simple and small so as not to take anything away from your beautiful photo.
  8. Share your Instagram photos on Twitter and Facebook to reach more followers.
  9. If you can, ask your customers to post photos of them using your products on their Instagram feed. It helps not only reach more potential customers but also provides positive feedback to your work.


As I mentioned, I have only been active in Instagram for a few months. (You can find me at @tamsytrends, in case you want to connect.) But, in that short time and using these tips, I have consistently grew my number of followers AND I have started getting inquiries from prospective customers on Instagram. For all of you who have been using Instagram for a while for your business, I am sure you also have some advice or a tip or two to share.  That's what comments are for, so please do share :)




Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Linky Party - Through June 28

Each Sunday, we will start a linky party on our blog - add your latest blog post or a new item in your shop and check out what others are adding as well! This is a great way to promote what you're working on and to learn what others are working on. Every once in a while, we'll have a theme - pay attention to the themes! We'll give you advanced notice when a themed linky will be going up so you can prepare for it.     


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

8 HELPFUL TIPS TO BOOST YOUR FACEBOOK POSTS


Facebook is the heavyweight of social media. It is the only site that can boast of having 1+ billion users worldwide. Logically, you would think that this means that it is THE social media site that has the widest reach. Well, maybe it does. However, Facebook also makes use of an algorithm to determine which posts appear on each user’s news feed.  Just because you posted something on your business page does not mean it automatically appears on your likers’ feeds.

This article (http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/03/the-filtered-feed-problem/) helps explain how Facebook’s algorithm works. Basically, more and more Facebook users (with hundreds of friends each) are liking more and more business pages that there is no possible way every post can appear on each user’s feed. So, Facebook has to pick and choose which posts to show. Some factors they consider is the type of post, the recency of the post and how popular the post is.

What does this all mean?  It means we cannot just post a link to our latest Etsy listings and expect our likers to see it. Our post should be interesting enough for our readers to “like” it and comment on it.  Here are some tips to help our business pages perfom better on Facebook:

  1. Post regularly.  Update your Facebook page at least a few times a week.  Daily would be even better. Our Facebook page reflects our business and if someone looks at our page and sees that we haven’t posted anything in weeks, it reflects poorly on us and looks unprofessional.
  2. Post photos more often than links. Photos generally catch the eye of the reader better and get more likes than simple text.  So, if you have an article to share, post it as a photo and just include the link in the description.
  3. Boost posts and use Facebook ads.
  4.  Interact with others. Reply to comments, likes and questions posted on your business page. If another business posts about you or your shop, make sure to give them some love back by visiting and commenting on their Facebook business pages.
  5. Offline, ask your friends and family to like and share your business posts. Based on Facebook’s algorithm, the more likes and shares your post has, the more “popular” it is. So, the more people you can get to react to your posts, the better.  Do not, however, post on Facebook asking for likes. Facebook’s algorithm now looks for these kinds of posts (which they consider “spammy”) and punish the pages that ask for likes.
  6.  Schedule posts when you are on vacation or during hectic weeks. On Facebook, you can write posts and schedule them to appear your page on a future date.  Use this function whenever necessary to ensure that you have regular posts on your business page.


Do you have other tips that you can add to this list? Have you had your own success in user Facebook to market your business? Share it in the comments below.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Linky Party - Through June 21

Each Sunday, we will start a linky party on our blog - add your latest blog post or a new item in your shop and check out what others are adding as well! This is a great way to promote what you're working on and to learn what others are working on. Every once in a while, we'll have a theme - pay attention to the themes! We'll give you advanced notice when a themed linky will be going up so you can prepare for it.     



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

USING PINTEREST FOR YOUR BUSINESS

We all have grown accustomed to using all forms of social media for our business use. But it is how we use it to maximize our profits that matter. Using Pinterest for your business can help by reaching a bigger audience, getting your brand seen and driving traffic to your site. All of that can be done by knowing how to use Pinterest. 

Benefits of using Pinterest for your business:


1) Using Pinterest is an easy way for you to show off your brand or product. By creating boards showcasing your work with pictures and useful hash tags, you are opening up the door a wider audience to see what it is you have to offer.
2)  Drive more traffic to your site by utilizing pinterest with your posts. Every post you make has the ability to be seen and read by numerous amounts of perspective customers. By posting , you are able to advertise your webpage, blog, or Etsy store as much as you can. Doing this will eventually increase your site traffic if not sales. 


How to use Pinterest for your business:

  • First , make an introductory pin. Pin a picture of yourself, or the content creator and introduce yourself. You want to create a familiarity with your following. Letting them know that it's a person behind the posts gives them a way they can relate to you even more than through your work. 
  • Second, I suggest watermarking your photos. Since Pinterest and every other social media out there make it easy for others to re use photos, you want your audience to know it is you and make it harder for others out there to steal your photo and take ownership of your pins. 
  • Start pinning. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. It's all about presentation. Is your picture bold and eye catching? Your perspective audience will see your photo before anything else, so make sure it's a good one and showcases your item the way you would want it to be seen. 
  • Add hash tags. You may see all those little hash tags haunting you, but using them will help you. Hash tags help by directing people to pins that they are interested in and want to see. Not using them can hurt you by not getting your brand/product seen by people who are looking for it. Hash tags such as  #etsymom #hairbows #handmade help just like a search engine, directing people to your pin. 
  • Add links to your Etsy store, or your webpage to help boost traffic that hopefully will bring future sales. 

  Being on Pinterest is not only fun, but it's a great way of reaching a bigger audience by utilizing it to your advantage. Do you have any other ways that you use to help you gain a bigger reach on Pinterest? Let us know, we'd love to hear from you. 

x

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Weekly Linky Party - Through June 14

Each Sunday, we will start a linky party on our blog - add your latest blog post or a new item in your shop and check out what others are adding as well! This is a great way to promote what you're working on and to learn what others are working on. Every once in a while, we'll have a theme - pay attention to the themes! We'll give you advanced notice when a themed linky will be going up so you can prepare for it.     


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

TWITTER DO’S AND DON’TS

Many of us Etsymoms are already trying our hand at Twitter, but for those who haven’t joined the bandwagon yet, Twitter (www.twitter.com) is a social networking tool that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages, called “tweets”.
Tweets can include texts, links to a particular website (such as your listings on Etsy) and a photo or video. With your own Twitter account, you can choose to follow other people or businesses and other people can follow you. This allows you to read other people’s tweets, to reply to them, or to share their tweets with your followers (retweeting). Twitter is probably the easiest and fastest way to connect with people all over the world nowadays, with over 600 million total users (about 240 million active users) posting an average of 5,700 tweets every second*.  


TWITTER ETIQUETTE

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to using Twitter for your business:
  • DO fill out your profile. Include your name, location, a profile photo and a short bio (with a link to your shop).
  • DON’T use all CAPITAL LETTERS in your tweets.  This is the equivalent of shouting to your followers.
  • DO tweet regularly. With so many users on twitter, one tweet usually doesn’t appear on your followers’ feeds for very long. Tweeting regularly, at different times of the day, helps you stay in their feeds and in their minds.
  • DON'T send a tweet without checking your spelling. Spelling mistakes will make you look unprofessional and customers tend to avoid unprofessional people.
  • DO make your tweets interesting.  Tweets that simply state your listing (for example, “Strappy Red High Heels by MyEtsyShop [link] @Etsy) are boring and will most likely just be ignored. Instead, appeal to your followers’ curiosity (for example, “What one should never be without on a girl’s night out [link]”). More interesting tweets will gain you plenty more listing views, and a loyal Twitter following.
  • DON’T just tweet your listings. The common tip is to only tweet about your listings 1/3 of the time.  The rest of your tweets should be about other topics.
  • DO use #Hashtags – a hashtag is simply a word or a phrase with a ‘#’ in front of it. Hashtags are used denote a conversation on Twitter and you can search for a particular hashtag to get into and connect with the right conversations.
  • DON’T use too many #Hashtags. Don’t go overboard with hashtags. The general rule is no more than two hashtags per tweet.
  • DO engage with your followers. Reply to others, retweet, chat it up with your followers and join Twitter parties, if possible. Again, the main goal of social networks is to interact with others.
  • DON’T ignore others who tweet about or retweet you. Acknowledge them, even if it is just with a simple thank you, or just by making their tweets about you one of your “favorites”.


Do you have any other Do’s and Don’t to include to this list? Feel free to share them by adding a comment below. 

* Statistics courtesy of Leverage (http://leveragenewagemedia.com/blog/social-media-infographic/)