The Beginning Of An Experiment

5 Books - 5 Reviews

I am volunteering myself for an experiment.

No, not what you are thinking, there are no taking weird pills, or sacrificing some part of my dignity (okay, that might not be entirely possible to avoid). I am talking about reading some books, doing what they say, and giving you the results.

To be more specific, I am speaking about inexpensive ebooks specifically written to increase blog traffic. I am not doing this out of entirely selfish and obvious reasons – what blogger does not want more traffic, right? – but I am also doing this because I want to dissect the following:

1. Do those quickly written Kindle e-books actually provide real information (more about that subject, and the people that are trying to sell us writer’s, bloggers and internet marketers write about as possible and profitable)?

2. Can they translate to real valuable information for the  marketing purposes of writers, artists, print on demand/product on demand designers, and other creatives ( so basically YOU)?

3. Are they all saying the same thing, or do they differentiate in content, so that it makes sense to purchase more than one of them?

4. Should you disregard them completely as humbug?

 

The 5 books that I am going working through – one a month, beginning Oct. 1st, are:

1. Traffic Building Basics; 50 Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic and Explode Your Business Today! (web design, web marketing, marketing) –  by Online Business Buddy

2. BLOG TRAFFIC: How to Double Your Blogging Traffic in a Month by Susan Beth

3. BLOG MARKETING: 26 Top Marketing Ideas for Your Blog (Business Blogging Series Book 5) by Kaye Dennan

4. Pinterest for Food Bloggers: How to Grow Your Following and Increase Blog Traffic (markets itself to be useful for any blogger) by Mary Loudermilk

5. How To Promote Your Blog – 101 Free Ways To Increase Your Website Traffic Today by Richard Adams

In that exact order.

How this will work:

I will read through the book during the assigned month, putting in practice the advice given, unless it sounds like something I do not agree with, and I will tell you the results. Of course, I can not give you all of the details of the advice that each book gives – you got to buy (or rent for free) the book for that, that would not be fair to the Author, but I can and will give you the answers to the 4 questions I stated above. All reviews and thoughts will be posted no later than the 2nd of the following month, so the review dates are:

Book one: review posted on Nov. 2nd
Book two: review posted on Dec. 2nd
Book three…. well you get the idea.

I hope you will join me, and we will all learn something from this experiment. I sure hope that they do what they promise. Looking forward to sharing that with you.

Blessings!

Claudia

3 Tips For An Effective Product Description

3 Tips For An Effective Product Description
A great product description can be as important as the image of your product in the purchase decision making process of your potential client. Take the time to be diligent in taking advantage of this sales tool by keeping the following three tips in mind.
1. Keep it short
Attention spans are getting shorter, and people hate feeling like they wasted time. Keep your product description between 100 and 130 words. Any length above that should be reserved for your blog posts.
2. Tell Them Why They Need It
Give the person reading your description why they need to have your creative product. Does it save them time, money or does it evoke a special feeling, a connection they are trying to make, either for themselves or for a loved one.
3. Use Clear Keywords 
Describing something as beautiful is not a very effective way of utilizing the small space you have available to you. Instead use words that describe your product category, your style, your niche and color scheme, all words that allow your customer to search for your product, and gives them a clear idea if your art is a perfect fit for them. Even if a customer might not buy the first product of yours they have seen, they are more likely to return when their needs change. Make them remember you.
 Also, check out the course “What Are Tags And How To Use Them”, for more info on learning how to tag your content, and products – today!

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Featured Artists Of The Week: Thomas “Swiss” Wuthrich

Independent artists range in the choice of their medium and subject matter greatly. I find it intriguing whenever I find an artists who can capture my attention in an unexpected way, just as Thomas Wuthrich has done with his humorous way to create relateable pieces of art. Thankfully I had a chance to ask him a few questions about his work in general and what he thinks about working on the Print On Demand Platform, Zazzle.

Here is the short interview I conducted with Thomas recently:

Me: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today, it is a great pleasure toy connect with you.
Tell us a little about your journey to the art you create (amongst other places) on Zazzle today?
Thomas: Many, many years ago, I stumbled across a book at the library about making money writing gags for greeting companies (just the gags). I got pretty good at coming up with, literally hundreds of ways to say “Happy Birthday”, “Get Well Soon”, etc. It was great training. A few years later, I began freelancing gags to cartoonists, including Bill “Lockhorns” Hoest. I would include a little sketch on the 3 X5 cards I’s submit. With encouragement from several cartoonist clients, I began drawing up my own gags and submitting them to magazines. After winning a 5000 US$ grand prize in a cartoon contest by a cigarette company, I was hooked on Cartooning. Even though I have sold lots of toons over the years, I still consider myself to be basically a gagwriter who can draw a little.
Me: What made you choose the name for your pen-name “Swiss”.
Thomas: I choose the pen-name “Swiss”, because my parents had emigrated from Switzerland about 15 years before I was born.
Me: Tell us a little about your style of work.
Thomas: You’ll notice that my toons are simple and uncluttered. Even though I have sold lots of toons over the years, I still consider myself to be basically a gag writer who can draw a little

.
Me: Judging by the quality of work you provide, I say you are a lot more than that. Thank you for this interview.

Check out Thomas Wuthrich’s cartoons out on Zazzle at “Swiss Toons” right now!

Do What Works – 5 Essentials For Successful Print On Demand Artists

Essential Tips for POD Artists

1. Make what you love
So your art does not fit exactly into the current trend. You have a choice to make, create something that you think will fit in, or showcase your unique voice. Please, dear artists, remember that people love your uniqueness and recognize a truth within the representation of your vision, that you created. A well-designed piece of art can become more popular than the one fitting into the masses

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2. Pay attention to details
Of course, you pay attention to details when it comes to creating your unique piece of art, but are you also paying attention to how each individual application fits with your art? Some art pieces are just not made for cell phone cases while others will showcase their entire beauty on any application. Choose where you put your creative piece as thoroughly as you do during your creative process.

3. Connect with other artists
When I first started out on RedBubble, I thought of it as a lonely place, until I began connecting with other artists, by commenting on each others projects, or participating in the forums. The exchange of energy with like-minded individuals is very inspiring, as well as a learning experience. Take also advantage of the groups and forums out there outside of your platform, with Facebook groups being one example.

4. Connect with your audience
Reach out to your potential audience by learning how to maneuver throughout the various social media outlets. Learn proper etiquette, by not spamming your followers, and really engage. With the right techniques, you can gather a substantial amount of attention if you learn the tricks of the individual platforms. Marketing your products is just as important as creating them.

5. Be specific in your listings and product description
Write the description as if the customer would have no picture available and you would have to describe your creation to them. Use keywords that are related to your products (watch out for spamming keywords – only use those actually related to what you have done. Platforms like Zazzle frown upon the overuse of misguided keywords), and be specific about mentioning your targeted audience.

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Please share your favorite tips and tricks in the comment section. We can all learn from each other!

Blessings

Claudia

P.S. Check out the free Aloha Snack Box Trial – who does not love free!

Stop That Re-Pin! 4 Things You Should Consider Before Hitting That Pin Button

4 Things You Should Consider Before Hitting That Re-pin Button

Whether you are a Print On Demand Artist, a writer or have your own business, the power of owning a Pinterest Business Account is great and should be utilized to its fullest potential by everyone. But because it is easy to fall into the trap of spamming your followers, you have to have a certain level of other pins on your boards that are not advertising your products or services. One of many ways to so is to repin what other people have posted.

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However, repinning a great infographic without too much thought can be counter-productive. Here are four points you should consider when repinning content to your Pinterest business account (or any Pinterest account):

1. Read the comments to the pin thoroughly. Just because the information is great, does not mean that the pinner’s thoughts on the subject matter fit your needs, the needs of your audience, or are views you want to convey. Better yet, change the description of the pin completely, and include your own information on it.

2. Check the link. A great graphic or image does not make a great re-pin. Make sure the pin does not lead to some questionable content or is a dead link.

3. Get rid off hashtags. While hashtags are wonderful for facebook, twitter, Instagram and a host of other places, Pinterest is not one of them. Get rid of all the cluttering hashtags before re-pinning the pin.

4. Keep your followers in mind. Consider if the majority of your followers of this board would benefit from the content you are about to re-pin. If it is only of  interest to you or is only re-pinned to not look spammy, don’t bother. Every pin you share should have a purpose and bring value to your followers. No exceptions.

Happy re-pinning!

Claudia

P.S. Check out my free Editorial Calender And Marketing Planner – read about it, and download it here! 

 

40 Hashtags Every Writer Artist and Creative Should Know And Use

40 Hashtags Every Writer, Creative and Artist Should Know And Use

The power of the hashtag is undeniable and constant. May it be to make it easier to find your projects on places like Medium and Wanelo, or the most commonly used hashtags on Twitter, which can make or break your visibility. But which hashtags are the most effective to use for a creative person to get noticed? I have compiled a list of popular, often used hashtags you should use and check out often:

For Writers:

#amwriting

#amediting

#WordCount

#AuthorLife

#writingtip

#writetip

#Ebooks

#AskAgent

#AskAuthor

#AuthorLife

For Visual Artists, Graphic Designers, and Print On Demand Folks

#GraphicDesign

#FineArt

#Design

#artwork

#illustration

#DigitalArt

For Photography 

#photography

#photog

#Foto

#picturesoftheday

#travel

#picture

#photographer

For Bloggers

#Blog

#Blogs

#Bloggers

#MondayBlogs

#Blogging

#Blogpost

#bloggingtips

#problogging

#lbloggers (lifestyle bloggers)

#Bbloggers (beauty bloggers)

#FBloggers (fashion bloggers)

Day Specific Hashtags:

#MondayBlogs

#TopTenTuesday

#WWWblogs (Women Writer’s Wednesday)

#ArchiveDay (Saturday – for sharing your older posts)

#WeekendBlogHop

#SundayBlogShare

I highly recommend that you print out this list, and utilize these hashtags in your postings, but also get actively involved in the communication around these hashtags.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on Marketing for Creatives.

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The Wrong And The Right Way To Advertise Your Book On Twitter

Posting Twitter

I get it, you want us to read your book. I want people to read my stuff too. That is the reason we write, in order for someone to find our work and enjoy it, and hopefully share it with the world. Twitter is a great place to share your creations, and get people’s attention.

But there is a right way and a wrong way to advertise your book on Twitter.

Constant badgering your followers or those who follow a particular hashtag with requests and “read me!” advertising is a turn-off. I will, and I know quite a few people who will do so as well, ignore all of these requests. You heard me right ALL of them, and I am constantly on the lookout for books to review.

Do you want to change that? Then try this:

Instead, give your followers and fellow hashtag readers/writers something of value. Share tips, connect, have some meaningful conversation, and encourage – then, but only then, and only a few times in between, ask us to read your book.
Now, that I know you, now that I am interested in what you have to say, are the chances that I will buy your book or at least follow the link to check out the blurb you are offering a much larger one.
Simple, isn’t it?