Thursday, July 28, 2011

How Does Craftopolis Work?

Stephanie suggested Craftopolis as a marketing tool yesterday and I don't know much if anything about it. Someone else suggested that I link to my quilt tutorial there but I wasn't sure what they meant.

Can you tell us more about it, Stephanie? I don't want to bury it in comments on your last post because I'll never remember to get back to it. It's almost August and time for me to pick my monthly way to stick my toe in the marketing waters.

 Stephanie Says:
It's not a marketing tool, it's a batch editing tool, and an easy way to find out how many hearts you have received for your listings.

But there is advertising there too.

Please come see my handmade designer plus size sweaters, sweater coats, capes and shrugs at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Great Free (or Super Cheap) Etsy Tools I Have Come To Love..

Over time, I find ways to do things that are faster, easier, or just plain neat.

Here are a few of my favorite apps.

Quick editing:

Titles, prices, and descriptions.
Be careful with this app, I have heard stories of people accidentally deleting their descriptions for their entire shops before. Do one or 2 as a test to make sure you have your settings right before doing the rest. Craftopolis also is a little difficult in the undoing the changes. You have to go in to each listing to undo any additions (like those for a sale)

Tags, prices, and adding to titles- sales
Etsy on sale is no longer free, but the first time you use it, you are given 5 credits to try it out-enough for setting up a sale and adding one tag to the end of your tags. EOS will automatically change your prices, and add a sale blurb to the beginning of your titles-and even better, it will undo those at the end of your sale. Watch for adding custom orders while using the tool with the automatically add all listings setting turned on.

Easy way to find out how much you are loved (a.k.a. favorited): also has a place to show page views, hearts, and sales for any given day. It can be buggy sometimes though.

Fee Calculators:
These both do exactly the same thing. I keep both bookmarked just in case one goes down.
How much is your shop worth? Just type in your shop name.

Keyword tool:
Find out how often your keywords are searched for-invaluable tool in the dreaded SEO fight.
Google keyword tool

Web Analysis:
Not easy to get the in depth information, but a very useful tool for finding out how many people are finding you and where they are coming from.  

Not free, but definitely worth it
 Taxes This app breaks down all of your on etsy info, just stir in paypal fees, local sales, other expenses, and bake at tax time :)

There used to be a series of tools for makers of treasuries on Etsy. Sadly, the schmetsy tools no longer work. Hopefully, Etsy will allow them back soon.

These are all of the apps I use on an almost daily basis, I hope you get as much use out of them as I do.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fit for a Queen

I promise that I won't do this with every item but I have to show this one off. I've wanted to make something like this for years but of course I don't have the kind of lifestyle that includes evening clothes. I don't know if anyone will ever buy it but it makes my shop look much classier :). You can click on the photo to see the full listing.

Evening Cape

Please come see my handmade designer plus size sweaters, sweater coats, capes and shrugs at

Friday, July 22, 2011

Do I have to use social marketing to succeed?

As far as I can tell, the answer is yes. I can't begin to describe my resistance to using Facebook and tweeting at people (even though I've never even looked at either one) and I was really hoping to keep it that way. I have a terrible case of the "I don't wannas" but unfortunately I'm just going to have to get over it if I want potential customers to know that I exist. It's easy to see that Stephanie gets results from using them because she doesn't dither around about it like I'm doing. We'd all love to create and have people beating a path to our doors but it just doesn't work that way.

I'm going to set a goal for myself of learning to use one new marketing tool every month, of course leaving the most social parts for last as an avoidance tactic. I'm promising myself that I will spend the first hour of every workday doing something other than crocheting for my shop. In June Stephanie and I started this blog. My July goal is to find at least 10 blogs that interest me to follow by checking the profiles of interesting people on Etsy and looking at their blog team for more ideas. Then I'll start searching for blogs about other things that I love like my pets and my gardens. I have to start somewhere!

Please come see my handmade designer plus size sweaters, sweater coats, capes and shrugs at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ways To Advertise For Free

I'm someone who's perpetually broke, and always on the lookout for ways to advertise for free.

After a lot of searching, I have found 2 ways to do this that doesn't include social networking or making connections.

Way 1: free trials:

I have run a free trial for Google Adwords. You need a coupon code to do it, and every one of them is unique, but many places are advertising free trials of Adwords now. I have seen the advertisements on blogs, Youtube, and on Google search. It's always worth a try.

Way 2: Project Wonderful:

Project Wonderful is an advertising platform for blogs and websites. While most of the ads are paid, quite a few are free. it's really easy to get set up with ads there. Today, I'm running ads for soap savers on 4 different soap blogs.

You can only run a free ad for up to 2 days, and it can be less time if someone bids higher than you.

Both of these are fairly easy to set up, and like anything, takes a little bit of research, but can pay off big.

I hope these methods of advertisement help you as much as they have helped me, or more.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Defining My Target Market - Plus Size Sweaters

One thing you'll hear a lot about is defining your target market. Who will your customers be and why?

I know that what I really love to do is to design and create high-end sweaters that use luxury yarns and that I don't want to make the same small items over and over. Again, the hobbyist rears it's head and I have to accept that I would rather create the things that I love than treat it like a serious business and make the things that sell well no matter how bored I get. At the risk of sounding artsier-than-thou, if my focus was on money I would un-retire myself, resume my career and be guaranteed a big paycheck. I crochet because I feel naked sitting around without a hook in my hand and I can't even imagine not doing it. I see patterns and textures everywhere and automatically think of materials and colors and sweater designs. It's almost like breathing after so many decades. So, the first target that I'm identifying are women who can afford to buy expensive luxury items. I like to make classic styles as opposed to current trends that will quickly go out of fashion so in general I'm aiming for women that are middle-aged or older.

I was very overweight for many years and although I had plenty of money to spend I had a terrible time finding clothing that was fashionable and age-appropriate, never mind gorgeous and exiting. Those were the days of "would you like your tent in black or navy?". Eventually lower-end stores started to carry their normal lines in plus sizes but those clothes were designed to flatter thin women, not curvy or overweight ones. Even though I'm thin now I love the idea of designing the sweaters that I would have wanted to buy when I needed them. All women deserve to have beautiful things, not just the skinny ones! Little things like having 3/4 sleeves instead of short ones, non-binding waists, straight lines and materials that don't cling make a huge difference for those that would like a bit more coverage and the ability to camouflage the parts that they're uncomfortable with. The more that I think about it the more I want to focus on plus size women over 40 with expensive tastes as my target market. What makes me nervous about this is that there is no way to get around the fact that making a size 2X sweater takes twice as much yarn as a comparable size medium and twice as much time to make. Crocheting isn't like sewing and it isn't just a matter of using a bit more material. Like it or not, they're going to have to be expensive unless I want to start working in acrylics and there is no way that I'm doing that!
Please come see my handmade designer plus size sweaters, sweater coats, capes and shrugs at

Friday, July 15, 2011

Going Goth

I'm a goth, no really, ignore the cute stuff that is shown through most of my shop and focus on the small, but growing section of darkness. I'm starting to show what I am really into, finally.

 Don't worry though, I'll still make the cute stuff. The baby stuff, the lighter colors, because I like to make everything!

Here's what I made today, I'm only half done with the pair, but it's looking gorgeous. Made with a hand dyed merino wool from Spinning Fates.

And after doing some weighing and calculating, I am able to make 2 pairs with the skein of yarn I have. YAY!!! Here's to hoping I will soon have the sale to justify buying more of that yarn!!

And now a dark treasury for your enjoyment:

'Enter My Mind...' by Stephaniemakesall

I'll let these items speak for themselves.

Sorcha - The Dark F...

French Quarter Vood...

Steampunk Lolita Go...

Contemporary Underb...

Darkness Falls - Wh...

SALE Antique Silver...

Dark Goth Girl Art ...

Mysterious bellydan...

Gothic Bridal skirt...

OOAK Art Doll - &qu...

gothic cyber goth g...

Christmas in July S...

Criss Angel Magazin...

Amy Brown SALE Goth...

JUMP Into Spring 15...

Gloomth Kuro Black ...

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.