30 November 2009

Sale Continues!

Items in my etsy shop will remain on sale through today (Cyber Monday). By tomorrow morning (Dec. 1), the prices will revert to normal, so this is your best chance to buy one of my Viking knit necklaces and woven bracelets!

25 November 2009

Black Friday Sale

I should have posted this last week! I am having a sale this weekend on selected items in my etsy shop (janraven.etsy.com), and plan on marking many items down at least 10%, PLUS free shipping to addresses in the US. I only have one of each item listed, so once they are sold, they won't be relisted any time soon! I am certain that all the Viking Knit Necklaces will be on sale, so if you have been thinking of buying one, there won't be a better time.

And while you are checking out my etsy shop, keep in mind that other members of my etsy Street Team, HandmadeMN, are also having a sale. Even if you don't buy from me, I encourage you to buy from another artist!

21 November 2009

Excluding your IP Address from Google Analytics

While working on promoting my etsy shop I took a look at my Google Analytics page and noted, with some satisfaction, that the activity at my shop had increased right around the time that I began listing more items earlier this week. Then I began to wonder if any of that activity was actually ME, looking at my own shop and listings as I made changes. I recalled reading once that you could exclude your own IP address from the Analytics, so I decided to find out how to do that.

I will share how I did it here for anyone else interested in doing this for their own website or etsy shop. For the purposes of this post, I am going to assume that you already have a Google account and have the Analytics product already set up and tracking activity to your site or shop.

1. Log into your Google account.
2. Click on Analytics.
3. In the lower right-hand corner of the screen, click on Filter Manager.
4. On the next screen, click on Add Filter, and give your filter a name.
5. Choose Filter Type=Exclude IP Address from the menu.
6. Enter the IP address for your own home computer. Find this number by going to MyIPAddress.com. Keep in mind that this IP address is for the network you are using at the time you visit the site. If you take your laptop to a coffeeshop and use their wifi, their IP address is different so visits to your own site will be logged. I'm guessing this won't be too big of an issue for anyone. If you really want to, you can add another filter to exclude all your favorite wifi hotspots! Just visit MyIPAddress.com again to get the address.
7. Select which profiles you want the filter applied to and add them.
8. Click Save Changes. Done!!

Now you can visit your own site all you want and not mess up the statistics on how many people visit your site!

Promoting my etsy Shop

I have had an etsy shop for a few years, but haven't paid much attention to it. Recently I decided that I should pay more attention to it, and after my most recent indoor craft shows (during which I had way too much time to think, unfortunately) realized that I could think of my etsy shop as a type of art show. Considering that the jury/application fee for a typical art show is $30, I could afford to list a lot of items at 20¢ apiece over the next month. By working hard at promoting my shop, I can hopefully generate enough sales to help me through the winter months.

SO! That is what I have spent the majority of this week doing: taking photos, adjusting them, uploading photos to etsy, and creating listings for items. I have also been reading a lot of material online about marketing and promotion. It is quite nice to finally have time to sit back and assess the business!! I have been participating more in my local etsy Street Team: Handmade MN. I've gotten some great information and leads from the great membership of my Minnesota team, and hopefully have been able to give them some useful leads as well.

Another website that has taken up a lot of my time this week is ArtFairInsiders.com. I don't remember, now, how I stumbled upon this site but I am VERY glad that I found it! It is a networking site by and for artists who display their work at art fairs. It is full of great information and I have been spending many hours reading posts and discussions from the past year. And I have been actively participating, too. This is such a great resource; if you are an artist who participates in art shows (or wants to!), then do yourself a favor and check this site out!

10 November 2009

Booth Evolution-Part One

I've been thinking of writing this series of blog posts for quite a while now, and have finally gotten around to collecting most of the photos of my booth as it changed over the last four years. The first art show I did was in March of 2006, and fortunately I didn't have to submit a photo of my booth set-up because I didn't have one when I applied! Once I was accepted, I quickly had to design and build my display. I say "build" because I certainly did not have money to buy tables or other display items, but my years as a carpenter left me with lots of leftover lumber and plywood, and I certainly had the skills to build the tables. Plus I rather enjoyed the puzzle presented by designing and building the display!

For my first display I built two tables with trapezoidal tabletops and one square table to be used as a work table and storage. I had meant to have three trapezoidal tables, to create a U-shaped "room," but ran out of time. All three tables break down into simple parts: the leg sections are 2x3 lumber braced with 1/4 inch plywood and the removeable tops are plywood bases on a 2x3 frame and faced with 1/4" aspen to cover the pine lumber. The tables and the A-frames are covered with slate tile and tumbled beach rocks are scattered around.

As it turns out, it looks nice, but is a disaster from a marketing (and theft prevention) standpoint. You can't really see the braid and weave patterns of the bracelets, plus it is impossible to tell when one has gone "missing." I didn't have time to figure out how to display the viking knit necklaces, so they are just hung on cup hooks -- very ugly presentation! The earring cards are OK for indoor shows, but the first outdoor show I attended demonstrated why this doesn't work; they blow over and off the table! All-in-all, a pretty good first attempt, but clearly in need of a redesign! My next post will explore version Two of the booth display.

03 November 2009

Chaos Earrings: Before and After

I wrote about the Chaos Earrings in an earlier post and this week made several more in preparation for a show this weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. I usually make them one at a time, but wanted to be able to work while watching the Vikings game on Sunday, so I did all the prep work for several pairs of earrings in the morning before the game. I thought the resulting bundle of wire and gemstones was quite attractive!