I am uploading a photo print on my personal website every day in 2018. For more info on how to win prints, click here.
All you you have to do is enter your email as a comment on the photo you want to win a print. I will be choosing winners randomly.
Besides photos, I will also be offering prints of quotes and my original fine art so there will be a nice variety of prints to choose from.
Let me know if you plan to enter!
These are my resolutions for the new year.
I want to workout more, at least a few times a week. I am vegan, but I slipped up a few times in 2017. I want to try to stay vegan and be more strict about the food I eat. I am also trying to save money when I buy food.
I want to stay organized in both my business and personal life. I want to go through my files and photos on my computer and phone and organize them. I also want to get rid of unnecessary items.
i want to save more money and keep some money in a savings account. I also want to pay off all my bills this year.
I want to continue blogging, posting on social media and listing items on my website and Etsy consistently. I also want to post an eBook for sale every month.
What are your resolutions for 2018?
Want to design the perfect blog? The design of your blog is important because it draws viewers in. Here are a couple of my favorite blog design tips:
- Think of a theme for your layout. Do you want it to have a artsy and colorful look to match your brand (good to use for Etsy owners or artists)? Do you want it to look more simple and minimalist (great if you want more focus on the content)? Think of a few words to describe the look you are going for and even make a mood board or inspiration board. Choose a few layouts you really like from other blogs and make a note about what you like about each of them.
- Make sure you use a font and font size that is easy to read in your blog entries. Good fonts to use are Tahoma and Verdana. On graphics, you can use more unique fonts. Stick to a few basic fonts to use throughout your blog layout.
- Choose a couple main colors for your layout. I like checking out Design Seeds for color palettes which will give you ideas of color combinations to use. Do not use bright colors against white that are hard to read.
- What rules will you have for your blog? Will you blog 3x a week? Do you have different collaborators? Consider these rules when creating a layout because you want the design to work with your blog. If you have different writers, you might have a plugin that shows who the author is for each entry.
- Have personalized graphics in your blog posts with the title of your post that fit the style of your blog. These are perfect for sharing on social media. Canva is a good tool to use to create blog or social media graphics that are the right size.
- A sidebar is important to have in your blog and you should consider its features when designing a layout. How will you draw viewers in? Have an avatar or image yourself to personalize your blog. I also like to include a “read more” link or clickable image that takes viewers to my about page. Include social media icons if you use social media pages. Also, include other links on your blog such as a link to your website or Etsy shop, but try not to overfill your sidebar with widgets. I like to have a newsletter or subscribe opt in also so readers can stay connected.
- Have share or Pinterest button or click to tweets
- Check how your layout looks on different browsers. I like using Browserling. Also, check on your phone or tablet to make sure your blog is responsive.
- Fill in a style guide to keep track of your info. Write down the basic fonts, colors and rules you’ll use.
Download my eBook, Your Thread of Thought. You will learn how to find a platform to blog, what to blog about, how to create a layout, how to promote your blog and more! You will also get s free workbook with worksheets to help you blog.
My new collection in Move the Needke is all about birthday balloons. I was inspired by an image I saw of watercolor like balloons and decided to make my own pattern of balloons in various color.
This birthday card is perfect to wish someone a happy birthday.
You can also get custom invitations on this pattern.
How do you celebrate your birthday?
Have you heard of Etsy Studio? Etsy Studio is Etsy’s marketplace for craft supplies. If you sell supplies on Etsy, Etsy will automatically list your supply items on Etsy Studio.
Finding a Niche
There a ton of options for items to sell. If you already own an Etsy shop, think of what supplies you use or what products you think you could add to your shop. Here are a couple ideas:
- Paper supplies
- Beauty and soapmaking supplies
- Packaging materials
- Cooking supplies
- String, cord and wire
- Yarn and fiber
- Paints and dyes
- Washi tape
- Craft show displays
- Patterns and how tos
- Custom business supplies like business cards
If you have an idea on where to source supplies, you just need to find the right products to sell. You can’t just buy products from a store and sell them on Etsy. You will need to look at stores that specifically sell products wholesale (bulk products at a discount price) or offer drop shipping when you purchase an item (they can ship an item to customer under your business name). You can also use vintage items you find. Some good places to start looking are eBay and SaleHoo.
Many wholesale and drop shipping already offer photos of their items for you to use in your shop. This is a good way to start off. I recommend taking your own photos if you can to develop a consistent style in your images. You can also add your own interesting backdrops and details.
Promote Your Shop
There are many ways to promote your shop on Etsy. Make sure to have all your tags filled in and use good SEO. Post on the Etsy teams and forums to promote your items and get views on your listing. Make a tutorial out your supplies and post it on your blog. Customers love to see your product in action!
I have tried selling a couple supplies in the past. I would love to offer more supplies on my Etsy shop.
Do you sell supplies?
Want to work wherever you want? I love working remotely because it allows you to travel or work from home. You don’t need to be tied down to one place to work and can work in locations other than an office.
What Work Do You Want to Do?
Some work you can do remotely or anywhere in the world is:
- Work at home and remote jobs
- Being a virtual assistant
- Blogging or working as a writer
- Selling digital products like eBooks or courses
- Selling prints where you can get the prints directly to a customer
- Selling any product on a site like Etsy or eBay using drop shipping (the company ships the item for you
- Using affiliate programs or being a remote brand ambassador
Here are some tips for traveling while working:
- Use AirBnb for vacation rentals. AirBnb is often affordable and you can stay in people’s homes. You can choose to get a room or a whole place to yourself. If you use my link, you can get $35 off your first night.
- Prefer a hotel? Use HotelTonight to find the best deals and rates for hotel stays.
- Bring a laptop (or tablet or smartphone). Use whatever technology helps you work best. A laptop is a great way to use a computer and keyboard without a desktop. I used a laptop all the time in college and I love the MacBook the best. A smartphone or tablet is great if you need a camera or just to check your email or phone. Keep an external battery and portable charger if you are going to be needing extended use for technology.
- Keep a good calendar or planner to schedule events and get work done A to do list is helpful. Often times, you just need one or two hours to work and you spend the rest of the day traveling or exploring
- Do you need to make art? There are still ways to create. Find an Airbnb with a studio. A sketchbook is a great portable way to create art. I also recommend keeping all your art supplies in a small art bin or bag.
How do you like to work remotely while you travel? Let me know in the comments.
If you love creating and customizing your own products, check out my new website for Move the Needle.
- Find a decorative pattern you like.
- Choose an item to customize the pattern on.
- Select any other details or variations and checkout.
I am selling everything from notebooks to laptop cases. My Etsy shop is also restocked with a bunch of new items that I am hoping it will increase my sales.
Let me know your favorite pattern in the comments.
Do you know what to blog about? You will need to come up with blog post ideas every time you create a new blog post. You may have a lot of ideas already. Other times, you might feel stuck. Here are some tips for staying inspired.
Write Outside of Your Blog
If you usually blog on the computer, why not try writing somewhere else? It helps to keep a list or notebook with ideas of what you want to blog about. I like to write draft posts of blog posts on a notebook and then edit them on the computer later. You can even draw or doodle when you write in a notebook to get ideas or what you want visual photos to look like. Another idea is to use an application like Bean to write without distraction.
Instead of writing a blog post first, take some photos. This can also help if your blog isn’t usually visual and you just want to get ideas. Try taking photos of your daily activities or things that inspire you for a day or a week. Go through the photos later and choose the best ones to inspire blog post ideas or add to your blog posts to make them more interesting.
Look at Other Blogs
Joining a blog community or looking st other blogs can help you stay inspired. Many other blogs encourage other bloggers to join them in blogging about the same topic or using a certain tag. Comment on a blog with a similar topic and let them know their blog post inspired a topic on your blog.
Search for Keywords
SEO can help you come up with popular blog topic ideas that will get you noticed in search engines. Try using Google Keyword Planner to find different keyword phrases that may be a good title for your blog post or a starting point when you write.
Look in Books
If you don’t care as much about writing this week’s trending topics, try looking in books or magazines. Pick an article in a magazine or a topic in a book to inspire a blog post. I like to look through old issues of magazines and see if I can find topics that would be interesting on my blog.
Look at an Old Blog Post
If you have old blog entries, find a couple popular posts you really like. See if you can rewrite them with a new spin, add on to them or write an additional blog post on the same topic.
Want specific ideas on what to write about? Download my free blog post idea printable here.
Here are some specific ideas on what to blog about if you are stuck:
- Do a day in the life or post some personal photos that let people know more about you.
- Post your favorite ways to promote your business. Write about your favorite tools, websites or applications to use.
- Make a list of your top 10 favorite ________.
- Do a survey or let viewers ask you questions.
- Post what you ate that day or what you are planning to make for dinner.
- Post what inspires you or what it on your wishlist.
- Make a tutorial that gives step by step instructions how to make something or accomplish a task.
- Write about your favorite blogs or give a shoutout to other bloggers.
- Try to change up your media. Add a video if you usually don’t make videos or add a photos if you usually do mostly text entries.
How do you come up with blog post ideas?
Vellabox is an artisan candle subscription box. They sent me a subscription box to review. We are also hosting a giveaway (scroll to the bottom to see how you can win a free monthly box).
I love the cute little yellow box Vellabox came in. Candles are delivered monthly from the finest American candle makers.
The theme for this box was Fourth of July for the July theme. I love the patriotic theme and you can still use all the items even though it was a little after Fourth of July when I received the box. The candle was wrapped in this cute blue star bag.
The candle that came in this box was from the company Pontie Wax from Brooklyn, NY. You can see their instagram @pontiewax
The fragrance for the candle was fig mixed with oil from olive. It isn’t made with vegetable soy wax and natural oils that are highly fragrant. I loved the natural scent of this candle. They also had information about a bergamot and amber scented candle that was listed on their notecard and I think came in other boxes (you get a random candle). I think it is great you get a full size candle and they make sure the company makes quality candles that are hand poured in small batches. I only wish the box was filled with more candles!
I love lighting candles to relax and set the the mood so I thought this subscription box was a great idea. I used to collect candles, but haven’t bought candles lately so this box made me want to start collecting candles again and get different scents.
They also included a SPF15 Original Lip Balm from All Good from Morro Bay, CA. The lip balm is all natural and cruelty free inspired by wilderness. It is reef friendly and gluten free. The lip balm made my lips really soft and it is great to carry around or stick in your purse. Follow their social media @allgoodbrand.
Vellabox and My Thread of Thought are doing a giveaway of a 3 month Lucerna subscription! The Lucerna subscription contains a 4oz hand-poured artisan candle monthly plus one surprise gift.
All you have to do is subscribe to My Thread of Thought on Feedly (you can also search for “mythreadofthought.com” directly on Feedly), share this post and leave a comment with your email address.
The giveaway ends August 15. The winner will be chosen randomly from all the entries. I will leave a post and email the luck winner. Good luck!
Are you a creative business owner? I just relaunched my personal site. Instead of focusing on my art and personal projects, the new site is all about resources for business owners and creatives.
The main thing I sell on the website is services as a virtual assistant. You can buy any of my packages or work with me hourly. Services are great for creative business owners who need extra help on their social, Etsy or blog. I have worked as a virtual assistant for several years on Upwork so I am excited to launch on my own website also. Here are ten examples of things II can do with you as a virtual assistant.
- Create your Etsy shop. If you don’t have an Etsy shop, I can get you up and running. I can create your profile, write policies, write an about page and get your first listings up.
- Promote your Etsy shop. If you already have an Etsy shop, I can promote your products. For example, I can do paid advertising or promote your listings in the Etsy forums to get more views.
- Promote your KickStarter campaign. Do you not have the funds you need for your business? I can start or promote your KickStarter campaign. I helped launch a successful KickStarter campaign through social media promotion that raised over $35,000 to create coastal paintings in to functional dinnerware for Kim Rody Art.
- Improve your listings. SEO is a method that will use the write keywords to get your product noticed. I can edit your tags, description and title to use SEO to get your listings noticed. I can also write you descriptions or help you choose photos to use with your listings. I edited descriptions and helped with SEO for Cecelia Aurand Jewelry, a new shop on Etsy that sells jewelry.
- Fine tune your social media. If you haven’t touched your social media in a while, I can improve your social media page by updating your cover photo, writing your bio and creating photo albums.
- Grow your following on social media. When I grow your following, I will grow it organically. This means I won’t use robots to get you fake followers. Though you may not get a higher number of followers in a short time, the followers you get will be genuine and interested in your business. For example, I promoted Gardens of the Sun, on Pinterest and helped grow their audience organically.
- Interact with your audience. If you already have an audience, I can interact with them and create new posts on social media. I can also update your mailing list and send e-mail updates.
- Write blog posts. Do you have a blog? I can write high quality, SEO posts for you and include images.
- Bulk list items. Do you need something a little different? I have bulk listed over 1000 items in Cuff Links R Us, a shop that sells cufflinks on Etsy and eBay. I can bulk list your items or transfer your listings from one site to another.
- Work as your personal assistant. I can schedule appointments, send e-mails, contact companies or anything else you need for your business. If there is another project you need me to work on, I am flexible.
If you are looking for a freebie, check out my free toolkit for creative business owners. You will get access to the toolkit just be subscribing to my newsletter. Whether you have a handmade business, blog or freelance business, this library has goodies for you to start or grow your business. This toolkit has over 10 printable documents and spreadsheets.
Let me know what features you would like to see on my personal website.