Decisions, Decisions

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” ~Theodore Roosevelt 
Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

I agree with Theodore Roosevelt that “nothing” is the worst thing you can do when a decision is needed. So, I’m finally working on making decisions. They might not be the absolute correct decisions, but they are decisions, and I’ll learn from my mistakes.

My Websites

For several years I did nothing with my websites. Yes, websites… plural. I have two websites and three domains. Jularee.com is the website for my jewelry business. I last updated the site in January – and that was a poor excuse for an update. RitaMitchell.com and RitaRiebelMitchell.com both link to my more personal, writing website that I have not updated since July 2012 following my retirement from teaching. How sad is that? This week I finally started to make a few decisions about my websites.

Decision #1:

I transferred my Jularee.com domain to GatorHost and I purchased a hosting plan. I was nervous about it, so I only committed to six months. But so far so good. Support has been pleasant and quick. Everything is working after a few minor bumps.

Decision #2: Dreamweaver vs. WordPress

Jularee.com needed a major overhaul. The question was: Dreamweaver or WordPress? Since the last time I worked with Dreamweaver it was in version 1 (one), and my current version is CS6, I thought the learning curve might be a bit time consuming. So, I decided to use WordPress to recreate the site.

jularee.com

Jularee.com is under construction

Decision #3: WordPress Theme and Pages

I chose a tentative theme for the “under construction” type of messages (see above). The pages are Jularee, Shop, Blog, About, and Contact. I included links to my Etsy shops and a contact email address.

Decision #4: Learn How to Use WordPress and Choose a Possibly Permanent Theme

My goal: By the end of today I will have watched/ listened to at least three instructional videos about creating a website using WordPress. My next decisions will be to choose a “possibly permanent” WordPress theme and a color scheme. I’m hoping the videos will lead me in the right direction.

Decision #5: What to do with RitaMitchell.com

Regarding my more personal, writing website: I left the domains registered with GoDaddy for a year. I’ll update the current pages a bit, and prepare to move it to my HostGator hosting plan within the next few months.

RitaMitchell.com

The July 2012 “update” to RitaMitchell.com website.

RitaMitchell.com and RitaRiebelMitchell.com will be linked to Jularee.com but will have a different, more personal twist… a biography, a photo gallery, and Sunday Dinner (currently part of this blog). I will add a list of my publishing credits, information about writers’ organizations, conferences, and references, as well as names of the books I’m reading. Bits and pieces of my writing, personal life, and travel will be thrown once in awhile. Past that, I don’t know, yet.

I’m Looking for Training Videos

If you know of any training videos about creating a WordPress website or with tips for designing websites, will you please share them?

On to more decision making! ~Rita

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Tweet Like a Bird

Lately I’ve been reading about using social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Twitter to market my jewelry business. I’m reading articles, blogs, guides, and I’ve joined social networking teams on Etsy. I’m trying to learn everything I can to improve my bottom line and to increase my sales. Social networking is suggested as a way to do that.

Most recently my focus has been Twitter.

How to Tweet

I like to tweet. It’s quick and you don’t have to write a lot. In fact, Twitter limits the length of a tweet. For any Twitter newbies reading this, you have only 140 characters. That includes every letter, space, dash, period, parenthesis, and so on. And, if you are going to include a link to your shop, you need to have 22 characters left over for the URL, no matter how long or short it is.

What Should I Tweet?

Deciding what to tweet shouldn’t be difficult. Of course I’ll tweet about my product. But if every tweet I post is a link to my shop, I won’t keep many followers. And if I post lots of tweets everyday with links to my products, I am spamming. No one likes a spammer.

So, I’m tweeting links to my products sparingly. One in every three or four tweets posted is a good guide.

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What about those other two or three tweets? Think: information, interesting facts, links, and responses to those who follow you.

Respond to Followers

When someone new follows me, I send them a message. It’s easy enough to visit their Twitter page and write a message there. Sometimes I will send a message to multiple followers at the same time.  I use the @ sign before each user name to let everyone know that the tweet is especially for them. I also sometimes thank followers for retweeting my posts. And I always reply when a follower makes a comment on my post.

Information, Interesting Facts, and Links

I choose the information based on my business and my focus. I post about making jewelry, jewelry materials, gemstone meanings and healing properties, yoga, and meditation. Other topics I write about are building a handcrafting business, care and handling of jewelry, how to buy jewelry, and anything else I can think of that relates to my shop and the items I create to sell.

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Personally Speaking

Sometimes I get a bit personal, but not too personal. Maybe a tweet about a place I visited (with a photo of course) or a great recipe I found. I post links to my blog posts. I might also link to information provided by my sons. For example, as soon as I get it, I’ll be posting the link to my son’s presentation at a recent TedX talk.

Targeted Tweeting

When you are a Twitter newbie, you don’t have any followers. You post to an audience of zero. Well, maybe three or four if you coerced your spouse and children to follow you. But don’t ask them what they think of your tweets. They are not your target audience.

You can begin building your followers by emailing everyone you know announcing your new endeavor. Include every customer on your mailing list. Include your friends and other family members. Ask them to follow you. Some won’t but some will. Don’t badger them. Just ask once. Some of these new followers will retweet your posts and their followers might like what you offer.

Use keywords and hastags (for example: #MothersDay) to draw attention of users who are searching Twitter for information on a topic. Some of them will choose to follow you, or at least click on your link.

Also

Include a link to Twitter from your website or Etsy shop. Add Twitter to your business cards: Twitter.com/jularee.

Still Learning

I’m learning more about Twitter everyday. Maybe you have a tip for me. Please add it in the comments.

As I see it, Twitter is one of the many ways I can get my business name out there… and maybe increase my sales.

Here’s hoping.

Follow me on Twitter @jularee.

 

 

 

 

Tweeting Frenzy

Earlier this week I joined the Etsy Meet N Tweet team. It has been interesting, to say the least.

First I followed all members of the team on Twitter, as required. Then the members started following me back. As I am grateful for new Twitter followers, I have been thanking them… one at a time… all 278 of them. (I just looked and the number of members is up to 314)

Before joining Etsy Meet N Tweet, I had acquired 328 Twitter followers over the course of about 18 months. I did it all on my own. I guess the people followed me because they liked my tweets. I think that’s a good thing.

Now, in a matter of a few days, I am up to 488 followers and it’s growing by the hour. Obviously not all of the team members have followed me, yet, but if they all do, I will have more than doubled my followers within a couple of weeks.

The purpose of this team is to increase everyone’s presence on Twitter by tweeting, retweeting, and favoriting each other’s tweets. This is supposed to give your business more exposure and more importantly, sales. It’s a major undertaking. There are a couple of apps that make it more automatic, but if you want to have some control over what is tweeted, it’s a fairly time consuming task.

All team members are supposed to be following the tweeting rule of thirds, with only one third as links to the products in our Etsy stores. One third should be informational links and one third responses and questions for your followers.

The links to products are easy as long as you aren’t spamming with a gazillion of them. The retweeting is done automatically with an app – I set limits on the number of tweets it can post in my name.

I’ve been posting information and informational links for at least six months. I think that’s why people have been following me. I respond to people who retweet and follow but I haven’t yet found the types of questions that followers will feel compelled to answer. I’m working on it.

Meanwhile, I’m tweeting a bit more that I have in the past.  I hope that the informational links I’m providing are interesting to my followers. Especially the people who chose to follow me before I joined this team and increased the number of my tweets. I hope they stick around.

As I work on writing compelling questions, please follow my progress on Twitter. 

What do you think about this type of increase in followers? Do you consider it worthwhile or just an artificial jump in numbers that won’t do a thing for my business or my Etsy shop?

 

 

What’s in a Gift Shop?

Last week I finally took some of my newest items to the gift shop in NJ Balance Wellness Center. They have a gorgeous display of jewelry, including mine!

Jewelry display

Jularee display at NJ Balance Wellness Center

gemstone bracelets

Jularee’s gemstone bracelets on display

jewelry display

Some of the gorgeous jewelry in the gift shop

Jularee Handcrafted Jewelry can be found at:
NJ Balance Wellness Center
Main Street, Medford, NJ