SEO & Etsy


It seems like whenever I'm in the Etsy forums, I'm always trying to explain to sellers how to optimize their SEO (i.e., Search Engine Optimization). Here's a quick review I just did this morning. I chose one item at random from Alyssa's shop, AlyssaScarfer:

These are the tags she was using:
  • Accessories
  • Scarf
  • Knit
  • scarf
  • scarves
  • infinity scarf
  • infinity scarves
  • arm knit scarf
  • arm knitting
  • knit
  • tan infinity scarf
  • tan scarf
  • chunky knit scarf
  • chunky knit infinity
  • chunky knit scarves
  • soft scarf
My initial response to Alyssa was that she is wasting several tag slots. Etsy provides up to 3 categories and sub-categories for each item; these are the three capitalized words at the top of the list which serve double-duty as tags, so there's no need to waste a tag slot by repeating these words on their own! 2 tag slots saved!

Next, I explained how, when a seller is using a multiple word phrase, they don't need to repeat any of those words (in the same order) as separate tags. Since this seller has "tan infinity scarf," she didn't also need "infinity scarf" as a separate tag. 1 tag slot saved!

"Scarf" and "Scarves" show the exact same number of search results on Etsy; this means it's likely that shoppers are seeing the exact same items, so that's another tag slot which could be put to better use. I told Alyssa that I would use "scarf" since she's selling a single scarf, but it would seem not to matter. The same is true for "infinity scarf" and "infinity scarves" and, although this search result was actually off by ONE, it's still likely showing the same exact items (except for one!) since the number of search results is nearly identical. 2 tag slots saved!

Now, of course, comes the challenge of trying to think of five new tags to replace the ones which were just deleted. I have enough of a challenge trying to think of tags for my own items, so I ended my tag review at this point. :-)

I Just Bought the Winning Mega Millions Ticket!


Ok, everyone, you can go on back home now. You don't need to stand in line at the mini-marts, gas stations, grocery stores, etc. to buy a Mega Millions ticket for tonight. Why, you ask?

Because I just bought it!

I believe in the power of positive thinking, so if I think it, it will happen ... RIGHT?????

What would YOU do if you won $425 million dollars? 

Me? The first thing I'd do is celebrate because there's no state tax on lottery winnings where I live! Goodness knows the OTHER taxes are high enough to make up for that though. LOL!

Federal income tax is a whopping 35%. At least I think that's the highest federal income tax bracket. Since I would probably take the cash payment (I am north of 50 ...), that takes a big chunk right off the top.

So back to what I would will do when I win tonight! Near the top of the list is buy a house. But WHERE? After all, I can now afford to live ANYWHERE I want to live! I've always thought I'd enjoy living on the Coast, and probably the California coast, as I don't relish the thought of dealing with hurricanes (which rules out much/most of the East Coast and pretty much all of the Gulf states, not that I can see myself living in the South in the first place! Capitola is my favorite beach town here in California, but I'll take some time to travel a bit just to be sure that I still want to stay in the U.S. With a gazillion dollars just less than $425 million dollars to invest, I'd like to think that even Canada would take me now! But, yeah, I'd probably stay in the U.S. I don't have any ties to Canada these days (R.I.P. Chris). Other than the South, I also don't want to live where there's a LOT of snow, so that rules out about 2/3 of the country. I'll have to think about this one some more!

I would buy a new vehicle. My current transportation is a 1998 Toyota Tacoma. She's holding up very well, and I might just keep her for a 2nd vehicle, at least for awhile. My current taste in vehicular transportation runs towards small and medium size SUV type vehicles. Maybe a Subaru Forrester, but probably something just a bit bigger. I used to really want a Nissan Pathfinder, but the current model looks a lot like a minivan and that doesn't appeal to me! I've got a few friends who are really into cars, so I will be seeking their advice.

Once I have my new home, I would buy more primitive antiques. I've had an early dry sink on the top of my antiques shopping list for several years. Suddenly $1,000 doesn't seem like a lot of money for one piece of furniture! I would need more furniture (much of it antiques) to furnish my home. I would finally be able to go to Round Top and Brimfield and, best of all, I would be able to buy pretty much anything I wanted at both shows!  

I would donate some money here and there. I just saw a story on CBS News about a "Secret Santa" who gives out $100 to random strangers. I like that idea!

And that's as far as I've gotten so far. Oh yeah, I have to let that temp agency know that I won't be returning to the law firm in January. Or maybe I will go back to work anyway ... I really do like having some "structure" in my day; otherwise, I just end up playing games on Facebook and eating too much ... while waiting for the "cha ching" from the Etsy app, letting me know that I've made another sale in my Etsy shop!

Ok, your turn! What would YOU do if you were the Mega Millions winner tonight ... instead of me? Leave me a comment and let me know!


This ALWAYS Freaks Me Out!


This is the second or third time I've seen one of my creations in an Etsy ad on Facebook. Pretty cool, eh?


And here's where you can adopt this charming pumpkin fellow!


Did Your Microsoft Office Starter Stop Working Too?


About two weeks ago, the Microsoft Office Starter software on my Dell laptop stopped working after one of those weekly Windows updates. Suddenly I had weird ORANGE icons on my desktop and also in the file list when I went looking for the actual files in the folders. Although I have an extended warranty from Dell (thank goodness!), I have been absolutely dreading calling to ask them to help with this problem. If you've ever dealt with Dell tech support, you know what I'm talking about ... 

In a last ditch effort to resolve this problem myself (before giving in and calling Dell tech support), I decided to try to "repair" Office Starter. It said I would lose any UNsaved work, but of course I was freaking out that SAVED work might be lost as well. But I had to try it ... and less than 2 minutes later, I'm once again able to get into my Excel spreadsheets that I use for my business!

Just one small problem, which was super-easy to fix. After the repair, the shortcut on my desktop asked me to put media in the F: drive. I work off of a flash drive and it's the E: drive. So I deleted the old shortcut and made a new one, which references the E. drive and it works just fine. 

BIG WHEW!!!

Oh, just in case (like me) you've never tried to repair a program, here's how you do it!
  1. Click on the Windows (Start) button.
  2. Click on Control Panel.
  3. Click on Programs.
  4. Click on Programs and Features.
  5. Find your program (Microsoft Office Starter 2010 - English).
  6. Click on Change (at the top of the list).
  7. Click the Yes button (I left the box unchecked).
  8. There will be a pop-up showing the progress of the repair. Literally, it took maybe 2 minutes and the regular icons were back on my desktop!


Fall Shows & Current Work


This past week I applied to the "Holiday Art & Craft Festival" sponsored by the Crocker Art Museum. I'm every bit as nervous about this show as I was about the Art Fiesta in June; I won't know for sure whether I've been accepted for this show until the notification date in mid-August, so your finger-crossing is most welcome!

These shows are among what I consider the top three Sacramento-area juried art fairs. The third show is the "Sacramento Art Festival" which is held at the Convention Center downtown in early November; this is a very expensive show to do ($560 for a small booth in 2013), so it's not likely that you'll ever see me at this show. But maybe after I see how much commission I have to pay at the Crocker show (they request 15% commission in addition to the booth fee), it's possible I could change my mind. LOL!

I still have quite a bit of Americana in my Etsy shop. As a special treat for my blog readers, you can use Americana10 to get 10% off anything in my shop through July 13, 2013. It's all included, not just Americana, however you do need to spend at least $25 to activate the discount.

I've begun working on Autumn items and will continue with that through July and possibly into August before starting work on Winter and Christmas things. I will probably start listing my Autumn items around mid-July.



Good morning! I wanted to share some photos of my booth from the "Art Fiesta" art fair which I did on June 1st and 2nd. Some of these items are still available in my Etsy shop. Enjoy!










ACCEPTED!!!


I'm delighted to announce that I've been accepted to show my primitive folk art at the 55th annual Art Fiesta, so please mark June 1st & 2nd on your calendar! The Art Fiesta is the longest-running juried art fair in the Sacramento area.

This year, the Art Fiesta will be held at The Pavilions, an upscale shopping center, located on Fair Oaks Blvd. (x-street Howe Avenue) and next door to the Borders book store that closed awhile back. Shoppers will probably be able to park at Border's -- there are always some cars parked there anyway. This show has been held at the Town & Country shopping center in the past (Fulton @ Marconi), however they're doing a lot of construction over there this year, in preparation for several new anchor stores.


These are my "Berry Dolls" (still need to make their berries!). They will be available for adoption at the Art Fiesta. I will have several other styles of dolls as well, and a variety of pillows and other "smalls" for you to choose from.

My booth is #325 (click the link for a map of the art fair booths) which is between Julius, where you can shop from such clothing lines as Armani and Stella McCartney, and Pavilion Shoes, an equally high-end shoe "salon."

I've got a LOT of work to do between now and then ... but I look forward to seeing you in June!