Tuesday, December 05, 2006

So Many Blogs - So Many Ways To Subscribe!

We have so many different kinds of blogs and subscribing to them couldn't be easier.

If you'd like to subscribe to my blogs all you have to do is look for the "Would You Like To Subscribe" to my blog box by Feedblitz at the top sidebar or top post of the particular blog you want.

Whether it's my "Linda's Blog","DOLLS Blog","I Love Crafts and Craft Blogs" blog, "The Best FREE Craft Articles" blog, "Tips For Crafters On The Web"blog, "Instant Download E-Patterns" blog, or "Testing The Blogs Series and Helpful Blog Tips" blog the subscription area will look something like this:

Would you like to Subscribe to my Linda's Blog?
Enter your Email





Powered by FeedBlitz


What's nice about Feedblitz subscriptions is that if you subscribed to all my blogs Feedblitz would consolidate all the multiple feeds in to one daily email. According to Feedblitz; "Each night (US East Coast) the free service checks on your feeds, figures out the changes, and sends you a single, easy to read email with all the information at your fingertips. If there are no changes, you won't get a message, so FeedBlitz won't clutter up your email system with worthless emails. "

Or, you can subscribe to my blogs via RSS feeder services or customized pages that utilize my blogs RSS feeds. For subscriptions of this nature look for the tiny 88x15 size banners that may look like this:



Add to Google
Subscribe to LindaWalshOriginalsBLOG
Add to My AOL

You can get an email every time I post an article to one of my blogs, have your RSS reader service notified every time I post an article to my blogs, or have your customized page notified every time I post an article to my blogs. You can even just bookmark my blogs and check back when you want to see what I've posted.

You can even subscribe to my Twelve Months of Sewing Club. Just subscribe to my Twelve Months of Sewing Club and you'll be notified every month when the featured "Instant Download E-Pattern" article is posted. Then you can buy the featured "Instant Download E-Pattern" for the month and get a FREE* (*of equal or lesser value) e-pattern emailed to you. Just go to my Twelve Months of Sewing Club blog and "SUBSCRIBE" to it. Then you'll be notified every month.

And, you can even SUBSCRIBE to my "Linda's Blog" on the main page of my Linda Walsh Originals website. You can subscribe to my "DOLLS Blog" on the main page of my Linda Walsh Originals Dolls website. And, you can subscribe to my "Instant Download E-Patterns"blog on the "BLOGS"page of my Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns website. Just go to the main page and click on the "BLOGS" link at the bottom of the page.

There are just so many ways to find out what's going on at Linda Walsh Originals, Linda Walsh Originals Dolls, and Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns. So many blogs - so many ways to SUBSCRIBE!

So, SUBSCRIBE and you'll always know what's going on.


Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns - "Instant Download E-Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Tips From The Blogging Queen - Commenting On Blogs and How That Can Be Helpful To Your Small Business Website? - Column 2

Tips From The Blogging Queen - Commenting On Blogs and How That Can Be Helpful To Your Small Business Website? - Column 2

In my last "Tips From The Blogging Queen" Column 1 Definition -
we learned that a "BLOGSNOB" is a person who refuses to respond to comments on their blog from people outside their circle of friends. Is this a good thing? No.

Why not? For one reason, it's just plain rude. And, for two - you want your blog readers to feel like you are reading their comments. After all, they took the time to read your blog and comment on it. You should at least take the time to respond to their comments.

Plus, reason number three is exposure for your blog which, hopefully, translates into exposure for your small business website.

Commenting on other people's blogs can be helpful to your blog and small business website. How?

Well, the reason you created your small business website blog was to gain exposure for your small business website. Commenting on other people's blogs, especially if they are in the same field as you, is a way to gain exposure by directing them to your blog.

Most blog owners love people who comment on their blog. After all, you write the blog to get it noticed and read, don't you? If you comment about a blog owners blog and provide a link back to your blog they are more than likely to visit your blog. If they like your blog then they are more than likely to add your blog to their list of blog links or blogroll.

Does this help you? Absolutely. Links to your blog are just as important as links to your website. You spend a lot of time exchanging banners with similar small business websites in order to gain exposure in the search engines. The same logic holds true for your blog. You want to link to blogs that are of a similar nature in the industry your website is in. The more important their blog is (i.e. Google Page Rank) the better it is for your blog.

So, why else should you respond to comments on your blog? Because you never know if the commenter is a current customer or future customer of yours.

Blogs for small business websites are a means to "personalize" you to your customer. Customers can communicate with you and your blog article by means of a comment. If you don't take the time to respond to a comment from a potential customer what does that say about you and your business?

So, are comments helpful? Absolutely. They provide exposure, potential blog links, and a means of communication with your customer.

Do you want to become a "BLOGSNOB?" Absolutely NOT?

Copyright © 2006—All Rights Reserved — Written By Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals and Linda's Blog. Linda is a doll maker and doll pattern designer. http://lindawalshoriginals.com




"Tips From The Blogging Queen" Column 2 Definition -

Blaudience - The audience, or readership, of a blog.

Be sure to tune in to future TFTBQ Columns on "Who Is Your Audience and What Should You Tell Them?"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I've Taken A BIG, BOLD & PROGRESSIVE Step!

I've taken a BIG, BOLD & PROGRESSIVE STEP!!

I've decide to eliminate my monthly Linda Walsh Originals and Linda Walsh Originals Dolls newsletter in favor of my "DOLLS Blog" and Linda's Blog.

It's a BOLD step.

It's daring!

However, it's not a RASH decision.

I've been thinking about my newsletter in the context of my blogs for awhile and weighing the pro's and con's of having both.

All the experts tell you that in order to gain exposure with your customers you should do this and you should do that - one of which is to have a monthly newsletter. So I did and have been producing one for about a year now.

Well, in thinking about my newsletter I thought; "Wait a minute! I have my "Linda's Blog" which is filled with information on what's going on at Linda Walsh Originals and my DOLLS Blog which is filled with information about what's going on at Linda Walsh Originals Dolls. I'm posting to them if not every other day, then at least once a week. Why do I need to duplicate my efforts when I've got my blogs?"

In fact, with all of my blogs there's plenty of opportunity to find out what's going on at my websites. Plenty of exposure.

And, I LOVE MY BLOGS! They are so easy to post to and are so versatile. Does it make any sense to continue to generate a newsletter which is really duplicate work? It's difficult to create and takes a lot of time. My blog posts are a snap to create and post to.

Plus, my customers and blog readers can SUBSCRIBE to my blogs. That way every time I post an article they can either get an email, add my blog to their feed readers, add my blog to their customized pages, etc. They have any multiple number of ways to see my blog posts. What could be better than that?

Why be redundant with a monthly newsletter which contains information that is already in my blogs? In fact, they don't even really have to subscribe - if they have my blog bookmarked they can just go to my blog when they want and read my articles. It's easier to subscribe as they'd be notified every time I posted an article, but it would be up to them.

So, I'm thinking if you have blogs, monthly newsletters are not necessary. Blogs are all you need.

It's a BOLD but LOGICAL step and a step in the right direction for the future.



Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns - "Instant Download E-Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wait Until The Other Doll Pattern Designers See My New Website!

Sometimes you meet someone that is just plain exceptional. A year ago I met someone who is exceptional and her name is "Annie Kelly."

Of course, she's going to be embarrassed by this article and will probably want to strangle me.

That's the risk I'll have to run.

Annie, is always the first person in line to offer to help you with any problem, or anything. She's the first to volunteer, is always eager to help, and never asks for much in return. She always has great advice and is straight-forward, which I appreciate. And, she's always willing to listen.

Annie, like a lot of us - wears many hats. She is first and foremost a mother and a wife. She is also a business woman, programmer, doll maker, doll pattern designer, graphic artist, website designer, webmaster, and a slew of other things. And, like a lot of us, she has many websites.

I am a vendor on her Pattern-Central pattern website and have a shoppe on her FolkArt Square on-line marketplace. And, now I have a website designed by and hosted by her "In A Pickle Web Designs" website.

According to Annie, "Our goal here at In A Pickle Web Designs is to create a website that is fully functional and appealing for you and your customers!" She also offers website hosting at very competitive rates.

Annie also runs a doll pattern website called "Primitive Annies", runs on-line "craft shows", an annual doll challenge for charity, an on-line silent auction website, and a funky graphic design website called "Hokey Pokey Primitives."

Well, I was having a problem with my E-Patterns. I was, as you might say - "in a pickle" and Annie said she thought she could help me.

Well, she and her "In A Pickle Web Designs" and her Pattern-Central website certainly did.

You see, Pattern-Central has been selling e-patterns for a very long time and was recently upgraded to convert those e-patterns to "Instant Download E-Patterns" using a unique and very secure shopping cart feature.

In talking with Annie about my E-Patterns problem she suggested that she could develop a website to help me. I told her that my "ideal" solution would be a "mini" version of her Pattern-Central website that could handle all my "Instant Download E-Patterns." Something that was "me" and "only me." Something that my main website could LINK to for every one of my patterns while remaining transparent to my customers as a separate website.

So, Annie designed my BRAND NEW Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns website to look like a page from my main Linda Walsh Originals website.

Moving from one to the other would be easy for my customers. My customers would be able to order multiple "instant download e-patterns" at the same time through one check-out process and receive one email with all the download links. And, the shopping cart on my new website would not interfere with the shopping cart I was using on my main website. So, I could retain the same primary email address at PayPal.

Plus, my customers could always sign into their new account on my Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns website and download their e-pattern should they have a problem with the download. How great was that?

Also, I could link a particular "instant download e-pattern's" page to my blogs, newsletters, emails, etc.

If all that wasn't enough, my new website also had "mailing list" and "subscriber" capabilities, statistics, customer accounts, product categories, multiple page capabilities, and a whole lot more.

Annie also offers a blog, but I have more than enough of them so I declined that. YIKES!!! The "Blogging Queen" turned down a blog????

And, unlike my main website, which is best viewed in Internet Explorer, my new website has no problem being viewed by other browsers like Firefox. A bonus to boot.

So, my BRAND NEW - Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns website was born. It was designed by Annie and "In A Pickle Web Designs" and is hosted with "In a Pickle Web Designs."

I am thrilled!

Wait until all the other doll pattern designers see my new website!

For sure, I am going to be the envy of all the other doll pattern designers!

That's okay. I don't mind. If they want a website of their very own they can always call Annie at "In A Pickle Web Designs." I know she'd help them out, too.


Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns - "Instant Download E-Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Friday, October 13, 2006

Banner Rotations For Your Website Or Blog

I belong to several forums and often see the question, "Does anyone know the script I can use to add a banner rotation to my website or blog?"

So, I decided that instead of answering on the forum every time that I would provide the answer here.

There are two basic type of banner rotations, as follows:

1) Banner Rotation That Changes Every Few Seconds
2) Banner Rotation That Changes With Every Page Load

I prefer the banner rotation that changes every few seconds as it provides the opportunity for every banner to be seen by every customer. The banner rotation that changes with every page load only shows one banner per customer.

Also, I am using the 1st code above on my blogs so I know that it works. I haven't used the 2nd code above as of yet so I can't say with any certainty that it will work and , therefore, won't include it in my blog tips until I have used it.

In order to type the code below so that you could see it as text I had to replace several things. So, please be aware that you will need to change these in order for the code to work.

Shown below is the code for a Banner Rotation That Changes Every 10 Seconds for 2 Banners

<##script type="text/JavaScript"##>
var imgs1 = new Array("http://BANNER1IMAGEURL.jpg",http://BANNER2IMAGEURL.jpg)
var lnks1 = new Array ("http://BANNER1WEBSITEURL",http://BANNER2WEBSITEURL)
var alt1 = new Array("BANNER1ALTTEXT","BANNER2ALTTEXT")
var var currentAd1 = 0
var imgCt1 = 2
function cycle1() {
if (currentAd1 == imgCt1) {
currentAd1 = 0
}
var banner1 = document.getElementById('adBanner1');
var link1 = document.getElementById('adLink1');
banner1.src=imgs1[currentAd1]
banner1.alt=alt1[currentAd1]
document.getElementById('adLink1').href=lnks1[currentAd1]
currentAd1++
}
window.setInterval("cycle1()",10000)
<##/script##>
<##a href=http://BANNER1WEBSITEURL id="adLink1" target="_top">
<##img src="http://BANNER1IMAGEURL.jpg" id="adBanner1" border="0" width="468" height="60"><##/a>

There are three key lines of code for your banners. The first holds the URL of your banner image (see BANNER1IMAGEURL above). The second holds your website URL (see BANNER1WEBSITEURL above). The 3rd holds the alternate text for the banner (see BANNER1ALTTEXT above). Each banner URL and alternate text that you include is separated by a comma.

There are also two important variables for the code. The first is the number of banners in the rotations (see 2 above). The second is the time interval (see 10000 above). If you wanted to have 5 banners in the rotation that would change every 2 seconds then you would change the 3 to a 5 and the and the 10000 to 2000.

Then you need to tell the script what the first banner is. So your would replace the BANNER1WEBSITEURL and BANNER1IMAGEURL in the last two lines of code with your own banner 1 information.

I have found that .jpg banners work best for the code. If your last banner is a .gif type banner the code will not work. Banners that have a .gif extension will only work if they are in-between two .jpg banners.

Also, banners all have to be the same width and height (i.e. 468x60 standard size) and that is indicted in the last line image source line of the code as well ( see width="468" height="60" above).

In order to get the code to print as text you also need to delete all of the ##'s and replace the
first line of code between the <>'s that says script type="text/JavaScript" with script language="Javascript". Minus the ##'s here, too.

I hope this helps everyone who would like to add a banner rotation to their website or blog.



Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns - "Instant Download E-Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tips From The Blogging Queen - Are Blogs Really Helpful? - Column 1

"Tips From the Blogging Queen" Column First Published in Faithful Friends Online Newsletter 10/1/2006

I get asked all the time - "Would a blog really be helpful to my small business website?

The answer is definitely "YES."

You might be wondering - "How?"

Well, for many reasons. Today, we are going to look at one reason - Search Engines. Future "Tips From The Blogging Queen" columns will look at some of the other reasons.

So, one reason they can be helpful to your small business website is that they can help towards getting your small business website noticed in the search engines.

Let me explain by telling you that I started my main doll pattern website in June of 2005 and my 2nd main handmade dolls & crafts website in May 2006. I started my main blog in June 2005 and have published over 250 articles (i.e. posts) to date. All of my websites and blogs have links to each other.

Well, my main blog has a better Google Page Rank then my two main websites. My main blog has a Google page rank of 4 while my websites are a 3 and a 2, respectively. So, articles published on my blog have better search engine ranking and visibility then my two main websites do.

Does this help me? Absolutely!

How?

Well, let's take a look at Google's own explanation of Page Rank. According to Google - Technology PageRank Is Explained As:

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."

Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query.


My main blog is ranked as more "important" than my two main websites and as such makes my other pages (i.e. main websites) more important.

Every time I write an article I make sure that my article mentions "keywords" that I want the search engines to hone in on. Also, every time I write and publish an article for my blog I always add the same information at the bottom of each published post. Published by: MY MAIN WEBSITE NAME with Clickable Link and my main website byline. That way every article that is published has a link back to my main website. A "keyword" within the body of the article to hone in on and a link that the Google search engines can follow, as well as a clickable link that the web searcher can follow.

Since each article published in a blog creates it's own unique url and since I have published over 250 articles on just my main blog alone, that means that I have over 250 unique url's with links back to my main website for the search engines to utilize. More exposure the more likely I will be in the search results.

Will that help my business? I would certainly hope so.

What do all the experts tell you is the most important thing you can do for a business?

It's "Advertise."

Well, every article I post to my blog is FREE advertising for my main website.

So, are blogs really helpful? I would hope you would agree that they are.

Please stay tuned to my next "Tips From The Blogging Queen" column where we'll be looking at other ways that blogs can be helpful to your small business website.


Copyright © 2006—All Rights Reserved — Written By Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals and Linda's Blog. Linda is a doll maker and doll pattern designer. http://lindawalshoriginals.com




"Tips From The Blogging Queen" Column 1 Definition -

BLOGSNOB - A person who refuses to respond to comments on their blog from people outside their circle of friends.

Be sure to tune in to future TFTBQ Columns on "Commenting On Blogs and How That Can Be Helpful To Your Small Business Website!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What An Ordeal This Has Been!

I'm not one to complain, but I have to tell you that it's been a long two days.

You see, all of a sudden the "Instant Download E-Patterns" that are linked to my PayPal account stopped working properly. This problem was occurring on my Linda Walsh Originals website as well as some of the other websites where I sell some of my patterns.

During some routine maintenance of my Linda Walsh Originals website I decided to check my "Instant Download E-Patterns" to see if they were working. Lo and behold they weren't. YIKES!!!!!!

Through further testing I discovered they weren't working anywhere. YIKES!!!

All of a sudden they're not working anywhere. YIKES!!!!! What's up with that?

So, I started wracking my brain trying to figure out why it wouldn't work. Through trial and error with buying my own patterns on various websites I pinned it down to a problem just with the "Instant Download E-Patterns" and PayPal.

You see, the link to download Instant E-Patterns is triggered once payment has been made to PayPal. My downloads weren't getting triggered and were in a PayPal page loop.

In other words, they weren't going anywhere but back to the beginning of the PayPal cycle. A loop that went nowhere but back to the beginning. YIKES!!!!!!!

So, I decided to call PayPal for help. I talked to a rep who filed a support ticket. He was very nice and said, "Hmmmmmm sounds familiar, but I don't know what the problem is. There is no known resolution posted that I can see. I'll have to take it to the engineers. It might take a week to get it resolved but I'll get back to you within 48 hours to let you know."

He tested my website and said - you're right - you're in a loop. He then asked me to email the link code that I was using for the "Buy Now" Instant Download E-Patterns that I was using which I did. After that I got a confirmation email from him telling me what my support ticket number was blah, blah, blah..., that I could watch the progress by going to such and such support area, and they would get back to me within one business day.

Well, if you're a reader of my Linda's Blog you know that I love research and can probably gather that I'm not one to sit idly buy waiting for someone to come up with a solution. I decided to do my own investigating.

Through many hours and two days of investigating I finally discovered that one of my PayPal accounts was working and would trigger the download and the other wasn't. So, I decided to do a split screen comparison line by line and category by category. I, of course, thought my two accounts were set-up the same. Au Contraire!!!!!!

Guess again. They weren't.

On one of my accounts I had previously been using the PayPal Virtual Terminal which features "Risk Controls." But, I had removed it the first part of this year. After clicking through all the menu's I found a setting deep within the Risk Controls that was creating the problem. There is a box in the "Payment Receiving Preferences" to indicate whether or not PayPal should "Allow my Risk Controls to override the following preferences." It was not checked so I thought it wasn't on. Au Contraire!!!!!!

It might have looked like it had no bearing on it, BUT IT DID!

Through further research into the "Risk Controls" settings I determined that there was an indicator that was on that was causing the problem. I changed the setting, then I bought another pattern from myself and it worked fine.

I tested a few more links, blogs, and websites and they all worked fine. OH MY GOODNESS - IT'S WORKING NOW!!!!!!

I almost fell off my chair. IT'S WORKING!!!!! IT'S WORKING!!!!!

You must be thinking, "What's wrong with you that something like that could make you so elated?" Well, if you've ever felt the frustration of working on the computer and having something suddenly stop working out of the blue and you have no idea why - you'll understand.

Now, I want you to know that I haven't changed a thing on the "Risk Controls" on my account at PayPal since I removed the Virtual Terminal at the beginning of the year. Plus, since then I've sold "Instant Download E-Patterns" on my both my website and other websites where I sell patterns. They have all processed just fine.

Then, BOOM!!!!!! All of a sudden they just stop working??????

That tells me that somebody at PayPal changed something somewhere along the way and my downloads just stopped working.

So, yesterday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. I was elated to say the least as I had solved the fiasco. I still hadn't heard from PayPal, but THE GOOD NEWS was I didn't need then anymore as I had solved the problem.

I decided to have dinner and when I came up to check my email later on I found an email from PayPal that was sent at 5:11 P.M. The email basically said that the engineers had told the rep that I should check my "RISK Controls" settings!!!!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

They said the error like the loop I described was probably caused by the "Risk Controls." NO KIDDING!!!!! LOLOLOLOLOL

I had a good laugh and patted myself on the back for finding the solution. PayPal had been true to their word and did get back to me within one business day and, had I not already found the solution, would have provided me with it.

So, why an I telling you this story? Because I know there are a lot of pattern designers who sell "Instant Download E-Patterns" and other businesses selling e-products. If you use PayPal you might want to fully test ordering one of your own e-products to make sure it's still working and goes through the whole complete process.

Prior to this debacle, I deemed everything to be okay with my upload after getting the first "Enter Payment Information" PayPal screen. As this fiasco proved, that's not the criteria to use any more. I got the first and second PayPal screens but the "Risk Controls" prevented it from going further which caused the loop back to the first PayPal screen again. So, in the future I will have to completely test the whole process and actually buy one of my own patterns.

So, if your customers are suddenly not getting their e-product instant downloads or getting a PayPal loop your might want to check your PayPal settings.

For my customers who may or may not have had a problem buying my "Instant Download E-Patterns" I sincerely apologize.

It's always FUN AND GAMES in cyberland. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Now I can laugh about it. LOLOLOLOLOLOL


Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Monday, October 02, 2006

My New "Tips From The Blogging Queen" Column

I just seem to have wonderful news this month.

First my "Dear Linda" column at "Primitive Times Magazine" and now my "Tips From The Blogging Queen" column at Faithful Friends Online. WOW!! Two columns! I can see that I'm going to be very busy.

If you want to read my new "Tips From The Blogging Queen" column each month just look for the following on the right hand sidebar of my "Linda's Blog":

If you'd like to read my
"Tips From The Blogging Queen"
column at
"Faithful Friends Online"
please
CLICK HERE
or CLICK on my "Blogging Queen Crown" below that Kim at Craftisan's Designs made for me!
Happy blogging! Enjoy the column!






Debbie Goodrich, who is the owner of Debbie's Gift Shop and Faithful Friends Online asked me to write a blogging column for her. I was extremely flattered and, of course, willingly agreed. And so, my "Tips From The Blogging Queen" column was born.

My "Tips From The Blogging Queen" will be all about blogging and will feature information, "tips", "how-to's", and blogging articles. It will be geared towards providing WAHM's, small business website owner's, and crafters with information on blogs and blogging. Hopefully, it will inspire them to create a blog.

My "Tips From The Blogging Queen" will be featured in Debbie's "Faithful Friends Online Newsletter" every month and will be archived on her "Faithful Friends Online" website under "Newsletter."

Well, how great is that? Two new columns! It's actually making me a little nervous. What if I don't have anything to write about? What if I freeze and get writers block?

Nah! Nothing to worry about. Me, not have anything to write about - not "The Blogging Queen!" She always has something to say. With all those blogs - I'd better!

I hope you enjoy the new columns. Happy blogging and having writing.


Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Have You Noticed My New "Tips For Crafters On The Web Articles Categories" List?

I am so excited!

Yeah, yeah, Linda! You're always so excited!

I know, but this time I REALLY am excited.

Please ask me why?

Okay, why?

Because I'm finally able to add "Articles Category" lists to all my Blogger.com blogs.

Is that a BIG deal?

HELLO! Yes, it's a big deal. At least for me it is.

I've been searching for months to find a way to do this on my Blogger.com blogs and finally found another blog called ".NET Compact Framework Tutorials" that had tutorials for adding categories to your Blogger.com blogs. YIPPEE!!!!!

All you have to do is go to ".NET Compact Framework Tutorials Blogging_: categories categories categories in Blogger blogs" and then go to #1 for the Script Generator and follow the instructions. Then copy and paste the code into the sidebar of your Blogger.com blog. It's that easy. I love it.

To see my new "Tips For Crafters On The Web Articles Categories" list just scroll down the sidebar until you see the title "Tips For Crafters On The Web Articles Categories".

I love it! I love it! I love it!

I'm so excited. I've got to go add it to my other Blogger.com blogs.

YIPPEE!!! I finally have categories.

Linda, you need a life!


Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"


Monday, July 24, 2006

So, Linda - What Are You Going To Cover?

You might be wondering exactly what I'm going to be covering in this blog. Well, not only will I be providing you with the lists of who I used, but I'll be providing you with a little indication of what my thought process was.

Whether or not that is helpful to you is entirely up to you and your situation. What worked for me might not work for you. I am not an expert on anything listed below and don't claim to be. All I know is what my experience has been during the past year.

Here are a few areas that I am thinking about for my articles, in no particular order of importance:

Getting Started

  • Defining Your Product and Niche!

  • Getting Started! Where Do I Begin?

  • What Do I Do First? I Mean REALLY FIRST?

  • What Shall I Name My Business? Does a Name Really Matter?

  • What About Logo's and ByLines?

  • How Long Does It Really Take To Get Established On The Web?

  • What's A URL?

  • All Those Online Accounts And Passwords!

    Product Issues

  • What Are You Going To Sell?

  • How Will You Package Your Product?

  • How Much Should You Charge For Your Product?

  • How Much Does Your Product Cost To Produce?

  • Pricing Your Product And Overhead Costs!

  • Should Shipping & Handling Be Included In the Price Of Your Product?

  • Should Postage Be Included In the Price Of Your Product?

  • How Many Products Do You Need?

  • New Products? How Soon Should You Have Some?

  • Timeframes For Product Delivery!

  • How Soon Should You Ship?

    Product Order Issues

  • Order Forms - How Will The Customer Order Your Product?

  • How Will You Handle Mail Orders?

  • How Will You Handle Email Orders?

  • Shopping Carts? Good Or Bad?

  • Do You Need an Online Fillable Order Form?

  • Should You Consider Email Billing?

  • Should You Consider E-Commerce And Shopping Carts?

  • Credit Card Issues?

  • International Orders - Should You Consider Them?

    Customer Has Ordered Issues

  • Websites Are Open 24/7 - How Do You Handle That?

  • Customer Ordering And Shipping Timeframes!

  • Confirmation Emails!

  • Product Has Shipped Emails!

  • Thank-You For Ordering Emails!

  • Follow-up Emails!

  • Lost, Stolen, Or Broken Merchandise - What Do You Do?

  • What About Returns?

  • Shipping Cost Concerns?

  • International Shipping Pitfalls!?

  • Shipping Insurance? Do You Need It?

  • Postage Concerns?

  • Credit Card Denied or Rejected!

  • Customer Refuses To Pay After Product Shipped And/Or Received!

  • Bounced Check Issues!

    Product Issues and Product Pictures

  • Product Pictures? How To Take Them?

  • Enhancing Product Pictures - What Software Should You Use?

  • How Many Product Pictures Do You Need and What Sizes Should They Be?

  • Resizing Product Pictures - How Do You Do That?

    E-Products

  • What's A .pdf file? How Do You Create One?

  • What's And E-Pattern And How Do You Create One?

  • What's An E-Catalog And Why You Should Create One?

  • Create Your Own >pdf Files or Pay Someone To Convert?

  • What Are Instant Download E-Products?

  • E-Zines? What Are Those?

  • How Do You Keep Your .PDF File Size To A Minimum?

    Practical Issues

  • Shipping Concerns?

  • International Shipping? Should You?

  • Shipping Insurance? Do You Need It?

  • Postage Concerns?

  • What About Sales Tax?

  • How Will My Customers Pay? Check, Credit Card, Cash, Or What?

  • What's an E-Merchant?

  • Should You Use A Shopping Cart?

  • PayPal Or Credit Cards? Or Both?

  • Keeping A Calendar?

  • Should You Offer FREE Products?

  • What About Gift Certificates?

  • Websites Are Open 24/7!

    Banking Issues

  • The Banking Aspects?

  • How Are You Going To Pay For Services?

  • Funding and Capital To Start?

  • How Many Checking Accounts Do You Need?

  • E-Commerce Banking and Credit Cards?

  • Customers Paying By Check And Return Check Fees!

    Beginning Webpage Issues

  • Where Do You Get A Webpage?

  • Should You Use One Of The DIY, E-Commerce Websites Or Create A Website Of Your Own?

  • What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages To Creating Your Own Website?

  • To Domain Name Or Not To Domain Name?

  • Broadband or Dial-up? Does It Matter?

  • Hosting Company? What's That?

  • Renewing Your Domain Name? How Soon Should You Do It?

  • How Will You Update Your Website?

  • How Soon Should You Update Your Website?

  • Browser? What's That?

  • Server? What's That?

    Selling Issues

  • Where Should You Sell Your Product?

  • Other Paid Websites To Compliment Your Website? Should You Use Them?

  • What About the Auction Websites? Should You Use Them?

  • To eBay Or Not to eBay?

  • What About Online Auctions and Silent Auctions?

  • What About Those Classified Ad Programs and Websites?

  • What About Wholesale?

  • Should You Consider Consignment?

  • What's Drop Ship And Should You Consider It?

  • Should You Have SALES Or Offer Incentives On Your Product?

  • The Practical Logistics of Online SALES And Incentives - What Are They?

    Designing Your Webpage

  • Should You design My Own Website? If So, What Software Should You Use?

  • What's A Template?

  • Testing Your Webpage?

  • Designing Your Index and Home Page? Is Response Time Important?

  • Splash Pages - Should You Have One?

  • Too Many Graphics?

  • How Many Pages Should You Have In Your Website?

  • What Should Your Website Contain?

  • What Size Should Your Website Be - How Many Megabytes?

  • Contact Information, Hours, And Telephone #'s? What To Disclosure And Where?

  • Should You Have An About Us Page?

  • The Search Engine Importance Of Your Home/Index Page Design?

  • Should You Design Your Own Webset Or Purchase One?

  • The 5 Second Rule And Why It's Important!

  • The Contact Us Page! Why It's Important And What It Should Contain!

    Programming Issues

  • HTML? What's That?

  • CSS? What's That?

  • HTML and CSS Tips!

  • Frontpage? What's That?

  • Dreamweaver? What's That?

  • What's A Script?

  • FREE Scripts - Where Can You Get Them?

  • How Do I Make My Name And Banner Clickable?

    Technical Issues

  • Browsers? Why Do I Need To Worry About These?

  • Using Notepad As A Link Between Your Computer and Websites?

  • Are Cookies Slowing Your Website Down?

  • Backing Up Your Website!

  • Practical Aspects Of Updating Your Website- What Are They?

  • URL's And The Naming Of Files And Folders? Why Is This Important?

  • Dedicated Servers or Shared Servers?

    Legal Issues

  • Copyrights? Do You Need To Worry About This?

  • Do You Need To Copyright Your Product?

  • Allow Right-Click Or No Right-Click? What Do You Mean?

  • Do You Need To Copyright Your Website?

  • Disclaimers?

  • The Order Information Page! Why You Need One?

  • Privacy Statements!

  • The Fine Print On Ordering From You! What Should Your Policies Be?

  • Payment Policies - What Should You Consider?

  • Links To Other Website Content Disclaimers!

  • Wholesale Policy - Do You Need One?

  • Shutting Down Your Business And Domain Names!

    E-mail Issues

  • Who Should You Use For Email? Why Is That Important?

  • Email Etiquette!

  • Don't Forget Your Email Signature - Another Aspect Of Advertising!

  • Watch Out For Those Scam Artists!

  • Email Spam - The Bane Of One's Existence!

  • Those Correspondence Issues!

  • Where Should You Store Your E-Mail's - Online Or On Your Hard Drive?

  • How Many Email Accounts Should You Have?

  • How To Create Email Links On Your Website!

    Practical Business Matters

  • Your Work Location - Where Is It?

  • Don't Forget Your Filing Situation?

  • Don't Forget The Business Card?

  • What About Return Address Labels, Envelopes, and Stationary?

  • How About Business Notecards And Thank-You Notes?

  • What About Business Invoices, Etc.?

  • Announcements! Do You Need Them?

  • Do You Need A Business Brochure or Tri-Fold Brochure?

  • Your Recordkeeping And Why It's Important?

  • WAHM? What's That?

    Graphics Issues

  • You Need Graphics? Why?

  • Where Can You Get Graphics For Your Website?

  • Should You Do The Graphics Yourself?

  • Banners - Do You Need Them? What Sizes Do You Need?

  • What's A Button Banner? Where Do You Use Them?

  • What's A Mini-Banner? Where Do You Use Them?

  • What's A Standard Banner? Where Do You Use Them?

  • How Do You Reduce Your Banner Images?

  • How Do You Make Your Banner Clickable?

  • What's Clipart?

  • What's A Blinkie?

  • Where Should You Store Your Banners?

  • Graphics Websites? Where Can I Find Them?

    Images And Photo Storage Website Issues

  • What's An Image?

  • Saving Images and File Extensions - What's The Difference?

  • How Do You Get Your Image To Blink?

  • How Do You Create An Image?

  • What Software Programs Should You Use For Images?

  • Where Should You Store Your Images?

  • Resizing Images - How Do You Do It?

  • Photo Storage Websites? Do You Need Them?

  • How Do You Take A Screenshot?

  • How Do You Move Images From Your Computer To Your Website?

    Mailing List And Newsletter Issues

  • Do You Need A Mailing List?

  • Where Should You have Your Mailing List?

  • The Double Opt-In And Opt-Out Requirements For Subscribers?

  • Do You Need A Newsletter? Where Do You Get One?

  • Subscribing To Your Mailing List? How Will Customers Do That?

  • Should You Subscribe To Other Newsletters?

  • What About E-Postcards?

    FREE Services and Other Website Customer Enticers

  • Free Services! It's Hard To Beat Bravenet.com!

  • Do You Need A Guestbook?

  • Common Courtesy of Guestbooks!

  • Commenting On GuestBooks And The Impact On Search Engines!

  • Do You Need A FAQ Page?

  • What About Counters? Do You Need Them?

  • What About Tell-A-Friend?

  • Vote Casters and Other Customer Enticers?

  • Should You Have A Featured Crafter?

  • Should You Have Offer FREE Articles on Your Website?

  • What Other Customer Enticers Can You Do?

    Search Engine Issues

  • What Are Search Engines? Why Do You Care?

  • How Do You Get Listed By The Major Search Engines? Should You Pay Someone?

  • Keywords? What Are Those?

  • What Are Keywords and Meta-Tags? Why Are They Important?

  • What's Cache?

  • Google Page Rank? What's That? How Do You Check It?

  • How Long Does It Take To Get Listed In Search Engines?

  • How Often Should You Submit Your Website To Search Engines?

  • What About Google SiteMaps?

    WebRing and Topsite Issues

  • What's A Webring and Should You Join One?

  • What Are TopSites and Should You Join Them?

  • Should You Manager a Topsite?

  • Should You Manage a WebRing?

  • What's A Gateway Page? Do You Need It?

  • How Do You Get To The Top Of The Topsites List?

    Banner Exchanges and Linking

  • Banner Exchange? What's That?

  • What's A Link? How Should You Manage My Links?

  • What About FREE Link Exchanges?

  • Text Links or Banners? Which Is Better?

  • Banner Exchange URL's Or Downloading To Your Hard Drive - Which To Choose?

  • Should You Have A Banner Exchange Directory?

  • Should You Join A Traffic Exchange Website?

    Advertising Issues

  • Where Should You Advertise Online?

  • Directories? Paid or Not?

  • FREE Business Directories - Where Are They?

  • What Kind Of Directories - Mainstream Or Specialty?

  • FREE Banner Directories and FREE Places To Advertise!

  • How About Paying Someone To Promote Your Website? Should You?

  • Should You Hire Someone To Promote Your Website?

  • What's Froogle?

  • Should You List Your Website In The PayPal Store?

  • To Google Content Advertise or Not To Google Content Advertise?

  • What About Yahoo Advertising?

  • What's A Featured Crafter and Why Would You Want To Be One?

  • What's A Featured Product?

  • Prim Packs or Mom Packs? What Are Those?

  • FREE Advertising And Where To Get It?

  • Other Ways To Get FREE Advertising?

  • Advertising On Other Crafters Websites And Newsletters- Should You?

  • Writing FREE Articles? Should You Consider That?

    Print Ads and National Advertising

  • Magazine Advertising? Should You Consider It?

  • What About Print Ads? How Do You Create Them?

  • Submitting Print Ads - What Format?

  • National Magazine Advertising? Is It Worth It? Can You Afford It?

    Plugboard Issues

  • What's A Plugboard and Should You Have One?

  • Where Can You Get A Plugboard?

  • Plugboards - Are They Worth It?

  • Maintaining Plugboards - Why That's Important?

  • How Do You Enlarge Or Change The Size Of Your Plugboard?

  • Watchout For Plugboard Spam!

  • Plugboard Rules And Criteria For Plugging - Should You Have Them?

  • Plugboard Etiquette!

  • Where Should You Plug? Other Websites With Plugboards?

    On-line Craft Selling and Other Craft Selling

  • What About Online Craft Malls?

  • What About Online Craft Shows?

  • What About Regional or National Craft Shows? Should You Still Do Them?

    Publishing Your Website

  • What About A Grand Opening Sale and Incentive?

  • The Publishing My Website Gitters?

  • What's FTP? What's My Network Places? And, Why Do You Care?

  • How Are You Going To Update Your Website?

    Forum Issues and Networking

  • Forums? What Are They And Why Should You Join One?

  • What's A Thread?

  • What's A Forum Siggy Or Signature? Do You Need One?

  • Avatars? What's That?

  • Common Courtesy Of Forums!

  • Promoting On Forums And Elsewhere?

  • Associations? Should You Join One?

  • How Many Forums Should You Join?

  • What Kinds Of Forums Should You Join?

  • Forum Linking Requirements!

  • What About Chatrooms?

  • Commenting On Forums And The Impact On Search Engines!

    Blogs and Blogging

  • Blogs? What's A Blog and Do You Need One?

  • Where Should You Have Your Blog?

  • How Many Blogs Should You Have?

  • What Kinds Of Blogs Are There?

  • What Should You Include On Your Blog?

  • The Ins And Outs Of Designing Your Blog!

  • What's a Tagword?

  • Subscribers to Your Blog? What's That?

  • Syndication, RSS, Feeds, Atom.xml? What's That?

  • Trackbacks? What's That?

  • Blog Directories? Do You Need Them? Who Should You Avoid?

  • Blog Search Engines? Should You Submit To?

  • Blog Feed Services? Do You Need One?

  • Blog Linking And Banner Exchanging - Do You Need To?

  • Blog Traffic Exchanges And Should You Join One?

  • BlogRolling? What's That?

  • Why Isn't Anyone Visiting My Blog?

  • Ping? What's That And Do You Need A Ping Service?

  • Graphics For Your Blog? Do You Need Them?

  • Art Generators? What Are Those?

  • How Do You Move Images From Your Computer To Your Blog?

  • Banners For Your Blog? Do You Need Them?

  • Commenting On Blogs?

  • Watch Out For Blog Spam!

  • Blog Etiquette! What To Disclose Or Not Disclose!

  • Selling E-Products On Your Blog!

  • Selling Advertsiing On Your Blog - Should You?

  • Should You Have Google AdSense, Amazon, And Other Affiliate Advertising On Your Blog?

  • Blog Forums - Should You Join One?

  • Backing Up Your Blog Articles and Template - Should You?

  • What About Blog Statistics - Should You Care?

  • Shutting Down Your Blog And Popular Blog URL's!

    Other Revenue Opportunities

  • Affliates? What Are They? Do You Need Them?

  • What About Google Ad Search and Ad Sense? Should You Have It On Your Website or Blog?

  • Should You Teach An On-line Class?

  • Should You Offer Banner Exchange Advertising On Your Website?

  • Rotating Banner Exchange Code - Where Do You Get It?

  • Should You Offer Advertising On Your Newsletter?

  • Should You Offer Product Advertising On Your Website?

  • Should You Offer Button Advertising On Your Website?

  • What About Kits?

    Statistics

  • What About Statistics? Are They Important?

  • Counters? What Are Those? Where Should YOu Get One?

  • Traffic - What's That? Why Does It Matter?

  • First Time, Unique, Repeat Customers? Does It Matter?

  • Page Loads and Counting Yourself?

  • Referrals? What Are They?

    Now I Have A Website Issues

  • When Am I Going To Sell Something?

  • Am I Doing Well?

  • How Much Should I Have Sold By Now?

  • Why Isn't Anyone Visiting My Website?

  • Okay, I've Done Everything! Now What?

  • Lots Of Visitors, But No One Is Buying - Is This Normal?

  • How Do You Determine What Advertising Areas To Renew?

    Miscellaneous Issues

  • Doll Challenges? Should You Consider Them?

  • Craft Charities and Should You Participate?

    • That's what I have in mind for right now? I'm sure my list will change as I go along. Hopefully, that will give you a good idea of some of the things I had to worry about before I set-up my website and all during the year as I went along.

      If you're a small business crafter thinking about a website then I hope you'll find my articles and experiences useful.

      As mentioned, I'm certainly not an expert on anything and don't claim to be. All of this is based upon my experiences as a small business crafter or the web during the last year. If you find that by my relaying my experiences to you that it is helpful - that's great. If it saves you time that would also be great. I'd be happy that I could help.


      Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

      Monday, July 17, 2006

      Why a "Tips for Crafters On The Web" Blog?

      Why would I want to create a "Tips For Crafters On The Web" blog when I am not an expert on setting up small craft businesses on the web. Well, for a couple of reasons.

      The first is born out of sheer frustration. I wish I had had one place to go on the web to tell me everything that I, as a crafter and pattern designer, would need to know. One place that had lists of websites for every subject, tips on where to look, and real experiences. One source, not five million.

      The second reason is that I found all of the craft people that I dealt with to be so willing to help, so generous with their time and advice. I wanted to give back a little - to say thank-you. I thought by sharing my experiences during the last year that I might save another small business craft owner some time.

      So, who am I. I am not an expert. I'm am a small business craft website owner who published my first website "Linda Walsh Originals" in July 2005 selling "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls." I now have over 30 different kinds of websites including my latest "Linda Walsh Originals Dolls" where I sell "Handmade Dolls & Crafts for Grown-up Girls."

      "Tips for Crafters on the Web" blog is my journal. It's everything I have in my files. My "tips", my "lists", my "where to go", my "what to do next", my "how to do it notes", my "to do list." I thought I would relate all the experiences I have had during the last year. Hopefully, it may help some of you. I hope it does. I hope it saves you time and becomes your one source.

      Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"