Expanding my safety pin collection. :)
If you joined Etsy in 2007 or earlier and was very active in the Etsy forum, you probably remember one of the Etsy founder "RevolvingDork", the geeky dude who gave us updates on tech issues of the site. Along with a couple other ex-Etsy folk, they've started a new company called Postling, a tool to help small businesses like us manage our social media. You can post to twitter/facebook/blogspot/wordpress/tumblr etc all at once, and it aggregates the comments for you so you don't have to check everything individually.
When I learned about Postling through our Full Time Etsy Crafters Team member tinysaur, I was almost as excited as when I discovered EtsyHacks.(P.S.If you sell on Etsy, you've got to use EtsyHacks.Period. It's full time Etsy sellers' life saver).Like many Etsy sellers, I have signed up for as many social networking sites as possible, and also have been neglecting most of them, simply because I don't have time--or maybe I just don't want to waste my precious time checking all of my sites.While I blog regularly and am on facebook all the time, my flickr account has long been ignored, and my twitter updates consist of only links to my new blog posts -- which have been fed automatically through twitterfeed.
I thought Postling may be a time saver for me to triple my marketing effect, but you never know something until you try it out.And why not?They have a 30 day free trial which doesn't even ask for your credit card info, so I signed up(I heart free trials :D )..Ok, so what happens next?At first I was surprised there wasn't an instruction page for my dashboard, but I soon realized it was so simple that you really don't need a lot of instructions to use Postling.You will need to be familiar with the functions of the social media you want to integrate -- in other words, you need to understand what "Update Your Status" or "Share a Link" means for your these social media, so you can select one to start.
After you log in your dashboard, the first thing you need to do is to click "Manage Services" and add all of your blog,flickr,twitter,tumblr,facebook account to Postling.Then they will show up on your right side bar when you work on your new post/update.In this post I wll show you how I manage a blog post through Postling.
Before I start that, I thought you may be interested to know that I use Postling to manage two blogs, three facebook accounts(one personal account plus two business/fan pages),two twitter accounts and one flickr ALL AT ONCE.
Did you read yesterday's post on our team blog? This post shows you how I created that post through Postling.First I click "Create a Blog Post", and check which where I want to post it to.
I usually just post it to my blogs, but you should also post it to your facebook fan page and/or personal page to maximize your marketing effect IF your facebook pages are not yet set up to import your blog posts automatically.(my facecbook pages are ALL set up to import my blog posts--this is an option in your facebook account)
When I finish the post, I publish it, and on the next page I will have an option to post the link of this blog post to any service I want to.You can use this step to do your twitter update.If this is what you want to do, click "Insert the link below" and select your twitter account on the right side bar.
I personally skip this step, because my twitter accounts already imports my blog posts using twitterfeed(since this is a review on Postling,I won't explain how to use twitterfeed).
But that's not what Postling is all about.If you don't need to do any update, you can click "skip to Photo Publishing"
This is the stage where you can do your photo publishing.I publish my photos to flickr AS WELL AS my facebook fan page and personal page.I must say this is one of my favorite part about Postling.People may not stop to read your imported blog posts on your facebook page, but many of they don't mind looking at your photos and leaving some nice comments :)
Just one thing to remember--if you want to publish the photos to your facebook page, you want to put the text under "description" instead of "title"-- it would be the best if you can do both title and description, but if you are as lazy as me and just want to do one of them, simply fill in a short description, and the text will show up on both your flickr and facebook.
So, after I am done, this is what my post looks like on FTEC blog..
and the photos published to FTEC fan page look like this --
Plus you know what photos look like on flickr.
Then, about 30 min later, twitterfeed updates my blog post, and facebook also imports my blog post.(or if you have used Postling to do these updates, they will all show up simultaneously)
We just finished 6 marketing tasks all at once.
Just a little side note. A little tool I really like about Postling is their photo resizing function.When I want to make the photo smaller but keep the same proportion, I only need to change one dimension and the other dimension will be automatically calculated.You can also easily enter the "Alternative Text" as well (note:if you don't understand this very useful little function, try google it)
Above is the tutorial, now here's what I think about Postling.
You will like Postling if you try to be active on many social media but don't think you have time, or you just absolutely hate logging into any one of them(for whatever readon) but still want to appear active on it just because you KNOW it's an effective marketing tool -- maybe you don't quite get facebook fan page, or maybe you are not so fond of twitter, or maybe you don't blog (hey--you can always use Postling to do a "photo blog")
You will not like Postling if you are very inexperienced at these social media that Postling manages, or if you only intend to be active on maybe one or two of them. Here's why --
- facebook business pages is now integrated with twitter, so your facebook updates will show up on twitter if you set it up in your facebook account (although, unfortunately, this doesn't work for personal pages.)
- facebook has an application for flickr(which I don't know how to use, but have seen other people using it) which will automatically display some of your flickr photos when you do a flickr upload.
- you can set up under facebook "Notes" to automatic import your blog posts
- you can set up twitterfeed to automatically update your Etsy new listings and blog posts if you don't want to do it manually
So, if so many things can already be done automatically, why do I still like Postling?
- it gathers all comments from your flickr, blog, facebook and twitter account, so you don't have to check them individually.
- I love the resizing function.
- I hate logging in and out 8 accounts.Now I only use two -- Postling, plus my facebook page(which I'm the most active on) -- and can still keep track of what's going on out there.
-I love being able to upload photos to flickr and facebook at the same time.
-I love being able to enter "alternative text" without having to access html codes
-(new discovery!)When you click the "edit" link to the right of the post on Postling home page, you can edit content as much as you want, and the edits you make there will automatically be sent to all of the places you sent the post originally.
At the end, there are a few little things I really hope I would be able to do through Postling...
-bulk photo upload function: for example, I am not able to upload 5 pictures at once when I do a blog post.This doesn't bother me that much since the photo uploading speed is amazing. However,other than that, there seems to be a maximum number of 7 photos to be uploaded at once when I do a photo update after the blog post.
-I would like to be able to save drafts of my posts in my Postling account before posting them.It's true I can always use a notepad or save my drafts to a word file, but..don't ask me why, I would still like to be able to save it in my postling account :)
-I would like to be able to edit the layout of my personal postling page, which is a blog that gathers everything I posted through Postling from short updates to blog posts. Currently there is only one look for the Postling blog.It would be really nice if I could personalize it.
Other than that, no more complaints so far.I think Postling is saving me a few hours every month and for that I am happy to pay a small fee for their service.
More on my first retail shop! The photos from yesterday showed my jewelry displayed in the middle shelf in the case.I took over the middle shelf because it was the perfect height for jewelry.But when I got home I started to worry about another vendor renting the top shelf and blocking my light. After talking a few full time Etsy sellers, I took the plunge and rented the whole locked case all to myself.Because the original top shelf was too high for me, I rearranged the glass panels, removing one and moving another one down, so the case now has two large shelves.I brought more jewelry in today.
I forgot to bring my canon poweshot so these photos were taken with my sony cellphone.They are a little blurred, but you get an idea of the whole layout.Here's some close-up photos..
I brought in over 50 rings, 20 necklaces, 20 pairs of earringsm, 3 bangles and some bangle charms.
Right now the earring display looks a little sad becauce it's not full. I'll bring in more pearl and gemstone earrings in a few weeks for the grand opening.
I felt very uncertain before I rented the booth, but now that everything is all set up and ready to go, I'm just happy. I guess, just like my buddy monkeysalwayslook said, you should try everything at least once to know whether it will work or not. This is my first time to deal with a retailer in person.I'm very lucky the owner Deborah is extremely pleasant to work with.She's simply sweet.She is also en Etsy seller and found me through Etsy.Deborah makes the most beautiful hair accessories -- they were the first things I was attracted to at Tea Farm Cottage! There are so many amazing crafters at Tea Farm Cottage that I am afraid I would spend money on other people's before I make any sale :)
At the end of this post, I would like to say special thanks to my great Full Time Etsy teamies, who helped me with my decision to go for my first retail shop: bizzilizzie, beckandcallgirl, eleen, XOhandworks, monkeysalwayslook, ileaiye, mpaperarts, southpawstudios, epicerma, cricketscreations, nicholasandfelice and kfarrell, I probably would have come to the same conclusion without your help, but you made me feel so much more confident about every little step I take. I'm so lucky to have your support.
Remember what I told you about my first retail shop?The shop owner Deborah has been working extra hard in the past two weeks and cleaned up the place real nice so she will be opening Tea Farm Cottage this Wednesday.The picture above shows the jewelry showcase at the counter two weeks ago(with Deborah in the picture), and the slanted jewelry showcase at the front was the one I intended to rent.Unfortunately, I was a little slow than other vendors and someone took that spot alread. (Oh no!)
While I was a little disappointed, I decided to go ahead and rent another booth just to get some retail experience.So, I spent the whole morning making earring cards and tagging items.Then I went to the shop at about 1pm.
I forgot to take more photos of the shop as I arrived, but I was amazed by the variety of items already displayed in the shop! Better yet, I noticed a real nice locked shelf at the entrance, right opposite to the counter.I was told it was still not rented, so I quickly moved my jewelry in the best spot available!
Did you see how busy this small place is? The counter was jewelry showcases were already filled with jewelry.More and more vendors came in today to reserve their booths.
My booth lights up.It looks a little strange right now because of the displays used..I had prepared my displays for a lower shelf space(the counter jewelry showcase), so all the earrings are just laying flat right now, and the necklaces are actually laying on a bracelet display! I'll be back in two weeks to put my jewelry on proper displays(which I have to order first..).I'll probably bring some more jewelry as well.
If you are near Summerville South Carolina, you can see my jewelry in person starting this Wednesday(9/15).I have many pearl rings listed at a special price($10) because the colors are discontinued in my Etsy shop.
The address for Tea Farm Cottage is--
808 N Cedar St
Summerville, South Carolina
Finally! Took me so long to get the color chart done,but here they are.The pearls are of such great quality that I don't even want to obstruct them with any more wire wrap.Again I'm offering a 10% new arrival discount on this item until 9/17. Mention coupon code "colorfun" at checkout and I will reimburse you the discount amount.Let me know if you are interested in more than a pair!
I hope all of you had a great Labor Day Weekend. Mine wasn't so fun, although I can say I have accomplished "something". I started working on the shopping cart for my website.The picuture above shows the main page of my shopping cart.The next picture shows my test product listings.
I know so little about HTML, not to mention CSS. But in the past few days I have edited a lot of html and css codes in the template of my shopping cart. It seriously gave me headache and I'm still not sure if this is what I should be doing.
I have also been thinking about going with BigCartel instead because they're known for their ease of use and gorgeous templates, but the problem is they have a maximum product number of 100, and I really would like to have a larger store than that. And yes, I know I can hire a professional to finish this up for me, since time is money (anyone out there willing to help?), but part of me also feel if I will be the one maintaining the site I better figure this out so I can fix it if something goes wrong.
I still have a lot of questions in my head and I don't know if they will ever be solved. My questions are mostly about whether to have my own shopping cart and which shopping cart to use. But a few things i'm especially excited about having my own shopping cart is I can add custom options to the product.For example, customers can use the drop down menu to give me their choices of ring size, birthstones, and metal. There will also be a coupon code box, plus multiple shipping options.Thess features are really what Etsy should have done a long time ago.
Yes, the 14K gold birthstone necklace pre-order sale is finally here! From now through 9/7, receive 20% off the listed price on this beautiful family birthstone necklace. This item requires 2 weeks lead time but with the discount it's worth the wait!
To take the advantage of this discount, you can..
1. order this listing through my Etsy shop and mention coupon code "fall09" at checkout.Proceed to payment and you will receive 20% instant rebate of your total within 24 hours.
2. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a custom order for you in my etsy shop reflecting the discount.