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A week or so ago, I got a tweet from Mr. Artfire about something called Rapid Cart. Basically if you have a shop on Mr. Artfire, you can set up a window on your blog or website, and customers can buy right from there without having to go to your Mr. Artfire store. That’s a convenient tool for the customer in a rush!

And then today, I read about Toldya!, a new service that lets you build a portable store on social networking sites or your blog or just about anywhere you’d like it online. There is no fee to set up your store. You pay a $.99 fee if you sell something. However, you don’t get paid until you ship and you have to ship through UPS. That would be inconvenient for me.

But hey, if you use Facebook, MySpace or any other networking sites to promote your products, it might be worth a look.

http://mrartifire.com

http://toldya.com

You can read more about toldya! here: http://tinyurl.com/dl9sz6

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A couple of months ago, I learned about Google Base from an Etsy forum. I found a great tutorial on how to use LetsEts and post on Google Base. It was a little tricky, so I wrote my own blog post about posting to Google Base based on my experience. LetsEts picked it up and apparently it’s been helpful to others. I’m so glad!

One of the recent comments on that post was from a woman who called herself a Geek-in-Training (thanks Carla!). I loved that!!! As crafters, we are in tune with non-technical processes. As a bookbinder, I use board, fabric, a scissor, an iron and a cold glue process.  I love working with my hands. But to be able to even afford my craft, I need to make some money from it, and with the Internet, I now have easy avenues for that purpose. So I’ve also become a Geek in Training.

There are so many ways to sell on the Internet, and many of them are relatively inexpensive  or even free. You really don’t even need a website. However, if you are considering selling your crafts online, and you should, you need to know about a couple of tools that can help you and are relatively easy, even for us non-technical folk.

The next time you are on your computer, consider learning about the following tools for selling your crafts and building a following:

Etsy (of course)

eBay (yes, eBay is still a great place for selling handmade items)

Blogging (wordpress, blogger, typepad, take your pick. They are free and relatively easy to learn). Personally, I like wordpress, can you tell?

Twitter (micro-blogging site that is just the hottest networking tool right now. It’s quick, easy to use and a great way to send new potential customers to your website, etsy store, ebay store, blog, etc. You do want to have somewhere to send your potential customers though.)

Facebook, which is a great social network for connecting with family and friends, as well as setting up a page for your business, connecting in groups where you may find the folks who are looking for what you are selling and a way to find new followers.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Of course, you can get so caught up in doing all of these techno things, you might find you have less time for your actual craft, but if you aren’t selling it, you won’t be doing much crafting anyway.

So don’t be afraid. Look up information on the above on google and get fearless. It’s really not as hard as you think. I am still a geek-in-training (the web moves so fast I don’t think we ever stop training), but I’ve learned a lot and I love the technical stuff almost as much as the crafting!

In the following weeks, I will be blogging about getting started on etsy, ebay, etc. These will be very elementary for the true beginner. I hope they help!

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While having found indiepublic.com, poshmama.com and others have been wonderful from a community standpoint, I’m having trouble getting my work done!

I’m addicted! I have found so much information already and I’ve checked out so many very cool etsy shops, but I have to figure out a way to condense my social networking activities into a shorter time period. If I’m not careful, the social networking scene, which is oh so much fun, becomes a complete time bandit. I’ve had trouble enough with email and listing new items on eBay and Etsy….the products I make are customized from top to bottom so I communicate A LOT with my customers and often those emails take time. Add to that the blogging (I’m writing this on the train as I head into a social networking class….so I can find out even more ways to spend time on Facebook, tee hee.).

I love being part of a community and I love blogging and sharing what I’m learning and the creative stuff along the way, but man, I need more hours in a day. I work full time, and I need a 36-hour day!

I’m sure this is happening to many of you too. I had started a program a while back called Simpleology, but you know when you get so overloaded that you just don’t have time to learn one more thing? So I stopped. I realize now though that Simpleology may just be the answer to my dilemma. It’s a program that teaches you how to prioritize and get the bigger things done first. The smaller things….and of course the more fun things….have to be put on a schedule. Isn’t that always the way? It’s like chocolate. It’s good for you in small doses, but too much, well we know where that gets you.

I have a long list of things I want to get accomplished this year. I want to write a book, develop new crafty stuff, really develop my marketing plan for my online ventures, and I want to make friends, build a community and feel the support and encouragement of sites like indiepublic and weloveetsy along the way. Oh, and I want to make money, so that means making albums….and that means time away from the computer. And my day job requires me to have gotten some sleep.

Let me know what you do to manage your time. I can guarantee I’m not the only one with this particular problem. Most creative people I have met have what I like to call creative ADD…so many ideas, so little time. It’s hard to stay focused.

And if you want, check out Simpleology at Simpleology.com. It’s free for the organizational stuff. I’m going to give it a second look.

Hey and last night, I learned quite a bit about Facebook and Twitter! I’ll be sharing some of that very soon.

Happy creating.

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So in my search to find out all that I can about Etsy.com, I began searching forums this week. And while finding out cool etsy stuff, I also found some great crafty social networking sites.

I joined Facebook a while back, and I’ve been building my friend’s list there and playing Scrabble with one of my friends….so cool! Check out Scrabulous if you are on Facebook. So I’ll digress for a moment…when I was dating my husband and then newly married, we lived near my parents and our Saturday routine was to go to my Mom’s house on Saturday afternoons, drink wine and play Scrabble. Great memories of drunken spelling! My mother passed away before the Internet age, but she would have loved it. Email, social networking and Scrabble online! Who would have thought?

Anyway, back to social networking for crafty people. I found two sites: craftbuddy.com and Indiepublic.com while browsing the forums yesterday and immediately joined both. I was so impressed. Now I can network with other people who are as crazy as I am! I haven’t had a chance to do much on craftbuddy.com but I did spend some time on Indiepublic.com yesterday and I think just about every Etsy seller is on there too. Everyone is so friendly! I can’t wait to spend more time browsing and getting to know the other crafters on these great sites. And it’s great for driving traffic and promoting your craft too. You can customize your home page and put the etsy mini widget on there too (even in comments to other crafters!) Check them out. You can check me out on indiepublic.com too: I’m Diane Falvey on there. Add me as a friend!

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