(Photo taken at the Old Mission, Santa Barbara, California; July 2013)
Normally when I write a Freedom Friday post, I’m interviewing someone who is, in some way, striving to create freedom. Sometimes, they’re trying to free themselves from the confines of a cubicle and run their own business. Sometimes, they are trying to free others and are doing something great in human rights. Once, I interviewed Colin Wright, who is so ‘free’ that he moves to a new country every six months…just because he can.
Today, though, I want to focus on you – the blogger or Etsian.
Earlier this week, I posted ‘How to Promote Your Etsy or Blog and Not Lose Your Mind!’ and received some wonderful feedback (Have I told you, lately, how I love you, dear readers?). In reality, that was a very, very broad post with just some general guidelines on a social media schedule. Today, I’m going to give you a very broad, general list of some awesome tools and resources to use as a blogger or Etsian. Over the next few weeks, I will be breaking these down and attacking, explaining, and linking each and every one of these.
You know what this means? This means you want to go right over there —> to my sidebar, and subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss out on this series. Lots of wonderful things to be covered!
We’re going to start with being an Etsy seller – we all know how frustrating it can be to spin your wheels and still not get a sale. Here are a few ways to make that much easier:
1. Join Etsy Teams! I know, they say this a lot, but seriously find some teams that are worth the time and effort, and just dive right in! My favorites are the Etsy Meet and Tweet, Etsy Success, and the North Georgia Etsy Team. Obviously, the latter will apply to very few of my readers. Like the lovely Tara Gentile says, being an independent business person doesn’t mean we should do it alone. Teams are there for a reason!
2. Etsy.fu – This is a lovely app within Etsy that will automatically tweet your listings at an interval of your choosing. Mine tweets once every six hours, to give room for all of my other tweets in between. (If you want to know why I do things that way, stick around for the Twitter post next week!)
3. Etsy’s LiveStream Library – If you haven’t utilized this, do it now. Some of the webinars I had little use for – for instance, I don’t need to know how to make letter press dolls. Though, I may try that for fun one day! The other stuff? Amazing! I listen to the webinars while I’m cooking, doing homework, taking a bubble bath, etc., and then I go implement the things discussed. Because of these, I have a customer-friendly shop that attracts customer attention rather than having to go chase after customers all the time.
Etsians, stick around because I’m not done with you yet!
1. ProBlogger – this is great if you’re looking to turn your blog into a revenue stream. I’m not, particularly, but I still get the newsleetter and some of the articles are great!
2. Find Blogging Networks! – BlogHer is a great one, from what I hear. Circle of Moms is great for mom bloggers. I am a part of the Green Moms Network, and the GMN community has done wonders for my blog. This goes back to the Etsy team and not doing things along – you don’t need to blog alone, either!
3. Youtube! – YouTube is a great space to learn new things about blogging. Want to know how to make something on your blog go away? YouTube it. Want to know how to add a Pin-It button over your photos that doesn’t interfere with your Lightbox plug-in? YouTube it. I built my blog via Youtube tutorials. Seriously.
4. A Beautiful Mess – I don’t follow their blog like I used to because they went the way of fashion blogging and I’m just not into that. However, the Blog Love eCourse from A Beautiful Mess changed my outlook on blogging forever. I still go back and utilize it over and over again. It helps you discover the important things about your blog, and organize it in such a way that, by the end, you have something that readers can’t wait to read. Their Blog (Design) Love eCourse is pretty awesome, as well.
Now, for both bloggers and Etsians, these other resources may be fantastic!
1. Tara Gentile’s Kickstart Labs – Tara is one of the best business coaches out there. I discovered her through an Art of Pricing seminar on Etsy, and have been following her ever since. After almost a year of business-and-inspiration-creating newsletters, I finally bit the bullet and joined KickStartLabs. I never expected to get this much out of the program! Not only does it include membership to a group of start-up business owners just like you (who do everything from photography to blogging, to yoga-instructing), but you get interaction with Tara, as well as access to her masterclasses. Her masterclasses? Well, those alone are worth hundreds. Of all the things I’ve tried in the last two years of blogging, this has, by far, been the best investment for my business.
2. The Wild Sisterhood – The motto of The Wild Sisterhood is ‘Love Yourself. Follow Your Bliss. Change the World’, and that is very much what the sisters are all about. Each month, there’s a Wild Sister Magazine that is the perfect bubble-bath-inspiration-read. There are two courses – one excellent eCourse on creating an eMagazine, and a ton of forums. While many join The Wild Sisterhood for business reasons, many of us also join for ourselves. If KickStartLabs was the best decision I’ve ever made for my business, The Wild Sisterhood was the best (online) decision I’ve ever made for myself. And, one thing I love: There aren’t hundreds upon hundreds or thousands of members. You don’t get lost – you form these amazing, supportive, sister-like bonds with women from across the world who really, truly believe and invest in you. And, who doesn’t want that?
3. The Amazing Biz and Life Academy- I won’t lie – this one’s not cheap. It’s MUCH cheaper than some other options out there, though, and the resources available within the academy are endless. It’s like a wonderful mix between KickStartLabs and The Wild Sisterhood – joining business with friendship and bonding. There’s an endless stream of eCourses, such as the Business Goddess E-Course (LOVE that one), and the blogging business e-course. Just a warning, though: If you’re not one of those soul-loving, hippie dippy types, Leonie may be a big much for you to handle. This woman oozes sunshine, rainbows, and happy thoughts.
4. BlogcastFM – This one is free! BlogcastFm is ran by my friend, Srinivas Rao, who wrote both The Small Army Strategy as well as the bestseller, The Art of Being Unmistakable (that’s a $2.99 eBook, and it’s currently the #1 Bestseller in Amazon in Entrepreneurship. So proud of Srini!). BlogcastFM is basically a podcast about blogging, being unmistakable, and creating success in a very non-cheesy, non-power-of-positive-thinking kind of way. He interviews leading experts like Seth Godin and Erika Napoletano in very casual, true-to-life conversations.
In a ‘real’ job, you have co-workers, bosses, monthly or weekly meetings, etc., and have ample ability to bounce ideas off of each other, form strategies, and create things together. The resources above each provide that same thing for those of us who work by ourselves in our own home. If I could recommend *one* of the above things for an Etsian/Blogger, it would absolutely be the KickStartLabs (ironically, one of the cheaper options), because it really does suit just about everyone.
Now that you have resources to start building a supportive community around you, or to turn to for advice, tips, how-to’s, and instruction, lets get to the nitty gritty!
Next week, I’m going to cover the ins-and-outs of Twitter, and how to create a Social Media friendly blog post!
What tips or topics would you like to see?